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Meaningfulness, Purpose

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Meaningfulness, Purpose

Post  Philhellene91 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:05 am

So I'm not sure if this is the best place to start a thread like this, but here it goes. I believe the first question one should ask one self as well as others is what's the purpose of life? how should a human being live? what is or are the best things in life? things that should be worth struggling and fighting for? Sorry I know that these aren't easy questions and I don't expect perfect and easy answers to them; all I really want is to know what your responses are, responses from an Olympianist perspective.

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Re: Meaningfulness, Purpose

Post  Erodius on Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:24 pm

This is the perfect place for such a thread.

I believe the first question one should ask one self as well as others is what's the purpose of life? how should a human being live? what is or are the best things in life? things that should be worth struggling and fighting for?

The existence of the universe is nothing more or less than the interplay of the cosmogonic substances. In Indian philosophy, it is termed लीला : lila, or 'divine play.' The cosmos is the game of God. As such, in the greater scheme, there is no 'purpose' of anything beyond simply the playing of the Divine like a child in a sandbox.

However, on our world we have an accident of fortune. Our world, one of the created things of the Supreme, rebelled against its creator, falling to egoism in pursuing its own creation. To make a long story short, mortal beings on earth are the material and spiritual descendants of the egoistic creation of the Earth, condemned to mortality as long as we fail to achieve reconciliation with the Divine through submission to the Divine element implanted within us by the Divine for the express purpose of bringing about this reconciliation.

To save oneself from perpetual returns to death, it is necessary to cultivate Virtue, which is identical with the divine mind, and shun Vice, the anti-Virtue, which is identical with the illusion of the ego. All that is Virtue is the very same as the good in the cosmos, and it is that which is right and good that is worth fighting for. The very act of fighting for the good and the virtuous is itself its own cultivation thereof.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Meaningfulness, Purpose

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:06 pm

Very eloquently put, Erodius! The similarities between Hellenistic and Indian philosophy is astounding.

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Re: Meaningfulness, Purpose

Post  Erodius on Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:56 pm

The similarities between Hellenistic and Indian philosophy is astounding.

The parallels are wide-ranging and consistent, especially within the Samkhya/Shaiva-Siddhanta and various Vedanta schools. Respectively, these two Indian philosophical schools correspond almost point for point with dualistic-emanationist Orpheo-Pythagorean and monistic Neoplatonic philosophy. Also, interestingly enough, they are, respectively, fairly contemporaneous with one another.

By the high Imperial era, it was not terribly unusual for wandering Orpheo-Pythagorean philosophers to make trips to India to study with the brahmins. An account of such a journey makes up part of Philostratus' Life of Apollonius of Tyana, a gospel-type biography of exactly such a sage.

There is also an academic theory suggesting a direct ideological link between the Neoplatonistic revival of Late Antiquity and contemporary Indian philosophy of the time — with the revival within the Roman Empire evidently begun by a somewhat poorly known figure by the name of Ammonius Saccas, the teacher of Plotinus, who in turn taught Porphyrius, who taught Iamblichus, who taught Plutarch of Athens, who taught Syrianus, who taught Proclus. His title 'Saccas' is interpreted by many scholars as a designation that he was probably either a north Indian himself, or was of north Indian descent, 'Saccas' being the Hellenization of 'Shakya', a noble clan name from the northern areas of India (the same clan to which the Buddha was born).

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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The Orphic Way: www.hellenicgods.org
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Re: Meaningfulness, Purpose

Post  Philhellene91 on Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:34 am

How do I live a virtuous life? How do I cultivate virtue? And also what is considered vice?

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Re: Meaningfulness, Purpose

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:33 am

To live a virtuous life and to cultivate virtue are really one and the same. To live a virtuous life is to pursue all that is true, to shun irrational selfish desires that accomplish nothing more than feed and encourage the passions of the flesh, and to embrace those traits of human character which bring peace, concordance, harmony, knowledge, etc, to one's self and to those around them. Erodius discusses what virtue and vice are in this thread: http://olympianismos.forumotion.com/t222-7-basic-points-of-platonism

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