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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor?
    #22945850 - 02/25/16 07:35 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

I am reading a book entitled Philosophy As A Way of Life by Pierre Hadot and Arnold Davidson. I have been a proponent of the Here & Now since first reading BE HERE NOW in late '72, and that message was reiterated in the 90s with The Power of Now, but I never really thought about the different 'flavors' of The Eternal Now (Paul Tillich) until just last week when I reached the end of chapter 7 of this book, and synchronistically, someone on these forums spoke to 'the enjoyment of the present moment.' So, I was wondering if anyone else had either pondered these differences or read Hadot's book. I like to fancy myself as being philosophically Neoplatonist, which isn't much addressed in this book. The author speaks to the Platonic, Peripatetic (Aristotelian), Epicurean, and Stoic schools primarily, with some mention of the ancient Cynics and Skeptics, but mostly contrasts the Present of the Stoics and Epicureans.

"Stoics and Epicureans, for example - for completely different reasons - urged their disciples to concentrate their attention on the present moment, and free themselves from worries about the future as well as the burdens of the past. Whoever concretely practices this exercise, however, sees the universe with new eyes, as if he were seeing it for the first time." P. 212

Further,

"[T]he spiritual exercise of trying to live in the present moment is very different for Stoics and Epicureans. For the former, it means mental tension and constant wakefullness of the moral conscience; for the latter, it is...an invitation to relaxation and serenity....For the Epicureans, in the last analysis, pleasure is a spiritual exercise. Not pleasure in the form of mere sensual gratification, but the intellectual pleasure derived from contemplating nature, the thought of pleasures past and present, and lastly the pleasure of friendship...Above all, friendship itself was, the spiritual exercise par excellence." Page 88

Meanwhile,

"The fundamental attitude that the Stoic must maintain at each instant of his life is one of attention, vigilance, and continuous tension, concentrated upon each and every moment, in order not to miss anything which is contrary to reason....In order to understand the preceding, we must bear in mind what moral action, virtue, and wisdom meant for the Stoics. Moral good - for the Stoics, the only kind of good there is - has a cosmic dimension: it is the harmonization of the reason within us with the reason which guides the cosmos, and produces the chain of causes and effect which makes up fate...At each instant, we must therefore resituate ourselves within the perspective of universal reason, so that, at each instant, our consciousness may become a cosmic consciousness. Thus if one lives in accord with universal reason, at each instant his consciousness expands into the infinity of the cosmos, and the entire universe is present to him....One could speak here of a mystical dimension of Stoicism." Pages 226, 229, 230

Hadot points out that the Epicureans were what we'd call atheists today, and that existence was atomistic, with atoms arranged by a certain randomness, not ordered by a universal reason (logos) as with the Stoics. I am greatly simplifying and not discussing here the respective ideas about what happens at death. Lastly,

"The difference between the two attitudes consists only in the fact that the Epicurean enjoys the present moment, whereas the Stoic wills it intensely; for the one it is a pleasure; for the other, a duty." Page 230

It is doubtful than anyone identifies himself as a Stoic or Epicurean, but if these schools are looked at on a continuum of attitude, I know that I have more difficulty being Epicurean in nature, while my wife more naturally assumes that attitude. The Stoic, Marcus Aurelius, Hadot says, has been called a pessimist by some, but he seems to disagree. I tend to be pessimistic, while my wife is an optimist, and correspondingly, I tend to be more Stoic while she tends more towards Epicureanism. Regardless. I'd be interested to see if there anyone here who is interested in seeing their personality type as belonging more to the Stoic or to the Epicurean school when you distill your attention down to the present moment.


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Offlinetopdog82
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #22945948 - 02/25/16 08:08 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

:lol: its hilarious. As I was reading your post, I came to the realization that you did a better job of making that book interesting than my phil professor. You probably understand it much better too. Consider writing a blog or maybe a few ebooks. You could write kindle books for almost free and make some nice cash. you enjoy typing up posts like this. Let me know. i could PM you a few links

But thats an interesting take. I read that book for my phil class and you have given certain passages of that a newer and more interesting take. I will add it to my reading list. Its a first for me too. "different flavors" of the present. Kinda leads me to believe that even the epicureans and stoics were also esoterically very similar to the major religious faiths. In the same way that many religoins are esoterically the same damn thing (you and i have discussed this multiple times in this subforum)


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InvisibleLunarEclipse
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #22946081 - 02/25/16 08:45 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Stoically hoping to be an epicurean.



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Offlineyeah
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #22946166 - 02/25/16 09:09 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Have you considered that it might be ironic to adhere to "schools of thought" with the subject matter of being absolutely thoughtless?


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OfflineHardTrippin
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #22946187 - 02/25/16 09:14 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Brother, look up Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay Self Reliance. He was the leading figure in Nineteenth century American Transcendentalism. He basically formed his philosophy around a mystical experience he had. You may find it even more to your liking than neo-platonism (which I too love). I would consider myself a disciple of Emerson's, and I think Terence McKenna might have been by influenced him (or they were both receiving the same kind of philosophy from their sources).


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"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment" - Ralph Waldo Emerson


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: yeah]
    #22946199 - 02/25/16 09:18 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

yeah said:
Have you considered that it might be ironic to adhere to "schools of thought" with the subject matter of being absolutely thoughtless?




Good point, but it seems to be more of an attitude, or perhaps the object of the intentionality of consciousness that Husserl insisted was THE invariant feature of consciousness. I saw this morning's cloudless blue sky, smiled and went about my business, but my wife rather reveled in it along with a fuller appreciation of the cooler temperature and slightly lower humidity. It was a truly nice day in Miami, but I was more focused on the fact that I had no obligations today other than to go grocery shopping, with more opportunity to contemplate the moment and write this post on the contemplation of the moment. :wink:


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: topdog82]
    #22946272 - 02/25/16 09:33 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Thanks for the vote of confidence topdog82, :cheers: and glad I could suggest the book without any of the prof-student dynamics (which you may or may not covertly resent). As soon as I'm finished with this, I'm picking up What Is Ancient Philosophy? by Hadot. I first met Hadot's works only recently while making a study of Plotinus and ordered his Plotinus or the Simplicity of Vision. (I'm also reading W.R. Inge's The Philosophy of Plotinus, 'The Gifford Lectures 1917-1918, Volume I & II).

I once had a blog, and it got disappeared from the internet right after I wrote a speculative piece on what the Coca-Cola Corporation might be doing with the tons of cocaine they extract from coca leaves, which are still in their formula sans the cocaine. I have yet to complete the autobiography I wrote over several summers. My wife needs to finish editing it, which means me rewriting the edited parts. Then I need to do the ©opyright and then try to publish with Amazon.com.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: HardTrippin]
    #22946315 - 02/25/16 09:44 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Funny you should mention it, but last spring I did buy a couple books of Emerson's, including that essay, after reconnecting with a favorite philosophy professor (Arthur Lothstein, L.I.U.) whom I haven't seen in 40 years, at his recommendation. Prof Lothstein turned me onto Walt Whitman and William James, most memorably, but he is into 19th century American philosophy and poetry.  I see that those who have responded to my post thus far have interests in parallel with my own. Some of you are in or close to college age and it seems like I'm reconnecting with the me who left college as a philosophy major in 1975 in these discussions. It's refreshing and rejuvenating. :yesnod: Sometimes I wonder what life might have been like if I'd have stayed in philosophy and tried to become a professor of philosophy. On the other hand, this is exactly a problem of philosophy - it being relegated to philosophy professors. Instead, I attempted to remain philosophical in the guise of a middle school crisis counselor. Now in retirement, I can play philosopher again.


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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #22946544 - 02/25/16 10:43 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

MarkostheGnostic said:
Thanks for the vote of confidence topdog82, :cheers: and glad I could suggest the book without any of the prof-student dynamics (which you may or may not covertly resent). As soon as I'm finished with this, I'm picking up What Is Ancient Philosophy? by Hadot. I first met Hadot's works only recently while making a study of Plotinus and ordered his Plotinus or the Simplicity of Vision. (I'm also reading W.R. Inge's The Philosophy of Plotinus, 'The Gifford Lectures 1917-1918, Volume I & II).

I once had a blog, and it got disappeared from the internet right after I wrote a speculative piece on what the Coca-Cola Corporation might be doing with the tons of cocaine they extract from coca leaves, which are still in their formula sans the cocaine. I have yet to complete the autobiography I wrote over several summers. My wife needs to finish editing it, which means me rewriting the edited parts. Then I need to do the ©opyright and then try to publish with Amazon.com.



damn thats fucking crazy. I never thought about that. Sketchy as fuck regarding the cocaine

But either way, post a thread when you are done with the autobiography. I hope to read it


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InvisibleKurt
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #22946787 - 02/26/16 12:12 AM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Good topic for discussion. In some parts the author's distinction of stoics and epicurians could be better clarified too, so it should need to open up. For instance if is a little general to call the epicurians ambigious hedonists in our present world, and likewise is too general to call the stoic a moralist.

The basic difference in philosophers par excellence, would be in logic, which in these ancient schools directly spoke to cosmology and way of being. For example, the basic stoic maxim, was to "be like nature" or physis, in a way which is open to a holistic conception of nature. For example Marcus Aurelius;

Quote:

This thou must always bear in mind, what is the nature of the whole, and what is my nature, and how this is related to that, and what kind of a part it is of what kind of a whole; and that there is no one who hinders thee from always doing and saying the things which are according to the nature of which thou art a part.




A prerogative to act according to nature, could in certain appropriations seem to suggest a moral imperative at least sooner than the "hedonistic" maxim of epicurian, but it did not necessarily. For instance while Epictetus might talk about "moral character" this is nothing like the universalist christian ideal. In any case, physis, or nature did not itself, or in the stoic logic suggest anything more than a fraternity or brotherhood, in these maxims. (Note: see Seneca quote at the bottom how a "whole" is viewed in fraternity)

I would say the stoic logic is practically oriented to keeping view of nature (amidst the typical constructed oppositions in psychology and politics). One becomes a stoic through strength of character, natural circumstance presenting itself, and perhaps some turning away from the usual economies of human existence, for good reason - but not in resentment. Again the philosopher king Marcus Aurelius:

Quote:

Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him, For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away.




The Epicurian seems to me to indeed be the philosophers of friendship. There is much to be said for this and I feel I need to read more. My opinion is that Epicurians should not get such a bad rap, seeing as sharing in Hedone "pleasure" was not the same as we think of today. For example, the epicurians called their school the "garden school" and this could perhaps indicate how they lived close to provisions of their own. This distinction seems important to me. Anyway, they were literally gardeners in epicurus's time. Kind of interesting.

I'd say the difference between epicurians and stoics is going to be in individual circumstances a person has to deal with, and that is enough said. I think the shroomery is kind of like a garden and has always had a prominent Epicurian flavor. Then again there are a few true stoics here too. I appreciate that stoics don't bite for the easy speculation, philosophically speaking, based on oppositions. Physis and holism is not a speculation not that kind of universal.

The epicurians are in their particular opposition with stoics, due to being atomists (namely by the metaphysical-cosmological speculation in the sense Democritus espoused). This logic colored their ethos and activity fundamentally. I will not parse the details because personally I think it is speculative by comparison to stoic logic.  "Analysis" is methodological, and breaking down of things is not by any evidence suggestive of a supposed fundament of reality. The more well thought modern empiricists such as David Hume or W.O. Quine would confirm this.

Seneca wrote a few respective things on Epicurus, but drew a distinction, which again, I think will tend to speak ultimately only to "circumstances" in the world, and aside from philosophical argument, I think that is the basis people will probably assume.

Quote:

The difference here between the Epicurean and our own school is this: our wise man feels his troubles but overcomes them, while their wise man does not even feel them. We share with them the belief that the wise man is content with himself. Nevertheless, self-sufficient though he is, he still desires a friend, a neighbour, a companion. Notice how self-contented he is: on occasion such a man is content with a mere partial self – if he loses a hand as a result of war or disease, or has one of his eyes, or even both, put out in an accident, he will be satisfied with what remains of himself and be no less pleased with his body now that it is maimed and incomplete than he was when it was whole. But while he does not hanker after what he has lost, he does prefer not to lose them. And this is what we mean when we say the wise man is self-content; he is so in the sense that he is able to do without friends, not that he desires to do without them. When I speak of his being ‘able’ to do this, what I am saying in fact amounts to this: he bears the loss of a friend with equanimity.

Seneca, Letters




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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: Kurt]
    #22946984 - 02/26/16 01:37 AM (5 years, 7 months ago)

My wife has always complained about me going about in the dark, particularly when the clean-up after myself leaves crumbs. Of course she simply thinks I'm foolish when I've stubbed a toe or a shin in a dark room at night. What she doesn't know is that such moments allow me to contemplate one of the greatest fears - blindness - and how I would fare in a familiar space. I have sometimes complained about the difficulty I have had in making friends from the dawn of my life, but it occurs to me that perhaps the self-sufficiency which is in me is read by the world of people around me, the existentialist Mitwelt, unbeknownst to my self-conscious mind. When I perceived the unconsciousness which serves as the basis of camaraderie, I have always pulled back from it lest I lose myself to some participation mystique. The usual social vehicles for becoming one of the guys (team sports, misogyny, assorted prejudices, etc.) never hooked me. Now, my contemporaries are trapped in the past. NO, I don't want to see pictures of your grandchildren! :lol:

Clear, simple acknowledgement of the present has been fascinating since childhood days focused on nature, then science and scientific experimentation until one fateful day when I experimented on my consciousness. Then, fascination turned to Awe. My peers just seemed to be experiencing perpetual boredom. Awe is of the essence of the Present.

I have known loss, perhaps with less equanimity than I wish, but with far more than the uncomprehending people around me cared to see. To them, I was a "cold fish." I wonder if the clinician in me drew upon a Stoic mind-set when I cancelled the final Code Blue on my mother to allow her to die with dignity instead of as a challenge to young enthusiastic physicians trying to catheterize her femoral artery, to hold her hand and speak softly until she flat-lined. The Stoic is not devoid of empathy and compassion, just resistance to the surrender to the irrational display of emotionality.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: LunarEclipse]
    #22946999 - 02/26/16 01:42 AM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Interesting!


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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #22947723 - 02/26/16 10:35 AM (5 years, 7 months ago)

"the unconsciousness which serves as the basis of camaraderie"

Explain?

I can't say I'm much different than you about having a hard time making friends, but I don't want to convince myself that there's something wrong with having friends.

"The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship." - William Blake


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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: yeah]
    #22947759 - 02/26/16 10:48 AM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Having friends is wonderful when it's really a peer thing. I've found that once one person starts telling the other what's what too often that peer thing all breaks down. I lost a lot of friends by doing just that. I was actually insecure.  I have a lot easier time now but have another problem. I can't find a lot of people that I want to be friends with.

What's interesting is my best buddy right now is 22 years old. Veritas son.  We have a meeting of the minds and I don't pretend to know more than he does about life or anything actually. I don't, just different things.  He's really a brilliant guy and I constantly learn more about myself by just listening to him.


Edited by Icelander (02/26/16 10:49 AM)


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InvisibleKurt
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #22947789 - 02/26/16 10:58 AM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

The Stoic is not devoid of empathy and compassion, just resistance to the surrender to the irrational display of emotionality.





:thumbup:


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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: Kurt]
    #22947962 - 02/26/16 12:09 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Kurt said:
Quote:

The Stoic is not devoid of empathy and compassion, just resistance to the surrender to the irrational display of emotionality.





:thumbup:



quaruple :thumbup:


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InvisibleKurt
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: topdog82]
    #22948075 - 02/26/16 12:43 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Although their attitudes and philosophies have some essential differences, it seems to me both the stoic and the epicurian know something of gravitas.

Another from the stoic Seneca on Epicurus:

Quote:

“Here is another saying of Epicurus: ‘If you shape your life according to nature, you will never be poor; if according to people’s opinions, you will never be rich.’ Nature’s wants are small, while those of opinion are limitless. Imagine that you’ve piled, up all that a veritable host of rich men ever possessed, that fortune has carried you far beyond the bounds of wealth so far as any private individual is concerned, building you a roof of gold and clothing you in royal purple, conducting you to such a height of opulence and luxury that you hide the earth with marble floors – putting you in a position not merely to own, but to walk all over treasures – throw in sculptures, paintings, all that has been produced at tremendous pains by all the arts to satisfy extravagance: all these things will only induce in you a craving for even bigger things. Natural desires are limited; those which spring from false opinions have nowhere to stop, for falsity has no point of termination. When a person is following a track, there is an eventual end to it somewhere, but with wandering at large there is no limit. So give up pointless, empty journeys, and whenever you want to know whether the desire aroused in you by something you are pursuing is natural or quite unseeing, ask yourself whether it is capable of coming to rest at any point; if after going a long way there is always something remaining farther away, be sure it is not something natural.

Seneca, letters




I'd venture modern people could probably learn alot from ancient schools.


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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: yeah]
    #22950858 - 02/27/16 03:39 AM (5 years, 7 months ago)

No, friendship is a type of love relationship, and is certainly quite precious.:yesnod:  But there are all kinds of mass-mentality or unconscious processes that groups of people lose their individuality to from getting blue-blind paralytic drunk and applauding while your friends are blowing chunks, to painting oneself and one's buddies in the colors of one's favorite football team and acting more stupidly and obnoxiously than anything imaginable in American culture, to lying about sexual conquests that never happened, or just trying to bond with the guys through really disgusting misogynistic jokes, to bullying, to hating, to picking fights, and any other primitive, mindless, limbic-system on runaway motivated fucktard behaviors. In other words, reducing oneself to some idiotic standard of behavior/language, just to get on the same page with a group of people because you have no tolerance for being alone so you'll do virtually anything for social recognition.


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InvisibleKurt
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #22954895 - 02/28/16 01:35 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

Soaking in 103 degree waters (for the ol back) with some bitter drink, "Principle Doctrines" collected of Epicurus, or “Sovran Maxims”. Short enough to quote in entirety:

Quote:

1. A blessed and indestructible being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; so he is free from anger and partiality, for all such things imply weakness.

2. Death is nothing to us; for that which has been dissolved into its elements experiences no sensations, and that which has no sensation is nothing to us.

3. The magnitude of pleasure reaches its limit in the removal of all pain. When such pleasure is present, so long as it is uninterrupted, there is no pain either of body or of mind or of both together.

4. Continuous bodily pain does not last long; instead, pain, if extreme, is present a very short time, and even that degree of pain which slightly exceeds bodily pleasure does not last for many days at once. Diseases of long duration allow an excess of bodily pleasure over pain.

5. It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and honorably and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and honorably and justly without living pleasantly. Whenever any one of these is lacking, when, for instance, the man is not able to live wisely, though he lives honorably and justly, it is impossible for him to live a pleasant life.

6. In order to obtain protection from other men, any means for attaining this end is a natural good.

7. Some men want fame and status, thinking that they would thus make themselves secure against other men. If the life of such men really were secure, they have attained a natural good; if, however, it is insecure, they have not attained the end which by nature's own prompting they originally sought.

8. No pleasure is a bad thing in itself, but the things which produce certain pleasures entail disturbances many times greater than the pleasures themselves.

9. If every pleasure had been capable of accumulation, not only over time but also over the entire body or at least over the principal parts of our nature, then pleasures would never differ from one another.

10. If the things that produce the pleasures of profligate men really freed them from fears of the mind concerning celestial and atmospheric phenomena, the fear of death, and the fear of pain; if, further, they taught them to limit their desires, we should never have any fault to find with such persons, for they would then be filled with pleasures from every source and would never have pain of body or mind, which is what is bad.

11. If we had never been troubled by celestial and atmospheric phenomena, nor by fears about death, nor by our ignorance of the limits of pains and desires, we should have had no need of natural science.

12. It is impossible for someone to dispel his fears about the most important matters if he doesn't know the nature of the universe but still gives some credence to myths. So without the study of nature there is no enjoyment of pure pleasure.

13. There is no advantage to obtaining protection from other men so long as we are alarmed by events above or below the earth or in general by whatever happens in the boundless universe.

14. Protection from other men, secured to some extent by the power to expel and by material prosperity, in its purest form comes from a quiet life withdrawn from the multitude.

15. The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity.

16. Chance seldom interferes with the wise man; his greatest and highest interests have been, are, and will be, directed by reason throughout his whole life.

17. The just man is most free from disturbance, while the unjust is full of the utmost disturbance.

18. Bodily pleasure does not increase when the pain of want has been removed; after that it only admits of variation. The limit of mental pleasure, however, is reached when we reflect on these bodily pleasures and their related emotions, which used to cause the mind the greatest alarms.

19. Unlimited time and limited time afford an equal amount of pleasure, if we measure the limits of that pleasure by reason.

20. The flesh receives as unlimited the limits of pleasure; and to provide it requires unlimited time. But the mind, intellectually grasping what the end and limit of the flesh is, and banishing the terrors of the future, procures a complete and perfect life, and we have no longer any need of unlimited time. Nevertheless the mind does not shun pleasure, and even when circumstances make death imminent, the mind does not lack enjoyment of the best life.

21. He who understands the limits of life knows that it is easy to obtain that which removes the pain of want and makes the whole of life complete and perfect. Thus he has no longer any need of things which involve struggle.

22. We must consider both the ultimate end and all clear sensory evidence, to which we refer our opinions; for otherwise everything will be full of uncertainty and confusion.

23. If you fight against all your sensations, you will have no standard to which to refer, and thus no means of judging even those sensations which you claim are false.

24. If you reject absolutely any single sensation without stopping to distinguish between opinion about things awaiting confirmation and that which is already confirmed to be present, whether in sensation or in feelings or in any application of intellect to the presentations, you will confuse the rest of your sensations by your groundless opinion and so you will reject every standard of truth. If in your ideas based upon opinion you hastily affirm as true all that awaits confirmation as well as that which does not, you will not avoid error, as you will be maintaining the entire basis for doubt in every judgment between correct and incorrect opinion.

25. If you do not on every occasion refer each of your actions to the ultimate end prescribed by nature, but instead of this in the act of choice or avoidance turn to some other end, your actions will not be consistent with your theories.

26. All desires that do not lead to pain when they remain unsatisfied are unnecessary, but the desire is easily got rid of, when the thing desired is difficult to obtain or the desires seem likely to produce harm.

27. Of all the means which wisdom acquires to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life, by far the most important is friendship.

28. The same conviction which inspires confidence that nothing we have to fear is eternal or even of long duration, also enables us to see that in the limited evils of this life nothing enhances our security so much as friendship.

29. Of our desires some are natural and necessary, others are natural but not necessary; and others are neither natural nor necessary, but are due to groundless opinion.

30. Those natural desires which entail no pain when unsatisfied, though pursued with an intense effort, are also due to groundless opinion; and it is not because of their own nature they are not got rid of but because of man's groundless opinions.

31. Natural justice is a pledge of reciprocal benefit, to prevent one man from harming or being harmed by another.

32. Those animals which are incapable of making binding agreements with one another not to inflict nor suffer harm are without either justice or injustice; and likewise for those peoples who either could not or would not form binding agreements not to inflict nor suffer harm.

33. There never was such a thing as absolute justice, but only agreements made in mutual dealings among men in whatever places at various times providing against the infliction or suffering of harm.

34. Injustice is not an evil in itself, but only in consequence of the fear which is associated with the apprehension of being discovered by those appointed to punish such actions.

35. It is impossible for a man who secretly violates the terms of the agreement not to harm or be harmed to feel confident that he will remain undiscovered, even if he has already escaped ten thousand times; for until his death he is never sure that he will not be detected.

36. In general justice is the same for all, for it is something found mutually beneficial in men's dealings, but in its application to particular places or other circumstances the same thing is not necessarily just for everyone.

37. Among the things held to be just by law, whatever is proved to be of advantage in men's dealings has the stamp of justice, whether or not it be the same for all; but if a man makes a law and it does not prove to be mutually advantageous, then this is no longer just. And if what is mutually advantageous varies and only for a time corresponds to our concept of justice, nevertheless for that time it is just for those who do not trouble themselves about empty words, but look simply at the facts.

38. Where without any change in circumstances the things held to be just by law are seen not to correspond with the concept of justice in actual practice, such laws are not really just; but wherever the laws have ceased to be advantageous because of a change in circumstances, in that case the laws were for that time just when they were advantageous for the mutual dealings of the citizens, and subsequently ceased to be just when they were no longer advantageous.

39. The man who best knows how to meet external threats makes into one family all the creatures he can; and those he can not, he at any rate does not treat as aliens; and where he finds even this impossible, he avoids all dealings, and, so far as is advantageous, excludes them from his life.

40. Those who possess the power to defend themselves against threats by their neighbors, being thus in possession of the surest guarantee of security, live the most pleasant life with one another; and their enjoyment of the fullest intimacy is such that if one of them dies prematurely, the others do not lament his death as though it called for pity.




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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Present Moment: Which Flavor Do You Favor? [Re: Kurt]
    #22955137 - 02/28/16 03:25 PM (5 years, 7 months ago)

I hope your back feels better. I put in a hot tub maybe 7 years ago for my back and rarely use it, while it uses electricity, chemicals, and water replacement.
I have read some of these statements in my recent readings. I appreciate the logic thereof, although today the word Epicurean has been misappropriated by 'foodies,' often whose Visceratonic personality corresponding with a corpulent Endomorphic body type (in W.H. Sheldon's taxonomy) can also reflect a similar materialism and attendant atheism (or perhaps more generally, the non-spiritual tendency towards over-indulgence and lack of restraint).


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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