Tag Archives: Change

LIGHT OF DEATH

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Heraclitus is the first Greek philosopher to come from an aristocratic family. He became disillusioned with his fellow citizens when they chose to remove a prominent figure from office. He didn’t think that most people knew what they were doing, and were quick to accept tradition or go along with the opinions of others. For this reason, he was in favor of an aristocratic government (aristos) rather than a democracy exclaiming “One person is ten thousand to me if he is best.” His disillusionment with others, who could not understand his philosophy, led him ultimately to live a life of solitude in the mountains and to be known also as “The Weeping Philosopher.”

Heraclitus saw that the world is in a constant state of flux. He believed everything changes into it’s opposite, and that this is what maintains the world. “Cold things warm up, the hot cools off, wet becomes dry, dry becomes wet.” The philosophers before him thought there was a fundamental principle of reality (arche) and they identified it with a substance (water, air, the apeiron). For Heraclitus, the fundamental principle of the world isn’t a substance, but rather the principle that everything changes according to a divine guidance, which he called the Word (logos).

Source: http://www.philosimply.com/philosopher/heraclitus

THE NATURE OF MAN

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dove-hawkCandide: or, The Optimist (1762)  It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply “optimism”) by his mentor, Professor Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide’s slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, “we must cultivate our garden”, in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, “all is for the best” in the “best of all possible worlds”.

Candide is characterised by its sarcastic tone as well as by its erratic, fantastical and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel with a story similar to that of a more serious Bildungsroman, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years’ War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. As philosophers of Voltaire’s day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.

François-Marie Arouet (French: 21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, MV 8159historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate of several liberties, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.

(reference: Wikipedia.org)

RESOLUTION IN THE ETERNAL NOW

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NEW YEAR RESOLUTION 2014

YOU ARE A SOURCE OF CREATION.
ADMIRE THE ROLES YOU PLAY IN THE GAMES OF THE ETERNAL NOW.

PLAY THE PARTS WORTHY OF YOUR ABILITY, YOUR SANITY AND YOUR SPIRITUAL INTEGRITY.

TIME IS CHANGE; ALL THINGS PASS. WE ENDURE THE FUTURE WE CREATE. LOVE OF PLAY IS OUR DESTINY.
LIFE IS THE GAME WE PLAY.

— Lawrence R. Spencer, 2013 —