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Is creation a boiled egg or a baked egg?
Today it is 29 february; hexa 29= K'an, The Abysmal Water. WATER reminds of THALES, the great Greek philosopher from Ionia. "He asserted water to be the principle of all things..."(1) . K'an symbolizes learning to master one's own EMOTIONS(2). Thales of Miletus (624-549 BC) is being regarded as being the founder of the Ionian School of philosophy. He's one of the seven wise men or seven sages of Greece.
Now it is 30 february; hexa 30= Li, The Clinging Fire. FIRE reminds of HERACLITUS, the great Greek philosopher from Ephesus. He asserted fire to be the principle of all things. Fire is excellent power of PERCEPTION and discrimination(2).
EROS (Love) has been regarded as more powerful a god than ANANKE (Necessity). "If a man endeavours to ... persuade himself to accept of his own accord what needs must befall him, he will have a very reasonable and harmonious life." [Arrian's discourses of Epictetus, Fragment 8](3).
Epictetus was a Greek STOIC philosopher. Arrian, his pupil, wrote: "Discourses of Epictetus" and "Enchiridion of Epictetus" or "Handbook of Epictetus". STOICISM was founded by Zeno of Citium, pupil of, cynic, Crates of Thebes. CYNICISM was founded by Antisthenes, pupil of Socrates, and teacher of Diogenes of Sinope. SKEPTICISM was founded by Pyrrho. Before that, there were Pythagoras(simple living) and the Scytian Anacharsis. And there was the INFLUENCE OF THE INDIAN GYMNOSOPHISTS. There are some similarities between cynism and Jesus teachings.
* Let's return to Eros: "...there are also TWO LOVES: one of a meaner kind, being concerned more with the BODY than with the SOUL, and another one, worth of celebration, that impels to love in a noble manner, that is, loving also the MIND."(3). Above the citation was a picture of Eros and Psyche; male Eros has wings, like an angel, female Psyche has naked breasts. Here we see both aspects of love, but the name Psyche and the naked breasts look like a contradiction. The solution for this problem is, that winged Eros is the animus, and naked Psyche is the anima. A man as Heraclitus was conscious of the UNITY OF THE OPPOSITES. In the water-fire opposition we recognise different psychological orientations. Although philosophy is primary a spiritual matter, we expect to find two groups of philosophers; an extravert group, that focuses on the object, and an introvert group, that focuses on the subject. It also reminds of the distinction between Apollonian and Dionysian(4). It is known that there were two different schools of Pythagoreanism, namely, akousmatikoi(listeners) and mathematikoi(learners). Not all sources about Pythagoras are trustworthy, as we can read in Carl Huffman's "Pythagoras"(5). For example, one says, he wore linen clothes(6), and the other says there was no linen(7). Personally, I think, it was linen. In a long article about the impact of Ancient Egypt on Greek Philosophy(8), van den Dungen quotes Bernal; at the end of that quote we read: "...Thus no one before 1600 seriously questioned either the belief that Greek civilization and philosophy derived from Egypt, or that the chief ways in which they had been transmitted were through Egyptian colonizations of Greece and later Greek study in Egypt." I only mention this to show that there was such an influence. Interesting is, that the Greeks added vowels to the alphabet. In the same article we read: "Suddenly, about 750 BCE, the Greeks had a tool to define meaning with an unprecedented precision and clarity, adapted to the spoken tongue." They had seven vowels. I was thinking; could it be, that there are eight vowels? And then, could it be, that there are eight consonants? Then the alphabet would have 16 letters, eight yang and eight yin, full circle. Back to Pythagoras; Usually his name is being connected to Delphi, the Pythia. But Pytha can also be associated with pyta or pt of Ptah, which is the primordial mound, ta-tenen. Ptah-the-Great is heart(Horus) and tongue(Thoth) of the Nine Gods. Thoth is the Lord of Maat(Themis in Greece) and Devine Words, and the head of the OGDOAD. Van den Dungen says: "The peace of Thoth was a neutrality which was also the objective guarantee of objectivity, truth and justice. This middle path had chaotic polarities of equal force (four females, four males) around it. Slight movements away from the straight path could imply going astray and be assimilated by either polarity of the Ogdoad. Disease was the outcome of this loss of equilibrium between and control over the forces of chaos". Apollonius of Tyana, a Pythagorian, when speaking about Pythagoras, says from Egypt: "and from them Pythagoras took his rule of life, and he was the first of Hellenes who had intercourse with the Egyptians." Van den Dungen mentions three hypotheses, regarding the historical origins of Greek philosophy; the Aryan model, the Afrocentric model and the communicational (diffusionist) hypothesis. From the third I quote:"...The pre-Socratics have, as a group, been significantly influenced by Egyptians and Mesopotamians, but Greece subsequently influenced these ancient cultures, namely by linearizing and rationalizing their traditions. Between all cultures a constant flow of information is present which allows for creative interaction and exchange...". Now, we will look at philosophy itself for a moment. I already mentioned some examples of principles in philosophical thought of different philosophers; maybe we can now try to assemble a model for the aspects of philosophy, based on the Ba Gua. For me it's to early to place the Greek philosophers in the model; I'm not familiar enough already to do that. So, I'll just present the model, so that others, that have more insight and experience, can try to place the different philosophers in the scheme. Every trigram should be an aspect of philosophy; then we have eight aspects of philosophy, four Yin and four Yang, that at the same time are four pairs. Then the four pairs are:
1. Heaven and Earth=energy and matter
2. Fire and Water=consciousness and the unconscious
3. Wind and Thunder=Psyche and Eros
4. Lake and Mountain=activity and meditation
As a last remark, after reading Epictetus, I'm thinking to place EPICTETUS next to ARISTOTLE. I was interested in the term EUDAIMONIA, first reading about it in connection with Aristotle's Ethics. In Ethics Aristotle's thinking is clearly extravert orientated, although in general he is more balanced. We can put Epictetus next to it. Epictetus is clearly introvert orientated. So, there you have it; an EXTRAVERT EUDAIMONIA next to an INTROVERT EUDAIMONIA.
(1) Diogenes Laertius in "The Lives And Opinions Of Eminent Philosophers: Life Of Thales"
(2) Original I Ching
(3) Carlos Parada: Greek Mythology Link, http://www.maicar.com/gml/index.html
(4) C.G. Jung: "Psychological Types".
(6) "Life of Apollonius of Tyana"
(7) Diogenes Laertius, "The Lives And Opinions Of Eminent Philosophers"
(8) "Hermes the Egyptian", Wim van den Dungen
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