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Posts Tagged ‘cicero

How Cicero (106 Av JC-43 Av JC) summarized social structure

John Saad posted on FB this July 18 · Beirut ·

Théorie de Cicéron (106 Av JC-43 Av JC)

1 – Le pauvre : Travaille,
2 – Le riche : Exploite le 1,
3 – Le soldat : Défend les deux,
4 – Le contribuable : Paye pour les trois,
5 – Le vagabond : Se repose pour les quatre,
6 – Le poivrot : Boit pour les cinq,
7 – Le banquier : Escroque les six,
8 – L’avocat : Trompe les sept,
9 – Le médecin : Tue les huit,
10- Le croquemort : Enterre les neuf,
11- Et le politique : Vit des dix.

Note: A few physicians were upset. Mind you that medical treatment was prehistoric during Cicero time and people died as physicians “took care” of their illnesses.

Does the Future has a Path?

Has the Path to your Future been a surprise to you so far?

Do you have this feeling that, as you resolve a problem, you were necessarily focusing on something that already happened?

Do you feel that a real problem necessarily must draw you into the past?

How can anything be fixed or resolved, if the past was not the catalyst or the cause for actively trying to improve anything?

Can you create anything new if the process is not generated from an already older known process?

What you are seeing of stars in the sky are objects that happened thousand of years ago: The time for the light to reach your eyes…

When you hear a thunder ball, bomb, a canon ball or a military jet, consider yourself lucky: The missile has already hit its target…

Invest 10,000 hours on a talent when still a youth and you’ll secure a good paying job for life, no matter what is the economic downturn.

In particular periods, you may become a famous millionaire, putting your talent to good use…

Other skills do not require you to start young, but the investment in time is higher than 10,000 hours on a continuous basis without lengthy breaks…

If you are past a certain age, with diminishing memory capabilities, poor eye sight… the odds for acquiring higher educational degrees or expertise in a new field… are extremely low.

Is it already a problem as we prevent problems?

They say: “Teams never win if defense is all they play. Organizational success is about doing not preventing”.

They say: “Fixing and preventing are necessary components of leadership. Sadly, fixing and preventing dominate organizations because it’s useful, measurable, and necessary…”

They say: “Leadership always has trajectory. You move forward or backward but never stay the same. Standing still is a fantasy for those oblivious to decline…”

And what gratitude has to do with the past and the future?

Anger, fear, frustration, disappointment, even resentment are part of leadership. But the path to the future is paved with gratitude.

Gratitude frees you to create your future.

Gratitude energizes leaders and organizations to release the past and create the future.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others,Cicero.

“I’ve walked the dingy path of ungratefulness that springs from arrogance and revenge. It’s a black-hole dragging you inward, downward, and backward”.

Benigni says, “It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.” Express gratitude aggressively

Here what mimo has to say:

Day 30~ December 30th~ Guilin

by ~mimo~

future unknownfuture unknown~ children~ Long Ji

One of the most stark truths about the future is that it remains unknown until the moment when it happens.

We project, we plan, we dream, we wish, and almost always we are surprised by what unfolds.

If it is the past that holds sway on our emotions, then it is the future that triggers our imagination and creativity,

And the now is the bridge we build to take us into the great unknown.

A new year unfolds, and so do many contemplation in my mind …

Your future begins when you own your past.

Dan Rockwell listed 6 ways to find your future:

  1. The unknown has more potential than the known. Everyone who pretends they know when they don’t, repeats the past.
  2. Reject past methods and strategies. In a turbulent world, methods that become moral imperatives destroy new futures.
  3. Build new relationships. Your future is about people not projects or accomplishments. Current relationships maintain stability; new relationships disrupt and extend. Treasure both.
  4. Embrace social media. Meet people succeeding where you wish to succeed.
  5. Overcome timidity. 70% to 80% certainty is enough.
  6. Systematically build the future alongside the old present. Once your future is strong enough, release the old and embrace the new.

“Sophie’s World” on Hellenism; (Dec. 11, 2009)

After Alexander of Macedonia defeated the Persian Empire around 335 BC, the entire region in the Middle East and Egypt became Hellenistic; which means the elite and public servants learned to speak and write in the Greek language and to study Greek philosophies.

Athens got a new life as center of philosophical schools, and the newly built city of Alexandria in Egypt flourished as the center of sciences and medicine.

Four major philosophical schools captured the interest of the people and had repercussions in Rome till the year 400 AC, as the Christian Church got established as the State religion after the defeat of the last Germanic Emperor in Rome.

1. The Cynics school was founded in Athens by Antisthenes, a disciple of Socrates in 400 BC. The frugality of Socrates was the guiding idea as he wondered before a stall: “So many things that I never used or needs”.

The dogma of this school is that happiness is learning to feel independent (detached) from external advantages such as material luxuries or political power.

Happiness is in the reach of everyone if he so desired, and it can be lasting. Suffering and death should not be disturbing events. Feeling concerns for other people should be overcome.

Diogenes is the best representative of the Cynics; he lived in a barrel and carried no belonging but a stick. It is reported that he asked Alexander to step aside for he was blocking the sun rays as he was asking him what he can do for him.

The Church of Rome coined the pejorative term “cynical” referring to individual who exhibits a sneering disbelief in human sincerity, with penchant insensitivity to people’s plights: The Church was competing with all the Hellenistic schools of philosophy and religions.

2. The Stoics school was founded by Zeno in Athens around 300 BC. Zeno was not Greek by origin but from the Phoenician city of Sidon, and he studied in Alexandria before he landed in Greece following a shipwreck. Socrates and Heraclitus were his favorite philosophers and he used to teach under a portico (stoa).

Zeno dogma was that each individual is a complete microcosms reflected in the macrocosms.

First, there was a universal rightness or natural law based on human and universal reason that didn’t alter with time or place.

Second, there is no conflict between spirit (ideas) and matter; this concept was coined “monism” in contrast to Plato dualism of the two worlds of ideas and matter.

Third, sickness and death are within the natural law phenomena and must be accepted since everything happens out of necessity.

Fourth, happy events and moments should be received in natural composure with no undue exhilaration.

Stoics got involved in politics and social problems.

Cicero, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca were staunch stoics. Seneca wrote “mankind is holy”; thus, considering individual dignity and well being as goal for improvement and care.

The Roman Christian Church coined the connotation stoic for individuals who do not let their feeling take over.

3. The Epicurean school was established by Aristippus, another disciple of Socrates. Epicurus founded this school around 300 BC in Athens. He developed the pleasure ethic of Aristippus and adopted the “atom soul” theory of Democritus which says that after death the soul disperses in all directions.

The story goes that Epicureans lived in gardens (safe-harbors): a notice hanged at the entrance said: “Stranger, here you will live well. Here pleasure is the highest good

The dogma of the Epicureans was:

First, pleasurable results of an action is always counterbalanced with side effects that we need to mind of;

Second, short-term pleasurable results should be analyzed compared to the potential longer-term alternative pleasures if we control our actions;

Third, pleasure is appreciation of values in friendship, art, and self control in sensual tendencies.  Epicurus summed up his doctrine in 4 “medicinal” treatments: first, the gods are not to be feared; second, Death is nothing to worry about since when we die then we no longer exist; third, Good is easy to attain; and fourth, the fearful is easy to endure.

Epicurus advice was to learn to live in seclusion.  Epicureans had little concern for politics and community services.  The roman Church coined a bad connotation such as “Indulge in or enjoy the moment

4. The Neo-Platonist school was founded by Plotinus (205-270 BC) and he was from the Near East and studied in Alexandria and settled in Rome.  Plotinus doctrine was influenced by Plato.

The world span two poles:

The One that constantly shines and the World that does not receive the light.  The immortal soul (concept of salvation) is the world of ideas that is illuminated by the One (or God), it is “a spark from the fire”.  The material world has no real existence until the light reaches it. Plotinus experienced mystical moments of fusion with the world of spirit.

The Roman Christian Church had a hard struggle with this powerfully competing school of Neo-Platonism and ended up adopting most of its concepts.

Sacred power: the written words; (August 10, 2009)

For an illiterate person, what is written is in effect a secret method to see without eyes and to hear without ears; these two characteristics can easily be partially compared to the power of a God: religious clerics proffer to the written Books as emanating from their Gods; the Books are the silent residence of Truth. 

An illiterate individual is readier than the literate persons to accepting any opinion or idea once he is told that they are set in writing.  Regardless of how writing was discovered and initially used among societies, its ultimate function was to control and empower the elite classes who could afford to teach their offspring and provide them with the administrative and political functions necessary for running a City or a State. As Claude Levi-Strauss hypothesized, the only tangible and consistent correlations with the creation of writing were the formation of cities and empires in order to administer the citizens by this secret and sacred weapon.

Actually, deciphering the codes (a special writing in itself) of the enemies was always a fundamental function of the elite class; those elites who could master the coding system were the higher-ups in the hierarchical echelon of governance.  Plato had criticized the inconvenience of relying on the written documents because first, the memory lose of its capacity, and second people who can read tends to believe that they should force an opinion and to pretend that they have good judgment even in subjects that they ignore completely, and third, because writing resembles painting which does not offer answers and it is not possible to argument on it: when we write we forget our target audience and communication is deficient.  However, when we rely on oral transmission then we have to rely on what we really know and which was inscribed in our mind.

Nothing has changed much.  The rate of practical illiterates around the world has not increased for five thousand years.  Languages are used as codes for all the professional disciplines; religious or secular.  A professional may submit hundreds of articles in professional publishing mediums and read his head off in professional conferences but that does not make him a literate person in other domains; actually, he may not be capable of transmitting his knowledge to the common people or disseminating his ideas verbally.  True scientists are those who tried their hands at simplifying their writing for people outside the circles of elites: that is the way of investigating the range of his true knowledge, how knowledge changed him, and how he contributed to humanity.

Laws are written in coded forms; medical manuscripts are written in coded forms; nomenclature and classifications are written in an amalgam of ancient Greek and Latin; everything is basically written in foreign languages and we are wondering why the spirit of the democratic systems are not applied by people.  We are wondering why people yearn for dictators and one State political party.

The rate of practical illiterates has actually increased from five thousands years ago.  Audio-visual languages are supplanting the written languages; people have to add faces (smiling, angry, or sad) to what they are writing; effectively meaning “Listen, I cannot articulate my feelings; if you cannot understand what I wrote to you then never mind. Just capture my state of emotions.”  Very few have their cortex still developing; most of us are wallowing in our limbic brain.

Cicero was the first educated Roman to write in the vulgar Latin while the Greek language was reserved for the Roman elites.  Galileo wrote his scientific observations in the vulgar Italian which had the potential to transmitting his revolutionary discovery (that it is earth that rotates around the sun) more widely; making this fact accessible to the common people forced the Catholic Inquisition to prosecute Galileo and his ideas viewed contrary to the Church dogma. The Emperor Charles V ordered Erasmus to translate Aristotle to German; Martin Luther who translated the Scriptures into German because the Bible should be written in a living language that does not require the interpretation of the priests and the bishops which facilitated the Protestant religious upheaval against the central Papal power.

There are basically two approaches in political philosophy.  First, either you consider the governance of a State as a unity (usually compared to the human body) and thus the function of the government is to unite the divergences of the citizens by alternative means, mostly strong arms tactics by spreading fear and humiliation.  This approach inevitably is concreted simply in a theocracy because the dictator, monarch, or Prince is referred only to a God to control his responsibilities and obligations.  Second, you admit divergences and try means to unite on common denominators, this approach in political philosophy realizes that this process cannot  function unless the elected representatives, for limited duration in governance, give turns to the opposition groups to correct errors and show the effectiveness of their alternative ideas.

Plato described democracy as theocracy because the politicians have to act up before the voters a game that we all learn to perform since childhood at various degrees of convincing effects. It is the responsibility of the people to teach their political officials to act as responsible delegates. The people need to read and write in a language they can comprehend; the coded languages have to be translated to layman languages and in real-time.  Democracy is not feasible before the language is not owned by the common people at large.





February 2023

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