On Thursday’s evening, 5th of October 2017, in the spiritual Centre (Akadimias 2) took place the second lesson of the students and scientists’ society, organised by the Holy Metropolis for the fifteenth consecutive year. The main topic of the Winter Semester is the following: “Atheism and Faith:starting from ancient Greece to christianity”. The second meeting was devoted to Epicurus, based on the ” Letter to Menoikeus”.
The ancient philosopher insists on the virtue of deficiency. “A simple soup gives you the same pleasure that gives a rich meal, when the feeling of starvation is eliminated”. To get used to simple lifestyle makes people healthy and capable of dealing with determination the necessart circumstances of life and its transformations.
The discussion also was about the four elements of determination in our everyday life: Its base is the powerful will. Secondly, the fact that we are not defeated by our second thoughts and the fear of defeat. Thirdly, the strategy of winning but also keeping what we have gained. Last but not least, the trust to God and His help. The decisive person makes the most of his abilities. In the same time, he/she trusts God and lets Him decide on winning or losing.
According to Epicurus, the lifestyle of sensuality is sweet when it comes from the quiet thought. For him, this thinking searches for the deeper reasons that we choose or avoid to do something and abandon every reason that causes us pain. It is a kind of determining our desires and abandoning the conjecture.
As far as our spiritual tradition is concerned, “AWAKEN ” is the thought that controls the passions and the evil, the temptations of the devil by not letting them dominate our existence. However, people can find God under any circumstances either good or bad. For Epicurus, the main goal of life is to acquire wisdom from which all virtues stem and shows that it is not afterall possible to live happily if someone does not have knowledge, beauty, justice and eventually happiness. According to our spiritual tradition, wisdom is knowing the meaning of God-centered life which is to overcome the time and death through love and faith to Resurrection! This kind of life can be acquired through the knowledge of God and its light. The knowledge of God makes us search for and live with beauty as the virtue of the soul and also, the justice that comes from giving and denying to harm the others in order to be right.
Finally, it was mentioned that for Epicurus the three causes of facts of our lives are the following: a) the “heimarmeni” (fate), the necessity that stems from the desire of God or gods for things to occur as a matter of fate b) the chance, which is inconsistent and c) what depends on us, to which we bear the responsibility of self-power. The events that occur by chance, begin without our responsibility. However, the way that we manage them, is our responsibility.
According to our spiritual tradition, the Faith to God and His providence helps us overcome everything that we can’t control. Our efforts and struggles combined with our responsibility help us to build a life path along with the search of salvation which completes our lives. All these can be acquired through the Church.
During the discussion, it was stressed that our modern culture does not value the Awaken thought but the constant consumption. It does not ask for limiting the desires and pleasures but their dominion, with the illusion that we are entintled to everything, precisely because the modern human relies on the power of the senses and not on the power of the mind and deficiency.
The meetings continue on october 19,2017 at 9.15 p.m. on the subject of “Gnomes” (Opinions) by Epicurus.