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Thread: Leschinky's Classical Thought training

  1. #1
    Senior Member vgrafen's Avatar
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    Leschinky's Classical Thought training

    Leschinsky, you won’t need adulterants. Our aim is clarity of thought; the enemy: distraction.

    Let’s begin, then. You’ll need to set aside 2-3 hours 5-6 days a week, preferably in the morning but whenever you can commit the time.

    You’ll need to develop a Classical library. We’ll be studying the essential texts of Western Civilization, the Canon, and you’ll need to have copies of Hesiod, Homer, Pindar and Sappho before we can even get started. There will soon be other texts, clearly, but this is the foundation, the absolute bedrock from which anyone interested in personal development and the ridding of pernicious and life-robbing cynicism must begin from. Penguin Classics are everywhere, they’re cheap and the editing is fine.

    Let’s say it’s first thing in the morning; after taking care of essentials, get to your working desk. Please, Nicole, no emails or articles; distractions, distractions. It’s important you begin your studies with Homer; the Iliad has long been considered the Greek Bible, and we’ll be concentrating more on what we find there than in the Odyssey. Yeah, I know universities love the Odyssey and really just glance over the Iliad, but that’s because the Odyssey is loaded with allegories, stories with the moral lessen built in; professors love to play interpretation games with these ‘soft balls’, but this is the age of the individual who must find their own way, and they don’t know what to do with a free thinker, and for that, we turn to epics, in this case, the Iliad, where the central characters are free to make their own choices -and live with the consequences- aware of course of the influence of the gods in their lives but not such that they absolutely cow-tow to them. We’ll look at the relationship between man and gods, certainly, but our effort is centered on the ethos of the characters and why they did what they did. From this understanding of the essential Greek ethos, all thought emerges.

    In tandem with the Iliad, let’s crack Hesiod’s Theognis; here, rendered in short, poetic stanzas, will we find the Pre-Socratic cosmological understanding (the story of the universe and its coming-to-be, with the various deities and the chronology of how it all came about). By reading both works in tandem, we’ll form a relatively solid picture of how the early Greeks viewed reality. Oh , we’ll soon be studying Pre-Socratic philosophy and the 5 schools, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, there’s so much to do before then.

    You’ll need to take notes as you read. Each of us does it differently, and really, there is no ‘wrong way’ to take notes, other than to not take any! But it’s critical that whatever stands out to you, you record, for we’ll be returning to the plot line in the Iliad, and the chronology of the deities in Hesiod.

    Give yourself a week or two to get comfortable with these texts; record unfamiliar words and themes, or where you disagree or feel the characters are wrong or misguided in some way. We’ll soon be applying Greek terms to your discoveries, and we’ll be cracking those terms and mining them deeply.

    If you are already familiar with the Odyssey, I’d give it an afternoon’s perusal and set it aside. Yes, the homecoming of Odysseus and Penelope’s recognition scene are critical, so if you are unfamiliar with the text, begin, yet we’ll find the real meat of the ethos in other texts, so let’s not linger over these ‘children’s stories’.

    Once you near conclusion with the Iliad, and certainly the Theognis reads quickly, turn to Pindar’s Olympic and Nemean Odes; just a perusal, nothing too deep, for his rigid, aristocratic position can leave the reader with the wrong impression of how Greek Thought develops: it was not in service of the elites, though Pindar might say otherwise. To cleanse, open Sappho; soak in her tenderness, her abbreviated, harsh and bitchy wit, the depth of her devotion. Look carefully, and include Pindar here, at how briefly and succinctly these poets wrote; not one extra or needless word. And again, take notes (ah, I’m crying as I write this, ‘he is a god in my eyes, the man that is allowed to sit beside you’; man, that’s a must-read if there ever has been).

    We are not now or will we be concerned in our studies with sexuality or the sexual orientation of the time. Our focus is on soaking in the attitude, based on the ethos, and the mindset that was allowed to develop prior to and certainly during the Golden Age, But we’ll get there later, foundation work first. I’ve given you quite a bit to do, so I’ll hold here and give you the time it may take to assemble to first four books and begin your readings. When you have begun, please post questions and comments here so we may dialogue and the lurkers may benefit from our diligence.

    If you’re anything like me, you may want a glimpse of where we’re going and what next we’ll be reading. Fine; here is the next group of texts you’ll need:

    Aeschylus’ Orestan Trilogy, and the pieces included usually in Prometheus Bound collection
    Sophocles’ Oedipus Trilogy
    Euripides: damn near everything, but of critical note will be Medea, Hippolytus, the Bachae; yes, the Iphegenia plays, ah hell, get all the Euripides you can find! Why? For his irreverence, for he, along with Socrates, brought along the great change from aristocratic to mercantile society.

    You have the essential Greek plots. Now you’ll need the 5 Pre-Socratic philosophic schools: Thales/Anaximander; Heraclitus; Parmenides; Pythagoras; Empedocles/pluralists. It’s critical we have a grasp on the subjective world of the Greeks before we move into how they objectified everything around them, and why. This will serve as a good introduction to Socratic thought.

    That’s enough for now; in 15 minutes I have to get up the hill for the 2nd of my 7 day out-patient IV Vancomycin treatment, then I’m off to wound care -hopefully- a wound vac machine. Yep, I’m sick as hell, but not too sick to help.

    Nicole, get going, and check in soon when the readings have begin in earnest. They won’t be easy at first, so many archaic terms, but give it time and patience, discipline yourself, and soon you’ll have the center, the balance you’re calling for.
    vgrafen

    My book, 'Scouring the globe for a cure: a disabled man's experiences with stem cell treatment' is available at Booklocker at the following address:

    www.booklocker.com/books/2857.html

    A percentage of every sale goes to CareCure.

  2. #2
    Duh?...

  3. #3

  4. #4
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    who is leschinky?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLC379
    who is leschinky?
    Someone who's about to wish they hadn't asked.

  6. #6
    vgrafen, that's child's play, c'mon give her a challenge!

  7. #7
    And don't forget, it's your turn! Again!

  8. #8
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    hell, I did all that before breakfast this morning.....

  9. #9
    Senior Member vgrafen's Avatar
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    Nicole, have you collected your materials? Made any headway?

    Perhaps you think my suggestions are done facetiously; they are not. I decided to offer you some assistance in terms of developing clarity and the sense of purpose, for I find you highly intelligent and of good character, though we have never met. Your underlying message in the 'silver anniversary' thread suggested you have tapped out and perhaps feel a sense of despair. Though only a dirtbiker, I had the good fortune many years ago when I was lost and floundering to be put on the course for developing clarity of thought and purpose by rooting myself in the Canon of Western Civilization. It worked. I am not drifting, cynical and despair-soaked.

    Thus, if you'll bear with me and casually undertake these studies, together we can explore and rebuild our foundation. I am in need, too, and I am certain the majority of CC members would benefit from an open exploration of the the works of our ancestry. I'm no expert, but I've read every major work we'll explore and have been guided by one of the last living masters, Demetrius Toteras. The insights are sound.

    But I'll not push, and if you have no interest, post a note here and I'll let this drop. If you have interest, let's jump into Hesiod and take a look at the lineage of the gods, and focus on the 9 muses.
    vgrafen

    My book, 'Scouring the globe for a cure: a disabled man's experiences with stem cell treatment' is available at Booklocker at the following address:

    www.booklocker.com/books/2857.html

    A percentage of every sale goes to CareCure.

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