Cathars or Western Buddhists?

Cathars or Western Buddhists?

Cathars or Western Buddhists?

In the wake of a thrilling conversation with my good friend and collaborator on this site (Epicurus of Albion) the other day I decided to dive deep into the mystical interpretations of the life of Jesus with the idea that it might make a good article. This is not that article, but along the way, I rediscovered the fascinating world of the now-extinct Cathars and the interesting parallels that their beliefs have with Buddhist teachings/philosophy. I don’t tend to write explicitly about religion on this site for the simple reason that the focus of theology tends to be the correct

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On Old Age by Cicero – second objection, it weakens the body.

On Old Age by Cicero – second objection, it weakens the body.

    Cato continues his pep talk on why old age should not be looked upon as a burden: “I no longer wish for the strength of youth – that was the second objection to growing older we listed – any more than when I was a young man I desired the strength of a bull or an elephant.” Cato’s declaration here is one of non attachment and equanimity he does not grasp at the loss of his youthful strength. Instead Cato recommended that we be utilitarians in whatever stage we are in the aging process. Moreover, Cato’s indifference to infirmity

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On Old Age by Cicero – First objection, It takes us away from an active life.

On Old Age by Cicero – First objection, It takes us away from an active life.

    In the first objection against old age, Cato fights against the claim of old age as a period in our lives where things slow down and stagnate and argues there are alternative activities that are just as dignified if not even more. “What kind of activities are we talking about? Don’t we mean the sort we engage in when young and strong? But surely there are activities suitable for older minds even when the body is weakened.” Cato gives examples of a handful of famous elderly Romans such as Gaius Fabricius Luscinus, Manius Curius Dentatus and Tiberius Coruncanius. Who

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On Old Age by Cicero – Intro, Preliminary Discourses & Minor Arguments

On Old Age by Cicero – Intro, Preliminary Discourses & Minor Arguments

Bust of Cato the Elder   Introduction Based on its mention in three letters to Atticus, Cicero’s friend, the earliest of which was written on 12th of May, 44 BC, it is assumed that this work was composed in April of that year. In this work, Cato Maior De Senectute (Cato the Elder on Old Age), commonly known as On Old Age. Cicero chooses, as his mouthpiece and principal speaker for this fictional dialogue, Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Elder), famous for signing off after every speech, no matter how trivial, with the phrase “Carthago delenda est” or “Carthage must be destroyed!”

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Hierocles and The Cosmopolitan Ideal in the Ancient World.

Hierocles and The Cosmopolitan Ideal in the Ancient World.

The origins of cosmopolitanism can be traced all of the way back to the 4th Century BC, to the then much loved (as indeed he still is today) Diogenes of Sinope, who having been forced into exile from his home city of Sinope moved to Athens to live the simple lifestyle of an ascetic, sleeping in a cracked pot in the marketplace and begging for food. The exploits of Diogenes are manifold and legendarily famous, he turned philosophy into a performance-art, demonstrating his values through deeds not just words, becoming a hugely popular and much-loved figure in and around Athens.

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The Legislative State

The Legislative State

In the developed world with western economies such as the USA, Europe and the UK there are a never-ending plethora of new laws being passed by government day in day out. Some like the now infamous European Union approved Article 11 and Article 13 both of which are clearly designed to benefit some people or entities (such as corporations) at the expense of all others. I found a real Gem the other day when reading the Ethical Fragments of Hierocles, (a 2nd century AD stoic philosopher) who said: “I therefore commend Zaleucus, the Locrian legislator who ordained, that he who

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Marcus Aurelius on time, entropy, history and the love of life…

Marcus Aurelius on time, entropy, history and the love of life…

I absolutely love Marcus Aurelius, I’ve never met him of course (I’m much too young for that), but I’ve read his works and in a sense, the spirit of the man lives on. His spirit is noble, simple, lonely and kind. Marcus is my favourite stoic, I admire him because he put his duty to the people and senate of Rome before all other things. His devotion to his office is why we remember him as one of the Four Great Emperors of Rome. What’s also evident in his notes to himself (the Meditations), is that Marcus was full of

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The Internet and Free Speech

The Internet and Free Speech

We live in a polarized age, mainly thanks to the internet. It’s a double-edged sword and like all gifts of the gods, it can cut both ways. It can bring good things and also bad things, just like the original and first gift of the gods, namely fire. Fire can warm you, and be used to cook your food, burn your enemies and be nice to look at, but it can burn your crops too, destroy your household and consume all in its path, badly handled fire is a terrible thing, and so it is with the internet which is

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What is Philosophy For? (According to the Stoics)

What is Philosophy For? (According to the Stoics)

It’s amazing, that one of the things that I treasure about getting older (for me at least,) is that I have an increased sense of gratitude for the life that I have. I really value the experience of living. Every moment is precious. “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love …” Marcus Aurelius. It’s not that the clock is running down, although it certainly is for me, compared to someone born yesterday or even twenty or thirty years ago. It’s simply that I am grateful

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10 Ways to deal with your enemies like a Roman Emperor

10 Ways to deal with your enemies like a Roman Emperor

I’ve always been the type of guy who thought that he didn’t have enemies in life. I was the nice guy, I did nice things, I was kind to everyone, cheerful, polite, a bit of a loner, self-reliant, solitary, with a few good friends and determined to do good. Why would anyone be an enemy to me? The argument from determinism. I’ve turned the other cheek, tried to see the best in people and whilst I haven’t always agreed or supported their actions, I’ve taken the view that if I had lived completely in their shoes and experienced what they

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