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Anankē, What is it, and is it Anything We Need To Be Concerned About?

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posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 04:20 PM
[color=DarkSlateGray]..Thomas J. J. Altizer, famous for the Is God Dead? cover page article in Time Magazine in '66, says that the ananke is dark destiny and is what made the Greek tragedies tragic, this fate that people were unable to avoid.
[color=DarkSlateGray]..The man is a little hard to understand, and I am reading in, The Genesis of God, so I have to guess what his point is, and it is copyrighted so I can't present it like I can Aristotle (I used a 1933 translation which is in the public domain). There is this quality of the universe we exist in which is neither good, or bad in itself but causes things such as catastrophes. We can feel they are bad because of how people are affected, but we do not need to feel guild concerning them. There is though a human manifestation of the basic principle of inevitability which makes things like wars predictable, which then creates opportunity for guilt, or rather the feeling of guilt, but beyond that, an internalization of that dark destiny until it becomes a part of us but in a foreign enough of a nature to create a duality of our own being, which then causes evil within us (or something like that).
[color=DarkSlateGray]..He carries this forward to say that nothing is immune from ananke, no matter what and where, including things you would not normally think could be affected. But, somehow, he believes there is still this necessity on our own behalf, to fight it if only in our own minds, to not cause an internal schism.
[color=DarkSlateGray]..Next bit I am looking at seems like he is saying that just being apathetic towards ananke is not good enough to avoid the darkness of this feeling of the inevitable, but we have to take an active role by the exerting of the will to somehow not succumb to this negative influence that comes from the realization of the existence of ananke.
[color=DarkSlateGray]..According to Mr.Altizer, ananke trumps everything. It is the one thing that is truly eternal, beyond even the universe, and God. The only unknowable and undefinable. Those who rule from the void.
[color=DarkSlateGray]..Again, according to the great thinker, the profundity of the eternal depth into which we are plunged in the face of the very existence of ananke, no mortal being has been able to reverse.
[color=DarkSlateGray]..We are destroyed psychologically and driven to utter despair and hopelessness by ananke. We find no face or being to pray to in her so we throw ourselves to the mercy of the one who we find familiar to us and is like us, to do something we find ourselves powerless to prevail over.
[color=DarkSlateGray]..And I suppose his point is: 'And so we made God in our image, just guessing, not being an expert in Altizer's thinking, and spending an hour goofing around with his book.'

edit on 20-10-2011 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 12:09 PM
reply to post by jmdewey60

Thomas J. J. Altizer, famous for the Is God Dead? cover page article in Time Magazine in '66

I found the article here: Friday, Apr. 08, 1966 Theology: Toward a Hidden God. The reason I find Altizer very interesting is because, although I never read any of his work, we seem to have the same basic Theology:

On a pure level, Altizer's religious proclamation viewed God's death (really a self-extinction) as a process that began at the world's creation and came to an end through Jesus Christ—whose crucifixion in reality poured out God's full spirit into this world.
"Death of God" controversy-wikipedia

We are destroyed psychologically and driven to utter despair and hopelessness by ananke. We find no face or being to pray to in her so we throw ourselves to the mercy of the one who we find familiar to us and is like us, to do something we find ourselves powerless to prevail over.

I'll have to read the book myself sometime. I don't think that's exactly how he would conclude it. From the '66 article:

German Theologian Gerhard Ebeling of Tubingen University finds an arrow pointing the way to God in the problem in language. A word, he suggests, is not merely a means of conveying information; it is also a symbol of man's power over nature and of his basic impotence: one man cannot speak except to another, and language itself possesses a power that eludes his mastery of it. God, he proposes, is the source of the mystery hidden in language, or, as he obscurely puts it, "the basic situation of man as word-situation."

The examples you gave above, with actual pictures of Ananke, Thetis, etc, shows that language tends from the concrete, proper nouns, to abstract. The philosophers went away from using words like Theos as a Zeus character, powerful man riding on the clouds, to the abstract God, no image. Here is a quote from Lucretius, a Latin Epicurean poet:

Whilst human kind
Throughout the lands lay miserably crushed
Before all eyes beneath Religion--who
Would show her head along the region skies,
Glowering on mortals with her hideous face--
A Greek it was who first opposing dared
Raise mortal eyes that terror to withstand,
Whom nor the fame of Gods nor lightning's stroke
Nor threatening thunder of the ominous sky
Abashed; but rather chafed to angry zest
His dauntless heart to be the first to rend
The crossbars at the gates of Nature old.
And thus his will and hardy wisdom won;
And forward thus he fared afar, beyond
The flaming ramparts of the world, until
He wandered the unmeasurable All.
Whence he to us, a conqueror, reports
What things can rise to being, what cannot,
And by what law to each its scope prescribed,
Its boundary stone that clings so deep in Time.
Wherefore Religion now is under foot,
And us his victory now exalts to heaven.

I know how hard it is in Latian verse
To tell the dark discoveries of the Greeks,
Chiefly because our pauper-speech must find
Strange terms to fit the strangeness of the thing;
Yet worth of thine and the expected joy

- - The Project Gutenberg EBook of Of The Nature of Things, by
[Titus Lucretius Carus] Lucretius

The Christ like victor who discovered nature and how things work was Epicurus himself, a Deist.

This terror, then, this darkness of the mind,(fear of death)
Not sunrise with its flaring spokes of light,
Nor glittering arrows of morning can disperse,
But only Nature's aspect and her law,
Which, teaching us, hath this exordium:
Nothing from nothing ever yet was born.
Fear holds dominion over mortality
Only because, seeing in land and sky
So much the cause whereof no wise they know,
Men think Divinities are working there.
Meantime, when once we know from nothing still
Nothing can be create, we shall divine
More clearly what we seek: those elements
From which alone all things created are,
And how accomplished by no tool of Gods.


I'm getting lost in my own thoughts here, sorry. People should learn Epicureanism before looking elsewhere. Tentative conclusions I've reached are that religion itself is a culprit offering false hopes of immortality with the choice (that priests or sages control) of eternal suffering or bliss. Forget about these things. God himself died, perhaps never to live again, except as He lives in all things, the motive force of every atomic thing that moves.

The fear of death and the quest to defeat death are the motives of evil. The fatalistic following of some prophecy or oracle blinds the human heart to acts of atrocity. The example I always use is Christian Zionism: "Once the Palestinians are killed or driven off, and Eretz Israel is made whole, with stone temple and all, then antichrist is free to rule, and Christians can go away to bliss." The people who hold this view are in fact, the very people through whom "the occasion comes" Mathew18:7. They will gladly stand by and approve of any amount of atrocity in exchange for some "bliss", yet it's a lie and a fraud.

I fear perhaps thou deemest that we fare
An impious road to realms of thought profane;
But 'tis that same religion oftener far
Hath bred the foul impieties of men:
As once at Aulis, the elected chiefs,
Foremost of heroes, Danaan counsellors,
Defiled Diana's altar, virgin queen,
With Agamemnon's daughter, foully slain.
She felt the chaplet round her maiden locks
And fillets, fluttering down on either cheek,
And at the altar marked her grieving sire,
The priests beside him who concealed the knife,
And all the folk in tears at sight of her.
With a dumb terror and a sinking knee
She dropped; nor might avail her now that first
'Twas she who gave the king a father's name.
They raised her up, they bore the trembling girl
On to the altar--hither led not now
With solemn rites and hymeneal choir,
But sinless woman, sinfully foredone,
A parent felled her on her bridal day,
Making his child a sacrificial beast
To give the ships auspicious winds for Troy:
Such are the crimes to which Religion leads.


Agamemnon did not win the favor of the gods that day, he just got wind.

Sorry I got so scattered there, it's a pretty big subject. I guess I should get some Altizer books to read, since he seems to have systematized the same theology I believe.

edit on 21-10-2011 by pthena because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 12:29 PM
reply to post by pthena

I'll have to read the book myself sometime. I don't think that's exactly how he would conclude it.
What I did was use Ananke as a search term under Books on the Amazon home page. I got highlighted pages in the preview of the book, so that was what I was making my last post based on.
If you actually read the book, instead of only 10 pages like I did, you may come away with a completely different take. His arguments are too long and involved to fully understand, the way I was reading it.

. . .etc, shows that language tends from the concrete, proper nouns, to abstract.
I found something in Aristole's Metaphysics yesterday that I thought might adress that sort of thing.

Our forefathers in the most remote ages have handed down to their posterity a tradition, in the form of a myth, that these bodies are gods, and that the divine encloses the whole of nature. The rest of the tradition has been added later in mythical form with a view to the persuasion of the multitude and to its legal and utilitarian expediency; they say these gods are in the form of men or like some of the other animals, and they say other things consequent on and similar to these which we have mentioned. But if one were to separate the first point from these additions and take it alone-that they thought the first substances to be gods, one must regard this as an inspired utterance, and reflect that, while probably each art and each science has often been developed as far as possible and has again perished, these opinions, with others, have been preserved until the present like relics of the ancient treasure. Only thus far, then, is the opinion of our ancestors and of our earliest predecessors clear to us.
Aristotle (2009-03-09). Metaphysics (Kindle Locations 3414-3420). Penguin Classics.

With Agamemnon's daughter, foully slain.
I know, I was reading about that two days ago on the Theoi web site I linked to on an earlier post. It bothered me enough to where I found myself thinking about that this morning. As it turned out, in my thinking anyway, it would not have mattered if they waited for the wind to change on its own. So this comes back to haunt him later, after the war (as in that play I was quoting in my Bright Morning Star thread).
edit on 21-10-2011 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 02:58 PM
reply to post by jmdewey60

it would not have mattered if they waited for the wind to change on its own. So this comes back to haunt him later, after the war

The Greeks and Pagans don't waste any time or thought toward justifying the deeds of Agamemnon, they just say that's a bad business. What was the hurry? The stinking war wasn't going anywhere soon, lasted 10 years anyway. Christians on the other hand, go through torturous convolutions in order to justify Jephthah. Why? Because it's in the "Holy Bible" and has the "holy name" attached to it.

Judges 11:
29 Then the Spirit of Yahweh came on Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over to the children of Ammon.

30 Jephthah vowed a vow to Yahweh, and said, “If you will indeed deliver the children of Ammon into my hand, 31 then it shall be, that whatever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, it shall be Yahweh’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”

32 So Jephthah passed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them; and Yahweh delivered them into his hand.

34 Jephthah came to Mizpah to his house; and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances: and she was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 It happened, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you are one of those who trouble me; for I have opened my mouth to Yahweh, and I can’t go back.”

39 It happened at the end of two months, that she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she was a virgin. It was a custom in Israel, 40 that the daughters of Israel went yearly to celebrate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

All in the name of war, and victory in battle, and sacred oaths in sacred names! "Holy death" brings only death. In chapter 10, it was Ephraim that was being attacked by Ammonites and Ephraim Jephthah ended up killing in chapter 12.

4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim; and the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim, and in the midst of Manasseh.” 5 The Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. It was so, that when the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead said to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No;” 6 then they said to him, “Now say ‘Shibboleth;’” and he said “Sibboleth;” for he couldn’t manage to pronounce it right: then they siezed him, and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time, forty-two thousand of Ephraim fell.

I read a few pages from Altizer's book The new apocalypse: the radical Christian vision of William Blake, here.
The evil one is the one who thinks to exist alone, self sufficient, outside of time and space, completely transcendent, yet the finite is part of himself since he "exists as infinite" as opposed to finite. His own insistence as being and being recognized as being by finite beings is the root of his evil.

The true God, who gave away all that He was so that everything which is could become, does not have these needs, and thus can escape evil. That's a little bit of my own interpretation thrown into what I read.

edit on 21-10-2011 by pthena because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 06:34 PM
reply to post by pthena

The ‘Shibboleth' story is one some people like to recount, as if war and victory is all that matters, and that a justification for it is unnecessary. The healthy response should be utter revulsion but Church modifies people's behavior to find it "spiritually" uplifting. Well yes, if you count Satan as spiritual.
I suppose some people would think that killing his daughter was a good thing, so he could be hardened to massacre tens of thousands of his own countrymen. Well off course, since they dared ridicule one who was so obviously devoted to Yahweh!
I think I may be too sensitive to be able to read Blake. It was probably appropriate for his time when people were very hard of heart. As an example, I downloaded the audio book for this:

Inspired by Jane Eyre, Dinah Maria Craik's 1850 novel, Olive, was one of the first to feature a disabled central character.
Olive is the main character and she ends up at one point being the manager of an eighteen year old young woman's annuity, and had her in her charge, so to speak. They were living at a friend's country estate and the girl asked Olive to arrange for her the purchase of a horse for her to ride, and have that as something to do, and be able to follow the hounds during the hunts. Olive turned her down and I grew to hate Olive. While going through some complex parts I downloaded the ebook to view on my desktop version of Kindle. As soon as I was through with the last MP3, I deleted it all in disgust, saying, "You should have just got her the horse."
As a side note: that was "Read by Arielle Lipshaw", phenomenal reader and makes it worth listening to no matter how annoying some of the characters are in the story or how sucky the ending is. (even the ending to the great Jane Eyre's Mansfield Park sucks, at least to me. . .Arielle reads the part of Fanny)
edit on 21-10-2011 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 07:05 PM
This thread was started by me to discuss some concepts that are in a book, Paul and the Stoics, by Troels Engberg-Pedersen.
I thought I would get into it a bit by way of defining some terms brought up in the book.
♦ eudaimonia - 'happiness'
♦ adiaphora - the 'indifferents'
♦ eleutheria - 'freedom'
♦ sophos - 'wise men'
♦ articulates - what you end up with as the substance of the result
♦ phonēsis - condition of goodness from practical thoughts
♦ sophia - 'science'
♦ Nicomachean Ethics - system devised by Aristotle
♦ energeia - 'activity'
♦ energoumenē - state of gaining results through activity
♦ telos - end or goal
♦ teleion - 'final'
♦ teleiotation - good thing
♦ autarkes - 'self sufficient'
♦ hamartia - 'sin'
♦ prokopē - 'progression'
♦ kathēkonta - 'appropriate acts' or 'duties'
♦ katorthōmata - 'right acts'
♦ pathē - 'passions'
♦ apatheia - 'freedom from passions'
♦ eupatheiai - 'good emotions'
♦ chara - 'joy'
♦ topoi - individual motifs

These are terms relating to Stoicism.

edit on 22-2-2012 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 07:00 AM
I was reading Paul and the Stoics by Troels Engberg-Pedersen and he was describing the ideal that a person should be striving for as a goal, and towards the "good life", according to Marcus Aurelius, who Troels is using for an example of a Stoic, since he wrote out a systematic description of those beliefs. The ultimate state to be in, as a result of those efforts at self improvement would be able to see things as one who was looking from above. Then Troes has a note describing discussions on this subject and suggested The View from Nowhere by Thomas Nagel, for a modern treatment. Really what it means from a Stoic viewpoint is what they thought of as seeing what was "real" and to find a "natural" way of fitting into that reality. Of course this is just my take on it from reading just this one book on the Stoics, plus studying Aristotle's Metaphysics for one day, and reading a good blog on Aristotelian philosophy. So, I thought I would expand my understanding of this idea by going ahead and ordering this book, by Nagel, trusting Troels as being a good and qualified person to make such a recommendation. I placed my order, and when I read some of it, I can update this review.
edit on 25-2-2012 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 05:12 AM
oikeiôsis (οἰκείωσις)
self-ownership and extension. The process of self-awareness in all animals, which in humans leads to a sense of community.

This is the theory of ‘appropriation,’ or oikeiôsis, a technical term which scholars have also translated variously as “orientation,” “familiarization,” “affinity,” or “affiliation.” The word means the recognition of something as one’s own, as belonging to oneself. The opposite of oikeiôsis is allotriôsis, which neatly translates as "alienation.”

Texts have referred to a process called oikeiôsis, whereby things are rendered oikeion to human beings.

The Stoic theory of oikeiôsis or belonging had two elements which eventually came to be amalgamated. The first element is the explicit discussion of oikeiôsis proper. The oik- part of this word involves the idea of what is one's own. The oikos, originally woikos, is one's own household, as is reflected in the Latin vicus, a village, and in English place names ending in -wick. oikeiôsis is a relation of belonging, literally of belonging in the same household. It is the opposite of alienation. The ending -sis implies a process, so that oikeiôsis is a process of coming to treat things as belonging. One may come to treat one's own person or one's nearest and dearest as belonging. The Stoics came to be interested in the possibility of extending this sense of belonging more widely to one's fellow humans in general.
Animal Minds and Human Morals: The Origins of the Western Debate, by Richard Sorabji

oikeiôsis: "appropriation" or "familiarization".
Hierocles the Stoic: elements of ethics, fragments and excerpts, by Ilaria Ramelli, Hierocles (the Stoic)

It is worth noting that the paradigm case of what it is to take another human being as oikeion is the relation that a parent feels towards their children.
The Stoic life: emotions, duties, and fate, by Tad Brennan

edit on 26-2-2012 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 08:06 AM
This is an interesting thing I ran across while reading the book, The Hymn of Christ, by Peter Martin.
It was saying hymns were around, so the ones found in the New Testament were nothing new.
It gave as an example, the Hymn to Zeus, which was by a Stoic named Cleanthes (331-232 B.C.).
(translated by M. A. C. Ellery, 1976)

Most glorious of the immortals, invoked by many names, ever all-powerful,
Zeus, the First Cause of Nature, who rules all things with Law,
Hail! It is right for mortals to call upon you,
since from you we have our being, we whose lot it is to be God's image,
we alone of all mortal creatures that live and move upon the earth.
Accordingly, I will praise you with my hymn and ever sing of your might.
The whole universe, spinning around the earth,
goes wherever you lead it and is willingly guided by you.
So great is the servant which you hold in your invincible hands,
your eternal, two-edged, lightning-forked thunderbolt.
By its strokes all the works of nature came to be established,
and with it you guide the universal Word of Reason which moves through all creation,
mingling with the great sun and the small stars.
O God, without you nothing comes to be on earth,
neither in the region of the heavenly poles, nor in the sea,
except what evil men do in their folly.
But you know how to make extraordinary things suitable,
and how to bring order forth from chaos; and even that which is unlovely is lovely to you.
For thus you have joined all things, the good with the bad, into one,
so that the eternal Word of all came to be one.
This Word, however, evil mortals flee, poor wretches;
though they are desirous of good things for their possession,
they neither see nor listen to God's universal Law;
and yet, if they obey it intelligently, they would have the good life.
But they are senselessly driven to one evil after another:
some are eager for fame, no matter how godlessly it is acquired;
others are set on making money without any orderly principles in their lives;
and others are bent on ease and on the pleasures and delights of the body.
They do these foolish things, time and again,
and are swept along, eagerly defeating all they really wish for.
O Zeus, giver of all, shrouded in dark clouds and holding the vivid bright lightning,
rescue men from painful ignorance.
Scatter that ignorance far from their hearts.
and deign to rule all things in justice.
so that, honored in this way, we may render honor to you in return,
and sing your deeds unceasingly, as befits mortals;
for there is no greater glory for men
or for gods than to justly praise the universal Word of Reason.

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