Teachings of the Ancients

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Lacewing
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Teachings of the Ancients

Post by Lacewing » Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:26 pm

Why do we (humankind) think that teachings of the ancients are wise and applicable for ALL TIME? Considering that ancient humans, too, had unavoidable human/ego limitations and the capacity for delusion that any human does? Considering that their perspectives were based on the “knowns” and beliefs of their time, rather than having access to the additional information and insights that unfold with time and new experience. Is the way we tether ourselves to them and their teachings, while elevating them as extraordinarily wise, a poor disguise of our sheep behavior and our fear of facing the NEW that unfolds?

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Re: Teachings of the Ancients

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:57 pm

Lacewing wrote:Why do we (humankind) think that teachings of the ancients are wise and applicable for ALL TIME? Considering that ancient humans, too, had unavoidable human/ego limitations and the capacity for delusion that any human does? Considering that their perspectives were based on the “knowns” and beliefs of their time, rather than having access to the additional information and insights that unfold with time and new experience. Is the way we tether ourselves to them and their teachings, while elevating them as extraordinarily wise, a poor disguise of our sheep behavior and our fear of facing the NEW that unfolds?
You're kind of contradicting yourself, by first saying that the ancient knowledge applies for all time, but later on much of that knowledge has a fluid nature and changes.

Can you point out specific examples to further explain what ancient knowledge you're referring to?

PhilX

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Lacewing
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Re: Teachings of the Ancients

Post by Lacewing » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:30 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:You're kind of contradicting yourself, by first saying that the ancient knowledge applies for all time, but later on much of that knowledge has a fluid nature and changes.
I'm not contradicting MYSELF... I'm pointing out what the contradiction is between ancient teachings (such as the Bible or any other religious texts and traditions) that may be perceived as wisdom and truth for "all time", when in fact they are NOT as broad and advanced as evolving human awareness and understanding.

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Re: Teachings of the Ancients

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:58 pm

Lacewing wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:You're kind of contradicting yourself, by first saying that the ancient knowledge applies for all time, but later on much of that knowledge has a fluid nature and changes.
I'm not contradicting MYSELF... I'm pointing out what the contradiction is between ancient teachings (such as the Bible or any other religious texts and traditions) that may be perceived as wisdom and truth for "all time", when in fact they are NOT as broad and advanced as evolving human awareness and understanding.
So what ancient knowledge will stand for all time (as long as time lasts)?

PhilX

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Lacewing
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Re: Teachings of the Ancients

Post by Lacewing » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:08 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:So what ancient knowledge will stand for all time (as long as time lasts)?
NONE, that I'm aware of. It's all subject to change. That's why I created this thread. To ask why we hold ancient teachings with such high regard... and why we think of them as being some sort of ultimate wisdom forever?

I can't think of any other way to clarify this... so if it still doesn't make sense to you, I'm sorry... please just ignore it. 8)

Dubious
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Re: Teachings of the Ancients

Post by Dubious » Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:32 am

Lacewing wrote: Is the way we tether ourselves to them and their teachings, while elevating them as extraordinarily wise, a poor disguise of our sheep behavior and our fear of facing the NEW that unfolds?
I don't think that elevating them as extraordinarily wise is true any longer in spite of the Ancients remaining indispensable in the Western Canon. They were at least as brilliant as we are and much of what is discussed in their philosophy is still in vogue. During the so-called Dark and Middle ages they could indeed be extolled as extraordinarily wise simply because there was little or no philosophy at the time except that contained in Christian dogma.

The 'Ancients' now along with ALL ancient texts (the few which have survived) including biblical scripture are now and in the future subject to exegesis and analysis which in itself implies, they are no-longer regarded as an apotheosis of wisdom.

...but I must admit, there is a perennial entrenched wisdom contained in the ancient myths which never ceases to be fascinating and enlightening.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Teachings of the Ancients

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:00 am

Dubious wrote:
Lacewing wrote: Is the way we tether ourselves to them and their teachings, while elevating them as extraordinarily wise, a poor disguise of our sheep behavior and our fear of facing the NEW that unfolds?
I don't think that elevating them as extraordinarily wise is true any longer in spite of the Ancients remaining indispensable in the Western Canon. They were at least as brilliant as we are and much of what is discussed in their philosophy is still in vogue. During the so-called Dark and Middle ages they could indeed be extolled as extraordinarily wise simply because there was little or no philosophy at the time except that contained in Christian dogma.
In fact, adopting Aristotle AS Christian dogma, and punishing anyone who strayed from his word was the most debilitating feature of the medieval minds, and kept Europe in the dark ages for centuries.

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Re: Teachings of the Ancients

Post by cladking » Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:30 pm

Lacewing wrote:Why do we (humankind) think that teachings of the ancients are wise and applicable for ALL TIME?
I believe it's because the ancients were wise. Indeed, they were homo sapiens (wise men) but they all died out and now we are homo omnisciencis (all knowing men). We each believe we have all the answers or have some reference in which we can find them. Between science, religion, and wiki we all know everything.

http://www.aldokkan.com/art/proverbs.htm

Of course now days it can be difficult to even recognize wisdom.

I believe ancient man was wise because of the means he used to acquire and process knowledge. He was an observational scientist who used a language as coldly logical as mathematics to learn and organize knowledge. Where we use definitions and taxonomies to categorize all things he used names and categorized knowledge by anthropomorphization of natural phenomena. We see models based on reality as determined by experiment and he saw reality directly. We see only what we know and understand regardless of what's before our eyes and he saw anomalies and his own ignorance. He knew nothing but could could understand most thing. We know everything and understand nothing except our own experience.

Language was his strenght and is our weakness. Ancient language collapsed because it grew too complex.

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