Multae Sententiae is Latin for "many thoughts". Free thinking leads to Enlightenment. Enlightenment leads to happiness...

Sunday, November 28, 2004 CE

The Oracle of Delphi and how it has reached us

Have you ever used the word pythoness to describe a prophetess? Probably you have. I find extremely interesting the way the classical world has been able to reach us, even centuries after its demise.

The Oracle of Delphi made her predictions and gave her advise in the temple of Apollo, located in Delphi, Greece, 100 miles northwest from Athens. Major decisions were taken based on what the oracle said. This was probably the most influential of the oracles of the classical times.

The Myth

The mount Parnassus area, where Delphi was to exist, was the sacred place of the earth goddess Gaia. Zeus had declared the place as the center of the world. Her daughter, the serpent Python, guarded the place. Apollo, the son of Zeus, decided that he would kill Python so as to claim the center of the world for him. When Apollo arrived to Mount Parnassus, the serpent found refuge in the sanctuary of Earth Mother. Apollo killed her anyway and claimed the site. Later, he repented of his crime, looked for purification and asked Pan, the god of evocative music, to reveal him the art of prophecy. Apollo then erected his own temple dedicated to prophecy and an “omphalos” (center) stone was set on the ground. The site, originally known as Pytho, became Delphi (dolphin) in honor of Apollo. The dolphin is an animal associated with the son of Zeus. The Oracle of Delphi was always a woman and was called a pythia (pythoness) as a reminder of the serpent.

The History

The site that we mentioned was occupied by Mycenean people from 1500-1100 BCE. In those times there was an oracular cult of the Earth Goddess. Around 1000 BCE, invading tribes, which could be the Dorians from the north brought the cult of Apollo, but continued its prophesying characteristic.

The End

The last recorded oracle was performed in 362 CE. This institution, which existed for more than 1000 years as part of the cultural heritage of the ancient Greeks, was proscribed by the advancing Christian religion, a religion that was unable to tolerate dissent or choice (the word heresy means choice or the ability to choose in ancient Greek).

This is why pythoness and prophetess are synonymous words. Whenever we employ that term, we evocate the old Greeks and their rich culture. A culture that refuses to die and that will follow with us for millennia.

Friday, November 26, 2004 CE

The everlasting changing environment and the need to understand it.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
– John F. Kennedy

There is always a need for change, or at least that is what I believe. There is always new knowledge, new paradigms, new balances of power to analyze and to deal with. We can ask the old Romans about that. They will not answer because they are not there anymore. Fortunately, there is history to tell us about it. A huge political entity that was destroyed by barbarian inroads. And who rules the world today? The barbarians, of course. We do not speak Latin and we do not worship Jupiter, thats for sure. One can ony wonder what would have happened if the Romans would have seen the whole picture, understood the waves of change and taken the correct measures. We will never know. We can also ask Nicolae Ceaucescu about understanding the winds of change. Communism was dying and he stubbornly defended his regime. More examples of people who will not answer because they are not there anymore are the French kings, the Russian Tsars, the Spanish colonialists, etc. What I am trying to say is that we, at all levels of human interaction, should be thoughtful and flexible. Is it not worse to keep a relationship going, in spite of signs that it should break up? If there is an early break up, there are less hurt feelings and less fighting. Is it not better to understand the employees of a company and negotiate with them rather than to reach the point of a strike? From the little person to the huge empire, the lesson is the same: analyze the changes, understand them, be logical, be flexible, be humble and make your decisions.

Thursday, November 25, 2004 CE

This is how I visualize the overcoming of intolerance
Posted by Hello

A word about intolerance

Intolerance. The divisive force that separates you from your friend, your neighbor and even your lover. As in my previous blog, human nature plays a role, it makes appreciate and understand whatever is similar to us. It tell us not to trust what is different. So it takes some effort to overcome it. An effort that can be consciously done and which is greatly facilitated by an openminded, good quality education. So the clue is education, from school and from parents, to defeat that human nature. When I say human nature, I am referring to the things that are inherent to us. So it is probably determined by our genes. And that would mean that the threshold of human nature that education and our conscious effort has to ovecome might be different in different people

Wednesday, November 24, 2004 CE

Skepticism also deserves respect. Silence does not provide it.

This is my comment to one of the posts in

This was an excellent summary. I agree that in a civilized society, if there is a significant number of people who is distrustful (20% in this case, they say), assurances have to be provided. These have to be given to us by the mainstream media. I am from Peru, South America. In 2000, I witnessed an incredible fraud perpetrated by the president then, Alberto Fujimori, who ruled like a dictator, with democratic appearences. The exit polls told us that he had lost the election 48% to 40%. However, hours after, the official counting showed a change towards him. He won 49% of the vote against 41% of the challenging candidate. People rushed into the streets of Lima, including me, to protest. You can also see the example of the Ukraine. My message is, to everyone and specially to the mainstream media, that we should respect the people who are skeptical and provide the required answers. I nothing happened, thats fine, but show it

Dr. Marco

In that occasion the mainstream media broadcasted talkshows and old series instead of telling us what happened.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004 CE

A word about violence

Violence, and all its forms including war, fights, brawls, etc represents failure. Failure to achieve a constructive outcome from a disagreement. Failure to respect the other one's point of view. Failure to respect basic rights, including the right to live as we see everyday in a war. As Albert Einstein said once, "the force only attracts people of low morality". Human nature is competitive. We compete for resources, money, attention, etc. However, there is always space for negotiation. Competition can easily turn violent. The strong side has the responsability of avoiding abuse and the weak side has the responsability of moderating their claims, without disregarding its own rights. If the strenghts of the competing sides are similar, its is easier to negotiate, however lack of responsability can end up in violence.
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