Der Kanon von Apollo (englisch)

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      Der Kanon von Apollo (englisch)

      (KOMMENTAR: Ich habe diesen Text für den Tempel von Apollon geschrieben, dem ich in meiner Gemeinschaft angehöre. Hoffe er ist auch auf English nicht ganz schlecht.
      Die 147 Delphischen Maximen sind überliefert, dazu meine Kommentare und Gedanken. Bitte Vorwort beachten. ^^ )

      (WICHTIG: Da der ganze Text zu lang wäre, ist er als PDF unten beigefügt. ^^)

      Based on the 147 Delphic Maxims

      in the interpretation of

      Gaius Florius Aetius
      Sacerdos Apollon



      I am not going to write any lengthy historical background of these Maxims. In the early days they were believed to have come from the God Apollo, later on they were ascribed to the Seven Sages of myth,
      though it may be both, maybe Apollo spoke through these Sages. Whatever the case, the 147 Delphic Maxims give an interesting insight in the wisdom and ethics of Antiquity.

      I have purposefully avoided reading too much info about this. I prayed and meditated at the Shrine of Apollo I am tending, and wanted to comment on these Maxims uninfluenced by any other source, to look at
      them with a fresh eye, praying for inspiration of Lord Apollon and using my knowledge as practical Philosopher. So of course, some of the interpretations will differ from how a Historian with detailed knowledge will comment on the Maxims. But that was not the intend here to present a reflection on historic views, but how these sentences can inspire us.

      When you go over the maxims, you will realize how often they have various levels of meaning, different ways to look at them, and sometimes meditating upon them, I found myself amazed how many levels of detail are hidden inside such short phrases. When Gods speak or inspire, we can only approximate to the idea, for the views of Gods are lofty. So I wrote down what I thought about each maxim after meditating and thinking over them, hoping to give the reader an angle to follow his own thoughts.

      May Apollo grand you wisdom.

      THE FIRST 12
      (IMPORTANT NOTE: The complete text is attached as PDF, hopefully. ^^)

      1. Follow God (Επου θεω)

      One can assume that the first sentence may be the most important, because if you have a message, a canon, a creed, you start with the most basic, most vital first. Both words, follow and God are chosen with great care, and it becomes more clear, when we see what is NOT said. Apollo speaks in the singular, God. Of course he does not refer to the monotheistic principle, or merely to himself, but the Platonic Idea of the Divine. It is vital to note, what is not said. It is not said, obey God. The Gods are apparently no power to enslave humanity, they are an ideal to follow. They inspire us and are regarded as Patrons. Follow the Divine. It is an advise, a good council, not a commandment, that is important, as it sets the tone of the entire Canon: Apollo comes to us with these Maxims as Adviser, as Guide and Councillor, not as overlord or commander.

      2. Obey the law (Νομω πειθου)

      This 2nd Maxim stands in contrast to the first. Obey the law. The law is man made; we give it ourselves, based on reason, under the guidance of the Divine, as agreement or contract among ourselves. That is how law was made in Athens and in the Roman Republic, later, and that is how we have to assume the concept of law here: as something man made. But once we agreed on it, once we set it in place, society is based on lawfulness. So it is not an advise, a law is something that binds us, or Civilization falls apart. It is like the tale of Romulus and Remus: once the line in the sand was drawn, it was no longer an arbitrary place, but the realm of law. Ignoring the principle of law, means to destroy civilization itself. Right after the guidance of the Gods, comes the importance of the law, like the Gods are arbiters of Civilization.

      3. Worship the Gods (Θεους σεβου)

      Here the duty towards the Gods is defined, it comes apparently in third order. After we are asked to seek the guidance of the Divine, and to obey the man made laws, we are asked to bring worship to the Gods. In the Roman Religion, the Cultus is defined by the maxim “do et des” - I give so you give. It is a relation of a contract and of cooperation. That is what worship means to the Roman Cultor: find a connection to the Gods, with the Cultus as a formalized basis of give and take. The Gods guide and council, we give offerings and pray in respect.

      4. Respect your parents (Γονεις αιδου)

      Naturally very high ranking is, right after Gods and Laws, our relation to our parents. The family is the core of any society, of any civilization. The relation of parents and children is the primordial system of order. The parents: caring, protecting, commanding, loving, being just; the children: respectful, obedient, trusting, loyal. It is not a set of equals. Your Parents sacrificed so you came to exist and you had the chance to grow, and as such we owe our parents respect. This difference of status is of importance to understand and to be able to accept, for it is the foundation of all societies. Without filial love, society will end in chaos. It means to be able to be grateful, to be able to follow the wiser and the senior, in the broader sense. Even if you find you have harsh, cruel or depraved parents, you may wisely distance yourself from them, of course. But they will always be your parents and as such deserve your childlike respect.

      5. Be overcome by justice (Ηττω υπο δικαιου)

      Being overcome by justice seems at first as a strange wording. The Maxims of Apollo are all brief, as the God wanted to put as much information into a short sentence, and be as clear as possible. Overcome by
      justice seems to insinuate that justice is something that we do not naturally follow; by heart, we are all selfish beings, often first and foremost being driven by our own individual desires. And that is not wrong, but we have to open ourselves to the idea of Justice, which can transcend or purify the egotism and enable the common good, the Res Publica, the society where all benefit from. It also puts the emphasis on you: give yourself to justice, for it is all too common that people demand justice from others, but never subject themselves to it. So the wording hints that one is to practice justice by becoming a just person yourself, first.

      6. Know what you have learned (Γνωθι μαθων)

      Learning is important, and we learn through many different ways. By intellectual schooling, by watching others, by the examples from history, and through failure of course. But alas, in the everyday haste of life, all too quickly we forget what we have learned. The knowledge and wisdom is there, we have heard it, but what good is such wisdom, when we forget it at the most important time? That demands intellectual training, training to be aware of what is going on, and to take the time, not to be taken over by a hasty stream of events, that makes us forget and ignore what we know. If you remain calm and focused, you can remember that, what you have learned, and act right in the time of crisis.

      7. Perceive what you have heard (Ακουσας νοει)

      This 7th Maxim is closely tied to the 6th; both speak of variants of awareness. They have similar form, and cover a similar topic. While the 6th Maxim deals with knowledge of which we are aware – the inner
      awareness – the 7th Maxim refers to the outer awareness: Perceive, listen. Only if we look both inward and outward, can our understanding truly grow. We must not only be full with knowledge and information, we must listen and perceive. That will put knowledge in place and help us correct false perspectives. Observe the world. Listen and Perceive.

      8. Know (or Be) Yourself (Σαυτον ισθι)

      This is probably the most well known of the Delphic Maxims, Know Yourself, or also Be Yourself. Knowing yourself and Being yourself are here one and the same, or, two expressions of the same idea. If you look at the former two maxims, looking inward in knowledge and being aware of the world around you, you can then as the next step develop an understanding of who you are, and what your place in the world is. In
      the teachings of Platonism and Stoicism it is assumed that people have a sort of a True Nature, and we can find inner peace, when we understand and follow this Inner True Nature, when we refine it. Knowing yourself and being authentic are the true pathways of the Light. Thus the Eighth Maxim is one of the most vital ones: if you do not know yourself, every other understanding is dimmed to you.

      9. Intend to get married (Γαμειν μελλε)

      I really like the subtlety of this maxim. Intend. It is, again, not a commandment, it is an advise. Since only a God or an Animal can live alone, we should form bonds, and marrying a partner is the most sacred and intimate bond, so seeking a partner for your life, a loved one to marry, is something everyone should intend. But, sometimes, despite our best efforts, it does not work out. So here is no blame put at your feet. It is the advise of a God, who means well: try your best to get married.

      10. Know your opportunity (Καιρον γνωθι)

      Opportunity is very capitalistic term, and it is fascinating and refreshing that such a maxim is so high on the list to belong to the first ten. Life is full of chances, of opportunities. You can seek them, sometimes they come to us, but often we miss the chance, because we are not aware, we are too busy with too many things. That is what makes the difference between a very successful and a regular person: the people of great success have a high awareness of opportunities. Life is always to a degree, what you make of it. Sure, there are elements of destiny, both given by the Gods and then by the biological limitations of your inherited body. But beyond that, there are always possibilities, chances to make something. We are not supposed to remain in the perspective of a slave or a victim of the doings of others. No, we have opportunities, chances, and we must be aware of them and use them. Apollo does not advise a life of passive idleness, but of activity, of seeking opportunities and making the best of them, to live a worthy life.

      11.Think as a mortal (Φρονει θνητα)

      At first, it feels like this sentence is a bit putting one down. But then, the reality is that our lifetime as mortals is limited. Apollo is a God who values frugality. All too quickly we idle away time, we feel like we have endless time. When we are young, we think so especially. But we are mortals. So we must look at the quality of the time we spend. Do you waste your time with mindless and wicked people? People who only drag you down or waste your time with idle gossip? Or do you rather seek worthy company to spend your limited lifetime with? That does not mean we should run from any difficulty. Often we can achieve things only by facing challenges. But we must do so aware of what we want, and what is within our grasp. Do not waste the time given to you, for it is not endless.

      12. If you are a stranger act like one (Ξepsilon;νος ων ισθι)

      Being a guest where you are not at home, demands that you act with special care. When at home, you can do as you please, for it is your home. But out in the streets we are strangers all to another, and when we visit someone, we do so by the graciousness of our host, and we have to behave. Be calm and humble; things outside of your own realm do not belong to you. You have no right upon them. While the streets
      outside may belong to the public, nothing here is for your private fancy. You are not alone, but you have to share the public space with everyone else, so train yourself to speak soft, to walk with care and respect, and not grab everything, as if it were yours. When you are guest in another one's house, be aware of it. Likewise, if you enter a foreign country, adapt to the habits and do not disturb the people, for you are there only through the goodwill of them.

      DER GANZE TEXT IST ALS PDF ANGEHANGEN (hoffe das mit dem Anhang klappt, sonst mich einfach ansprechen)