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 The Greeks as world rejecting

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hǣþen

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PostSubject: The Greeks as world rejecting Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:33 am

I frequent another forum and the one poster made a interesting comment that the Greeks were "world rejecting." She defined the term as follows "World rejecting is the belief that there is a world other than ours and that the soul leaves this world to reach a reunion with the divine in a state of nirvana (heaven, the underworld, fill in the blank) as well as a divinity that exists outside of this reality." I understand this to be nihilism.

I don't believe this was always the case, certainly it occurred with the adoption of Christianity and perhaps certain mystery cults. Surely labeling Greek culture and customs as world rejecting as a truism is false. I stand to be corrected though and my question is does this have any merit?
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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:40 am

Hellenism is multifaceted.
It explains why so many schools of philosophical thought find their roots there. 

There, most certainly, world-rejecting elements in Hellenism. Platonism is the first to come to my mind.
This is why Platonic thought is so easily integrated into Christianity - Christianity being the brain-child of Platonism and Judaism, and Jesus a symbolic conduit that broke the spiritual elitism of Judaism and made it universal and a contagion.

The pre-Socratics were definitely not world-rejecting.
They were typically pagan in their embracing of reality and the world as it is.
Later, due to cultural fatigue, certain nihilistic elements became seductive to the average Greek, and this is how democracy became possible.

Some would say that these ideas came to Greece via the Persians, who had contact with eastern philosophies, such as Buddhism.

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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:44 pm

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This book has some interesting information that confirms what you say, pg 58 "If the predominant world-view of early Christianity is considered to be one of world-rejection, and if the predominant world-view of the traditional Indo-European religions is considered to be one of world-acceptance, the northwestward expansion of Christianity may be viewed as an encounter between opposing world-views. Sociohistorically speaking, early Christianity emerged from the predominantly world-rejecting religious environment of Palestinian Judaism and Hellenism, and subsequently encountered the predominantly world-accepting religiosity of the Roman, Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic branches of the Indo-European peoples. The Greek branch has been purposefully excluded here since, by the time of Christianity, Greek religiosity had become so thoroughly "de-Indo-Europeanized" by centuries
of contact with world-rejecting religious and philosophical movements that it no longer exhibited a predominantly world-accepting character."
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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:46 pm

"The traditional Indo-European religions in their early stages exhibited characteristics which may be expected of a pastoral, nomadic, warrior people
who conquered agrarian peoples. The Indo-Europeans "had a patriarchal social organization"42 and tended to impose an aristocratic feudal social
structure upon the indigenous peoples whom they conquered."
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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:59 am

From a Facebook page Hellenismos

"In order to make it clear I declare: By "Ethnic Hellenes" or "Hellenic Ethnikoi" we mean "polytheistic Hellenes" or more precisely: "Hellenes by Ethos", not only by name or descent. The root of the words "Ethnic" and "Ethnos" is ETHOS. And it is Ethos that makes an Ethnos being an Ethnos, not blood or (modern nation state) citizenship. The early Christians called us "Ethnikoi" (sing. Ethnikos, lat. Ethnicus), not "pagans". We still use the word "ethnic" instead of "pagan", because it gives priority to Ethos, which encloses Tradition, or what we call today "religion". And in Hellenism "Religion" stands not alone but is an aspect of Ethos and the most significant part of ethnic (= native) Identity. Therefore Thales (Phoenician), Aesop (Phrygian), Porphyri (Phoenician) and others (like Julian) were ethnic Hellenes = Hellenes by Ethos and Culture, and that's why modern christian "Greeks" (Romioi) are not Hellenes (by ethos, worldview or tradition). So "Ethnic" is not a nationalistic term - Nationalism is a "product" of the christian world and has nothing to to with the real Ethnos - but a central part of Ethnismos (= ethnic Identity, Polytheism). So we are ethnic Hellenes = Hellenes by ethos and that means in the same time that we are Polytheists: For "Ethnikoi" are the Polytheists and the ethnic Hellenes have always been polytheistic at heart."
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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:49 am

hǣþen wrote:
From a Facebook page Hellenismos

"In order to make it clear I declare: By "Ethnic Hellenes" or "Hellenic Ethnikoi" we mean "polytheistic Hellenes" or more precisely: "Hellenes by Ethos", not only by name or descent. The root of the words "Ethnic" and "Ethnos" is ETHOS. And it is Ethos that makes an Ethnos being an Ethnos, not blood or (modern nation state) citizenship.

In modernity. Historically speaking, Ethos emerged from Ethnos - memes from genes, from blood-kinship. Cf. Coulanges speaking of ancestral worship and the "duty" of a son to a father in carrying on the Ethos of the hearth-fire and libation-rituals, etc.
Ethos emerged from Ethnicity, ethnic duty.

Judaism reversed this. Ethnicity being determined by a common ethos - victim ethos - wandering jew, etc.

But even before this, I should think the true character of "paideia" - spartan gymnasium that was a very pro-ethnic cultivation and breeding changed character with Alexanderianism - paideia became Ethos for export.


Quote :
The early Christians called us "Ethnikoi" (sing. Ethnikos, lat. Ethnicus), not "pagans". We still use the word "ethnic" instead of "pagan", because it gives priority to Ethos, which encloses Tradition, or what we call today "religion".

Correct. Pretty much what the 'Heathen in his Blindness' was talking about.

Also Dowden;

Quote :
"Ancient Europeans were not at some primitive stage of intelligence because they practised pagan rites or
focused their worship at stones and trees, nor were they superstitious slaves to ghosts, spirits and ancestors. Superstition is in the eye, and religious code, of the beholder. It is not a puzzle that these ancient peoples failed to be Christian and we should abandon the Christianocentric supposition that ‘in certain moods’ they sensed a ‘far higher moral faith’, viz. Christianity. It is true that in most modern religions, religious codes of conduct have taken the character of morals, but it is certainly not a necessary feature of religion as such to supply morals to a population—and without religion we are not therefore immoral.
Finally, it may indeed be characteristic of many modern religions, notably Christianity, to promote ‘faith’ to the extent that nowadays to be a religion is to be a ‘faith’, preferably a ‘living faith’; but students of ancient religion are well aware that paganism did not promote ‘faith’. Of course, ancient pagans believed certain things without adequate evidence, but whether they believed ‘in’ them (a peculiar piece of jargon which we derive from New Testament Greek) is another question. Paganism was not credal, but a matter of observing systems of ritual. Ritual too is a language, one which involvingly defines the place of man in the world. It is no worse than credal or theological language in achieving that objective and in some ways escapes more easily the danger of asserting something which needs to be verified or died for. Paganism can accept the beliefs and practices of others much more readily than more ideological religions. The persecution of the Christians by the Romans was not a matter of crusade or jihad and was caused by an unusual and special conflict in views of ritual and society.

‘Paganism’ is a misnomer. With its Latin first element (paganus, a ‘villager’) and Greek second (-ism, as though it were a system of belief), it is an impossible contradiction. The only pagans who held to systems of belief were, contingently, philosophers who happened also to be pagans and philosophised religion as they philosophised everything else. It was, however, characteristic of philosophy under the Roman Empire that it was drawn increasingly into the description and articulation of religion—the catalyst for the incorporation of theology within Christianity. Paganismus, a singular religious environment, is a word invented by the fourth-century Christians so that they can talk about ‘it’ in the same breath that they talk about Christianity and Judaism.

Until the advent of neopaganism, paganism had always been a derogatory term denoting any non-Christian religion.
...English, and the Germanic languages, have another word, ‘heathen’, which we owe to the Goth Ulfila (on whom more below). He used the word háithnô at Mark 7.26 to translate the Greek word Hellenis, ‘Greek (female)’ in the extended sense of non-Jew (‘Gentile’ in the Revised English Bible). It looks from the perspective of the other Germanic languages as though it is their equivalent of the Latin paganus or rusticus and refers once again to those who live at a distance from perceived centres of culture: these inhabit open, rough land, heaths in fact. As a matter of fact, the word ‘heath’ does not turn up in Gothic, but, to be brutal, there is nothing else it can come from.
Before it was taken up for use by Christians, I suspect this was a term of comparative civilisation, such as Goths conceived it, and denoted ‘someone who lives in wild places’." [Paganism]


Quote :
So "Ethnic" is not a nationalistic term - Nationalism is a "product" of the christian world and has nothing to to with the real Ethnos - but a central part of Ethnismos (= ethnic Identity, Polytheism).

Only if you are referring to modern Nationalism when you mean Nationalism - ideas of freedom, liberty, equality, etc. product of the Xt. world.

Nation - c.1300 carries racial weight.

Quote :
"from Old French nacion "birth, rank; descendants, relatives; country, homeland" (12c.) and directly from Latin nationem (nominative natio) "birth, origin; breed, stock, kind, species; race of people, tribe," literally "that which has been born," from natus, past participle of nasci "be born" (Old Latin gnasci; see genus). Political sense has gradually predominated, but earliest English examples inclined toward the racial meaning "large group of people with common ancestry."

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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:00 pm

Thank you for clarifying this and elaborating further, my first thought was that common ideas and ideals stem from originally an ethnic base.

So this would appear to me as an example of memetic fragmentation that Satyr speaks of happening. What I mean is that they "Hellenismos" are trying to export Hellenism and they are divorcing it from its racial beginnings?
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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:26 pm

hǣþen wrote:
Thank you for clarifying this and elaborating further, my first thought was that common ideas and ideals stem from originally an ethnic base.

So this would appear to me as an example of memetic fragmentation that Satyr speaks of happening. What I mean is that they "Hellenismos" are trying to export Hellenism and they are divorcing it from its racial beginnings?  

The quote you provide makes me thinks so.

But here's another quote which speaks what I believe

"Hellenismos is the name of the Greek Religion. "Hellenism is a package consisting Ethos, World View, value system" (Vlassis Rassias), language, customs, philosophy, community, and Religion. Hellenism is something that is called "Ethnicum" (sadly, most people would call it just "Paganism"). "Hellenism is a way of human functioning at the collective and personal level." (Rassias). Hellenismos is only one (!) part of the Hellenic Ethnicum. The Ancient Greek Culture was the product of the Hellenic Ethnos, and the same applies to the Hellenic Religion. Therefore the polytheistic Greeks are called since late antiquity and they still call themselves as "Ethnic Hellenes", because, and in contrast to the christian Greeks, they follow the ethnic and genuine hellenic Tradition, Religion, and Worldview created by the Ancient Greeks themselves. The identity of the ethnic Hellenes is culturally, ethnically, and religiously. Someone is called "Ethnicus" (lat.) or "Ethnikos" (gr.) (pl. Ethnikoi) when he follows the genuine and indigenous Ways of his Ancestors. "Hellenic Religion" is not an umbrella Term. The many terms Hellenic Polytheism, Greek Religion, Hellenic Polytheism, Hellenismos, and ethnic hellenic Religion are synonymous and they are all used interchangeably to refer to the one and the same religion. The term "Reconstructionism" (unknown to the most Hellenes in Greece) refers the methodology of reviving ancient ethnic Religions.

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Hellenismos vs. Neo-Paganism:

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:10 pm

When I use "Pagan" I do so in an attempt to connect Hellenism with a variety of other organic religions, ethnic identities, so that I do not alienate other versions of the same natural-spirituality.

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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:29 am

@ Lyssa may I quote or paraphrase your post? This I wish to convey in a Germanic context as the same applies, being all the shortcomings and limitations of modern "Asatru"

@Satyr I always got the sense you were speaking of the Hellenic expression of the Indo-European "Weltanschauung"
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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:44 am

hǣþen wrote:
@ Lyssa may I quote or paraphrase your post? This I wish to convey in a Germanic context as the same applies, being all the shortcomings and limitations of modern "Asatru"

Of course, feel free heathen; that quote doesn't belong to me - from youtube.

Share your Germanic version here if you care to.


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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: The Greeks as world rejecting Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:52 am

hǣþen wrote:
@Satyr  I always got the sense you were speaking of the Hellenic expression of the Indo-European "Weltanschauung"
I was...I am.

But, I also do not want this to become ethnic, because I consider many traditions, including the Hindu, caste system, part of the same organic Indo-European tradition with many branches.

The dis-ease confronting us all is the same.

Buddhism, at least the neo-Buddhist modern variants, might be considered the eastern version of what ails the West, presently.
I consider the last war an autoimmune war.  
The dis-ease thrives.

Hellenism, in my mind, represents the highest level the Indo-European tradition reached...in the west, at least.
But this would appear nationalistic, and as an attack on the other western variants.
So, I focus on the meme, in general.

In the west, the meme reached the pinnacle we call Hellenism....in the east it is called Hinduism.

Hellenism is also responsible for Christianity. Its contact with the virus, and its inability to kill it when it was weak, caused it to mutate into what we see today as Humanism.

I mean, Democracy, birthed in Greece, was a result of Hellenic decay...a compromise forced upon the Athenian elites.
The Spartans won the war against Athens, the genetic war, but lost the cultural war, the memetic war.
The war weakened both.
The rest is history.

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