Sunday, December 14, 2008

Five Pillars of Wisdom

"Various inscriptions in Classical, non-barbarized, Greek have been found in Ai-Khanoum.
On a Herôon (funerary monument), identified in Greek as the tomb of Kineas (also described as the oikistes (founder) of the Greek settlement) and dated to 300-250 BCE, an inscription has been found describing Delphic precepts:"

'As children, learn good manners.
As young men, learn to control the passions.
In middle age, be just.
In old age, give good advice.
Then die, without regret.'

I am willing to fiddle around a bit with this:

'As children, learn bad manners.
As young men, renounce everything that hinders the passions.
In middle age, be unjust.
In old age, let your advice freely abide the aforementioned.
Then die (I dare you!) without regret. '

The first one may well be applied to the individual, but society and the world as a whole rests on the pillar of that second set of precepts.