A Forum for and the Background of the Mediation of Dialogue in Ancient and Modern Academies

Saturday, 20 December 2014

(More) Time and Pleasure (?)

While choosing ancient texts for my pleasure (and, not surprisingly, time) seminar and for my going beyond Plato with regard to pleasure in research, I end this year in posts with the following passage, stemming from Seneca's letter to Paulinus, known as "On the Shortness of Life", which gives some explanation for his speaking of time, in particular of the present, as belonging to us (see the last post's quote):

The actual time you have - which reason can prolong though it naturally passes quickly - inevitably escapes you rapidly: for you do not grasp it or hold it back or try to delay that swiftest of all things, but you let it slip away as though it were something superfluous and replaceable.

What else can someone wish but "good flow" (εὔροια) for the coming new year? Merely increasing time will not add to our happiness, on which both Stoics and Epicureans will agree, not to mention Platonists. But perhaps the wish to increase happiness will not be a good starter for this year or the years to come. So let's keep on thinking and debating about the present (and time).

What remained of the Doric temple of Poseidon at the south-east
tip of Attica, the "sacred Sounion" (Homer, Od. γ 278).

῾Ο αὐτοστεφανούμενος, marble votive relief from the Sanctuary of Athena Sounias,
today exposed in the National Museum of Athens.

(Feb. 6, 2015) PS: Anticipating some good culture (Wagner's Walküre) in Toronto, after the end of a coming conference.
PPS: Quite happy to hear and read that, all of a sudden, or so it seems, people of merit and with knowledge have been appointed to represent the Greek ministries. Is this my Greece?