About the Author
By profession, I am a doctoral psychologist and psychoanalyst, now on sabbatical leave with family in Maine, USA. Truth be told, all therapy is a recapitulation, in one form or another, through the prism of one’s own lived experience. In my own case, I have a natural inclination towards archeology, delving into the buried layers of the past, whether it be in the realms of psychology or history. It comes as no surprise then, that I have had a lifelong interest in reconstructing the private life narratives of philosophers of the Greek ‘Golden Age”, many of whom led surprisingly adventurous lives. As soldiers, world travelers, or personal advisors to kings such as Alexander the Great, such extraordinary life experiences shaped their thinking as well as their legacy for readers of the 21st century.
As for Epicurus, I have coopted him unabashedly in this undertaking, since poor dear, he remains bereft of any copyright on his own life narrative. Try as I may to avoid it, my own thoughts and feelings have inevitably found their way into the checkered template of his historical life. Separated by the vast swath of several thousand years, we are melded into the one storytelling, perhaps forgiven I like to think, for purveying the greater good of his ecumenical message.
His overriding theme is that of rediscovering a common humanity, with all its richness of passion and fallibility, regardless of the particular age and circumstances in which by happenstance we are born —- having no choice in the matter! It is my hope that this sense of shared humankind may also be an unintended positive consequence, if there is such a thing, of the present pandemic. It is with that thought in mind,….that something good may eventually come of it, I wrote the following note to friends, somewhat out of frustration, several months ago.
“With the Coviditis pandemic, a major event in world history is unfolding rapidly week by week, in which we are destined to look on, helpless and perplexed, as apocalyptic witnesses.
Traditional thinking would have it that the ‘great cataclysm’ to be avoided at all costs, was thermonuclear war on a grand scale. Lo, the catastrophe when it came, played out on a microscopic scale devoid of all explosions, nuclear or otherwise. So much for the rational projections of the media soothsayers, save for a few hermitic authors in the backwoods of Maine and Montana.
In fact, the ‘invisible’ catastrophe when it came, has had little or no impact whatsoever on the environment, other than a benign one. All our towering edifices of culture and high finance in New York and London remain perfectly intact, untouched, albeit largely empty, or sparsely so.
The only difference been that now for the first time, their affirmation of global mastery can be clearly admired through the crystalline air. Meanwhile, in the emergency wards of overcrowded hospitals across the world, humankind remains hooked to their respirators, struggling to breathe.
And so, the starlings are building nests for the first time, on the gargoyles of the downtown Chrysler Building, just off Broadway.”
Epicurus too, with his unique ‘School of the Garden’, loved Nature as much as he loved humanity!
I would be remiss without mentioning our own outstanding Epicuriana team with Pamela Pease Ph.D as my unflagging, sometimes unflinching Editor, Belinda Pease MFA as our ever resourceful graphics designer, as well as Adriana Adamska-Bland of Suncoast Media for her savvy Website skills.
Finally, I end where I started, with Epicurus himself, whose philosophy is truly a model for our turbulent times.