The name is derived from Greek word meaning, “delight”, usually transliterated to mean “pleasure”.
Contrary to Judeo Christian religions, which seem to concentrate on suffering, and to some Buddhists who misinterpret the dukkha, meaning: “dissatisfaction with life” also as suffering, many ancient thinkers disagreed with both premises.
They advocated pleasure.
There are many versions of it. The concept of Ethical Hedonism goes back to the student of Socrates, Aristippus of Cyrena. It means pleasure not derived at someone else’s expense.
Even before him, we learn that Krishna is said to be the source of “All Pleasure”. Yeshûa, mistakenly yet popularly known as Jesus, said: “These things have I spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full”. Seems to me like a wonderful summation of the scriptures.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, dating back to 18th century BC, urges to: “Fill your belly. Day and night make merry. Let day be full of joy. Dance and make music day and night.” While for me this sounds both noisy and fattening, one cannot deny that it also sounds very much like a forerunner of Hedonism.
There are a number of other examples in ancient philosophies, even religions, which advocate happiness. Even the US Declaration of Independence calls for “Pursuit of happiness”. What happened? Why do the present day religious sects hummer in us all the concept of being sinners? Why do they all threaten us with eternal damnation and suffering? Why does the priesthood so loves punishment, eternal at that?
There is only one explanation.
All those in power, priesthood and politicians, use scare tactics to control the masses, to scare people into submission.
We must never forget: “Many are called, and few are chosen”. We must never forget that it is we who do the choosing, and it is up to us to choose the high-road or the low-road. As for the rest of us?
It is up to us to refuse to be scared and bullied.
It is up to us to choose not to suffer.
It is up to us to discover the secret of Hedonism.
Remember, only the truth will set us free!
My Beyond Religion volumes I, II, and III, might well set some of you on the way to freedom. Only please, ultimately you must find YOUR way, not my or anyone else’s. That’s the law. Every single one us is a unique expression of the Whole. Every single one of us must contribute our share, in our unique way. Good luck.
Last word. Should you decide to be one of the chosen ones, you will gain tremendous power with all its trappings, and you’ll have no one to blame any more for your shortcomings. Perhaps that is why most people choose to remain among the many.
My webpage is http://stanlaw.ca.
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