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Philo of Alexandria

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Philo of Alexandria: (30 B.C.- 50 A.D.) Jewish theologian and Neo-Platonic philosopher. He held that Greek thought borrowed largely from Mosaic teachings and therefore justified his use of Greek philosophy for the purpose of interpreting Scripture in a spiritual sense. For Philo, the renunciation of self and, through the divine Logos in all men, the achievement of immediate contact with the Supreme Being, is the highest blessedness for man. -- M.F Philosopheme: (Gr. philosophema) An apodictic syllogism (Aristotle). -- G.R.M.


TERMS ANYWHERE

Philo of Alexandria: (30 B.C.- 50 A.D.) Jewish theologian and Neo-Platonic philosopher. He held that Greek thought borrowed largely from Mosaic teachings and therefore justified his use of Greek philosophy for the purpose of interpreting Scripture in a spiritual sense. For Philo, the renunciation of self and, through the divine Logos in all men, the achievement of immediate contact with the Supreme Being, is the highest blessedness for man. -- M.F Philosopheme: (Gr. philosophema) An apodictic syllogism (Aristotle). -- G.R.M.

F. Logos: (Gr. logos) A term denoting either reason or one of the expressions of reason or order in words or things; such as word, discourse, definition, formula, principle, mathematical ratio. In its most important sense in philosophy it refers to a cosmic reason which gives order and intelligibility to the world. In this sense the doctrine first appears in Heraclitus, who affirms the reality of a Logos analogous to the reason in man that regulates all physical processes and is the source of all human law. The conception is developed more fully by the Stoics, who conceive of the world as a living unity, perfect in the adaptation of its parts to one another and to the whole, and animated by an immanent and purposive reason. As the creative source of this cosmic unity and perfection the world-reason is called the seminal reason (logos spermatikos), and is conceived as containing within itself a multitude of logoi spermatikoi, or intelligible and purposive forms operating in the world. As regulating all things, the Logos is identified with Fate (heimarmene); as directing all things toward the good, with Providence (pronoia); and as the ordered course of events, with Nature (physis). In Philo of Alexandria, in whom Hebrew modes of thought mingle with Greek concepts, the Logos becomes the immaterial instrument, and even at times the personal agency, through which the creative activity of the transcendent God is exerted upon the world. In Christian philosophy the Logos becomes the second person of the Trinity and its functions are identified with the creative, illuminating and redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Finally the Logos plays an important role in the system of Plotinus, where it appears as the creative and form-giving aspect of Intelligence (Nous), the second of the three Hypostases. -- G. R.



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1:I am He that is" (Ex 3,14), which is equivalent to "My nature is to be, not to be spoken." ~ Philo of Alexandria, De Mutatione Nominum 11-12,
2:The world discerned only by the intellect is nothing else than the Word (Logos) of God when He was already engaged in the act of creation. ~ Philo of Alexandria, On the Creation VI.24,
3:Nature is a habit already put in motion, but the soul is a habit which has taken to itself, in addition, imagination and impetuosity…. ~ Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretations II. vii (19),
4:Feasting on sights displayed [in the heavens], his soul was insatiate in beholding. It went on to to ask: What is the essence of these visible objects and the method of their movement? It was out of the investigation of these problems that philosophy grew… ~ Philo of Alexandria,

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1:Philo of Alexandria, ~ Sara Lewis Holmes,
2:Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Philo of Alexandria,
3:Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. ~ Philo of Alexandria,
4:Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. by Saint Philo of Alexandria ~ Philo,
5:The Wise are Superb Observers of Nature and Rise Superior to the Blows of Fortune ~ Philo of Alexandria,
6:The intelligent man should see to it that his friends are immortal, his enemies mortal. ~ Philo of Alexandria,
7:Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Philo of Alexandria (circa 20 BC–AD 50)
PHILOSOPHER ~ Rhonda Byrne,
8:...the test of truth is proof combined with reason.

Philo of Alexandria; Book 30: The Special Laws, IV ~ Philo of Alexandria,
9:Learning is by nature curiosity... prying into everything, reluctant to leave anything, material or immaterial, unexplained. ~ Philo of Alexandria,
10:But God, the ruler of the universe, takes his stand upon it, regulating it and directing everything in a saving manner by the helm of his wisdom, using, in truth, neither hands nor feet, nor any other part whatever such as belongs to created objects. ~ Philo of Alexandria,
11:The Limit of Happiness Is the Presence of God

But it is something great that Abraham asks, namely that God shall not pass by nor remove to a distance and leave his soul desolate and empty (Gen. 18:3). For the limit of happiness is the presence of God, which completely fills the whole soul with his whole incorporeal and eternal light. ~ Philo of Alexandria,
12:No Assertions Can Be Made of God’s Essence

Who is capable of asserting of the Primal Cause that it is incorporeal or corporeal, or that it possesses quality or is qualityless, or, in general, who could make a firm statement concerning his essence or quality or state or movement? He alone will make dogmatic assertions regarding himself, since he alone has unerringly precise knowledge of his own nature. ~ Philo of Alexandria,
13:Philo of Alexandria introduced in the first century what has been described as the 'Hellenizing of the Old Testament,' or the allegorical method of exegesis. By this, as Erdmann observes, the Bible narrative was found to contain a deeper, and particularly an allegorical interpretation, in addition to its literal interpretation; this was not conscious disingenuousness but a natural mode of amalgamating the Greek philosophic with the Hebraic doctrines. ~ Philo,
14:Perhaps some very wicked persons will suspect that the lawgiver is here speaking enigmatically, when he says that the Creator repented of having created man, when he beheld their wickedness; on which account he determined to destroy the whole race. But let those who adopt such opinions as these know, that they are making light of and extenuating the offences of these men of old time, by reason of their own excessive impiety; for what can be a greater act of wickedness than to think that the unchangeable God can be changed? ~ Philo of Alexandria,
15:The Intelligible World within the Divine Mind Compared to a Blueprint within the Architect’s Mind

For God, being God, judged in advance that a beautiful copy would never be produced except from a beautiful pattern and that no sense object would be irreproachable that was not modeled after an archetypal and intelligible idea. So when he willed to create this visible world, he first formed the intelligible world, so that he might employ a pattern completely Godlike and incorporeal for the production of the corporeal world, a more recent image of one that was older, which was to comprise as many sensible kinds as there were intelligible ones in the other. ~ Philo of Alexandria,
16:The Illusory Self

I am composed of body and soul, I seem to have mind, reason, sense, yet I find none of them my own. For where was my body prior to my birth, and whither will it go when I have departed? Where are the various states produced by the life stages of an illusory self? Where is the newborn babe, the child, the boy, the pubescent, the stripling, the bearded youth, the lad, the full-grown man? Whence came the soul, whither will it go, how long will it be our mate? Can we tell its essential nature? When did we acquire it? Prior to our birth? But we were not then in existence. What of it after death? But then we who are embodied, compounds endowed with quality, shall be no more, but shall hasten to our rebirth, to be with the unbodied, without composition and without quality. But now, inasmuch as we are alive, we are the dominated rather than the rulers, known rather than knowing. The soul knows us, though unknown by us, and imposes commands we are obliged to obey as wervants their mistress. And when it will, it will transact its divorce in court and depart, leaving our home desolate of life. If we press it to remain, it will dissolve our relationship. So subtle is its nature that it furnishes no handle to the body. ~ Philo of Alexandria,
17:-i was "far and away"-riding my motorcycle along an american back road, skiing through the snowy Quebec woods, or lying awake in a backwater motel. the theme i was grappling with was nothing less than the Meaning of Life, and i was pretty sure i had defined it: love and respect.

love and respect, love and respect-i have been carrying those words around with me for two years, daring to consider that perhaps they convey the real meaning of life. beyond basic survival needs, everybody wants to be loved and respected. and neither is any good without the other. love without respect can be as cold as pity; respect without love can be as grim as fear.
love and respect are the values in life that most contribute to "the pursuit of happiness"-and after, they are the greatest legacy we can leave behind. it's an elegy you'd like to hear with your own ears: "you were loved and respected."
if even one person can say that about you, it's a worthy achievement, and if you can multiply that many times-well, that is true success.
among materialists, a certain bumper sticker is emblematic: "he who dies with the most toys wins!"
well, no-he or she who dies with the most love and respect wins...
then there's love and respect for oneself-equally hard to achieve and maintain. most of us, deep down, are not as proud of ourselves as we might pretend, and the goal of bettering ourselves-at least partly by earning the love and respect of others-is a lifelong struggle.
Philo of Alexandria gave us that generous principle that we have somehow succeeded in mostly ignoring for 2,000 years: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Neil Peart,
18:Interpretation first appears in the culture of late classical antiquity, when the power and credibility of myth had been broken by the “realistic” view of the world introduced by scientific enlightenment. Once the question that haunts post-mythic consciousness—that of the seemliness of religious symbols—had been asked, the ancient texts were, in their pristine form, no longer acceptable. Then interpretation was summoned, to reconcile the ancient texts to “modern” demands. Thus, the Stoics, to accord with their view that the gods had to be moral, allegorized away the rude features of Zeus and his boisterous clan in Homer’s epics. What Homer really designated by the adultery of Zeus with Leto, they explained, was the union between power and wisdom. In the same vein, Philo of Alexandria interpreted the literal historical narratives of the Hebrew Bible as spiritual paradigms. The story of the exodus from Egypt, the wandering in the desert for forty years, and the entry into the promised land, said Philo, was really an allegory of the individual soul’s emancipation, tribulations, and final deliverance. Interpretation thus presupposes a discrepancy between the clear meaning of the text and the demands of (later) readers. It seeks to resolve that discrepancy. The situation is that for some reason a text has become unacceptable; yet it cannot be discarded. Interpretation is a radical strategy for conserving an old text, which is thought too precious to repudiate, by revamping it. The interpreter, without actually erasing or rewriting the text, is altering it. But he can’t admit to doing this. He claims to be only making it intelligible, by disclosing its true meaning. However far the interpreters alter the text (another notorious example is the Rabbinic and Christian “spiritual” interpretations of the clearly erotic Song of Songs), they must claim to be reading off a sense that is already there. ~ Susan Sontag,
19:The primitive character of the new atheism shows itself in the notion that religions are erroneous hypotheses. The Genesis story is not an early theory of the origin of species. In the fourth century AD, the founding theologian of western Christianity, St. Augustine, devoted fifteen years to composing a treatise on The Literal Meaning of Genesis, never completed, in which he argued that the biblical text need not be understood literally if it goes against what we know to be true from other sources. Before Augustine, and more radically, the first-century Greek-speaking Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria presented Genesis as an allegory or myth–an interweaving of symbolic imagery with imagined events that contained a body of meaning that could not easily be expressed in other ways.

The story of Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge is a mythical imagining of the ambiguous impact of knowledge on human freedom. Rather than being inherently liberating, knowledge can be used for purposes of enslavement. That is what is meant when, having eaten the forbidden apple after the serpent promises them they will become like gods, Adam and Eve find themselves expelled from the Garden of Eden and condemned to a life of unceasing labour. Unlike scientific theories, myths cannot be true or false. But myths can be more or less truthful to human experience. The Genesis myth is a more truthful rendition of enduring human conflicts than anything in Greek philosophy, which is founded on the myth that knowledge and goodness are inseparably connected. From the eighteenth-century English theologian William Paley…to twenty-first century exponents of creationism, apologists for theism have tried to develop theories that explain the origins of the universe and humankind better than prevailing scientific accounts. In doing so they are conceding to science an unwarranted authority over other ways of thinking. Religion is no more a primitive type of of science than is art or poetry. Scientific inquiry answers a demand for explanation. The practice of religion expresses a need for meaning, which would remain unsatisfied even if everything could be explained. ~ John N Gray,

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