Tag Archives: precepts

Toltec Wisdom: Four Practical Steps Towards Personal Freedom

Considering the huge challenges and difficulties facing the world in the present day, not to mention the personal anxiety that some people are now experiencing, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you the following four steps, or more-so, four agreements taken from the book The Four Agreements: Practical Guide to Personal Freedom written by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Rooted in traditional Toltec wisdom beliefs, four agreements in life are essential steps on the path to personal freedom.

The Toltec culture created these simple precepts of wisdom for the people to adopt daily towards helping them to liberate the mind from ignorance, improve relationships and avoid any self-imposed difficulties.

Ultimately, the agreements provided guidance for one to negotiate life with a more wise, practical and common sense approach. The Toltec perhaps hoped that these precepts would not only benefit the individual in their lifetime but would also produce peace and harmony within the community as a whole.

However, there is nothing stopping the rest of us, in these uncertain times, learning something of worth from these agreements, and perhaps adopting them for the betterment of our own lives and securing a more wiser, peaceful and stress-free future globally.

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Wisdom Books: Lectures and Fragments by Musonius Rufus “The Roman Socrates”

Papyrus fragment P.Harr. I 1, Col. 2, Z. 25–50; showing a section of Diatribe 15 of Gaius Musonius Rufus.

Musonius Rufus (c. AD 30–100) was one of the four great Roman Stoic philosophers, the other three being Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Musonius’ pupil Epictetus. During his life, Musonius’ Stoicism was put to the test, most notably during an exile to Gyaros, a barren island in the Aegean Sea. Because Stoicism was, for Musonius, not merely a philosophy but a prescription for daily living, he has been called “the Roman Socrates.” MUSONIUS RUFUS: LECTURES AND FRAGMENTS will therefore be welcomed by those who seek insight into the practice of Stoicism.

The Suda states that there are “speeches about philosophy bearing his name,” and mentions letters to Apollonius of Tyana.[1] The letters that survive[8] are certainly not authentic.[9] It is unknown whether Musonius wrote anything for publication. His philosophical opinions were collected by two of his students. One collection of Discourses, by a certain Lucius, form the basis of the 21 lengthy extracts preserved by Stobaeus.[10] A second collection was compiled by one Pollio; it has been lost, but some fragments survive in quotations by later writers.[11]

The titles of the 21 discourses (Cora Lutz edition) are as follows:

  1. That There is No Need of Giving Many Proofs for One Problem
  2. That Man is Born with an Inclination Toward Virtue
  3. That Women Too Should Study Philosophy
  4. Should Daughters Receive the Same Education as Sons?
  5. Which is more Effective, Theory or Practice?
  6. On Training
  7. That One Should Disdain Hardships
  8. That Kings Also Should Study Philosophy
  9. That Exile is not an Evil
  10. Will the Philosopher Prosecute Anyone for Personal Injury?
  11. What means of Livelihood is Appropriate for a Philosopher?
  12. On Sexual Indulgence
  13. What is the Chief End of Marriage
  14. Is Marriage a Handicap for the Pursuit of Philosophy?
  15. Should Every Child that is Born be Raised?
  16. Must One Obey One’s Parents under all Circumstances?
  17. What is the Best Viaticum for Old Age?
  18. On Food
  19. On Clothing and Shelter
  20. On Furnishings
  21. On Cutting the Hair

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The Ten Wise Commandments of Moderation For Christmas and Beyond

As much as I love the Christmas period with all the food and drink you can consume, as well as spending quality time with loved ones, there are times when it can all become a stress-filled, conflict-ridden and decadent exercise which can do more harm than good to one’s mind, body and spirit.

Everyone, I guess, is entitled to self-indulge (within reason, mind) at least once a year, but we must be careful not to enter the new year carrying too much weight, anxiety and damaged relationships.

Christmas should be a time to reinvigorate ourselves and to reconnect with friends and family who we have, directly or indirectly, long since neglected.

Surely, we’re not too busy for the important things in life?

Just to let you know that I don’t belong to any religious faith whatsoever, but felt the need to propose the following ten commandments (with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure) of my own for you to adopt towards having a happy Christmas of moderation.  So no belief in God or morality are required.

These precepts or maxims may or may not  help you to negotiate life more wisely, as well as put you in very good stead for the coming New Year and beyond.  Just remember to have fun along the way.

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Ancient Egyptian Wisdom: The Maxims of Ptahhotep

This post is part of the ‘Ancient Egyptian Wisdom’ series, please read the following first part: Ancient Egyptian Wisdom: Egypt – Source of All Knowledge and Wisdom?

Ptahhotep, (flourished 2400 bce), vizier of ancient Egypt who attained high repute in wisdom literature. His treatise “The Maxims of Ptahhotep,” probably the earliest large piece of Egyptian wisdom literature available to modern scholars, was written primarily for young men of influential families who would soon assume one of the higher civil offices. Ptahhotep’s proverbial sayings upheld obedience to a father and a superior as the highest virtue, but they also emphasized humility, faithfulness in performing one’s own duties, and the ability to keep silence when necessary.

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Ancient Egyptian Wisdom: Egypt – Source of All Knowledge and Wisdom?

In a series of posts I will take you way back to some of the earliest Egyptian philosophers and sages in antiquity who imparted their writings (mostly in hieroglyphic form), maxims and quotes displaying their wisdom and virtues that have stood the test of time.

First we will discover the wise maxims of Ptahhotep, sometimes known as Ptahhotpe or Ptah-Hotep, who was an ancient Egyptian official during the late 25th century BC and early 24th century BC.

I will then share with you the quotes of wisdom of Akhenaten, who scholars described as the most progressive of pharaohs, and who took Egypt one step ahead of its time.

Then we will focus on Hermes Trismegistus who was the eponymous author of the writings that were attributed to him.  Hermes, who was suppose to be a contemporary of Moses, was also recognised as being the Greek god Hermes, and the Egyptian god Thoth.

Impact of Ancient Egypt on the World

As for the contributions towards humankind’s progress by some of the earliest known civilizations, it is fair to say that the modern world should be indebted for much of the knowledge it now possesses, most of which was derived from ancient Egypt and Greece.

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