Thursday, 19 May 2016

The theory of hope

''What we call Christianity today, also existed as a religion amongst the ancient people and it existed since the beginning of the human race. When Christ came they started calling it Christian religion; the true religion, that existed from far before.''
Saint Augustine, RETRACTATICNES, I 113 (P.L.32)

 After one reads my article about God ( he will understand that people, being imperfect, distorted the word of God because it is perfect (in the sense that it is all about love, kindness etc.) and that goes for all religions and spiritual organizations. Also, according to my philosophy, the most important thing a man can do in his life is to elevate his soul and better his character (, and that will result in him having a much better life and ultimately achieving happiness. But, around all civilizations and eras, the wise man that really represent their religion and philosophy (e.g. Socrates), the spiritual institutions ( e.g. Gnosticism) and even the ''divine inspired'' parts of the holy texts of the various religions, contains allegorical stories in order to protect the ''uninitiated and the outsides'' from their knowledge. In this article, i will comment on three stories and their meaning and in the process, I will reveal the purpose of man in this world and the theory of hope.
 The first symbolic story comes from Socrates and one may find written by his apprentice Plato, in the book Phaedrus where it is also explained by him. There is a rider on a chariot, where there are bound two horses next to each other. The left horse is ugly, of bad breed and undisciplined while the right horse, is very beautiful, of noble breed and disciplined. Of course, the 2 horses being opposite to each other, by their nature, wished to go in different directions. The rider represents our spirit, that is nothing else than our intellect, or simply explained, our ability to think. Socrates, called it 'Λογιστικόν', which translates to 'the one that computes (thinks)'. The two horses, represent the two parts that our soul is divided into, the ''higher'' part, from which stems all the positive emotions like love or friendship and the ''lower' part, from which comes the negative emotions like hate or malevolence. The left horse, which represents the lower part and it is named "Επιθυμιτικόν'' that translates to ''the one that desires'', since our lustful desires, like resentment are due to our negative emotions. The right horse, represents the higher part of our souls, that is called ''Θυμοειδες'', which roughly translates to ''the one with the emotions''. Socrates considers in his myth the spirit as a part of the soul that ultimately has three parts, but these are just definitions and are of no consequence. Of course, the two horses, being opposite to each other by their nature, wished to go to different directions. The purpose of the rider (intellect) is to control the undisciplined horse that wants to follow the path of evil and set it to the same path as the other horse, that tends to go towards the path of good. This means that the person has to control and eradicate his negative emotions and focus into the positive ones, by improving his character and therefore elevating his soul, so that he may take the path of enlightenment and knowledge. So, according to Socrates, what one should struggle in life is to better himself and follow the path of knowledge.
 Now, one should wonder where this road of self-improvement and wisdom will lead him and what benefits, besides taking care of his immortal soul, he will enjoy. The answer was given in one of Christ's allegories, specifically the parabola of the lost son. On Luke 15:11-32 Jesus says 11 : “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”  The explanation of this allegory is: The Father represents God and the lost son represents the human, who leaves from his true home-heaven to journey into another city- be born in this world of matter. There he spends all of his wealth-spiritual goods that he was provided in his soul, to wild living, which means he got seduced by his lustful desires and the materialistic goods of this world (e.g. money) and forgot his true self and home. But then, the path he choose of giving into materialism and into the fulfillment of his desires only led him into famine and poverty, where that represents unhappiness, sin, degradation of his soul and spiritual poverty. Then, in order to survive, he has to feed pigs and also eat their food, which symbolizes that in order to continue on this pitiful path of unhappiness and darkness, he had to submit himself more into sin and the lies that this world offers, and pollute him self by eating pig food-committing evil actions. So when ''he came to his senses'', meaning when he remembered his heavenly home and started to fight for his soul, awaken from his lethargy and took the path of light, he started heading towards his Father and his home. But his Father saw him coming from afar and He felt sorry for him and He greeted him, hugged him and kissed him. That represents that God is merciful and if one wished to return to Him, He will help him find the right path and guide him all the way. Then, the son admitted that he sinned against Him and against heaven and he was unworthy of being His son, but the Father gave him the best robe, put a ring in his hand and sandals on his feet and celebrated with the most fat calf! One can easily speculate on what these gifts mean, but it will not be explained in this article. Then, He said He was so happy because His son was lost and found, he was dead and now he is alive and when the brother was enraged with His Father's decision to celebrate, He repeated the same words as an answer: Lost means that humans are adrift in this world of matter, inside their sins, their lustful desires, allured by them from God and blinded by the lies the create for themselves, but found represents their elevation, their path back home to heaven, the control of the mind over the emotions of the soul. It also represents stepping out of the lies that this world holds (lost in the lies), into the truth and enlightenment. Dead represents the spiritual death one forces his soul to go through by committing sins, injustices and giving into his urges and how the soul dies by becoming evil, meaning being consumed and enslaved so much by its desires, that he loses his free will and ability to think beyond the boundary of ''how to fulfill them''. On the other hand, alive symbolizes the eternal life Christ is promising throughout the four gospels, but it is not eternal life on this world of pain, but spiritual eternal life in heaven, for God is life and our soul and spirit are immortals! As one can see, the benefits that he may obtain by taking control of his two horses are tremendous.
 Finally, one should study the 2 plays by Sophocles Oedipus Tyrant and Oedipus at Colono. Their summary can be found on Wikipedia on and at The symbolic value of this story is very important and in this article, I will only do a brief summary of it, without going too much into detail, because that would require a whole book, which far exceeds the limits of this article. If the reader wishes to analyze this subject in depth the only book I can recommend is ''ΟΙΠΟΔΑΣ: Το πανανθρώπινο σύμβολο΄΄ by ''Ε.Β. Κουτσοθόδωρος'' which is sadly only available in Greek. Oedipus (=swollen foot) symbolizes man. It has the same meaning as the lost son of Christ's parabola, while his father Laius symbolizes God and spirit and his mother Jocasta symbolizes matter and this world. The oracle foresaw that Oedipus would kill his father and marry his mother, meaning recede himself from the divine and give into his lustful desires and sins that are derived from materialism, forget the real world of light and embrace the world of lies, pain and darkness. In the beginning, Oedipus was living in Corinth, with his fake father and mother, which represent that state of fake bliss, that all people have to go through until they grow up. That has a double meaning, it can represent the early childish years, when one is unable to choose for himself and also the first reincarnations of humans, before they are spiritually mature enough, in order to be able to choose between good or evil. Then, Oedipus by growing up, leaves this state (learns that Polybus might not be his real father) and heads towards Thebes, which has a similar allegory as his mother. It stands for this world and all its materialistic and emotional beguile, that tilts the man from the path of justice towards the road of lust. There, in the road towards darkness, his father-God tries to prevent him from going any further (in a crossroad of three paths, where the number three represents the elevation and the return to heaven), but they fight and he kills him, due to ignorance, which means that he blinds himself to the divine and he dissociates from truth and light. He allows the lies that stems of this world to darken the truth and gives into sin and evil. After that, Oedipus will meet the famous Sphinx, which represents the purpose of humanity, which is to return back to their heavenly home, and even though he will solve her riddle, the actual meaning of the riddle will not be understood by him. So Oedipus he will become king of Thebes and marry his mother, which represents the final and determinant submission to sin and darkness. That will result in a plague in the city, or better said a plague in his soul. Remember, Socrates said that what is sickness to the body is injustice to the soul. Then, after reaching the bottom (the prodigal son eating pig food and Oedipus having four children with his mother and a plague), he will come to his senses and start searching for the truth. An oracle will inform him that in order to stop the disease of his soul he must find the King's killer and bring him to justice. So Oedipus will begin his long journey to find the truth (the journey to return home), meaning the spiritual truth about God and his origin from heaven, which will deprave him from his sins and free him from the bonds of matter. Then he will discover the truth (with God's guidance in the form of the Oracle Tiresias), his mother will kill herself (he will destroy his evil nature, his negative emotions=take control of his horses), and he will blind himself to this world. But with these actions, he will open the third eye and gaze into the true world of spirit and enlightenment. Then, in the second play of Sophocles, Oedipus at Colono, with his daughter Antigone as a guide, Oedipus seeks refugee in Athens, the city of Athena the Goddess of wisdom and knowledge,who represents the spiritual knowledge about God, that only now Oedipus was able to see and understand. In Athens, he gains support from the king Theseus, who represents God's help towards the humans who seek Him. Then he resists both Creon's and his son Polynikes' persuasion to return back to Thebes, which means that he manages to resist the temptation of matter and the seduction of the lies they offer. Having conquered his desires he may proceed to bath himself with libations, which stand for his final atonement for the sins he committed in the past. So, pure and good, he may proceed into next world beside his father into heaven and eternal life, which is symbolically stated by his disappearance not death. Note, Oedipus chooses to be buried in Athens and not Thebes.
 All in all, these parabolic stories are a great summary of my theory of Hope for they explain the reality we live in. There is a God and He is love, kindness and light, and therefore, not only did He not leave us, His children, without hope, but He gave us the ultimate purpose and gift, to elevate ourselves to gods and join Him in the world of light and in eternal spiritual life! So no matter how hard your life may be, always remember that there is a purpose for you and another life awaits you, where there is no pain, just peace and kindness. Let this knowledge fill your heart with love and hope. Let yourself give into the positive emotions, forgive the ones who hurt you in the past and show love to all the people around you. Most of all, no matter how difficult a time you are going through, always remember that there is hope!

                                                                                       Andreas Sarchosis

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