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Ethiek

8 juli 2020

Plato * Sokrates – Martelaar van de Filosofie

Vertaald door Hans Warren en Mario Molegraaf.

207 Pagina’s | Uitgegeven in 2019 | Softcover | Prometheus Uitgeverij, Amsterdam | ISBN: 9789044641950.

Wie was hij, Sokrates, de man met de stompe neus en het scherpe intellect? Een moedige rebel of een gevaarlijke onruststoker? Hij heeft zelf geen woord geschreven, des te meer is er over hem geschreven. Eerst en vooral door Plato (ca. 427 – 347 v. Chr.) wiens oeuvre een grote hommage aan Sokrates is. Hij was diep verontwaardigd over het doodvonnis van Sokrates, in 399 v. Chr. voltrokken toen hij een man van zeventig was.

In dit boek zijn Plato’s werken over het proces tegen Sokrates en diens laatste dagen bijeengebracht: Euthyfron, Apologia, Sokratous (Sokrates’ verdedigingsrede), Kriton en Faidon. Indrukwekkende en ontroerende meesterwerken die ons heel dicht bij Sokrates brengen, de enige man uit de Oudheid die we allemaal zouden herkennen wanneer we hem op straat tegenkwamen. Maar we belanden ook midden in de woelige, maar waarachtige democratie die Athene was, en worden door het doodvonnis tegen Sokrates onvermijdelijk geconfronteerd met uiterst actuele vragen over de onbehaaglijke grenzen tussen democratie en rechtsstaat.

Afkomstig uit Hoofdstuk Sokrates’ Verdediging (p. 47 & 48):

” (Sokrates): Nou mannen van Athene, dat ik wat Meletos’ aanklacht betreft vrijuit ga, behoefy volgens mij geen lange verdediging. Het is daarom zo wel genoeg. Maar wat ik al eerder aanroerde, dat ik me bij veel mensen erg gehaat heb gemaakt, blijft als een paal boven water. Gesteld dat ik het proces verlies, dan zal ik het hierdoor verliezen – niet door Meletos of door Anytos, maar door mijn slecht naam en de afgunst van de massa. Al tal van goede mensen zijn daar het slachtoffer van geworden en er zullen er denk ik nog velen volgen. Wees niet bang dat het bij mij ophoudt. “

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De Gulden Treden van Helena P. Blavatsky

Door Danielle Audoin (1926 – 1917), in het Nederlands vertaald door Saskia Campert.

73 Pagina’s | Eerste druk mei 2015, 2de druk feb. 2018 | A6-formaat, softcover | Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland, Amsterdam | ISBN: 9789061750963.

Frans origineel: Les Marches d’Or de Helena P. Blavatsky  – Commentées par Danielle Audoin.

Er bestaat een heel korte tekst, De Gulden Treden, die te weinig bekend is onder theosofie studenten. Men zegt meestal: De Gulden Treden van HPB. Feitelijk is het een tekst die Helena P. Blavatsky (1831 – 1891), evenals een groot deel van haar werk, heeft ontvangen van een van haar Meesters. Een van de ‘Adepten’, die via haar, aan hen die in 1890 haar discipelen waren een leidraad hebben overgedragen, niet allen voor de persoonlijke ontwikkeling, maar ook voor de spirituele ontplooiing en het relationele leven.

De Dertien Aansporingen:

  1. Een rein leven
  2. Een open geest
  3. Een zuiver hart
  4. Een wakker verstand
  5. Een onversluierde spirituele perceptie
  6. Een broederlijke liefde voor allen
  7. De bereidwilligheid om advies en instructie te geven en te ontvangen
  8. Een loyaal plichtsbesef ten opzichte van de leraar
  9. Een gewillig gehoorgeven aan de geboden van de Waarheid
  10. Een moedig verdragen van persoonlijk onrecht
  11. Een dapper opkomen voor onze principes
  12. Een onverschrokken verdediging van hen die onrechtvaardig worden aangevallen
  13. Een aandacht voortdurend gericht op het ideaal van menselijke vooruitgang en volmaaktheid dat de gewijde wetenschap beschrijft
auteur: Audoin, Danielle
ISBN: 9789061750963
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Yogic Practice – Yama and Niyama

By S.S. Varma.

28 Pages | First edition 1991, first reprint 2002 | Softcover | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar | ISBN: 8170591805.

Dutch translation: De Beoefening van Yoga – Yama en Niyama (1995, 2011) | Uitgeverij der Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland | ISBN: 9789061750918.

Yoga literally means ‘unification’, unification of the individual soul and the Oversoul and herewith unification of all that is. Everybody realizes he or she is one with the Divine, thus should realize he or she is one with everybody else. This is spirituality. Although this total unification marks its final goal, ‘yoga’ could be understood as much as ‘the way towards’.

This booklet includes rules of ethical behavior. Yama comprises virtues, such as abstaining oneself from violence, lies and betrayal, robbery, unchastity and greed. Niyama covers living up to these commandments relating to purity, contentment, abstinence, self-study and self-surrender to God. In this little publication, Varma reveals the true essence of these virtues.

From page 17:

” Before dealing with the five elements of Niyama, it may be useful to consider the distinction between the Yamas and the Niyamas. Both seem to point at a common purpose – the transmutation of the lower nature to serve as a suitable vehicle of the Divine Life. The practices included in Yama are moral and prohibitive and lay the foundation of a yogic life, while those in Niyama are disciplinary and constructive in character and aim at organizing the life of the spiritual aspirant. “

auteur: Varma, S.S.
ISBN: 8170591805
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Search for Values

By Soli J. Sorabjee.

19 Pages | Besant Lecture delivered at Adyar, Dec. 1992, first published in 1995 | Booklet | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar | ISBN: 8170592623.

The moral worth of a society or a community is reflected in its aspirations and the ideals it pursues, the values it cherishes and its sincerity in upholding those values, Throughout history, humanity’s chief concern has been the disovery and preservation of values, which impart grace and significance to civilization and also to individual human lives. One of the cruellest paradoxes of our times is that an age that has witnessed tremendous scientific progress and technological development has at the same time also witnessed unprecedented decline in moral and spiritual values.

From page 17:

” If I can stop one heart from breaking

I shall not live in vain

If I can ease one life the aching or cool one pain

Or help one fainting robin unto its nest again

I shall not live in vain. “

auteur: Sorabjee, S.J.
ISBN: 8170592623
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The Buddhist Catechism

By Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (1832 – 1907).

116 Pages | First edition 1881, 3rd edition, 7th reprint 2007 | Hardcover | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar. | ISBN: 8170590272.

Dutch translation: De Boeddhistische Catechismus | Published in 2003 | Hardcover, incl. bibliography, word list and reading ribbon | Uitgeverij der Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland | ISBN: 9061750814.

The Buddhist Catechism is an invaluable textbook for those wishing to familiarize themselves with the basic principles of Buddhism. Since it first edition in 1881 it has been published in more than twenty languages, mainly by Buddhists for Buddhists, and was widely used in the Buddhist educational movement which used in the Buddhist educational movement, which Colonel Henry Steel Olcott established in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

The book is constructed in an easy to follow question-answer form, together with an appendix, which outlines the fourteen fundamental Buddhistic tenets. These fourteen items were accepted as fundamental in both the Southern and Northern sections of Buddhism, by authoritative committees to whom they were submitted by the author personally.

From its Preface:

” The unpretending aim in view is to give to succinct and yet comprehensive a digest of Buddhistic history, ethics and philosophy as to enable beginners to understand and appreciate the noble ideal taught by the Buddha, and thus make it easier for them to follow out the Dharma in its details. “

auteur: Olcott, H.S.
ISBN: 8170590272
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Right Living in Modern Society

By Prof. P. Krishna.

126 Pages | Uitgegeven in 1995 | Softcover | Uitgeverij der Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland, Amsterdam | ISBN: 9061750717.

This book is a verbatim account of eight lectures delivered by prof. P. Krishna in 1992 and 1993 on the subject of right living in modern society. Primarily based on the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986), these lectures focus on the following issues: what is it that divides us?, our relationship to the world, our relationship to ourselves, our responsibility towards children and ways of creating the right learning environment.

If you ask me to list the major problems that modern society, or mankind, in its present state is facing, I would say that the tendency in human beings to form groups – either national groups or religious groups or caste groups or racial groups – and create division of mankind, then feel not for the whole of mankind, but only for the particular group to which one belongs, is by far the greatest problem facing us, because it does give us some sort of a feelings of security to belong to a group. We must examine whether it is real security or some kind of illusory feeling of security, which comes because we are not farsighted enough, we are not looking deeply enough. I would say this division in mankind is perhaps the most major problem and the greatest cause of violence and suffering in modern society.

From Chapter 8 – ‘Right Living in Modern Society: Creating the Right Learning Environment’ (p. 126):

” In the field of academics the teachers may know more than the students and they can transfer their knowledge. But in this field, as human beings struggling to discover the Art of Living rightly, we, grown-ups, are not different from the children. Knowledge does not help us to live rightly. Therefore we must inquire together and learn together, as friends, not as instructors and trainees. Only a school that cares both for the academic development and for the Art of Right Living, can impart right education to children and fulfil our responsibility towards the next generation. “

 

auteur: Krishna, P.
ISBN: 9061750717
Additional DescriptionMore Details

To me, the true value of any book lies only in the questions that it raises, not in the answers that it offers. If the reader finds in this book even  few questions he wishes to dwell on, I shall feel amply rewarded. That is the only purpose of this book. (from the foreword)
A quote from the book:
If you ask me to list the major problems that modern society, or mankind, in its present state is facing, I would say that the tendency in human beings to form groups – either national groups or religious groups or caste groups or racial groups – and create division of mankind, then feel not for the whole of mankind but only for the particular group to which one belongs, is by far the greatest problem facing us, because it does give us some sort of a feeling of security to belong to a group. We must examine whether it is real security to belong to a group. We must examine whether it is real security or some kind of illusory feeling of security which comes because we are not farsighted enough, we are not looking deeply enough. I would say this division in mankind is perhaps the most major problem and the greatest cause of violence and torture in modern society.
P. Krishna is a former professor of physics at the Banaras Hindu University, and a former rector of the Rajghat Education Centre of the Krishnamurti Foundation India at Varanasi, India. He is currently in charge of the Krishnamurti study centre there.

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Cloning the Buddha – The Moral Impact of Biotechnology

By Richard Heinberg.

265 Pages | First Quest Edition 1999 | Hardcover | Quest Books, U.S.A. | ISBN: 0835607720.

Is Cloning a wonderful opportunity for the human race or a dangerous attempt to play God?

With penetrating common sense, eco-philosopher and journalist Richard Heinberg tackles some of the thorniest ethical questions we face. Fascinating examples from plant and animal research; interviews with scientific, political, and religious leaders; and a clear overview of the helpful and harmful effects of biotech on our food supply, reproductive choices, and environment give thinking readers ample evidence for making up their minds.

From Chapter 8 – ‘Cloning the Buddha’ (p. 230):

” Ultimately, if we as society wish to employ some form of genetic technology for truly beneficial purposes we must begin, not with the technology itself, but with an ethical reappraisal and reform of our collective institutions and priorities. “

auteur: Heinberg, L.
ISBN: 0835607720
Additional DescriptionMore Details

Are humans playing God when they manipulate natural processes to achieve the results they want? Now that scientists can manipulate genetic materials, won’t someone eventually use such technology to create a “perfect race”? Would it be desirable to “clone the Buddha,” to use biotechnology to create compassionate people? Heinberg (A New Covenant with Nature) examines these and other questions in his survey of morality and biotechnology. He argues that science and morality often have little to do with each other simply because scientists very often lack a spiritual perspective. “The intuition, perception, or belief that other beings have a self and interior experience comparable to one’s own is the basis for ethics,” the author writes. Heinberg asserts that this inner self is purposeful and an end in itself, and he compares this definition of the inner self to the core experience of the sacred. Moreover, he contends, this inner self is caught in a web of life with other selves whose lives and well-being are dependent on one another. Such interdependence, he says, regards “nature as the ultimate model of economy, cooperation, simplicity, beauty, and purpose.” Given such a view of nature, biotechnology is not an avenue for producing a society filled with cooperative and compassionate people. Rather, he says, we can create such a society by “working diligently on our own personal moral refinement, collectively confronting power and its abuses, and creating a nurturing context for our children and grandchildren.” For the most part, Heinberg doesn’t stray far from ground already covered in conversations about science, morality and religion.

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Hindu Ethics, Purity, Abortion and Euthanasia

By Harold G. Coward, Julius J. Lipner and Katherine K. Young.

139 Pages | 1989 | Soft cover | State University of New York Press, Albany | ISBN: 0887067646.

Modern Western approaches to India often have focused on metaphysics at the expense of ethics, leading many to see Hinduism as only concerned with the esoteric and the otherwordly. The chapters of this book offer case study explorations, that are selected and presented to invite comparisons with the modern West. Such comparisons will help to remove the apparent otherworldly nature of Hindu thought from the minds of Western readers, as well as give depth to and new significance to Indian ideas in the areas of medical ethics, social ethics, and human rights. The case studies demonstrate that Indian thought has not ignored deep reflection on ethical problems that are presenting serious challenges to the modern world. They demonstrate, that Hinduism has a firm grounding in ethics, even when the most difficult questions are raised.

 

auteur: Coward, H.G./Lipner, J.J./Young, K.K.
ISBN: 0887067646
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De Sleutel tot de Theosofie

H.P. Blavatsky

402 blz. | Paperback | Theosophical University Press, 1998 ISBN 9789070328207

Na publicatie van De geheime leer kreeg H.P. Blavatsky veel verzoeken om een eenvoudiger uiteenzetting van de oude wijsheid. Ze reageerde hierop met De sleutel tot de theosofie, geschreven in vraag-en-antwoord-stijl. Wat is theosofie? Wat is het beleid van de Theosophical Society? Wat maakt iemand tot theosoof? Wat is karma? Wat is reïncarnatie? Wat gebeurt er na de dood? Wat is praktische theosofie? Wie zijn de mahatma’s?

Ze besluit het boek met een blik op de toekomst van de TS. Achterin is een verklarende woordenlijst opgenomen.

auteur: Blavatsky, H.P.
ISBN: 9789070328207
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Śri Rāmachandra – The Ideal King (Ramayana Lessons)

By Annie Besant (1847 – 1933).

188 Pages | First edition 1915, second edition 2005 | Softcover | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar | ISBN: 8170594774.

This book is constituted of the lectures Annie Besant gave to students, highlighting the noble ideals and virtues embodied in the story of Rāma, the ideal king, as related by the Sage Vālmiki. It is a companion volume to another series of lectures published under the title Mahābhārata: The Story of the Great War. Dr. Besant’s deep understanding of ancient Indian culture and thought and her magnificent language will assist young Indians, and some older people also, to go back to their roots and enrich the present with the great values of the past.

From Chapter II – Youth and Marriage (p. 20):

” KING DAŚARATHA, it is written, ‘dwelt in Ayodhyā happily, expecting sons’, and the whole world was waiting with him, for Vishnu was coming in human form to this earth. All-pervading, all-supporting, He was to fill with his life these coming children, that they might manifest him in the world for the world’s helping. “

auteur: Besant, A.
ISBN: 8170594774
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The Three Gates and Other Stories

By Harry Banks.

206 Pages | Published in 1967 | Softcover | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar | No ISBN.

For children of all ages, who love Truth, Beauty & Goodness.

This Volume of 30 stories is in part a reincarnation, so to speak, of the earlier edition of Fifteen Stories, with another fifteen now added. It is hoped they will prove useful to Round Table groups, but no doubt they will be enjoyed by children of all ages, from seven to seventy. Their purpose is to point to the ideals of Service, Loyalty, Courage, Compassion and to evoke a love for all that is beautiful and noble.

From Chapter – ‘The Three Gates’ (p. 206):

The last gate shone more brilliantly than ever, and as the pair approached, it began to slowly open, and with unbounded joy they ran through and quickly reached the wonderful Lake. You never heard such bird song, and a kind of golden haze filled the air, it was indeed a hallowed place. ‘Now at least you are here, look into the waters of the lake, and you will gain your heart’s desire’, said her Fairy Guide.

Jennifer looked down expectantly, and what did she find? She saw her own face, but it was lit with such happiness that BEAUTY, such as she never thought possible, transfigured her in all her features. She now knew the Great Secret: Everyone is Beautiful, for GOD, who is Beauty and Love, resides in every heart. But the heart must be opened with the key of Love, and GOD will emerge, to shine through our lives in Happiness and Joy! “

auteur: Banks, H.
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