Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsCyprusOracle of Delphi - Think Tank

Oracle of Delphi – Think Tank

DELPHI_THINK-TANKIt is claimed that the cradle of modern civilization can be attributed greatly to the influence of the Hellenic culture; a culture that has inspired the advance and development of body and mind. The principle of Hellenic thought has transformed society from its embryonic stage to new ideals never tested before but admirably enough to replicate throughout the world.
In nature, one recognizes that a seed demands rich soil to sprout and blossom into a strong seedling; and so society demands good principles to produce good human beings. That characteristic is normally attainable through training and development of the mind based on social consciousness and good character; a character, which naturally abhors evil and protects what’s good and honorable. In the absence of both, the alternative is chaos and regression into lawlessness where there exists no wrong.
Greeks were the first people to recognize that merit was of the utmost importance and put it into practice. The essence to excel and explore the power of the mind forged the brilliance that shaped ancient Hellenism. In fact, classical Greece became the pivotal culture, which provided the foundation of Western civilization.
How did the ancient Hellenes develop such a hunger for knowledge to see things as they were and see things, as they were not? Was it a part of inherited genetic make up or was it endowed upon them by others and if so, by whom? Pondering questions that plague the mind indeed.
Names such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and their philosophies that revolutionized the mind; Solon of Athens who set the foundations for democracy; Chilon of Sparta’s free schooling and formation of the mighty Spartan army that demanded vigorous training for both body and mind; Alexander the Great who spread Hellenism to the end of the world; Archimedes’ geometry; Herodotus the “Father of History”; Thucydides whose writings are still studied in military academies; Hippocrates oath and “Father of Science in Medicine”; the legacy of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey; Aristophanes the playwright; Eratosthenes “Father of Geography” who was the first to measure with accuracy the circumference of the earth, the tilt of the Earth’s axis, and recorded the first map of the world; Thales of Miletus the first philosopher of Greek tradition; Zenon of Citium founder of Stoicism; and the list of great minds whose influence transformed the world, goes on endlessly…
Those special minds were empowered with a brainpower that influenced the world over. Amazing discoveries such as the Antikythera analog computer 2500 years ago and other inventions too many to mention as well as profound statements, philosophies and principles that are still applied in society today.
As a race, the one common denominator the ancient Hellenes shared, was the worship of the Olympian Gods. Respect for Greek gods and nature was a way of life; a life that encouraged the mind to explore the mysteries of nature and seek out answers of the unknown. This allowed freedom of expression to flourish and liberate the mind without the fear of persecution or the constraints of religious mind bondage.
As a result of that freedom, one of the original powerhouses of knowledge was none other than the Oracle of Apollo in Delphi, which dated as far back as 1400 BC. Delphi was the most important shrine of the Greek world and considered to be the omphalos (navel) and center of the earth. Ordinary people visited the temple including kings and rulers from the four corners of the earth to seek its advice on a variety of subjects. At entrance of the sanctuary the façade of the Oracle displayed two carved out phrases: “Know Thyself” (γνῶθι σεαυτὸν) and “Nothing in Excess” (μηδὲν ἄγαν) and an enigmatic letter “E” that it’s meaning has not as yet been deciphered.
Worshipers paid with gifts to have the priestess Pythia muttering prophecies with incomprehensible words of wisdom under the influence of ethylene gasses. Revered priestesses throughout the years would provide sentences in a frenzied state with a duality of meaning, such as: “You will go you will return not in the battle you will perish.” Placing the comma before or after the word “not” one receives a different message; one of discouragement and one of survival.
The Oracle of Delphi however, was not simply a place of mysticism. In time Apollo’s sanctuary developed into a center of information and knowledge and policy study center. The gathering and recording of events, words and phrases were amassed and filed away for safe keeping and nothing was discarded as irrelevant. Delphi had become a computing capital for receiving and compiling information verbal or otherwise that influenced the development of Greek culture.
In fact, the Oracle of Delphi was the very first Think Tank of its kind! Priests and priestesses acting as mentors provided counsel to those who sought guidance and advice. The shrine was so revered worldwide, it survived over two thousand years until Apollo’s worship was replaced by a new religion imported from the East: Christianity.
Under the persuasion of blazing mighty sword and sharp tongue, the spread of monotheism by Christian and Islam ushered in the end of the Hellenistic era; a glorious era that soon began a slippery road to self-decline.
About 395 A.D, Emperor Theodosius I, issued decrees that effectively made orthodox Nicene Christianity the official state religion but also decreed not to prevent nor punish the destruction of Hellenistic shrines including the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. Greek temples were razed to the ground and replaced by Christian churches in the belief that shrines such as Delphi were demonic and spread idolatry. Hellenic brilliance soon faded into the back pages of history and indoctrination of the mind had begun; one that advocated not to question God’s existence! As a result of that, state religion has played a major role in the political and social culture of Hellenism ever since then.
However, the greatest decline of Hellenism can be attributed to the Ottoman Empire where Greek thought entered into darkness. While the industrial revolution in Europe advanced to great heights including prosperity and inventiveness, Greeks remained in utter poverty under a 400-year-old Turkish oppressive rule. Meanwhile, the Ottomans exploited the amazing pools of Greek brainpower to their own advantage.
Just as the Oracle of Delphi did so successfully, the importance of pools of policy study centers cannot be underestimated, nor the freedom of the mind. The gathering of the powerful brains of professionals and thinkers, analysts, strategists, academics and statesmen all under one roof is imperative if the country is to reach its potential and standing in world affairs.
As the first recognized Think Tank of its time, Delphi was irreplaceable and countries today, including industry recognize that knowledge is power! In fact there are over 7,000 Think Tanks globally. Greece has 35 and Cyprus 6 but most of them are linked with political parties. That relationship certainly diminishes their impartiality and advisory status.
In their eagerness and euphoria to join the EU, Cyprus and Greece unwittingly neglected one of the most important principles of all; to remember the past! Instead, governments failed to stop (or failed not to stop) political and institutional corruption that reduced both countries to pauper states. As for meritocracy, it was never encouraged in either country!
Under a new government, people in Greece today have regained their dignity and feel more positive as a Greek nation than ever before. As for Cyprus, it’s a different matter!
Cypriots can never forgive their government for robbing their bank accounts to save the banking institutions at the expense of the country. Things could reach a climax if those same people start losing their homes to those same banks (EU-Troika condition) that robbed them in the first place.
Politicians cannot always be relied on and that is why the use of Think Tank brainpower is imperative in a progressive fair democratic system.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts