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Distinguished scholar sheds new light on Greece's ancient heritage of wisdom
by Global Good News staff writer
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28 September 2012
A speaking tour in Greece by Dr Ken Chandler this year stirred widespread interest in the topic of his new book, Veda and Greece: Foundations of Knowledge in the Experience of Higher States of Consciousness. Dr Chandler, adjunct professor of philosophy at Maharishi University of Management,* gave well-attended public lectures in Athens and Thessaloniki and also appeared on national television.
See related article: New perspectives on ancient heritage of Greece.
The principal theme of Dr Chandler's book is that the Veda and ancient Greek knowledge are one and the same, that there is no difference. In his talks Dr Chandler explained that the knowledge the pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were offering was fundamental, eternal wisdom of the ages and that it was parallel to the teaching of the Veda and Vedic literature.
Dr Chandler's speaking tour coincided with the visit to Greece of Dr Bevan Morris, president of Maharishi University of Management.
Dr Morris, recently describing the profound significance of Dr Chandler's tour and of his research, noted comments of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on this idea, saying that in the very ancient times there was one world culture and that the same wisdom was everywhere on earth.
To illustrate Dr Chandler's theme, Dr Morris read a beautiful passage from Plato, quoted by Dr Chandler in a public lecture in Athens—Plato's fundamental definition of wisdom:
'When returning into her self, the self passes into the other world—the region of purity and eternity, and immortality, and unchangeableness, and being in communion with the unchanging, is unchanging. And this state of the soul is called wisdom.'
He gave a second example, of Socrates in a symposium on the topic of love, speaking of the experience of eternal oneness in a way, Dr Morris said, that was very similar to Maharishi's words on love in his book Love and God. 'There bursts upon him that wondrous vision of the very soul of beauty he has toiled so long for. It is an everlasting loveliness that neither comes nor goes, subsisting of itself, and by itself, in an eternal oneness.'
As both Dr Chandler and Dr Morris pointed out, these and other examples of the grand vision of ancient Greek philosophers stand in stark contrast to the standard way Western philosophy has portrayed them. Plato's dialogues show Socrates expounding the philosophy of the ancient Greeks through debate, showing people that although they perceived themselves to be wise, in fact they were not.
'This was taken by Western philosophers,' Dr Morris said, 'as an indication of a nihilism in Socrates, that he didn't believe in anything and said that one can't know anything.' Yet, he pointed out, the debates were Socrates' method of laying the foundation for people opening to direct experience of their own deep inner values.
Dr Chandler added the point that the greatness of ancient Greece—the architecture, poetry, sculpture, drama, philosophy, etc.—did not come from speculation of the intellect; rather, it came from a deep inner awakening that was taking place.
Global Good News will continue to feature Dr Morris's report on the speaking tour of Greece by Dr Ken Chandler about his new book, Veda and Greece.
* Dr Chandler was also founding editor of the journal Modern Science and Vedic Science.
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