Ethos Anthropos Daimon

“Character is fate” is the usual translation of ethos anthropos daimon. It is one of the famous sayings of the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy once honoured Heraclitus by referring to him as “the Greek Buddha.”

Although I posted something earlier about the meaning of “ethos anthropos daimon,” (with which I was not too happy anyway), it has now become one of the most sought out phrases in the online search engines guiding readers to The Chrysalis. So, maybe some further brief clarification is in order for those seeking to understand what Heraclitus meant.

Ethos anthropos daimon means, essentially, that “you create the reality you know.” It means, essentally, that your thinking is your destiny, which is the core theme of Harold Waldwin Percival’s book Thinking and Destiny also. In fact, Percival could easily have chosen that as the motto for his book, for the entire 1,000 pages of Percival’s massive tome is but an extended treatise on how one’s thinking shapes one’s destiny. “By your thinking you make your destiny” is the theme of his book. It is also the essential meaning of Proverbs 23:7: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

And you will note… “in his heart“, rather than in his head, meaning we are seldom even conscious of our real thinking process. This is the crucial problem of our time, for a divorce between the logic of the head and the thinking of the heart is the meaning of duplicity. And it is essentially what the cultural philosopher Jean Gebser means by “deficient rationality.”

Getting “square with God” really means reconciling the logic of your head with the imagination of your heart, which is the problem today of the divided Jekyll-and-Hyde self. And if you don’t think it’s a problem, really, then read this. In psycho-therapeutic terms, it means that the conscious attitude or egoic-nature is in conflict with the “unconscious attitude” or the greater Self that you are.

And, in many ways also, the Seth books by Jane Roberts are but an extended treatise on the same theme, on how “you create the reality you know”, both individually and collectively, for thinking is both private and public, personal and social, which is called “culture.”

Your “character” is not made by your genetic heredity. It is made by the form and content of your thinking; by your “mode of consciousness” in Jean Gebser’s terms.

And in Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy’s terms, that gets translated into this: “a wrong philosophy leads to a wrong society,” which is ethos anthropos daimon as applied sociology.

There is a lot packed into those three little words — ethos anthropos daimon.


3 responses to “Ethos Anthropos Daimon

  1. alex jay says :

    I guess the weather has stirred up your cognative juices ’cause you have really gone hog wild over the last fortnight (I’m gradually trying to catch up after a welcome reprieve from cyberspace and – to make you gloat – in 70 degree temperatures). Incidentally, your prolific output lends some credence to the hypothesis that it was during the transformation from hunter-gatherer to agricultural society (circa 4,000 BC) that man had the leisure time to contemplate during winter, after harvest and storage, unlike his survivalist nomadic predecessors, consequently leading to self-reflection, and possibly the shift in consciousness from the “magical” to the “mythical” (?). Certainly most ancient traditions (north hemisphere bias), in their rites, acknowledged the winter as the time of the soul and the summer as the time of the body (Osiris was the sun god of both the above and below – he just took a vacation at the same time every year from Canada to South Africa).

    Anyway, that aside, I had a chuckle at the choice of the link you provided for your Jeckyll-and-Hyde analogy for all the wrong reasons. Of all the people I can think of that personifies “cognative dissonance” (“the divorce of the logic in your head with the imagination of your heart”) is the subject being defended with trivial nonsense as to what segments of a zombified populace actually think south or north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

    “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” or to put it more succinctly:

    “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying” — Ralph W. Emerson

    Never thought I’d witness a master of deception that could equal Tony Blair in the art of sheer insincerity, until … Barry. That weepy/creepy performance – yes it was a performance – after the slaughter of the innocence in Connecticut made me cringe with disbelief of how someone who spends every Tuesday ticking the names of humans on a list for annihilation knowing that children will be the “collateral damage” can play such a charade of deception. But then … you have Madeline Albright that reckons that the deaths of an half-million Iraqi children are worth the price for Iraqi oil. After all, American children are special (’cause they’re our phycopaths) and the rest don’t watch “American Idol” … : )

    Happy New Year!

    • Scott Preston says :

      Happy New Year to you as well, alex. Hope you enjoyed your Christmas as well.

      Yes, I have been prolific lately only because of an extended holiday, soon to pass into history. I think I may have forgotten how to work, or even… where I work.

      Yes, the Modern Era, or “Sensate culture” as Sorokin prefers, continues to follow its arc of decay and decline in practically every aspect — political, economic, social, cultural.

      It’s fairly typical of eras in the throes of decline that the correctives chosen to mitigate a crisis only exacerbate the crisis. If something worked in the past, apply it even more strenuously even though those responses are no longer appropriate in the new circumstances. Moreover, the causes of the crisis were already implicit and latent in the earlier solutions — the shadow side which has now become the dominant trend. So applying the same solutions also strengthens the previously overlooked and ignored shadow side. Vicious circle.

  2. amothman33 says :

    Thank you Alex for remind me of ugliness to remain sober. How I can be happy and there is such ugliness. Thank you for sympathising with the Iraki children. but remain assured everthing is divinely recorded.

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