Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Perceive What You Have Heard (Ακουσας νοει)

(DISCLAIMER: I do not claim to be an expert on anything. I'm merely giving my opinions and interpretations as I see them as being applicable. We are not an absolutist faith, nor do I personally regard the Maxims as "infallible"  hence why I see the need to update things to a modern equivalency)

Maxim: Ακουσας νοει or Perceive what you have heard

Modern Interpretation: Don't be a parrot.

How many times have you seen the politicians begin the same tired rhetoric spouted off by the rest of their party? How many times have you had a friend or family member just begin to repeat precisely the stance of their favorite politician, basically word for word? How many times when people do this, do you think to yourself 'They are just copying Joe Blow."

That is what I believe this maxim concerns. Not just hearing information, but understanding it, comprehending it, and formulating your own opinions. It is about not just spitting out anything that a favorite person happens to say, it is about carefully evaluating their statements and deciding whether you agree with the idea. It can be hard to disagree with someone when you like them as a person, but if we are to properly and fully formulate our own opinions then we must learn to separate what the person said and the ideas contained within from the person themselves in evaluating the worth and relative truth of the idea.

Of course, this likely won't happen all at once. Sometimes you have to sit with what someone said and turn it over, think it over. The evaluation certainly doesn't have to be instantaneous, but as long as you give some thought to the speech or concept then it will be even more your own than it was before.

By lisainglasses on Flickr

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A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.