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In your post, Marion, we find not only an outstanding recipe for early Greek rhetoric, but also an awareness of the refuge and strength the past can be to us in the present. In the way we express ourselves, we find a contrast in Cicero’s day that juxtaposes the early Greek concept of life with fresh appraisals of modern intellectual activities. Fresh appraisals, like fresh herbs and spices, I should add, that find their beginning in a bygone era. “Beyond the last peaks and all the seas of the world” stands what Plato refers to as “the fair and immortal children of the mind.” In this serene republic, there exists one place above all others for sanity and balance of thought—Greece. Herein, we discover the magnificence of Cicero’s oratory as well as the significance of your alluring recipe, Marion. Some would say it is the boar that stands at the center of this meal. That is clearly a Western way of thinking, because our way is to consider each separate thing alone, by itself. The ancient Greeks, however, focused on the bigger picture. They always saw things as parts of a whole that has no beginning and no end. For example, consider the Parthenon temple. It dominates the scene precisely because it is a critical component of the scene. It was conceived and built in relation to the hills, the seas, and the arch of the sky. In the same way, the main course of our meal is but a small part of a feast that marks the celebration of a lifetime. Should we not say the same about our presentation? With forethought, I believe you are showing us how our presentation can—and must—be seen as a critical component of something larger. The message, for me, is to see it in relation to other things is to see it simplified. The chief aim of our communication, then, when placed against the backdrop of infinity (doesn’t that typically express how we feel when we stand in front of a very important crowd?) or, said differently, when a component of an immeasurable whole, must simplify associated complexities. For example, to the Greeks, humans were not chiefly different, but chiefly alike. Seems to me thinking in those terms may go a long way in simplifying our presentation, a way of bringing balance to mind and spirit. I am certain it had an effect on Cicero. In closing, Marion, I believe you have given us an excellent way to make our presentations do the same thing the Greek temple of Cicero’s day does, even thousands of years later: “Make the spectator aware,” as Edith Hamilton eloquently describes in her book, The Greek Way, “of the wideness and wonder of sea and sky and mountain range as he could not be if that shining marvel of white stone were not there in sharp relief against them.” Thank you for an awesome post, Marion. What’s that I smell wafting over the sea just now? Could it be Roast Wild Boar, a la Cicero? Hugs. (@DrJackKing)
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Feb 15, 2010