HARMOSCOPESIS

Discerning (scoping) the connexuses (harmoi) that produce "Harmony" in our world

According to myth, Ares, the god of war, lay with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. The erotic union of male ferocity with the element of utter femininity and sensuality begot one daughter whose name was Harmony.

In a poetic way, the myth does not deviate from reality, since in order to sustain Harmony in our world there must be interaction between opposites, just as two opposing weights produce balance in a set of scales. The same can be said of nature, colours, civilizations and the general make up of our seemingly chaotic world. I stress 'seemingly' because harmony emerges from contrast-laden chaos and the force that unifies the elements - Eros. Here one does not only appreciate the poetic wisdom behind the myths, but also the greatness of the Greek language, which is interwoven with this same wisdom. For instance, the word Harmony stems from the verb 'ararisko', which means connect, assemble, whilst the point of convergence or contact is referred to as harmos, hence Harmony. In a nutshell, harmony is manifested within the harmos - at the seam where opposites connect.

Such a harmonization of elements created the optimum conditions for life on planet earth. It is important that we understand the value of Harmony because as creatures of thought and sensation, beyond basic survival in our 'harmólogized' planet, our primary objectives are essentially happiness and prosperity. However, to achieve this we need to introduce a new concept and word that corresponds to an equally new way of life: Harmoscópesis. By harmóscopizing we ferret for points of contact, or the 'golden mean' between compatible opposites - the realm of the unifying force of Eros. Here again, the key word is 'compatible' since the harmoi (connexuses) must be flanked by opposites that produce a desired condition pretty much the way chocolate and milk produce the velvety texture and taste of milk chocolate, whereas, let's say, the combination of vinegar and milk are two unlikely candidates favourable to any palate. To acquire this much sought-after happiness, therefore, a person's intellectual and physical lifestyle must function within this realm provided he/she recognizes the compatibility of the elements that frame it. In other words, that which is required is incessant harmoscopizing and continual reevaluation of our ever-changing world.

Prerequisite to this is a rich historical memory with an equally rich experience of life, which in turn enriches the imagination of the harmóscopist. Fully aware of the paramount role of Memory Homer, as does Hesiod in his Theogony, invokes the Muse, daughter of the Titaness Mnemosyne (Memory) to harmonize thought and Logos (the Word), history and poetry. By the same token, the harmóscopist philosophizes through life poetically without relying on the observations of others before him, but instead endeavouring anew to give his/her own answers to the great questions that have always preoccupied thinking human beings. The timeless universality of Hellenism owes itself to this poetic processing of Memory, which produced the singular concepts of "Harmony" and "Eros."

These ideas flourished in Greece because the very region of Hellas comprises a unique harmos on our planet not only in a geographical sense, but also from a cultural perspective. Geographically it lies not only at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, but also at the southernmost point that separates the European continent from Africa; and just as all the surrounding winds bestow their forces upon the Greek mainland and its islands, so it is that the diverse cultural developments of the surrounding regions impart their influence on the Greek mind. The Greek is therefore able to dance naturally to swaying eastern tunes just as well as he can perform a more disciplined dance step of a western waltz, whilst the harmony between the two is manifested in his circular demotic dances. The harmonic quality of the region also becomes evident in the anthropocentric style of art that thrived in Greece as opposed to the teratomorphic (monster/animal-like) styles that cropped up in the surrounding areas.

This was to be expected since, as I have already mentioned, a harmos is always under the dominating influence of Eros - and what other creature on the planet is more erotic than the human being. Because it was only at this main point of convergence on the planet where the primary role of Eros was acknowledged, nowhere else on the globe did the human form achieve the substance, grace and dignity that were sung in Greek marble; for Eros had united the two souls beating in the Greek chest, that of order and discipline with that of unrestrained rapture of life, as portrayed in the figures of Apollo and Dionysus, respectively. This combination is illustrated in the serenity and harmony emanated from the faces of classical sculpture. As the central point in the scales of human culture, therefore, Greece will not only always be a reference point of the noblest human concepts, but also the ideal starting block from which to harmóscopize human civilization as a whole. To this day, when the region in and around Greece experiences harmony-threatening oscillations, it forebodes the malignance of forces at work throughout the globe as well.Nowadays, such reverberations are particularly felt within Greece, which is being shaken by the onslaught of an ill-conceived form of globalization. Influences from the west, based on economic systems that cast aside all human measures, are spilling over into the harmoi of the planet diluting cultural diversity and thereby eradicating harmony. Without marginal areas between cultures, incompatible elements that would otherwise never have overlapped now converge, producing nauseating reactions throughout our world in the same way that a mixture of milk and vinegar would act in one's viscera. The symptoms of this predicament are evident in the ongoing Middle East conflict, terrorism, our deteriorating environment, the collapsing of traditions and the uprooting of whole populations from their regional hearths. That which is emerging is a homogenized world in which humankind will act as an oblivious mass of consumers led towards a colourless future without a past.

The content herein poses itself as a voice of resistance to this new order of things, as it is the distillation of intense harmoscópisis propelled by the same era that coined the word 'Harmony.' Meanwhile the Helleno-centric approach of thought manifested in this blog should not be interpreted as a fit of Greek nationalism, but rather as an effort to instill in modern societies an awareness of their state of oblivion to the true values in life. Besides, it is an accepted fact that Hellenocentricism is synonymous to anthropocentricism, as the values promoted by Greek thought are essentially ecumenical.

Panagiotis Terpandros Zachariou

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