Ataraxia in ancient Greek philosophy represents life’s ultimate purpose, bringing happiness to a person. Everyone can achieve ataraxia through epoché: the suspension of judgment regarding all matters of non-evidential belief. Ataraxia is an untroubled and tranquil condition of the soul.
Hey, anyone who sees the untroubled and tranquil condition of my soul, can you tell her that I’ve been looking for her?
In ancient skepticism ataraxia could be achieved when people refrained from things like politics and love – the very things that stir our souls and eventually damage or destroy us. How many times love could destroy then rebuild us in a lifetime is unpredictably unique and intimate to us all – I lost count in my own story about 2 boyfriends ago.
Current political affairs take me to the opposite side of serene calmness. It is beyond me to understand how one man’s ego could cause this much harm to a nation. How millions of people believe someone who evidently can’t see further than his own tiny hands and severely damaged self-esteem. Remember when, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water? Unable to leave his reflection, he eventually realised that his love could not be reciprocated. He melted away from the fire of passion burning inside him, eventually turning into a gold and white flower.
4 years ago a narcissist was given too much power by his flock and whilst he was falling more and more in love with his own reflection, his deep need for excessive attention slowly, but very loudly turned against humanity. Well, most of us are trying to fight a global epidemic here, so not great timing for additional tension.
What we are witnessing in the world right now will shape our human existence one way or another. Politicians try to unite us in different ways, although most of the time it feels like we are all f**** to get our virginity back. Like bombing for peace. Like complaining about a third lockdown after breaking the rules in the second one. Like catching the virus after refusing to wear a mask. Like electing incompetent politicians to lead us towards a better tomorrow.
Ancient Greek philosophy is so right about the theory of total calm – although I am almost certain it won’t get us anywhere today. We can’t isolate ourselves from love, because we are here to feel. We are fidgeting for stillness and hope that the wind will eventually place us on solid ground. We are letting go so we can hold onto people, feelings and places again. Storms in our souls are what make us human.