My Analysis on the 147 Delphic Maxims of Ancient Greece

Overlooking the Pleistos Valley on Mount Parnassus in Greece lie the ruins of The Temple of Apollo. Carved into the stone at this temple were 147 Delphic Maxims, said to be given by the Greek God Apollo himself. Quite possibly the most famous of these is the simple yet profound saying “Know thyself.” Among the other 146 maxims is a wealth of ancient insight and values that the most virtuous of people still hold today.

Ancient Greek philosophy arose over a half a millennia before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. This time and area of the world is often referred to as “The Cradle of Western Civilization.” At the time, philosophy was used as a way to perceive the world through a lens of truth without the influence of dogmatic principles that religion often imposes on its followers.

The maxims are also believed to have come from the Seven Sages of Ancient Greece.

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All 147 maxims can be found below and at the very bottom I have provided my thorough analysis of each and every one of them.

001. Ἕπου θεῷ Follow God
002. Νόμῳ πείθου Obey the law
003. Θεοὺς σέβου Worship the Gods
004. Γονεῖς αἰδοῦ Respect your parents
005. Ἡττῶ ὑπὸ δικαίου Be overcome by justice
006. Γνῶθι μαθών Know what you have learned
007. Ἀκούσας νόει Perceive what you have heard
008. Σαυτὸν ἴσθι Be/Know yourself
009. Γαμεῖν μέλλε Intend to get married ~ Key word here being ‘intend’
010. Καιρὸν γνῶθι Know your opportunity
011. Φρόνει θνητά Think as a mortal
012. Ξένος ὢν ἴσθι If you are a stranger act like one
013. Ἑστίαν τίμα Honor the hearth (or Hestia)
014. Ἄρχε σεαυτοῦ Control yourself
015. Φίλοις βοήθει Help your friends
016. Θυμοῦ κράτει Control anger
017. Φρόνησιν ἄσκει Exercise prudence
018. Πρόνοιαν τίμα Honor providence
019. Ὅρκῳ μὴ χρῶ Do not use an oath
020. Φιλίαν ἀγάπα Love friendship
021. Παιδείας ἀντέχου Cling to discipline
022. Δόξαν δίωκε Pursue honor
023. Σοφίαν ζήλου Long for wisdom
024. Καλὸν εὖ λέγε Praise the good
025. Ψέγε μηδένα Find fault with no one
026. Ἐπαίνει ἀρετήν Praise virtue
027. Πρᾶττε δίκαια Practice what is just
028. Φίλοις εὐνόει Be kind to friends
029. Ἐχθροὺς ἀμύνου Watch out for your enemies
030. Εὐγένειαν ἄσκει Exercise nobility of character
031. Κακίας ἀπέχου Shun evil
032. Κοινὸς γίνου Be impartial
033. Ἴδια φύλαττε Guard what is yours
034. Αλλοτρίων ἀπέχου Shun what belongs to others
035. Ἄκουε πάντα Listen to everyone
036. Εὔφημος ἴσθι Be (religiously) silent
037. Φίλῳ χαρίζου Do a favor for a friend
038. Μηδὲν ἄγαν Nothing to excess
039. Χρόνου φείδου Use time sparingly
040. Ὅρα τὸ μέλλον Foresee the future
041. Ὕβριν μίσει Despise insolence
042. Ἱκέτας αἰδοῦ Have respect for suppliants
043. Πᾶσιν ἁρμόζου Be accommodating in everything
044. Υἱοὺς παίδευε Educate your sons
045. Ἔχων χαρίζου Give what you have
046. Δόλον φοβοῦ Fear deceit
047. Εὐλόγει πάντας Speak well of everyone
048. Φιλόσοφος γίνου Be a seeker of wisdom
049. Ὅσια κρῖνε Choose what is divine
050. Γνοὺς πρᾶττε Act when you know
051. Φόνου ἀπέχου Shun murder
052. Εὔχου δυνατά Pray for things possible
053. Σοφοῖς χρῶ Consult the wise
054. Ἦθος δοκίμαζε Test the character
055. Λαβὼν ἀπόδος Give back what you have received
056. Ὑφορῶ μηδένα Down-look no one
057. Τέχνῃ χρῶ Use your skill
058. Ὃ μέλλεις, δός Do what you mean to do
059. Εὐεργεσίας τίμα Honor a benefaction
060. Φθόνει μηδενί Be jealous of no one
061. Φυλακῇ πρόσεχε Be on your guard
062. Ἐλπίδα αἴνει Praise hope
063. Διαβολὴν μίσει Despise a slanderer
064. Δικαίως κτῶ Gain possessions justly
065. Ἀγαθοὺς τίμα Honor good men
066. Κριτὴν γνῶθι Know the judge
067. Γάμους κράτει Master wedding-feasts
068. Τύχην νόμιζε Recognize fortune
069. Ἐγγύην φεῦγε Flee a pledge
070. Ἁπλῶς διαλέγου Speak plainly
071. Ὁμοίοις χρῶ Associate with your peers
072. Δαπανῶν ἄρχου Govern your expenses
073. Κτώμενος ἥδου Be happy with what you have
074. Αἰσχύνην σέβου Revere a sense of shame
075. Χάριν ἐκτέλει Fulfill a favor
076. Εὐτυχίαν εὔχου Pray for happiness
077. Τύχην στέργε Be fond of fortune
078. Ἀκούων ὅρα Observe what you have heard
079. Ἐργάζου κτητά Work for what you can own
080. Ἔριν μίσει Despise strife
081. Ὄνειδος ἔχθαιρε Detest disgrace
082. Γλῶτταν ἴσχε Restrain the tongue
083. Ὕβριν ἀμύνου Keep yourself from insolence
084. Κρῖνε δίκαια Make just judgements
085. Χρῶ χρήμασιν Use what you have
086. Ἀδωροδόκητος δίκαζε Judge incorruptibly
087. Αἰτιῶ παρόντα Accuse one who is present
088. Λέγε εἰδώς Tell when you know
089. Βίας μὴ ἔχου Do not depend on strength
090. Ἀλύπως βίου Live without sorrow
091. Ὁμίλει πρᾴως Live together meekly
092. Πέρας ἐπιτέλει μὴ ἀποδειλιῶν Finish the race without shrinking back
093. Φιλοφρόνει πᾶσιν Deal kindly with everyone
094. Υἱοῖς μὴ καταρῶ Do not curse your sons
095. Γυναικὸς ἄρχε Rule your wife ~ This one is a big dodgy & dated
096. Σεαυτὸν εὖ ποίει Benefit yourself
097. Εὐπροσήγορος γίνου Be courteous
098. Ἀποκρίνου ἐν καιρῷ Give a timely response
099. Πόνει μετ’ εὐκλείας Struggle with glory ~ Be humble
100. Πρᾶττε ἀμετανοήτως Act without repenting
101. Ἁμαρτάνων μετανόει Repent of sins
102. Ὀφθαλμοῦ κράτει Control the eye
103. Βουλεύου χρόνῳ Give a timely counsel
104. Πρᾶττε συντόμως Act quickly
105. Φιλίαν φύλαττε Guard friendship
106. Εὐγνώμων γίνου Be grateful
107. Ὁμόνοιαν δίωκε Pursue harmony
108. Ἄρρητον κρύπτε Keep deeply the top secret
109. Τὸ κρατοῦν φοβοῦ Fear ruling
110. Τὸ συμφέρον θηρῶ Pursue what is profitable
111. Καιρὸν προσδέχου Accept due measure
112. Ἔχθρας διάλυε Do away with enmities
113. Γῆρας προσδέχου Accept old age
114. Ἐπὶ ῥώμῃ μὴ καυχῶ Do not boast in might
115. Εὐφημίαν ἄσκει Exercise (religious) silence
116. Ἀπέχθειαν φεῦγε Flee enmity
117. Πλούτει δικαίως Acquire wealth justly
118. Δόξαν μὴ λεῖπε Do not abandon honor
119. Κακίαν μίσει Despise evil
120. Κινδύνευε φρονίμως Venture into danger prudently
121. Μανθάνων μὴ κάμνε Do not tire of learning
122. Φειδόμενος μὴ λεῖπε Do not stop to be thrifty
123. Χρησμοὺς θαύμαζε Admire oracles
124. Οὓς τρέφεις, ἀγάπα Love whom you rear
125. Ἀπόντι μὴ μάχου Do not oppose someone absent
126. Πρεσβύτερον αἰδοῦ Respect the elder
127. Νεώτερον δίδασκε Teach a youngster
128. Πλούτῳ ἀπίστει Do not trust wealth
129. Σεαυτὸν αἰδοῦ Respect yourself
130. Μὴ ἄρχε ὑβρίζειν Do not begin to be insolent
131. Προγόνους στεφάνου Crown your ancestors
132. Θνῆσκε ὑπὲρ πατρίδος Die for your country
133 Τῷ βίῳ μὴ ἄχθου Do not be discontented by life
134. Ἐπὶ νεκρῷ μὴ γέλα Do not make fun of the dead
135. Ἀτυχοῦντι συνάχθου Share the load of the unfortunate
136. Χαρίζου ἀβλαβῶς Gratify without harming
137. Μὴ ἐπὶ παντὶ λυποῦ Grieve for no one ~ Not sure if I agree with this one either
138. Ἐξ εὐγενῶν γέννα Beget from noble routes
139. Ἐπαγγέλλου μηδενί Make promises to no one
140. Φθιμένους μὴ ἀδίκει Do not wrong the dead
141. Εὖ πάσχε ὡς θνητός Be well off as a mortal
142. Τύχῃ μὴ πίστευε Do not trust fortune
143. Παῖς ὢν κόσμιος ἴσθι As a child be well-behaved
144. Ἡβῶν ἐγκρατής As a youth be self-disciplined
145. Μέσος δίκαιος As of middle-age be just
146. Πρεσβύτης εὔλογος As an old man be sensible
147. Τελευτῶν ἄλυπος On reaching the end be without sorrow

Analysis Summary: Thrive not to be a selfish, ignorant, uneducated dick.

A Deeper Purpose

Since I returned to New York after traveling for two and a half years I’ve been asked the same question over and over again: “What made you come back?”

This should answer that question once and for all.

My desire to repatriate came shortly after visiting the Integral Heart Family in Antigua, Guatemala back in July 2017. I had known about the school through my good friend Luke aka ‘Alekosh’ for about a year and had been assisting in the fundraising efforts for the school for roughly six months at that point. I visited him in Lake Atitlán, where he now lives, then he took me to Antigua to go visit the school at the end of my visit.

That’s where a major shift within me occurred.

After walking in to see dozens of the happiest school kids I have ever seen in my life, spending time with them and letting them practice their limited English vocabularies on me, it put so many things in my life into perspective. Later that night, back at the hotel down the road I had yet another epiphany. Lying in bed I began to ponder… What in the actual fuck have I been doing with my life for the past 34 years?

The mantra of my old life path replayed in my mind over and over again like a broken record.

Study so you can get into a good college and then a good job and then find a wife, get married, have kids and make money so they can go to a good college and get a good job and fffffffuuuuuuck!!!!

Fuck all that

The sad and honest truth is this: I know too many people that have taken this path are fucking miserable. They may not admit to it, but when I look into their eyes I see souls that have lost their spark.

This happening to me is my #1 actual greatest fear in life.

Let’s not get my words twisted here. I’m not trying to say that there is anything wrong with what has come to be accepted as the “common life path.” I know plenty of couples that have taken it that are truly and genuinely happy and I am happy for them. But for ME, right now, I can’t do all that shit. I have too many things I need to figure out before even considering starting a family. I’ve been on a nonstop path of exponential growth, evolution and change for over four years now. Going down the well-paved road of life would just not have worked for me and I know that if I did take that path I would wake up one day and realize…

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I have a deep inner knowing that my purpose right now lies elsewhere right now. Besides, this planet is waaaay overpopulated with humans already. So I took a logical approach to this quandary: Why spend the majority of my time, money and energy raising one, two or three humans when I can spend a fraction of all these things and better the lives of dozens? Not to mention I’d still be free to do whatever the fuck I want… all the time.

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All kidding aside, I just could not justify settling down with somebody and bringing a new life into this world when I know of so many human souls already here on Earth that are suffering and in need of help from those born into better circumstances, like myself.

Now back to the story. A couple days later I left Guatemala and returned home, which was at that time in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico. I was happy to be back, but that feeling only lasted a couple of weeks. Afterward I fell into another bout of depression. Having been down this road before, I knew this was just my body telling me that my soul was sad and that I needed time to reflect to figure out why. What the hell was I doing in Mexico anymore anyway? I traveled to almost every corner of this beautiful country, had countless unforgettable experiences, learned a ton of new skills, focused on old and newly discovered passions and made hundreds of new friends, but for what?

What was I actually going to do? What was my purpose? I didn’t have an answer for that. All I knew was this: I needed a change.

After living with these thoughts and feelings for a few weeks, I decided to meditate and pray on the situation. I asked my guidance for an opportunity to make money and help others. A few days later I received a call from a friend who was working as an insurance adjuster in Central Florida after Hurricane Irma ripped through the area. Damn I’m good at manifesting!

I immediately began to pack up my belongings, said goodbye to friends and booked a flight to Orlando and worked as an insurance adjuster for about two months. So how was it? About eight hours a day every day we were assessing damage to multiple houses, we’d climb onto about three roofs per day in the hot sun and take a butt-load of photos of all the damage. Then we went to our AirBnB/office and input the data into the computer and compile damage reports for another eight hours or until we passed out from exhaustion, whichever comes first. It sucked, but the money was good so whatever, we dealt with it. End of that story.

When the work was complete, I came back to New York. This was extremely difficult for me at first. It was the tail end of autumn, right about the time when the weather really started to suck. After living in the tropics for so long, having the sun set on you before 5:00pm is depressing as fuck.

I didn’t know what I was going to do for work and the first few weeks I spent most of my days sleeping past noon, watching TV and drinking… alone. How enlightening! I knew I didn’t come back to New York for this empty soul-sucking existence I’ve been living since returning so I intensified my job search and reignited my spiritual practice that I put on hold since I left Mexico.

Again, I asked myself “What exactly am I looking for?” and again the same answer: “The opportunity to make money and help others.” Hmmm… Maybe I need to be a little more specific this time.

“I am looking for a career that pays me good money to work for a company that is in the business of improving the lives of others.” BINGO, nailed it! OK, now off to manifest the shit out of this one!

Not too long after, I stumbled across an online job posting for a senior financial analyst at Dale Carnegie & Associates.

Below is an accurate dramatization of my face when I read it.

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No way! A job that I can absolutely rock while working for a company that I have deeply respected for years after reading Dale Carnegie‘s world-famous bestselling book How to Win Friends and Influence People. This is MY fucking job and if anyone else thinks they have even a small chance at getting it they are S-O-L my friend! I do need to pay homage to my ex-girlfriend Hillary for gifting this book to me years ago. Thanks Hill! (Full Disclosure: She lent me the book. I stole it. She’s never getting it back.)

Needless to say, I got the job. I started back in late February and I never thought I’d be so excited to wake up every morning and go into an office as I am now! Finding this job was the piece in my life that was missing for years. I wanted to put myself in a position to be of service to others. This job ensures that my hypothetical ‘cup’ is constantly being refilled so that it may overflow to those less fortunate than I am.

Another great thing about this job is they are employee-focused so that I can focus my spare time on my own passions in life such as traveling, altruism, DJing and writing. These along with my new career path at Dale Carnegie & Associates make up the cornerstones of my life and what I need to maintain my own personal balance in order to feed my soul.

The person that I was years ago is gone. Finally, after years of seeking I have finally found what I was truly searching for all along: balance and purpose.

Could I have found this without traveling? I seriously doubt it. I would have likely stayed in my misery and kept pushing forward if I never had that stroke give me the warning of a lifetime:

“Live. Really live! …or die… your choice.”

Hemingway knew what he was talking about when he said:

In order to write about life, first you must live it.

And lived it I have! So that’s it. I figured out my life. Everything is great.

And they all lived happily ever after!

THE END…


Nah… that would be a horribly boring ending wouldn’t it? Now we get into the good stuff! The second act is starting and now I get to dive deeper into the greater questions in life and focus on more existential queries. One in particular that I’ve been battling for some time is this: Why are we here on Earth? Seriously… what in the actual fuck are we doing here?

In my life experience so far, researching the life works of some of the greatest minds that have ever lived, traveling, meeting new people from all corners of the Earth and learning to tap into and follow my own intuition I keep coming back to the same answer: To live my life in my highest truth and help others, especially those in need.

This is what I have to come realize is my deeper purpose in this life and that’s what I’ll continue to do until my last breath.

When we live life solely in service to ourselves, our life force naturally diminishes.
~ Sakyong Mipham

What a glorious act of synchronicity that I have come in contact with so many amazing people throughout the world, especially those who have put their blood sweat and tears into creating the Integral Heart Family of Antigua, Guatemala. Débora Prieto, Mick Quinn & Luke Maguire Armstrong are angels to these 80+ children and their families and I am blessed to be even a small part of this school’s ongoing success!

Just last week we did a huge fundraising push as GlobalGiving, the platform we use to crowdfund for the school, was matching 50% of all donations! We saw this incredible opportunity to raise a substantial amount of money so we put in lots of planning and reached out to our collective networks of generous friends and family. The squad in Antigua even found someone to make a professional video for the occasion.

 

The end result? After three days of reaching out to our friends and family we crowdfunded over $10,000 in donations from 138 different people. The amounts below don’t include the 50% match or the $1,000 bonus for finishing in second place out of over 3,700 other organizations also fundraising through GlobalGiving.

Long story short, we are altruistic gangstaz!

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I know what you’re thinking. Who is the adorable little girl with that great big smile holding the “Thank You” sign? Her name is Guadalupe ‘Lupita’ Chiwichón and she is one of the newest members of the school. I’ve been seeing her a lot on the Integral Heart Family’s Facebook page lately and love watching her quick transformation from the shy new girl into this bright ray of sunshine bursting with light! This child is my spirit animal!

I inquired to Mick and Débora about her and to see if she had a sponsor yet. They informed me that she was still in need of one and then proceeded to tell me her story.

WARNING: By reading the next paragraph you are at deep risk of invoking “all the feels”

Lupita’s Story (so far): Lupita is four years old and was abandoned by her mom at her sister’s house. Her birth-father is an alcoholic who has never cared about her. Her aunt, who already has four children of her own, was widowed after her husband was killed. She takes care of her own four children along with Lupita while she works making tortillas and earns roughly 25 quetzales or just over $3 per day.

Unfortunately this story is all too common for the vast majority of Lupita’s new classmates in this poverty stricken region of Guatemala. Children are abandoned by parents who don’t have the means to care for them mostly due to circumstances beyond their control. Luckily for these children, organizations like the Integral Heart Family and Pencils of Promise are working to end this for many who are subject to generational poverty through a combination of education, community and love.

That same day, I made the decision to become Lupita’s sponsor. For the cost of about a dollar a day, or by donating less than 0.01% of my annual gross income, her life will improve drastically.

Seems insanely affordable. Why not double down?

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So yeah, I’m sponsoring two kids at the Integral Heart Family.

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This little dude’s name is Bryon Diaz. He doesn’t know it just yet, but he and I are gonna be bros. Here’s his story:

WARNING: Even higher risk of the ‘feels’ in next paragraph

Byron’s Story (so far): He was born to a family living in a garbage dump. When he was born, his sisters Maria and Carmen had just been taken out of the dump and put in school by Luke in the program he was working for at the time called Nuestros Ahijados or Godschild Project. His mother was renting his sisters to a man for pennies a day so they could salvage recyclables in the garbage dump. His mother more or less neglected him and his sister Carmen, who at the time was eight years old. Carmen cared for him more than his mother and is the one currently ensuring he goes to school and gets an education.

Bryon’s Sister Carmen Before Nuestros Ahijados Intervened:

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Today:

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Maria, Byron & Carmen Diaz

How do I feel with my choice to sponsor two children in Guatemala? It was the easiest and best decision I’ve ever made in my life. Am I worried about the money going to the right place? Not at all. I’ve had a personal relationship with the founders of the organization for over a year now and they are some of the smartest and most caring people I’ve ever met in my life. If I can’t trust them with my donations, then I can’t trust anyone with anything.

Lupita and Byron are living just two of the 85 stories of the children currently attending the Integral Heart Family’s Education Center. There are dozens more with situations similar to theirs, some even more harrowing, and many of them are in desperate need of sponsors as well. If you can spare $35 – $55 a month to change a child’s life and ensure that they are provided with proper nutrition, medical care and school programs, please take it under consideration. The amount of satisfaction you receive from forever changing a life far outweighs having one extra dollar in your pocket every day.

-> CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING A SPONSOR <-

or

-> CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THE INTEGRAL HEART FAMILY <-

If sponsoring or donating money online isn’t for you but you want to help and have an awesome time while doing so, our next NYC fundraiser event it will be on Saturday, May 19th at Slate, NYC.

 

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We had an awesome time at the fundraiser back in March. Check out the photo slideshow below.

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->CLICK HERE TO RSVP TO THE MAY 19 FACEBOOK EVENT<-

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