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Quietism and Ataraxia June 17, 2010

Posted by protectyourpc in Other Philosophies.

Quietism states that man’s highest perfection consists of  absorption of the soul into the Divine, even during the present life. In this way, the mind is withdrawn from worldly interests to passively and constantly contemplate God. Quietists would say that the Bible describes the man of God as a man of the tent  and the altar  only, having no part or interest in the multitudinous affairs, pursuits, and pleasures of the world system (vodka and cranberry juice excluded of course!)

Quietists were so called from a kind of absolute rest and inaction, which they supposed the soul to be in when arrived at that state of perfection which they called the unitive life; in which state, they imagined the soul wholly employed in contemplating its God, to whose influence it was entirely submissive, so that he could turn and drive it where and how he would. In this state, the soul no longer needs prayers, hymns, etc. being laid, as it were, in the bosom, and between the arms of God, in whom it is in a manner swallowed up.

Ataraxia is:

Perfect peace of mind; Freedom from the passions; Calmness of mind; Stoical indifference: a term used by the Stoics and Skeptics.

The Epicureans said that ataraxia was the only true happiness possible for a person. It indicates a tranquility resulting from

  • ‘not fearing the gods’,
  • avoiding politics and other vexatious people and
  • surrounding oneself with ‘trustworthy and affectionate friends’

while being

  • an affectionate and virtuous person worthy of other person’s trust.
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