Milt’s version of the Greek Ethos and why he lives it, people are NOT created equal, and how to deflate the intensity of your reactions and why you should

Folks, Mia and I are having the time of our lives out here in the northern Nevada Desert. Yes, we’re headed to Black Rock Desert and Burning Man but I’m already disgusted, looks like the Corporate Bigs are invading this year, but I’ll not stain this page with any black thoughts, no, I’m feeling great and whatever happens on the playa shall happen, with or without my opinion thereof.

Had a wonderful evening last night with a group of first-time desert visitors around the campfire. One of them had a few words of derision over my recent blog post and wanted to know more about my so-called ‘expertise’ in the Classical period and prior. I offered that I don’t consider myself an expert, rather a hobbyist, and I say that because I do not have a handle on every aspect of the Classical/Pre-Classical experience, hardly; what I do have a handle on are select elements and a general overview which I have gleaned through many years of casual study and application.

That being said, talk fell to my blog and my ‘stance’ on Spartan marriage before this man finally asked, “Please explain this ethos of Greece you’ve talked about before and why you keep promoting it.”

I replied, “I don’t ‘promote it’ in any way other that my personal attempt to emulate this ethos in my own life but per your request, the Greek ethos is tripartite: respect to all Gods, blanket generosity towards all strangers and guests in the home, and an abhorrence of taking kindred life. The working essence of this ethos is that it keeps you from problems, because if you’re thinking about doing something that would cause you shame/embarrassment if you got caught, then you just don’t do it, whatever ‘it’ might be. The ethos, which is unspoken but universally understood, works before things happen, you see the problem before it arrives and thus you avoid it, though we moderns are always trying to fix things after afterwards.”

So it’s like the Ten Commandments,” he said.

Yes and no, yes in that they are rules for a society and its individuals to live by, no in that it is not a moral code given by God, it is an ethical code developed by and for humanity, with it’s focus not on pleasing a tyrannical God but on creating strong individuals who participate in a strong collective. This ethos allows me to be an individual within the collective, I operate independently yet within this collective rather than trying to live by my own rules.”

This was one of those evenings that happen every once in awhile, as nobody in this group was buying what I had to say, for a variety of reasons but in particular and that was, they had never heard such thoughts before and were conditioned, like most of us, to reject what is not familiar. They did their best to put me on the defensive but I don’t do ‘defensive’, I do expansive. At any rate, one woman who hadn’t said a thing finally chirped up, “I just hate how the Greeks don’t recognize equality.”

Musta been a bug in my ear -or ass!- but I couldn’t just let that insipid, poorly-understood term go without inspection. “Equality? Hell, I don’t believe in equality and you’re right, nor do the Greeks!”

I knew it was a shocking statement to her but before she could reply, I continued, “Equality is an empty term used for political gain, we are only equal at our essence, in our souls, but what makes us unique is what we do with our lives, no, we are not equal, some lives have greater value to the collective than others, your eyes and your reason can’t deny what you can plainly see and understand.”

The remaining moments before our conversation ended was predictable and yet, necessary. I did my best to expand on these thoughts -when I was given a chance, Kevin, geez!- but probably won no converts, though if you were to ask me, I wasn’t lookin’ for converts in the first place!


This week’s MiltnMia Show podcast:

How to deflate the intensity of your reactions and why you should, along with guest expert, Life Coach Jill Wu

Today’s show is a little different, as Milt, flying solo, opens it without his customary sarcasm but goes straight into explaining what the essence of their show is about and why they do what they do. “It’s all about deflating the intensity of your reactions,” he says, “which means learning to see that you’re not the only one in the world going through what you’re going through, as we don’t want to get locked-into our little problems and think they are the only things going on. Mia and I are all about getting you passed your little ephemeral worlds and moving you on to enjoying the life you actually have before you, rather than becoming a slave to your reactions.” An interview with Life Coach, Jill Wu, follows.!-milt-n/id796661531

If you don’t have an ITunes player, you can hear it directly on TuneIN:


OK, we’re in Gerlach re-charging batteries and cell phones, buying ice and avoiding tourists and, once I post this, back up the mountain we go! Yes, we’ll do our one evening when the Man gets his ass burned but these elitist snobs and their emphasis on luxury and the highest possible tech installations, while impressive, have really soured me on the whole event. I’ll suck it up, however, and quit acting like some bitter old man pining for the good old days and do my best to celebrate our collective presence in one of the most amazing places on this lovely planet.

Thus, ice, beer and re-charged electronics now in hand, onward we go!


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