by The Child
A very short, and half true account of Alexander the Great. What do you think?
|Alexander and Diogenes
When Alexander the great, conquer of the known world, came to visit Diogenes in his burial urn. And Diogenes, who had only recently awakened from slumber with the rats, had dressed him self in rags and was now defecating out of his found home and on to the street, seemed too preoccupied to turn and acknowledge the regal presence of his kind king. Alexander was forced to announce himself by asking if there was any thing that he might do for the man whom seemed to be down on his luck. To which the cynic did turn and reply to the ruler of the world, “You there! You can stand out of my light.”
On its own, not a particularly profound statement, but when put into context, possibly one of the greatest one-liners in history.
You see, these two were child hood friends. They were both taught by another historically celebrated individual by the name of Aristotle. Aristotle was one of Plato’s favourite pupils at the academy. And Plato was the apprentice of Socrates, father of western philosophy. Now Socrates, being brought before the proper authorities of the day, under allegations of corrupting the youth, was given two quite reasonable choices. He could either, stop his teachings and admit to being wrong, or alternatively, he could drink hemlock and die. Being a man committed to his cause, Socrates chose what he might have thought of as the lesser of two evils. So on the day of his suicide, many who were close to him mourned allowed to the high heavens. One such a person was no other than our friend Diogenes. Yes, Diogenes threw himself to the ground and gave a good old howl, and what followed seemed to be a downward spiral of pessimistic, self destructive and bloody depressing philosophy. Diogenes attempted to deliberately shock people by means of public indecency like eating disgusting food, undressing in the street, never washing and showing general disregard to conventional etiquette. When posed the question of his nationality, Diogenes firmly responded; “I am a citizen of the world.” He also came clean about the fact that he was subject to no religion, government, property or marriage. This was eccentric for his time, and left even those most insightful scratching their heads. As a result of his play up, Diogenes was nicknamed Kynikos, meaning ‘like a dog.’ And bye gosh, don’t those Greeks know how to cut to the bone!