English Comments #230 US
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May 8, 2021 (230US) 

Along with the fact that we are neither Buddhists, nor Adishankarists, nor biblicists, nor koranists, nor Spinozists, and so on, we are no Socrato-Platonists. We are just the brothers of people who were much more than animals that used to make noises or counts (Rev of Arès vii/10), and who used to seek the Path to the Light.
As for us we met with the Light at Arès, but we have to be aware that the brothers that have sought and approached the Way, so that their thoughts and written works may help us as penitents and harvesters whenever we have to go our ways through the complicated dark corridors of the world, which we have to change
(Rev of Arès 28/7).
We belong in a class of life linked to Life (Rev of Arès 24/3-5, 25/3, 38/5, xix/26), whether it is called God, or Father, or Breath, or Allah, or Brama, or Great Spirit, or Good, and so on, and we have a guide: The Revelation of Arès, that does not start a religion, or a policy, or a philosophy, but that drives us to link up the lower dust to the absolute Higher Being, whose Children we are
(13/5). That ascent, which still preys on the present, is an adventure attempted by many people like Socrates and Plato, who are inseparable because the former would be unknown, had the latter not made him known.
Socrates and Plato go with us in our spiritual adventure, because twenty-four centuries ago they already thought over some problems which we still have to solve.  They are ageless, because human beings are One, whether past, or present, or prospective.
This is a somewhat long entry, because I have to define Socrates and Plato's thought optimally, which is not that evident in this age.



Socrates (on your left) and Plato (on your right) used to preach a world where power could be just right management, a world with no crown or honors, no lies, no flatterers or flattered men, a world connected to the Higher Being, from whom we are descended, a world close to that which we hope we will re-create. The time and the human community, in which Socrates and Plato lived, were intellectually, metaphysically, literarily  rich, so much so that it is very difficult to  cut off the two thinkers from the spiritual luxuriance of their time. I have chosen a way of presenting the respective thoughts or the only thought (which of them? nobody knows) of Socrates and Plato among a lot of possible ways. In the following text there are a few repetitions for the purpose of helping readers in words that have different meanings nowadays.

Metaphysics, which is perception of the deepest  causes of the Universe, and which is foreseen by few spiritual intelligences (Rev of Arès 32/5), has never had any weight in the thoughts of the mighty on Earth. This is the problem amidst other problems, which was already studied by Socrates and Plato in Greece for centuries before now, a hundred years afer Buddha's days in India, a thousand years after Zoroaster's time (Sarsushtratam Rev of Arès xviii/3) in Persia.
Socrates did not leave anything behind, but Plato, who had ben a disciple of Socrates, left a big written work in the form of dialogues in which he used to feature Socrates. Plato sees the sensible world as one contingent upon "essenses" or "ideas", two words which have got other meanings today, but which he considers as the only intelligible forms, the patterns only discernible and easy to observe on Earth. At the top of those "essences" the "idea" of good is displayed, which oversteps them in dignity and power: God.
The Platonic written works have a form of dialogue to show how primordial the exchange between human beings is, so as to go beyond personal opinions and reach the univeral. The thought rises above opinion (doxa). But dialogues themselves are just a formal aspect of dialectics, of which Socrates and Plato is the inventors.
The first stage of rational knowledge looks as if it were mathematical, but Plato actually wants to transcend the mathematical truth. Plato considers the sensible world as one of appareance in regards of "ideas" themselves, which are objects of pure thought, intelligible models of all of the things that our senses do not perceive, but that are much realer and truer than concrete objects. So he cannot stand the "idea" of bed if it is not the ideal bed, the real one, that is devised by thought, the type or paradigm of which wooden beds, iron beds or plain pallets on the floor are nothing but imitations. In sum, that which Plato calls "idea" or "essence" (words with similar meanings) is anything or anybody whenever anything or anybody is imagined in his mind — Hence, for example, well-known Platonic love; hence our only possible way of conceiving God, as well.
It is dialectic (concertation) as a well-controlled systematic itinerary, that from concept to concept and from suggestion to suggestion makes it possible to reach those ideal "essences" as well as "good", that is the ultimate goal of rational procedure. Plato sees "good" as the Divine, which he does not consider as God the way in which religions think of him, because Plato only counts the Divine as a principle supreme, superior to life and "essence", and which is a little more dignified and powerful than them. In Plato's language "good" is an "idea" which is the cause of all that is right and "fine"; the "idea" of "good" can be communicated to anything knowable. The itinerary towards "essences" can only be understood through the dialectic of "love", notably in  "The Banquet".
What is "love" in Plato's eyes? It is a gap, or a shortage, or poorness,  which shows us how incomplete or hollow we are, it is a momentum we gather to reach what does not belong in us, a longing for "beauty" itself. Thanks to "love" we can gain ground until we get the beauty of the "soul", even though we start from sensitive bodily beauties, and we incidentally can too get good social behavior. In the end, a philosopher can reach the ultimate step and get the very "idea" of the "fine" (or "beautiful") in its purity and self-sufficiency. It is difficult to say what Plato means by the "idea" of the "fine" (or "beautiful"). This "idea" is a unit by itself, it defies corruption, it is distinguished by absolute purity and transcendency with respect to sensitivity and other "fatal balderdash". "Beauty" is ultimate disembodiment, radiance and glory of all that transcends the empirical and the prectical.
Herein, let us face it, we feel more or less clouded, but aren't we so whenever we think of Life, or God? We have to thank Plato for the path, even if is is dark, towards concepts which had gone barely visible to sinners. The dialectic of "ideas" dialectic and the theory of "love" lead us to think of the Platonic idealism (in the strong sense of idealism) as a doctrine which attributes life per se and independence of mind to "ideas" or "essences". But we wonder why Plato ventures to make a theory of  "essences".
Maieutics and recollection (or memory) are two main elements which vindicate the doctrine. Maïeutics is the art of making people's minds give birth, the art once practiced by Socrates to make his contact persons discover themselves and become aware of their inner wealth. This in the "The Menon" is how an ignorant little slave finds out the right way to make a double square out of another particular square, because he remembers a calculation formerly known and practiced. This is the doctrine of recollection or reminiscence. We deep down hold "ideas" which are just distant memories. To learn is to recollect the truth once noticed intime past. The philosophical practice is intended to master and manage that hidden secret content, which is the fruit of a very distant contemplation. We call it atavism nowadays.
Plato saws sophists, so-called masters in rhetoric and eloquence, as liars and dream makers. As a matter of fact, sophists (the world is still filled with these characters) had eroded the belief in the absolute, that might have enabled ethics to develop. Sophists used to say, "Truth is nothing but subjectivity." Their relativistic doctrine led people to mistakes. Plato's ethics as truth basics led people to constructive realities, instead. After the philosopher had gazed at the "ideas", he can go back down into the "cave" and he now is in a position to develop good ethics and politics. Through the well-known allegory of the cave Plato depicts the human condition: Human beings are like prisonniers chained whith their backs turned on the daylight, who take the shadows projected onto the wall in front of them for reality. A prisoner once unchained and led ouside the cave symbolizes the philosopher that has direct access to "essences". With that in mind, virtue refers to involvement in "essences" or "ideas" and real knowledge, a science of good and evil inseparable from dialectic.
Plato as well as the Hellenic thinking regard virtue and ethics as elements of knowledge. No one is nasty on purpose. To be brave is to be aware of whatever is frightening and to face it. To be fair is to be aware of the harmony of inner force. Real justice has to represent a just knowledge, therefore. The reasoning part (mind) in a just "soul" has awareness, is in command, and it overcomes desire, which is wild and thoughtless (concupiscence) and anger, which very seldom happens to be the ally of reason. There is no justice in the city, if the rulers do not change into philosophers, or if philosophers are not the rulers.
This is the philosophy that has made an impact on the Western thinking both in analyzing love and desire and in analyzing speculative plannings. Plato, who died twenty-three centuries ago, drew paths which have continuously mesmerized civilisation and culture. He leads us from opinion (lower knowledge, hazy capture of things that stream out between nothingness and the absolute) to science (rational knowledge which enables people to come close to the truth). Our thoughts are still harvesting on the fields that Socrates and Plato plowed a long time ago.
By saying,"Plato made up philosophy," François Châtelet cannot stop us from considering Socrates and Plato as partners. Both of them are not the earliest Greeks who liked common sense better than myths and the miraculous to understand the world well. There had been Parmenides, Heraclitus and others, but Socrates and Plato separates reason from religion, reality from dreaming, so they represent a fascinating stage on the long way towards metaphysical honesty, that we Arès Pilgrims are very keen on. Socrates and Plato make the straightforwardness of the plausible possible, just as Buddha had made and just as Jesus of Nazareth, Adi Shankara, Spinoza or The Revelation of Arès fallen down from Heaven are to make. Nondualism is obvious: Be one within you (Rev of Arès xxiv/1). We are atoms of unique Life (24/3-5). Socrates and Plato see plausibility triumphing and they come close to the notion of Good. But they are not listened to, because they are not acceptable to religion, politics, in brief then to all rulers whatever.
Athenian Socrates (469-399) is as rustic as a stonecutter or a midwife; he does not write anything. Do Plato's dialogues report on Socrates' thought exactly? Nobody knows, but this is unimportant. Undoubtedly they  compliment each other. As we most of the time have an erroneous concept of the True, we need much humbleness to acknowledge our defaults, but both of them have the humbleness needed really.
The proceedings taken against Socrates by the Athenian Democracy is the furore that changes Pluto's destiny. As Sorates is convinced that the soul is part of universal Intelligence, which is Divine, his incredible serenity in the face of death shows that he believes in immortality. He drinks the hemlock. Platon says : "The fairest and wisest of all men has been murdered!"
The human being locked up in the dark ever since his or her childhood finds it painful and long to be released. When he or she is gotten out of the cave — see the parable of the cave in "The Republic" mentioned above — he or she cannot meet with beauty and the truth before having been re-educated for a long time. He or she does not want to return to the cave. He or she might be at risk there. This is what is penitence that breathes love into us Arès Pilgrims. Plato writes other fables: Atlantis, and so on, so that some have considered him as the creator of historical novels. Actually, Plato uses all the figures that may help understand whatever reason and language cannot explain.
Freud has his patients speak, in order to help them through a liberating experience, but it is Plato that introduces the ability to do so twenty-three centuries earlier, because he is aware that anybody that speaks and agrees to be objected casts aside the commonness of feelings, passional dramas, fear od death, the weight of unbridled traditions and illusory pleasures. François Chatelet, an expert on Plato, summurizes Plato's forecast by writing, "There is a possibility, one of pacifying globality, that skims over all opinions. A universal discourse beyond the control of oneself revealed by dialectic. Even when men are stupid, deceitful or untruthful, they keep on liking and willing the truth clumsily. That willingness to get the truth finds expression in great demands for non-contradiction. Man worships his own certainty and consistency. The entry point to set the world in motion is contradiction."
Some people asked Plato why he wrote overlong passages and digressions. He repliedt : "Don't be amazed at whatever is overlong and goes around in circles. One has to circle around anything great, indeed, because anything great may be subjected to sliding" (The Republic).
Justice is the ultimate goal, anyway.

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