Platonic traditions

Kabbalah, Sufism, Gnosticism and other forms of mysticism rooted in Christianity, Judaism, Islam
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Nicholas
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Platonic traditions

Post by Nicholas » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:04 pm

Here is one good source, seeing Platonic thought in many other traditions too.

http://www.platonic-philosophy.org/library_topic.html
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Re: Platonic traditions

Post by Nicholas » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:26 pm

A serious introduction to Plato by a true Platonist of recent times, Thomas Taylor:

http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/Thomas ... _Plato.pdf
"Philosophy," says Hierocles, "is the purification and perfection of human life. It is the purification, indeed, from material irrationality, and the mortal body; but the perfection, in consequence of being the resumption of our proper felicity, and a reascent to the divine likeness. To effect these two is the province of Virtue and Truth; the former exterminating the immoderation of the passions; and the latter introducing the divine form to those who are naturally adapted to its reception."

Of philosophy thus defined, which may be compared to a luminous pyramid, terminating in Deity, and having for its basis the rational soul of man and its spontaneous unperverted conceptions, - of this philosophy, august, magnificent, and divine, Plato may be justly called the primary leader and hierophant, through whom, like the mystic light in the inmost recesses of some sacred temple, it first shone forth with occult and venerable splendour. It may indeed be truly said of the whole of this philosophy, that it is the greatest good which man can participate: for if it purifies us from the defilements of the passions and assimilates us to Divinity, it confers on us the proper felicity of our nature.
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Re: Platonic traditions

Post by Nicholas » Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:07 am

This Collected Works of the American Platonist Thomas M. Johnson is 400 or so pages of uplifting and wise translations and some original writings by Johnson. The Exhortation to Philosophy by Iamblichus is splendid and the only translation into English, so far.

In hardback for about $32 from Amazon.

http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/html/o ... s.html#tmj
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Re: Platonic traditions

Post by Nicholas » Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:50 pm

This excellent commentary on Plato's Meno is a good thinker's introduction to the Platonic path:
The Virtue of Recollection in Platos Meno.pdf
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Re: Vision of Er

Post by Nicholas » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:41 pm

This ancient Vision of Er is by Plato, from his Republic. It is the near-death experience of a warrior from before Plato's time. Helpful notes and Introduction are included:

http://www.dailytheosophy.net/01-1-intr ... te_5_25073
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Simile of the Sun

Post by Nicholas » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:56 pm

What the Good itself is in the intelligible
realm, in relation to understanding and intelligible things, the sun is in
the visible realm, in relation to sight and visible things.

You know that, when we turn our eyes to things whose colors are no
longer illuminated by the light of day but by night lights, the eyes are
dimmed and seem nearly blind, as if clear vision were no longer in them.
Yet whenever one turns them on things illuminated by the sun, they
see clearly, and vision appears in those very same eyes?

Well, understand the soul in the same way: When it focuses on something
illuminated by truth and what is, it understands, knows, and apparently
possesses understanding, but when it focuses on what is mixed with
obscurity, on what comes to be and passes away, it opines and is dimmed,
changes its opinions this way and that, and seems bereft of understanding.

So that what gives truth to the things known and the power to know
to the knower is the form of the Good. And though it is the cause of
knowledge and truth, it is also an object of knowledge. Both knowledge
and truth are beautiful things, but the Good is other and more beautiful
than they. In the visible realm, light and sight are rightly considered
sunlike, but it is wrong to think that they are the sun, so here it is right
to think of knowledge and truth as goodlike but wrong to think that either
of them is the Good—for the Good is yet more prized.
Republic VI:508c-509
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Re: Platonic traditions

Post by PuerAzaelis » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:49 pm

Plato was a totalitarian. Read Karl Popper.
Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching. Oscar Wilde

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Re: Platonic traditions

Post by DNS » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:15 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:Plato was a totalitarian. Read Karl Popper.
Plato was a totalitarian? Or was it some of his later readers / followers who interpreted his writings in that fashion for their own use?

How about a philosopher-king based on meritocracy? :stirthepot:

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Re: Platonic traditions

Post by Nicholas » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:46 pm

PuerAzaelis wrote:Plato was a totalitarian. Read Karl Popper.
Or read criticism of Popper on Plato:
"Popper is committing a serious historical error in attributing the organic theory of the state to Plato and accusing him of all the fallacies of post-Hegelian and Marxist historicism—the theory that history is controlled by the inexorable laws governing the behavior of superindividual social entities of which human beings and their free choices are merely subordinate manifestations." Plato's Modern Enemies and the Theory of Natural Law, by John Wild, Chicago, 1964, The University of Chicago Press, 23.

See Also: "In spite of the high rating one must accord his initial intention of fairness, his hatred for the enemies of the 'open society,' his zeal to destroy whatever seems to him destructive of the welfare of mankind, has led him into the extensive use of what may be called terminological counterpropaganda ..." and "With a few exceptions in Popper's favor, however, it is noticeable that reviewers possessed of special competence in particular fields—and here Lindsay is again to be included—have objected to Popper's conclusions in those very fields ..." and "Social scientists and social philosophers have deplored his radical denial of historical causation, together with his espousal of Hayek's systematic distrust of larger programs of social reform; historical students of philosophy have protested his violent polemical handling of Plato, Aristotle, and particularly Hegel; ethicists have found contradictions in the ethical theory ('critical dualism') upon which his polemic is largely based." In Defense of Plato, by Ronald B. Levinson, New York, 1970, Russell and Russell, 20.
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Re: Platonic traditions

Post by Nicholas » Fri May 12, 2017 12:11 am

It was the aim and purpose of the philosophic discipline to exalt man to God, and
this is effected by the revealing of the divinity in the human soul. There can be no speaking
of God perceptible except to a being of kindred nature to apprehend its purport. The first
lesson in philosophy and true spiritual experience accordingly inculcates this fact as the
initial truth to which all other truths are sequences.
Alexander Wilder
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Re: Platonic traditions

Post by Nicholas » Tue May 16, 2017 2:31 am

He who simply believes in things which seem difficult to be known,
And which are of a dubious nature, runs in the paths of abundance,
Recurring to divine knowledge, and deific intelligence,
Through which all things become apparent and known.
For all things are contained in the Gods.
Proclus
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