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Words of Wisdom

On Love: from Socrates’ Dialogue with Diotima of Mantinea in “Symposium” by Plato (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

2020-05-20
Language:English

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The Venerated Socrates was born in Athens, Greece circa 470 BC. Many people consider him to be the father of Western philosophy. Others think of Him as an insightful teacher and an enlightened Master. We will now read a selected part from Plato's well-known work “Symposium.” The text depicts a gathering of notable men during a banquet, where they exchange philosophical thoughts. In one of the dialogues, Socrates recollects his conversation with the seer and priestess Diotima about the idea and nature of love. In this dialogue with Diotima, where Love is referred to as a “great spirit,” we find the origin of the concept of Platonic love. “For God mingles not with man; but through Love all the communion and converse of God with man, whether awake or asleep, is carried on. The wisdom which understands this is spiritual. Now these spirits or intermediate powers are many and diverse, and one of them is Love.” “The truth of the matter is this: No god is a philosopher or seeker after wisdom, for he is wise already; nor does any man who is wise seek after wisdom. Neither do the ignorant seek after Wisdom. For herein is the evil of ignorance, that he who is neither good nor wise is nevertheless satisfied with himself: he has no desire for that of which he feels no want.”
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