Plato says it as it is. Keeping it real.

Art, culture, illustration, Life, poetry

Shall I let you in on the secret?   It is from St Augustine and it reflects the sentiments expounded by Plato in the Symposium . Plato’s Symposium is the Platonic work on which Neoplatonic philosophy is primarily based, and the western world has drawn upon it since.

“the philosophy of love in the Western world stems from two principal sources: on the one hand
Plato, his followers, and his critics; on the other hand Christianity arising out of Judaism and merging with Greek philosophy begun by Plato” – Irving Singer

The Symposium is a dialogue between six voices who deliver a series of speeches in praise of love.  It is quite long, but to save you the trouble, I shall bring to you the nub of the tale.

‘Love is desire for the perpetual possession of the good’

Irving Singer claims that these few words sum up the wisdom of Plato.Within the dialogue Diotima has shown us that all human activity is energized by Love. Since Love pervades the entire cosmos, not just humanity, but all things, the entire universe is in Love. Love, literally, makes the world go round  (Singer 54).21

This is what St Augustine is reputed to have been saying in the quote I have illustrated.

‘My love is my weight: wherever I go  my love is what brings me there’

Dr. David Naugle discusses in his essay on Plato’s work, that Love is the universal principle, energy, or motivation for everybody’s and everything’s activity. Love generates the passions and desires which animate human life; the passions and desires which animate human life are Love. Love is the élan vital of all human activity. We are carried here and there by the weight of our Love. This is what he considers to be one of  the deepest and most profound themes in the Symposium.

Philosophers, writers, artists often relate this common thread of human experience,  that an ineffable quality exists throughout the cosmos, inexplicable, immeasurable, and necessary.

Further reading :

Click to access platonic_love.pdf


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