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Words of Wisdom

Ascending to the Upper World: Excerpt from Book VII of “The Republic” by Plato (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

2020-03-06
Language:Greek

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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. Today we’ll read an excerpt from Book Vll of “The Republic,” in which the Venerated Socrates and Glaucon converse on the subject of transitioning from darkness to an upper world of light and reason. This is Plato’s well-known allegory of the cave, describing how the philosopher is like a prisoner who, once freed, would require a new understanding of reality. “My opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the Lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally either in public or private life must have his eye fixed. Moreover, I said, you must not wonder that those who attain to this beatific vision are unwilling to descend to human affairs; for their souls are ever hastening into the upper world where they desire to dwell.”
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