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Words of Wisdom

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

2020-05-21
Language:English

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The following lines are from Plato's work "Symposium," where Socrates recalls some of Diotima's accounts of Love. "Not even in the life, of the same individual there is succession and not absolute unity. Which is true not only of the body, but also of the soul, whose habits, tempers, opinions, desires, pleasures, pains, fears, never remain the same in anyone of us, but are always coming and going; and equally true of knowledge, and what is still more surprising to us mortals, not only do the sciences in general spring up and decay, so that in respect of them we are never the same; but each of them individually experiences a like change. For what is implied in the word ‘recollection,’ but the departure of knowledge, which is ever being forgotten, and is renewed and preserved by recollection, and appears to be the same although in reality new, according to that law of succession by which all mortal things are preserved, not absolutely the same, but by substitution, the old worn-out mortality leaving another new and similar existence behind unlike the divine, which is always the same and not another? " "But souls which are pregnant - for there certainly are men who are more creative in their souls than in their bodies, conceive that which is proper for the soul to conceive or contain. And what are these conceptions? - wisdom and virtue in general. And such creators are poets and all artists who are deserving of the name inventor. But the greatest and fairest sort of wisdom by far is that which is concerned with the ordering of states and families, and which is called temperance and justice."
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