No, not you.

This has to do with Plato's Eternal Forms. In the SYMPOSIUM, Diotima

relates to Socrates, as related to us in Socrates' speech at the climax

of the movement, that the Grandest Vision he had yet to see was that of

the Eternal Form of the Good Itself. What does this mean? One must

involve oneself with the admiration of the beauty of the carnal, the

fleshy beauty, first. Inevitable. With luck, one comes (to realize)

that the beauty you've seen, embodied incarnate as your lover, reflects

a much larger beauty that all bodies share. Therefore you grow to

appreciate the beauty of all bodies.

Diotima goes on to lead Socrates to understand that a few worthy

spirits understand that the beauty of all bodies can be much more

clearly apprehended if one appreciated the goodness of the principle

which established that those bodies would be beautiful. So here we make

a switch, two switches actually: One, from the beautiful to the good;

and two, from bodies (substantial) to abstract ideas/principles/laws

(insubstantial). Struggling to keep up with the Goddess, Socrates then

understood the beauty and goodness of no particular law, but the very

possibility of ANY law. Human laws and administrations are therefore

according to Plato to be admired. Any Discordian might argue with that,

but you gotta take the bad with the good. Right. Anyway, Diotima then

shows Socrates how to appreciate not the Law, but rather the Good-ness

which that Law pivots upon; this good-ness being the over-all welfare

that the Law is supposed to preserve, ideally.

However, the real kicker in the SYMPOSIUM is what really makes me

wonder if those Greek festivals in honor of the Wheat Goddess Persephone

weren't really based on some psychotropic vision the ruling class of

Ancient Greeks were having. They did, after all, yearly get together to

ingest a mixture of fermented wheat and rye and other ingredients calle

Kykerion. Why oughtn't Plato's Witless Principles, or Socrates' Inner

Voice of the God, have their origins in the same place as Connie's Last

Affair? Ahem. Excuse me.

And so on.

When we arrive, the Ultimate Vision for Socrates is that of the Good

Itself. That abstract concept, mistakenly taken as substantial by

generations afterwards, has caused more curious onlookers to waste their

lives bullshitting about nonsense than even Dobbs Himself, or this

newsgroup. But there is a catch: Plato's doctrine later established

that there are Forms for all things: The Form of the Perfect Chair, the

Perfect Hamburger, the Penultimate (Fill In the Blank). Hell, if he had

only beaten Jesus to the punch he might have even dreamed up the form of

God Itself, the Template from which all other Gods were cut. But one

thing bothers me. These forms presumably live in the realm of

mathematical truth. That means, no tangible existence in themselves,

only as instatiations of that which they represent: Chairs, Hamburgers,

(Fill in the blank)'s, gods. However, what of the Form of the Perfect

Unseen? Are not any of the many versions of the Unseen just as good as

the Unseen Itself? I mean, you can't see any of them anyway, what does

it matter if it is the Perfect Unseen or Not? ANY Unseen will do the

job. So what gives? Do not all of the Eternal Forms live in this wild

realm of mathematical truth, or are there different levels to the types

of Forms, and only abstracts like the Good or the Just get to live

there, while all the other forms enjoy some kind of mixed existence here

on Earth?? This has been puzzling me. I bet DynaSoar could clear this

up, and set me straight. But I bet that ten minutes later I would be

wondering again.

I'm thinking ... of bringing a box of butterflies to the X-Day Drill.

One day I'm gonna open the cage and set them all free, and we can spend

the afternoon chasing butterflies. Sound good?

I just wasted a half an hour of work typing this. Praise "Bob".


Keeping It Up,

Dr. Ginsu