The Symposium

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  • #1280
    Gabriela Bal
    Participant

    Dear Shawn,
    Perhaps you can help me. I don’t remember if I told that I was reading Plato’s Symposium. I finished it and do not know how to continue reading Plato. I would like to know more about Socrates life and thoughts. I know I am just on the beginning. I appreciate very much the way you read Plato. That’s why I am asking you to help me in this new path too.

    Have a wonderful week!

    Love

    Gabriela

    #1435
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Shawn,

    I am so grateful to God who put you in my path. I do not know how to thank you for these words. I have so much to learn from you.

    I would like to receive your teachings more frequently. I do need to learn how to see philosophy “with your eyes”. I hope you understand me. I think I have the same sight but I need to learn things you had learned before me.

    I am sure I will read the Symposium in a totally new way.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me.

    Love Gabriela

    #1440
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Gabriela,
    It is important to remember that Socrates was not his name, but rather his title or life’s work. His given name was Myron and he learned the art of sculpture from his father and practiced this in his younger years. It was when he recognized his calling to “Stand up against the sophisticates” that he took on the title Socrates. The Ionians were masters of the word. They were a minority of the Greeks and lived side-by-side with the dorians (pagan Greeks), so their language was full of symbolism and even code. This would allow them to talk about their deep spiritual and moral beliefs in a way that was not threatening to the dorians. We can see this when we take a real close look at Aesop’s fables today. You will be able to see the symbolism used here to teach both moral behavior and deep spiritual law that even is non-threatening to a child.

    The dorian aristocrats and the Spartan elite learned the gift of rhetoric, but not wisdom. This is what Socrates gave us and what Plato preserved for the world. Socrates shows us how to differentiate between that what might sound nice versus what is logical and true, thus wise. We have to use his example to uncover what is beautiful and true, thus putting aside what servers only man.

    I hope this is some help to you, but as you know, this level of thinking is not common in philosophy today. I hope that you are strong enough to stand up for the Love of Wisdom today. (Don’t forget who the Wisdom of God is, for that is what Socrates saw in the word Philosophy!)

    Love Shawn

    #1436
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Shawn,

    Now I have a lot of things to think about. From this perspective every thing changes. I hope I will be able and be “strong enough to stand up for the Love of Wisdom today”. I know it is a big responsibility but if I am supposed to do it I will have all the help I need.

    Thank you for being beside me and helping me in my path (or our path).

    Love Gabriela

    #1441
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Gabriela,
    Plato called his teacher Hephast, a son of Zeus. The Greeks also called the husband of Aphrodite Hephast, one of the first born of the Charitinnen. (Odyssey 8,364) The poet Euripides called him the Muse Nightingale and the Hailer of Wisdom. These names all point to Socrates being the incarnation of the Archangel Gabriel who lost his dual in the Fall. Therefore, he was very excited to celebrate that Aphrodite had been washed ashore, out of the bitter sea (hell) and onto land (earth).

    I know this is all very difficult for you, but I am very confident that you have the power and guidance to bring some of this light into modern philosophy.

    I have attached my presentation on Socrates because of the picture mainly. On the note pages you will see some references that you may want to look up yourself. I only have the German text and will start to translate into English. I hope it helps some as it is. (the pictures on the first slide help to show the real problem. On the left is what he looked like, wise and intelligent. The picture on the left is what people like Aristophanes and Aristotle made him into: a drunken idiot.

    Love Shawn

    #1442
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Gabriela,
    I think it good that you are studying the Symposium! There is so much in it that helps us to understand the core problem of philosophy: Deciding which of the two worlds you want to belong to. The Symposium gives us a framework to find out to which world the god in question belongs to Olympia or Hades. The discussion of the two Eros in the Symposium gives you the Ionian view of “The Love of God” (Jesus) and the Spartans view of their Eros (he who impersonates Jesus on Earth – Lucifer).

    When I was going through Kingsley’s materials, I was struck by his obsession with the latter gods. You and I know that the use of magic today only happens in conjunction with voodoo and other forms of devil worship. This was always the case. The two main ancient centers were Babylon and Egypt. Later this form of worship spread to Athens and to Rome. Remember, Socrates died because he refused to offer sacrifice to these gods, brought to Athens by the Spartans and the Dorians!

    Kingsley is fascinated with the one poem written by Parmenides and he compares to others written in Babylon. The journey that is described is in fact very similar to other accounts of journeys into Hades. They are fascinating accounts, but very dangerous when the reader does not know that the story is of the underworld.

    He also digs up the old practices from the Apollo temples. I am sure that this is not what you are looking for. Have a close look at the god Apollo and tell me who you see behind him. This is the path that both Socrates and Eryximachus forge for us: how to uncover the true character of the god in question. There is great fame and wealth to be earned on Earth from service of the latter gods, but this is also not what you want. It seems that Kingsley has gone in this direction.

    Inspiration and guidance from the gods is a very difficult subject. Plato and others help us to understand what is required to receive guidance and inspiration from Olympia. This is connected with spiritual sacrifice and high character. The gods of Hades are more than willing to inspire and guide those who can be good tools for them and who are willing to pay their price. This is one reason why the church ended up killing all the inspired people in the middle ages, because they had lost the ability to determine from where this inspiration came.

    I hope that this is some help to you. I wish you luck on you path. Both of our paths are filled with dangers and I am happy that you are at my side.

    Love Shawn

    #1437
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Shawn,

    First of all I need to thank you for your interest in helping. I think God put us together to help each other not to be lost in our paths. We do have an important role to each other’s path and life.

    I need to meditate your words. As I couldn’t understand some passages I would like to ask if you can explain what you meant with:

    1.. “This is the path that both Socrates and Eryximachus forge for us: how to uncover the true character of the god in question. Can you explain it better? There is great fame and wealth to be earned on Earth from service of the latter gods, but this is also not what you want. It seems that Kingsley has gone in this direction.”
    2.. “Inspiration and guidance from the gods is a very difficult subject.
    Plato and others help us to understand what is required to receive guidance and inspiration from Olympia. This is connected with spiritual sacrifice and high character. The gods of Hades are more than willing to inspire Who were the inspired people? and guide those who can be good tools for them and who are willing to pay their price. What do they want? This is one reason why the church ended up killing all the inspired people in the middle ages, because they had lost the ability to determine from where this inspiration came”. Are you justifying inquisition?

    I hope you understand my questions to you and forgive me if I am inconvenient anyway.

    Thank you very much to be at my side.

    Love Gabriela

    #1443
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Gabriela,
    I have been busy and I wanted to find the right words for you, which I will still do for your first question.

    I am not justifying the inquisition, I am just saying that the church had lost all of its spiritual orientation and could no longer recognize divine inspiration from demonic inspiration as we are taught by John (1 John 4). They saw any such person as a threat to their materialistic power-base. But we have gotten past that and need to use the logic of Plato and the teachings of the apostles to determine the origin of any spiritual teaching. We can quickly disregard the teaching of the Oracles when we study the practices that went on at these temples.

    Love Shawn

    #1444
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Gabriela,
    The difficulty in I see that I have is that you are most likely reading an English translation which has completely lost the idea of Eros as a God and replaced it a thing called love. So now I see how difficult it is to understand my comments.

    I have attempted to translate from the German a small part of the end of Eryximachus talk. Below is the English I got from the web and below that is my translation of the German. (He was probable looking at Socrates when he said this.)

    Wherefore the business of divination is to see to these loves and to heal them, and divination is the peacemaker of gods and men, working by a knowledge of the religious or irreligious tendencies which exist in human loves. Such is the great and mighty, or rather omnipotent force of love in general. And the love, more especially, which is concerned with the good, and which is perfected in company with temperance and justice, whether among gods or men, has the greatest power, and is the source of all our happiness and harmony, and makes us friends with the gods who are above us, and with one another.

    Between the forces of the Olympian and the Hadean Eros to differentiate and to actually receive healing, one must really be spiritually talented. Such people are the founders of [the renewed] friendship with the Gods of Olympia. Thanks to them people are capable [again] to realize which endearing changes will lead to an honest and god-fearing life. So broadly diverse and great is the force of Olympian Eros. Yes, to say it shortly, he participates in the power of God Himself. When one with an honest and endearing life demonstrates he is devoted to the true goodness [like Socrates has], he receives the highest respect by both we Ionians and by the Gods of Olympia. Such a person has created [for him and indirectly also for] others the path to perfect happiness; since his example gives us courage to live in peace with our neighbors. Thus we also win the friendship of Gods of Olympia.

    I have added a few clarifications in [] so that it makes it easier to see what they were really talking about. The Ionians who were listening had more knowledge than we do today about the subject of the gods.

    I also have been wanting to say something about Aristotle. You know that it wasn’t until 700 years after he died that anyone really took interest in his work. It was the Roman church who took up Aristotle to help explain the dogma they had created. They could not use Plato to do this as Origenes had been declared a heretic and Origenes had built the bridge between Plato and Jesus. (But this bridge was now heresy.)

    Aristotle said that “What one thinks and what one says has nothing to do with each other.” This was the perfect philosophy for the politicians and rulers of Rome!

    I hope this helps you some.
    Love Shawn

    #1439
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Gabriela,
    I think the best place to start with the symposium is to understand who is actually talking. We know from Plato that he was not there. There was a journalist present who documented this historic discussion between the Ionian Greeks (Eryximachos, Agathon, Socrates) the Spartan elite (Phaidros, Alkibiades) and the Dorians (Pausanias, Aristophanes, Aristodemos). Have a look at what each one of these had to say about Eros. Are they really talking about the same God?

    The democracy of Athens had fallen to the wayside under Perikles as the Ionians lost their majority to spartans and dorians. This meeting was an attempt by Socrates to help explain the difference in the spiritual beliefs of the two groups. He was attempting to get them to recognize the True Eros. In the end, he was put to death for his belief as he was not able to convince the leaders of Athens. His refusal to bring sacrifices to the dorian gods cost him his life. This was a real key point in the turning of Athens (once the capital of Ion) into the home of pagans. Looking back, we see two images of the spiritual world. By the Dorians/Spartans (and Romans) we see a spiritual world full of many gods with major character flaws. These are the fallen princes of heaven that they are adoring. The Ionians talk about the same gods, but they are praising character, as they existed in Olympia. They praise the Divine Muse who come to earth to teach us as opposed to the nymphs who come here to (from below) to tempt us.

    So when we read Plato, we must understand that his life was too in danger. The dialog was the perfect way for Plato to allow the words of his master live. By publishing his words next to the beliefs held by the ruling aristocrats, they did not feel threatened. They continued to think of Socrates as the fool, since they were (and are still today) unable to see the great wisdom in his words.

    Love Shawn

    #1438
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Shawn,

    Thank you so much for these words. Now I could understand what was behind your words. You were perfect in your explanation to me. I could not only have the knowledge you were trying (successfully) to transmit but what is more effective to me, I could realize their real meaning (in my body) through an impression without words.

    Please, continue sharing your knowledge with me. I do need it.

    Thank you once more.

    Gabriela

    PS. It makes all the difference to read the English version or the German one. Could you please send me the references of this passage of the Symposium? Now I could find also French and a Portuguese version to compare them.

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