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Of sexual relationships between men and boys wasn t it pederasty Even now it is surprising to find that one of the most influential and foundational works on ove in Western history is argely focused on relationships that have often been deemed illegal Imagine what the medieval Europeans would have thought of this work had it not been entirely inaccessible to them in Latin Maybe they would have enjoyed the notion of spiritual Platonic ove but I doubt they would have iked Alcibiades intrusionWell after re reading this ittle dialogue I can only concur with the verdict of the crowd that this is one of Plato s most perfect works Indeed it is among the handful of Plato s works that is arguably valuable as iterature than as philosophy Plato was a writer in perfect control of his craft and even Le valeureux guerrier little detail of this short dialogue bursts withife The reader feels as if she is really there eavesdropping on a bunch of drunken Athenians as they extemporize on Snowflakes on the Sea loveFurther organizing the dialogue as a seuence of speeches and not as a dialogue between Socrates and an interlocutor effectively reduces the sometimes unpleasant aspect of Plato s works of Socrates forcing his way through an awkward argument as his admirers assent to his every fallacious deduction Plato here shows us a genuine diversity of opinions and styles proving himself a versatile writer His portrayal of Aristophanes is particularly charming and memorable a gentle counter to Aristophanes satirical portrayal of Socrates in The Clouds And for anyone who has ever been inove I suspect that Aristophanes Wrathful Chaos: Five Books of Satanic Philosophy little myth will be far resonant than the idealove described by Socrates I m glad I chose this translation by Robin Waterfield and this publisher Oxford World s Classic the introduction is of great help and the text flows easily and is very understandable Rating 2 of five all for Aristophanes s way trippy remix of the Book of GenesisWhile perusing a review of Death in Venice dreadful tale yet another fag must die rather than ove piece of normative propaganda written by my good friend Stephen he expressed a desire to read The Symposium before he eventually re reads this crapulous homophobic maundering deathless work of art As I have read The Symposium with ess than stellar results I warned him off Well see below for what happened next Stephen wrote Damncan you do a uick cliff notes summary or maybe a video ecture I would much rather take advantage of your previous suffering than have to duplicate itTHE SYMPOSIUMSo this boring poet dude wins some big ass prize and has a few buds over for a binge They re all ying around together on couches which is as promising a start to a story as I can think of when the boys decide to stay sober boo and debate the Nature of LuuuvPhaedrus subject of a previous Socrat In this book Socrates argues that it is not always a good idea to have sex with boys and Aristophanes explains we were once co joined creatures of three sexes either malefemale malemale or femalefemale and were shaped Humanism: The Greek Ideal and its Survival like balls How could anyone not find this a book worth reading I Never Met a Physician Who Wasn t Descended from a GreekThis might just be the work that put the meta ateast the metafiction in metaphysicsPlato s name is attached to it but its principal focus is Socrates And guess what Socrates doesn t so much elaborate on his own views as 1 recount the views of others especially those of the female philosopher Diotima and 2 indirectly reveal his views by his conduct and his responses to the views of others especially the taunts of AlcibiadesEven the concept of Platonic Love could possibly be accurately attributed to Socrates but Love 2.0 (A Cates Brothers Book, likely to DiotimaIn fact I wonder whether this work proves that the Greek understanding of Love as we comprehend it actually owes to women than menThe Epismetology of the Word SymposiumDespite being familiar with the word for decades I had no idea that symposium oress The Fix literally means a drinking party or to drink togetherIn Socrates time it wasike a toga party for philosophersIt s great that this earned tradition was reinvigorated by Pomona College in 1953 How appropriate that Pomona was the Roman goddess of fruitful abundance Of course many of us will remember our first experience of a toga party from the film Animal HouseMore recently perhaps in tribute to the film the concept has transformed into a frat party notice the derivation from the masculine word fraternity which Urban Dictionary defines in its own inimitable way A sausage fest with douchebag frat boys who et a ot of girls in and hardly any guys so they can slip date rape drugs into the girls drinks and have sex with them because obviously they can t rely on their charmIf you substitute philosophers for frat boys young boys for young girls and wine and mead for date rape drugs then you have the recipe for The SymposiumAlcohol Free DazeI should mention one other aspect of the plot sorry about the spoiler but the work is 2400 years old today so you ve had enough time to catch up and that is that Socrates appears to have attended two symposia over the course of two consecutive daysIn those days future were counselled to embrace alternating alcohol free breach of this medical advice Socrates and his confreres turn up to this Symposium hung over from the previous night As a result there was talking than drinking If this had just been your run of the mill Saturday Night Live Symposium it s uite possible that the egacy of this particular night might never have eventuated Instead we have inherited a tradition of Greek Love Platonic Love Socratic Method and Alcohol Free TutorialsAn Artist in Comedy as Well as TragedyOne ast distraction before I get down to LoveIt has always puzzled readers that The Symposium ends with a distinct change of tone as the feathered cocks begin to crow and the sun rises on our slumber party Aristodemus was only half awake and he did not hear the beginning of the discourse the chief thing which he remembered was Socrates compelling the other two to acknowledge that the genius of comedy was the same with that of tragedy and that the true artist in tragedy was an artist in comedy alsoResearchers at the University of Adelaide now speculate that what Socrates was saying was When you re pissed nobody can tell whether you re serious or jokingThere is still some contention as to whether Socrates was referring to the inebriation of the artist or the audienceAnyway it remains for us to determine how serious this Socratic Dialogue on Love should be takenTogas on Hey Ho Let s goThe Mocking Socrates Easy TouchOK so the tale starts with Apollodorus telling a companion a story that he had heard from Aristodemus who had once before Narrated It To Glaucon Who it to Glaucon who in turn mentioned it to the companion are you with me The tale concerns a Symposium at the House of Agathon On the way Socrates drops behind in a fit of abstraction this is before the days of Empiricism and retires into the portico of the neighbouring house from which initially he will not stirWhen he finally arrives he is too hung over to drink or talk so he wonders whether wisdom could be infused by touch out of the fuller into the emptier man as water runs through wool out of a fuller cup into an emptier oneAddressing his host he adds If that were so how greatly should I value the privilege of reclining at your sideAs often seems to be the fate of flirts Agathon rebuffs him You are mocking SocratesInstead it is agreed that each of the attendees will regale the withered assembly with their views on LovePhaedrus on ReciprocityPhaedrus speaks of the reciprocity of Love and how it creates a state of honour between Lover and Beloved A state or army consisting of overs whose wish was to emulate each other would abstain from dishonor become inspired heroes eual to the bravest and overcome the worldPhaedrus also asserts that the gods admire honour and value the return of ove by the Beloved to his Lover at east in a human sense than the The Casa Mono Cookbook love shown by the Lover for the BelovedParadoxically this is because theove shown by the Lover is divine because he is inspired by GodI had to have an alcohol free day before I understood this subtle distinction so don t worry if you re having trouble keeping upPausanius on the Heavenly and the CommonPausanius argues that there are two types of Love that need to be analysed the common and the heavenly or the divineThe common is wanton has no discrimination is apt to be of women as well as youths and is of the body rather than of the soulIn Except the classicist who knows Greek; and they also tend to be ight on the dialogue as a work of philosop. .
Symposium PlatoThe Symposium Ancient Greek is a philosophical text by Plato dated c 385 370 BC It depicts a friendly contest of extemporaneous speeches given by a group of notable men attending a banuet The men include the philosopher Socrates the general and political figure Alcibiades and the comic playwright Aristophanes 1984 It s been ess than three years that I ve been Socrates companion and made it my job to know exactly what he says and does each day Before that I simply drifted aimlessly Of course I used to think that what I was doing was important but in fact I was the most worthless man on earth as bad as you are this very moment I used to think philosophy was the ast thing a man should do In Praise of Love An Encore This is a dialogue about the human aspiration towards happiness and how that desire is best satisfied Plato The Symposium holds the key to ancient psychology One has but to compare post Freudian psychology s understanding of the drives with Plato s discourse on human onging here in order to measure the distance between the ancient and modern orientations to reality It is strange for us to conceive this in the post Darwinian post Freudian era but Plato genuinely held that the onging to know is the fundamental human drive with sexuality the modern candidate foundational drive being derived therefrom What a different psychology this basic belief reveals And with this alternate psychology Plato reveals an orientation to the world that opens up horizons entirely other to those we are accustomed toPlato has shown a concern for the way that our pre rational orientation to the real feeds into and constrains our capacity to reason already in other dialogues such as The Republic One gets the feeling that the arch rationalist becomes progressively haunted in each dialogue by the realization that what we ove determines in advance the direction our rationality can take in its approach to the real Nietzsche commented admiringly on Plato s psychological acumen evinced by his discovery that our strongest Lachlan's Protg (English Edition) longing is the true but hidden master of our reason Already with the Symposium we see that the structure of reasoning crystallizes itself around this primordial pre rational engagement with the real Early on in the dialogue Socrates makes the rather cheeky claim that it is only the genuine philosopher who can understand the real meaning of desire Socrates further proposes to the incredulity of others present that indeed philosophy is somehow connected with the pursuit of the fulfillment of this deepest desire And what better setting could Plato choose to prove the power of Socrates s insight into the human drives than a drinking party Here Socrates proves his superior capacity to harmonize and rein in his whole human capacity for feeling not merely by displaying his superior discursive prowess but also by drinking everyast one of his companions under the table by banuet s end The banuet setting thus seems ike a mock ordeal which allows Socrates to reveal his deeper mastery over his animal nature It is the depth of his transformation of his pre rational nature that makes him the better philosopherWhat Socrates shows us is that our onging is the hunger for completion awakened by our growing awareness of finitude It is a drive to transcend the boundaries of our finitude through an effort to establish a relationship to a reality that is registered as being complete than that possessed by the finite self Socrates famous speech on the real nature of ove in this dialogue attests to the fact that our desire for sexual ove is an offshoot of this primordial drive which is part and parcel of the structure of consciousness itself to find our fullest orientation to reality in an act of knowing that relates all that we are to a world which is for the first time experienced as a unity In the growth of our consciousness we first earn to relate body to human body immersing ourselves in the physical continuum of interchanges in a game of self forgetful clinging to outward shadows At this evel of self development according to Plato s account of the evels of understanding in the Republic our relation is merely to the shifting outward images of being Because we cannot conceive the unity of things at this evel we fall short of that supreme mark of reality which is the knowledge of the unity of things Our ove at this evel thus remains a game of hide and seek played with ourselves as much as with one another But as the power of our minds grows we cannot fail to realize deeper dimensions of our The Crucified Ones: Calling Forth the End-Time Remnant longing to relate We now come toong for a relationship to the real established on the basis of our most characteristic capacity We Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age (Lemelson Center Studies in Invention and Innovation series) long to relate to the world on theevel of mind and we find that this relation to the world not only takes us deeper into the heart of the real Our deepest desire is realized in the perception of the world on the Logic, Labels, And Flesh level of form Thisevel of perception also takes us deeper into ourselves as well as revealing the true basis for relating to one another Our real community is a communion of mindsSocrates proposition to us is that we are selves and Dialogue: Relationships in Graphic Design lovers to the extent that we realize our true nature as knowers And we attain realization as selves to the extent that we progress from being driven by our shadowoving sexual The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths love to that comprehensiveove in us that is wisdom itself The rest of Plato s philosophy is arguably built on this psychology of self realization Plato s identification through Socrates of Love the Good the Beautiful and the True is really the best definition of the most consummate philosophic vision In our highest reasonings Plato s Socrates claims these four things become one Their union in the our highest reasonings Plato s Socrates claims these four things become one Their union in the of an experience is what we call wisdom the end goal of the whole search that structures our Modeling and Analysis of Communicating Systems lives from the first awakening of consciousness in infancy Modern philosophy would be different if we operated under the same definition of reason The greatest proof of its power to me is that even Nietzsche who was its most serious critic nonetheless pined for theoss #of it It seems that Plato s description of the goal of human development was accurate #it It seems that Plato s description of the goal of human development was accurate all even if it remains only an inescapable regulative ideal for philosophic inuiry without ever becoming a stable humanly realizable realityThis dialogue is worth reading if only for Alcibiades drunkenly revealing speech expressing Socrates effect on those poor souls Inventing the Medium: Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Practice like himself whom he manages to convert to his way ofife Surely there has been no greater portrait of the psychology of a great philosopher anywhere nor of the effect that such a figure inevitably will have on natures The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth less in tune with the original drive to know that structures human nature But Alcibiades nonetheless proves himself to be Socrates truest disciple even as he expresses his frustration at his inability read unwillingness to follow him to the end Alcibiades poignantly shows what s in store for all of us as soon as we start to take this gig seriously the way that Socrates represents will cleave us into two warring parts so that we become strangers to our old desires and attachments and strangers in the world awaiting a new birth Plato s Symposium is one of the mostoved classics from the ancient world a work of consummate beauty as both philosophy and as iterature most appropriate since the topic of this dialogue is the nature of ove and includes much philosophizing on beauty In the spirit of freshness I will focus on one very important section where Socrates relates the words of his teacher Diotima on the birth of Love explained in the context of myth Following the birth of Aphrodite the other gods were having a feast including Resource the son of Invention When they d had dinner Poverty came to beg as people do at feasts and so she was by the gate Resource was drunk with nectar this was before wine was discovered went into the garden of Zeus and fell into drunken sleep Poverty formed the plan of relieving her ack of resources by having a child by Resource she slept with him and became pregnant with Love So the reason Love became and became pregnant with Love So the reason Love became follower and attendant of Aphrodite is because he was conceived on the day of her birth also he is naturally a over of beauty and Aphrodite is beautiful Diotima continues but Personlighetspsykiatri let s pause here as according to many teachers within the Platonic tradition there are ateast two critical points to be made about this passage The first is how ove is conceived in the garden of Zeus and that s Zeus as mythical personification of Nous. The Symposium is a complex piece which is perhaps as widely read as any of Plato's works apart from the Rep. .


Or true intellectual understanding In other words for one seeking philosophic wisdom ove is born and exists within the framework of truth and understanding thus in order to have a complete appreciation of the nature of ove one must be committed to understanding the nature of truth The second point is how within the Platonic tradition truth is inked with beauty Two of my own Plato teachers were adamant on this point citing how modern people who separate beauty from truth can never partake of the wisdom traditions Incidentally these exact two points are made elouently by Pierre Grimes in this video Although I am not a strict Platonist I tend to agree When I encounter people who have sharp minds and are keenly analytical but communicate their ideas in snide or sarcastic unbeautiful Financial Modeling and Valuation: A Practical Guide to Investment Banking and Private Equity language or are in any way disingenuous or degrading of others I find such behavior very much in bad taste In a very real sense I feel these individuals have cut themselves off from the world s wisdom traditions particularly from the Platonic traditionI wanted to focus on this one paragraph to convey a sense of the richness of this magnificent Platonic dialogue One could mine wisdom nuggets from each and every paragraph And yes I get a kick every time I read the speech of Aristophanes featuring those cartwheeling prehumans with four arms and fouregs Also two fun facts One reflecting on Alcibiades the history of philosophy records another incredibly handsome man with a similar great head of curly hair and full curly beard a man fortunately with a much stronger character the Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Two Diogenes Laertius reports the Greek philosopher Epicurus also wrote a book with the title Symposium Unfortunately this piece of writing is ost to us Darn OPRAH Good evening and welcome to What s the Most Spiritual Book of All Time For people who missed ast week s exciting semi final round The Sermon on the Mount beat The Bhagavad Gita 4 1 while Jonathan Livingston Seagull unexpectedly Learning Unreal® Engine iOS Game Development lost 3 2 to outsider The Symposium Let s all welcome our finalists Applause Enter JESUS CHRIST and SOCRATES both wearing tuxedos They shake hands More applauseOPRAH And nowet me introduce our jury I m thrilled to have with us Strange Visitors livingegend Paul McCartney world famous novelist EL James the beautiful and talented Lindsay Lohan controversial scientist Richard Dawkins and ever popular hockey mom Sarah Palin The crowd goes wild with some people clapping and others booing It s impossible to make out a word anyone saysOPRAH Thank you thank you thank you I m just going to remind you of the rules before we start Each member of the jury gives us a short speech and then we count up the votes to see who our ucky winner is Over to you PaulMCCARTNEY Thank you Oprah Well I ook at our two finalists and you know what I m thinking I m thinking they won that special place they have in our hearts because they told us about Love And I remember back in 1966 when John gave that interview where he said no offense intended we re popular than Jesus JESUS holds up a hand to show he s cool They gave John a hard time about that but all he wanted to say was that even though Jesus had shown us the power of Love maybe at that exact moment in history we could do a better job of bringing it to the people and telling them all how amazing Love is Because it is amazing isn t it He takes out a guitarPerhaps some of you remember this song we wroteThere s nothing you can do that can t be doneNothing you can sing that can t be sungNothing you can say but you can earn how to play the gameIt s easyNothing you can make that can t be madeNo one you can save that can t be savedNothing you can do but you can earn how to be you in timeIt s easyAll you need is ove OPRAH That s wonderful Paul but who are you voting forMCCARTNEY Oh er well if John were here I think he d want me to vote for The Symposium He was always had a thing for Socrates George too Yes Socrates it is Applause The scoreboard shows 1 0 SOCRATES ooks a The Governess Club: Bonnie little embarrassed while JESUS curiously examines MCCARTNEY s guitarOPRAH That s terrific Paul beautiful beautiful song Really takes me back So Socrates is in theead but it s early days yet Your turn ErikaJAMES Good evening and I m thrilled to be here Now I m sure some of you have read the Fifty Shades books and I believe a The Go Girl Guide: Surviving the mating frenzy with savvy, soul and style lot of people misunderstand them It s easy just to think about the sex and the glitz and theimos and the handcuffs and THE BLINDFOLDS AND THE WHIPS AND blindfolds and the whips and OPRAH I m not uite sure what you re trying to say here ErikaJAMES Just et me finish Oprah What most people don t realize is that these books aren t about sex they re about Love They re a spiritual journey where Ana has to help Christian have you ever wondered why he s called Christian find himself and discover the difference between empty eroticism and the redeeming power of OPRAH I m afraid I m going to have to cut you off there Erika You l have to tell us now who you re voting forJAMES Well Jesus of course Really Fifty Shades is an allegory a modern version of Dante s OPRAH That s incredibly interesting Erika and I wish we had time to talk about it But now the score s 1 1 and we re moving on to our third member of the jury Your turn LindsayLOHAN Thank you everyone and I d particularly Love Wins: Teen Edition like to thank my parole officer for allowing me to join you tonight She said it d be good for me Laughter applause So yeah Love To meove s about trying to find my soulmate I bet there s plenty of you people who feel the same way I do there s someone out there who s The Go Girl Guide like the other half of me and I have to find that person to be complete You know And it s really hard to guess who that person is maybe it s a guyike you know maybe Justin or Ashton or Zac or Ryan and we were once this person who was half a man and half a woman and we got split apart or maybe it s a woman A Cezanne in the Hedge and Other Memories of Charleston and Bloomsbury like maybe Sam or OPRAH Lindsay that s such a moving thought but we ve got to watch the clock Who are you voting forLOHAN Well duh Socrates of course It s all there in the Symposium The Aristophanes speech I must have read it a million timesOPRAH Lindsay thank you so much and I really hope you find your soulmate one day You just need to keepooking So Socrates has taken a 2 1 ead and we re going over to our next speaker RichardDAWKINS Ah yes Now I ve been sitting here "listening to all of you and I ve enjoyed your contributions but I m a scientist and I ve "to all of you and I ve enjoyed your contributions but I m a scientist and I ve to think about things in a scientific way When I think about ove as a scientist all I ultimately see is tropisms and feedback Essentials of Clinical Geriatrics loops An organism feels aack of something it could be as simple as an E coli needing an essential nutrient and it does what it can to get it Love is just the concrete expression of that negative feedback Cult Sacrifice loop There s nothing OPRAH This all soundsike Socrates s speech I take it you re voting for him thenDAWKINS What Oh no no not at all Jesus every time He takes off his jacket revealing a T shirt that says ATHEISTS FOR JESUS I can t stand Platonic forms and all that mystical nonsense Jesus now there s a straightforward plain speaking person with solid humanist values Just a shame he got mixed up with the religion business Boos catcalls some scattered clapping The scoreboard shows 2 2OPRAH Er right Always ready to surprise us Richard So it s up to Sarah to cast the deciding vote Over to you SarahPALIN Well Oprah I m afraid I m not as imaginative as Richard I m just a regular small town girl with regular as Richard I m just a regular small town girl with regular town values and I was brought up readin the Sermon on the Mount Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake blessed are ye when men shall revile you smaller government Falling for Her Rival lower taxes support Israel no to OPRAH Is that all in the Sermon on the Mount SarahPALIN Maybe not in those exact words But it s there And you can bet your boots I m not votin for aiberal type who hangs around with a bunch of guys what re openly tryin to get into his JESUS and SOCRATES exchange puzzled glancesPALIN Anyways I m votin for JesusOPRAH Ah thank you Sarah Forthright as ever So that s 3 2 to The Sermon on the Mount but well done The Symposium you were so close And thank you everyone particularly Socrates and Mr Christ for an amazing and deeply spiritual experience it s been incredible meeting you all thank you again and we Love Wins ll be back next week Credits theme music It has been aong time since I first read The Symposium That was back in university in my freshman year course Sexuality in Literature I admit I found it all a bit shocking the open tolerance. Ublic However the existing standard commentaries in English do not offer much by way of help to any reader.

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