Monday, April 7, 2008

Plato: On Love...Perpetual Possession

"The greatest love, according to Plato, would disclose the secret beauty in everything, that hidden harmony which directs all beings toward the best of all possible ends. We all wish to elope with absolute beauty, or so Plato thinks. For nothing else would assure the ‘perpetual possession of the good’, because all instances of goodness or beauty are only partial to the highest form, only flickering hints of true and therefore eternal beauty or goodness.

As the supreme object of desire, the Good or the beautiful must be present in all phases of human life. It is what everyone seeks, that for the sake of which everything is sought. But few people recognize it, for in the confusion of their lives human beings know that they have desires, but they do not know what will satisfy them. When hungry, they eat, thinking that food is the object of their desire. But once they have eaten, they desire other things, and so on, till death (hopefully) puts an end to it. They may never realise that all their striving is motivated by a search for beauty and goodness. To that extent, they live in ignorance and are incapable of loving properly."

-Lydia Amir (EXCERPT: "Plato’s Theory of Love: Rationality as Passion": Practical Philosophy November 2001 Volume 4.3 Pages 6-14). Painting:- Caravaggio (Narcissus"-1579-1599)

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