Plato The Mystic

2023-08-15 • philosophy

Plato is beautiful because he combines both Eastern and Western logic. This distinction is made by Peter Kingsley in his book “Reality”. Eastern logic undermines our bullshit mental constructs, forcing us to see reality as it is: illogical. Example: Zen koans. Western logic tries to reason from premises to try to prove things about the world. Example: a higher power must exist because there must be a first cause in this long long chain of causal events we call reality.

Plato does some of both. He undermines the beliefs of his interlocutors AND uses their (usually poorly founded) premises in order to make “rational” arguments for his own mystical insights.

If you read The Republic, it’s absolutely not a fool-proof logical argument for anything. Analytics philosophers would scoff. Plato’s “proof” for the three parts of the soul is absurd. He’s not “arriving logically” at the three parts of the soul. He already knows that there’s three parts of the soul, because he was probably woke to the three gunas, as described in the Bhagavad Gita (WHICH CORRESPONDS PERFECTLY! 1), either through hearing it from Pythagoras or from his own mystical insights, maybe while in deep contemplation or tripping on Greek wheat-acid at the Eleusinian mysteries.

The purpose of Plato’s logic is to open and convince others of what Plato already knows, not through logical deduction, but through mystical insight. To convince the normies, you need to sound logical. We see this today, everywhere. None of you really understand science. Maybe three of you. We’re all pretending “it makes sense”. Most of us have no idea what the fuck is going on with the electrons or whatever, but we talk about things as if we do. We pretend we understand. Some of you say the light-bulb turns on because “electrons flow through this copper wire”. This is wrong. I think. I don’t know what’s going on either. I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure electrons are just invisible math. But we all pretend it’s a rational explanation. The pseudo-intellectual in us is satiated. This is what Plato does.

Let our logic be in service of our intuition. Let our logic be a branch of aesthetics and engineering. Rational explanations can be beautiful. And they are extremely useful for technology, which is so useful service. But to think philosophy can be rational is a fool’s game. The best philosophers are mystics, and logic, for them, is simply rhetoric and persuasion.

  1. The correspondence continues if we look at Plato’s caste system. Caste is determined by predominance of gold / silver / bronze in the soul. Krishna’s caste system is determined by predominance of sattva / rajas / tamas (BG 18.41) in the soul. Before I upset anyone, I’m not advocating a caste system at all. Or advocating Plato’s Republic. I’m not going to pretend to understand what Plato’s or Krishna’s idea of justice is, or how to reconcile it with my own. I’m just point out that the correspondences are crazy!!!