The Reunion of Plato and Socrates
Plato, master of philosophy
Socrates, master of philosophy and moral hero
The scene is Mount Olympus. Plato, on his death, ascended, by the grace of the gods, to Mount Olympus, his reward for a life dedicated to truth and beauty: To spend eternity with the blessed gods. He is greeted on his arrival by his former master, friend and hero Socrates. Socrates and Plato embrace. They get to business immediately: philosophy.
Plato: Ah master! What a blessing to see you again. The gods love us both it would seem. I trust the hemlock didn’t taste too bad.
Socrates: Like a swig of wine, dear friend. Except a little more lethal. But tell me now, the rumors among the gods are that you have even surpassed me at the art of philosophy. I have come not only to greet you but to learn. To see if the student has become the master.
Plato: You will always be my master, but it is true what they say, I have seen Truth with my own eyes, by the glory of the gods and the Eternal One.
Socrates: Pray tell all!
Plato: Ah, so much to relate! I will begin at the beginning. What does it mean to be a human, to exist, to think, to question, to grow, to learn. I have uncovered the secret of the human condition, what it means to exist as part-animal part-god.
Socrates: But dear friend, before you begin, there may be some, not among the gods, but the mortals, who refuse to accept that man is part-god. How will you convince them otherwise?
Plato: It is true that this is a matter every individual must decide for himself. He or she must introspect, and discover the divine part of the human experience through either a mystical union with the divine, or through the more indirect but still divine arts of philosophy and poetry. The human soul lies dormant in man, waiting for the spark, the impetus of free will to light its journey towards truth and divinity. I will leave the discussion of this here, and simply leave one last remark: it would be the greatest conspiracy theory ever to deny the validity of divinity given the millennia of empirical and subjective experiences attesting to transcendentalism, that every culture, in every region, attests to transcendental and supernatural causes.
Socrates: I am in agreement, continue friend.
Plato: As I said before man is part-animal part-god. The Ideal Form of the Human is a divine triad consisting of Man, Man-God and God. Imagine a scale from being an absolute Man, what we would consider a savage beast, and an absolute God ,a perfect being, that is without any needs and entirely self-contained.
It is crucial to understand the mechanics of such a dual-combination. Why is this necessary? It allows for choice, for free will. Free will can be nothing other than a binary — given two options, one must be chosen at the exclusion of the other. Only a divine combination, a reconciliation of opposites, like Man-God can give humans the option to choose to be either more divine or more human. If one were completely a man, godlike qualities like virtue could not be chosen. If one were completely a god, there would be no possibility of animal behaviour. Therefore to be human is to be both divine and material at the same time, with the ability to become more divine or more materialistic.
Socrates: This is all good and true my friend, but, to play the devil’s advocate, why should I care for such lofty but impractical thought?
Plato: My friend this is the key to the human condition. Life is a struggle between this Man-God binary. What you labeled the good is nothing other than, or synonymous with the divine. The bad its opposite, animalism. Note, for instance, that we do not put moral judgements on animals when they kill. But when humans kill intentionally, it is called murder and is the most heinous crime. When a human acts like an animal he is bad. When a human acts like a god he is good. Not for no reason are these two words the same in English
(Socrates wondered for a second how both he and Plato became so proficient in English)
The struggle to be good, to be virtuous is to be like the gods. If you truly understand my philosophy, you will come to the understanding that man can overcome his materiality, and achieve divinity, to achieve immortality, renown and glory. As our new home Mount Olympus attests to. It incorporates all of our philosophy from Old, that one should shun the evil and embrace the good. Embrace the good for it will develop your divine and eternal part. Shun the bad for it will develop your mortal, perishable part. Live for the sake of eternity, not for the sake of temporal flesh.
Seek virtue: justice, wisdom, temperance, bravery. And then my friend, will they sing of you in these golden halls above the fray of human toil. Every human has this divine potential. Every single one.
Socrates: Moving words my friend, and all true. Now let us go watch Hercules wrestle Ares.
Socrates and Plato walk towards the golden amphitheatre. The never setting sun of Olympus burns brighter. Plato playfully kisses Socrates on the cheek. They both laugh.