This is something from my old blog which I deleted and just concluded the only copy of it is on Vivek’s blog. I think it maybe worth another spin. (They say all life is a circle anyway!)
Child of Fire
Socrates was one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived. He felt that many of the great minds of the day lacked an open awareness of their own ignorance. In other words he was more aware of what he did not know than most. We have all heard the old saying the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. Virtue he felt was a necessary part of any valuable human life. It is clear from reading him he thought the unexamined life was not worth living.
He was willing to face death rather than give up his commitment to philosophical inquiry. This is a picture brought to us by Plato at any rate and he felt Socrates was the model for all future philosophy. Socrates was jailed by Athenian officials who felt his teachings were a danger. When Socrates was offered an escape by his friends he refused saying that what the majority thinks does not matter, the committment to truth was worth more than his life. It certainly seems to parallel the life of William “BraveHeart” Wallace does it not? In fact maybe we have a historical trace of Joan of Arc as well as the Salem witch trials involved here. Thoreau said all of the witches have now been hanged. Let us hope so.
Socrates examined an issue from all sides exploring the interplay of competing ideas subjecting all of them to reason. (also intuition)
When Meno suggests that virtue is simply the desire for good things, Socrates argues that this cannot be the case. Since different human beings are unequal in virtue, virtue must be something that varies among them he argues, but desire for what one believes to be good is perfectly universal since no human being ever knowingly desires what is bad, differences in their conduct must be a consequence of differences in what they know.
Plato became his student and he also believed the virtue or knowledge of a soul stemmed from previous incarnations of things learned and innately remembered. This is pure Buddhist thought by the way and the belief in 12 planes of existence with sometimes an avatar coming from beyond the 12th. It would certainly explain how sometimes a five or six year old concert pianist comes into being. He did not believe that virtue could be taught as it was something innate and the soul was immortal. Virtue was a learned soul that benefited from many incarnations.
Aristotle later became a student of the Plato school of thought and the instructor of what we know as Alexander the Great. Upon looking over the writings of Aristotle it is my feeling that his view of the world was a bit more earthy shall we say than his two predecessors. He reminds me a bit of Shakespeare in that he felt the natural world was somewhat of a stage which shapes spirituality. He was definitely a man of letters and teaching. He taught logic, physics, biology, politics as well as rhetoric. All he wrote are now known collectively as the “Organan.”
The Organan concerns the role of chance and the natural world. In other words, animal, vegetable, mineral and the immortal soul involved in what I would call dynamic or a certain type of cosmic dance in which moral conduct plays a role in determining the happiness of human life on earth.
We do know that Aristotle left Athens and spent some time in Asia minor, that which today we call Turkey. He later returned to Macedonia and was charged to be the teacher of Alexander. From reading The Generalship of Alexander the Great I did see speculation that Alexander may not have been the son of Philip but of Neco, the last fleeing Pharaoh of Egypt and was conceived in a tantric ceremony his mother was involved in. There is also speculation his mother Olympia had Philip assassinated in order for Alexander to become king.
The teachings of Aristotle seem to manifest in Alexander and they seem to indicate that Aristotle thought the ancient world was under the sway of extremely evil men. Macedonia received reports of human sacrifice in Khazaria and many parts of the east. It is known that Alexander attempted to surround this area and many fled to modern day Poland and over the Silk Road to Japan, being routed along the way by the forces of Genghis Khan. In what we know as the middle east today they were also called Edomites. It is known also that Alexander was not a huge fan of Darias the ruler of Persia. Speculation would lead us to think this also may have been the opinion of Aristotle who himself fled Macedonia upon the poisoning of Alexander.
I do not think simplistic movies such as Alexander starring Colin Farrell tell the entire story of Alexander, although entertaining they may be. He is portrayed as a drunken warlord with a thirst for blood and possibly homosexual. This is our first indication he may have been onto something. He felt that he could unite the known world under the banner of truth disregarding thoughts of race culture and skin color. He in fact married a Persian woman. (and a few others it seems!) Quite frankly I view Alexander as a rare bird having been schooled by Aristotle, taught the known world was under the sway of a satanic gang and he vowed to try and do something about it. Whatever your views, he is still beloved by Greeks and Macedonians alike.
We know he established the library of Alexandria in Egypt which was later sacked by the Romans. It was a repository of ancient knowledge that scholars today would love to get their hands on. Upon arriving in Egypt Alexander declared he was the son of Amun and the Egyptian Gods were his Gods, he was the the equal of Apollo and a blood relative of Hercules. Obviously he was not short on ego. We certainly don’t know the entire story here as history still remains a dark candle over an even darker abyss.
We do know that once Alexander approached the Greek Philosopher Diogenes (one of my favorites) and asked if there was anything he could do for him. Diogenes was a beggar and lived in a copper barrel he rolled around Athens. He replied to Alexander he could indeed do something for him, he could move and stop blocking his sunlight. It is said Alexander laughed and said if I were not Alexander I would wish to be Diogenes.
I bring up Diogenes as he was once asked what is the difference between life and death. Diogenes stated there is none. He was then asked why he is still among the living. Diogenes replied because there is no difference. Diogenes was a cantankerous sort that once called Plato an airhead.