our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness Phaedr. 244a

2014/05/17

The inspired speech of myth begotten of the Daimon reveals that the world is the theater of the periodic revolution of soul.




"I would like to point out that in the works of Plato such as we have them, in dialogue form—and not as the interpreters try to reconstruct them in the form of a system—it is the mythic language of "representation" (to use the Hegelian vocabulary) that is at the origin of the theoretical language of "speculation." Logos is capable of elaborating a theory of knowledge at the conclusion of dialectal conversation only after mythos has oriented the philosophy with a knowledge of theory. The latter engenders the natural movement of the soul that enables it to see the theaters of ideas.

"[...] Platonic myth may thus be roughly defined as a tale of various episodes reported by the voice of the narrator only...which tries to reveal *in iconic form* the initial truth of the world. The synoptic function of the myth whose circular structure duplicates that of the cosmos enables it to integrate in one vision the manifold experiences acquired by men through contact with things. As in a theater the representation of the invisible takes shape and puts rhythm into space.
"At the center of the enclosure built on a hill and opened to the outer world, the drama that holds together the lives of men with the lives of gods, as well as the forces of heaven with those of the earth, enacts the meeting point of all the perspectives to which it communicates its primal unity."

Temenos

The Theater of Myth in Plato Jean-Francois Matte'i,
in PLATONIC WRITINGS, PLATONIC READINGS, ed. Charles Griswold

(also...)

WONDERFUL little book

Tim Addey

An introduction to the philosophical interpretation of Myth


"For more than one thousand years, the Pythagorean and Platonic philosophers of antiquity visited and revisited their primeval mythological heritage which was the living heart of their pagan religion, art and science. In earliest antiquity the inner truths of myth were held to be suitable only for those who had undergone the initiations and training of mystery cults and academies of philosophy, and were communicated in secret and guarded language; in later antiquity, circumstances forced their interpreters to become more open and commit their insights to writing. It is these writings upon which Tim Addey draws in order to present to the non-specialist reader a philosophic interpretation of the beautiful and powerful myths of the Greeks
The Seven Myths of the Soul is based on a passage from Damascius, the last head of Plato's Academy in Athens:

The Soul descends into generation, after the manner of Kore; 
She is scattered by generation, after the manner of Dionysus ; 
Like Prometheus and the Titans , she is bound to body. 
She frees herself by exercising the strength of Heracles ; 
Gathers herself together through the help of Apollo 
And the Savior Athene , by truly purifying philosophy; 
And she elevates herself to the causes of her being with Demeter .

In the stories of Persephone (Kore), Dionysus, Prometheus, Heracles, Apollo, Athene and Demeter the trials, initiations and ultimate triumph of each human soul are outlined in mystical symbols. For those seeking soul wisdom this book provides the starting point for a cycle of profound meditations."