I came across the quote above while searching through myriad quotes on Goodreads, my latest 'go-to' source for blog inspiration. I saw one, then another, and then another of the few quotes by Plato and thought...hmm...perhaps there is fodder here. I hope you enjoy reading today's post as much as I enjoyed writing it...we begin of course, with death, my favourite subject!
In Plato's time war was common...and with war follows death. He would have seen plenty and had plenty of philosophical time to ponder what death meant for him. Plato was 80 when he died and in those days, to survive long enough to die of natural causes was uncommon. Perhaps he reached old age because his status gave him certain privileges that the poor didn't have, such as servants or cleaner living circumstances. On the other hand, he was born into and eventually fought at war, so maybe he was just at the right places at the right times.
Nonetheless, reaching old age in an era where philosophising was encouraged, and in between battles of course, Greek men such as Plato would have had time to ponder the inner workings of life...and death. Under the guidance of Socrates, a friend and mentor to Plato, many subjects were discussed, but in reality none of these discussions could prepare him for what would soon happen. At the impressionable age of 30 Plato witnessed the execution of Socrates. This death must have affected him deeply, for it caused him to leave Athens, perhaps to search for unanswered questions about life and death, and possibly to further his pursuit of philosophy...
Whatever the actual happenings were between Plato, Socrates and their lives, one thing is evident...Plato knew a few things about death and dying.
I refer back to the quote at the top of the page, about the dead seeing the end of war, and think about what Plato could have meant by it. From my perspective, the 'war' he is referring to is more about living the full length of a life, as opposed to how war is represented in battle between two sides. It's about the warring with our selves, between the moral and immoral, the light and the shadow and that only death ends this inner battle. But I believe that love wins out in the end. What happens in between, says Plato in later writings, has to do with love, and the acceptance of our whole selves...
I believe that in the end, given enough clarity and awareness of mind, we all come back to love. Unless there is a medical or emotional reason for maintaining bitterness until the very end of life, I believe we all come back to love. Love of others and ultimately love of self...the full circle of life.
I personally want this to be my end, whenever that end comes and so, as I have mentioned in earlier blogs, I begin with the end in mind. I know how I would like to feel at the end of my life. I know how I would like others to feel about me at the end of my life. And so now, today, and as much as possible, when I'm not temporarily visiting fear, I live in love....for me, for you, for all...
For another day I am passionately yours,
Here you will find the musings of me...
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