PLATO'S PHAEDO

Translated by Benjamin Jowett

AN ANALYSIS BY JAMES W. PATTERSON, Ph.D., Esogist

The following analysis brings to the field of philosophy a perspective rarely considered in modern philosophy. This perspective is an analysis of the Esoteric elements "hidden" within Plato's Phaedo, but of great importance relative to the dialogue of Socrates.

It is unclear whether it is the translator who failed to render certain terms correctly regarding their Esoteric references, but these are noted in this analysis. For those readers seeking to know who is providing this analysis, you can research Here.


My primary interest in providing an analysis of the Esoteric dimensions of the dialogue of Socretes, in Plato's Phaeso, is my long interest in encouraging the field of philosophy to consider adding the sub-field of Eso-Philosophy to its program. Eso-Philosophy is described Here.

Let us begin just after Socrates has received his guests, and he is speaking of suicide and says this: "This is a great mystery which I do not quite understand."
Then Socrates states, in part, "...until God summons him, as he is now summoning me."
A point to consider for someone like myself is the fact [if the translation is correct] that Socrates makes a clear distinction between God, and gods. To some, who may be unmindful of this crucial distinction, such a distinction may not seem to be very important. But to me, this distinction says something quite important about Socrates. I gather from Plato's Phaedo the fact that Socrates envisioned multiple planes of existence. Is it presumptuous of me to conclude certain "truths" from so little "evidence"? It would seem presumptuous to those lacking a certain "insight" perhaps, but my analysis is not based on what the brain can perceive, or think about.... my analysis is based on an understanding of, and appreciation for, the "Whole" of Man. Which is what I appreciate Socrates is talking about.

And the last several sentences takes us to a difficult bridge for some people to cross. The fact is.... the nature of the Esoteric dimensions of Life are such that their "vibrational residue" can be contained on some abstract word, term, or symbol... if that word, term, or symbol has been invested with the "vibrational residue" of the Esoteric "Knowledge" possessed by the writer of the word, term, or symbol. And for some, I realize this asks for a great deal of trust regarding myself.... suggesting that some vibrational "residue" can be mystically deposited on a word, term, or concept. For a bit of background on me, the reader might want to research Here.

My suggestion is obviously not capable of being "proven" "scientifically". But then, little of this analysis is "scientific". It is not that I am anti-science, it is simply that science has chosen to avoid the Esoteric dimensions of Man, and of Life. And for those of us who chose to focus our lives on the discovery of the Esoteric dimensions of Life... we are at odds with those of science who chose to deny the Esoteric 3/4ths of Life.

I have no need to be "proven" correct by other than those capable of "seeing" what I am talking about from within themselves. This analysis moves well beyond the limitation of science, or the brain and its thinking. I apologize to those who are confined to intellectualism, but if you are capable of reading this analysis, your capability depends upon a natural access to your faculty of Intuition.... which will operate parallel with your thinking, but quite distinct from your brain and its thinking. I am not determining this, it is Life that determines whose Spiritual Evolution allows the Esoteric to be known. I am merely pointing to phenomena that exist, if you are able to perceive this phenomena, it is not your brain that is doing this, it is your Intuition [read more about Intuition here].

I am not speaking of magic here. Nor of some mystical slight of hand that is not a natural part of Reality. What I am writing about is "Intuitive recognition of vibrational residue of Knowledge", placed upon some word, term, or symbol by another - whether intentionally or by simply stating a word, term, or symbol to convey a Knowledge he/she possesses. Once a word, term or symbol is "invested" with the vibrational residue of the Knowledge of another, that word, term, or symbol remains "active" and can be recognized by anyone in possession of the exact same Esoteric Knowledge. But, let us emphasize "in possession of" as relating to this Knowledge. ONLY someone in possession of this Knowledge can "see" the vibrational residue of that Knowledge.

So, when Socrates speaks of God, he is [to me] clearly stating that he recognizes the Spiritual Reality of God, and that he is not speaking of God as he spoke of the gods thought by people of his time to be in charge of the mundane operations of the physical plane. This recognition of the existence of the Spiritual plane is clear to me, but I fully appreciate that it may not be clear to others.... who perhaps lack the actual experience of the Spiritual dimension of Reality. And lacking an experiential Knowledge of God. Such "experience" of Knowledge is easily denied by those who lack it. In fact, it is the duty of the MIND to insure that only those "ready" to awaken to the vibrational Reality of Spirituality may do so. This is not widely known.

And when I use the term "God", I am referring to the Spiritual dimension, and we must remain clear that "religion" has no place within the Spiritual dimension of Reality. So, the reader must not mistake anything in this writing to be a reference to religion. Religion is of the MIND, and the MIND is incapable of perceiving Spirituality.


Socrates says:
What again shall we say of the actual acquirement of knowledge?-is the body, if invited to share in the inquiry, a hinderer or a helper? I mean to say, have sight and hearing any truth in them? Are they not, as the poets are always telling us, inaccurate witnesses? and yet, if even they are inaccurate and indistinct, what is to be said of the other senses?-for you will allow that they are the best of them?

"What again shall we say of the actual acquirement of knowledge?-is the body, if invited to share in the inquiry, a hinderer or a helper? I mean to say, have sight and hearing any truth in them?


In this, Socrates is clearly stating that the physical senses of sight and hearing are deceptive relative to Truth. And please take note of the difference it makes to capitalize the term Truth! Which the translator did not do. Socrates is saying, in other words, that the physical senses are capable of correctly perceiving physical phenomena... but does physical phenomena possess Truth? No, because Truth does not exist on the physical plane.

Are they not, as the poets are always telling us, inaccurate witnesses? and yet, if even they are inaccurate and indistinct, what is to be said of the other senses?-for you will allow that they are the best of them?

What do the eyes and hearing work through? It is not the brain, that Socrates is referring to?


Socrates then states:
Then when does the soul attain truth?-for in attempting to consider anything in company with the body she is obviously deceived.

Socrates is saying that when we fix our attention [attention being the Attn Aspect of ones Apapsyche in the physical body, ones attention is deceived. I am saying precisely the same thing Socrates said, but I am using different terms because I have them to use. Socrates is saying, in his own way, that "truth" cannot be found by using ones physical senses.


Socrates then says:
Then must not existence be revealed to her in thought, if at all?

Thought? What does Socrates mean by the term "thought"?

And he attempts an explanation:
And thought is best when the mind is gathered into herself and none of these things trouble her-neither sounds nor sights nor pain nor any pleasure-when she has as little as possible to do with the body, and has no bodily sense or feeling, but is aspiring after being?

And here is where I "believe" Socrates is using "MIND" as a dimension quite separate from the body and Spirituality.

Where "none of these things trouble her - neither sounds nor sights nor pain nor any pleasure - when she has as little as possible to do with the body, and has no bodily sense or feeling, but is aspiring after being?


Socrates then says:
And in this the philosopher dishonors the body; his soul runs away from the body and desires to be alone and by herself?

"The philosopher dishonors the body"? Here I believe the translator may have made a bit of an error in translation. I would understand something suggesting setting aside the body, or leaving the body, or separating from the body.... "dishonors" does not "fit" the thrust of the dialogue. In meditation the purpose is to rise above ones MIND, and in stilling the MIND, to gain access to ones Soul, or Spiritual dimension. And this is certainly to achieve a state of "being".


That is true.
Well, but there is another thing, Simmias: Is there or is there not an absolute justice?

Assuredly there is.
And an absolute beauty and absolute good?
Of course.
But did you ever behold any of them with your eyes?
Certainly not.
Or did you ever reach them with any other bodily sense? (and I speak not of these alone, but of absolute greatness, and health, and strength, and of the essence or true nature of everything). Has the reality of them ever been perceived by you through the bodily organs? or rather, is not the nearest approach to the knowledge of their several natures made by him who so orders his intellectual vision as to have the most exact conception of the essence of that which he considers?

"Or did you ever reach them with any other bodily senses?" This could just as well be phrased: But did you ever behold any of them with your brain, or with your thinking, or your physical senses? "Has the reality of them ever been perceived by you through the bodily organs?" Are absolute beauty and absolute good capable of being known by ones physical body? Socrates suggests not. And then Socrates says something unusual.

Has the reality of them ever been perceived by you through the bodily organs? or rather, is not the nearest approach to the knowledge of their several natures made by him who so orders his intellectual vision as to have the most exact conception of the essence of that which he considers?

I believe what Socrates is speaking of here is the faculty of Intuition. And either Socrates was unaware of this faculty, or not in possession of a term for it, or what is more likely the case, the translator lacked the Knowledge to comprehend what Socrates was saying... and interpreted Socrates based on the interpreter's lack of Knowledge of the Esoteric.... which Socrates was clearly pointing to.

Then Socrates explains [albeit in abstract terms] what he means:
Certainly.
And he attains to the knowledge of them in their highest purity who goes to each of them with the mind alone, not allowing when in the act of thought the intrusion or introduction of sight or any other sense in the company of reason, but with the very light of the mind in her clearness penetrates into the very fight of truth in each; he has got rid, as far as he can, of eyes and ears and of the whole body, which he conceives of only as a disturbing element, hindering the soul from the acquisition of knowledge when in company with her-is not this the sort of man who, if ever man did, is likely to attain the knowledge of existence?

Let us break down what Socrates "means" in this statement.
...he attains to the knowledge of them in their highest purity who goes to each of them with the mind alone, not allowing when in the act of thought the intrusion or introduction of sight or any other sense in the company of reason, but with the very light of the mind in her clearness penetrates into the very flight of truth in each;...".

Socrates is saying here that the " highest purity of knowledge is absent the intrusion of sight or any other sense. This to me is clear reference to an "altered state of consciousness", but not in the way most people think of this occurrence. I am speaking of the super subtle shift a person makes when entertaining the higher reality being presented to one by his or her faculty of Intuition. The surprising Ah-ha of Intuition, when one suddenly awakens to a bit of Truth, that one did not possess previously.

Because American education so intensely ignores and avoids the fact of Intuition, we know precious little about it. Most people fail to realize that Intuition is the means by which one's "conscious awareness" [ones Apapsyche] interacts with ones own Knowledge. Knowledge being a part of what I refer to as CDKA&EU, explained here.


Socrates says:... he has got rid, as far as he can, of eyes and ears and of the whole body, which he conceives of only as a disturbing element, hindering the soul from the acquisition of knowledge....

Now to some, this might not mean what it means to me. But to me, it is clear that Socrates is saying that one must do this and not that... if one wishes to tap ones Knowledge. And "this" is ones Intuition, while "not that" is ones brain and physical senses.

Now it is understandable that the intellectual will read this quote of Socrates, and the MIND of the intellectual will simply not "see" the clear intent of Socrates to state that the brain [which is clearly a part of the body] must be "got rid of" in order to acquire Knowledge. Granted this is not stated in a way that lends itself to comprehension by the brain... since the brain is entirely incapable of resonating with any element of the Esoteric dimensions of Man or of Life. So, like science, the rational intellectual simply denies the existence of the Esoteric dimensions of Man, and of Life.

It is quite understandable that a person might not be capable of taking-in the Esoteric vibrational energy of his MIND realm. B.F.Skinner, who gave us the delusional notion of "Behaviorism" was incapable of doing this. And quite unknown to him, his MIND caused him to "think" that by replicating the denial processes of his own MIND in a physical form, and presenting this natural Defense Mechanism of his MIND as Behaviorism, he was adding something new to the world. He had no idea that everything he thought was Delusional Thinking presented to the Left-Hemisphere of his brain by his MIND.

I refer to such Delusional Thinking as being part of the natural DM=SI [Defense Mechanism equals Subtle Insanity] of ones MIND. Research the DM=SI of the MIND Here.

It occurs to me that the truly serious philosopher will realize that a good study of Esoteric Psychology would be quite helpful in better understanding philosophy. It is the Esoteric that stands in the way of most people. That is, the natural and fully non-conscious fear within the MIND that prevents those confined to intellectualism from seeking both Truth and Reality.

It is of some significance that Socrates states that it is the Soul that can acquire Knowledge, but not if interfered with by the brain or MIND. ....the whole body, which he conceives of only as a disturbing element, hindering the soul from the acquisition of knowledge when in company with her-is not this the sort of man who, if ever man did, is likely to attain the knowledge of existence? !!! This statement of Socrates seems more than clear to me, but then... I am not confined to my brain for my comprehension of Life. I use my Intuition most of the time now, and have been doing this for about twenty years now. What was difficult was not accepting myself as being unusual and often alone in my understanding things others did not... what was difficult was accepting that so many others did not use their intuition.

What Socrates speaks of as Knowledge of existence is what I refer to as the Purpose of Life. And this Purpose is for Man to discover who, what, and why he/she exists? And once this is known, one no longer has any resistance to death. Indeed, one welcomes death as a release from the illusion of life. But this is all quite Esoteric and can only be known by those who have accumulated what I refer to as a high level of CDKA&EU [Conscience, Discretion, Knowledge, Acceptance and Empathetic Understanding], or the Virtues of Life that every Soul is slowly accumulating in every lifetime ones Soul experiences. None of this is available via ones intellect.... as Socrates explains.