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Hi fellow Bums As a few of you may already know, I spent the last one year or so researching the history of some ancient cultures (such as the ones in Egypt, the Americas, Britain, the Pyrenees, amongst others), leading all the way back to the legendary civilization of Atlantis which I believe to be a historical fact. - Based on so many pieces of evidence. This topic is linked to a larger book project I have been pursuing for a couple of decades by now. In regards to its historical section, I am intending to share some of my source material as well as original work in a series of threads, in the hope of finding some resonance and, if possible, a fruitful discussion. Also, be free to ask any questions that may come to mind - I will answer them to the best of my ability. A good place to start our journey into the deep past seems to be the temporal demarcation line drawn by the end of the Last Glacial Period. However, before we depart, it seems to be a good idea to take a look at the topic of the ice ages in more general terms. Since very early geological times, our planet has been going through a series of ice ages, alternating with long warm periods in which our globe was entirely free of ice. The first ice age (called the Huronian) started about 2.4 billion years ago and lasted for 300 million years. It was later followed by the Cryogenian Ice Age lasting 165 million years from 800-635 mya, which was possibly the most severe of them all and might have produced a “Snowball Earth”, in which the Earth iced over completely. A minor series of glaciations then occurred from 450-420 mya, which was followed by more extensive glaciations again for 100 million years from 350-250 mya. More recently, an increase in glaciation on Earth started when ice began to build up over Antarctica about 36 mya during the so-called Eocene Epoch. It was probably related to the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, with a drift of the Antarctic continent toward the South Pole and the development of ocean passages around the Antarctica. Globally, temperatures markedly decreased then during the Middle Miocene (about 15 mya), probably as a result of the increased ice growth on Antarctica. The oceans cooled partly due to the formation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current when ocean currents circled the Antarctic continent without reaching warmer latitudes. At the opposite pole, the Greenland ice cap began to develop in the Middle Pliocene, about 3 mya. Before then, Arctic areas were comparatively warm, with trees and bushes growing far north of the present treeline. The Quaternary Ice Age is the most recent ice age. Ice sheets began to spread over North America and Eurasia around 2.5 mya. This initial glaciation was followed by a series of warmer interglacials (each lasting 10,000-30,000 years) and renewed glaciations (each lasting 70,000-90,000 years) in alternation. Within the Quaternary Ice Age, the most recent phase of glaciation is called the Weichselian/ Wisconsin Glacial Epoch. During its peak, ice sheets covered extensive areas above 40-50º North in both Eurasia and North America. It reached its maximum around 18,000 BC, whereafter the glaciers slowly started melting. That glaciation phase ended for good - and indeed rather abruptly - around 9,600 BC. Due to the slowly melting ice sheets, the global sea-level rose about 60 meters between 18.000 to 9,600 BC, and an additional 50-60 metres until 6000 BC, when it finally reached the level it has today. During those times of rising sea-levels, many islands were covered by water and sediments, and at the same time, much of what once used to be coastal land is now underwater and tens of kilometers out to sea. This explains why man-made structures have been found submerged in various locations off the coasts, with many more supposedly yet to be found. Stories of a deluge in numerous cultures all around the globe may well represent 'collective memories' of those prehistoric changes. For instance, the Bahama Archipelago (identified by the "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce as the location of the lost civilization of Atlantis) used to be a coherent dry land mass off the coast of Florida. The part remaining above sea-level today is just a small fraction of its prehistoric extent. Other locations for Atlantis suggested by various researchers include the Greater and Lesser Antilles (also located in the Carribean) as well as the Azores. If interest warrants it, we will be looking into those various theories in more detail later. So while there remain many questions yet to be answered, it strikes me as rather remarkable that a date around 9,600 BC (i.e., around the end of the Weichselian/ Wisconsin Glaciation) was indicated for the destruction of the island of Atlantis in the very source of the story, Plato's late dialogues Timiaios and Critias. Plato's information seems to have come down to him via the Greek statesman Solon, "the wisest of the seven sage", who in turn had received it from Egyptian priests while visiting the very ancient city Sais in the western Nile delta. Again, we should have an opportunity to talk about that in far more depth later. I wish to conclude this introductory post on the note that the Quaternary Ice Age isn't over yet - it continues to the present day. Although the Earth is at present luckily in an interglacial called the Holocene Era, the Quaternary Ice Age might continue for possibly millions of years into the future, as have several past ice ages. If previous glacial-interglacial cycles are any indication of future cycles, it is likely that the present warm interglacial period will end sometime between tomorrow and 20,000 years from now. Then, massive glaciers will advance from the north again, covering much of North America and Eurasia. That being said, we do not need to fret over that possibility right now, as glaciers and ice sheets have been melting and the global sea-level has been rising at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year since 1961, and 3.1 mm per year since 1993. If this trend continues and the ice caps should fully melt, it is estimated that the Antarctica Ice Sheet would contribute more than 60 metres of sea-level rise, and Greenland would contribute more than 7 metres. Go figure! However, it is not unusual for relatively short, somewhat warmer periods to occur both during glacial and interglacial phases. As for the current rise in temperature, its exact causes remain controversial (not least on this board) - however, that is not the theme of this thread! Please reserve THAT debate for one of the thread especially dedicated to it, such as this one: Here, I intend to be looking at the Atlantis legend as shared by Plato in connection with the end of the last Ice Age (to put it more simply) and then to move on to explore other aspects of that lost civilizations and the inheritance that may have been received from it by subsequent cultures that we have more factual knowledge about. An important source for what has been presented here was P.P. Flambas' book Plato's Carribean Atlantis - A Scientific Analysis, which I warmly recommend to anybody with a serious interest in the topic. Material from various other sources has been added, of course. Please try to stay more on less on topic as outlined and try to post comments of a more general nature in our previous TDB Atlantis thread. Thanks! And feel free to discuss.
I intend this thread to be kind of an introduction to Plato and his influence. I have chosen the following links as a starting point. The author of these posts, John Uebersax, is a Christian Platonist and so I do not agree with everything he says, but roughly 95%+ of what he says in these links, I could have written myself and in point of fact over the past thirty years have written things like this, but they are not in a form easily transferred to the internet. So with this in mind I recommend these links to Uebersax's writings as a good introduction to real Platonism: Question: I have heard that Platonism ought to be approached as a ‘therapy of the soul’, or literally as psychotherapy? Can you explain this? The Republic you never heard about in College Some suggestions for a psychological/allegorical correspondence of key terms of Plato's Republic can be found here What, Plato an Anarchist!? To get some insight into Platonic "Intellectualism" and to distinguish it from modern "intellectualism" you need to read this: Plato's divided line from the Republic And Download this: Higher and lower Reason With this introduction in mind, then more of Uebersax's work may be found here: http://www.john-uebersax.com/plato/ I have not read all of them and I may not agree with things that he says in all of his posts, how much I might disagree I cannot say now. That said I will post more references to his site in subsequent posts. It seems to me that generally his site can be studied with considerable benefit to ones understanding of Plato in his religious, mystical and psychological interpretation. I will also post links to and from other sites and insofar as time allows, and frankly that may be limited, answer questions related to these posts. I will also probably link to or copy posts that I have made elsewhere on the Dao Bums here. I will also post about books and authors who are most useful for a positive interpretation of Plato.
One of the conclusions that I that I came to after decades of study was that in the general population, Platonism was one of the single most under appreciated influences in the formation of Hermeticism, Christianity, Esoteric Judaism and other movements that developed during the Hellenistic period. Granted that this position is more or less scholarly orthodoxy it is generally dismissed by people who don't know enough about Plato to see the influence of his Gorgias in the "Sermon on the Mount" or who who don't realize enough about the technical language of Greek philosophy to see that Hermes Trismegistos was kind enough to speak to the barbarous Greeks in their own technical language and address issues in terms that they had formulated. I am not a person who believes in the "Greek Miracle", as if there was something special about the Greeks, but some of the ideas discovered by a few of their thinkers are so powerful that they changed the way people thought about almost everything. I don't intend to enter into long arguments about the sources of Plato's thinking, but I will post some ideas about them that most people will find surprising, such as the proposal of E. R. Dodds that Plato was attempting to defend a position that was derived from Shamanism. This many years before the supposedly ground breaking work of Peter Kingsley. I will put forward Ideas, directions and sources. In particular I will not engage in discussions with people who have not read a jot of Plato and who cite secondary sources that line up with their own personal prejudices, but are unwilling to open their mind to alternatives. My first post after this will be about my personal journey to my understanding of Plato, which involved a great deal of rethinking and open minded examination. Edit: Italisized Gorgias and put quotes around Sermon on the Mount.