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2896Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Odysseus in the myth of Er

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  • leslie greenhill
    Dec 4, 2009
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      Most useful response.  Unfortunately, I'm not skilled in 3D drawing on a computer to undertake your diagram.  I have done a lot of work with the Platonic solids, though, and found much interesting material.  My approach has been - how did people in antiquity deal with the solids and what did they see without using advanced mathematics?  It is surprising what can be found. 
      Back in 2002, I presented a paper in Brussels which contended that Plato used a pentagram to design Atlantis.  In that paper I also suggested that Plato understood the concept that a circle contained 360 degrees.  This caused a negative response from a few people.  There was something in that paper that should have made those people a little more cautious about their negativity.  But they missed it.  Just recently, amongst a number of other findings that have come to light, I am now concluding a work that, amongst other things, will demonstrate clearly:
      *  Plato did undertand the concept of angles;
      *  that his design for Atlantis is not new - it appears in an ingenious form
      in an earlier work by another writer.
      On your remark about ...  "if the substance of our experience is Mind and Plato was so
      self-realized, then might he have argued that there's no 'real' distinction
      between dream and wakened states?"
      Probably.  But maybe that opens a discussion on the nature of consciousness and the nature of reality.  I must say, that since I became interested in geometry some years back, my ideas about number have changed completely.  Carl Jung, Marie Louise von Franz and others with Jungian leanings, have expressed much interest in this area.  Unfortunately, many classicists are not comfortable dealing with number and geometry so it's not discussed much.  Another neglected area is that of metrology.  Let me give an example of that neglect.  The Roman foot was divided into 16 digit divisions and 12 divisions called "unciae".  The ratio of uncia to digit is 4:3, a ratio found in a 3:4:5 triangle.  I know why that happens.  But I cannot find in Australia a single classicist who cares.  They should read or re-read what Plutarch has to say about the 3:4:5 triangle.  In the case of the Roman stade, it contains 625 Roman feet.  The number 625 is 5 x 5 x 5
      x 5.  Interesting that, given we are discussing the pentagon, pentagram and the dodecahedron.   
      Back to the dodecahedron and its marvellous properties.  Around each of the 20 vertexes there are three angles, each angle containing 108 degrees, a total of 324 degrees.  The number 324 is a square number:  18 x 18 = 324. 
      In the case of the icosahedron with its 20 faces, each face contains 180 degrees, a total of 3600 degrees.  The number 3600 is 60 squared, that is 60 x 60.  Nature certainly presents us with some interesting material to work with.   
      P.S.  I don't think that life is all about number and geometry.

      P.O. Box 314
      Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
      Email: neoplatonist2000@...

      --- On Sat, 5/12/09, dgallagher@... <dgallagher@...> wrote:

      From: dgallagher@... <dgallagher@...>
      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Odysseus in the myth of Er
      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      Received: Saturday, 5 December, 2009, 2:49 AM



      Briefly, if the substance of our experience is Mind and Plato was so
      self-realized, then might he have argued that there's no 'real' distinction
      between dream and wakened states?

      Monadic number reflects the trace of substantial number, in the sense of
      images reflected in water; thus, the Rep 526 reference.

      Re: pentagon, the 5-6 relationship is more visually apparent when
      considering the internal structure of a dodecahedron; 5 interpenetrating
      hexahedrons, the vertices of the hexahedrons locating the vertices of the
      dodecahedron. It's easily constructed using Zome Tools, although difficult to see
      unless you paint the struts forming the cubes different colors. Alternatively,
      create a dodecahedron with card stock. Draw pentagrams on each face using
      5 different colors for each line. If the colors are correctly coordinated,
      you'll clearly see the edges of each distinct cube by rotating the solid.

      The 5-6 relationship is also evident two-dimensionally by overlaying 3
      vertices of 2 pentagons to form a hexagon. The construction fits perfectly
      within the vesica piscis when you divide the radius of the circles as
      described in Rep 509e, noting that the only possible division of a line so
      specified yields the Phi Ratio.

      The foregoing demonstrates the sensible emergence of roots, 2, 3, and 5.
      Perhaps your comments indicate the presence of root 7 as well. The fact
      that each of the roots is irrational might further suggest something subtly
      implicate in the power of dialectic.


      In a message dated 12/2/2009 11:48:37 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      neoplatonist2000@ yahoo.com writes:

      Thanks John and David for your thoughtful comments. Jung takes up the
      issue of Reincarnation in "Memories, Dreams, Reflections" I have not been
      able to connect with the issue because of some ideas about Time, itself, that
      have formed in my mind since I took up Jungian studies years ago. Certain
      synchronistic experiences at that time I found challenging. So, back to
      the myth of Er. I am, because of its intensity, inclined to think it has
      some basis in some kind of dream experience. Possibly worked on through
      active imagination and amplified. What would Plato's dreams have been like as
      he neared the end of writing the Republic? And when he wrote about
      geometry <WBR>making it easie one to see the Form of the Good, (Rep. 526), what
      had he seen or done to write such a thing? Perhaps I can give some kind of
      example. Picture the pentagram only from the aspect of its outline.
      Eliminate the interior pentagon. Most people only
      see the number "five". Look more closely. In such a pentagram there are
      only two interior angles. One is 36 degrees, the other is 252 degrees.
      Now 252 is 7 times 36. Seven, a number much connected with mysticism, is
      just as much a part of the make up of the pentagram as five is. Thirty-six,
      too, is interesting. It's six squared. Plutarch wrote that the
      Pythagoreans thought the number 36 represented the world.


      P.O. Box 314
      Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
      Email: _neoplatonist2000@ neoplaton_ (mailto:neoplatonist2000@ yahoo.com)

      --- On Thu, 3/12/09, John Uebersax <_john.uebersax@ john.uebe_
      (mailto:john.uebersax@ yahoo.com) > wrote:

      From: John Uebersax <_john.uebersax@ john.uebe_
      (mailto:john.uebersax@ yahoo.com) >
      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Odysseus in the myth of Er
      To: _neoplatonism@ neoplatonismneo_ (mailto:neoplatonism@ yahoogroups. com)
      Received: Thursday, 3 December, 2009, 3:38 AM

      Les -- again you raise excellent questions about what motivated Plato,
      whether he identified with Odysseus, how did he relate to his own talent,
      ambition, etc.

      Certainly the Er myth stands out prominently from the rest of the Republic
      -- at least in style, though one would hope there is an important thematic
      connection to the rest of the work.

      Dennis mentioned (in alluding to the Michael Allen article) the take of
      Marsilio Ficino on the Er myth. Ficino resisted the view that Plato took his
      references to reincarnation -- including the Er myth -- literally. That
      would mean reincarnation would have to be understood allegorically. A possible
      view is that reincarnation symbolizes cyclical patterns of ego states --
      for example, from elevated noetic states back to worldly attachments to body
      and passions.

      The Republic can be read at one level as a study on self-governance: how
      does the person or the ego organize and govern the 'polity of the soul'? An
      allegorical reading of the Er myth would be a very suitable close to this
      study if it described cycles and patterns of ego states.

      The Jungian, Edward Edinger, whom I mentioned before, wrote about cyclical
      patterns of ego development vis-a-vis the Self. He explained the ego as
      varying between more and less orientation to the Self (i.e., towards or away
      from 'individuation' )

      John Uebersax

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