“Timaeus and Critias” by Plato

In “Republic”, Plato constructed an ideal State; in “Timaeus”, he designed an ideal Universe.

Plato’s universe is built with proportion, order, beauty, symmetry and cycles according to the pattern of the Eternal Being. Both universe and man are governed by the same principles, such as “like to like”, which are inductive to harmony and stability;  Both are composed of mortal body and immortal soul; Both are made of four elements, fire, air, water and earth, all of which are constituted by “triangles”, that is, mathematical forms underlying the elementary particles.

Living is, in large part, discerning between being and becoming, sameness and difference. For instance, our five senses discern between sameness and difference in the objects we perceive, and our immune systems have to distinguish foreign objects from own body cells. Things that are drastically different from us can cause disorders and diseases, which is the reason why Plato advised against using drugs, for fear that it might disrupt the natural course of recovery.

“Critias” tells a tale of a lost civilization, Atlantis. Like the ideal state in “Republic”, Atlantis was the pinnacle of civilization, but degenerated over time as men forsook the divine and pursued the material. History is like memory, and like lost memory, many ancient civilizations are forgotten by succeeding generations.

Excerpt:

Space, the Natural Receptacle of All Bodies
“It can always be called the same because it never alters its characteristics. For it continues to receive all things, and has never in any way whatsoever itself taken on any shape similar to any of the things that enter it; for it is by nature a matrix for everything, which is moved and refigured by the things which enter it, and because of those things it appears different at different times.”

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