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to him because he desires their return. of Laërtes make me ashamed of desAnd thus begins the possibility of being pair. and existing.
Soc. See, then, the value of a dream. The second is Ammon; and he like Ischom. But in this of Diotime's there the first is eternal. Through him all is no substance. I find no use for it. It things have form. He is the infinite teaches no virtue, and helps me in no Space and the eternal Order. Thus be- other respect. gins the possibility of forms.
Soc. Have we not already learned thus The third is Eros, who is also Myri uch from it-that all ience is visionary onymus. Through him the substance and fictitious, an invention of the inteland the form, the time and the order of lect, striving to express the inexpressible? times, become one. He also is eternal. But that is not all. Athene, the divine
Because, of these Principles, none can Prudence, has aided the mortal Ischomabe without the other, they are co-eternal. chus in procuring for him a certain bapIn the beginning there was no beginning; piness. Socrates, the dreamer, has made time and space were not.
it evident to him that he is himself a The first Substance, through Ammon temple of Athene, consecrated to her serand Eros, created the universe, origina. vice. Ischomachus did not adopt this ting nature in his mind. Nothing can opinion because Socrates desired him to come of nothing: he, therefore, produced do so, but because it seemed necessary; all beings out of his proper essence. and now he has gained no advantage While he alone creates, all is subject to over himself, but desires to return into Fate and Necessity; for these are the his former ignorance. names of the forms of his power. He is Ischom. It was the vision of Diotime also the original of equity, and of all which seemed to me of no utility, and compensation,
not the conduct of Socrates. When the world was ready, Eros be Soc. Come, now, let us consider it gan, and produced life with intellect; and carefully; and if we find no utility in the universe became full of living beings, Diotime's vision, I will learn no more of such as are able to continue their species. them. When Ammon began, reason was pro
Ischom. I am of this opinion—that they duced; for reason is the harmony of Eros are perfectly useless, and therefore un. and Phtha. In Ammon we are created, worthy of our attention. and by him we discern and know the Soc. But it is conceded that a know. eternal.
ledge of the gods and of our ancestors is Thus was the world, and all that it not without its use? contains, created by the first Principles, Ischom. It is not only conceded, but in harmony and unity, from their own seems to me established. Being. But the One Being of all is dark, Soc. Upon what grounds? and has no name, though we may call Ischom. That they are examples or him Phtha, or pure Being.
images of excellence, which we meditate Ischom. Is it a dream you relate? and imitate.
Soc. Yes, nothing better. It is even Soc. How is it possible for either you worse: it is the shadow of dreams. or me to imitate Ulysses ?
IsCHOM. What would it profit me to ISCHOM. His equity and fortitude, at know all that can be known of this kind ? least, are imitable, if the gods will aid us.
Soc. As little, without virtue, as to Soc. But for the deities of Homer, or possess riches without Athene. It would those of Orpheus and Hesiod, what avails be, I think, an incombrance.
it to know them? They are no exemIschom. Why then do you, Socrates, plars, as I think. "employ so much of your life about it? Ischom. But if our arguments are of
Soc. Why does Ischomachus read any worth, ideas of the gods are ideas Homer?
of the very essence of those vistues and Ischom. It is a banquet of imagina- powers of whose active force the heroes tion.
and demi.gods are true exemplars. I Soc. Are we the worse for Homer? concede, then, O Socrates, the importance
Ischom. The better, rather. He fills of a just knowledge of the deities, when the mind with images of magnanimity. l am made to confess that the name of a Meditating these, we contemn our own divine power is no other than the name littleness, and learn to emulate their spirit of the essence of a virtue. What, for The constancy and fortitude of the son example, can be more favorable to the
practice of prudence than the just idea of Ischom. All this I may concede, with. prudence, as a principle presiding over out anything gained for Diotime. the selfish energies of the animal? Or Soc. Somewhat hastily you thrust what can be more favorable to knowledge aside the dreamy Diotime: for we are than the right idea of what is spiritually now agreed that the aim of a rational admirable and powerful? or what to true life is to procure the joy of magnanimity courage than the idea of magnanimity? or of justice, or both; but if there be any And these are all deities, if our conclu- other joy worthy of reason, Diotime has sions may be respected. But for the it; for her soul is continually absorbed misty visions of Diotime, I regard them in meditation. In all things the presence with no respect.
of a deity is visible to her. She beholds Soc. I am in some anxiety, Ischoma- the Eternal Equity presiding over matchus, not to have the name with you ter. Eros reveals himself to her in the either of a sophist or a disputative idler; harmony of life. His idea fills her intelbut if I cannot convince you, out of our lect with a pure splendor. Living thus own concessions, that I have justly at. in perpetual communion with the best, tributed a certain importance and excel- and the true, she regards all things with lence to these speculations on the pri- a benignant gravity. Of glory she takes mal causes of things and the original of no thought, and having no possessions, is deity, I shall be left under that disgrace. ignorant of the mine and thine. Diotime Answer me, then, lest I be ashamed: is gives away all she possesses, trusting in any action to be respected if it leads the goodness of men; and by the favor with either to no consequence, or to any pain which the people regard her who think her or unhappiness?
a prophetess, she is never in want, and the Ischom. None.
house is esteemed fortunate where she Soc. Every good action is therefore enters. Diotime, therefore, for her simgood because it leads to some happiness, ple self, has no need for our doctrine of or to some pleasure; but if it leads to utilities, nor of Homer's exemplars: and pain, it is not good.
if she communicates the secret of her Ischom. It seems to me that all good knowledge, (for she is versed in all ends in pleasure, and all evil in pain. sciences and arts,) in a manner some
Soc. An animal seeks a pleasure for what abstract and difficult, we may well the instant only, and for itself. May we spare our contempt; seeing that in the say, then, that the goodness of a man is very thing for which all strive, self-conin this, that he procures happiness for teniment and a rational joy, she has the others, though at the cost of pain to him- victory. self? or shall we say, that the joy of be Ischom. But what is her wisdom to us? ing the cause of happiness to others is Soc. Or our prudence to her. so vast, a lover of men will sooner cease Ischom. It is in vain, 0 Socrates, to conto exist than suffer a momentary interrup- tend with you in this matter; but to me tion of the joy of magnanimity?
this woman is odious. IsChom. Either ; but I prefer the last. Soc. It seems unnecessary to have
Soc. There are other kinds, therefore, argued circuitously in her defence. and degrees of happiness to be enjoyed Ischom. How so? besides those of the body; and even be Soc. Is there not a lawful and natural sides those of justice and prudence. For pleasure of affection? the love of glory, as for that of justice, a Ischom. Yes, and so necessary, life man will lay down his life; but who would not be tolerable without it. ever died for the love of prudence, or for Soc. But there is another pleasure of a pleasure of the body, or for posses. conflict, and another of use and possessions? But if the price given be so sion; and another of fiction and imagimuch greater, the thing purchased is of nation, and another of science; and why so much more worth. The magnanimity then, if these are natural, is it not lawful of a moment pays well for the sufferings to enjoy them all
and severally? of an age. But you have conceded this If I, then, or Diotime take a pleasure in saying of the heroes of Homer, that in geometrical or metaphysical sciences, they served as exemplars of virtue. A orin the dreams of Theosophy, shall any. hero is one who, for the sake of the love one be angry because of the inutility of and admiration of men, will resign his these pursuits? Wherein, pray, is the life.
utility of Love? Love is rather a master
of all utility, and if any man is base you image anything that is neither
Ischom. I cannot. All existences are
Soc. Why not? But first answer which is the body of fire and light; air me? Would it be of use to me at this which is the medium of life; liquid, moment, if as much wheat were in my which is matter fuent; and earth which possession as may be got from the har- is solid. But of these, the three last are vest of all Attica ?
mutually convertible; air may become Ischom. O yes! Though you could liquid; Tiquids change to solids; and the not eat it yourself you could exchange it reverse. But fire and light, the two forms for a multitude of things.
of ether, pass into all bodies, and are a Soc. But I have no need for this multi- part of all, nor have they an independe tude of things; and all that exceeds ne ent existence. But if all things are thus cessity, is not for utility, but for luxury: mixable, and mutually convertible, they To possess the grain of Attica would are essentially one, and must have but consequently be of no use to me.
What shall that name be? Ischom. But it would be of use to Ischom. Let it be Substance. others, for you might distribute it among Soc. There is, then, but one Substance, the poor, or sell it at moderate prices, or by whose variety all existence is prostore it against a famine or invasion. duced. But what is this of which we
Soc. We have discovered, therefore, are speaking? another kind of utility in possessions, in Ischom. Substance, the first Matter. the opportunity they give us of exercising Soc. I am not answered. justice and beneficence. And this is the Ischom. It is impossible to say what it kind which I have taken to be a rule or is, if all things are made from it. test. My property is valuable to me Soc. Where is it? according to the use I make of it, for the Ischom. Everywhere, in Space. sake of equity, generosity, and benefi Soc. Perhaps not. Is it an idea, a cence. My courage is serviceable to me, dream of I know not what, with which as I exercise it in defence of what is we are engaged? or is it that veritable justly inine, and for the sake of those Substance which is everywhere? who are dependent on me. My love is Ischom, I percieve, Socrates, that it is of use to me, as it teaches me to ascend
an Idea ; or, if you will, a dream which from the love of one to the love of all. just now occupies us. My intellect does me a service, when I Soc. When shall the imagination of can discover by it the nature of the true, man be otherwise occupied than with the great, and the venerable,
ideas ? or is it possible for the whole to Ischom. I will argue for no other exist in a part, the real world in a little utility but this.
brain ? Soc. Say, then, whether this happi Ischom. The gods laugh at us ! ness which the wise Athene confers upon Soc. It is reason that laughs at the her votaries, is the only possible or de- littleness of its servant, intellect. We sirable kind ?
contemptuously sport with ideas : only Ischom. To me it is so. But Diotime the superstitious worship them. and Socrates worship other powers. Ischom. Now you speak as I wished
Soc. There is One of whom all speak to have you. I have always seen the with reverence, and whom all may wor- futility of science. Why be obstinate ship, who is greater than Athene, or with a system, or vehemently assert a than Zeus; perhaps, if we direct our belief? I am weary oi this folly. Why prayers to him, he may confer upon us a go about to establish a dream ? happiness superior to these, but not ad. Soc. Ideas, O sceptical Ischomachus, verse to them.
are exceeding necessary for the sake of Ischom. I desire to know his attributes. conversation; they are a kind of natural Soc. It is necessary to ascend with
alphabet for the use of reason, which caution to this idea.
would otherwise be dumb and inactive. IschoM. Suffer me to follow your
Ischom. True. But I would have steps.
their futility better known. I would Soc. Say, then, of all that exists, can have men trust rather to the substance.
Soc. They will easily be persuaded to determine dead matter, that it is permaadopt your idea.
nent, but that its species are perisbable; IsCHOM. It is useless to contradict or we imagine living species, that they are interrupt you. Proceed, then, with the permanent as to the form, and perishable idea of the One.
as to the substance; for a species is like Soo. As there is but one substance, so a wave which stands perpetually on the there is but one life. Every animate verge of a cataract—its substance flows being resembles every other. All in- through it. The life of an animal is a perstincts are directed to the same ends. petual present; it knows neither a past nor Nor are those of man in any respect su: a future, for it is wholly a form, devoid of perior to those of other animals. All real being. But the being of reason exanimals may therefore be regarded as tends backward on the retreating, and existing in the sole and common princi- forward upon the coming time; it conple of life; and all their acts are in- nects our immediate present with a past stances and illustrations of certain laws of and a future. Reason, therefore, is a life, as those of dead matter are of the lord of proprieties and fitnesses, being laws of necessity, or naked fate. Re- cognizant of what is omnipresent and membering that we are engaged, as be- eternal
. Its laws are neither of the prefore, with an “idea of life, and not sent, nor of the past, nor of the future ; with life itself, (since the true being of but of all these. They are consequently life can be known only to the creative eternal, and, at a glance, embrace all intellect which produces it,) let us seek time. For of time, we say that it has now to attain the idea of reason, or of a parts and an order; and the time of to-day power whose function it is to reconcile is not the time of yesterday; and of space, life with the world, and by which the we say that it has a here and a there; body of man is connected with the past and of number, there is a many and a and future, acting in reference to what one; and of substance, a motion and a is eternal. Because intellect is itself only rest. But in the eternal there is no past a form of life and a vehicle of mere ima- nor future; in the omnipresent there is ges,(which form in it, and are redissolved, no space; in being no motion nor rest; like ice in water,) it may symbolize, hut and in infinitude neither one nor many. cannot express, reason. From this cause But of God we say, that He is eternal, it happens that a science or virtue, of it- omnipresent, omniscient, infinite. That self, makes no man virtuous. For virtue He alone is the Reconciler of the fixed is the act of reason, and science is a pro- and the free, the yes and the no, the light duct of intellect, acting under reason. and the dark, the life and the death : that If any man has a science of geometry, He is the Mediator of all extremes, behe is infallible in the acts proper to it, cause the extremes originate from Him. because intellect is superior to sense ; but But it is the office of Reason so to meit is not superior to reason.
diate. Reason, therefore, is the image of Ischom. But how will all this lead to Deity. We have now arrived at the inthe idea of a God ?
tellectual idea of Deity, by forming that Soc. Having attained the idea of a of reason. Let us say, in a word, that universal substance, which is one, and of the one is the source out of which life a universal life, which is one, is it not and matter arise as antagonists, and in apparent that these two beings differ as which they are reconciled and become matter and form ; as rest and motion; as one, and we have the greatest idea intelshade and light; as negation and affirm- lect may attain. Put now this idea, as ation; as time and order of time; as the the faint and far-removed shadow of the no and the yes; the fixed and the free; Image of the Eternal, and consider the the hate and the love; the limit and distance between that image in man and the liberty; the difference and the like- its ineffable Type, and ali is given that ness; the understanding and the imagi. mere intellect can give of Deity. nation ?
Ischom. You have not acted with your Our knowledge of matter is by limits, usual caution, O my friend, in thus overnecessities, impediments, shadows, ces- whelming the harmony of our discourse sations : our idea of life is by freedom, with a crash of sounds too loud and rapid possibility, active power, light, move- for my sense to bear. Each of these I ments, form, (species,) reproduction and might have heard easily by itself, but the self-sustentation. We understand and whole together confounds me.
Soc. I confess we came hastily and in neath her, which is nature, she perceives a scrambling manner to the summit of there her own shadow, and the shadows our argument, and are now so blinded of the loves and passions. Cogitating and breathless, we can see nothing of upon these, she originates an idea of what lies around and beneath us.
their invisible Lord. IscHom. Thus much I clearly under Soc. I may accept the illustrationstand and confess, that intellect is unable and now I return to the city. to see the image that enlightens her from Ischom. The gods protect you. above; but looking on the ground be
J. D. W.
BY WILLIAM WALLACE.
Our worship still is in the public way-