Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pointing to the One-Good

In the opening paragraphs of his Introduction to the Philosophy and Writings of Plato, Thomas Taylor gives the example of a pyramid. Philosophy, Mr. Taylor explains, may be compared to a "luminous pyramid, terminating in Deity".

A pyramid, we all know, is broadest at the base. Similarly a metaphysics or philosophy proper has a broad base. This is due to the fact that many human beings have a lot of questions and doubts regarding the nature of things. The broad base has to address these questions and doubts in a comprehensive manner.

After this, another layer of teaching can be added. Subsequent layers are added until the adhikArin (qualified student) is oriented to that which is highest and deepest within all.

As the apex of a pyramid points into vast space, the apex of a valid teaching will point into the boundless mystery of the Atma, or, to use the language of Platonism, the One-Good.

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