Timaeus and Critias

Plato's "Timaeus and Critias" is mentioned a few times in the "Gnosis Now!" class I've been doing so I thought I'd try read it for some background details. according to Plato's wikipedia page, Plato (Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn, "broad")[1] (428/427 BC[a] – 348/347 BC), was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy.[2] Plato was originally a student of Socrates, and was as much influenced by his thinking as by what he saw as his teacher's unjust death.

in "Timaeus and Critias", Plato's creation myth is similar in some ways to the creation stories of the gnostics. the introduction to the Penguin Classics version of the book, written by Desmond Lee, mentions Plato's thoughts about "the soul, as divine, is immortal, but destined not for a single life on earth but for many." Plato's transmigration views can be found in the myth of Er in his other book "Republic". also, Lee mentions in his analysis, "there is a close correspondence between macrocosm and microcosm, that is, between the structure and behaviour of the world as a whole and that of the human creature in particular. This shows itself especially in the circles of Same and Different, which exist both in the world soul and in the human soul, in the sphere of the universe and the sphere of the head."

Lee mentions these things when speaking of Plato's philosophy : ... the distinction between two orders of reality, Being and Becoming ... The real world, the world of Being, contains the Platonic Forms, the objects of rational understanding and of the operations of mathematics and logic ... The world of Becoming contains all the things perceived by our senses, about which no certain and final knowledge is possible.

the book is in dialogue format - there are four speakers : Socrates, Timaeus, Critias, and Hermocrates. Socrates has set the theme and the others are to tell him a story about it. the theme Socrates selects is "the ideal state and its citizens" which is described as "... separating the farmers and theother craftsmen from the defence forces. And we assigned to each class, as being natural to it, a single appropriate occupation or craft." he had unusual ideas about the 'production of children' ... "... that marriages and children should be shared in common by all, and arranged that no one should recognize any child born as their own, but that all should regard themselves as related to everyone else." - some of these ideas sound like they are based in Vedic traditions. others such as the communal children sound like some sort of 1960s commune or kibbutz - perhaps they were based on Plato & Socrates' ideas.

it turns out that this ideal society has already existed, at least in the story / myth - Atlantis.

(extract - page 40-41)
(3) Prelude. The physical world has only a secondary reality, and knowledge of it is bound to be imprecise.
Timaeus: We must in my opinion begin by distinguishing between that which always is and never becomes, from that which is always becoming but never is. The one is apprehensible by intelligence with the aid of reasoning, being eternally the same, the other, is the object of opinion and irrational sensation, coming to be, and ceasing to be, but never fully real. In addition, everything that becomes or changes must do so owing to some cause; for nothing can come to be without a cause. Whenever, therefore, the maker of anything keeps his eye on the eternally unchanging and uses it as his pattern for the form and function of his product, the result must be good; whenever he looks to something that has come to be and uses a model that has come to be, the result is not good.

more later..

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