June 11, 2020

“Set Your Minds on Things Above”

In the Republic, Socrates says

he…whose mind is fixed upon true being, has surely no time to look down upon the affairs of earth, or to be filled with malice and envy, contending against men; his eye is ever directed toward things fixed and immutable, which he sees neither injuring nor injured by one another, but all in order moving according to reason; these he imitates, and to these he will, as far as he can, conform himself. Can a man help imitating that with which he holds reverential converse? (500b-c)

It’s passages like this (see other entries of mine on Platonic love) that make you realize why many of the Church Fathers, and the Medievals as well, thought that Plato was virtually a closet Christian, and why, therefore, some of the main categories of Platonic philosophy could be readily adapted to Christian theology. I mean, didn’t Paul write something very similar sounding in Colossians 3:2 and 2 Corinthians 4:18?