This essay provides an answer to the question that so many of us are presently asking: In the face of seemingly invincible fascistic tyranny, what can we do? To uninformed people, philosophy appears to be a completely powerless, merely academic discipline. In this essay philosophy's real essence will be divulged: an immeasurably powerful force that is actually able to overcome tyranny. It is indeed heartening to comprehend philosophy's potency to outmaneuver and overpower despotism.
It requires a mind disciplined and instructed within the Perennial Tradition 1 to discern how genuine philosophy is able to conquer repressive, murderous power. But the potency philosophy possesses to overcome tyranny is real--not some ethereal metaphysical conjecture meant to soothe and befuddle the credulous.
We'll first locate philosophy within the more comprehensive context of the Perennial Tradition. Following that, we'll see how modern tyranny is attempting to destroy the genuine teaching and learning of Platonic philosophy. Last, we'll examine precisely how philosophy is able to conquer tyranny and what part we can play in this cosmic struggle.
"We have spoken of 'Plato's philosophy' and 'Platonic teaching', but this is only a manner of speaking, for the philosophy, the teaching does not belong to Plato, it is not his creation. His is a sublime formulation of something which was there before him, which has always been and which will remain even if his name be forgotten."
Raphael, Initiation Into the Philosophy of Plato, 1999
Philosophy As a Disclosure of the Perennial Tradition
In earliest times certain sages discovered the fundamental nature of ultimate reality. Their successors have taught select students how to reawaken organs of perception, resulting in a higher state of consciousness.
This higher consciousness enables the student to discern that what we take to be reality is actually a kind of illusion and that there are higher dimensions of being.
The secret legacy which teaches this transformative process, the single stream of initiatory teaching flowing through all the great schools of philosophy and mysticism, is the Perennial Tradition.
Perennialist teaching material and teaching methods are the outcome of creative adaptation by initiated teachers of the identical stream of Perennialist truth to contemporary needs.
Each Perennialist teacher develops a different embodiment of the fundamental truths, not because she is borrowing from her predecessors and building her own philosophical system on the basis of their ideas, 2 but because the needs of her students, relative to their own time and place in history, require new compilations and techniques.
Plato, 3 who originated the disclosure of the Perennial Tradition named philosophy, taught select students how to attain a state of higher discernment that was termed Wisdom. Instruction in attaining this state was named philosophia, the quest for Wisdom.
From the records of early Greek, Arabic, and Persian Perennialist teachers who practiced philosophia, it's clear that for these individuals philosophy was a way of life, not merely an intellectual pursuit. Some of them--Pythagoras, Socrates, and Shihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi, among others--paid for their pursuit of wisdom with their very lives.
"Suhrawardi's life (1154-1191 CE) and Suhrawardi's thought were intimately connected, just as they were for Pythagoras and many later philosophers who believed that philosophy required a philosophical life. Philosophy for him was the love of wisdom and implied the obligation to live his philosophy; it was not simply the love of talking about wisdom. To pursue the Illuminationist philosophy, it is necessary to seek enlightenment from the divine lights."
John Walbridge. The Leaven of the Ancients: Suhrawardi and the Heritage of the Greeks
Tyrannies 4 of many stripes have--throughout history--attacked Perennialist teachings in general, and philosophy in particular,
because they understood them to be inimical to their ruthless manipulation and exploitation of the masses. A partial list would include:
The murderous Athenian senate that sentenced Socrates to death on trumped-up charges
The Jewish Sanhedrin and the Roman ruler Pontius Pilate who sentenced Jesus of Nazareth to death as a terrorist
The capitalist cabal that criminally seized political and economic power in America in the early years of the twentieth century and has now created a police state (e.g. making it "legal" for the military to seize, imprison, and torture U.S. citizens, without trial or due process)
The "Christian" oppressors and the "Christian" Emperor Justinian who in 529 CE closed down the Platonic Academy, claiming that it was a subversive pagan establishment
The "Christian" Roman Catholic and Protestant tyrants who murdered Bruno and Servetus, among many others, and have enslaved their followers' minds throughout the centuries
Modern scholastic tyranny:
Anti-intellectual pseudo-scholars such as Schopenhauer and Nietzsche who claimed that Plato destroyed an original Greek nature-philosophy and replaced it with a deformed system in which the real is made subordinate to thought
Contemporary crackpots such as Martin Heidegger, Karl Popper, and Leo Strauss who were created by fascist rulers to try to destroy philosophy in general and Plato's thought in particular
To understand why tyrannies throughout the ages have attacked philosophy, we'll examine in detail the murderous attack on Plato by agents of despotism.
The Quintessential Plato
A great number of the enlightening and transformative concepts and institutions that constitute the heritage of our modern world originated in Plato's writings. It's impossible to determine just how debased human life would now be had these teachings not been available to enlightened thinkers.
Political and religious tyrannies overwhelmed humankind in the Dark Ages. It was only when Perennialist teachings such as the Hermetic corpus and Plato's writings again became available that we in the West were able to pull ourselves up out of barbarity and depravity to a more enlightened existence.
In earlier essays, we've seen how the underlying bases of contemporary societies are founded on Plato's study of supersensible forms such as Goodness, Justice, Beauty, and Truth, which humans must follow to achieve justice and right government. We've examined his ideas concerning the human powers of reason, self-awareness, and language--which have shaped our entire Western civilization.
The Degradation of Philosophy
Immediately following Plato, beginning with his student Aristotle, the degradation of philosophia into scholastic philosophy began. Philosophia, properly understood, involves a transformation of one's inner being, a pursuit that rules every aspect of one's life. This acquisition of mystical knowledge does not come from doing research in a university library; it involves special methods of dialectical interchange and meditative contemplation, and an entire way of life.
Plato understood that only a few people are able to authentically practice philosophia--the love of and the search for wisdom.
"The genuine practitioners of philosophy will be but a small remnant. . . Those who belong to this small class have tasted how sweet and blessed a possession philosophy is."
Plato, The Commonwealth, VI
In the same book, Plato elaborates on how difficult it is to practice true philosophy, resulting in a very small number of genuine philosophers. He also explains that even this small number of true philosophers are not recognized and their ideas are not used by the masses.
"Suppose you now take this parable [of the mutineering seamen] to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honor in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honor would be far more extraordinary. . .
Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him -- that is not the order of nature; neither are 'the wise to go to the doors of the rich' -- the ingenious author of this saying told a lie -- but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them goodfornothings and stargazers."
Modern Attacks on Plato
Modern tyrants who've seized illegitimate political, economic, and military power--the group I've delineated as the capitalist cabal--recognize the continuing force of Plato's influence--and hence its danger to their depraved manipulation of human minds and their insane totalitarian outrages.
They've deliberately established counterfeit "philosophers" such as Martin Heidegger, Karl Popper, and Leo Strauss and many others to try to distort, obfuscate, and obliterate genuine teaching of the Platonic philosophy from our universities and colleges. In this, they have been exceptionally successful--so much so that the only genuine teachers of the Platonic philosophy today are to be found outside academia. 5
To give too much attention to these counterfeit sophists would be to bestow on them an importance totally beyond their true worth. But we must understand why these attacks by tyranny have been made on philosophy and how they can be countered--how philosophy ultimately defeats tyranny.
Philosophy's Current Bad Reputation
Orthodox "philosophers," beginning with Aristotle, employed a process of weeding out, as they put it, of the esoteric and mystical and proclaiming logic as the supreme methodology in philosophy. Aristotle and his successors believed that they were purging human thought of mythical rubbish and replacing it with hard-headed, rationalist explanations which met the tests of logic and common sense. So, from that time till today's inert, useless college course in analytic philosophy, the counterfeit has been sold as the genuine.
Modern academic philosophers have a deservedly bad name throughout the world at present--much like the ill repute of sophists during the time of Plato. In The Commonwealth, Socrates explains how spurious philosophy--sophism--has turned people off, because of its counterfeit nature. Since unthinking people identify sophism with philosophy, they think it is useless.
"The modern philosopher is a professional pedant, paid to instruct the young in philosophical doctrines and to write books and articles. He is a professor of philosophy, not so very different from a professor of biology or of marketing. He need not reshape his inner being to the model of the doctrines he discusses in his classes. If pressed, he will perhaps claim that he is useful because he teaches the young to think more clearly and, less plausibly, that he forces his fellow professors in other departments to clarify their concepts. The proud cities of metaphysics were long ago abandoned as indefensible and have fallen into ruin. The philosophers have for the most part retreated to the safer territory of language and logic, creating for themselves a sort of analytical Formosa."
John Walbridge. The Leaven of the Ancients: Suhrawardi and the Heritage of the Greeks
Contemporary classroom philosophy--and other academic disciplines--are only fossilized remains of the genuine tradition called philosophia. We have almost entirely lost the ability to distinguish an authentic teaching from a petrified scholastic husk. With our present state of "learning," we are largely the product of ossified systems which teach us to pile opinion on top of assumption.
We've been trained to try to blow back to life the mere imagination of long-dead coals called Classical Philosophy or Classical Science until these areas of study have become mere "disciplines" within a university curriculum, the dead seeking to resurrect the dead.
A number of thinkers--including Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Russell, Heidegger, Rorty and Derrida--consider Western philosophy at a dead end. Their various accounts of the bankruptcy of that tradition range from seeing it as springing from intellectual fallacies at long last exposed and refuted, or as the long-standing corruption of an original human wisdom now standing in need of radical reconstitution.
While we must surely acknowledge the bankruptcy of modern academic philosophy into inane word analysis (P implies ~ ~P) or pop psychology (everybody has his own conception of reality), it's necessary to distinguish this counterfeit type of philosophy from genuine philosophy--as Plato did during his own time. Through many centuries of identifying casuistry, polemics, and scholasticism as philosophy, along with the loss of the ability to recognize or understand genuine philosophy, most contemporary thinkers lack the capability of grasping the true nature of the philosophical teachings of Perennialist sages such as Plato.
The fake philosopher Heidegger (seen in a Nazi group photo above) was a long-term member of the Nazi party.
Though modern academic "philosophy" has been deliberately debased and disfigured to the point of almost total uselessness, the continuing, pervasive influence of Platonic philosophy is so powerful a force for reason and just government, that the agents of tyranny feel it necessary to try to destroy it in any way possible. The absurdity and wrong-headedness of Plato's self-appointed critics is masterfully described by Francis L. Jackson in his essay, "The Post-Philosophical Attack on Plato."
"In spite of its prima facie implausibility, this tragic, high-operatic account of the intellectual history of the West still exercises enormous influence upon contemporary thinking; the more recent heroes of continental philosophy still perpetuate it. 6
With both Nietzsche and Heidegger the beginning is typically made with a claim to an epoch-making insight into the essential 'nihilism' of modernity as the final embodiment of a legacy of spiritual degeneration going back in time.7 The root cause of this cultural decay, or at least its crucial symptomatic expression, is declared to be epitomized in the historical cult of philosophy which as a matter of course elevates thought above life, plays down the sensible world as 'mere appearance', and seeks to comprehend and subordinate living reality under intellectual principles, the so-called ideas. The history of philosophy is thus, as Nietzsche puts it, the history of a lie whose consequence is just nihilism, the culture-negative culture of modernity."
The incompetence and incoherence of these critics of Plato is plain for anyone to see. Academic philosophy has become completely infested with such learned imbeciles. I recommend Francis L. Jackson's essay referenced above, which intelligently refutes the Plato-critics' specious arguments and exposes them as pretentious frauds.
Fear and Loathing of Leo Strauss
One other misfit merits a brief mention, because he is the "philosophical godfather"
of some of the vilest thugs in power within the neo-con ideological faction.
Leo Strauss (1899-1973) began his career in Nazi Germany. He was powerfully influenced by three pseudo-philosophers admired by the Nazis: Friedrich Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Carl Schmitt. The Nazis worshipped Nietzsche as their hero.
As a young man, Strauss fell under Heidegger's influence. Heidegger was an avowed Nazi and continued to teach in Germany under the Hitler regime.
The Rockefeller-funded Leo Strauss
Carl Schmitt, the Nazi philosopher of law, arranged a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship for Strauss to study Thomas Hobbes' philosophy in France in 1932 and in England in 1934. Strauss entered the United States in 1937, ending up at the University of Chicago in 1949.
Using such frauds as Leo Strauss, the Rockefeller-dominated demonic cabal deliberately set out to destroy the genuine teaching and learning of the Platonic philosophy worldwide, just as they have purposely destroyed American education in general.
Paleoconservatives, Neocons, and Repuglicans
A number of the cabal junta members--or fellow-travelers--are devotees of the Straussian, anti-Platonic ideology, including Paul Wolfowitz, Supreme Court Justic Clarence Thomas, Judge Robert Bork, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, William Bennett, William F. Buckley (National Review), Alan Keyes, Francis Fukuyama, ex-Attorney General John Ashcroft, Ken Masugi, Michael Ledeen, Bush II Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone, Abram Shulsky and Richard Perle of the Pentagon, Elliott Abrams of the National Security Council, George Will, Newt Gingrich, Robert Kagan, and even Clinton advisor William Galston and fellow Democrat Elaine Kamark.
Leo Strauss is the "Fascist Godfather of the neoconservatives." His neocon disciples believe that an elite should use deception, religious fervor and perpetual war to control the credulous American population. The primary goal of Strauss and his disciples is to turn back the clock of history to before the Enlightenment, when ancient tyrannies ruled without restraint.
A Leo Strauss could only become a professor of philosophy in a demented age in which people in general and scholars in particular could not see through his nonsense. Strauss, for example, claimed to have "discovered" a Plato without a doctrine of ideas or immortality of the soul, a Plato without metaphysics. I do not recommend that you read Strauss's works; they are nothing more than illiterate, obfuscating efforts to deliberately destroy philosophical discourse, sponsored by modern fascist rulers.
Strauss believed that liberalism, as practiced in the advanced nations of the West in the twentieth century, contains within it an intrinsic tendency towards relativism, which leads to nihilism (shades of Nietzsche). This is the same brand of nonsense peddled by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Heidegger we reviewed above. We get a clear impression of Strauss's intellect when we learn that he believed that the Nazi Martin Heidegger possessed the greatest mind of the 20th century.
Strauss recommended the study of Plato only for the purpose of recovering the nature of political life which he believed had been perverted by Plato. Strauss's goal was to explicate the essence of modernity, which originated in the transformation of political philosophy effected by Machiavelli. Strauss believed that Machiavelli was a genius who redirected political philosophy from an essentially contemplative or theoretical consideration of political elements to an active transformation of reality. Machiavelli replaced human will for nature as the source of cultural standards, Strauss claimed.
Strauss said (to paraphrase) that modernity is founded on the internalizing of the sources of morality within human subjectivity, and, as the necessary correlative of this, results in the oblivion of nature and total historicization of all moral and political standards. In terms that make sense, Strauss believed that people in power determine what's right or wrong and impose their will on weaker people.
That last concept should sound familiar, because it was a theme examined in several of Plato's dialogues: the belief that justice is the will of those in power. From this we can remind ourselves that all of the "modern" political-social-religious-philosophical issues that so fiercely exercise us today were discussed in Plato's writings and most of the ideals and values at the base of Western civilization originated from Plato's solutions to those issues.
How Philosophy Overcomes Tyranny
Philosophy does not annihilate or destroy the persons and machinations of the tyrannous capitalist cabal that is murdering workers and abolishing human liberties worldwide. Those who practice philosophy engage in overcoming this demonic force in the sense of outmaneuvering and overpowering it and replacing it with the Commonwealth Form. In its struggle against tyranny, philosophy uses three supernal powers which it alone possesses:
The power of discernment:
To comprehend with other than the ordinary senses or mental abilities
To experience and understand what is not evident to the average mind
To distinguish and select what is true or appropriate or excellent
To penetrate beyond what is obvious or superficial
To employ keen practical judgment
The power of loving and seeking Wisdom (filosofia)
The power of realizing the substantive core of a new commonwealth Form which, by its very existence, overcomes tyranny
"The ancient Gnosis we may define as that knowledge of the nature of Man and of his place in the Universe which transcends the mere appearance of things as presented to the senses and the intellect, and which contacts Reality in a region of pure Truth. The beginning of this knowledge, therefore, is the realization that things are not what they seem; and no one who is a crude realist--as are all orthodox Christians, both in respect of the physical world and of their own Scriptures--can make any approach to this super-knowledge."
William Kingsland, The Gnosis or Ancient Wisdom in the Christian Scriptures
1. Discernment: Discernment is the power of comprehending a phenomenon with ordinary physical and mental capabilities as well as with Higher Intellectual faculties. As in the quotation above, discernment involves penetrating beyond what is obvious or superficial. Most humans have no conception of discernment's extraordinary, transcendent potency, because they mistakenly believe that it's easy, indeed automatic, for a person to apprehend what reality is.
We begin to gain the elementary powers of discernment when we see that our ordinary view of reality is a deadly delusion, that comprehending reality requires our awakening and developing specific capabilities enabling us to fathom a veiled unknown actuality.
To grasp how powerful discernment is, let's examine a phenomenon that many Americans feel they comprehend just through ordinary experience: President Barack Obama. They believe they know that he is a well-intentioned, brilliant, leader who is basically a humane person trying to do his best by the American people.
People who believe that about Obama are at the mercy of suicidal delusions. Most such people are unaware that they're suffering from mental derangement. Their ignorance of their own self-destructive ignorance has led to their allowing themselves to be used as cannon fodder in wars started only for the purpose of corporate profit and militaristic domination. They're allowing their own country to be ruined by debt, globalistic transfer of American jobs to cheap labor markets, Constitutional freedoms being destroyed wholesale before our eyes, and rapidly increasing joblessness, homelessness, poverty and debt because of bankster looting of workers' tax money.
"In reality cognition is . . . spiritual struggle for meaning . . . It is decided by the intensity of the will to truth and meaning . . ."
If you don't recognize that we're living in the time of a transcendent, spiritual struggle of Truth against devastation and falsehood, you're simply not awake enough to have much hope for survival. At this point in human history, we either overcome our deadly delusions and work to attain the spiritual power of discernment, or the human race may descend into increasing barbarism and ultimate extinction.
We gain philosophical discernment by studying, among other concepts and operations, Plato's discerning of two realms, dimensions, or worlds.
1. The world of truth
2. The world of delusion and tyranny
All of Plato's writings are a kind of ongoing struggle
against the world of delusion and tyranny and a championing of the world of truth and reality. The participants in Plato's dialogues represent one or the other of these two worlds.
In The Commonwealth, Plato identified a genuine philosopher as "one whose heart is fixed on reality itself." It's clear that what he means by "reality" is not what we now take it to mean in ordinary thought.
"What is at issue is the conversion of the mind from the twilight of error to the truth, that climb up into the real world which we shall call true philosophy."
Plato speaks of "ordinary reality" as a "twilight world" and the higher world which only seekers of wisdom can discern, "the truth," "the real world," or "true philosophy."
"When the mind's eye rests on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and comprehends them, and functions intelligently; but when it turns to the twilight world
of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its beliefs shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence."
To understand what Plato meant by the world of reality, it's necessary to consider what he intends to convey through the concept of the "twilight world" of delusion, ignorance, and tyranny.
Most people assume that Plato is denigrating "ordinary reality" by saying that it participates in such qualities as change, mere opinion, and time. They think Plato is describing the "sensible world" by contrasting it to his "World of Forms"--which many identify as a realm of unreal ideas that are actually (as Aristotle claimed) mere generalizations and conceptualizations abstracted from "hard" realities such as shoes and ships and sealing wax.
We can only understand what Plato meant by "twilight world" if we think clearly about our current political-social situation. At present, we are faced with a demonic cabal which has created a false reality in which:
They lie and make people believe it is the truth; they can "get away with murder"--do whatever they want to without any possibility of facing consequences.
They proclaim the delusions of their diseased minds as the measure of human and social order, e.g. bringing democracy to Iraq.
They manipulate most people's minds by controlling what ideas are disseminated--because they own the major communication outlets: TV, newspapers, publishing.
They rig all presidential elections by selecting candidates for both the Republican and Democratic parties.
As one cabal advisor said: "That's not the way the world really works anymore [reasoning to find the truth]. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."
We must work with this conception of a "false reality" made to appear as the "true reality" to comprehend what Plato understood the world of untruth to be. For Plato, the deception, ignorance, and tyranny of a gang of fascist thugs such as the current capitalist cabal is precisely what he meant by "false reality."
We tend to think that Plato's conception of false reality as a "twilight world" involves only philosophical elements such as change, opinion, belief versus knowledge, and so on.
When we look carefully at Plato's writings--considering the structure as well as the content of his dialogues and letters--it becomes clear that Plato's overarching intention was a continuing struggle against the false world of tyranny and ignorance, just as we are having to fight today against the counterfeit world of the demonic cabal.
We must continually keep in mind that Plato had already lost his dearest friend and teacher Socrates in the battle against the unrestrained oppressive power of Greek "mob democracy." This was not a dilletantish discussion or dainty debate; Plato's struggle against tyranny was a matter of life or death. He understood that he was battling against oppression in many forms to win the minds of young people who would be the future leaders.
Plato saw the philosophical shortcomings of the "ordinary world," but he also struggled against social, political, and cultural corruptions which were a part of that deranged world. His fight against tyranny is clearly seen, for example, in his Gorgias.
The world of delusion, ignorance, violence, and tyranny is so pervasive at present--has infected and deformed so many people's minds and souls--that most Americans don't even see it--or do anything about it even if they happen to notice it for a moment.
As I am updating this essay, I read in the Los Angeles Times that Obama is going to cut military spending. When I look carefully at his budget it becomes evident that he will--on the contrary--raise military spending by 24% over the next ten years. Newspaper reporters and TV news anchors never expose such lies or register surprise or indignation that such lies are being perpetrated. The basic premise of the newsprint and TV parts of the World of Untruth is that lying is perfectly acceptable behavior. Members of the Obama cabal-puppet regime do it every day of the week.
Following the 2000 coup d'etat that allowed Bush II to seize power illegally, the 2004 election in which Karl Rove's Nazis rigged the votes and the vote counting, and the 2008 election resulting in Obama the Con-Man being placed in the presidency, an entire "shadow world" has been systematically created in which lies are truths, crimes go entirely unnoticed, the destruction of Constitutional liberties is ongoing, men and women are sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to die for oil and cabal corporation profits, and working class Americans are ground into the dirt. People throughout the world have become so accustomed to and benumbed by this "shadow world" of ignorance, repression, and tyranny that they delusively believe it to be the only real world.
The essence of Plato's philosophy was an ongoing battle against exactly the same kind of twisted, unreal, counterfeit world that we presently face. Philosophy--the search for wisdom and truth--arises out of the resistance of the soul to its destruction by a perverted world. The situation Plato faced--and we now face--is the life-or-death of our very being.
"To be deceived or uninformed in the soul about true being means that 'the lie itself' has taken possession of 'the highest part of himself' and steeped it into 'ignorance of the soul.'"
Plato, Gorgias (382a-b)
Not working to discover--and realize--the truth and not having reasoned opinions about what is happening in the world is a way of being complicit in the tyranny that's going on.
"Plato and the other leaders of his era were united in a struggle to defend the achievements of Greek civilization by ridding the world of the oligarchical elite of Babylonia and Persia which remains the model for the [American-] British oligarchy of today. It is this battle that is reflected in Plato's own life history, as well as his writings. To create flanks in their battle against the oligarchy, Plato and his associates traveled throughout the Mediterranean world, sometimes fighting for the minds of rulers, sometimes with arms and bold strategems."
Genuine philosophers must be engaged in social-political analysis and activity--among other things--because the order or disorder of a society shapes citizens' minds and souls. All persons who want to safeguard their minds and their souls must engage in philosophy, in the sense of searching assiduously for the truth--what's really happening in the world--and determining what means are necessary to overcome tyranny--a commonwealth polity.
Ordinary people can be "philosophers" through resisting the mind-manipulation of the cabal and helping to create commonwealth communities. A philosopher is anyone who actively resists the attempt by the world of untruth to corrupt his soul, his higher self.
Any genuine philosophy at present must struggle against the world of untruth created by the present fascist regime. If you read something by a so-called contemporary philosopher that isn't battling against the current form of tyranny, then you know that he or she is not a genuine philosopher.
We must realize that we're in a battle not merely for whether this particular puppet regime of the demonic cabal starts this pre-emptive war or that, passes legislation that destroys the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, or gives trillions of taxpayer money to fat-cat banksters, but with whether or not our very being will be subverted by lies and false values.
A depraved society--such as we now face--can destroy a person's soul, because the disorder of society is a disease in the psyche of it members. True philosophers guard their own souls against the degradations of the surrounding society which press on them. Philosophers diagnose the health and disease in their personal souls and at the same time examine disorder in a deranged society.
Plato reminds us that our resistance to an insane world depends for its success on a precise comprehension of those against whom we struggle. One of the requirements for discerning the true essence of our antagonists is to describe their beliefs and actions in a straightforward manner. We must, in other words, refer to what is happening today by its true nature--a fascist police state--instead of masking it with such lies as "incompetence," "receiving false intelligence," and "well-intentioned but bungling efforts."
That's why I've chosen to refer to the gang that has seized power in America as the demonic cabal and to describe their vile behavior in forthright terms such as murder, lying, and deliberate destruction of people and social structures.
Part of what the capitalist cabal tries to do is to appear to set the standards for polite discussion. They claim that using such terms as "demonic," "criminal," "cabal," or "murder" is uncouth or belies the disturbed mind of a conspiracy theorist. At the very moment their totally biased representatives are verbally attacking anyone who dares to speak forthrightly about the demonic cabal's perfidies, they smile and smile and continue to commit the most villainous acts.
Plato's writings--like no other--provide us with a clear understanding of the salient aspects of the world of deliberate ignorance, delusion, and tyranny. We read Plato's dialogues to see how we can struggle against soul-destroying ignorance in our present experience.
The manner in which Plato attacks the false world of delusion and oppression is extraordinary and contains subtleties which require our careful study. Plato created short dramas in which representatives of the two worlds meet to do battle--this is one of the major elements within his dialogues. He set the stage for his struggle against tyranny and laid out the terms of the discourse. This is essential because the actual members of the world of delusion and oppression--then and now--never enter an arena where they're required to present their true beliefs or values. A David Rockefeller, a Jim Baker, a Karl Rove, a Henry Kissinger, a John McCain, or a Barack Obama never allow themselves to get into a situation where they would be forced to speak the truth. So, to do battle against them, we must create our own universe of discourse.
The Laser of Philosophical Discernment Within Plato's Dialogues
The structure of Plato's dialogues indicates their genius: we gain an understanding of fundamental concepts by bringing into dialectical juxtaposition the most potent ideas of the false world and the best ideas of the world of truth. At present, we must work assiduously to understand precisely what are the bases of the world of tyranny as conceived and practiced by the demonic cabal, since in most instances they hide or obfuscate their basic tactics and strategies.
One of the few positive benefits of watching TV "news" programs is to sharpen our capacities to see through the lies which the cabal members broadcast to the public. Our struggle against the current world of ignorance and destruction must include discernment of what it is they're hiding and making the truth available to those who wish to understand.
From studying Plato's thought and activity we gain the insight that genuine philosophy is not the preaching of right doctrines, but continuous effort to identify and analyze the forces of good and evil through dialectical interchange. A large part of our effort is to train the soul to recognize the shape and substance of the world of untruth and, consequently, understand how we must work in opposite ways to discern and realize the truth.
Philosophy does not exist in a social vacuum, but in opposition to the world of tyranny. Justice is not defined in the abstract but in opposition to the concrete forms which injustice assumes in our time. In The Commonwealth (often mis-translated as The Republic), Plato was not only creating an "ideal Form" of a city state, but also discovering the elements of right order in concrete opposition to the elements of disorder in the society of his day. Plato explains that just as the principles of right order for a city-state are discovered in combat against the fundamental principles of tyranny, so the forms (eidos) of virtue in the soul are discovered in opposition to the many forms of disorder in the soul.
Philosophy illuminates truth by opposing it to untruth, perpetuating the tradition of Perennialist sages who discover and disseminate truth in their resistance to the dogmas of their time. As in Plato' experience, so with us, philosophy involves the new embodiment of the truths of the Perennial Tradition under extremely anarchic and chaotic conditions. Between the age of Xenophanes, Parmenides, and Heraclitus and the age of Plato there had occurred a century of sophistic moral and political degeneration, just as in American society the demonic cabal has for over a century deliberately worked to destroy our culture.
Genuine philosophers arise in opposition to sophists--mandarins who teach and direct the destruction of society. A genuine philosopher develops a contemporary concept of justice for the purpose of opposing the current sophistic disorder; the meaning of fundamental realities such as justice and truth must be understood in relation to their opposites within a specific era.
Plato defined disorder in the world of tyranny as polypragmosyne, the seizing of power by those who incorrectly presume they possess wisdom in all things. In modern terms, this has been clearly illustrated in the case of the demonic cabal, which assumes that it has the understanding of how Americans--and the world--ought to order their lives and therefore possesses the mandate to seize control of American society and the world. 8 What polypragmosyne means in practice is that the unskilled, unenlightened, and depraved seize the rule of a society to its detriment and final destruction.
When the same principle of disorder (polypragmosyne) is applied to the soul, it refers to appetites and desires directing the course of human action and claiming the rulership of the soul which properly belongs to wisdom. True justice (dikaiosyne), on the other hand, covers right order at all levels --the harmony of the soul and society.
We gain exceptional insight from Plato's concepts as we examine our own world of untruth. And we retain the concreteness of Plato's thought by translating his terms in reference to current examples of corruption. We can, for example, identify certain modern tyrants in direct reference to Plato's dialogues: David Rockefeller as Cephalus, James Baker as Gorgias, Brzezinski as Callicles, Obama as Polus, etc.
Plato quite accurately included the purveyors of popular culture--what we would today identify as the world of mindless TV and barbaric movies--with the sophists as the source of disorder in the soul and society. To restore order to the deranged souls of the world of untruth, we must begin at the strategic point of the "ignorance of the soul" by setting aright the relation between man and his Higher Self. This is the problem which dominates The Commonwealth as a whole: the attack on the corrupt society is not directed against this or that political abuse but against a disease of the soul.
Philosophy, in Plato's time and ours, comes into being as the resistance of the soul to its destruction by a deranged world. Philosophy, as the continuing, most effective embodiment of the Perennial Tradition, possesses three distinct expressions:
A process of evoking the right Forms and their re-establishment in our souls and in our society, constituting a process of self-regeneration for ourselves and others
The organic development of the substantive core of a new commonwealth which, by its existence, overcomes and relieves the pressure of the surrounding corrupt society
Plato's New Commonwealth Form
3. Realization: We overcome demonic terrestrial forces by understanding and realizing Forms.
In all historic eras, humankind has ordered its life according to specific societal archetypes: patterns of behavior and objectives. When these elements become injurious and deadly--as at present--then we can overcome these destructive societal archetypes--patterns of behavior and objectives--only by understanding the true Form of these elements and thus realizing their Truth.
We overcome demonic elements by understanding and realizing true and benevolent archetypes: harmonious patterns of behavior and synergistic objectives.
One of Plato's most important projects was the search for and investigation of the
Form Commonwealth--which included societal archetypes, patterns of behavior, and human objectives. In Plato's quest for the Commonwealth Form he was seeking more than a mere accumulation of haphazard historical facts about man's political and social life. He was questing after the supersensible Form Commonwealth, a comprehensive Model which would make possible a more perfect terrestrial embodiment of the Commonwealth Form.
Through understanding Plato's writings, especially The Commonwealth, we gain the necessary comprehension of the nature of Forms in general and the Form Commonwealth in particular, making it possible to not only comprehend fully the Form Commonwealth, but also create a contemporary commonwealth movement leading to harmonious, cooperative communities.
Plato was convinced that without gaining a full understanding of the Form Commonwealth, all practical attempts at realizing a terrestrial commonwealth are doomed to failure. The Form Plato is looking for is far beyond the empirical and historical world, an Ideal Pattern by which humankind can aspire to realize a more fulfilling life.
An Already Realized Form of Commonwealth
At the end of The Commonwealth, Socrates tells Glaukon that the moral principles of virtue and order, applying to both the soul and the society, will not likely be actualized in the world of untruth, but they're already realized in a higher realm of supersensual communion.
"He will gladly take part in and enjoy those which he thinks will make him a better man, but in public and private life he will shun those that may overthrow the established habit of his soul."
"'Then, if that is his chief concern,' he said, 'he will not willingly take part in politics.'"
"'Yes, by the dog,' said I, 'in his own city he certainly will, yet perhaps not in the city of his birth, except in some providential conjuncture."
" 'I understand,' he said; 'you mean the city whose establishment we have described, the city whose home is in the ideal; for I think that it can be found nowhere on earth.'"
"'Well,' said I, 'perhaps there is a form of it laid up in the spiritual domain for him who wishes to contemplate it and so beholding to constitute himself its citizen. But it makes no difference whether it exists now or ever will come into physical reality. The politics of this supersensual city only will be his and of none other.'"
Plato is the founder of a supersensual community9 of philosophers--truth-seekers--that lives through the ages. Socrates and Plato maintain the sovereignty of this higher realm through their creation of an entire way of life--philosophia: the love of and the search for wisdom.
"Follow me then, and I will lead you where you will be happy in life and after death, as dialectic reveals. And never mind if some one despises you as a fool, and insults you, if he has a mind; let him strike you, by Zeus, and do you be of good cheer, and do not mind the insulting blow, for you will never come to any harm in the practise of virtue, if you are a really good and true man. When we have practised virtue together, we will apply ourselves to politics, if that seems desirable, or we will advise about whatever else may seem good to us, for we shall be better able to judge then. In our present condition we ought not to give ourselves airs, for even on the most important subjects we are always changing our minds; so utterly stupid are we! Let us, then, adopt dialectic as our methodology, which has revealed to us that the best way of life is to practice justice and every virtue in life and death. This way let us go; and in this exhort all men to follow. . ."
Plato, The Commonwealth
Only philosophers gain awareness of and participation in this supersensual commonwealth, because only they possess the intellectual and spiritual qualities which make this possible. For example, our disturbing passions must be restrained by Sophrosyne: excellence of character and soundness of mind combined in a well-balanced personality. If egomania and greed are unrestrained, we will lead the life of a predator, one who loots everyone, friend or foe.
"Such a man cannot be the friend (prosphiles) of God or other men, for he is incapable of communion, and who is incapable of communion is incapable of friendship (philia) (507e)."
Philia, fidelity to oneself and others, is a prerequisite for entry into the higher community. Philia is the effectual bond between humans and between Heaven and Earth, God and man. It is because fidelity and order pervade true reality that the universe is a cosmos--an ordered realm--and not an anarchical chaos (akosmia, akolasia).
The Socratic-Platonic supersensual community has been created by their lives and teachings--and by subsequent Perennialist adepts. Socrates revealed by his actions and his words that a true philosopher constantly practices the art of living in the soul apart from the body. By realizing our unity with the Higher Self, we gain an awareness of Forms: principles of being. There will be a few just and honorable men in the terrestrial realm--such as
Aristides, son of Lysimachus, during Plato's day--but most of the dwellers in the supersensual commonwealth will be those who have lived before us.
Over against this higher spiritual domain of the community of philosophers stands the world of delusion, oppression, and obliteration. Members of this evil world, such as Cephalus, Gorgias, Callicles, and Polus --Rockefeller, Baker, Brzezinski, and Obama--stand convicted as the perpetrators of tyrannical murder and destruction of their society. These monsters represent a depraved disorder, and no one should credit their words or follow their decrees.
The genuine authority of public order lies with Socrates and Plato--and modern philosophers who follow in the same tradition. The personal and social Forms advocated by Plato have survived Athens and are still the most important norms in the traditions of Western civilization. While society at any given time seems to be the last judge of what is right and who is important, history proves that certain individuals are more important--and more correct in their judgements--than the entire society during their lives (history, of course, as truly interpreted by genuine philosophers, not popular "historians").
The assumption of power by Socrates and Plato is a genuine spiritual revolution. It is much different from most social revolutions in which new political forces struggle for power against older ones. Plato's revolution is a radical call to spiritual regeneration. Most of the people of Athens--and most of the people of twenty-first century America--have lost their souls. All they can do is lead lives of unquiet desperation, destroying everything of value. A deranged Athenian democracy can kill a man physically--as with Socrates--but this act is seen to have no moral authority. The lone philosopher overcame the tyranny of his time and the supersensual community of philosophers--living and dead--overcomes tyranny throughout time.
"I deem that the true victory of philosophy is likely to be misunderstood by other men . . ."
1 The Perennial Tradition is the single stream of initiatory teaching flowing through all the great schools of genuine philosophy and mysticism. See the author's recently published book,
The Perennial Tradition
2"Greek philosophy is autochthonous [An entity depicted as having originated from the ground it inhabits, from itself; hence of independent origin]. That Plato traveled in Egypt need not be doubted, but that he went to Phoenicia, Chaldaea, and Persia to study philosophy is mere guesswork. What Plato thought of the Egyptians he has told us himself in The Republic (436) when he says that the special characteristic of the Greeks is love of knowledge, of the Phoenicians and Egyptians love of money. If he borrowed no money, he certainly borrowed no philosophy from his Egyptian friends."
Max Muller. Theosophy or Psychological Religion, 1893
3 Some Greek sources assert that Pythagoras referred to his system of thought as philosophia. Plato appears to have studied Pythagoreanism--as well as other systems of thought--and probably drew on those other schools to develop his own methodologies which he called philosophia. We have only scattered bits of Pythagoras' ideas. Plato's writings are the basis of what we can identify as the essence of philosophy.
4 Tyranny: oppressive power unrestrained by law or moral principles
Tyrant: an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution who
exercises power oppressively or brutally, a usurper of sovereignty
5"Even now so much of the thought which has the best title to be called philosophical is
contained in the works of authors who are primarily students of a science other than philosophy--theologians, mathematicians, natural scientists, or Platonic and Aristotelian scholars--as might well give a colour to the suspicion that philosophy is not itself a science at all, but a certain critical spirit or synoptic habit of mind, which can be exercised and developed only in the pursuit of a study other than itself."
M. B. Foster, The Political Philosophies of Plato and Hegel
Also, see Chapter Eleven, "Philosophia: The Love of and the Search for Wisdom," in the author's book,
The Perennial Tradition
6 "The post-philosophical attack on Plato's legacy relies principally on the doctrine, now virtually a universal belief, that thought is really no more than language and philosophical discourse no more than a certain type of language-use. Heidegger's generation would insist philosophy turn to semiotics as a means of resolving ontological and other issues. Derrida would go even further toward a strict identification of philosophy with language. 'Philosophy is first and foremost writing', he declares, 'though a peculiar kind of writing whose effect is to isolate the signified from its sensory verbal signifier, thereby to generate an illusory realm of meaning independent of language, the so-called world of spirit, thought and ideas.'"
Francis L. Jackson, The Post-Philosophical Attack on Plato
7"Ambivalence with respect to terms like 'spirit' or 'spiritual' pervades the whole tradition represented by Nietzsche and Heidegger. Like most post-Hegelians they were generally loathe to use the word except disparagingly; yet they were equally clear the crisis they would describe and address was a 'spiritual' one, in the sense it was at once intellectual, moral, political, aesthetic, religious--i.e., 'cultural'. The new worldliness to which they would lead the return is not a materialism but wholly presupposes a concrete freedom: 'spirit' in the distinctively Hegelian sense. Heidegger himself will declare "World is always the world of spirit", but see Derrida's revealing account as to how he continually vacillated over whether or how to use the term: whether negatively, positively, figuratively etc. Of Spirit, Heidegger and the Question, tr. Bennington/Bowlby, 1989). Ibid.
There is nothing more absurd than a Barack Obama, a Henry Kissinger, a Zbibniew Brzezinski, or
a Paul Wolfowitz--mandarins of the demonic cabal--pontificating on how the world ought to be run. The supposedly
superior groups of foreign policy advisors--Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission,
Bilderberg group--are farcical in their presumption of knowledge and understanding. The "economic experts" within the cabal--Greenspan, Volcker, Summers, Bernanke, Geithner etc.--have now been exposed as idiots who have no genuine understanding of the "market" and have encouraged rampant corruption to destroy the American and world economy.
9 The Greek words referring to this spiritual domain are:
theia tis sumbêi tuchê