Tuesday, December 29, 2015



D. R. Khashaba

I am reading A Presocratics Reader, second ed., edited by Patricia Curd, trsnslation by Richard D. McKirahan and Patricia Curd (2011). The following notes are not comments but peripheral thoughts that occur to me while reading. All quotations are from the second edition of the book. (Exceptionally, the last note is a direct comment on Curd’s text.)

The first Ionian thinkers appear to have posed scientific questions. They sought knowledge about the natural world, but we can never know what metaphysical yearnings for the Whole, what incipient visions of the All, were mixed in their physical speculations. Perhaps Anaximander’s thinking was more metaphysically oriented than the thinking of either Thales or Anaximenes. Heraclitus who saw the evanescence of all things in the natural world found permanence in a principle, the Logos, and reality in the inner secret of our being, the psuchê. This insight came to full fruition in Socrates-Plato. After Plato, the best philosophers have been interpreters of Plato; the others have been either confusing philosophy with science or have been scientists mistaking themselves or being mistaken by others for philosophers.

What we know about the earliest philosophers is pieced together mostly from disjointed fragments and whatever meaning we surmise in those scraps can only be highly conjectural. But we are more likely to underrate than to overvalue what has come down to us. When Aristotle says: “From what is related about him, it seems that Thales too held that the soul is something productive of motion, if indeed he said that the lodestone has soul, because it moves iron”, our modern positivism-ridden mentality will dismiss that as a sample of pre-scientific thinking. Our modern thinkers fail to see in it the philosophical insight that finds ‘uncaused’ motion unintelligible . Motion without a mover is a very useful scientific fiction, but when we are expected to accept that as self-explanatory we must demur if we care to preserve our sanity and our rationality.

Perhaps we may reasonably say that Anaximander was the first metaphysician. While Thales and Anaximenes were cosmogonists thinking about the primary stuff of all things, Anaximander in the idea of the apeiron was introducing the metaphysical idea of the All. In speaking of justice and retribution as first principles he realized that the ultimate source of all things, the archê, cannot be simple but must have inherent difference. After Anaximander, we have to go to Heraclitus and Parmenides to find the metaphysical idea taken up once more. In Plato the metaphysical and the cosmological are clearly distinguished and separated. After Plato there is no justification or excuse for confusing or mixing these two radically distinct approaches. But unfortunately the confusing and the mixing are still rife in philosophical thinking. Anaximander’s thinking was also maturely metaphysical when he said that motion is eternal. In vain do we seek the origin of the world in something outsuse the world. This absurdity which is excusable in the most primitive myths curiously survives in monotheistic religions. Greek polytheism (perhaps in common with other polytheisms) made the gods arise from a more primordial source, such as chaos or Heaven and Earth as eternally existing.

The word god or gods as found in pre-Socratic texts (as indeed in any philosophical context) is misleading and must be employed with great caution. Thales says all things are full of gods, which indicates the metaphysical insight that all natural processes are only intelligible as intelligent activity. It is the same insight affirmed in Plato’s finding all things ultimately to be nothing but dunamis (activity). Xenophanes spoke of a non-anthropomorphic god who controls the cosmos by thought. Neither Thales nor Xenophanes was referring to the gods of the Olympus nor to anything resembling Yahweh any more than Spinoza did. Whether Xenophanes thought of god as within the world or outside the world there is in any case no indication that he thought of god as the creator of the world. He denied any communication from god or the gods to human beings, which excludes any revelation or revealed religion.

The Milesian thinkers had all noted that all things change and pass into one another. Heraclitus emphasized this, making it into a metaphysical principle: the whole of the natural world is in flux; nothing in nature is permanent, stable, or constant. To call such things real is a mockery, as Plato was to affirm. Heraclitus saw reality in the logos that governs the flux and in the psuchê that comprehends the logos. He anticipates Parmenides in affirming the unity and the eternity of the All: “This kosmos, the same for all, none of gods nor humans made, but it was always and is and shall be: an ever-living fire, kindled in measures and extinguished in measures” (tr. Patricia Curd). In affirming the unity of opposites and in his paradoxical statements, Heraclitus brings out the relativity of all determinate statements.

Plato revered Parmenides. He found in him the metaphysical idea of the Whole, the idea of metaphysical reality. Like all Greek thinkers, Parmenides rejects authority in the sphere of knowledge, insisting on the autonomy of thought: in his poem the goddess, while declaring all things to the young man, enjoins him to examine the arguments she gives for himself. This is what distinguishes Greek philosophical thinking from the traditional wisdom of, say, Egyptian, Babylonian, or Hebrew sages and prophets. Parmenides anticipates Plato in dividing human knowledge into knowledge proper concerning principles, the fruit of reason, and opinion relating to perceptible things. Thus in the first section of his poem he speaks of the One; in that area what is thought and what is real are one. The second section deals with the multiple changeable actualities of the perceptible world. This corresponds to Plato’s distinction between alêtheia, attained when the mind reflects in itself and by itself (phronêsis), and doxa or pistis, which is all we can obtain when dealing with the perceptible world. (This is the gist of the ‘divided line’ in the Republic.) It is very difficult for the modern mind to grasp that this is still strictly true of our most advanced natural sciences. In the Sophist Plato, in correcting his own youthful over-emphasis on the permanence and unchangeability of the Forms, remedies the negativity of Parmenides’ conception of the One, which renders the actual world completely unthinkable. Unless we see the real as activity, dunamis, and not as either a thing or an abstract idea, the existence of the actual world becomes absolutely unexplainable. The cosmological account in the doxa section of Parmenides’ poem, like all theories and doctrines relating to the natural world, including our most advanced scientific theories, is a myth that is only justified in so far as it ‘saves the appearances’, that is, in making actual states of affairs intelligible. Philosophical doctrines are likewise myths, but there is a difference. Strictly philosophical doctrines have no actual facts to conform to: their value resides exclusively in their coherence, in their intelligibility: they are not mutually exclusive; we can enjoy diverse visions, diverse portrayals of the subjective realm. Also in the Republic Plato loosens the forbidding exclusivity of Parmenides’ two paths, the path of what-is that is knowable and the path of what-is-not that is ubknowable and unspeakable, for Plato finds the object of opinion to share of being and not-being. — Plato’s emphasis on the dialectical polarity of the One and the Many as ground principles in philosophical thinking is a reconciliation and transcendence of the opposition of the real One and the Unreal Many in Parmenides.

Zeno of Elea bared the fictionality of the concepts of space and time and of infinite divisibility. The paradoxes he devised exploit the inherent contradictoriness of these concepts. Modern philosophers and logicians introduce clever but essentially specious arguments for evading the paradoxes rather than admitting the inherent paradoxicality of all our working concepts. The Socratic elenchus shows clearly that all determinate comcepts inescapably have imperfection in the principle of their formulation. This is the insight that Plato universalizes when he insists that the ground of all determinate formulations of thought must be demolished by dialectic. Zrno’s argument against multiplicity is the same as Bradkey’s argument in the first part of Appearance and Reality. Indeed it is the insight behind all metaphysical idealism and pantheism; I wanted to mention monism here, but unfortunately the term monism has been corrupted by empiricists, making it amount to a denial of soul, mimd, spiritual reality, or metaphysical reality. Aristotle’s criticisms of Zeno’s arguments are beside the point, since Zeno’s intention was not to prove anything positively but to show the contradictoriness of common concepts.

Some early negative impression – whence I do not know – made me expect little of Empedocles. Simultaneously with A Presocratics Reader I happen to be reading Hölderlin’s Hyperion (English translation, edited by Eric L. Santner) and am intrigued to read in the Chronology: “Toward the end of the summer Hölderlin begins plans for a tragedy based on the life and death of the philosopher Empedocles, who, Hölderlin writes, was ‘a sworn enemy of all one-sided existence and thus ... dissatisfied ... even in truly pleasant conditions simply because they are particular conditions.’” I have always seen the transience of all particular determinate things as a basic metaphysical insight. I will now read the Empedocles section of the Reader with heightened interest. — The notion of Love and Strife as ultimate principles fits in with the Heraclitian “ever-living fire, kindled in measures and extinguished in measures”. If all things are constantly perishing and constantly coming to be, and if this process is not a blind tumbling of Lucretian atoms, we need to see the whole process as a rhythm, an ebb and flow, a dialectic polarity. This is the insight underlying the Hindu opposition of Vishnu and Shiva, or the Egyptuan Osiris perpetually destroyed by Set and revived by Isis and in the process giving birth to Horus. — Empedocles seems to have been averse to all bloodshed: “No altar was drenched with the unspeakable slaughter of bulls, / but this was the greatest abomination among humans, / to tear out life and devour the noble limbs” (tr. Richard McKirahan). (Possibly he was here describing the reign of Love.) In another fragment we read: “… whenever anyone pollutes his own dear limbs with the sin of bloodshed”. — “For know that all things possess thought and a portion of intelligence.” This apparently supports the view that no being bereft of intelligence is intelligible, but we are not justified in attaching a definite interpretation to the words.

Anaxagoras was a cosmogonist in the tradition of the Milesian school. The role of nous (mind) in his system was nothing new. All of his predecessors, implicitly or explicitly, saw mind in the origin of things. It seems that there were no ‘materialists’ among early Greek thinkers. (Protagoras questioned the existence of gods but that is not the same as denying primal intelligence.) Socrates’ disappointment with the book of Anaxagoras is understandable. It is true that (in what seems to be the longest connected fragment we have) we read that “Nous has control over all things that have soul, both the larger and the smaller. And Nous controlled the whole revolution, so that it started to revolve in the beginning” (tr. Patricia Curd), but then we hear of nothing but separations and mixtures, of the dense and the rare, of the warm and the cold, and the like. This was not the mind Socrates was interested in: he wanted the mind to order human life, to determine purposes and goals and ideals. — Anaxagoras was more of a scientist than a philosopher. He sought rational explanations for natural phenomena: the light of the moon is derived from the sun; a rainbow is the reflection of the sun in the clouds; the egg-white is birds’ milk. I cannot detect in him the metaphysical yearning for the All, for the Reality beyond all existents. His cosmos is simply the objective sum-total of all things, in which nous is just a physical moving force.

It seems that materialism as understood by the moderns was unknown to any Greek thinkers up to at least the end o the fourth century BC. Diogenes of Apollonia who is said to have adopted “material monism” argues that air, his single basic stuff, is intelligent and divine. Leucippus is said to have written a book on Mind. Sextus Empiricus tells us that, like Plato, “Democritus supposed that only the intelligible things are true (or, ‘real’)” ( A Presocratics Reader, p.114). This is a testimony to the sanity of the Greeks in classical times as against our moderns who are content with a, strictly speaking, mindless and senseless world.

In her prefatory note to the section on Gorgias Patricia Curd describes Gorgias’ On Nature, or, On What Is Not as “a fascinating response to (or parody of?) Eleatic metaphysics”. She says further: “This essay, written in the 440s and so contemporary with Melissus, influenced later philosophers, including Plato” (p.148). With all due respect for Professor Curd’s scholarship, I find the suggestion that Plato was influenced by this piece preposterous. From all we know of Gorgias, he had no interest in or taste for metaphysical questions. In this bizarre piece Gorgias was probably mimicking or lampooning the Eleatics, perhaps Melissus in particular. Plato in the Sophist examined the notion of not-being (what is not) sanely, profoundly, and plainly, and what he says there is fully congruous with his treatment of reality and unreality in the Republic. If chronology permitted it, I would have said that Gorgias was in part parodying Plato’s Parmenides. That Gorgias would have failed to understand that dialogue would not be surprising, seeing that scholars throughout twenty-four centuries have been riddled by it although, in my opinion, its message is simple and clearly spelled out in the dialogue itself. But it is highly unlikely that Gorgias lived long enough to read the Parmenides. I have written repeatedly on the Parmenides and will not expand on the subject here.

Cairo, December 29, 2015.

Thursday, December 24, 2015



D. R. Khashaba

[I hsve been wrestling with the idea of a new book. I don’t know if I will ever finish it. I thought of writing it in instalments to be posted on my blog. One day I may collect and arrange these papers for publication as a book.]

Eimi . (( am.) The beginning and end of all philosophy is contained in this little word. Descartes needlessly said “I think, therefore I am”. My inner being is the one thing that I know immediately and indubitably. Other than this all is interpretation, from the simplest sensation to the latest findings of astrophysics. That green leaf before me is only a green leaf for me when my mind picks it up as a green leaf. That the sun will rise tomorrow is a bundle of interpretations woven together.

I imagine that when I was born I found myself swimming in an ocean of colours and sounds that were not yet for me colours or sounds. (Strictly, there was yet no I to find and no self to be found.) Gradually the nebula of colours and sounds began to settle down into distinct things. In time a collection of those distinct things formed a relatively permanent central group that I separated as myself as distinct from my varying surroundings. Those things, the more permanent and the for-me-less-permanent, were given names and acquired meaning for me.

Meaning? That is a whole unfathomable world in a word. When human beings created language they created meaning. The birth of language proper – not merely gesturing or signalling by voice or motion, but the naming of things and actions – is the birth of conceptual thought. The creative mind that first named a thing initiated the world of thought. The world of thought is the specifically human world. As human beings, in our special character as human beings, we live in a world of thought.

The profound insight in Plato’s notion of forms or ideas escapes us just because it is so simple, so basic, so pervasive. Nothing has meaning for us, nothing is for our mind, except through an idea that is totally distinct from the thing. Locke spoke of ideas that came to us through the senses; Hume named these impressions to distinguish them from ideas proper; but these elemental impressions in themselves, apart from a receptive mind, are completely dumb. Nothing is for the mind, nothing id for me, unless my mind give it credence, investing it in a form of the mind’s own creation. We latter-day humans, inheritors of so much thought, are taught the words, but unless the mind ensconce the word in a form creatively flashed by the mind the word remains a dumb tap on the eardrum. Watch the amazement and the glee in the eyes of a twelve-month old child picking up the meaning of a new word.

Thoughts, represented by linguistic forms – words and structures – form the intelligible world in which we have our being as human beings. From the silliest urchin to Stephen Hawking every one of us lives in a private cosmos of thought; from the saintliest soul to the most abominable murderer we all live in worlds of ideas, values, purposes, and ideals, worthy and unworthy. Apart from my biological functions, my instinctive motions, my involuntary reflexes, and habitual acts that have become automatic, everything I do is completely governed by thoughts. I am not speaking of organized thinking, reasoning, or problem solving, but of what is more basic. I love, I hate, I retaliate, I forgive, all in obedience to thoughts, evaluations, principles in my mind.

But these worlds I live in, the private world of thought and the common external world which in its turn only has meaning for me, only has being for me, in virtue of the intelligible forms in which I clothe all things, are all bereft of permanence and bereft of certainty. The world of thought has its being in that I think it, and the being of the external world is an impenetrable mystery. All I know of the external world are fictions projected by the mind on the world. The most advanced physical and astrophysical theories are forms that lend intelligibility to the ultimately unintelligible world. The only thing that I know certainly and immediately is my inner reality out of which all these thoughts, all these interpretations flow; that inner reality I call my mind or my subjectivity; it is not a thing; it is not anywhere and it is not in time; it is purely and simply this creative activity, this spontaneous outflow of thoughts and deeds.

What I have written above will sound enigmatic and meaningless to minds conditioned by the modern positivist outlook to ignore our inner reality. What I have written can only be understood in the light of all I have been writing from my first book onwards and in the light of what I hope to write in the following papers.

Cairo, December 24, 2015.

Thursday, December 17, 2015



D. R. Khashaba

Neuroscientists will stop at nothing in their Holy Grail chase of the mind. Now we are told that neuroscientists have found a way to read the mind of a fly (The Independent, December 17, 2015). Even if we allow that the fly has a mind, how do you read that mind by observing changes in the colouring of neurons? The mind, dear sirs, is not a thing, not an object that can be observed objectively.

My mind is not the mutations that take place in my brain or in any part of my body. My mind is the experience I live, the thoughts and feelings that I subjectively experience, and that can neither be observed, nor exhausted, nor explained by any objective methodology, however sophisticated.

I will readily allow that the fly has a mind, but its mind is the experience of the pulse of life in the fly, and only an individual living fly can know the mind of that individual fly.

The brain of Einstein was extracted and preserved: have scientists found the mind of Einstein in that brain? Suppose scientists re-activate that brain, make it work and even come up with new theories, all that the scientists can then observe are chemical and physical motions, but not the active, creative mind giving birth to those theories.

Dear neuroscientists, be sure you will never reach the mind by your empirical methods and approach. You are doing good work, brilliant, marvellous work, but let us call things by their name. You are researching the brain, not the mind. What harm? When we believe you are dealing with the mind we negate the being of the mind. With due apologies to immortal Shakespeare, there is a lot in a name: a mind is not a mind by any other name.

Cairo, December 17, 2015.

Friday, December 11, 2015



D. R. Khashaba

I have been reading Karl Jaspers’ Way to Wisdom, translated by Ralph Manheim, and was pleasantly surprised to find him expressing views that I have been advancing from my first book onwards. I venture to say that among modern philosophers Karl Jaspers alone, in my opinion, had a clear conception of the nature of philosophy proper. I cull the following sentences from Ch. 1, “What is Philosophy?”

“For the scientific-minded, the worst aspect of philosophy is that it produces no universally valid results; it provides nothing that we can know and thus possess.”

“The certainty to which [philosophy] aspires … is an inner certainty in which a man's whole being participates.”

“The circuitous paths travelled by specialists in philosophy have meaning only if they lead man to an awareness of being and of his place in it.”(Where Jaspers speaks of ‘being’ I speak of ‘reality’.)

“… the essence of philosophy is not the possession of truth but the search for truth … Philosophy means to be on the way. Its questions are more essential than its answers, and every answer becomes a new question. … But this on-the-wayness … contains within it the possibility of … perfection. This perfection never resides in formulable knowledge, in dogmas and articles of faith, but in a historical consummation of man's essence in which being itself is revealed. To apprehend this reality in man's actual situation is the aim of philosophical endeavour.”

“Every philosophy defines itself by its realization. We can determine the nature of philosophy only by actually experiencing it. …Only by thus experiencing philosophy for ourselves can we understand previously formulated philosophical thought.”

“Philosophy is the principle of concentration through which man becomes himself, by partaking of reality.”

“… its conscious elaboration is never complete, must forever be undertaken anew and must at all times be approached as a living whole.”

All of this agrees completely with what I have been advocating in all my writings and all of it is consistent with Jaspers’ insightful reading of Plato. In Appendix II, “On Reading Philosophy”, Jaspers writes: “Plato achieved the clearest communication of his thoughts, but he communicated them in such a way that the mystery of philosophical endeavour becomes speech while remaining always present as mystery. … Plato achieved the summit beyond which, it would seem, man cannot pass in his thinking. … He has always been misunderstood, for he has no doctrine that can be learned and his teachings must always be acquired anew.”

But regrettably that exhausts the area of our agreement. I find myself in substantial disagreement with Jaspers on two major points:

(1) Jaspers sees a very close connection between philosophy and science. He speaks of philosophy as “a method of inquiry”. I insist that philosophy and science are radically distinct and must be strictly kept separate. Jaspers says that philosophy’s “relevance is limited to a special sphere of the knowable.” On the contrary, I say that philosophy is concerned with what can never be the subject of knowledge. To underline the distinction between science and philosophy I say that while science yields objective knowledge, philosophy, and philosophy alone, gives understanding.

(2) Jaspers believes in a transcendent God. I insist that we can have no factual knowledge or rational assurance about the world outside us. The notion of God is a precious element of human culture but it must be acknowledged as a creation of the human mind, whose whole reality is in the mind. In Ch. 2, “Sources of Philosophy”, Jaspers says that “the mind in itself is empty, dependent on what is put into it”, and again that “… the independent mind is barren, lacking all content.” To my mind this does away with all philosophy. It is the glory of humanity, and probably its bane, that we create the content of the mind.

On these two points, but especially on the second point, my position is diametrically opposed to that of Jaspers. Further on in the second chapter he says, “In ultimate situations man either perceives nothingness or senses true being in spite of and above all ephemeral worldly existence. Even despair, by the very fact that it is possible in the world, points beyond the world.” For me, the true being (reality) philosophy leads us to is our own inner reality.

The chasm between Jaspers’ position and mine comes out clearly when he goes on to say, “Or, differently formulated, man seeks redemption. Redemption is offered by the great, universal religions of redemption. They are characterized by an objective guarantee of the truth and reality of redemption. Their road leads to an act of individual conversion. This philosophy cannot provide.” For me, philosophy goes as far as we have a right to go. For enlightened human beings philosophy must supersede religion — not negate religion as materialism and scientism do, but absorb the essence of pure religion, discarding all dogmatism and superstition.

Jaspers acknowledged that Kant refuted all theoretical proofs of the existence of God but follows him in nevertheless holding on to the belief in a transcendent God. Jaspers is more consistent but less rational than Kant: more consistent because he – so far as I can see – gives up all hope of proof, taking refuge in revelation, and that is where he is less rational than Kant who remains within the scope of reason though his reasoning at this point is flawed.

All post-Kantian German philosophers betrayed Kant. They all engaged in dogmatic metaphysics. But in this they were in a way following Kant himself, for Kant was the first to betray his transcendental system when he manoeuvred to keep his belief in God and personal survival. Kant was not justified in this. One may either discard reason and believe in divine revelation or consider the notion of God a creation of the human mind, a myth, albeit a myth which, acknowledged for a myth, forms a most precious contribution to human culture.

It was not my intention in this note to discuss Jaspers’ philosophy, but only to point out the remarkable agreement I found between Jaspers’ conception of philosophy and the views I have been advocating. I was drawn to comment on the points where my position differs radically from Jaspers’ but will not go further into this here.

Cairo, December 11, 2015.

Thursday, December 03, 2015



D. R. Khashaba


Hermes told me of a special occasion when Sappho of Lesbos visited the grove of Socrates. He said that when Sappho had paid homage to Socrates and Plato and had greeted the others, Aspasia said, “I have a whim. As a special treat for our valued visitor, let us have an all-female conference.” Among the audience there were amused smiles and jovial laughter but no one objected to the proposal. Aspasia led Sappho to a bed of roses flanking a rippling brook where they were joined by Hypatia of Alexandria, Lastheneia of Mantinea and Axiothea of Phlius who both studied under Plato at the Academy, and Mariam and Isis who studied under Hypatia at the School of Alexandria.

Aspasia: Let us converse of the Good.

Sappho: Or of Beauty.

Hypatia: Or of Reality.

Mariam: Or of Wisdom.

Axiothea: Or of Love.

Isis: Or of Intelligence.

Lastheneia: Or of the Good.

Hypatia: You see that we have given seven names to what is One. As the Indian sage said, ‘To what is one the wise give many a name’.

Aspasia: As if we have seven ways for ascending to the One.

Sappho: The ways to the One are countless.

Axiothea: Even on the lowest level of the notion of the good, we find that the simple ‘goods’ that human beings on earth think of as constituents of a good life are by themselves and in themselves neither good nor bad and are only truly good when united with wisdom as Father Socrates never tired of showing.

Isis: Of these mundane goods the wise value the simplest. Confucius thinking of having a good time, what does he look forward to? “I should like,” he says, “together with five or six adults and six or seven boys, to go bathing in the River Yi and enjoy the breeze on the Rain Altar, and then to go home chanting poetry.” What he looks forward to is the joy of experiencing the verve of life and the pleasure of companionship.

Mariam: I find his mentioning of “six or seven boys” significant. His joy is perfected by seeing and sharing in the joy of the boys. True happiness is outgoing; it is found in giving happiness to others.

Hypatia: All reality is an outflow, a creative act.

Sappho: An act of Love is the fount of Reality.

Lastheneia: Father Plato made Father Socrates make Diotima say that all human beings are heavy with child in body and in soul.

Isis: But only the intelligent soul enjoying the self-awareness of inner insight experiences the pangs of birth, the urge and the need to create.

Axiothea: Goethe knew that the fulfilment of joy is creativity. I find that intimated in his saying “He to whom Nature begins to unveil her open secret feels an irresistible longing for her worthiest interpreter, art.”

Hypatia: Not only the human soul is creative and procreative but all things that be are pregnant with what is to be; indeed to be is nothing but a promise of new being. Else all existence, all determinate being, is hemmed with non-being: the being of what is, is determined by what it is not; it carries in its being the edict of its extinction; the price of existence is evanescence. Thus all being negates its being to give being to new being.

Axiothea: Having begun with the mundane conception of the good we have been led to find all value and all reality in the intelligent, creative soul.

Mariam: Nishida Kitarō of Japan finds that “pure experience is the only real reality” and Immanuel Kant finds that the only absolutely good thing to be a good will.

Lastheneia: Nishida Kitarō speaks of the only real reality and Immanuel Kant speaks of the only absolutely good thing.

Axiothea: Like all determinate formulations of thought both these wise thoughts demand correction and completion by each other. In the intelligent soul the reality of pure experience and the goodness of the good will are united.

Hypatia: The intelligent soul only has reality and goodness in the act of intelligent creativity.

Sappho: An act of intelligent creativity is an act of Love outflowing from a soul endowed with Beauty.

Hypatia: My fellow-countryman Plotinus has wisely said: ou gar an pôpote eiden ophthalmos hêllion hêlioeidês mê gegenêmenos, oude to kalon an idoi psuchê mê kalê genomenê. (The eye could never see the sun if it had no kinship with the sun, nor could a soul that had not become beautiful behold Beauty.)

Sappho: Thus all things in the cosmos are bound together and could not share in reality if they were not one in the One.

Aspasia: The One is all things and no thing, hence Meister Eckhart saw God as nothingness.

Hypatia: With reason. Father Plato said the Form of the Good is beyond being and beyond knowledge yet is the fount of all being and all knowledge.

They perceived that the group around Socrates were about to start dancing to music and they moved to join them.

Cairo, December 3, 2015.