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soulmate
Written by Giovanni

What Plato can teach you about finding a soulmate

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pictureright soulmate pixabay CC ElinaElena; werner22brigitte/Quotation THE CONVERSATION:


„In the beginning, humans were androgynous.

So says Aristophanes in his fantastical account of the origins of love in Plato’s Symposium.

Not only did early humans have both sets of sexual organs, Aristophanes reports, but they were outfitted with two faces, four hands, and four legs. These monstrosities were very fast – moving by way of cartwheels – and they were also quite powerful. So powerful, in fact, that the gods were nervous for their dominion.

Wanting to weaken the humans, Zeus, Greek king of Gods, decided to cut each in two, and commanded his son Apollo “to turn its face…towards the wound so that each person would see that he’d been cut and keep better order.” If, however, the humans continued to pose a threat, Zeus promised to cut them again – “and they’ll have to make their way on one leg, hopping!”

The severed humans were a miserable lot, Aristophanes says.

“[Each] one longed for its other half, and so they would throw their arms about each other, weaving themselves together, wanting to grow together.”

Finally, Zeus, moved by pity, decided to turn their sexual organs to the front, so they might achieve some satisfaction in embracing.

Apparently, he initially neglected to do so, and, Aristophanes explains, the severed humans had “cast seed and made children, not in one another, but in the ground, like cicadas.” (a family of insects)

So goes Aristophanes’ contribution to the Symposium, where Plato’s characters take turns composing speeches about love – interspersed with heavy drinking.

It is no mistake that Plato gives Aristophanes the most outlandish of speeches. He was the famous comic playwright of Athens, responsible for bawdy fare like Lysistrata, where the women of Greece “go on strike” and refuse sex to their husbands until they stop warring.

What does Aristophanes’ speech have to do with love?

Is love a cure for our “wound?”

…….“

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About the author

Giovanni

Giovanni ist studierter Jurist und Philosoph als Marketingleiter bei einem Mittelständler unterwegs, Geschäftsführer einer Agentur, ehrenamtlicher Sterbebegleiter, zertifizierter Trauerbegleiter, Beirat ITA Institut für Trauerarbeit, Mitgliedschaften: Marketing Club Hamburg, Büchergilde Hamburg, Förderverein Palliativstation UKE, ITA, Kaifu Lodge, Kaifu-Ritter