Stolen Legacy, by George G. M. James, , at sacred-texts.com
p. 82 p. 83
(a) Date and place of birth.
Socrates was born in Athens, in the year 469 B.C. He was the son of Sophroniscus, a sculptor, and Phaenarete, a midwife. Very little is known about his early years; but we are told that he was brought up in the profession of his father, and that he called himself not only a pupil of Prodicus and Aspasia, (which statement suggests that he might have learnt from them, music, geometry and gymnastics): but also a self taught philosopher, according to Xenophon in the Symposium. Up to the age of 40, his life appears to be a complete blank: the first mention being made of him, when he served as an ordinary soldier in the sieges of Potidaea and Delium between (432–429) B.C. (Trial and Death of Socrates: F. J. Church: p. 15 of Introduction).
(b) His economic status and personality.
Socrates did not accept fees for what he taught, and he became so poor, that his wife Xanthippe became very dissatisfied with domestic conditions.
He believed that he possessed (Daimonion Ti) a divine something, i.e., a divine voice which advised and guided him in the great crises of his life. (Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 78–79; and Plato's Apology).
(c) His Condemnation and death in 399 B.C.
After the accustomed speeches of the accusers: (Miletus, Anytus and Lycon); Socrates followed with his defense, at
the conclusion of which, the judges voted 281 to 220, and Socrates was condemned to death.
As a parting word, he addressed himself both to those who voted against him, and those who voted in his favour. In the case of the former, he rebuked them by predicting that evil would befall them, in consequence of their crime in condemning him.
In the case of the latter, he not only consoled them with the assurance that no evil could come to a good man either in life or in death; but also expressed to them his idea about immortality. "Death is either an eternal and dreamless sleep, wherein there is no sensation at all; or it is a journey to another, and a better world, where are the famous men of old". Whichever alternative be true, death is not an evil, but a good. His death is willed by the gods, and he is content. (Plato's Apology Chapters 25–28).
His death was delayed through a state religious ceremonial, and he remained in prison for 30 days. We are told that during this time, he was visited by his friends, who consisted of the inner circle, and also his wife Xanthippe; that this was the occasion of his discourse concerning the immortality of the soul; that he could have escaped from death if he wished; because his friends visited him before day-break and offered to set him free; but that he refused the offer. Accordingly Socrates drank the hemlock and died. (Plato Phaedo;) (Xenophon Memorabilia IV, 8, 2).
(d) Crito's account:
Crito, on the night before the death of Socrates, while he was in prison, on behalf of the company of visitors, made a final appeal to him to permit them to secure his escape, and spoke as follows:—
"O, my Socrates, I beseech you for the last time to listen to me and save yourself. For to me your death will be more than a single disaster: not only shall I lose a friend the like of whom I shall never find again, but many persons, who do
not know you and me well, will think that I might have saved you, if I had been willing to spend money, but that I neglected to do so. And what character could be more disgraceful than the character of caring more for money than for one's friends? The world will never believe that we were anxious to save you, but that you yourself refused to escape.
"Tell me this Socrates. Surely you are not anxious about me and your other friends, and afraid, lest, if you escape, the informers should say that we stole you away, and get us into trouble, and involve us in a great deal of expense, or perhaps in the loss of all our property, and it may be, bring some other punishment upon us besides? If you have any fear of that kind, dismiss it.
"For of course we are bound to run those risks, and still greater risks than those if necessary, in saving you. So do not, I beseech you, refuse to listen to me."
Then Socrates replied: "I am anxious about that, Crito, and about much besides," and Crito continued the appeal:—
"Then have no fear on that score. There are men who, for no very large sum, are ready to bring you out of prison into safety, and then, you know, these informers are cheaply bought, and there will be no need to spend much on them.
"My fortune is at your disposal, and I think that it is sufficient, and if you have any feeling about making use of my money, there are strangers in Athens, whom you know, ready to use theirs, and one of them, Simmias of Thebes, who actually brought enough for the purpose. And Cebes and many others, are ready too.
"And therefore, I repeat, do not shrink from saving yourself, on that ground. And do not let what. you said in court (that if you went into exile, you would not know what to do with yourself), stand in your way: for there are many places for you to go to, where you will be welcomed.
"If you choose to go to Thessaly, I have friends there who will make much of you, and shelter you from any annoyance from the people of Thessaly.
"Consider then, Socrates; or rather the time for consideration is past; we must resolve, and there is only one plan possible. Everything must be done tonight. If we delay any longer, we are lost.
"O, Socrates, I implore you not to refuse to listen to me." (Plato's Crito C. 3–5).
(e) Phaedo's account of the final scene just before the death of Socrates.
In answer to another question from Echecrates, Phaedo replied: I will try to tell you the whole story:—
"On the previous days, I and the others had always met in the morning at the court, where the trial was held, which was close to the prison; and then we would go in to Socrates.
"We used to wait each morning until the prison was opened, conversing; for it was not opened early. When it was opened we used to go in to Socrates, and we generally spent the whole day with him. But on that morning we met earlier than usual, for the evening before we had learnt, on leaving the prison, that the ship had arrived from Delos. So we arranged to be at the usual place as early as possible. When we reached the prison, the porter, who generally let us in came out to us and bade us wait a little, and not to go in until he himself summoned us; for the 'Eleven' were releasing Socrates from his fetters and giving him directions for his death.
"In no great while he returned and bade us enter. So we went in and found Socrates just released. When Xanthippe saw us, she wailed aloud, and cried in her woman's way: 'This is the last time: Socrates, that you will talk with your friends, or they with you.' And Socrates glanced at Crito and said, 'Crito, let her be taken home'. So some of Crito's servants led her away; weeping bitterly and beating her breasts. And it was about sunset, and the servant of the Eleven after bidding Socrates farewell, gave him the instructions as to how to take the poison, and then handed it to him. Socrates took the cup, and drank the poison cheerfully, and then walked about until
his legs felt heavy. And when he had lain down, he made his last request to Crito in the following words: I owe a cock to Asclepius, do not forget to pay it. By this time the poison took effect and he passed away." (Plato Phaedo C. 3 and 65).
(ii) THE DOCTRINES OF SOCRATES
i. The doctrine of Nous, i.e., mind or an Intelligent Cause, in order to account for God and Creation. He is credited with the teleological premise: whatever exists for a useful purpose is the work of an Intelligence. (Xenophon Memorabilia I, 4, 2; Wm. Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 82).
ii. The doctrine of the Supreme Good:—
The Supreme good i.e., the summum bonum is equated both with happiness and with knowledge. This however is not merely eutuchia which depends upon external conditions and accidents of fortune; but is (eupraxia), a well-being, which is conditioned by good action. This is an attainment in which man becomes godlike through self denial of external needs and the cultivation of the mind: for happiness comes not through the perishable things of the external world, but through the things that endure, which are within us. (Xenophon Memorabilia I, 5, 4.) Wm. Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 83).
iii. The doctrines of opposites and harmony:
(b) Harmony is the union of opposites.
(Plato's Phaedo C. 15; Wm. Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 41; 47).
(Zeller's Hist. of Phil. p. 61).
iv. The Doctrines Concerning the Soul:
(b) The transmigration of the Soul
The purpose of philosophy is the salvation of the Soul, whereby it feeds upon the truth congenial to its divine nature, and thus escapes from the wheel of re-birth, and finally attains the consummation of unity with God. (Zeller's Hist. of Phil. p. 50–56; Roger's Hist. of Phil. p. 29 and 60; Wm. Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 41 and 48).
(d) The body is the tomb of the Soul
(e) The aspirations of the Soul:—
There is a realm of true reality, which is above the world of sense. To this the Soul aspires.
v. The doctrine of Self-knowledge: Know thyself (seauton gnothi).
Self-knowledge is the basis of true knowledge. The Mysteries required as a first step, the mastery of the passions, which made room for the occupation of unlimited powers. Hence, as a second step, the Neophyte was required to search within himself for the new powers which had taken possession of him. The Egyptians consequently wrote on their temples: "Man, know thyself". (Zeller's Hist. of Phil. p. 105; S. Clymer's Fire Philosophy p. 203).
vi. Astrology and Geology:
There was a suspicion that Socrates was also engaged in the study of Astrology and Geology, and that he taught these subjects, for in his defense before the Athenian judges, he stated that the more formidable of his accusers tried to persuade them with lies, that one Socrates, a wise man, was speculating about the heavens and about things beneath the earth, and that he was capable of making the worse appear the better reason. (Plato's Apology C. 2).
This suspicion is further supported by the indictment brought against Socrates, and which reads as follows:—"Miletus, the son of Miletus, of the deme Pitthis, on his oath,
brings the following accusation against Socrates, the son of Sophroniscus, of the deme Alopece.
"Socrates commits a crime by not believing in the gods of the city, and by introducing new divinities. He also commits a crime by corrupting the youth. Penalty, death."
(Plato's Apology C. 24; C. 18 and 19).
There is still a third source from which the suspicion arose that Socrates was engaged also in Astrology and Geology. This was the caricature of Socrates, published by Aristophanes in his comedy: the Clouds, as follows:—
"Socrates is a miserable recluse, who speaks a great deal of absurd and amusing nonsense about Physics, and declares that Zeus is dethroned, that Rotation reigns in his stead, and that the new divinities are Air, which holds the earth suspended, Ether, the Clouds and Tongue.
"He professes to possess the power of Belial, which enables him to make the worse appear the better reason, and his teachings cause children to beat their parents."
(Aristophanes Clouds, 828 and 380; Life and Trial of Socrates; F. J. Church: Introduction p. 18).
(iii) Summary of Conclusions.
1. Life and Personality of Socrates.
There are two circumstances in the life of Socrates which demand our attention: (a) he is said to have been completely unknown up to the age of 40 and (b) to have lived a life of poverty. These circumstances point to secrecy in training, and poverty as conditions of his life; and as such, they coincide with the requirements of the Mystery System of Egypt, and her secret schools, whether in the land of Egypt or abroad, which exacted the vows of secrecy and poverty from all Neophytes and Initiates. All aspirants of the Mysteries had to receive secret training and preparation, and Socrates was no exception. He alone of the three Athenian philosophers deserves the appellation of a true Master Mason. Plato was a
great coward and Aristotle was greater still. At the execution of Socrates, Plato fled to Megara to the lodge of Euclid, and Aristotle when indicted fled in exile to Calchis.
(Clement of Alexandria: Stromata Bk. 5. C. 7 and 9; Plutarch on "Isis and Osiris" Sec. 9–11; Plato's Apology C. 8; 17; Phaedo C. 10; 13; 32; 63).
2. The Doctrines:—
(i) The doctrine of the Nous or an Intelligent Cause.
With reference to this doctrine, we find that it is also credited to Anaxagoras, who is said to have lived between 500 and 430 B.C. and who therefore antedated Socrates (469–399 B.C.) in expounding it (Wm. Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 63; p. 82).
Secondly, further examination shows that the doctrine of the Nous is also a direct inference from the doctrine of Cognition, as credited to Democritus (460–360 B.C.), who is credited with stating that fire atoms are distributed through the universe, and that mind is composed of fire atoms.
Therefore it can be inferred (a) that mind fills or is distributed through the universe and (b) since only like can produce like, then the mind of the Universe must have been produced by a mind which is its source.
(Wm. Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 68; Zeller's Hist. of Phil. p. 80).
Thirdly, this doctrine of the Nous, is a doctrine that originated from the Ancient Mysteries of Egypt, where the God Osiris was represented in all Egyptian temples by the symbol of an Open Eye. This symbol indicated not only sight that transcends time and space, but also the omniscience of God, as the Great Mind which created and which directs the Universe. This symbol is carried as a decoration in all modern Masonic lodges and has the same meaning. (Ancient Mysteries: C. H. Vail p. 189).
(ii) The doctrine of the Supreme Good:—
This doctrine of the Supreme Good or Summum Bonum is likewise a very ancient doctrine which takes us back to the Egyptian Mysteries.
As stated in the books on Greek philosophy and by Socrates, it is only in part, and consequently a mistaken notion of the original doctrine has resulted. To say that the supreme good is happiness, that happiness is well-being, that well-being is knowledge, and that knowledge is virtue, is the same thing as saying that the Supreme Good is virtue.
(Xenophon Memorabilia I 4, 5; Wm. Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 81–83).
In the Egyptian Mysteries, however, the concept of the Supreme Good is expressed as the purpose of virtue, and that is the salvation of the Soul, by liberating it from the ten bodily fetters. This process of liberation is a process of purification both of mind and of body: the former by the study of philosophy and science, and the latter by bodily ascetic disciplines. This training was continued from the baptism of water, and was subsequently followed by the baptism of fire, when the candidate had made the necessary progress. This process transformed man and made him godlike, and fitted him for union with God.
The concept of the Supreme Good, which originally came from the Egyptian Mysteries is the earliest theory of salvation: and Socrates must have derived this doctrine from that source, or indirectly from the Pythagoreans.
(Plato's Phaedo C. 31; 33–34; Ancient Mysteries, C. H. Vail p. 24–25; Fire Philosophy, R. S. Clymer p. 19; 74; 80).
(iii) The following doctrines are generally admitted as having been derived from the Pythagoreans:
(b) The immortality of the Soul
(c) The tomb of the Soul is the body.
Since doctrines (a), (b), (c) and (d) originated from the Pythagoreans, and since the Pythagoreans derived them from the Egyptians, then their Egyptian origin, directly or indirectly becomes evident.
(Roger's Hist. of Phil. p. 29 and 60; Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 41 and 48; Plato's Phaedo).
(iv) Astrology and Geology:
From (a) the indictment (b) his defense before the Athenian Judges and (c) the caricature by Aristophanes in the Clouds, we discover that Socrates was suspected of being a student of Nature, and of introducing new divinities into Athens.
Again it must be stated, that under the Mystery System of Egypt, the study of Nature was a requirement, and since the Athenians prosecuted and condemned Socrates to death, for engaging in this study and spreading the knowledge, they must have regarded the new ideas as foreign or of Egyptian origin.
(Plato's Apology C. 24–28; Ancient Mysteries, C. H. Vail p. 24–25).
(v) The Doctrine of Self-knowledge:
The doctrine of self-knowledge, for centuries attributed to Socrates is now definitely known to have originated from the Egyptian Temples, on the outside of which the words "Man, know thyself" were written.
It is evident that Socrates taught nothing new, because his doctrines are eclectic containing elements from Anaxagoras, Democritus, Heraclitus, Parmenides and Pythagoras, and finally have been traced to the teachings of the Egyptian Mystery System.
(Fire Philosophy, S. R. Clymer p. 203).
vi) The importance of the farewell conversations of Socrates with his pupils and friends at the prison:
In examining what took place during the farewell conversations of Socrates with his pupils and friends, at least five points should be noted:—
(b) The determination of his friends to smuggle him away
(c) His refusal to accept liberation
(d) His dying request, which was addressed to Crito, whom he asked to pay an important debt for him
(e) The value of those conversations, in their present form in literature.
Now the question arises, what is the meaning and significance of these five points? The answers and conclusions are as follows:—
(a) As the subject of the conversations dealt with the immortality and salvation of the Soul, we at once recognize the fact that this was the central theme of the Ancient Mysteries, and consequently that Socrates was acquainted with the doctrines.
Moreover, when we read the Phaedo and the doctrines, both of Opposites and Recollection which he had advanced in proof of immortality, we are convinced that he must have received his training from the Mystery System of Egypt, in connection with which there were Hierophants and qualified teachers.
(b) Secondly, in dealing with the behavior of his friends, in their determination to smuggle him away, we are dealing with their attempt to render help to a brother in distress.
This was the life that Initiates were expected to live, for brotherhood was another great principle upon which, the Egyptian Mysteries laid emphasis. Evidently, Socrates was a "Brother Initiate" of the Egyptian Mysteries, since it comprised one universal brotherhood.
(c) Thirdly, in dealing with the refusal of Socrates to accept liberation, again we are dealing with a type of behaviour, which singles him out as an advanced Initiate of the Ancient Mysteries of Egypt. In the paths to mastery and victory, the
[paragraph continues] Mystery System regarded unselfishness or sacrifice as an advanced stage of attainment, which must be accomplished before unlimited power could be bestowed upon the candidate. It is true that Anaxagoras escaped for his life and in like manner Plato and Aristotle; but this only serves to show that Socrates had reached a higher degree in the Mysteries than all of them. This necessitated training and the training centre was Egypt.
(d) Fourthly, with reference to the dying request of Socrates, addressed to Crito, in which he asked him to pay a certain debt, we again encounter another of the great ideals essential to the life of an Initiate. This in the teaching of the Mysteries embraces the exercise of a cardinal virtue i.e., justice; a practice which the Candidate must adopt, in order that his sense of value might also develop.
Here again the action of Socrates reveals that he was a Brother Initiate, with a high sense of justice and honesty, since he did not wish to die without discharging all his obligations. Certainly, the dying request of Socrates reveals him as a loyal member of the Mystery System of Egypt.
(e) Fifthly and finally, what value may we attach to the literature which deals with the farewell conversations of Socrates with his friends and pupils? Since this literature embraces a man whose beliefs and practices coincide with those of the Initiates of the Ancient Mysteries of Egypt, then we may regard the study of Xenophon's Memorabilia, Plato's Apology, the Phaedo, Euthyphro, Crito and Timaeus as valuable specimens of literature of the Mysteries, or Masonic World.
(Ancient Mysteries; C. H. Vail C. 24–25; also C. 32).
(The Phaedo of Plato; The Timaeus of Plato).
(R. S. Clymer; Fire Philosophy C. 44; 49; 67; 75).
(i) His Early Life:
Plato is said to have been born at Athens in 427 B.C., and
that his father's name was Aristo, and his mother's name was Perictione, who was a relative of Solon.
Little information is known about his early life and training: but there is a supposition that because his parents were wealthy, he must have had such educational opportunities as were available to a wealthy youth. He is said to have studied the doctrines of Heraclitus under Cratylus, and to have been a pupil of Socrates for eight years. It is also said that he was a soldier. (Roger's Student Hist. of Philosophy p. 76) (Wm. Turner's Hist. of Philosophy p. 93) (Will. Durant's Story of Phil.)
(ii) (a) His Travels:
He was 28 years old, when Socrates died (i.e., 399 B.C.), and together with the other pupils of Socrates, he fled from Athens to Euclid at Megara for Safety. He kept away from Athens for 12 years, during which time, it is also said that apart from visiting Euclid, he travelled (a) to Southern Italy where he met the remnant of Pythagoreans, (b) to Syracuse in Sicily, where, through Dion, he met Dionysius to whom he became a Tutor: who subsequently caused him to be sold as a slave, and (c) to Egypt.
(Fuller's Hist. of Philosophy) (Roger's Student's Hist. of Philosophy) (Wm. Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 94) (Diogenes Laertius Bk. III, p. 277).
(ii) (b) His Academy
Plato is said to have returned to Athens in 387 B.C. when a middle aged man of 40 years and to have opened an Academy in a gymnasium on the western suburbs of Athens over which he presided for 20 years. He is said to have taught the following subjects (a) Political Science (b) Statesmanship (c) Mathematics (d) Dialectics, and it is said that the curriculum was based upon the educational principles advocated in the Republic.
(Fuller's Hist. of Philosophy: Plato's Life) (B. D. Alexander's Hist. of Philosophy p. 68) (Roger's Students Hist. of
[paragraph continues] Philosophy p. 72) (Wm. Turner's Hist. of Philosophy p. 122123).
There are 36 dialogues and a number of letters, which Plato is supposed to have written: but which are disputed and doubted by modern scholarship.
(b) Schaarsmidt states that only nine of the 36 dialogues are genuine while
(c) Aristotle considered the Platonic dialogues as nine in number, namely The Laws, Timaeus, Phaedo, Symposium, Phaedrus, Georgias, Theaetus, Philebus and the Republic, which he thought are genuine.
(d) Of the remaining 27 dialogues some scholars contend that the youthful dialogues should be included with the genuine ones, and these are the Apology, Crito, Enthydemus, Laches, Lysis and Protagoras, and
(e) Of the remaining 21 dialogues scholars suggest that those which were not written by Plato must have been written by his pupils (B. D. Alexander's Hist. of Phil. p. 68).
(iv) THE DOCTRINES OF PLATO:
The doctrines attributed to Plato are scattered over a wide area of literature: being found in piecemeal throughout what are called dialogues; but particularly in connection with
(I) the theory of ideas and its application to natural phenomena which includes the doctrines of (a) the real and unreal (b) the Nous (mind) and (c) Creation.
(II) the ethical doctrines concerning (A) the highest good (B) definition of virtue and (C) the cardinal virtues.
(III) the doctrine of the Ideal State whose attributes are compared with the attributes of the soul and justice. Following this order, they are as follows:
(I) The Theory of Ideas
A. Definition of Ideas. This may be expressed in the following syllogism:
The idea (retaining its unity, unchangeableness and perfection) is the element of reality in a thing.
The idea is the concept by which a thing is known. Therefore the concept by which a thing is known is the element of reality in a thing (To on).
It follows also, that since the concept or idea of a thing is real, then the concrete thing itself is unreal.
(Timaeus 51) (Phaedrus 247).
B. The application of the theory of Ideas to natural Phenomena.
In view of the definition of the Idea, three doctrines have resulted:—
(a) The doctrine of the real and unreal.
The things which we see around us are the phenomena of nature, they belong to the earthly realm, they are only copies (Eidola) of their prototypes (paradeigmata), the Ideas and noumena, which dwell in the heavenly realm. The Ideas are real and perfect, but the phenomena are unreal and imperfect; and it is the function of philosophy to enable the mind to rise above the contemplation of the visible copies of Ideas, and advance to a knowledge of the Ideas themselves. (The Phaedrus 250).
There is however, something common between them, because the phenomena partake of the Idea (metechei). This participation is an imitation (mimesis), but it is so imperfect that natural phenomena fall far short of Ideas.
(Parmenides 132 D) (Aristotle's Metaphysics I, 6; 987b, 9).
(b) The doctrine of the Nous or World Soul.
This teaches that the universe are living animals and that they are endowed with the most perfect and intelligent souls; that if God had made the world as perfect as the nature of matter allowed, that He must have endowed it with a perfect soul. This soul acts as mediator between the Ideas and natural phenomena, and is the cause of life, motion, order, and knowledge in the universe. (Timaeus, 30, 35).
(c) The doctrine of a Demiurgos in Creation (Cosmology)
In the myth of creation found in the Timaeus, we find the doctrine on Creation, as it is ascribed to Plato's authorship, as follows:—
Out of chaos, which was ruled by necessity, God the Demiurgos or Creator, made order, by fashioning the phenomena of matter according to the eternal prototypes (i.e., the Ideas) in as perfect a manner, as the imperfection of matter would allow. He next created the Gods, and ordered them to fashion the body of man, while He himself, made the soul of man, from the same material as that of the world soul.
The soul of man is a self-moving principle and is responsible for life, motion and consciousness in the body.
(Myth of creation in Timaeus; Wm. Turner's Hist. of Philosophy, p. 109–110).
(II) The Ethical Doctrines
The ethical doctrines that have been attributed to Plato are (A) that of the highest good, i.e., the Summum Bonum (B) the connotation of virtue and (C) the reduction of the virtues to four and the place of wisdom among them (A) as something subjective, and as an earthly experience, the highest good is happiness: but as an objective attainment, it is the Idea of good, and consequently identified with God.
Therefore the purpose of man's life is freedom from the fetters of the body, in which the soul is confined, and the practice of virtue and wisdom, makes him like a God, even while on earth.
(B) and (C)
Virtue is the order, the health and the harmony of the soul.
There are many virtues, but the greatest is wisdom. All virtues may be reduced to the four cardinal virtues: wisdom, fortitude, temperance and justice.
(Symposium 204E); (Theaetetus 176A); (Phaedo 64 sqq.) (The Republic IV, 441, 443).
(III) The Ideal State (The Republic)
The doctrine attributed to Plato in the field of civics is the doctrine of the Ideal state whose attributes are compared with the attributes of the soul and justice.
In a state, virtue should be the chief aim, and unless philosophers become rulers, or rulers become thorough students of philosophy, there will be unceasing troubles for states and humanity at large. The Ideal state is modelled upon the individual soul, and just as the soul has three parts, so also should the state have three parts: the rulers, the warriors, and the workers.
(Republic VI, 490 sqq.; V, 478; III, 415).
Similarly, just as the harmony of the soul depends upon the proper subordination of its parts, so also does the state depend upon the proper subordination of its parts, in order to enjoy peace.
Here Plato introduces the allegory of the charioteer and the winged steeds, in order to show that virtue is to the soul as justice is to the state:—One horse is of noble origin: while the other is ignoble; and consequently they cannot agree. As the noble horse strives to mount up to the heavenly regions which are suitable to its nature: so the other tries to drag him down. Likewise in dealing with the soul, it is the proper subordination of its parts, that enables the noble in man to attain its excellence; so also in dealing with the state, it is justice, or the proper subordination of the different classes, that makes it an Ideal State.
(Roger's Students Hist. of. Phil. p. 83); (Plato's Republic).
(v) SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS.
The doctrines of Plato are eclectic and point to Egyptian origin.
1. The doctrine of the real and unreal to represent doctrine found in the comparison between natural phenomena and the Ideas, is only an instance of the application of the doctrine of opposites. Here the things of this world have their corresponding types in the heavenly realm; here the Ideas correspond to Being, while the natural phenomena correspond to not-Being. But the doctrine of opposites may be traced back not only to Socrates, Democritus, Parmenides and the Pythagoreans, but further back to its original source, i.e., the Egyptian Mystery System, where the principle of opposites was represented not only by pairs of male and female Gods, such as Osiris and Isis, but also by pairs of pillars in the front of all the Egyptian temples.
(Memphite Theology in Kingship and the Gods, by Frankfort, C. 3, p. 25–26 and 35).
(Herodotus I, 6–26) (Ancient Egypt by John Kendrick, Bk. I, p. 339).
(Egyptian Religion by Frankfort, p. 64, 73, 88). (Zeller's Hist. of Phil. p. 61).
(The Phaedo C. 15, 16, 49).
II. The doctrine of the Nous or World Soul is a principle of Egyptian magic:
Plato is credited with expressing this doctrine in the form of a simile, in which he compares the world to a living animal, which is composed of Souls. One being made perfect and responsible for the life, motion and knowledge of the animal or universe.
This doctrine may be traced not only to (a) Democritus who based his teaching about the fire atoms of the soul, and cognition upon the magical principle of the Egyptians: "that the qualities of an animal are distributed throughout its parts."
(Golden Bough by Frazer) (Hist. of Phil., B. D. Alexander, p. 40).
(Wm. Turner, Hist. of Phil., p. 68), but also to (b) Anaxagoras, who is said to have advanced the Nous (mind) as responsible for creating order out of chaos, and which is omnipotent and omniscient.
(History of Philosophy, Wm. Turner, p. 63).
The doctrine of the Nous as a matter of fact, originated from (c) the Mystery System of Egypt, in connection with which, the God Osiris was represented in all Egyptian temples, by the symbol of an Open Eye, referred to elsewhere.
This symbol indicated not only sight that transcended space and time: but also omniscience, as the Great Mind which created and which still directs the universe. This symbol also forms a part of the decoration of all Masonic lodges of the modern world and dates back to the Osirian or Sun worship of the Egyptians more than 5000 B.C. This same notion was also represented by the Egyptians by a God with eyes all over Him and was known as the "All seeing Eye."
(Zeller's Hist. of Phil., p. 809).
(The Ancient Mysteries, C. H. Vail, p. 189)
(Max Muller: Egyptian Mythology).
III. The doctrine of the Demiurge in Creation.
This doctrine which is ascribed to the authorship of Plato, did not by any means originate from Plato. It was not only a current doctrine at the time of Plato, but was well known among the Eastern Ancient nations and taught by them many centuries before his time (427–347 B.C.).
History tells us that the Persians taught this doctrine more than six centuries B.C. through their leader Zoroaster. History also tells us that Pythagoras (500 B.C.), taught the same doctrine expressed in terms of Monads. The universe consisted of two unities, i.e., (a) the Unity from which the series of numbers or beings is derived, being absolute Unity, which
is the source of all, i.e., the Monad of Monads or the God of Gods and (b) the One, i.e., the first in the series of derived numbers or beings. It is opposed to and limited by plurality, and therefore it is relative unity, i.e., a created Monad or God (a Demiurge), consequently the opposition between the One and the many is the source of all the rest. Furthermore, history likewise tells us that the original source of the doctrine of a Demiurge in creation was Egypt, and it dates back to the creation story of Egypt 4000 B.C. which is to be found in the account given by the Memphite Theology: an inscription on a stone, now kept in the British Museum. It contains the theological and cosmological views of the Egyptians which date back to the very beginning of Egyptian history, when the first dynasties had made their new capital at Memphis, the city of the God Ptah, i.e., about 4000 B.C., or even earlier.
The Egyptian cosmology must be presented in three parts; each part being supplementary to the other, and presenting a complete philosophy by their combination. Part (I) deals with the Gods of chaos, part (II) deals with the Gods of order and arrangement in creation, and part (III) deals with the Primate of the Gods, through whose Logos creation was accomplished. In part (I) pre-creation or chaos is represented by (i) Ptah, the Primate of the Gods, emerging from the primeval waters Nun in the form of a Hill, Ta-tjenen, i.e., The Risen Land (ii) Atum, i.e., Atom, the sun God, immediately joining Ptah, by emerging also from the chaotic waters Nun, and sitting upon him (the Hill).
(iii) A description of the other qualities within the chaos follows:—There are four pairs of male and female Gods in the form of frogs and serpents. Their names are (a) Nun and Naunet, the primeval ocean and primeval matter; (b) Huh and Hauhet, the Illimitable and the Boundless, (c) Kuk and Kauket, Darkness and Obscurity; and (d) Amon and Amaunet, the Hidden and concealed ones. (Memphite Theology in Ancient Egyptian Religion by Frankfort, p. 10, p. 21; Frankfort's Intellectual Adventure of Man, p. 10, 21, 52).
In part (II) the Gods of order and arrangement are represented as follows:—
The same first pair of pre-creation Gods are together present, i.e., Ptah, the primeval Hill, who is the thought and word of all the Gods, together with Atum, who rests upon Ptah.
Atum, i.e., Atom, having absorbed the thought and creative power of Ptah, then proceeds with the work of Creation. He names four pairs of parts of his own body, which become Gods, and in this way, eight Gods are created, who together with himself become nine Gods in one family or Godhead, called the Ennead.
Magic is the key to the interpretation of ancient religions and philosophy.
(a) Part (III) tells of the specific powers of Ptah, which Atum absorbs, but does not tell us how He absorbs them.
(b) Part (I) tells us how, for it describes the movement of Atum, as emerging from the primeval waters, and sitting upon Ptah (the risen land or hill). It however does not give us the reason for Atum's movement: a behavior which can be understood, only when we apply to its interpretation, the key of magical principles.
(c) The Magical Principle
Now, what is the magical principle involved in Atum's behavior? It is this:—
"The qualities or attributes of entities, human or divine, are distributed throughout their various parts, and contact with such entities, releases those qualities."
(d) It is now clear that by making contact with Ptah, Atum immediately received the attributes of Ptah's creative thought and speech and omnipotence and became the instrument and the Logos and the Demiurge, through whom the task of creation was undertaken and completed.
(Dr. Frazer's Golden Bough).
(e) It is also clear that according to the Memphite Theology, the doctrines of a Demiurge and created Gods originated from the Egyptian religion and Mystery System, and not from Plato who lived from 427 to 347 B.C.
(Ancient Egyptian Religion: Memphite Theology by Frankfort, p. 20 and 23).
(Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man, by Frankfort, p. 21, and 51–60).
(The Egyptian Book of the Dead, c. 17).
(The Golden Bough, by Dr. Frazer—on Magic).
(The Mediterranean World, by Sandford, p. 182).
(History of Philosophy, by Weber, p. 21–22).
(The Cure of the woman who touched the hem of Christ's garment: Mark, chapter 5, verses 25–34).
(The cure of several people who held the kerchiefs of St. Paul: Acts, chapter 19, verse 12).
The Memphite Theology will be dealt with in a separate chapter to show the origin of Greek Philosophy.
IV. The doctrines of (A) the highest good (B) virtue and (C) the cardinal virtues.
This is really the earliest theory of salvation and it originated from the Egyptian Mysteries but not from Plato.
(A) The main purpose of the Egyptian Mysteries was the salvation of the human soul. The Egyptians believed the human body to be a prison house, where the soul is chained by ten fetters. This condition not only kept man separated from God, but made him subject to the wheel of re-birth or re-incarnation.
In order to escape from the effects of his condition, two requirements had to be fulfilled by the Neophyte:—
(i) He must keep the Ten Commandments taught by the Mysteries, for by such a discipline, he would gain conquest
over the fetters of the soul, and liberate it, so as to make its development possible, and
(ii) he now being well qualified and duly prepared, must undergo a series of initiations, in order to develop his soul from the human stage to that of a God. Such a transformation was known as salvation. It placed the Neophyte in harmony with nature, man and God. It deified him, i.e., made him become godlike; and this attainment was known as the highest good.
According to this theory of salvation, man is expected to work out his own salvation, without a mediator between himself and his God.
(B) Plato defines virtue as the order or discipline of the soul. This meaning we accept, since it agrees with the purpose of the ten commandments of the Mysteries.
The doctrines of the ten virtues and the ten fetters are as old as the Egyptian history itself. Each commandment or discipline represented a principle of virtue, and the function of each virtue was to remove a fetter. Hence a life of virtue was antecedent and preparatory to those further experiences, i.e., the initiations which led to gradual perfection and the divinity of the Neophyte.
(C) Plato is also credited with having reduced all virtues to four cardinal virtues, and with assigning the highest place among them to wisdom, as follows:—wisdom, fortitude, temperance and justice.
We are also informed through the history of philosophy, that Socrates, the alleged teacher of Plato, taught that wisdom was the equivalent of all virtue. This divergence of opinion between pupil and teacher is significant, since it points to the fact that both of them simply speculated about a system of Ethics which was current in the ancient world, and which neither of them had produced.
This system of Ethics as has already been mentioned belonged to the Mystery System of Egypt, which required Neophytes in preparation for initiation, to keep the following ten
commandments, underlying which were ten principles of virtue:—
The Neophyte must (I) control his thoughts (II) control his actions (III) have devotion of purpose (IV) have faith in the ability of his master to teach him the truth (V) have faith in himself to assimilate the truth (VI) have faith in himself to wield the truth (VII) be free from resentment under the experience of persecution (VIII) be free from resentment under experience of wrong, (IX) cultivate the ability to distinguish between right and wrong and (X) cultivate the ability to distinguish between the real and the unreal (he must have a sense of values).
If we now compare the order in the above outline with the order in which the cardinal virtues are said to be arranged, we shall immediately see that the first place which wisdom occupies among the virtues was given to it by the Egyptian Mysteries, and not by Plato. Consequently in (I) and (II) from the control of thoughts and actions, we derive the virtue of wisdom; in (VI) from freedom of resentment under persecution, we derive the virtue of fortitude; in (IX) and (X) from an ability to distinguish between right and wrong, and between the real and unreal, we derive the virtues of justice and temperance.
(Plato's Republic, c. IV, 44, and 443).
(Ancient Mysteries by C. H. Vail, p. 25 also 109–112).
(Wm. Turner's History of Philosophy, p. 115).
(Zeller's History of Philosophy, p. 155–157).
V. (A) The doctrine of the Ideal State.
Concerning the authorship and source of this doctrine, there are two conclusions: First, Plato was not the author of the Republic and second, the allegory of the charioteer and winged steeds, is not a product of Plato, but is derived from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, in the Judgment Drama.
Concerning the first conclusion it is only necessary to reaffirm what has already been stated in connection with the
writings of Plato, and that is that they are disputed not only by such modern scholars as Grote and Schaarsmidt, but also by ancient historians: Diogenes Laertius, Aristoxenus and Favorinus (80–150 A.D.), who declare that the subject matter of the Republic was found in the controversies written by Protagoras (481–411 B.C.) at the time of whose death Plato was but a boy.
Furthermore, the authorship of Plato rests only upon the opinions of Aristotle and Theophrastus, both of whose aims were the compilation of a Greek philosophy with Egyptian material.
(Diogenes Laertius, p. 311 and 327; Aristotle Metaphysics Bk. I).
(Zeller's History of Philosophy; Introduction, p. 8 and 13; Wm. Turner's History of Philosophy, p. 95).
Concerning the second conclusion, it must be pointed out that the allegory of the "Charioteer and the winged steeds" is a description of the quality and destiny of the soul as it appears at the bar of justice, in the Judgment Drama of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. In this Drama, the Great Chief Justice and President of the Unseen World, Pethempamenthes, i.e., Osiris is seated on a throne, and is attended by the Goddesses Isis and Nephthys, while 42 assistant judges are seated around.
Near Osiris there are four genii of Amenthe, the Unseen World, represented as short vases, called canopi, in which the different viscera, symbolizing the moral qualities of the individual, are kept embalmed. The intestines hive a very important connection with the moral qualities of the individual since they are blamed for any sin which the individual commits. At the opposite end the deceased is introduced by Horus, while in the centre stands the Scale of Justice which has been erected by Anubis. On one side of it, there appears a heart-shaped vase containing the moral qualities of the deceased, while on the other side, there is a figure of the Goddess of Truth. Toth,
the scribe, holding a roll of papyrus, stands by and makes a record of the weighing. After this is completed, Horus receives the record from Toth and advances to Osiris to make known the results. Osiris listens and at the end of the report, pronountes sentence of reward or punishment. In the meantime, fearful monsters lurk around the scene to destroy the soul, if the verdict is against it.
Let us observe that
(2) the opposite qualities weighed on the scale correspond with the opposite qualities possessed by the noble and ignoble steeds of the allegory
(3) the idea of justice symbolized by the scale of Judgment Drama, corresponds with the idea of justice expressed in the allegory.
(4) The winged steeds corresponds with the monsters of the judgment drama.
(B) The Authorship of the Republic.
According to Diogenes Laertius book III and pages 311 and 327, it is stated both by Aristoxenus and Favorinus, that nearly the whole of the subject matter of Plato's Republic was found in the Controversies, written by Protagoras. Furthermore, according to Roger's Students History of Philosophy p. 78, it is stated that although Plato might have drawn heavily upon the reminiscences of Socrates, whose lectures he attended: yet the subject matter of the Republic is a more carefully reasoned system of philosophy, than can be easily attributed to Socrates. 'That the whole volume is a cumulative argument into which there are subtly interwoven opinions on almost every subject of philosophical importance.
It is obvious that modern scholarship doubts that Plato drew the subject matter of the Republic from
But the important question remains: From what source did Protagoras draw the ideas of the Republic which were circulated in the Controversies?
Text books on Greek philosophy tell us that Protagoras was a pupil of Democritus; but when we turn to the writings of Democritus we are unable to discover any connection between them and the (a) educational system and the (b) paternal government which are advocated in the Republic.
This fact forces us to the conclusion that the subject matter of Plato's Republic was neither produced by Plato, nor any Greek philosopher.
(C) The Authorship of Timaeus.
According also to Diogenes Laertius Book VIII p. 399–401, when Plato visited Dionysius at Sicily, he paid Philolaus, a Pythagorean, 40 Alexandrian Minae of silver, for a book, from which he copied the whole contents of the Timaeus.
Under these circumstances it is clear that Plato wrote neither the Republic nor the Timaeus, whose subject matter identifies them with the purpose of the Mysteries of Egypt.
(Roger's Students Hist. of Philosophy p. 76; 78; and 104).
(Zeller's Hist. of Philosophy: Introduction p. 13 and 103).
(Wm. Turner's Hist. of Philosophy p. 79 and 95).
(Plato; Apology, Crito, and Phaedo).
(Xenophon: Memorabilia; Strabo; Ancient Mysteries by C. H. Vail).
(Clement: Stromata Bk. V. C. 7 and 9).
VI. The Chariot was not a culture pattern of the Greeks, at the time of Plato, nor was it used by them in warfare:—
Greek culture and traditions did not furnish Plato with the idea of the chariot and winged steeds, for nowhere in their brief military history, (i.e., up to the time of Plato) do we find the use of such a war machine by the Greeks.
The only nearby nation who specialized in the manufacture of chariots and the breeding of horses was the Egyptians. When Joseph was Governor in Egypt, the horse and war chariot were in use; and when the Israelites fled from the country, Pharaoh pursued them to the Red Sea in chariots. Even Homer and Diodorus who visited Egypt, testify that they saw a great multitude of war chariots and numerous stables along the banks of the Nile, from Memphis to Thebes.
And since the Judgment Drama in the Egyptian Book of the Dead reveals the entire philosophy contained in the allegory, Plato cannot be credited as its author.
The following sketch of the military history of the Greeks shows that the chariot was not used by them, nor was it their culture pattern:—
A. External wars or wars with the Persians.
(b) The battle of Marathon, 490 B.C.
During the summer of 490 B.C., the Greeks met the Persians at the bay of Marathon, and after a brief fight with bows and arrows, both belligerents withdrew to prepare for more decisive engagements.
(c) The battle of Thermopylae, 480 B.C.
Ten years after Marathon, the Persians and Greeks met again to settle their grievances. The Persians anchored in the Gulf of Pagasae, while the Greeks anchored off Cape Artimesium. A battle followed and Thermopylae was captured by the Persians.
Both Persians and Greeks met again at Salamis in 479 B.C., and a naval engagement followed, with considerable loss of ships on both sides. Both belligerents withdrew without any decision.
(e) The confederacy of Delos and their wars with the Persians, 478–448 B.C.
The purpose of the confederacy was defense against Persian aggression, and two naval battles were fought: one at the river Eurymedon in 467 B.C., when the Greeks gained a minor victory, and the other at Cyprus in 449 B.C., when the island was captured by the Persians.
Chariots were not used in any of these engagements.
B. Internal wars, i.e., the Peloponnesian wars, 460–445 B.C., and 431–421 B.C. respectively.
These wars were fought between the different Greek states, and their major engagements were maritime.
In 432 B.C. Athens blockaded Potidaea and Megara was excluded from Greek markets. In 431 B.C. Thebes attacked Plataea, and while a Peloponnesian army occupied Attica, an Athenian fleet raided Peloponnesus.
Pericles conducted the evacuation of Attica, the oligarchs at Corcyra were massacred, and after the seizure of Amphipolis; Nicias sued for peace 422 B.C.
It is evident that Greek culture and tradition did not furnish Plato with the idea of the charioteer and winged steeds, for nowhere in their brief military history, (i.e., up to the time of Plato) do we find the use of such a war machine by the Greeks as a chariot. The only nearby nation who specialized in the manufacture of chariots and horse breeding was the Egyptians, as already mentioned.
And since the Judgment Drama in the Egyptian Book of
the Dead depicts the allegory of the charioteer and winged steeds, credit for its authorship cannot be given to Plato, but to the Egyptians.
(Sandford: Mediterranean World, c. 12, p. 197; 202; 203; 205; c. 13, p. 220–221).
(Genesis, c. 45, 27; c. 47, 17; Deut. c. 17, 16).
(I Kings, c. 10, 28).
(Homer II. i, 381; Diodorus; Roger's Hist. of Phil., p. 8384).
(John Kendrick: Ancient Egypt, Vol. I, p. 166).
(The Egyptian Book of the Dead).
(i) (a) Birth and early life and training.
According to the textbooks on the history of Greek philosophy, Aristotle was born in 384 B.C. at Stagira, a town in Thrace. His father, Neomachus is said to have been a physician to Amyntas, King of Macedonia. Nothing is mentioned in books about his early education, only that he became an orphan and at the age of 19 he went to Athens, where he spent twenty years as a pupil of Plato.
We are also informed that after the death of Plato, his nephew, became the master of his school, and that Aristotle left immediately for Mysia, where he met and married the niece of Hermeias.
Likewise, that after the death of Amyntas of Macedon, his son Phillip having become king, appointed Aristotle as Tutor of his son Alexander a boy of 13 years (later to be called the Great in consequence of his conquest of Egypt).
After Phillip's assassination in 336 B.C. Alexander became
king, and we are informed that he immediately planned an Asiatic campaign and included Egypt, during which time Aristotle is said to have returned to Athens and founded a school in a gymnasium called the Lyceum. We are further informed that Aristotle conducted this school for only twelve years, that Alexander the Great advanced him the funds to purchase a large number of books, that his pupils were called Peripatetics, and that owing to an indictment for impiety, brought against him by a priest named Eurymedon, he fled from Athens to Chalcis in Euboea, where he remained in exile until his death in 322 B.C.
(Roger's Student's History of Phil. p. 104).
(Zeller's History of Philosophy, p. 171–172).
(Fuller's History of Philosophy, Aristotle's Life).
(B. D. Alexander's Hist. of Phil. p. 91–92).
(Diogenes Laertius Bk. V. p. 449).
(b) His own list of books.
Aristotle is credited with classifying his own writings as follows:—
(i) The Theoretic, whose object is truth, and which included (a) Mathematics (b) Physics and (c) Theology.
(ii) The Practical, whose object is the useful, and which included (a) Ethics (b) Economics and (c) Politics.
(iii) The Productive or Poetic whose object is the beautiful, and which included (a) Poetry (b) Art and (c) Rhetoric.
Neither Logic nor Metaphysics was in this list. (History of Philosophy, B. D. Alexander, p. 92).
(c) Other lists of books.
There are two lists of books which have come down to modern times from Alexandrine and Arabian sources.
(i) The older list, derived from the Alexandrine Hermippus (200 B.C.), who estimated the books of Aristotle at 400, which, according to Zeller's suggestion, must have been in
the Alexandrine Library, at the time of the compilation of the list, since works which are now considered to be Aristotle's are not found in the list.
(ii) The later, derived from Arabian sources, was compiled by Ptolemus, of the First or Second Century A.D. This list mentions most of the works in the modern collection, and has a total of one thousand books.
(Zeller's History of Philosophy, p. 172–173; B. D. Alexander's History of Philosophy, p. 92–93).
(ii) DOCTRINES OF ARISTOTLE
I. Metaphysics: or The Principles of Being, in the Metaphysical realm.
1. Aristotle defines Metaphysics as the science of Being as Being.
2. He names the Attributes of Being as
(b) potentiality i.e., the capacity for perfection. (dynamis).
3. He states that all created beings are composed of actuality and potentiality.
These two principles are present and are mixed in all created beings except one, whose being is actuality, and includes the composition of (a) matter and form (b) substance and accident (c) soul and its faculties (d) active and passive intellect.
II. Principles of being in the physical realm.
There are four principles of being in the physical realm which are called Causes:—
(1) Matter (hyle) the material cause, is the potentiality or capacity of existence (hyle prole). It is that out of which being is made.
(2) Form or Essence (morphe) i.e., the formal cause is that which gives actuality to existence. It is that into which a thing is made. When matter is united with form the result is organized or realized being that has come to existence in the processes of nature (synolon, ousia prote).
(3) Final Cause, is that for which everything exists. Everything has a purpose and that purpose is the final cause. A final cause always implies intelligence: but this is not always true in the case of the efficient Cause.
Consequently in the realm of nature, every being or living organism is the complex effect of four causes:—
(1) The substance out of which it is made (i.e., material cause).
(2) The type or idea, according to which the embryo tends to develop (i.e., formal cause).
(3) The act of creation or generation (i.e., efficient cause).
(4) The purpose or end for which the organism is created (i.e., final cause). In other words, matter, type, creation and purpose are the four principles which underlie all existing things.
(B. D. Alexander's History of Philosophy, p. 97–100; Aristotle, Meta. I, 3; Wm. Turner's History of Philosophy, p. 136140. Alfred Weber's Hist. of Phil., p. 80–84).
III. Doctrines concerning the existence of God.
(1) Although motion is eternal, there cannot be an indefinite series of movers and the moved, therefore there must be One, the first in the series which is unmoved (proton kinoun akineton) i.e., The Unmoved Mover.
(2) The actual is antecedent to the potential for although last in appearance, is really first in nature. Therefore before all matter and the composition of actual and potential, pure actuality must have existed. Therefore actuality is the cause of all things that exist and since it is pure actuality, its life is essentially free from all material conditions. It is the thought of thought, the absolute spirit, who dwells in eternal peace and self enjoyment, who knows himself and the absolute truth, and is in need of neither action nor virtue.
(3) God is one, for matter is the principle of plurality, and the First Intelligence is free from material conditions. His life is contemplative thought: neither providence nor will is
comparable with the eternal repose in which He dwells. God is not concerned with the world.
IV. The doctrine of the origin of the world.
The world is eternal, because matter, motion and time are eternal.
V. The doctrine concerning Nature.
Nature is everything which has the principle of motion and rest. It is spontaneous and self determining from within. Nature does nothing in vain, but according to definite law. It is always striving for the best according to a plan of development, which is obstructed only by matter. The striving of nature is through the less perfect to the more perfect.
VI. The doctrine concerning the Universe.
The world is globe shaped, circular and most perfect in form. The heaven, which is composed of ether, stands in immediate contact with the First Cause. The stars, which are eternal come next in order, the earth-ball is in the middle, and is the furthest from the prime mover, and least participant of divinity.
(Eth. Wic 10, 8; 1178b, 20) (Op. cit. 10: 8, 9; 1179).
(Wm. Turner's History of Philosophy, p. 141–143; B D. Alexander, History of Phil. p. 102–103; Zeller's History of Philosophy, p. 221; Roger's History of Philosophy, p. 109).
(Aristotle's Physics II, I, 192b 14) (De Caelo, I, 4, 271a, 33).
(De Part. An. IV, 2, 677a 15)
(Aristotle's Physics II, 8, 199).
(B. D. Alexander's Hist. of Phil. p. 104).
(De Generatione Animalium, IV, 4, 7706, 9).
VII. The doctrine of the soul.
The soul is not merely a harmony of the body or the blending of opposites. It is neither the four elements nor their compound, for it transcends all material conditions.
The soul and body are not two distinct things: but one in two different aspects, i.e., just as form is related to matter.
The soul is the power which a living body possesses, and it is the end for which the body exists, i.e., the final cause of its existence.
While the soul which is the radical principle of life, is one, yet it has several faculties. Those faculties are:—(1) Sensitive (2) Rational (3) Nutritive (4) Appetitive (5) Locomotive.
Of these, the sensitive and the rational are the most important: sensation being the faculty by means of which the forms of sen'sible things are received, just as impression is made as by a seal; and intelligent knowledge being the faculty by means of which intellectual knowledge is acquired.
It is the seat of ideas only, it does not create them, since knowledge comes through the senses.
(B. D. Alexander's History of Philosophy, p. 105–106).
(Wm. Turner's History of Philosophy, p. 147–153).
(Zeller's History of Philosophy, p 201–204).
(iii) SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS.
A. His Doctrines.
1. The doctrine of Being (To on).
By declaring the attributes of Being as (a) actuality or the determining principle, and (b) potentiality or the indeterminate principle: Aristotle attempted to explain Reality in terms of the principle of opposites.
But this principle was used not only by the Pythagoreans, Parmenides, and Democritus in a similar manner but also by Socrates in his attempt to prove the immortality of the soul, and by Plato who saw reality as the concept of things as distinguished from the things themselves: as the noumena as distinct from phenomena, and as the real, distinct from the unreal.
But the principle of opposites originated from the Egyptian Mystery System, whose Gods were male and female, and whose
temples carried in front of them two pillars as symbols of the principle of opposites. It is obvious that Aristotle was not the author of this doctrine, but the Egyptians.
(Aristotle's Metaphysics I, 5, 985b, 24; Aristotle's Metaphysics I, 5, 98b, 31).
(Aristotle's Metaphysics I, 6, 987b, 9; Wm. Turner's Hist. of Phil., p. 41; 47; 48).
(Plato's Phaedo, c. 15; c. 16 and c. 49; Parmenides 132D). (Memphite Theology, King-ship and the Gods, by Frankfort, c. 3, p. 25, 26, 35).
(Egyptian Religion by Frankfort, p. 64, 73, 88).
2. The existence of God.
(a) The teleological concept has not only been embraced by Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, but also by the peoples of the remotest antiquity. In the accounts found in the first chapter of Genesis and in the Memphite Theology, found in chapters 20 and 23 of Frankfort's Ancient Egyptian Religion, creation proceeds from chaos to order, by definite and gradual steps, showing design and purpose in nature, and suggesting that it must be the work of a divine Intelligence. The dates of these sources carry us far back into antiquity, many centuries before the time of Aristotle, between 2000 and 5000 B.C.
We are also told that in addition to the teleological concept, Aristotle introduced the concept of the "Unmoved Mover" in order to prove the existence of God. But the "Unmoved Mover" is none other than the Atum of the Memphite Theology of the Egyptians, the Demiurge, through whose command (logos) four pairs of Gods were created out of different parts of his body and who accordingly moved out of him. This act of creation took place while Atum remained unmoved; as he embraced Ptah. Thus the family of Nine Gods was created, and has been named the Ennead. It is quite clear that the concept of the "Unmoved Mover" is derived from the Egyptian theological or mystery system, and not from Aristotle, as the modern world has been made to believe.
Incidentally, but no less important, it might be mentioned here that in this story of the created Gods by Atum the Sun God into a family of nine, i.e., the Ennead, we have the original source of two important scientific hypotheses of modern times:—
(1) There are nine major planets and (2) The Sun is the parent of the other planets (This latter being supported by the Nebular Hypothesis). Let us remember also that
(b) the Egyptian temples were the first observatories of history.
(c) In attempting to prove the existence of God or a First Cause by reference to actuality and potentiality, Aristotle simply followed the traditional custom of the Ancients, who used the principle of Opposites in order to explain the functions of nature.
(d) Plato used it, through the theory of Ideas, to explain the real and unreal in the phenomena of nature.
(e) Socrates used it in order to establish the fact of immortality by showing that the death of one form of life of existing things, is but the beginning of another form of life of these things. In other words life is perpetual, it only changes its form in its course of progress.
Democritus applied the principle of opposites in their interpretation of a particular phase of reality. We cannot therefore consider Aristotle's use of the terms, actuality and potentiality in the problem of the existence of God as a new method of interpretation.
Furthermore, Aristotle's review of the doctrines of all previous philosophers including Plato, together with his exposure of their errors, and inconsistencies, shows that he had become confident not only of the fact that he was in possession of a new and correct knowledge one that had not before been made available to the Greeks, but also that he could then speak with
great authority. Right here I must say that I am convinced that Aristotle represents a culture gap of 5000 years or more between his innovation and the Greek level of civilization; because it is impossible to escape the conviction that he obtained his education and books from a nation outside of Greece, the Egyptians who were far in advance of the culture of Greeks of his day.
(Memphite Theology in Kingship & The Gods by Frankfort c. 3. p. 25, 26, 35).
(Herodotus I, 6–26) (Egyptian Religion by Frankfort p. 64, 73, 88).
(Plato's Phaedo c. 15, 16, 49) (Zeller's History of Philosophy p. 61).
(Aristotle's Eth., Nic. 10, 8; 1178b, 20) (Op. cit. 10: 8, 9; 1179).
(Zeller's History of Philosophy p. 221) (Roger's History of Philosophy p. 109).
(William Turner's History of Philosophy p. 141–143).
(B. D. Alexander's History of Philosophy, p. 102, 103).
(B D. Alexander's History of Philosophy p. 92, 93; Roger's Student History of Philosophy p. 104).
(William Turner's History of Philosophy p. 126–127, 135).
(Zeller's History of Philosophy p. 171–173) (Plutarch's Alexander) (Aristotle's Metaphysics) (William Turner's History of Philosophy, p. 128 footnote also Noct. Mt. 20: 5).
3. The doctrine of the origin of the world.
According to the doctrine that has been ascribed to Aristotle: "because matter, motion and time are eternal, therefore the world is also eternal", he plainly accepts and repeats a doctrine which has also been ascribed to Democritus (400 B.C.), whose dictum we are all quite familiar with: ex nihillo nihil fit (nothing comes out of nothing), and consequently matter or the world must always have existed.
But the antiquity of the doctrine of the eternal nature of
matter, takes us back to the creation story of the Memphite Theology of the Egyptians, in which Chaos is represented by the Primeval Ocean Nun, out of which there arose the Primeval Hill Ta-tjenen. Under these circumstances we cannot give Aristotle credit for the authorship of this doctrine.
In addition to the false authorship that has been attributed to Aristotle, he contradicts himself in his physics VIII 1. 25; when he also speaks of the world as caused. A thing cannot be eternal and infinite, and at the same time finite.
(Memphite Theology in Egyptian Religion by Frankfort p. 20).
(Intellectual Adventure of Man by Frankfort p. 10, 21, 52).
4. The doctrine of the attributes of nature.
Aristotle defines nature as that which possesses the principle of motion and rest and also adds that the motion is an effort to move from the less perfect to the more perfect by a definite law: supposedly what we would today call evolution.
As we examine this definition, we find that Aristotle has only applied the principle of opposites to explain one of the modes by which nature has revealed herself just as he has done in his attempt to explain Being in the dual terms of actuality and potentiality.
But change and motion, permanence and rest, were by no means new problems at the time of Aristotle; since they appear to have been investigated not only by Parmenides, Zeno and Melissus, but also by Democritus, who stressed the notion of permanence in his famous dictum: ex nihillo nihil fit (out of nothing, nothing comes) implying thereby that nature is permanent and eternal.
Similarly, his reference to nature's movement from the less perfect to the more perfect, was by no means a new discovery of a principle of nature.
The creation account found in the first chapter of Genesis speaks of the gradual development of life, in which the Demiurge or Logos was engaged at work during six stages and
rested on the seventh. Similarly, the creation account of the Egyptians pound in the Memphite Theology, also speaks of nature's movement from Chaos to order.
These accounts by many thousand years antedate Aristotle's time for the former is about 2000 B.C. while the latter 4000 B.C., and since the principle of opposites has already been shown to originate from the Egyptians, as well as that of the gradual development of life, it is clear that this doctrine on the attributes of nature did not originate from Aristotle.
(Zeller's History of Philosophy, p. 60–65;) (William Turner's History of Philosophy p. 44–52).
(Genesis c. 1).
(Roger's History of Philosophy p. 28–32).
(Intellectual Adventure of Man by Frankfort, p. 21, 51–60).
(Ancient Egyptian Religion by Frankfort, p. 20, 23).
5. The Soul.
According to Aristotle the soul possesses the following attributes (1) Identity with body, as form with matter (2) The power which a living body possesses, i.e., the radical principle of life, manifesting itself in the following attributes:—
This description of the soul by Aristotle, seems to vary somewhat from the more familiar and current ideas held by the Atomists, on the one hand and Socrates, Plato and the Pythagoreans on the other; for while the former believed that the soul is material and is composed of fire atoms; the latter regarded it as a harmony of the body and a blending of opposites.
(William Turner's History of Philosophy, p. 42, 67–68).
(Plato Phaedo, c. 15) (Zeller's History of Philosophy, p. 61).
(De Respiratione, 4, 30, 47a).
Naturally we are now forced to ask the question: Did this doctrine of the soul originate from Aristotle? It is clear that he did not get it from his teacher Plato, nor from the Pythagoreans and Atomists; but from some other source outside of Greece.
As we turn our attention to ancient history, we happily discover that there are two such sources outside of Greece (1) The Creation story in Genesis first chapter and (2) The Egyptian Book of the Dead, which does not only contain attributes of the soul, identical with those mentioned by Aristotle, but far more in an elaborate system of philosophy in which human nature is explained as a unity of nine inseparable parts consisting of different bodies and souls interdependent one upon another, the physical body being one of them. (The Egyptian Book of the Dead by Sir E. A. Budge. Introduction, p. 29–64).
In the Genesis story, it is asserted that God made man out of matter (i.e., the dust of the earth), and breathed into his nostrils, the breath of life, and "man became a living soul". Here we have a clear statement of the identity of "body and soul", taken from a document (Genesis) which antedates Aristotle by many centuries.
In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, we also find that the human soul is composed of the following nine inseparable parts:—
(1) The Ka, which is an abstract personality of the man to whom it belongs possessing the form and attributes of a man with power of locomotion, omnipresence and ability to receive nourishment like a man. It is equivalent to (Eidolon), i.e., image.
(2) The Khat, i.e., the concrete personality, the physical body, which is mortal.
(3) The Ba, i.e., the heart-soul, which dwells in the Ka and
sometimes alongside it, in order to supply it with air and food. It has the power of metamorphosis and changes its form at will.
(4) The Ab, i.e., the Heart, the animal life in man, and is rational, spiritual and ethical. It is associated with the Ba (heart-soul) and in the Egyptian Judgment Drama it undergoes examination in the presence of Osiris, the great Judge of the Unseen World.
(5) The Kaibit, i.e., shadow. It is associated with Ba (heart-soul) from whom like the Ka, it receives its nourishment. It has the power of locomotion and omnipresence.
(6) The Khu, i.e., spiritual soul, which is immortal. It is also closely associated with the Ba (heart-soul), and is an Ethereal Being.
(7) The Sahu, i.e., spiritual body, in which the Khu or spiritual soul dwells. In it all the mental and spiritual attributes of the natural body are united to the new powers of its own nature.
(8) The Sekhem, i.e., power or the spiritual personification of the vital force in a man. Its dwelling place is in the heavens with spirits or Khus.
(9) The Ren, i.e., the name, or the essential attribute for the preservation of a Being. The Egyptians believed that in the. absence of a name, an individual ceased to exist.
It must be noted that according to the Egyptian concept
(1) The soul has nine parts, whose unity is so complete, that even the Ren, i.e., the name, is an essential attribute, since without it, it cannot exist.
(2) The Ba (or heart-soul), is connected with the Ka, Kaibit and Ab (Abstract personality or Shadow and Animal life) on the one hand, and also with Khu and Sekhem (spiritual Soul and spiritual personification of vital force) on the other hand, as the power of Nourishment.
(3) The Sahu is a spiritual body which is used both by Khu and Sekhem.
(4) The Khat, i.e., the physical body, is essential to the soul while manifesting itself upon the physical plane.
(5) The soul has the additional following attributes:—
(e) mortality (in case of one khat)
(6) It is clear therefore from such a comparison as this, that the Aristotelian doctrine of the soul is identical and coincides with only a very small portion of the Egyptian philosophy of the soul, which therefore stands in relation to it as a whole to its part. Consequently we must conclude that Aristotle obtained his doctrine of the soul from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, directly or indirectly.
B (i) The Library of Alexandria was the true source of Aristotle's large numbers of books:
It is to be expected that the library of Alexandria was immediately ransacked and looted by Alexander and his party, no doubt made up of Aristotle and others, who did not only carry off large quantities of scientific books: but also frequently returned to Alexandria for the purpose of research. Just as these books were captured in Egypt by the army of Alexander and fell into the hands of Aristotle, so after Aristotle's death, these very books were destined to be captured by a Roman army and conveyed to Rome according to the following story taken from the histories of Strabo and Plutarch:—
The books of Aristotle fell into the hands of Theophrastus who succeeded him as Head of his School. At the death of Theophrastus, they were bequeathed to Neleus of Scepsis. After the death of Neleus, the books were hidden in a cellar, where they remained for almost two centuries.
When Athens was captured by the Romans in 84 B.C., the books were captured by Sulla and carried to Rome, where Tyrannio a grammarian secured copies and enabled Andronicus of Rhodes to publish them.
(Strabo; Plutarch; Wm. Turner's Hist. of Phil., p. 128 footnote).
(Noct., Mt, 20; 5)
The fragmentary character of Aristotle's writings and their lack of unity, reveal the fact that he himself made notes hurriedly from books while doing his research at the great Egyptian Library. The ancient teaching method was oral; not by lecture and note taking.
Right here I must repeat that I am convinced that Aristotle represents a culture gap of 5000 years between his innovation and the Greek level of civilization; because it is impossible to escape the conviction that he obtained his education and books from a nation outside of Greece, who was far ahead of the culture of the Greeks of his day, and that was the Egyptians.
(B. D. Alexander's History of Philosophy, p. 92 and 93).
(Roger's Student History of Philosophy, p. 104).
(Alfred Weber's History of Philosophy, p. 77 and 78).
(Wm. Turner's History of Philosophy, p. 126, 127, 135).
(Zeller's History of Philosophy, p. 171–173).
(Plutarch's Alexander, c. 8).
(Aristotle's Metaphysics) (Wm. Turner's History of Phil., p. 128 footnote also Noct., Mt., 20; 5).
The so-called books of Aristotle deal with scientific knowledge which was not in circulation among the Greeks, and
consequently, it was impossible, as has already been stated, for him to have purchased them from other so-called Greek philosophers.
It is for the purpose of concealing the true source of his books and of his education, that history tells the very strange stories about Aristotle (a) that he spent 20 years, as a pupil under Plato, whom we know was incompetent to teach him; and (b) that Alexander the Great also gave him money to buy the large number of books to which his name has been attached; but at the same time, fails to tell us when, where and from whom Aristotle bought the books.
Furthermore, as already pointed out, Aristotle's review of the doctrines of all previous philosophers including Plato, together with his exposure of their errors and inconsistencies, shows that he had become confident not only of the fact that he was in possession of correct knowledge, one that had not before been made available to the Greeks; but also that he could then speak with great authority.
B (ii) The lack of uniformity between the lists of books points to doubtful authorship.
1. There are at least three lists of books. One list is said co be Aristotle's own classification of his writings, and naturally it must be dated within the period of his own life time 384–322 B.C. In this list Aristotle has told the world that he wrote texts on (a) Mathematics, Physics and Theology, (b) Ethics, Economics and Politics and (c) Poetry, Art and Rhetoric.
Now, in order to write these texts one must have received his education and training in the subjects on which they are written. We are told in the history of Greek philosophy, that Socrates taught Plato and that Plato taught Aristotle. But there is no evidence that Socrates ever taught mathematics or economics or politics.
Consequently, it was impossible for him to teach Plato these subjects, and also impossible for Plato to teach Aristotle
these subjects, under the Egyptian Mystery System which was graded, and which required proof of efficiency before promotion.
We are therefore unable to accept the claim of Aristotle to have been the author of those books.
2. Two lists are derived from different sources and the two together differ widely in (a) number (b) subject matter and (c) date.
The list of Hermippus the Alexandrine (200 B.C.) contains 400 books. The list compiled by Ptolemus, between First and Second Centuries A.D. contains 1000 books. The very fact that there is no uniformity in the lists points to a doubtful authorship. Also, if Aristotle in 200 B.C. had only 400 books, by what miracle did they increase to 1000 in the Second Century A.D.? Or was it forgery?
C. The discrepancies and doubts in his life.
(i) He wastes 20 years as a pupil under Plato:—
It is said that he went to Plato at the age of 19 and spent 20 years with him as a pupil. But this is doubtful and unreasonable. Doubtful because Plato is regarded as a Philosopher, while Aristotle as a Scientist, who has been credited with all the scientific knowledge of the Ancient World, and it is impossible for a master to teach a pupil what he himself does not know.
It is also unreasonable to expect a man who has been credited with Aristotle's knowledge, to waste 20 of the best years of his life, under a master who was incompetent to teach him.
(B. D. Alexander, Hist. of Phil., p. 92; Roger's Student History of Philosophy, p. 104).
(ii) The truth of how he got such a large number of books is misrepresented:—
He is said to have received financial aid from Alexander the Great, and was able to purchase a large number of books in order to advance his studies.
(Zeller's Hist. of Phil., p. 171; Wm. Turner's History of Phil. p. 127).
But this sounds more like a fable than the truth, for up to the time of Aristotle, Greek education was represented by the Sophists who taught Rhetoric and dialectics; while the study of elementary science was confined to a few unknown philosophers. This was the standard of Greek education, for the Sophists were the only authorized teachers.
Yet Aristotle is credited with producing a thousand different books dealing with all branches of the scientific knowledge of antiquity. Certainly he could not have obtained them from the Greeks, for that vast body of knowledge, which bears his name and which was presented as new, would really have been the traditional common possession of all who were members of the Greek schools of philosophy for they would have been the only persons inside Greece permitted to own such books; for knowledge was protected as secret.
Under these circumstances it is evident that the vast body of scientific knowledge ascribed to Aristotle, was neither in the possession of the Greeks of his time, nor was there any one in Greece competent to teach him Science and, least of all, on so vast a scale.
(iii) He got the books by looting the Library of Alexandria:—
The question must now be asked: How did Aristotle, a single individual, come to possess such a vast number of scientific works, a body of knowledge which took the Ancient World five thousand years or more to accumulate? It is evident that Aristotle's fame as a scholar has been grossly exaggerated: for such an accomplishment would have been both a physical and mental impossibility. Throughout the intellectual advancement of man, the world has witnessed many a genius; but those have always been specialists in particular fields, not specialists in every branch of science.
And the modern world is no exception, for our great men
of science are not specialists in every branch of science, but only in a particular one. That appears to be nature's way.
As a matter of fact, the many discrepancies and doubts in the life and activities of Aristotle lead us to the only reasonable solution of the problem that instead of the tales (a) that Alexander the Great gave him money to buy books (b) that he spent 20 years of his life as a pupil with Plato and (c) that he left the Palace of Alexander for Athens, when Alexander started on his Egyptian invasion, he, on the contrary, must have spent a large part of those 20 years under the tutorship of the Egyptian Priests, and also must have accompanied Alexander on the Egyptian invasion, which gave him the opportunity, not only to carry away from the Alexandrian Library, the vast number of books which are now said to be his, but also to copy notes from a large number of volumes. Indeed modern scholarship has shown that the writings of Aristotle bear all the marks of hurriedly copied notes which of course suggests that Aristotle himself copied these notes from the books of the Alexandrian Library. The historical account of Aristotle's life is incredible.
(iv) It was the custom of ancient armies to capture books as valuable war booty:—
When a victorious army takes possession of a country, it is customary for special companies to search for and seize war booty, i.e., to help themselves to everything that is considered valuable. The Greeks, among all the surrounding nations, were the most anxious to obtain the valuable secrets of the Egyptians, in the Ancient Sciences, and it would appear that the greatest opportunity came to them to accomplish the desire when Alexander the Great invaded Egypt. As stated elsewhere, ancient invading armies looted libraries, because of the great value attached to books; and temples were also looted, not only for books, but also for the gold and silver, out of which the gods and ceremonial vessels were made.