Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour starred in the 1980 move, ‘Somewhere in Time.’ In the movie, Reeve was staying in a hotel, in 1972, for some rest from overwork. While walking through the hotel, Reeve fell in love with a of a young woman’s picture, who lived in the hotel in 1912. The more Reeve thought about the woman in the picture, the more obsessed he became with her. Having come across a book written about time travel, Reeve decided to follow the instructions in the book, so he could travel back to 1912, and be with his love.
The instructions in the book included; utilizing self-hypnosis, wearing the same type of clothes worn during the desired period, wearing his hair as men did in that period, and also having some physical items from the period. He was to meditate on the image of the woman and the date that he wanted to be with her. He was using self-hypnosis to create, in his mind and awareness that she exists and he could interact with her. He was also to remove any item from his view that would remind him of his current year. In the movie, he accomplished his task.
Thomas Taylor (1758-1835), who has been referred to as ‘The Platonist,’ used similar techniques as the fictional book mentioned, as early as 1784. His profound interest in the ancient philosophers, especially Plato and the later Neo-Platonists; Proclus, Plotinus, Porphyry and Iamblichus, led him to take the following steps before translating their ancient works from Greek to English. While residing in England, he and his wife; dressed in Greek clothing at particular times, his wife cooked Greek food, they furnished his meditation area with Greek furniture, and he and his wife spoke only Classical Greek in their home. Then Taylor undertook his translations.
Taylor was the first to translate the complete works of Plato into English. It has been said of Taylor, “his translations were within the tradition of Plato with an understanding of its profundities unparalleled in modern times.” Several of Plato’s writings appeared to have some important lines that had been lost, Taylor’s translations seemed to complete the writings as Plato might have originally written them.
His translations were influential on William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Wordsworth, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and G. R. S. Mead.
In the copious notes that are attached to Taylor’s translation of Plato, Taylor shares the deeper meanings of many of Plato’s concepts. Taylor didn’t just translate words, he brought to light the essence of Plato’s thought. This was a major reason that the aforementioned individuals, and people who are involved with the study of ancient philosophy today, take time to study Taylor’s translations. A stream of deeper philosophy runs through the works of Plato that goes beyond mere words.
Thomas Taylor took his interest in the ancient philosophy, one step further than most people. He literally became one with the philosophical current that existed at the time of Plato. Taylor said that philosophy was not just a medley of thoughts, guesses or fancies of an individual. It is a real appetite, or love for the wisdom of First Principles. His emersion in the writings of Plato convinced him that one cannot expect to apprehend the philosophic insights of Plato by some hasty reading or superficial study. You can only apprehend the real essence of anything by becoming one with the object or person you study.
During the times of Plato, and the Neo-Platonists, philosophy was a way of life and not just a collection of ideas that one spoke and debated about. Philosophers walked the talk, lived the principles and it became their way of life.
“Philosophy is not an occasional or incidental pursuit, but is a living reality, permeating and directing the human energies to the extent that its principles are thoroughly grasped and assimilated.”
“In order to apprehend the interior meaning of the recondite writings of Plato and his genuine successors, which are replete with the profoundest insights, one must be emancipated himself from the thralldom of the senses - must use his spiritual eye alone, which, as it is said in the Republic, is better worth saving than ten thousand corporeal eyes.”
“For then, as Plato himself says, a light as from a fire will on a sudden be enkindled in the soul, and will then itself nourish itself.’
My little post is not concerned with you understanding or even reading the works of Plato. This is not intended to be a post on ancient philosophy. Understanding comes from just that, understanding. “It is best not to judge an individual until you’ve walked a moon or two in that individual’s moccasins.” Before you come to some judgement why not attempt to place yourself into the position of those you are judging?
Some American Indian tribes believe that in order to understand something you must become it. While watching a bird fly, in order to understand it, you place yourself within the bird. You imagine flying high in the sky, you look from up high for any movement on the ground. You feel the wind against your face and wings. You become for some moments, the object you contemplate, and then allow the feelings of that which you contemplate to rise up within you.
When you become in resonance with something, then you are attuned to it. Like attracts like and energy flows between like objects. It is one of the ancient techniques used in the mystery schools. We have the ability to align ourselves with everything in the universe and we are not bound by time, unless we constrict our own selves.
When you awaken that part within yourself that can attune to all things, then you become like a tuning fork that will resonate in kind, with that which you are seeking. All things continue to exist and are accessible throughout time.
To inspire and empower with love, in love and through love to you.