Plato- Phaedrus: Beautiful boys as a route to the Divine

Rufus F.

Rufus is a likeable curmudgeon. He has a PhD in History, sang for a decade in a punk band, and recently moved to NYC after nearly two decades in Canada. He wrote the book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (2021).

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7 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    Socrates is ever hobbled by his desire to pick up the handiest counter-argument to whomever said something insightful and say something cleverer.

    He’s not wrong here, though.

    In my experience, however, I’d say that “love” is something that you have to learn how to do. The youngest kind of love is, yes, the very selfish love that wants to stifle and smother in order to keep the other forever… but, it seems to me, that sort of love is a love of self. Think Romeo and his being in love with being in love. The other person was necessary to show up and pose, but beyond that, real personalities and stuff keep getting in the way.

    When one actually loves someone in something akin to a healthy relationship, the other person is necessary for more than just showing up. (Indeed, I’ve heard it said that running a household is similar to running a small non-profit.) You have to work with the other person, compromise, take turns, fight, make up, and basically have to deal with someone as human as you.

    In my experience, one grows accustomed to the other. Because of Maribou, I’ve continued to grow (she’s forced me to!). I’d compare to a couple of saplings that have been groomed around each other by a gardner. After time, the trees grow in and through and around each other. If you removed one of the trees, the remaining tree would look warped and twisted… but because of the other tree, it looks like half of a whole.

    But, when I was a teenager, I had no comprehension of such things.Report

    • Rufus in reply to Jaybird says:

      @Jaybird, My friend, Father Paul, often makes the point that falling in love and becoming a good partner begins the task of becoming fully human and turning outwards from narcissism which, in his opinion understandably ends with embracing the divine.

      Love is really a bit like being turned inside-out- your focus turns from the self to the beloved and then, maybe, outward from there. You start wanting to create the sort of family and community that would be suitable for your beloved! When you’re young, everything around you seems like a burden to selfhood, and when you’re with someone, your surroundings start to reflect that love relationship. Well, at least, I think when the relationship is healthy it works that way.Report

  2. DEVIKA MISRA says:

    i am an english student and im currently doing this very paper for college – infact , i came across ur blog , while browsing for sumthing that might help me write a paper on the very subject.

    i dont claim to be an authority on plato – and this is indeed my first brush with him , but i daresay , uv encapsulated his idead very coherently in this article.

    keep writing 🙂Report

    • Rufus in reply to DEVIKA MISRA says:

      @DEVIKA MISRA, Thank you very much! Good luck on your paper and be sure to cite all your sources so you don’t get in trouble with your instructor. I hope you enjoy Plato!Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Rufus says:

        @Rufus, how did your heart not break writing that?Report

        • Rufus in reply to Jaybird says:

          @Jaybird, Years of practice.Report

          • Rufus in reply to Rufus says:

            @Rufus, Maybe a less snotty way of putting that is we all start somewhere. I didn’t read any Plato until my third year in university. Now I’d go so far as to say I have some idea what he was talking about.

            So the best case scenario with these posts is that someone reads my pointless ramblings on Plato and decides it would be better for them to read the dialogues on their own to find out what he really said, and they really enjoy him. Maybe they decide to minor in philosophy. The worst case scenario is these posts end up being cut & pasted by undergrads for their papers, although as a general disclaimer, I’d likely give most of my posts a D+.Report