Plato’s Philosophy and Christian Metaphysics

Category: Culture
Date added
2021/06/26
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Platonism is the philosophy of Plato that was developed in 1509; and moreover refers to the philosophy the affirms the existence of abstract objects that “exist” in a “third realm” distinct form the external world and from the internal world of the consciousness. And also bringing attention to Plato’s Theory of Forms that considers the distinction between the realities that are perceptible and imperceptible.

In later centuries, Platonism began to have a profound effect on Western thought and many of its notions were adopted by the Christian church. Thus the renaissance gave birth to many new and different spiritual practices like the Christian Kabbalah (image on the right). The Christian Kabbalah links Jesus Christ, His atonement, and His resurrection to the Ten Sefirot. And also links the Trinity, the Creator/Spirit and the supernal mother, Mary, giving her a place on the divine level with God, something the orthodox churches disliked (The Christian Kabbalah, 2018). Sefirot meaning emanations are the 10 attributes of the Kabbalah through which “The Infinite reveals itself and continuously create both the physical realm and the chain of higher metaphysical realms,” (Sefirot, n.d.).

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of consciousness and existence. In popular usage the word refers loosely to a number of non-traditional belief systems and spiritual practices. Metaphysical Ontology also studies the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. In metaphysics, the idea of Platonic Dualism is considered, and it refers to Plato’s Theory of Forms. According to this theory, Ideas or Forms are non-physical essences of all things , of which objects and matter in the physical realm are merely imitations. The physical realm is the material stuff that we see and interact with on a daily basis and is a mere shadow or image that is cast onto the true reality of the Realm of Forms (The Theory of Forms, n.d.) . To further explain our relationship to the world of the Forms, in Plato’s Republic, Plato uses the analogy of people who spend their whole lives in a cave. All they ever see are shadows on the walls created by their campfire. Compared with the reality of the world of the Forms, real physical objects and events are analogous to being only shadows. Plato also takes the opportunity to use the cave analogy as a political statement.

Only the people who have the ability to step out into the sunlight and see (recall) the true reality (the Forms) should rule. This concept can also be seen present day in the movie the Matrix. The movie hypothesizes that the perceived world might be a comprehensive illusion created to deceive us. A clear connection between the premise of The Matrix and Plato’s Allegory of the Cave can also been suggested. “The allegory is related to Plato’s theory of Forms, which holds that the true essence of an object is not what we perceive with our senses, but rather its quality, and that most people perceive only the shadow of the object and are thus limited to false perception,” (The Matrix,n.d).

Controversially, metaphysics bring question to the table that many people do not want to ask. Like “what is being? What am I? What does it mean to exist? Why does something exist instead of nothing? These questions assume that human beings are capable of knowing something about the nature of reality. But if there is no creator God, then we must ask how we can know anything about reality. How could we ever trust ourselves enough to inform ourselves on these complex questions?,” (Christian Metaphysics, 2003). It would then force us as humans, to question everything, from religion to the ideology behind our existence, and the plausibility behind our “physical” 3-dimensional world.

References

  1. Metaphysics – Renaissance genealogy project. Retrieved May 5, 2019, from www.geni.com/projects/Metaphysics-Renaissance/5783
  2. Sefirot. In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sefirot\
  3. Christian Kabbalah. (2018). In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Kabbalah
  4. The Matrix. In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Matrix
  5. Plato: A Theory of Forms | Issue 90 | Philosophy Now. Retrieved from philosophynow.org/issues/90/Plato_A_Theory_of_Forms
  6. Theory of forms. (2019). In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_forms
  7. The Theory of Forms by Plato: Definition & Examples – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com. Study.com. Retrieved from study.com/academy/lesson/the-theory-of-forms-by-plato-definition-lesson-quiz.html
  8. Metaphysics. In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics#Ontology_(Being)
  9. Christian Metaphysics: A Christian View of Reality – Reformed Reasons. (2003). Retrieved May 5, 2019, from reformedreasons.com/adult-christian-learning/basic-christian-philosophy/understanding-the-basics-of-philosophy/christian-metaphysics-a-christian-view-of-reality/
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