Second Dialogue of the Platonic Love


For Plato any tendency to the creation is the search of the immortality of the created thing.

The Banquet is the most important dialogue of Plato around the concept of love. Their scenes develop exactly in a banquet that at Agathon's house to celebrate the success of one of its tragedies. The diners have agreed to dedicate their meeting to make speeches to the God Eros, which would never have received a consistent praise from the part of poets and sophists. The text is transformed thus into a series of speeches base on the love that go from most superficial at the most deep, standing out the final speech of Socrates that gives the thought to us of Plato on the matter.

The first speech is the one of Fedra that indicates that Eros, the God of love, is the oldest divinity. Eros, according to him, causes that the men feel shame and ambition, in addition, his influence on men is major that any other feeling, since his power impels to great actions, like when the lover dies by love. In his presence the lovers necessarily abstain from all vileness and cowardice. In sum, Eros is a inspiring force of high actions.

The second speech corresponds to Pausanias, that distinguishes between two types of Eros, each one follows a different Aphrodite: Aphrodite Pandas and Celestial Aphrodite. The Eros of Aphrodite Pandas, is the one of those men who love the corporal thing and whom they look to achieve his aims without being interested in the process. The Eros of Celestial Aphrodite is own of men who look for the moral perfection. Who is under the influence of this Eros, looks for a permanent relation for the physical education and the philosophy as well as to educate to his loved in the wisdom and courage. This distinction between the two Eros shows that this speech is delivered with a deeper discernment and with an awareness higher than the first speech

The third speech is of the Eriximaco a doctor who -accepting the distinction of Pausanias- he maintains that not only the men own a double Eros, but all the things. Based on the medicine, Eriximaco indicates that the bodies own this double Eros or desire and that is right to allow to the good desires that are identified with the denominated celestial love. According to Eriximaco is work of the medical professional to know which are these good desires.

Also, for providing a better order of things-from the human and the divine until the seasons and climates-we must stimulate the desires that lead us to piety and justice. Wherever there is harmony and rhythm can be talking about the presence of love. Such is-roughly-the interpretation that Eriximaco makes about Eros. In it the meaning of Eros is extended by identifying with a universal force of nature. Certainly the Eriximaco speech is deeper than the previous ones, although has some small degree of professional arrogance

The following speech develops a fantastic anthropological conception and it belongs to Aristophanes. This it says to us that, primitively, three types of human beings existed, who had their organs duplicates. Some were males, others females, and finally were androgynous ones. These primitive beings have conspired against the gods, and since Zeus could not destroy the human race, since this one were the one that adored of the gods, he divided in two the primitive beings in punishment for their conspiracy. Since then human beings look for their other half. Each half of a primitive man and woman is given to homosexuality in search of their other half, while, half of the androgynous is given to heterosexuality in search of their other half.

Aristophanes in his speech describes Eros as an enthusiastic desire for something by which add it is eagerness to our nature and complements it. Certainly Aristophanes here confuses love with sexual instinct. He locates in a same level the homosexual love and the heterosexual love, which, from the point of view of the spiritual evolution is an error.
The next speech is of Agathon, that criticism to the others by not to have described, according to him, the true nature of the Eros. His speech uses beautiful words, but without much control of the meaning of them. For him Eros owns endless virtues such as the beauty, the tenderness, youth, the value, the moderation, the wisdom and justice. He adds, in addition, that Eros is the greatest of the poets, because he is the one who inspires the poetry. The Love would live in the souls of the men, being unrelated to any violence and shedding all the blessings.
In synthesis, we can say that Agathon thinks that the Eros always is occupied of the beauty and lives in the souls of the mankind, which, is not little to say. Socrates, in addition, will try to base what has been said by Agathon on the speech that follows.
The speech of the personage Socrates can be considered like the true thought of Plato about the nature of the love. Which is it fundamental affirmation? The fundamental affirmation is that the love is a form of necessity that has a goal and its relation with this goal is of desire, of exigency. The love always yearns for the beautiful thing and the good thing and, therefore, is not any of these but something intermediate between beautiful and the good thing. Either the love cannot be considered a God, because if it was a God would not love, since in a perfect being it is impossible to feel yearning, desire or passion. By the same, the Love is a being between immortal and mortal, that is to say, a spirit . And to be an intermediate being he is the one who completes and maintains connected all the things. Plato clarifies: “A God cannot mix with the mankind, but through Eros caries out all relation and dialogue of the Gods with the mankind, wide awake or in dreams.
More indeed Eros has by father Pores (Wealth) and by mother Penia (Poverty). Of the first he inherits his tendency to monopolize the good and the beautiful, his bravery, his attractiveness and power his cleverness, his yearning of wisdom. Of the second, her lack of goods, her rudest, her poverty. Thus, turned out that Eros is a philosopher, because he is not ignorant nor either wise. But not only this but also the beauty, because the real goal of the love is the beauty, which, according to Plato is not different from the good. This means that the love looks for the happiness, that is to say, the possession of the good, to which tends all the human sort. Also, Eros looks for the creation in the beauty, as much in the body as in the soul. Plato clarifies it to us: Why the creation love? To give birth to something is to be so lasting and immortal as a mortal can be. We agree, then, in which Eros has wish immortality with the good thing, if he wishes to own the good for always. Immortality is, then, the object of Eros.

For Plato any tendency to the creation is the search of the immortality of the created thing. Thus, those men who are fecund in the body are loving of the women and look for their immortality in their children. But those men who are fecund in the soul, yearn for to give to light wisdom and other more elevated forms. They are the poets and the inventors. A type of man still superior in wisdom will show this one in the administration of the state. In addition, will look and strives to lead it to his maximum perfection. Here there is more friendship than Eros, being a much more stable relation in the measurement that this union has its reason in a more beautiful and immortal fruit.

According to the Greek philosopher exits an ascending path to know the true love to get contemplation of the beautiful in itself. This is an erotic ascent that contemplates the following degrees;

1._The love to the corporal beauty that owns two moments: the love to a certain beautiful body and the love to the corporeal beauty generally.
2._The love to the beauty of the souls, that is to say, the moral beauty that is pronounced in the tasks and the rules of conduct of the men.
3._The love to the knowledge, which transcend the servitude of the concrete beings.
4._The love to the beautiful thing in itself, which are the supreme level of love and which all the beautiful things participate.
We have correctly walked the previous footpaths in all stages. This goal of the love is the same Idea of the beautiful thing in all their splendor. It eternal, is uncreated, imperishable, stable, because it is eternally identical to itself. In this Beauty in itself, in addition, all the beautiful things participate.

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