Release Thyself: Three Philosophic Dialogues
By Guy Wyndham-Jones.
The Therapon * The Alphaeus * The Platon
This volume of dialogues in the Platonic style is an offering of thanks by the author to those great heroes of the Platonic tradition who have set before the human race living images of wisdom. The dialogues are centred around Socrates and Plato, and as the author writes, "I have merely attempted to imagine certain occasions that may or may not have happened, and certain subjects of conversation that may or may not have been examined and rigorously explored."
Three dialogues - The Therapon, The Alphaeus and The Platon - are written in the Platonic style. The Therapon is an imagined exchange of ideas between Socrates and his jailer during Socrates' last night on Earth: it is sub-titled On the Nature of Ideas. The Alphaeus starts with a wealthy and self-satisfied man attacking Socrates and his philosophical ways soon after he has been charged to appear before the court of Athens - but ends with dramatic changes: it is sub-titled Concerning Human Happiness. The Platon explores what might have passed between Socrates and Plato during their last meeting together: it is sub-titled On Soul.
The Platonic tradition is both old and young but the vital subjects to which it addresses itself are those of perpetual importance to rational beings such as ourselves – the nature of the human self, of the good life, of the great universe in which we find ourselves, and of its source. In these three new dialogues we find these subjects discussed in earnest: the self as the soul, the happiness we seek, and the divine ideas that underlie the manifested universe are all examined with a view to how the Platonic tradition might answer some of the viewpoints adopted by modern thinkers. Answers are offered but in such a way as to stimulate the reader’s own thoughts about these matters – and this is the key to the tradition: for unless questions are genuinely thought through by the reader, any answers suggested by the author are merely another set of opinions.
160 pages. Paperback.