22.1 The Body of the World (from The Timeaus of Plato)
Why this consists of 4 primary bodies.
"The next section (31B-34A) is concerned with the body of the Universe.
22.2 Soul Definition
(Note: After researching the word "soul" i found it to encompass the following
"man" (hu.mans not Man or Archetype) does not have "a soul" but acquires soul qualities
over a lifetime". It seems that parents give soul qualities to their children.
The general non-religious knowledge of the soul is that it is:
a. instinct, emotion, reason, conscience, morality, intuition and psychic forces.
By Krypton (pseudo.)
Pageant Press 1959
113 K949 sub.2.
"Although soul is later declared to be prior to body, the making of the body is
taken first for convenience. The present paragraph explains why not less than
4 primary bodies- fire, air, water, earth- were required in order to give it the
highest measure of unity. This attribute of internal unity follows naturally after the unity,
in the sense of uniqueness, asserted in the previous paragraph"...
31B. ..."Hence the god when he began to put together the body of the universe, set
about making it of fire and earth. But two things alone cannot be satisfactorily
united without a third; for there must be some bond between them drawing them together. And of all bonds the best is that which makes itself and the terms it connects
a unity in the fullest sense; and it is of the nature of a continued geometrical
proportion to effect this most perfectly. For whenever, of three numbers, the
middle one between any two that are either solids (cubes?) or squares is such that, as the
first is to it, so is it to the last, and conversely as the last is to the middle,
so is the middle to the first, then since the middle becomes the first and last,
and again the last and first become middle, in that way all will necessarily come
to play the same part towards one another, and by doing so they will all make a
(Note: There is a question generated from this discourse of Plato and it is this:
Is this the mean proportion or
The Phi ratio A : B :: A+B or
The Trinity of Christianity?).
© Copyright. Robert Grace. 1999.
32C. "Empedocles had taken the four elements as given fact; Plato deduces the need
of four primary and simple bodies by an argument.
(1) There must be two (not one primary form of matter, as the Ionian monists had
held), because fire is needed to make the world's body visible, earth to make it
resistant to touch. Fire and earth had been commonly regarded as the two extreme
elements, since fire belongs to the heavens, and air and water are between Heaven and
(2) But two cannot hold together without a third to serve as bond. The three must
be in proportion, and the most perfect bond is that proportion which makes the
most perfect unity out of mean and extremes.
(3) The most perfect type of proportion is the continued geometrical proportion...
which Plato next proceeded to define. The geometrical proportion was the proportion
par excellence and primary, all other types of proportion being derivable from it...
(4) These three terms (of geometrical proportion), however, are not enough, because
all the primary bodies are solids, and must accordingly be represented by solid
numbers (a solid number is the product of three numbers). To connect two plane
numbers a single mean is sufficient: but if fire and earth, the extremes, are to be
connected, two means will be required.
As the ancients saw, this last statement is true only if the plane and solid numbers
in question are 'similar' (i.e. having their sides proportional)- a class which
includes all squares and cubes"...
In a note Heath adds:
"It is true that 'similar' plane and solid numbers have the same property...but
if Plato had meant similar plane and solid numbers generally, I think it would
have been necessary to specify that they were 'similar', whereas, seeing that
the Timaeus is as a whole concerned with regular figures, there is nothing unnatural in allowing
regular or equilateral to be understood".
Elsewhere Heath writes:
"By planes and solids he (Plato in this passage) really means square and cube numbers,
and his remark is equivalent to stating that, if p^2, q^2 are two square numbers,
p^2 : pq = pq : q^2 while, if p^3, q^3 are two cube numbers, p^3 : p^2q = p^2q = pq^2 : q^3, the means being of course in continued geometrical proportion".
"The effect is to make the limitation to cubes and squares apply only to the extremes.
Here, as in many other places, Plato is compressing his statement of technical
matters to such a point that only expert readers would fully appreciate his meaning".
Platos Cosmology, The Timeaus
By Francis McDonald Cornford
22.3 Diagram. The Ideal Construction of Planets..
This Diagram is an arrangement of planets and sun in ratios as follows:
Mars-729 or 27^2
Saturn- 364.5 or 27^2/2
Jupiter- 4920.75 or 27^3/4
La Construction De L'Idealisme Platonicien
By Joseph Moreau (1939)
Impossible Correspondence Index
© Copyright. Robert Grace. 1999