ZYGOMNESIS
Plato's Atlantis Found.
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No man is an island, they say, but they are wrong in the case of our philospher, the protege of Socrates, the teacher of Aristotle.  His recollection of his own conception followed by his development as a fetus translated into a story of an island complete with an umbilicus through which vital nutrients were delivered to the isolated nation and waste products taken out. 

Plato's Atlantis on the left... and on the right.

atlantis1003.jpg

 
 
 
 
 
Atlantis found. 
 
Plato's entire life and all of his works were efforts to reconcile intellect with the vision which haunted him and which he finally committed to writing in his last work:  the myth of Atlantis.  Yes, Plato made it up.  Now, in the philosophy department at Catholic University of America (from which my son graduated in 2010 as a philosophy major) the subject of Atlantis did not arise.  Wake up, specialists.  Plato's yarn is not an inconsequential blot on an otherwise sterling career; it is the entirety of his thought in a vision which he could not quit and which would not quit him.  Plato was haunted by images of his own conception and gestation and, unable to identify the source or meaning of his memory, he allotted to its component parts a lifetime of collected mental images to fill out the scenario.  Your professors may be excused for not directing your attention to the only composition which explains Plato's body of work because Plato himself was ignorant of its meaning. 

Plato remembered his own conception and gestation but could not comprehend the experience other than to draw an extended analogy.  He saw only the shadows of his incipient life and explained them by drawing from the template of his adult life to complete a picture he called "Atlantis."  Atlantis and Plato are one.  He turned it into a story so preposterous that he could not bear to commit it to writing until the last years of his life.  And even then left it unfinished.

The Doctrine of Ideas.  The Myth of the Metals.  The Equivalence of Man and State.  These are the headwaters of Plato's thought but they themselves have a source, unknown to the Master himself.  Many intellectual giants are in effect pawns of a far larger idea of which they have no consicous knowledge yet which infuses everything they say, do or write.  Zygomnesis, not Socrates, is Plato's master.  Haunted by its imagery, its insistent themes of creation and destruction, of order, fragility and immortality, Plato wrote endlessly but only in the end did he turn to the one subject over which he was not master, but servant.  He wrote (because he had to) the story of Atlantis.  That's where this dubious tale comes from.  And in describing the creation of Atlantis, he describes his own creation and the parallel story can be told thus: and, if you will permit, I will use the technique of the dialectic in which Plato himself will be allowed to speak.  Fair? 

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A DIALECTIC WITH PLATO AND WEBMASTER...

Plato (paraphrased from the Critias):  Threre was an island, long, long ago, with only one inhabitant. 

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The "one inhabitant" is actually the unfertilized ovum's pronucleus seen here.

Webmaster (hereinafter WM):  How can one person inhabit an island?  What did she do for a living?  How--?

Plato:  Excuse me.  I'm Plato.  You're a schmuck with an internet site.

WM:  Of course.  Please continue with this implausible story.

Plato:  Her name was Clito.  As the sole inhabitant of this island,--her parents were dead--he took her for his own and in order to 'settle' his sons by a mortal woman.  Poseiden had to do with her...

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Now there are two pronuclei: "Clito" and "Poseidon."

Plato and Atlantis, continued