A Wise Woman in Plato’s “Symposium”
Through the character of a wise woman named Diotima, Plato describes the role of love in the mystical ascent to truth and immortality. The first stage of the ascent starts with the love for one body (Plato, 1965). Then, since the beauty of one body is related to the beauty of another, the first stage is followed by the recognition of the love for all bodies. The next stage involves the shift of love from bodies to minds, seeing beauty in abstract things incomparable to the less significant beauty of bodies (Plato, 1965). The love for the abstract leads to the love of knowledge, attempting to look at beauty in general rather than being attached to certain instances of it.
The final stage of the ascent is the realization that beauty is everywhere, unchanging (Plato, 1965). I believe that this way of life is possible for people dedicated to creativity, whether it is art, music, philosophy, or any other type of creative activity. These passions can influence a person to devote their lives to achieving the ultimate truth and the immortality of a human soul described by Plato.
I believe Plato accurately portrays the growth and development of an artistic and creative human soul. According to Plato (1965), people can be satisfied with immortality achieved through reproduction. However, it does not mean that the ascent to truth and immortality is unrealistic. This ascent of the development of the human soul is not for everyone. Many artists, musicians, and philosophers should experience the path to the truth of beauty described by Plato. Learning to see beauty first in bodies, then in mind, then everywhere is what I think is the way to the vision of true beauty.
Plato. (1965). Symposium. (P. Woodruff & A. Nehamas, Trans.). Hackett Publishing.