Platonic love? Not for Greek thinker

http://www.smh.com.au/world/strangebuttrue/platonic-love-not-for-greek-thinker-20110821-1j4rs.html

Platonic love? Not for Greek thinker

From the page: “PLATO never believed in Platonic love, says an academic who has unlocked the secret codes of the ancient Greek philosopher’s writings.

Despite giving his name to the notion that spiritual love without sex is the highest form of romance, Plato in fact celebrated eroticism and advocated a middle path, avoiding both promiscuity and abstinence.
The new interpretation of Plato’s writings comes from Dr Jay Kennedy, a science historian at the University of Manchester, who uncovered secret messages hidden within his work.

Plato’s teacher, Socrates, was executed for ”corrupting the youth” and Plato feared for his own safety. So the philosopher used a cryptic series of musical symbols to hide his true beliefs, Dr Kennedy says.
The academic uncovered the code for these symbols last year and has now published a guide to the system, The Musical Structure of Plato’s Dialogues.

”Plato – the Einstein of Greece’s Golden Age – was long thought to favour love without sex, or ‘Platonic love’, but this new research reveals Plato was far from being a prude,” says Dr Kennedy, who is based in the centre for the history of science, technology and medicine, part of the university’s faculty of life sciences.

”The decoded symbols in fact show that Plato was not an advocate of Platonic love at all; rather he urged a middle path. For him, morality meant moderation – he wanted people to avoid both promiscuity and abstinence.

”Before Plato, sex was about rutting and producing heirs. Plato marks a shift in the history of Western sexuality and some say he invented romance, but, for him, erotic passion was a spiritual force that helps us find our true selves within the deepest, human bond. Eros, or love, was a creative force that inspired art, literature and the sciences.””

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