About Me & Plato

First of all, I am so glad you found my website. Anyone who is a friend of Plato, is a friend of mine. So, a warm welcome to you, my friend.

Plato has been with me my entire life, or should I say, the spirit of Plato has been with me for my entire life. I remember the first time I discovered Plato. I was at Boston University. I took Dr. Areyeh Motzkin’s Political Philosophy course with on a whim during my sophomore year. Little did I know what would happen when I took the dialogue home to read my first assignment. It was Hippias Major. As I read through, it felt as if someone opened every window in my mind, as if I could breath fresh air for the first time. The energy was palpable and I literally felt what seemed like an electrical current, sending shockwaves through my entire body from crown to toe. The reason for this is perfectly simple. The Platonic dialogue is all about the questions. And in a world where everyone was demanding answers or pretending to own them, this felt like freedom to me. After all, I had so many questions, many of which I thought I was not supposed to ask. But there were also many questions of a different type that I had been harboring and they were the ones I didn’t even know I had. That day had begun a journey, not upon a straight and nicely paved road, but more along the lines of Robert Frost’s “the road less traveled by.” My entire life, as a result has been one remarkable journey of searching, learning, and searching some more. I knew, in my heart, that I would never stop asking questions, for as long as I am able to find them.

I went on to receive my Bachelor’s in Philosophy with a Minor in Classical Languages. I then applied to New York University’s Department of Classics. I wanted to study with the late Seth Benardete, author of Socrates’ Second Sailing, and probably one of the most erudite and brilliant scholars of ancient Greek at the time or perhaps any time. I was accepted into the MA/PhD program, but left after receiving my MA. Like Motzkin of my undergraduate years, Benardete was a student the late Leo Strauss. I left my academic career, because I had a voice that told me that I needed to spend time away from school, in the world, in the real world of hustle and bustle. I had a lot of questions about the role of philosophy in the world. I knew that it would help the world, to practice philosophy. But I didn’t quite know how to articulate or deliver it.

Now, before I left graduate school, I had begun writing a lot of poetry, all of which I eventually lost to a misconfigured hard drive. But nonetheless, I wrote a lot of it. I was learning from the classic tragedians. In partiuclar, Euripides was my favorite. I would spend my summers absorbed in all sorts of classical poetry. It was my bread and butter. I felt that the poets had what I was seeking, for their songs didn’t die even after hundreds of years. They were still singing something that mattered even to us today. I felt that by imitating them, I could learn from them. And learn I did. I spent a lot of time working with tragedy of opposites, the polarity of existence, and tragic-comedy of life.

Now while all that poetry and philosophy was going on, I was writing on the computer. I was using Windows 3.1 as an OS and grew to enjoy all the problems I had to solve while trying to install and use software, particularly Microsoft Word. I thought to myself: How fun it would be to work at this tiny company called Microsoft. I started then to learn HTML and got a job working with the Joseph Campbell Foundation as a desktop publisher. Joseph Campbell, author of the the series The Power of Myth, had already passed away at the time, but I had the pleasure of meeting his widow, Jean Erdman. I spent a bit of time working with the Foundation and designed their website. While on the job, I learned a bit of scripting, HTML and web development, and made my way to working at Microsoft, where I stayed for around twelve years or so. I learned everything I could get my hands on: Javascript, C, C++, C#, ActiveX, Java. I went from being a Web Developer to Software Engineer to Software Engineer in Research, to Senior Technical Writer.

I then left the United States for my next adventure, which was to raise my children in Australia. We sold everything and moved there to start fresh. I needed it. I was living mostly in my head all those years. Australia is a special places. I immediately became immersed in the sensual nature of it: the beautiful birds, the aroma of Eucalyptus, the winds blowing in from the Indian Ocean. It was also in Australia where I fell in love with yoga and yogic philosophy. I rediscovered my passion for Plato and my own soul when I realized that the teachings of yoga are the teachings of Plato. I completed a yoga teacher training and wrote a few papers on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. I learned Sanskrit enough to realize how dangerous and inaccurate most translations are. It occurred to me that perhaps I needed to turn back to my passion for translating Plato. It has always been a dream for me to share Plato with the world in a way that made a difference to life. I felt that like yoga, Plato could become something most people were familiar with.

After returning to the United States, I continued to practice yoga, and resumed my love of poetry writing. I am currently working in the Seattle area as Technical Writer. I reserve most of yoga for meditation practice, and am working with kickboxing for strength, endurance, and the cultivation will power. I am also a Usui Holy Fire 3 Reiki Master, and practice both remote and physical energy healing. I am now working on my first full translation of Plato’s Phaedo, which I plan on publishing on Amazon at the end of 2020. This website is where I will be publishing what I call Eideta, commentaries that tie together certain aspects of the dialogue, not in order to explain it, but to shine some light on certain areas that are important for the purposes of meditation and contemplation. Eidos is the Greek word for something that is seen or known.

Both the translation and eideta are a labor of love that I hope will continue till the end of my life. I will try to translate as many of the dialogues as I can. I want to assist others in discovering the power of the Platonic dialogue, not as a teaching or a compendium of ideas and theories or an abstract philosophy sequestered in an ivory tower, but as a mirror to their soul for their soul. Plato’s philosophy is Patanjali’s yoga. Plato’s philosophy is what we call ascension or enlightenment or awakening. Plato’s dialogues are unlike any other written genre. They defy and challenge every attempt at identification. Even after reading them for all these years, I continue to walk through them in absolute wonder and speechlessness. As I do this, as I walk this way, I learn more, expand more, not only for myself, but also so that others can walk with me wherever our paths diverge, converge and lead, all within the great mystery that is life.

eu prattein,
Anastasia
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