Phaedo: Socrates, the Master of Linguistic Transmutation

Language is magic. But like so much else on the planet, including ourselves, we have lost touch with that fact. For not only is language magic, it is divine magic, and it is that which enables us to be the masters of our own world. The Platonic dialogue, and the Phaedo in particular, is designed to teach you about the magic of language, which is completely accessible to every single human on the planet. But we are not just talking about letters and words. Letters and words, are the means, but they are not the essence of the magic. Letters and words can actually be detached from the magic, just like bodies can be detached from the soul when they die. Even though we need them to express divine magic on this plane, they are only instruments or encapsulations. The actual magic behind the words is light energy. It is in fact divine energy. Words are extremely powerful when the energy behind them is present. They are not powerful when it is not. That is why some people are effective writers, and some are not effective. It has to do with how they harness the energy behind the words, whether they are conscious of this or not. Those who are conscious of it can become incredibly powerful.  This is one of the secrets in mystical teachings throughout the ages. Nikola Tesla remarked that “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” In the case of words, it is no different. It is no mistake that the name, Phaedo, means “bright, and shining”, and that the god Socrates mentions in the dialogue is Apollo, the god of light and the sun.

Ancient Greek, the language Plato used to write his dialogues, was never a spoken language. It was a so-called ‘literary’ language.  What did that mean? Did that mean that it was a secret code for intellectuals? Not quite. It was no more secret code that Egyptian hieroglyphics and Sanskrit, both of which used language to express the divine on earth. In that sense, language is used to manifest the divine on earth. That is why, in John 1:1 it says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”. The word in this case is the logos, the very same word that Plato uses to express speech that goes beyond ordinary chit-chat type of speech.

The logos is the energy behind the words and the letters. Words and letters cannot create anything. The logos creates everything. You can, if you harness that kind of energy, literally create your world. Hard to believe, isn’t it. Well, it isn’t when you consider that you have already done it, are doing it, and will continue to do so in the future. The question is not can you do it, but can you stop and get a hold of those wild horses before they continue to run you into the ground? Can you be the driver here of the logos, or are you going to continue being the one who is unconsciously driven to believe that your world isn’t something you have created?

In my translation of Plato’s Phaedo, which will be available at the end of the year, I am attempting to help English readers comprehend the magic in Plato’s language, which is designed to help you access your own.  Words in Ancient Greek are like trees, with roots, branches, and leaves of various colors, depending on the season, the author, the work. The beauty of Ancient Greek is that it preserves these trees as they are. For example, in English the word ‘truth’ seems pretty straightforward. How would you define it? Something that is real? Something that is honest? Something that does not deceive?  In Greek, there is no such word for truth. The word in Greek is alethēia, which means unforgetting, or remembering. The root of the truth is –lēth– which means forgetfulness, as in the River of Lēthē, the River of Forgetfulness. The truth about truth is that it is always something we remember. It is not something that we get from outside of ourselves at all.  It is not even a ‘thing’, but is a process of uncovering what is within ourselves. That is it. The English word allows us to place ‘truth’ on anything we want and so we can conceptually remove ourselves from the process of truth and remove ourselves from the responsibility of unveiling that truth. The Greek does not. The word is quite specific. You don’t seek truth. You don’t uncover the truth. You just remember. If you do not do this, you remain in the same state, which is false, pseudē, from where we get our English prefix, pseudo-. This is why Socrates talks about the non-philosopher as being one who lives a lie. The same is also said of the one who does not practice yoga. For the one who lives in lies is the one who lives in ignorance and ego:

Ignorance is taking the non-eternal for the eternal, the impure for the pure, evil for good and non-self as self.

Egoism is the identification of the power that knows with the instruments of knowing.

Patanjali, Yoga Sutras 2.5-6

The instruments of knowing are the mind and its judgments. Both are not of the soul, but are instead instruments of the ego. In other words, it is not an instrument of our true divine nature. Plato’s language as logos is an instrument of the divine. But he goes one step further than the logos. The logos is the divine energy of speech as it comes out of our mouth, but the dia-logos or the dialogue is what allows for the transmutation of energy from one frequency to another. In Socrates case, he always transmutes from a lower to a higher frequency. In fact, you can actually read the Platonic dialogue at different levels of frequencies. This is no easy task, and it is bit like dialing into different radio frequencies. You can get very confused very quickly if you do not do this with consciousness, because if you jump around to much without control, the stations start to sound as if they are on top of another, mixing one frequency with another in a very unharmonic way. And most of us don’t need a Platonic dialogue to get confused like that. We get confused all the time! For example, if we say “all is one”, it makes no sense on lower frequencies. But if we say it on higher frequencies, it has substance. This is why political speech rings false most of the time. It confuses the frequencies and pulls them down lower. You can tell they are lying because the energy behind the words is too low. They end up sounding distorted.

Now when you read a dialogue, there are passages that are more geared towards the high frequencies and they are very difficult to understand if you are dialed in at a lower one. Or if you are dialed in too high, you will have difficulty hearing the lower notes. But if you try to jump back in forth, forget it, you will get very confused. It is not that you can’t do both, like a symphony orchestra, but you just have to get the rhythm and timing correct. And that, as Plato says, requires some musical education. The true reason why musical education was important to Plato and why Socrates constantly refers to music in the dialogues is that Plato saw that if we do not each learn how to play our own proper “instrument” as directed by the divine, the we will not be able to find peace and beauty in the symphony that is our world.

But back to dialogue. So “dialogue” in Plato doesn’t mean just “conversations”.  It means transformation so that conversations are possible. And you are not the only one who is asked to take this roller-coaster ride up and down the frequency scale of language. The characters are there to help you along, as they too are mystified when they begin with one opinion and end up having a new opinion they couldn’t even have imagined before. Its like they started with a violin and ended up with a tuba, or as if they started as a tenor and ended up soprano. Some start with the music of fear, and end with courage. Some begin with arrogance and finish with humility. Most of the time, they relinquish their original opinion that they started out with, because Socrates – unbeknownst to them – turned up the frequency dial to a part more suitable to them! And they are happier for it, because when we cling to our false opinions they generally become great and painful burdens, not only to ourselves, but to others. Our opinions, the ones that are not able to withstand the test of the divine symphony of the dialogue, are the ones that get put aside, especially the ones that don’t play well in the symphony of the whole.

So it is the case that whoever speaks with Socrates ends up finding that Socrates has been able to turn his logos (opinion) to the opposite polarity or to a completely different frequency of consciousness. If you, as the reader of a dialogue, follow along with your own opinions (logoi), you will find that what you once thought was true beyond a doubt, is subject to more doubt than you thought.  Socrates is a master of alchemy, and at the highest levels. He uses something that goes way beyond natural language in order to transmute the most difficult personalities into pussycats. He is able to transform the darkness into light, the pain into pleasure, the chaotic into the calm. The truth about the divine logos is that is not something that can actually be written in a linear way. At the end of the dialogue, all the speeches are getting along, and nearly sound together like a symphony of sound, a frequency of friends, despite their differences. I suppose you could say that Socrates, in addition to being a great alchemist of light energy, was also a great conductor of music. After all, that is what he says, in the Phaedo, the god told him to do:

…The dreams went something like this. Many times, the dream would occur throughout my life, appearing in different ways and in different aspects , but saying the same exact thing, “Socrates”, it said “make music and make it your work.” And during all that time, the very thing I had been doing is what I assumed it was encouraging and commanding me to do, just as those who encourage and cheer on runners in a race. And so, I assumed that what I was doing was that which it commanded, namely, to make music, and philosophy is the greatest type of music, which is what I was doing.

Phaedo, Translation by Anastasia Harris, 60e

So how does he do this? Well, In the Phaedo, Plato has Socrates talking about music and magic and spells. He does this throughout the dialogue, serving as clues to those who start to become aware of the nature of Socrates’ powers. As Tesla says, all things are energy and all logos is energy. There is in fact a language that is behind all languages, modern or ancient, an this is language is of a higher vibration than anything we can ever physically write down. Some people call this “light language”, and it is still something I have been exploring during my deeper meditations. Light language is something that is not conceivable by the mind. It is experienced through the soul. Most creatives do not realize that they are receiving light language, but that is exactly what they are doing, when they receive “information” that is neither concept, word or anything in the conceivable universe. In fact, the experience they have is “I don’t know where it comes from” or “it came from a god”. You can say it came from the Quantum field, or light language, or source, or whatever you want to call it in our earthly tongues, it still remains to be the same thing: logos at its deepest levels is energy. The dialogue of Plato is at its deepest levels the manipulation and transmutation of that energy. And finally, Plato’s intent at the deepest levels is to show us how to find the power of that magic within ourselves, for he saw personal responsibility, personal knowledge, and inner strength and truth to be the only way out of all unhappiness, all suffering, and all evil in the world.

Truly, Echecrates, so many times I have marveled at Socrates but never as great as I had at that time.  Now to already have what he was going to say was nothing out of the ordinary, but I most of all marveled first how he pleasantly and with calmness and with respect, received the argument of these young men, and then how keenly he sensed what we were suffering due to their speeches, and then how well he healed us and as those who have run away in fear and have felt defeated, he called us back into courage, and encouraged us to walk with him and to as a group look at the speech.

Phaedo, 88d, Translation by Anastasia Harris

Torrent of Love

Sunshine doesn’t chase the raining clouds away;
no, it comforts tears with hopes of better days;
and higher tides kindly hold the hands of the low
Look! If they are in pain, that is all they know;
night looking forward to eternal night of sorrows;
this is the agony of souls, fearful tiny sparrows.
Do you wish them the music of their quivering beaks?
Why not instead give them your pure sunlight sweet
streaming as rainbows stream past wings of a dove,
transforming their torment in your torrent of love?