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The foolishness and lack of experience of a young love

Wikicommons He whom love touches not walks in darkness. As Nietzsche put it in his book of 1882, The Gay Science, Here and there on earth we may encounter a kind of continuation of love in which this possessive craving of two people for each other gives way to a new desire and lust for possession—a shared higher thirst for an ideal above them.

But who knows such love?

Who has experienced it? Its right name is friendship. In other words, if erotic love can be transformed into the best kind of friendship, then it can open up a blissful life of shared understanding in which desire, friendship, the foolishness and lack of experience of a young love philosophy are in perfect resonance with one another.

That having been said, Plato distinguishes the kind of love that can give rise to philia from a baser kind of love that is enjoyed by those who are more given to the body than to the soul. The madness of love arises from seeing the beauty of the earth and being reminded of true, universal beauty.

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In contrast, the earthly soul that is able to remember true, universal beauty and so to feel true love gazes upon the face of his beloved and reverences it as an expression of the divine—of temperance, justice, and knowledge absolute. As his eyes catch those of his beloved, a shudder passes into an unusual heat and perspiration. The parts of the soul out of which the wings the foolishness and lack of experience of a young love, and which had hitherto been closed and rigid, begin to melt open, and small wings begin to swell and grow from the root upwards.

Like a child whose teeth are just starting to grow in, and its gums are all aching and itching—that is exactly how the soul feels when it begins to grow wings. It swells up and aches the foolishness and lack of experience of a young love tingles as it grows them. The lover feels the utmost joy when he is with his beloved and the most intense longing when they are separated.

Thus, the desire of the divinely inspired lover can only be fair and blissful to the beloved. In time, the beloved, who is no common fool, comes to realize that his divinely inspired lover is worth more to him than all his other friends and kinsmen put together, and that neither human discipline nor divine inspiration could have offered him any greater blessing. Thus great are the heavenly blessings which the friendship of a lover will confer upon you.

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Whereas the attachment of the non-lover, which is alloyed with a worldly prudence and has worldly and niggardly ways of doling out benefits, will breed in your soul those vulgar qualities which the populace applaud, will send you the foolishness and lack of experience of a young love round the earth during a period of nine thousand years, and leave you a fool in the world below.

There is in terms of the ideas covered quite a lot of overlap between the Phaedrus and the Symposium. However, whereas in the Phaedrus Plato emphasizes the relationship that love has to the divine and hence to the eternal and infinite, in the Symposium he emphasizes more the relationship that it has to the practice of philosophy, the search for happinessand the contemplation of truth.

In the Symposium, Socrates argues that, if love is not of nothing, then it is of something, and if it is of something, then it is of something that is desired, and therefore of something that is not possessed. He then relates a conversation that he once had with a priestess called Diotima of Mantinea, from whom he learned the art of love. Love, said Diotima, must not be confused the foolishness and lack of experience of a young love the object of love, which, in contrast to love itself, is perfectly beautiful and perfectly good.

If love desires but does not possess beautiful and good things, then love cannot, as most people think, be a god. Love is in truth the child of Poverty and Resource, always in need, but always inventive. He is not a god but a great spirit daimon who intermediates between gods and men.

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As such, he is neither mortal nor immortal, neither wise nor ignorant, but a lover of wisdom philosophos. No one who is wise wants to become wise, so too no one who is ignorant wants to become wise. Diotima then told Socrates of the proper way to learn to love beauty. A youth should first be taught to love one beautiful body so that he comes to realize that this beautiful body shares beauty with other beautiful bodies, and thus that it is foolish to love just one beautiful body.

In loving all beautiful bodies, he learns to appreciate that the beauty of the soul is superior to the beauty of the body, and begins to love those who are beautiful in soul regardless of whether they are also beautiful in body. Once he has transcended the physical, he gradually finds that beautiful practices and customs and the various kinds of knowledge also share in a common beauty. the foolishness and lack of experience of a young love

Finally, he is able to experience beauty itself, rather than the various apparitions of beauty. By exchanging the various apparitions of virtue for virtue itself, he gains immortality and the love of the gods. This is why love is so important, and why it deserves so much praise. For Aristotle, happiness involves the exercise of reason because the capacity to reason is the distinctive function the foolishness and lack of experience of a young love human beings.

Plato reconciles these positions by blending desire, friendship, and philosophy into a single total experience that transcends and transforms human existence and that connects it with the timeless and universal truths of the eternal and infinite.

For Plato, truth and authenticity are a higher value than either reason or love, which aim at them, and a higher value even than happiness, which is merely the manifestation of their presence.