Posts Tagged ‘Plato’s “Symposium”’

►Mythology: “Psychopomps, Border Crossers and Guiders of Souls”🌟:

“Souls on the Banks of the Acheron”, by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl. 1898

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⇒♦ Introduction. Definition of Psychopomp and Sketch of this post:

A Psychopomp is a god, spirit, or demon who is responsible for guiding the spirits of the dead on their journey to the underworld. His role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to provide safe passage. The word comes from the Greek   ψυχοπομπός, which means “conductor of souls.” Psycho– (ψυχο) originally meant “of, or relating to the soul,” while pomps (πομπός) meant “guide” or “conductor.”

Classical examples of a Psychopomp are the ancient Egyptian god Anubis, the Greek ferryman CharonHermes and Hecate, the Roman god Mercury (equivalent: Hermes in Greek Mythology) and Archangel Gabriel in the Catholic religion, to name the most important ones.

Firstly, in the first section (I), let´s look at some examples of Psychopomps in Mythology.

By the ending of the post (section II), I´ll outline with Carl Jung´s ideas concerning “Psychopomp”. I´ll say here in advance that, according to Jung, the figure of the Psychopomp acts not only as a bridge between Life and Death,  It is also an intermediary between Conscious and the Unconscious, necessarily but not exclusively fostered thanks to the perfect Integration of Anima (each man´s feminine nature) and Animus (each woman´s male principle) in the form of the “Self”. 

I.⇒♦Some Examples of Psychopomps in Mythology:

1.⇒♦Anubis:

Egyptian God Anubis.

He was originally an egyptian god of the Underworld, but became associated specifically with the embalming process and funeral rites. 

He was usually depicted as a canine or a man with a canine head. He was often presented in black, a color that symbolized both rebirth and the discoloration of the corpse after embalming.

One of his most important roles was as a god who ushered souls into the afterlife. He was tasked with guiding souls to Duat, the Egyptian underworld, where they would be judged according to their lives. Under Anubis’ supervision, their hearts were weighed against a feather representing truth.

If their hearts were lighter than the feather, they were allowed to continue on. If their hearts were “too heavy with sins”, Anubis would give it to Ammit, a demon known as the “Devourer of the Dead”, who would consume it.

In the Ptolemaic period (350–30 BC), when Egypt became a Hellenistic kingdom ruled by Greek pharaohs, Anubis was merged with the Greek god Hermes, becoming Hermanubis. The two gods were considered similar because they both guided souls to the afterlife.

2.⇒♦Thoth:

In ancient Egypt,  Thoth created script. Besides, he was connected with the Moon and thus considered the Ruler of the Night.

Hermes Trismegistus may be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth, egyptian God of Knowledge. Hence, the two gods were worshipped as one in what had been the Temple of Thoth in Khemnu, which the Greeks called Hermopolis.

3.⇒♦Hermes:

Among Ancient Greeks, God Hermes had many attributes and represented many things. Hermes was the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travellers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, astronomy and astrology. He was also a god of science and wisdom, art, speech, eloquence. And, most importantly: “the God of Writing”

Furthermore, he was the herald and personal messenger of Zeus, and also the guide of the dead who led souls down into the underworld. This last job required the fleet-footed Hermes to be able to traverse between worlds with ease, which probably explains why he’s also the god of border crossings. It was also his job to lead the souls of the dead to the entrance of Hades, where they waited for Charon to pick them up. Hermes was the only Olympian god able to visit Heaven, Earth, and Hades, a fact he enjoyed bragging about to the other gods. 

4.⇒♦Charon:

Charon was the ferryman of the dead, an underworld daimon (spirit) in the service of Hades. He received the shades of the dead from Hermes,  who gathered them from the upper world and guided them to the shores of  River Acheron.

Unlike many other Psychopomps, Charon did not do this for free; he required a donation to be given to him.

The fee for his service was a single obol, a coin  a silver coin worth a sixth of a drachma, which was placed in the mouth of a corpse at burial (It was known as Charon´s obol).

People who are unable to pay the fee were doomed to wander the shores of the river for a hundred years.

Since most Greeks, understandably, did not want to wander in the mists and marshes, they buried their dead with coins to pay the ferryman; this tradition is still retained in many parts of Greece.

5.⇒♦Hecate:

Hecate was the Greek Goddess of  Crossroads, Magic, Witchcraft, The Night, Ghosts and Necromancy. 

She was sometimes portrayed as wearing a glowing headdress of stars, while in other legends she was described as a “Phosphorescent Angel” of the Underworld.

Hecate’s magic was that of death and the underworld, but also of oracles, of herbs and poisons, protection and guidance. 

Her torches provided light in the darkness, much like the Moon and Stars do at night, taking the seeker on a journey of initiation, guiding them as the psychopomp, like she guided Persephone on her yearly journey to and from Hades

Hecate’s retinue included the souls of those who died before their time, particularly children, or who were killed by force.

As she was the goddess of purifications and expiations, she was usually accompanied by Stygian dogs, from Hades’ domains. Dogs were closely associated with Hecate in the Classical world. In art and in literature Hecate is constantly represented as dog-shaped or as accompanied by a dog. Besides, her approach was heralded by the howling of a dog.

6.⇒♦Thanatos:

Thanatos was the Ancient Greek personification of Death. He was a minor figure, usually depicted as a winged youth, carrying a sword. Besides, he was is almost universally shown with his brother, Hypnos, the God of Sleep.

Thanatos was regarded as merciless and indiscriminate, hated by – and hateful towards — mortals and gods alike.

According to Sigmund Freud, humans have a Life/Love instinct—which he named “Eros“—and a Death drive, which is commonly called  “Thanatos”. This postulated “Thanatos instinct” or “Death Drive” allegedly compels humans to engage in risky and self-destructive acts that could lead to their own death.

II.⇒♦Carl Jung´s Concept of “Psychopomp”: 

The Perfect Integration between Anima (Eros) and Animus (Logos):

In Jungian psychology, the Psychopomp is a mediator between the Unconscious and Conscious realms. 

Carl Jung used the word to refer to a psychic factor that mediated between the conscious and the unconscious. This might be personified in dreams and myths as a God/Goddesses, or even as an animal. The raven, for example, is seen in Celtic folklore to be a Psychopomp, and is a role that peeps out in Edgar Allan Poe´s poem “The Raven”. One specific mythological character is The Morrigan, a female figure from Irish mythology. She was associated with sovereignty, prophecy, war, and death on the battlefield. And, she often appeared in the form of a crow, flying above the warriors.

Back to the word “Psychopomp”, Jung didn´t alter the meaning of the original Greek word.

Anima and Animus.

But, he instead added the concepts of Anima and Animus, as  the ultimate connectors between the individual soul and purpose. 

Anima is a man´s feminine nature representing Eros or Love. Whilst Animus is a woman´s male image, representing Logos or Spirit.

Jung clarifies that he uses  Eros and Logos merely as conceptual aids to describe the fact that woman´s consciousness is characterized more by the connective quality of Eros than  by the discrimination and cognition associated with Logos. While, in men, Eros (the function of relationship) is usually less developed than Logos. 

The Anima-Animus complex reminds us of the Yin Yang symbol, which basically describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent.

Jung says: “When Yang had reached its greatest strength, the dark power of Yin is born within its depths, for night begins at midday when Yang breaks up and begins to change into Yin”. (Carl Yung, CW 13. Alchemical Studies. P. 13)

The union of Anima and Animus, for Jung, is the Self; and, in symbolic terms: the Psychopomp as mediator between the Conscious and the Unconscious.

The perfect integration of Anima and Animus, in the elevated role of Psychopomp, represents, somehow a gate to the Unconscious, which somehow reminds us of Plato´s Perfect Ideal of Love, as per his dialogue “Symposium”.

According to Jung, the Anima and Animus are the guardians of the threshold, because they are the bridge to the Unconscious. Through understanding projection, the opposites in the Anima/Animus complex can be united, ultimately releasing these forces to act as mediators between the Conscious and Unconscious standpoints.

This integration or union of opposites is symbolized by the Psychopomp, the main archetype of the Self.

The Self is defined by Jung as: “The totality of the Conscious and Unconscious Psyche”. (Carl Jung, CW 12, P. 247). Jung describes the Self as a perfect circumference: “The Self is not only the centre, but also the whole circumference which embraces both Conscious and Unconscious; it is the centre of this totality, just as the ego is the Centre of Consciousness. (Carl Jung. “Memories, dreams and reflections”, Page 398).

As to the Psychopomp, Carl Jung says: 

“For the Animus (Logos) when on his way, on his quest, is really a Psychopomps, leading the soul to the stars whence it came…  On the way back out of the existence in the flesh, the Psychopomp develops such a cosmic aspect, he wanders among the constellations, he leads the soul over the rainbow bridge into the blossoming fields of the stars”. (Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 1229).

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♦Links Post:
https://goo.gl/JpQz5r
https://goo.gl/mj4JZP
http://go.shr.lc/2to2RWD
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopomp
http://www.corupriesthood.com/the-morrigan/
https://arrowinflight.com/2013/08/11/psychopomp-and-circumstance/
http://humanityhealing.net/2011/05/multidimensional-healing-i-psychopomp/
https://carljungdepthpsychologysite.blog/2017/03/19/carl-jung-on-animus-anthology/

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This is a special section in which I will display all the awards I have received during 2017. To simplify, I will follow the same rules for all the awards as otherwise I wouldn´t be able to do it … 😉 Meaning: 1. Thank the blogger who have nominated you. 2. Display the logo on your blog. 3. Nominate at least 7 bloggers for each award and tell them about the nomination. As I often do, I will nominate bloggers who have previously nominated me for other awards, favorite bloggers, new followers and bloggers who have recently liked my posts. Please, know these choices are quite random, I am sorry I couldn´t include everyone! 😇 … As to my nominees, I will link back to one of their newest posts as an easier way to inform them about the nomination. If you have been nominated and want to follow along the nomination process, you´ll find your respective award in the gallery below, as the slideshare goes, click on it and save it (see award, per number). If you are a Free Award Blog, all is fine: just take this mention as a shout-out. 😀

1♦Thank you very much Baattyaboutbooks for bestowing me with the Blogger Recognition Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Tea by Leaf 2. Sentinel of Phantasm 3. Inese 4. 3cstyle 5. Maria KethyProfumo  6. Aweni 7. Urbanbiharan. 🌟💫🌟

2♦Thank you very much Inese, from Making Memories for The Black Cat Blue Sea Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Leggypeggy 2. Le dessous des mots 3. Wordsmusicandstories 4. Michaelstephenwills 5. Radhikasreflection 6. Queenyasaaawrites 7. Umacearenseescreveu. 🌟💫🌟

3♦Thank you very much Maria KethuProfumo for the Liebster Award. 

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Baattyaboutbooks  2. LifeBlog 3. Ijeoma 4. Shivangi Mishra 5. Undomestic Writer 6. Annika Perry 7. Ladyfromhamburg. 🌟💫🌟

4♦Thanks so much Ijeoma for thinking of me and bestowing me with the Mystery Blogger Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Shehanne Moore 2. Tuesdays with Laurie 3. A Russian Affair 4. The Chicago Files 5. English language thoughts 6. Broad Blogs 7. Moody Here

5♦Thanks so much 3cstyle and LifeBlog for the Unique Blogger Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Jeri Walker 2. Graffitiluxandmurals 3. Chasingart 4. Forgotten Meadows 5. I lost my Lens Cap 6. TravelTalesofLife 7. Leonivo. 🌟💫🌟

6♦Thank you very much Shivangi Mishra for bestowing me with the One Lovely Blog Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Arohii 2. D.G.Kaye 3. Scvincent 4. Luciana Cavallaro 5. Brenda Davis Harsham 6. Mabel Kwong 7. Gildaspoems. 🌟💫🌟

7♦Thank you very much Undomestic Writer and Aweni for the Versatile Blogger Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Colleen Chesebro 2. Kathleen Vail 3. Linnea Tanner 4. Sally G Cronin 5. Balroop Singh 6. Jeanleesworld 7. Impact Words.  🌟💫🌟

8♦Thanks so much (again) to Shehanne Moore for bestowing me with the Miranda Sings Award.

My Nominees for this award are: 1. Found In France 2. Luce 3. Incredible Poetry 4. Jazzizzin 5. Artibookreviews 6. Muddling through my middle age 7. Maryjdresselbooks. 🌟💫🌟

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9♦ Last, but not least: Thanks so much Shehanne Moore for  thinking of me for the “Music that Means Something Challenge”. In this case, you have to choose five (5) special songs and add the respective videos if you wish. 

My Nominees for this musical challenge are: 1. Charlotte Hoather 2. Sylvester L.Anderson 3. It starts with a coffee 4. Wanderer haiku 5 Lifesfinewhine 6. Yadadarcyyada 7. Nishthaexploringlife.🌟💫🌟

My choices for Shehanne´s  “Music that Means Something, Challenge” (9♦) will be exclusively Lana del Rey´s songs. Lana is great. She often tells us a story, and to a certain extent we can all relate to her “characters”. Her songs often refer to summer memories, art, detachment, loneliness, random lovers, Love as an Ideal; self discovery and freedom…  😌 

These are my five (5) chosen videos by Lana del Rey: 1. Ride  2. Love 3. Change 4. Terrence Loves you 5. Carmen.

And… as a Bonustrack, I will also add five (5) more songs by Lana. In this case, “unreleased songs”. Here they go: 1. Every Man Gets his Wish 2. Queen of Disaster  3. Break my Fall  4. Because of You.  5. Cherry Blossom.

Check out the playlists for all the songs below. 💛⭐️💛

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🎼🎹►Five Official Songs by Lana Del Rey: 

🎼🎹►Five Unreleased Songs by Lana Del Rey: 

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plato beauty

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According to Plato, Beauty was an idea or Form of which beautiful things were consequence.

Beauty by comparison begins in the domain of intelligible objects, since there is a Form of beauty. The most important question is: what do all of these beautiful things have in common?. To know that is to know Beauty.

The Theory of Forms maintains that two distinct levels of reality exist: the visible world of sights and sounds that we inhabit and the intelligible world of Forms that stands above the visible world and gives it being. For example, Plato maintains that in addition to being able to identify a beautiful person or a beautiful painting, we also have a general conception of Beauty itself, and we are able to identify the beauty in a person or a painting only because we have this conception of Beauty in the abstract. In other words, the beautiful things we can see are beautiful only because they participate in the more general Form of Beauty. This Form of Beauty is itself invisible, eternal, and unchanging, unlike the things in the visible world that can grow old and lose their beauty.

Plato’s account in the Symposium connects beauty to a response of love and desire, but locate beauty itself in the realm of the Forms, and the beauty of particular objects in their participation in the Form. 

Beauty’s distinctive pedagogical effects show why Plato talks about its goodness and good consequences, sometimes even its identity with “the good” (Laws 841c; Philebus 66a–b; Republic, 401c; Symposium 201c, 205e).

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plato form2

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In Plato´ Symposium, Socrates claims to be quoting his teacher Diotima on the subject of love, and in her lesson she calls beauty the object of every love’s yearning.

She spells out the soul’s progress toward ever-purer beauty, from one body to all, then through all beautiful souls, laws, and kinds of knowledge, to arrive at beauty itself.

By going through these stages, one will ascend from loving particular kinds of beauty to loving Beauty itself, from which all beautiful things derive their nature.

Diotima suggests that a life gazing upon and pursuing this Beauty is the best life one can lead.

In the Symposium, the Form of Beauty is the final stage in the lover of knowledge’s ascent toward Beauty.

He begins by loving particular bodies, moving from there to bodies in general, to particular minds, to minds in general, to laws and practices, to knowledge, and finally to the knowledge of the Form of Beauty. The ascent is one of increasing generalization where one’s love of beauty comes to embrace more and more things.

Ultimately, however, one’s love of beauty will embrace only one thing, the Form of Beauty, but one will recognize in this Form all that is beautiful. 

There is, besides, a sense of what Beauty may be: the signs of measure and proportion signal its presence and it is linked with goodness and justice.

Beauty here is conceived as perfect unity, or indeed as the principle of unity itself. 

Plato´s Beauty Theory, as it appears in the Symposium, holds that the Beautiful is an objective quality which is more or less intensified in and exemplified by beautiful or less beautiful objects respectively. Beauty itself exists independently of the object’s relationship to a perceiver or of its being a means to some end.

The Beautiful, then, regardless of what it is, exists as a thing in itself, separate from and supreme in relation to the beautiful objects which are beautiful by somehow sharing in its being. 

There is something innate and yet external to a beautiful object. Its beauty is there independently of a perceiver, and its being beautiful or not does not depend upon personal evaluations

Plato´s ideas could be considered as a sample of the prevailing classical conception.

According to it, Beauty consists of an arrangement of integral parts into a coherent whole, according to order, proportion and symmetry.

The ancient Roman architec Vitruvius gives as good a characterization of the classical conception in its underlying unity:

Order is the balanced adjustment of the details of the work separately, and as to the whole, the arrangement of the proportion with a view to a symmetrical result.

Proportion implies a graceful semblance: the suitable display of details in their context, when everything has a symmetrical correspondence.

Symmetry also is the appropriate harmony arising out of the details of the work itself: the correspondence of each given detail to the form of the design as a whole.  (Vitruvius, 26–27)

Plato regarded beauty as objective in the sense that it was not localized in the response of the beholder.  

In spite of Plato´s theories, we should now wonder if Beauty is an Universal Quality recognizable per se …  

In other words… Is Beauty a relative assessment, which lies in the eye of the beholder…

If we believe so, then we should conclude that Beauty is created by a subjective judgment, in which each person determines whether something is beautiful or not. 

If we agree with Plato, and therefore state that Beauty is pattern or form from which all beautiful things are derived, then we are assuming that Beauty is an objective feature.

By that our postulate would be that most perceivers would agree when it comes to determine whether something or someone is beautiful or not.

Without needing to take a side, we can say that it is both things…

Beauty couldn´t be entirely subjective—that is, if anything that anyone holds to be or experiences as beautiful is beautiful then it seems that the word has no meaning, or that we are not communicating anything when we call something beautiful except perhaps an approving personal attitude. 

In addition, though different persons can of course differ in particular judgments, it is also obvious that our judgments coincide to a certain extent.

Either way, what we can certainly state is that our attraction to another person’s body increases if that body is symmetrical and in proportion.

In this sense, there are certain aesthetical features which might entail Beauty.

Scientists believe that we perceive proportional bodies to be more healthy. This is suggested in the following famous image showing an idealized human body within a square and a circle.

Leonardo da Vinci‘s drawings of the human body emphasized its proportion. The ratio of the following distances in the above Vitruvian Man image is approximately the Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

With the math behind it, the symmetry of your face can be measured. The closer this number is to 1.618, the more beautiful it is…

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The Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

The Golden Ratio (Φ = 1.618033…).

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Vitruvian_Man

The Vitruvian Man, drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci, showing the body dimensiones, according to the Golden Ratio.

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myths on beauty

Following up with the previous philosophical introduction, I would like to bring to the spotlight a few greek mythological myths and certain thoughts, with regard to the idea of Beauty.

Firstly, the most well known case of the Judgement of Paris and the story of the Golden Apple of Discord.

The Judgement of Paris was a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses of Olympus–Aphrodite, Hera and Athena–for the prize of a golden apple addressed to “the fairest”.

While Paris inspected them, each of the goddess attempted with her powers to bribe him; Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite, offered the world’s most beautiful woman.

On a side note, It is worth noting how mant times “Beauty” appears in this myth.

At the end, Paris chose Aphrodite, who was the Goddess of Love and Beauty, and Helen of Troy, who was considered the most beautiful woman, was bestowed on him, in exchange.

As to the beautiful Helen of Troy, she was also known as the face that launched a thousand ships, therefore somehow associated with features such as discord and betrayal.

The reason behind such reputation is that Helen of Troy was married by the time of the deal among the Prince of Troy and Aphrodite.

Hence Paris decided to abduct her, event which would eventually lead to the Trojan War

In this sense, the Golden Apple was the biggest but also the most controversial prize. Besides and presumably, in the mythology surrounding “the Judgement of Paris”, the goddess of Discord Eris managed to enter The Garden of the Hesperides, which was Hera´s orchard, and plucked one of the fruits . We can therefore see why that golden apple go was also known as the Apple of Discord.

As to other quarrels originated due to similar smug assumptions involving Beauty, I would like to mention two cases, which are very similar when it comes to events and their consequences.

The first one features Myrrha, who was Adonis biological mother.

Myrrha’s mother had said that her daughter was even more beautiful than Aphrodite which angered the Goddess of Love, who cursed Myrrha to fall in love and lust after her father.

Thus, Myrrha became pregnant and gave birth to Adonis, who was raised by Aphrodite. 

Adonis was very handsome, so, further on, Persephone was taken by his beauty, reason which brought a new quarrel among goddesses. In this case, between Aphrodite and Persephone.

Secondly, we have the well known myth of Perseus´beloved, Andromeda.

Her mother, Cassiopeia had offended the Nereids by boasting that Andromeda was more beautiful than they, so in revenge Poseidon sent a sea monster to ravage Andromeda´s father kingdom.

In all cases, Beauty causes troubles. We could say that it puts in the seeds of conflict.

Its counterpoint and collateral effect is jealousy. But also a sense of unnecessary pride and vanity seems to be present here.

Beauty claims to be defined in an extended way beyond itself… It needs to be recognized.

We could say that Beauty is defined by and to the Other.

Thus, in this order of ideas, we could think that Beauty seems to be an existentialist way to experience the Beautiful. 

Intersubjectivity defines Beauty and the Other’s look constitutes the world and the beautiful as objective. This is because the Look tends to objectify what it sees.

Undoubtedly, there are subjective elements which help us define Beauty… But those ones, as Social Constructivists would state, are not necessarily individual but colective and cultural.

On the other hand, one can not deny that certain general and universal features, are linked to the idea of Beauty. 

Therefore and figuratively speaking, I believe that  Beauty would be a sui generis concept, constituted mainly by objective and intersubjective variables, which may vary according to time and contexts.

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►Gallery: “Some Greek Myths based on Beauty”:

(Click on the images for further details)

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►Playtime!:Is your face geometrically beautiful?:

Supposedly, when it comes to Beauty, the simplest measurement is the length of your face divided by the widest part of your face.

As previously mentioned above, the closer this number is to 1.618, i.e Golden Ratio, the more beautiful the person is…

There are countless ratios that can be measured, but the website Anaface will generate a computer calculation online of a few of these ratios, from your uploaded photo for free.

An important detail is that you ought to use the photograph URL. It didn’t work for me when I tried upload he image from my computer…

For that purpose, send yourself an email with the photograph and then copy paste its URL, as shown in the gallery.

Furthermore. keep in mind that the more horizontally your face is placed, the more reliable the results will be.

Use as a model the photograph provided in order to locate the points, especially if your ears don´t show up in the photograph due to your hair… 

Follow up the instructions and you´ll soon get your score. Click on the images in the gallery below for further details …

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►Last but not Least: Quote Challenge: Beauty:

Paul from Pal Fitness has nominated me for a so called 3-Day Quote Challenge. Please Check out Paul´s blog. He is a personal trainer and coach, who loves blogging and writing. 

The rules of this challenge are: ♠Post your favorite quotes or your own quotes for three (3) posts in a row. ♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Pass it on to three (3) other bloggers per quote, each time you post them. Or pass it to nine (9) bloggers if you choose to post all the quotes together, in the same post.
⚠ Note: I will post the three (3) quotes together. Thus I will nominate nine (9) Bloggers.
Also, I thought It would be pertinent to choose quotes on Beauty, alongside photographs taken by me, which you will be able to see in my Instagram account... All this aims to keep it on with the topic of this post… So that’s how I will do it :D. If you have been nominated, feel free to join the challenge if you feel it is worth it, want to and/or have time to do so. You can to pick out whichever creative license regarding this feature. 

My nominees for the Quote Challenge are: 1. D.G.Kaye Writer 2. Parlor of Horror 3. Course of Mirrors 4. Living the Dream 5. Solveig Werner 6. Scribble and Scrawl  7. Round World and Me 8. The Lonely Author 9. Aidyl93

►Three Quotes on Beauty by John Keats, and some Photographs:

~ Click on the images to read ~

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Links Post:
http://www.iep.utm.edu/plato/
http://www.anaface.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beauty/#ClaCon
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-aesthetics/
http://asifoscope.org/2013/05/10/on-beauty/
http://www.intmath.com/blog/mathematics/is-she-beautiful-the-new-golden-ratio-4149
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/plato/themes.html
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/symposium/section11.rhtml
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►Art / Mythology: “The Loggia of Psyche” at The Villa Farnesina

(Frescoes Based on the Myth Of Eros and Psyche):

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“The Loggia of Psyche” (Villa Farnesina, Rome. 16th Century).

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The Villa Farnesina is placed in the Trastevere area of Rome on the Via della Lungara along the river Tiber.

It was designed by Baldassare Perluzzi between 1508 and 1512 for the banker, Agostino Chigi who was in love with his mistress Francesca Ordeaschi to whom he finally married in 1519.

After Chigi, the villa was purchased by the Farnese family and connected by a bridge across the Tiber to the huge Palazzo Farnese on the opposite bank.

The walls related to the Loggia of Phsyche were frescoed by several noted artists, most importantly Raphael, but it’s the ceiling that illustrates Psyche and Eros’ story.  

Scholars suggest that the story cycle alludes to Chigi’s own life, and his recent marriage.

Although the preparatory drawings and the general conception of the stories are by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (also known as Raphael (1483/1520), the bulk of the painting was carried out by his pupils, notably Giovanni da Udine (who painted the rich plant festoons of the frame) with the collaboration of Giulio Romano, Raffaellino del Colle and Gianfrancesco Penni. 

Two frescoes on the ceiling depict incidents in the story of Eros and Psyche which took place in heaven.

Eros (Roman equivalent: Cupid) fell in love with Psyche and he abducted her.

Then, they had sexual relationships in total darkness because Eros had forbidden her to look at him.

As Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus) was jealous of Psyche’s Beauty, she imprisoned his son, Eros, in her palace and forbade her to see him. At the end, Aphrodite accepted a deal, telling Psyche that she had to accomplish four tasks in order to see her beloved again.

After Psyche had undergone many difficult trials, Zeus made her immortal, and allowed her to marry Eros.

The Eros and Psyche myth corpus might be considered an  allegory for the ascent of the soul to immortality through love (especially love of beauty), based on Plato’s dialogue “Symposium” through Diotima’s “Ladder of Love”. 

By going through it, one will ascend from loving particular kinds of beauty to loving Beauty itself, from which all beautiful things derive their nature.

According to this analogy, Beauty is related to Love. Besides, Beauty itself is a Form or Idea, which  always exists, not coming into being or ceasing to be, nor increasing nor diminishing. Thus, Beauty will not appear in certain bodies in particular: it will appear in itself and by itself, independent of everything else. 

 

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►”Loggia di Psyche” (Sequential Gallery):

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Venus and Cupid

“Venus and Cupid” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In this fresco, Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus) shows her son Eros (Roman equivalent Cupid) who is the young woman who was defying her own Beauty. According to the original version of the myth, Aphrodite, The Goddess of Beauty, asked Eros to poison men’ souls in order to kill off their desire for Psyche.

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"Cupid and the Three Graces" by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

“Cupid and the Three Graces” by Raphael’s collaborator Giulio Romano (1517-18).

•Here we can The Three Graces on the clouds listening as young Eros relates the story of Psyche and his mother Aphrodite’s initial opposition – jealous of Psyche’s beauty – to mortal Psyche as his lover and eventual wife, as Apuleius originally tells in “The Golden Ass”.

The Three Graces were also known in Greek Mythology as Charites and they were goddesses related to charm, beauty, and creativity.

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Venus (Aphrodite), Ceres (Demeter) and Juno (Hera) by Raphael with Giovanni da Udine's collaboration.

Venus (Aphrodite), Ceres (Demeter) and Juno (Hera) by Raphael with Giovanni da Udine’s collaboration. (1517-18).

•This detail from the vault of the Loggia shows Venus (Greek equivalent: Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty), Ceres,(Greek equivalent: Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest) and Juno (Greek equivalent: Hera, Zeus’ wife and sister and Goddess of Marriage and Childbirth ).

In this spandrel the group of three goddesses is divided.

Venus has learned of the secret affair and, driven by wrath, is seeking support from her female friends. But they both show little sympathy for her wrath and laments.

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Venus on the Chariot Pulled by Doves

“Venus on the Chariot Pulled by Doves” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In this spandrel we can see Goddess Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus), on a chariot and pulled by Doves. The chariot might be related with the allegory of ascendant Beauty, whilst the doves were specific attributes of the Goddess.

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Psyche Brings a Vessel up to Venus/Aphrodite by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

“Psyche Brings a Vessel up to Venus/Aphrodite” by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

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“Venus and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“Venus and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•This two frescoes are linked to the fourth task ordered to Psyche by Aphrodite.

As the narrative relates of her ordeals commanded by Aphrodite, Psyche is taken to Aphrodite carrying the vessel she thinks holds Persephone’s beauty but actually holds deadly “Sleep of the Innermost Darkness, the night of Styx”.

Psyche opens the box desiring to be beautiful for Eros and restored to him. In doing so, disobeying Aphrodite, she swoons toward death, needing to be revived by Eros.

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Cupid and Jupiter (on the left). Psyche and Jupiter (on the right).

Cupid and Jupiter (on the left). Psyche and Jupiter (on the right). By Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In these frescoes we can see Zeus, the ruler of the Olympian gods (Roman equivalent: Jupiter) with Eros (Roman equivalent: Cupid) on the left and Psyche on the right.

The Father of Gods advises them. His attitude seems to be more wrathful towards Eros, as he is holding his chin while he is staring at him. By contrast, he looks at Psyche with an indulgent and affable gesture.

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Mercury

“Mercury” (Hermes) by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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"Mercury Brings Psyche up to Olympus" by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“Mercury Brings Psyche up to Olympus” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In these two frescoes we can see Hermes (Roman equivalent: Mercury) who was the messenger of the gods and guide of dead souls to the Underworld. Hermes was also well known for performing duties for Father of Gods.

As a matter of fact, Zeus appreciated Hermes’ wits highly and always asked for Hermes’ assistance throughout his decisions. 

In Apuleius’ Eros and Psyche story, Hermes even carries Psyche to heaven and the marriage banquet, just as seen in the first frescoe below.

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Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche

“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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“The Council of Gods” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“The Council of Gods” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” and “The Council of the Gods” (Detail). By Rapahel and collaborators (1517-18).

“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” and “The Council of the Gods” (Detail). By Rapahel and collaborators (1517-18).

•The conclusion of the Psyche and Eros story takes place in two broad format paintings in the vault panel.

Raphael depicts the council of the gods in which Zeus (Roman equivalent: Jupiter) decides to accept Psyche and Hermes (Roman equivalent: Mercury) gives her the elixir of immortality.

Then the wedding is celebrated. The groupings of figures spread out in a lively way. The communal life of the gods is unfolded in a characterization of their all human, too human feelings.-

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►Paul Hindemith, “Amor und Psyche”, Villa Farnesina, Raphael:

[Note: The first fresco appearing in the video is not part of the ceiling frescoes composing “The Loggia of Psyche”. Its name is “The Triumph of Galatea” and it was completed about 1514 by Raphael for the Villa Farnesina].

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►Links Post:
http://www.wga.hu/html_m/r/raphael/5roma/4a/
http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~mjoseph/CP/ICP.html
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/farnesina/farnesina.html
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Loggia_of_Psyche_(Villa_Farnesina,_Rome)
http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~mjoseph/CP/loggia.html
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/symposium/section11.rhtml
http://www.electrummagazine.com/2012/06/the-villa-farnesina-jewel-of-renaissance-rome/

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►Philosophy / Art:

“Evolution of the Concept of Beauty and Examples in Greek Sculpture”:

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Discobolus (discus-thrower) by Myron. Nude male discus-thrower. Roman copy of 460-450 BCE bronze original. British Museum-

“The Diskobolus of Myron”. Nude male discus-thrower. Classical Period. Roman copy of 450 B.C bronze original. British Museum-

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Plato considered beauty to be the Idea (Form) above all other Ideas. 

Plato’s account in the “Symposium” connect beauty to a response of love and desire, but locate beauty itself in the realm of the Forms, and the beauty of particular objects in their participation in the Form.

In this platonic dialogue, beauty is at least as objective as any other concept, or indeed takes on a certain ontological priority as more real than particular Forms: it is a sort of Form of Forms.

Plato maintained that in addition to being able to identify a beautiful person or a beautiful painting, we also have a general conception of Beauty itself.

In other words, the beautiful things we can see are beautiful only because they participate in the more general Form of Beauty. This Form of Beauty is itself invisible, eternal, and unchanging, unlike the things in the visible world that can grow old and lose their beauty. 

The universal elements of beauty according to Aristotle in his book “Metaphysics” are: order, symmetry, and definiteness or determinateness.

In “Poetics” he added another essential, namely, a certain magnitude, it being desirable, for a synoptic and single view of the parts, that the object should not be too large, while clearness of perception requires that it should not be too small.

Aristotle saw a relationship between the beautiful (to kalon) and virtue, arguing that “Virtue aims at the beautiful”.  Aristotle also said that when the good person chooses to act virtuously, he does so for the sake of the “kalon”—a word that can mean “beautiful,” “noble,” or “fine. (Nicomachean Ethics. 1106b5–14)

Aristotle distinguished between the good and the beautiful. The good implies an action or conduct, while the beautiful is found only in motionless objects. “Beauty is a bodily excellence and produces many other good things.” Because “beautiful things are effects of mathematical sciences,” Aristotle viewed beautiful forms to have order, symmetry, and definiteness.

Aristotle says in the Poeticsthat “to be beautiful, a living creature, and every whole made up of parts, must present a certain order in its arrangement of parts” (Aristotle, “Poetics”, volume II, 2322).

Plato and Aristotle both regard beauty as objective in the sense that it is not localized in the response of the beholder

The classical conception is that beauty consists of an arrangement of integral parts into a coherent whole, according to proportion, harmony, symmetry, and similar notions. This is a primordial Western conception of beauty, and is embodied in classical and neo-classical architecture, sculpture, literature, and music wherever they appear.

The Pythagorean school saw a strong connection between mathematics  and beauty. In particular, they noted that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive.

Ancient Greek Sculpture and Architecture are based on this view of symmetry and proportion.

Classical and Hellenistic sculptures of men and women produced according to the Greek philosophers’ tenets of ideal human beauty which were rediscovered in Renaissance Europe, leading to a re-adoption of what became known as a “classical ideal”.

In his book, “Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime” (1764),  Immanuel Kant describes the feeling of the sublime and the feeling of the beautiful.

Some of his examples of feelings of the beautiful are the sight of flower beds, grazing flocks, and daylight.  

As to Kant, they “occasion a pleasant sensation but one that is joyous and smiling.”

Feelings of the sublime are the result of seeing mountain peaks, raging storms, and night. These ones, according to Kant, “arouse enjoyment but with horror”.

Beauty and the sublime can be joined or alternated. Kant claimed that tragedy, for the most part, stirs the feeling of the sublime. Comedy arouses feelings for beauty.

Kant subdivided the sublime into three kinds. The feeling of the terrifying sublime is sometimes accompanied with a certain dread or melancholy. The feeling of the noble sublime is quiet wonder. Feelings of the splendid sublime are pervaded with beauty.

For Kant, judgments of taste rest on something universal in human nature. So, correct judgments of taste, like the capacity to do the morally right thing, are available to all.

Friedrich Nietzsche disputes Kant’s view. He thinks that beauty may be highly personal, elusive, and not universally available, and perhaps is available only to aristocratic souls in unusual enhanced ecstatic experiences.

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►Beauty as it appears in Classical and Hellenistic Greek Sculptures:

►I) Greek Sculptures from the Classic Period (480 / 323 B.C):

During the Classical Period (480 /323 B.C.) the Greek artists replaced the stiff vertical figures of the archaic period with three-dimensional snap shots of figures in action.

While the archaic sculptures appeared static the classical statues held dynamic poses bursting with potential energy.

Figures become sensuous and appear frozen in action; it seems that only a second ago they were actually alive. Faces are given more expression and whole figures strike a particular mood. Clothes too become more subtle in their rendering and cling to the contours of the body in what has been described as “wind-blown”.

The concept of dialectics began to take shape. The world became understood as a series of opposing forces that created a certain synthesis and a transient balance that always shifted to accommodate the movement of the opposing forces. So in sculpture the human figure became understood as a universe of opposing forces which created a perfect aesthetic entity the moment they achieved balance.

It was clear to an artist of the Classical period of Greece that the beauty of the whole depends on the harmony of the parts which comprise it, and that each part depends on the others in order to create a harmonious group.

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Zeus of Artemision. Dated 450 B.C. Found Found in the sea near cape Artemision. National Archaeological Museum of Athens

Zeus of Artemision. Dated 450 B.C. Classical Period. Found Found in the sea near cape Artemision. National Archaeological Museum of Athens.-

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The original 'Doryphorus', or Spear Bearer, done in the style of a Greek school in about 450-40 BC, was probably by Polyclitus. A marble Roman copy pictured, now in the National Museum in Naples, Italy, was modeled on the bronze Greek original.-

‘”Doryphorus”, or Spear Bearer, done in the style of a Greek school in about 450-40 B.C (Classical Period), was probably by Polyclitus. A marble Roman copy pictured, now in the National Museum in Naples, Italy, was modeled on the bronze Greek original.-

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Praxiteles' 'Hermes with the Infant Dionysus' is the only known original by an early Greek master. Unearthed in 1877 at Olympia, Greece, it is in the Olympia Museum. The missing arm probably held a bunch of grapes, toward which the child is reaching.

Praxiteles” “Hermes with the Infant Dionysus'”is the only known original by an early Greek master from the Classical Period. Unearthed in 1877 at Olympia, Greece, it is in the Olympia Museum. The missing arm probably held a bunch of grapes, toward which the child is reaching.-

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►II) Greek Sculptures from the Hellenistic Period (323/31 B.C):

The Hellenistic period begins in 323 with the death of Alexander the Great and ends with the battle of Actio in 31 BC.

During this period, the Idealism of classical art gave way to a higher degree of Naturalism. While the interest in deities and heroic themes was still of importance, the emphasis of Hellenistic art shifted from religious and naturalistic themes towards more dramatic human expression, psychological and spiritual preoccupation, and theatrical settings. The sculpture of this period abandons the self-containment of the earlier styles and appears to embrace its physical surroundings with dramatic groupings and creative landscaping of its context. 

Eroticism gained popularity during this period and statues of Aphrodite, Eros, Satyrs, Dionysus, Pan, and even hermaphrodites are depicted in a multitude of configurations and styles. Statues of female nudes became popular in Hellenistic art and statues of Venus in various poses and attitudes adorn the halls of many museums around the world.-

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 The Nike of Samothrace (Unknown Greek artist) is a 2nd-century BC marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory).  Unknown Greek artist Since 1884, it has been  displayed at the Louvre.-

The Nike of Samothrace (Unknown Greek artist) is a 2nd century B.C (Hellenistic Period) marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory). Unknown Greek artist Since 1884, it has been displayed at the Louvre.-

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Venus_de_Milo

“Venus or Aphrodite of Milo”, greek ancient statue of Aphrodite, now in Paris at the Louvre. Carved by Alexandros, a sculptor of Antioch on the Maeander River in about 150 B.C, Hellenistic Period. It was found on the Aegean island of Melos in 1820.-

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Aphrodite (Venus), Pan, and Eros. Circa 100 BC. (Hellenistic Period). National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Found at Delos.-

“Aphrodite (Venus), Pan, and Eros”. Circa 100 B.C. (Hellenistic Period). National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Found at Delos.-

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 ►Ancient Greek Sculpture: 

“The three main periods: Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic”:

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►Links Post:
http://lyceumphilosophy.com/?q=node/50
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-aesthetics/
http://public.wsu.edu/~kimander/teraray.htm
http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/465848/HOMEPAGE/PDFs/05_Zangwill_HPQ_30_1.pdf
http://www.1902encyclopedia.com/A/AES/aesthetics-09.html
http://www.greeklandscapes.com/greece/athens_museum_hellenistic.html
http://viewfromaburrow.com/2015/02/07/nike-of-samothrace/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observations_on_the_Feeling_of_the_Beautiful_and_Sublime

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