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Socrates and Plato - Track 1204

Now I explained to you the whole of Plato actually in a few words. Many of these things require repetition of your thinking, it is said that philosophy should not be taught by lectures but greater reflection, you repeat the same ideas little by little, reflect and reflect again and again and then you begin to have conception; some light begins to emerge by your thinking, reflecting and suddenly you grasp. Conceptions are caught by a deep process of reflection. Theory is a very short theory like I told you just now, within a few minutes you can expound his theory but it opens out the vast vision of the whole universe. Now there is one word however which is very important in Plato, he says: ‘All universal ideas are forms. All universal ideas are forms.’ We need to reflect on this sentence ‘All universal ideas are forms’. What does it mean by saying that they are forms? What is the meaning of the word form? Now usually when we say form we have a kind of an image in our mind, this book has a form, this table has a form that means that there is a boundary, it has a beginning, it has an end that is our normal idea for form. But the essential idea of form is that which can be differentiated from the others, that which can be differentiated from the others. A form is a form because it that can be differentiated from something else. Ideas are a peculiar kind of forms which can be differentiated from something else which are not ideas. Take for examples colours, sounds. Ideas are not colours, ideas are not sound they can be differentiated from sounds and colours therefore ideas can be distinguished, can be differentiated from sounds and colours therefore Plato calls ideas forms. Special kind of form is idea, colour in another kind of form, sound is another kind of form there are many kinds of forms of which ideas are one kind of forms. There is one very interesting talk of the Mother where she says: As you rise higher you come to the realm of colours, you go beyond the realm of colours you come to the realm of sounds, you go beyond the realm of sounds then you come to the realm of ideas’. Ideas are nearest to Reality, ideas are forms nearest to Reality, if you go beyond ideas you have Reality, Existence you grasp Existence – the Real. So if you are actually travelling in the world beyond our ordinary existence in which we are all the time clogged, if we can liberate ourselves from our ordinary preoccupations and rise higher and higher you’ll come to the realm of colours then you’ll come to the realm of sounds then you’ll come to the realm of ideas and when you reach the topmost of the realm you get what is called ‘Real Idea’, Reality and Idea, Real Idea. The idea as it were strikes in the Reality, you have the Real Idea in which the idea is absolutely accurately described in Reality, no distortion at all. Idea is a form distinguished from the sound and colour that Idea symbolises exactly the Reality, no distortion, purely rational. Now the greatness of Plato was that he perceived even so many thousands of years ago that the great conception of Idea that is nearest to Reality, which can be called Real Idea. Real Idea has two special qualities. An idea reflects the reality accurately; it reflects the reality accurately, truthfully. And secondly it is the most universal, highest universal. This is the nature of Real Idea. Accurate expression of Reality and highest universality, the Reality is still beyond it actually because idea is only an expression of it; therefore Reality is described as transcendental. Ideas are universal, Real Idea is universal but that which is described that which is caught by the idea is transcendental, it transcends even the Idea. Reality transcends Idea, idea only reflects the Reality. So if you want to describe the Reality, the Pure Existent, we should say it is universal and beyond universal, it transcends. Reality is transcendental which is universal.

When you will read The Life Divine this what I am saying just now will be very useful. We all have heard the word Supermind, all of us. We speak of the Supermind quite often. Now Sri Aurobindo has defined Supermind as Real–Idea, as Real–Idea, it’s another term for Supermind that Sri Aurobindo has given. Supermind is Real–Idea. Supermind accurately describes this is the Reality, no distortion at all and Supermind is universal, its Vast that is why Sri Aurobindo says is that Plato was in touch with the Supermind that is the greatness of Plato, he was in touch with the Supermind. The reason why I have selected Plato for you, why I am taking so much time on Plato with you is because it is a very good introduction to the idea of Supermind. You understand Supermind better when you have gone through this exercise of catiness, horseness and gradually you rise into higher ideas of Truth, Beauty and Goodness and right to the Supreme Good and idea of the supreme Existence and then you connect Existence with Real–Idea. Plato is a very good introduction to Sri Aurobindo. If you understand Plato quite well, you can enter into the realm of Sri Aurobindo much more easily. Sri Aurobindo is very difficult because many people have not studied Plato and therefore they find it very difficult. But if you have done Plato quite well it is much easier for you to enter. We must remember that Supermind was discovered by the Vedic seers. You remember when I was talking about the Veda, I told you that supermind was discovered by the Vedic seers and I told you that the Veda describes Supermind in three words – Truth, the Right and the Vast, the Truth, the Right and the Vast. Vast is another word of universal, Vast in another term for universality. It is Truth because it expresses truly Reality, it is Right because when you have Truth and Vastness your action will be correct, right action. If you want that your action should be absolutely right action then you have to rise into the Supermind because then only the actions will be right, till that time we are all approximating. We can do the right action when we reach the supramental consciousness and we act on it that was the Vedic ideal, that was why they said to everybody: ‘Rise, climb, climb to the peaks, become more and more universal – vishwajanaya, vishwa means the universal, you generate yourself, be generated universality. Now this is the basic theory of Plato. I spoke at length on this subject because after this we shall be able to understand many things which are there in this paper much more easily. Now it will be like cantering and galloping into this paper easily we shall do it tomorrow. Alright.