One paragraph yesterday, the last one and I said I want to spend time on that paragraph and it is one of the most important paragraphs in Plato. So if it takes us time to go slowly on it, it will be worth pursuing it because it is one of the most important statements. Let me read it. The last line in that page.
Particulars are not the manifestation of the universals, nor are universals made of the particulars; Ideas are self–existent and uncreated; the original stuff of the particulars too is self–existent and uncreated, but this self–existent is non–existent and attains to being only by partaking of the universal Ideas.
In philosophical language this is called the problem of the relationship of the universal and the particular.
How is that universal related to particular? What is particular? Now this question can be discussed under three or four main points, the first point is to repeat what Plato has said earlier, ‘particulars are copies of the universals’. We had taken the example of cattiness as the universal and cats as particulars. Now in what way is the universal related to universal cat or cattiness? How is it related to particular cats? That is the question. Plato’s first answer is that particulars are copies of the universals. Now what is the meaning of a copy? You take a simple example of a copy. Suppose this is the original paper and you want to make a copy of it therefore all that is here will be there then only it is a copy, isn’t it? All that is here should be there then only it’s a copy. Second, a copy does not come out of this. When you make a copy you’ll find that this paper remains where it is and the copy is made out of it but it is itself not generating the copy. It is not generating in two senses, the stuff on which the copy is made is not derived from here, you have to bring some other stuff from outside and imprint this on it and secondly when you make a copy this remains what it is this is not affected, it remains what it is so the original remains what it is these two important points are to be noted. So we write down: a copy contains everything that is in the original. A copy contains everything that is in the original. Oh No! Not here. Am I allowed to do this? So that is the first statement that we write—a copy contains everything that is in the original then it is a copy. Secondly you require a substance on which a copy is made. There must be a substance on which a copy is made. Now that the substance on which a copy is made is not generated by the original, that substance is not generated, that substance is some other substance on which it is printed, so it is the second statement that we made. The substance on which a copy is imprinted is not generated by the original but what is imprinted is derived from the original but what is derived does not alter the original, the original remains the same. Now these statements put together are equal to the statement: particulars are not the manifestations of universals. You might say therefore particulars are not the manifestations of universals.
Now you look at it otherwise. What is a manifestation? We have a distinction between a copy and a manifestation. What we have described so far is to say particulars are only copies of the universal and not manifestations of universals but supposing we had to say it is manifestation then what would happen, why is it not a manifestation? What is the meaning of manifestation? We say this is manifested, this is manifestation. In a manifestation there is no need of another substance on which manifestation is made. If I say Betina is smiling now, the smile is the manifestation of Betina, she does not need another face to bring her smile out, it is her own face on which her joy is manifested in the form of a smile. You don’t require another on which you have to print anything, isn’t it, it is in a manifestation the substance is the same, the same brings out on itself what is in itself, what is within itself. The joy is within Betina; it is brought out on her face in the form of a smile. So joy is manifested, joy of Betina is manifested on her own face, you don’t require another face to manifest it; every manifestation has this special quality. Manifestation is the same substance in which what is inside is brought out. According to Plato that is not the case; according to Plato particulars require another substance on which universals are printed. Therefore, according to Plato, particulars are not manifestations of universals. Now there is a second point: what is manifested must be in the original, every manifestation is called a manifestation if it is brought out from within. So what is manifested must be already within the universal. Now according to Plato particulars are not in the universals, universals are universals there is no particularity in it as he says universals are not constituted of particulars. You read the whole sentence.
Particulars are not the manifestation of the universals, nor are universals made of the particulars. For example if you can extract the juice from the mango, the juice of the mango is a manifestation of the mango because first of all the juice comes out of the mango and secondly juice was a part of the mango. The mango was constituted of the juice; mango would not be mango if juice was not there in it, isn’t it? So what is brought out was already present, the mango was constituted, juice was part of it. According to Plato particular is not a part of the universal; universal is not made of particulars it is not particulars put together is called universal so that one part can come out of it. Particular is not a part of the universal. So let us repeat. All philosophical thinking requires repetition; with every repetition we mature the idea is called incubation. Have you heard the word incubation? Write down the word incubation, anything that is first produced is given a further warmth and by giving warmth you ripen it that is called incubation. When an egg is produced by the bird and the bird sits on the egg and gives warmth to the egg by sitting on it as a result the egg is matured is called incubation. The process of imparting warmth to anything that is generated, just to sit over something and to give warmth. Now philosophical thinking is called incubation. You have an idea then you sit on it and repeat it, you are giving warmth as it were to the idea and you will see that by repeating the idea the idea matures in your own mind and then it becomes crystal clear at a certain time. Now this is what we are doing now, this is incubation; we are incubating the idea of the universal and the particular. What is the nature of particular, what is the nature of the universal, the problem is something that is discussed by every philosopher in the world. You would not be a philosopher unless you have understood the relationship between universal and particular. Universal is the large fact, particular is the large fact everywhere the whole thing is nothing but particular objects and you find in every object universality, some universal presence therefore the question what is the relationship between universal and particular is one of the most important problems in philosophy and Plato is very famous for his theory of universals and particulars. So let us repeat: a manifestation, what is the meaning of a manifestation? A manifestation is something that is produced from an origin; it is simply what is called bringing forth what is inside now that which is inside is that which constitutes the original. Now according to Plato the copy does not come out from the universal because you require another substance on which the copy of the original is imprinted and the copy or the particular is not a part of the universal. Whether particulars exist or not universal is not affected by it; this is another way of looking at it. When we say a particular is not a part of the universal it means that any given particular may exist or may not exist it will make no difference to the universal. This cat may exist or may not exist; it does not affect cattiness. This book or that book may not exist; it does not affect bookness that is how according to Plato universal does not consist of the particulars. Universal is independent of the particulars.
There is a very important statement which sums up the whole idea: the whole that is universal is not the sum of its parts.
If particulars will be part of the universal then universal will be the sum of all the particulars put together that is the universal but that is not the case. Universal is not the sum of all the particulars put together. If you have an orange, the whole of the orange, what is the whole of the orange? It is the sum of the parts. All the parts of the orange put together is the whole of the orange but if the whole of the orange is more than the sum of its parts then it means that there is something which is universal which does not consist of the parts. You will see that this word universal and particulars are very difficult words, we speak of them very normally. In general there is a vague idea in us but when we analyse you can see how tricky the idea is. Is universal constituted of particulars; it looks but according to Plato particulars are not parts of universal. Particulars are not manifestations of the universals.
Now let us make a third round of incubation, we had the first round of incubation, second round of incubation now we come to the third round of incubation the same ideas we repeat in different ways. You know in India we have a word called manana, manana means reflection but then there is a further movement is called nididhyasana, nididhyasana is reflecting again and again and again and again and still again and yet again and further again that is called nididhyasana. You go on reflecting and reflecting and reflecting and reflecting. Now this is the substance I give you for further reflection, further incubation. If the particular does not constitute the universal is the first question, first statement. If particulars do not constitute the universals, if particulars are not manifestations of the universals in what way can they be called copies, if they have no relationship at all then what is a copy then how is it exactly like the universal this is our third meditation on the same subject. You know there are many saints who have written meditations—first meditation, second meditation, third meditation, fourth, fifth, fiftieth like that. This is a subject on which you can have many meditations so this is the third meditation I am giving you. You have: If universals are not constituted of the particulars, I am only repeating now. If universals are not constituted of the particulars and if particulars are not the manifestations of the universals in what way can they be called copies of the universals? According to Plato particulars are copies of the universals but not manifestations of the universals nor are the particulars parts of universals. This is exactly the statement of Plato. Particulars are copies of the universal but not the manifestation of the universal and they do not constitute the parts of the universals these three statements put together is the theory of Plato therefore the question is what is the meaning of a copy? Copy is neither the manifestation nor a part of the original, what is it then? His answer is they are copies, his answer they are copies. By copy he means neither the manifestation nor that which constitutes a part of the original that is the meaning of a copy. Now you can continue this incubation again and again but I give one more proposition and this was the proposition made by his own disciple that was his own disciple. Aristotle differed from his master; he did not agree with Plato and there is a famous sentence of him when he disagrees with his master he said: Plato is dear but Truth is dearer, Plato is dear but Truth is dearer. You know this statement gives you a tremendous freedom from human influence. You may love somebody very dearly but in your search of the truth you should not allow the human influence to cloud you. We should feel liberated. You should be able to see Truth in itself as it is not as you like it not as somebody else likes it or a third person likes it you look at truth in its own face. You may not succeed, that's another matter, by coming out of one influence you may undergo another influence that also is possible. You can say: I don’t want this influence but then you are influenced by somebody else. To face the Truth as it is, is a very difficult process because normally we have this influence, that influence that influence, we come out of this influence and go into another influence, we come out of that influence and go into third influence. So you should say to everyone: You are dear but Truth is dearer. To every influence you should say: you are dear but Truth is dearer and apply this principle until you really feel that we have come straight, come face to face with the Truth as it is, as it is. Now whether Aristotle succeeded in doing so is a different question but he tried to come out of the influence of Plato and he argued. Universals he said are always in particulars, universals he said are always in particulars, what does it mean? It’s a new incubation now. Universals he said are always in particulars, according to him universals cannot subsist but in particulars. Now when we come to Aristotle we shall discuss this whole theory once again. At present our incubation will stop here. By stopping here it means that we are free not to follow Plato because already his own disciple disagreed with him. There is something in this whole statement of Plato which doesn’t seem to click absolutely accurately. There is something in it which is not complete, which is not adequate. But when something is not adequate we must be able to state what it is although it is not adequate you must be able to state accurately what it says. So once again we state the whole theory.
Particulars are copies of universals. Particulars are not manifestations of universals and thirdly universals are not made of particulars, Universals he said are always in particulars. These three statements, we should be able to state clearly. When you read philosophy there is one word which you must remember—exposition; exposition is expounding accurately expounding what is contended, what is contended. Exposition is to state accurately, is to report accurately what is said. Somebody writes to you a letter, it’s a long letter in which he says many things, then you ask me what has he written in the letter? If I say: nothing, rubbish, this is not exposition, this is what is called comment, and it’s a comment on what is written. Oh! It’s nothing, its rubbish, you are not expounding. Expounding is to say accurately what is said in the letter. When you say it's rubbish it’s a comment on it you are not expounding. Oh! Don’t bother it is nothing,—it’s a comment, Oh! It’s beautiful, wonderful, what he has written is wonderful; it’s not exposition, it’s a comment. A philosopher is one who is able to describe or report accurately. What is stated, what is contenders, what is maintained? If Plato says something you should be able to expound accurately what he has said, comment comes afterwards. You always make a distinction between exposition and comment, those who are not trained in philosophy will find they mix up the two things, exposition and comment they mix up the two things together, it’s a mark that he did not get philosophical training. If I take your interview after one year and if I find that you are mixing up exposition and comment I’ll find you’ve not been trained properly. So next time after one year when you meet me be very careful when I say something. I say what does Plato say? First you should be able to say accurately what Plato has said. You should be able to say these three statements quite clearly, whether right or wrong that will be a different matter even if his disciple differed from him, even if his disciple may have been wrong in differing from him that is also quite possible. So whether Plato was right, whether Aristotle was right is a different question that’s a comment. You should be able to make exactly what Plato has said and try to understand exactly what he says. You can expound properly only when you have tried your utmost to understand what he says. That is why I am giving you this training. If anybody says what is Plato’s theory of universals, you may write anything but if you don’t write these three statements accurately, it means you have not expounded Plato. According to Plato—Particulars are copies of universals. Particulars are not manifestations of universals; universals are not constituted of the particulars. These three statements if you make that is the exposition of Platonic Philosophy of the Universal. Now in order to make his exposition complete you must add two more sentences which we have not read today but we read yesterday. Universals are permanent and they are self–existent. Now the word self–existent is a very important word in philosophy. Self–existent is that which exists in itself and it is the cause of itself, it is the cause of itself. In Latin it is called sui generis. It is caused by itself, Sui means itself, generis means caused by, cause by itself not produced from something else. So universals according to Plato are not caused by something else in other words they are ultimate. The words cause of itself, self–existent and ultimate have the same meaning. Finally universals are not perceived but they are conceived, universals are not perceived but conceived. Finally that which is perceived is not knowledge only that which is conceived is knowledge therefore universals are the objects of knowledge and the faculty by which you can conceive universals is called reason. Reason is the faculty by which universals are conceived.
Now tomorrow I’ll ask you to expound Plato to me so far, there is much to be expounded but this much. What you have learnt of Plato so far is this much, these statements if you can make to me accurately I’ll say you have done a good exposition, I am not asking your comments as yet, comments later on, first expound. Thank You.