“He’ll work at physical exercises in order to arouse the spirited part of his nature, rather than to acquire the physical strength for which other athletes diet and labor.
It looks as though they [the wise] established both [higher studies, and physical training] for the sake of the soul.”
For Plato ‘education’ is whole-person formation. It should have a laser-like focus on the profound reality of a well turned-out human being. And it is life long.
Physical training, in some form, is an essential element for all of us. Things of the body have their importance from their relation to things of the soul. Always. So bodily training takes its primary measure from how it serves the highest aspects of the human vocation.
Physical exercise strengthens not only the body but also a part of us Plato calls the ‘spirited part.’ Properly formed this part is to be a key helper to our rational part in the project of life.
We might call it an interior toughness—a toughness that can be used for good or for ill. It is not an end in itself, but it can and should be cultivated in any holistic approach to personal formation.
Some form of this training is within reach of all of us–whether a more complete exercise program or just daily walking, or cold showers.
And by a deep magic those things that are good for our bodily health are also good for our ‘spirit’ in more than one way. Especially when pursued for the best reasons.
~ ~ ~
Plato (427-347 B.C.), a student of Socrates, and teacher of Aristotle, is considered one of the greatest philosophers of all time. The Republic is one of the most widely read and influential of all books.
“Let me live here ever; So rare a wonder’d father and a wise Makes this place Paradise.” Shakespeare, The Tempest *Video below: 4 Tips for Men at Home* Our current situation is unprecedented in the last century, perhaps more, in several ways. It is an utterly unique...
“Courage: in all circumstances the ability to judge rightly about the nature and extent of dangers.” “For instance, when Homer makes Odysseus strike himself on the chest, and ‘call his heart to order,’ saying: ‘Prudence my heart, you have put up with fouler than...
“It was considered unpatriotic to hoard food.” It really struck me when my mother shared this memory from when she was a child during World War II. The war was an occasion for real soul-searching. Who am I, anyway? How is my life intertwined with that of others? How...
Husband, father, and professor of Philosophy. LifeCraft springs from one conviction: there is an ancient wisdom about how to live the good life in our homes, with our families; and it is worth our time to hearken to it. Let’s rediscover it together. Learn more.