Influenced by: Egyptian thought Persian/Near Eastern thought Indian thought Pythagoreanism Orphism
Platonism is about the philosophy of Plato, but more specifically it often refers to the current of thinking in which Plato is regarded as an important spiritual teacher. This wisdom is also believed to have come to/through Plato from an even earlier time from the Orphic cults, the Pythagoreans and/or from Egyptian religion or other foreign wisdom schools.
While many common conceptions of Plato’s work come from outside of this tradition, traditional Platonic ideas include integration of polytheistic religion, complex spiritual practice (theurgy), and arguably even a certain approach to scientific work such as Aristotle’s.
Platonism has been hugely influential throughout European (and Arab – there are especially close connections between Platonism and Sufism) history, including massive impacts on Renaissance thinking and the Transcendental movement.
- Peter Kingsley is an interesting modern writer on Platonism and related topics.
- Edward Butler has some great insight into polytheist and other aspects.
- There’s a strong apophatic current that’s naturally quite hard to describe but feels like a very important aspect of this tradition.
- Plato recommends the study of athletics, music, and geometry as well as philosophy.
- sun as a metaphor and hypostasis of God