Monday, November 03, 2003

I found myself reading another one of my Pelican's this morning - 'Body and Mind in Western Thought' by Joan Wynn Reeves. It is a history of psychology and a study of the mind / body problem. She starts off the early Greeks. Timaeus was the only text of Plato available in the middle ages and I never realised that Plato had such a curious idea of a 'world soul'. The basic idea is that the creator made a world soul with everything and then divided up the soul and gave a little bit to each star. This soul was then fashioned into human beings, specifically men. Each mans job was to live righteously so that when he died he could go back to his origin of living on his native star otherwise he was reincarnated first as a woman and then as the 'lower' animals.

Another interesting feature of the book is that over half of it contains exerpts from the original texts so I have a fascinating source book on the history of psychology!

I remember puzzling over the idea of the soul 12 years ago in university. Nobody told me about Plato, I wish they had. I had this idea that the soul was a Biblical concept and decided to cling to it, which is rather hopeless when almost everyone is rejecting it, even Christian friends are saying they don't need to hold on to the concept of duality.

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