The Cave: An Adaptation of Plato’s Allegory in Clay

An excerpt from Plato’s Republic, the ‘Allegory of the Cave’ is a classic commentary on the human condition. It is a story of open-mindedness and the power of possibility.

Richard Rohr – Plato or Jesus?

I sincerely hate to say it, but I fear that Platonic philosophy has had more influence in Christian history than Jesus. The Jesus and Christ event says that matter and spirit, divine and human are not enemies, but are two sides of the same coin. They, in fact, reveal one another. For Plato, the body and the soul are mortal enemies and largely incompatible. Our poor sexual theology and our lackluster history of care for the earth and its resources, our disrespect for animals and all growing things, show that Christians have not seen matter and spirit as natural friends. Much of our history, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant, has created Platonists much more than Incarnationalists or Christians.

Matter and spirit have never been separate. That’s really the ultimate Christian heresy, and what Jesus came to undo. At its best, religion did try to put matter and spirit together (“sacramentalism”), but you can’t put together what is already together. Continue reading “Richard Rohr – Plato or Jesus?”

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Fr. Richard Rohr – Christian Faith Between Jesus and Plato

Plato, a foundational Greek philosopher, has had far more influence on Christianity up to now than even Jesus often has! (I want to shock you into awareness!) Jesus says matter and spirit, divine and human are not enemies, but in fact are two sides of the same coin. They reveal one another, and are finally one! That is the meaning of his two raised fingers in much of Christian art.

Plato positions body and soul as irreconcilable enemies. Our moral theology, most of our sexual teaching, and our lackluster history of Earth care all show that we too have not seen matter and spirit, or body and soul, as friends, and as a result, have been Platonists more than Christians. (Part of the reason for this is Paul’s unfortunate use of the the word “flesh” in opposition to spirit. He would have made his point so much better, so much clearer, if he had used the word “ego” instead.) Embodiment is not the problem, ego is!

Matter and spirit have never been separate, says the Christ Mystery. We live in One United Whole; there is no sacred and profane, no natural and supernatural. All is sacred and supernatural inside of the One Christ Mystery, who “reconciles all things in Himself” (Colossians 1:15-20).

Adapted fromRichard Rohn, Soul Centering Through Nature: Becoming a True Human Adult

Starter Prayer: I am part of the whole.

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