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Two Excerpts from "The Rose's Tears" : Book Discussion • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Two Excerpts from "The Rose's Tears"

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Two Excerpts from "The Rose's Tears"

Postby ~Robert~ » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:37 am


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Two Excerpts from "The Rose's Tears"

Postby ~Robert~ » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:37 am

Hi, I’ve recently read an Albanian novel entitled The Rose’s Tears. I’m half-blooded, and I can read in that language. It’s about the Communist dictatorship in that country, one of the most oppressive and horrible in the world. I found the novel to be more informative than many pamphlets and articles on the topic. It also explores two major eternal themes – Freedom and Love. I found it to be much appealing and one of the finest East-European books I’ve ever read on Communist dictatorships so far.

What struck me most about it was its originality, modern style and finely-depicted characters. Its protagonist is convicted to 12 years’ imprisonment for his dissident writings. While in prison, he suffers a lot of troubles and tribulations and incurs some sort of mental disorder. During his hallucinatory spells, he wanders in ancient Greece, where he meets ancient philosophers… The storyline takes a retrospective view of events by twisting to actual reality – when the protagonist is a young magistrate who tries and sentences offenders according to the laws in force. The plot abounds in psychological insights into his various relationships, love affairs and dramas, until he himself is being brought to court under the charge of an “enemy” of the state, and being found guilty in a severe trial, he’s convicted and sent to jail. Jail scenes, dramatic and dire as they are, add up to the whole attractiveness of the book for their truthfulness and stark dimension of human sufferings.

With the collapse of the dictatorship, the hero is relapsed from prison and engages, via email, in a series of discussions on the meaning of freedom with Orlando Patterson, the American author of Freedom in the Making of Western Culture, winner of the 1991 National Book Award. This aspect is just one of the novel’s assets, as it features a large variety of other intriguing events.

I’d like to give prominence to the letters the cranky protagonist sends to Patterson, which are marked by an original way of thinking, contention and witticism. This correspondence, however, never reaches the recipient and remains imaginary. What I find of interest about these letters is: 1) the protagonist’s objection to Patterson’s thesis about the origin of freedom; 2) his opinions on certain topics expounded in Freedom; and 3) his exposition of certain errors in Patterson analysis of the tragedy Antigone in his Freedom.

I’m posting here two of his letters. I’d be grateful to any one who’ll bring in some feedback on any of them. I wish some editor or literary foundation could be interested in having this book appear in English (in a small number of copies) for its stigmatizing artistically one the most savage dictatorships in the world. I can supply press-review comments on it if necessary. My endeavor is only driven by the great pleasure and enlightenment this book gave me.

1) The protagonist’s comments on Socrates and Jesus

Dear Patterson,
Although in ancient Athens demos was made up of socially free people (with the exclusion of noncitizens: slaves and metics), the democracy was deficient and free speech was persecuted. Political persecutions originate in those times and, as you yourself admit, the doings of Ephialtes, a politician, and Socrates, a thinker, cost them their heads.

And who was Socrates, dear Patterson? It is to be regretted that you have devoted such little space to this great freethinking philosopher, the first man in history who struggled not only on behalf of civic freedom, but also the freedom of the individual. He denounced the potentates and magistrates’ corruption, the murders and banishments they committed, their dreams to restore tyranny (just like our ex-rulers to restore Communism), because they felt they were losing the benefits they had gained from it. He condemned not only tyranny, but pseudo-democracy as well. “No matter how the power is called, tyranny or democracy,” he says, “common folk suffer the same. There are peoples in the world who live in forests, who have no laws, but they love freedom, and we relish of calling them barbarians. Whereas we, that live in the finest city, and have the wisest law of the world, love impostors and rogues that flay us day in day out…The Thirty Tyrants banned the freedom of speech and freethinking and philosophy… Your democracy is nothing but camouflaged democracy… People like you burned the books of Illustrious Pythagoras, and you are sending my thinking to death…”

Not only was the elite frightened of Socrates, but with his death it sought to frighten the whole citizenry.

Socrates did what Jesus would do four centuries later. The two of them represent two examples that meet on all points, except the former was a son of man, the latter a son of God. Socrates was earthly, Jesus hypostatic.

Socrates used to denounce elite’s demagogy which, even though it was elected through people’s votes, it used to deal fraudulently with them so as to preserve its own privileges. Jesus used to denounce the old laws and rebelled against the demagogic rabbins who were preaching the mob subjugation to them. Socrates used to wander around Athens’ streets propagating his teachings in words, the first speaking newspaper in history, the first man to teach the young the freedom of speech and the first journalist convicted by government’s violence. Jesus, too, was a speaking newspaper, he condemned folks’ sins and taught them to get free of them by following God’s path. To naïve citizens’ ears, Socrates was accused of demagogic charges, but the point was to wipe out that bothersome gadfly that stung the cow democracy milked by the elect rulers through the demos’ votes. Jesus was arrested because he attacked traditional law, and authorities left to the rabble’s discretion to decide on who they wanted to be sentenced – him or an ordinary thief. People decided to have Jesus executed, as they feared both the local religious satraps and the Roman conquerors.

Athenian judges, too, gave Socrates a death sentence for they feared their rulers, the sheer thieves that had become enriched by robbing folks they allegedly represented.

Both of these martyrs were executed, Socrates by having to drink hemlock, Jesus by being crucified. The two of them for the same offence: they taught people to speak freely and to hate any form of slavery – Socrates by teaching people to obey the just laws of man and God, Jesus to uphold Love and to obey the laws of the Lord. Socrates driven by the wisdom of the ancients and his inner daemonion, the sense of divine justice, while Jesus driven by the all-embracing principle of the universe’s God.

These two men, the former old, the latter young, didn’t fear death. Socrates, however, is greater than Jesus. He accepted death and scoffed at his being pardoned in spite of his knowing he’d never come back to life, while Jesus knowing that he’d come again back to life.

Dear Patterson, I’ve got a feeling you haven’t stressed the theme of the freedom of soul and mind to the extent it deserves…
Respectfully yours,
Viktor Ikonomi
A Lost Generation’s Brokenhearted Man


2) The protagonist’s comments on the tragedy Antigone analysis

Dear Patterson,

It is one thing to analyze a universal notion or idea such as, for example, the notion of freedom, where everybody, whether correctly or incorrectly, judges according to his own mind, and it is another thing to construe the elements of some concrete work of some concrete author.

In general, your analysis of the tragedy Antigone is profound and insightful and it comes to capture its meaning and importance, but having in view the beauty of your book I can notice, not without regret, that in the exploration of this tragedy of which you say "the West has come to view with a reverence close to that reserved for Scriptures.." (p.99) you have certain critical errors.

First, you mess up Antigone's patrilineal and matrilineal kinship relationships, which results in making a whole mess of the relations of all other characters of the play. So you give Oedipus and Creon as brothers (which they aren’t), Creon and Antigone as brother and sister (which they aren’t), Antigone as Creon’s niece by her father’s side, (which she isn’t), Antigone and Haemon as paternal aunt and nephew (which they aren’t), Creon as the brother of Polyneices and Eteocles, etc.

Excuse me, sir, but I feel I have to restate here Oedipus' myth briefly: Oedipus is the only son of the King Laius and his wife, Jocasta. He kills his father unwittingly and marries his own mother by whom he had four children: Eteocles, Polyneices, Antigone and Ismene.

On p.129 you say, “The one man who should be doing so – her father’s brother, Creon, is the very man who has enslaved her.” ("Her" refers to Antigone, and her father is Oedipus.) You state here very clearly that Creon is Oedipus’ brother, which is not true.

On p. 122 you say, "Her love destroys her betrothed, who is also very much a member of the family, being both her cousin, the son of her uncle, Creon, and her nephew, being her father-brother brother's son." No, dear Patterson. That Creon is not Oedipus’ brother, that is, the brother of Antigone’s father-brother, but Jocasta’s brother, is substantiated by all sources about this myth, which say that Creon is Oedipus' brother-in-law, the brother of his wife, Jocasta. Oedipus had no brother by his parents, Laius and Jocasta; he was an only son. He had only two brothers by his mother and also his wife Jocasta: Eteocles and Polyneices. So, Haemon, Antigone’s betrothed, being Creon and Eurydice’s son, is only her cousin by her mother’s side, and not her nephew.

On p.128 (and elsewhere) you state that Antigone is Creon's sister and put the following words in his mouth: "This is one feisty sister." No, dear Patterson. It cannot be that Creon addresses Antigone that way, as she isn't his sister. By her father Oedipus, Creon isn’t her brother. Oedipus has four children only, the ones I mentioned above. Nor is Creon Antigone’s brother by her mother. Jocasta married only two men: Laius, by whom she gave birth to her unfortunate son Oedipus, and her own son – the same unfortunate Oedipus – by whom she gave birth to the children I mentioned above. So, Creon and Antigone are not brother and sister. For if they were, Eteocles and Polyneices would have been Creon’s brothers too. And so the tragedy would have been centered not merely on the burial/nonburial of Antigone’s brother, but as much on the burial/nonburial of Creon’s brother, too.

Antigone has only three brothers: Oedipus, by her mother, who is also her father, and Eteocles and Polyneices, by the same mother Jocasta, and the same father Oedipus.

You mess things up further in giving Creon and Antigone as paternal uncle and niece. Their true kin relationship is maternal uncle and niece, as Creon is Jocasta's brother, not Oedipus' brother. Consequently, Haemon, Creon's son, is not Antigone’s nephew, as you say, taking him for the son of her father (Oedipus)’s brother. Being the son of Creon, that is, the son of her mother-grandmother (Jocasta)’s brother, Haemon is Antigone’s cousin.

Thus, with regard to kinship relations between the characters of the tragedy Antigone you have several serious errors and in case you plan to reprint this book, I'd suggest you to put their relationships right.

But in the analysis of Antigone, you appear ambiguous and provide contradictory assertions in other points as well. At first you say that Antigone's behavior is consistent with the divine law and order, as on p.121-122 you say: “She is driven to near madness by her determination to bury her treacherous brother, and goes willingly to her living death… She is utterly loyal to the dictates of the gods and single-mindedly obeys their laws.” On p.124 you also say "Antigone serves the unwritten dictates of the divine cosmos." And, on p.127 you also say: "The gods of the underworld are, for Antigone, the divinities who share their house with justice." And, further, on p.130, you say, "As a rebel, woman, and slave... she comes to identify 'right', 'justice' and 'law', unwritten law, as the content of her personal freedom...".

From the above statements it follows that Antigone acts in accordance with the divine law, which is the traditional, unwritten, family law. These gods represent perpetual laws that are made tradition, as chorus says on p.179.

But, surprisingly, in a second set of statements, as on p.122, you say: "She offends the gods above by choosing the gods below…" And on p.122, you say again, "[…she was] condemned to doing that which she, and the gods themselves, most abhor… She commits the most egregious impieties in her most consciously pious endeavors."

What ensues from the second set of statements is that Antigone doesn't act in accordance with the divine cosmos, but against it. Not only is it difficult to conceive of two opposing attitudes in her behavior toward the divine order, but it is also difficult to conceive of two contradictory stands of the very gods toward her: the same gods to whom Antigone is loyal and who approve of her act of burying her brother are the very ones that are insulted because of the naturally expected result of her act, which is her death. But her act, the burial of her brother, and her own death, the inevitable result of this act, are closely linked with each other. It is hardly coherent to approve of one act and disapprove of the other. This is the first ambiguity.

The second stems from following statement, "…[this] woman is a sinner. Not, of course, in the Christian sense." (p.122) No, dear Patterson. She is not a sinner, an impious woman, in whatever sense. She is a heroine inspired both by her divine impulse and her devotion to justice and sisterly love, which she manifests by opposing both Creon and the state law and by acting in accordance to gods. How could she be a sinner when you yourself assert that she does what gods want her to do?

It isn't as if her behavior runs counter to the divine domain, the pious, but that you describe this domain as being contradictory. On p.127 you say: "… [in] mankind's relation with the divine order, more specifically with the chthonic realm, death is positive, generative state… And some lines below you say: ”Antigone's death obsession and her eventual descent into the cave tomb to which she has been condemned by Creon is partly modeled on the Kore-Persephone myth… The gods of the underworld are, for Antigone, the divinities who share their house with justice." If gods are such, that is, just and righteous, why then Antigone is a sinner?

If the matter is about the divine order of the underworld gods alone, and, consequently, about the gods who share their houses with justice, Antigone, again, acts in accordance with them.

In general, it seems, your judgments of Antigone’s acts lack coherence, because you once say: a) Her act of burying her brother is in accordance with divine order. Once: b) Her act by going virgin to death is counter to divine order. And once: c) Her act by going virgin to death is in accordance to the chthonic gods of divine order.

In a word, now Antigone act in accordance with the divine order, now she doesn’t. The confusion increases even more because of your presenting the divine order as twofold: a) the upper gods, b) the chthonic, the underworld, gods – which gives rise to opposing attitudes toward Antigone's actions.

Creon's actions, too, lack coherence. It is hard to understand whether he acts according to the state law or the divine law. At first you say he upholds state laws, written, untraditional ones: "Creon, now ruler of Thebes, has forbidden the burial of Polyneices, in accordance with state law." (p.121)… But, surprisingly enough, a bit further you say: "His refusal to bury the traitor Polyneices was consistent with divine law." (p.123) If so, why does he forbid Antigone from burying her brother, when of Antigone, too, you say (point a, above) that her act of burying her brother is in accordance with divine order”?

All in all, with regard to the traitor's burial/nonburial issue, which makes up the whole thrust of the tragedy, you hold opposing views. Your whole discussion on Antigone of what is in agreement with the divine order and what is not, is only too misty.

In conclusion I'd like emphasize, dear Patterson, that like ancient Egyptians erected their immortal pyramids of stones in memory of their dead pharaohs – mortal humans – in order to challenge the historic amnesia, so did the ancient Greeks, who erected their grand pyramids – their monumental works of dramatic art, though not of stones, of course, but of letters – so as to incarnate the living spirit of man and to perpetuate his immortality. To dig in wrong directions into the passageways of Egyptian pyramids is, of course, to lose something of history. But to dig wrong into the gangways of the Greek tragedies I'm afraid much more is lost, something of the spirit of that time, which still boils in our present-day man…
Respectfully yours,
Viktor Ikonomi
Inalienable Cranky Analyst

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RE: Two Excerpts from "The Rose's Tears"

Postby TheRazor » Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:07 pm

My good friend, Robert.  Thank you for reposting your essay on your analysis of Paterson’s novel, Freedom in the Making of Western Culture.  I’d like to talk about your association of Socrates with Jesus. Both meet the same end and fight the same battle but through different directions.  Socrates uses logical thinking while Jesus uses faith.

Socrates uses argumentation theory through reasoning.  His Socratic Method gave birth to the Scientific Method, which to this day is at odds with Jesus’ teachings.   One could point out that Socrates had a mystical side, believing in reincarnation which goes against your assumption that he knew he would not be reborn after death.  And we must realize that this was ancient Greece with a plethora of gods.

Jesus is considered the son of God and not a mere mortal, but his teachings must be taken purely on faith.  You must trust that his message is from God.  This flies in contradiction to the Socratic Method of questioning everything.

While Socrates uses introspection to gain his worldly knowledge, Jesus uses the voice of God for his actions and even uses violence as seen in the cleansing of the temple:

In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the moneychangers at their business. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers, and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade." {John 2:14-16 RSV}


There are similarities between the two.  They both fought repression and died for their causes but to associate both is just as wrong as to say that Creon was Oedipus’ brother.-DavidG

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RE: Two Excerpts from "The Rose's Tears"

Postby ~Robert~ » Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:39 am

Dear DavidG. Thank you for your feedback. First, let me make one thing clear: Under the head “An Interesting Debate on a Great Book”, “great” refers to Patterson’s book Freedom, not the novel. It is really a great book.

Before reading the novel The Rose’s Tears, I knew nothing of it. But as the novel makes mention of it, I thought it of interest to bring the existence of such novel to the audience’s attention. Its protagonist expounds ideas that are often at odds with those expressed in Freedom. As Freedom is by American author, I thought it would be OK to point out how certain ideas in Freedom are seen through the eyes of a foreign author for two reasons: a) he belongs to the Eastern culture; b) his country has been under oppression. That could be some kind of feedback on Freedom. Whether the comments of his novel’s protagonist are sound or not, that’s beyond me to decide.

The novel contains several letters the main character, Viktor, sends to Patterson. The letter we are currently discussing (on Socrates and Jesus) is one of them. And, Mr. DavidG, please don’t address me as if I were a scholar, a sage, or some expert on such stuff. I’ve read books (mostly fiction), but I’m not as learned as you are in philosophical matters. If I took a shine to a certain book, that doesn’t mean I am able to discuss about it profoundly. However, I’ll try to say a few words.

Of Socrates and Jesus you say, “Both meet the same end and fight the same battle but through different directions. Socrates uses logical thinking while Jesus uses faith.” That is true and vindicates the point of Viktor’s letter. Which is: Socrates upheld the freedom of speech, and this venture cost him his life, while Jesus upheld mankind’s being free of their sins, not be enslaved by sins, and this preaching cost him his life too. Indeed, common folk who believed in Jesus’ words were free of their sins, “because it was He who has freed us from our sins by His blood…”

The gist of Viktor’s letter is: both Socrates and Jesus are fighters of freedom. Without never intending to bring down Jesus’ method of convincing people through faith, I think that Viktor finds “the Socratic method of questioning everything” (as you rightly put it), to be more rational and helpful. My personal opinion is that the world would have never reached the standard of development in science and other branch of learning it has today if people had acted on “teachings purely on faith” alone. It is through “Socrates uses introspection to gain his worldly knowledge…” that has lead mankind to those great discoveries through centuries.

As to your reference of Jesus as using violence in cleansing the temple, I don’t see any point of connection to our discussion. I think it OK for the trade to be forbidden in a temple or church, but outside them trade is OK, and it is one of the most powerful engines that has propelled development and growth in mankind’s history.

You admit that “there are similarities between the two [Socrates and Jesus]. They both fought repression and died for their causes…” That is what Viktor’s letter points out. But, unlike you, he stresses their struggle for freedom. After all, this is Viktor’s personal opinion. He adores Socrates for his “using introspection to gain his worldly knowledge…”, as you rightly say. And not that alone, as Socrates also uses witticism, civic courage, defiance to pseudo-democracy, denunciation of government high officials’ corruption, and teaching self-confidence and self-knowledge to young people (you know his famous saying: ‘Know thyself’), and so on. Viktor holds him a “speaking newspaper…” and the first man in history to practice freedom of speech with such bravery that it cost him his life. Viktor commends Socrates in that he being a mortal he knew he would never resuscitate. There is where his greatness lies. I don’t know Socrates to believe in reincarnation. This is a Buddhist or any such other theory. As to Jesus, he knew that he would rise from the dead, as he is immortal. So there’s a great difference in bravery between the two.

As far as I understand these matters (I’m an ordinary reader, not a scholar, like you, and I greatly respect Your thoughts), what Socrates and Jesus have in common is their spirit of fighting for freedom, no matter for what kind of freedom they fight for. Here is the interface they both meet. I personally think Viktor is right in asking of Freedom‘s author to have attached more importance to such a philosopher as Socrates.

I see the message of Viktor’s letter as not to arbitrarily associating Socrates with Jesus, but as a sincere desire to stand for a philosopher he prefers. I’d like to stress that The Rose’s Tears is a piece of fiction, not a philosophical book. It contains a range of dimensions other than its protagonist’s letters addressed to Freedom’s author, which are in keeping with the main thread that pervades the book from start to end – an entire people’ sufferings from lack of freedom.

Regards,
Rob

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RE: Two Excerpts from "The Rose's Tears"

Postby TheRazor » Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:19 pm

Dear Robert, my friend. I did not mean to suggest that you are a scholar and neither am I. I have dabbled in college but found the idea of wasting valuable time and my own money on knowledge that I can get on my own is a waste of time. I am the salt of the earth, who rises in the morning and works with his hands. I have a yearning for knowledge, a love for reading and a desire for writing.

It is true that Socrates and Jesus are fighters of truths but so are so many others who have fought for freedom and have been repressed. It would have been wiser to associate Jesus with Zoroaster, Muhammad, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, Adam, Baha’u’llah, Noah, Saleh, Krishna and Hud. These are men that preach on faith, have been repressed and became martyrs. And it would have been wiser to associate Socrates with Confucius, Locke, Gandhi, Dali Lama, Jean-Jacques and Sun Zi.

To say that, “Socrates did what Jesus would do four centuries later. The two of them represent two examples that meet on all points, except the former was a son of man, the latter a son of God. Socrates was earthly, Jesus Hypostatic,” is wrong. They are oil and vinegar, no matter how much you try to mix them they are utterly different in philosophy, methods of teaching and beliefs.

My broaching of Jesus’ use of violence in the cleansing of the temple is to show the utter differences in methods of teachings. Socrates never used action to teach but only introspection.

On Socrates’ philosophy on reincarnation, is mostly taken on Plato’s teachings on Pythagoras and Empedocles philosophers. Many of Socrates great works were lost in the burning of the great library, so much of his wisdom is passed down through his pupils.

You say that, Unlike you, he stresses their struggle for freedom. In my opinion, Jesus was fighting persecution under the Roman rule and preached for a higher moral ground for his people but not for freedom, for he stressed certain rules on how we are to live our lives. Now our topic shifts to the type of freedom we are discussing. Is it an absolute freedom or a society free from a repressive ruler but still a society governed by laws?



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RE: Two Excerpts from "The Rose's Tears"

Postby ~Robert~ » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:57 am

Dear DavidG, I’ve never meant it’s been you to suggest my opinion of you. I am the salt of the earth too. I’m an ordinary reader who’s fond of a certain book, which doesn’t mean I’m the most appropriate person to review or analyze it. However, I’d like to write down a few words following up your comment.

It’s true that there are many freedom fighters in the history of mankind, and we can’t mention them all here. The names you mention such as Zoroaster, Muhammed, Buddha, etc. are exponents in religious matters. In my previous discussion I’ve stressed one point: the similarity of Socrates and Jesus as the first “speaking newspapers”, as two brave and intrepid free speakers, and as two fighters for freedom. It is commonly known that they differ in all other points, philosophy and all.

From the Scriptures we know that Jesus struggles for the freedom of folks from sins, that is, “because it was He who has freed us from our sins by His blood…” But you seem to overlook this key feature in His personality. Which surprises me, as that is His primary mission, associated, of course, with other missions such as “his fighting persecution under the Roman rule… His preaching for a higher moral ground for his people… for stressing certain rules on how we are to live our lives…” etc., to which we can add, “His call to follow Him, that is, the Lord’s path”; his preaching on “Love, fraternity, decent conduct, human kindness, forgiveness…” and so on.

You point out that Jesus didn’t fight “for freedom”, and if you mean by that for “political and national freedom” (that is, the liberation of his people from Rome), you’re right, as He didn’t.

It is true that Socrates and Jesus are “truly utterly different in philosophy”, as you say, but in the letter I’ve taken from the novel there’s no reference to any common ground of the two of them in their philosophies. It is love of freedom what unites THEM and all other freedom lovers and liberators in the world, of whatever background. Freedom is manifold: freedom from religious oppression (like the oppression the rabbis imposed on people with regard to old laws in Jesus’ time); freedom from political oppression (there’re too many examples to bring here...); freedom from a foreign rule (there are numberless wars fought for this kind of freedom, and our American people’ struggle for freedom from the British rule is a brilliant example… ); freedom from fear… ; freedom from the repression of free speech (Peter Zenger’ case in 1735: his trial over the freedom of speech, and so on). Thus, my point of discussion is specifically on the following kind of freedom: Socrates and Jesus’ bravery in expressing their thoughts freely and loudly defying authorities, which cost them their lives. Of which you yourself admit that they “both were fighters for freedom”, irrespective of their different methods.

I beg your pardon, but I don’t know of any reference to Socrates’ belief in reincarnation in Plato’s teaching on Pythagoras and Empedocles. I’d be appreciative if you could quote what Plato has exactly said in his teachings in relation to Socrates’ belief in reincarnation. Maybe I’m wrong, but Socrates had nothing to do with this theory.

However, I find the letter of the novel’s protagonist interesting as it emphasizes what these two great individuals mentioned in the book Freedom had in common: their conviction for propagating their beliefs, which in essence is: for the freedom of speech.
Regards, Rob.

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RE: Two Excerpts from "The Rose's Tears"

Postby TheRazor » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:55 pm

Robert, my friend.  Plato talks extensively about reincarnation in his Theory of Forms.   In his argument from Perfection, he debates that no one has ever seen a perfect circle, nor a perfectly straight line, yet everyone knows what a circle and a straight line are.  Plato states that through reincarnation we can have a recollection of the perfect forms and it is through birth that we forget the Forms.  If you can recollect all of the Forms and love them than you could escape the circle of reincarnation.   Aristotle’s theory on this is called Hylomorphism.  Though there is no concrete connection of Socrates and reincarnation because many of his works were destroyed and it is impossible to know who said what in Plato’s Dialogs , it is can be assumed that he held these beliefs also because he was Plato’s teacher.

I do not argue that Jesus and Socrates were “Speaking Newspapers”, but I am contending that saying “The two of them represent two examples that meet on all points, except the former was a son of man, the latter the son of God.”   To use that all encompassing terminology is deceptive and wrong.

Let’s get back to Patterson’s novel.  His main thesis on his book is that only slaves truly know what freedom is.  I take it that you are in disagreement with this and so is Prone, though I haven’t read his book, so I withhold comment on him.  But I would like to get your opinion on why you disagree with this.-DavidG 

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RE: Two Excerpts from "The Rose's Tears"

Postby ~Robert~ » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:24 am



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