The story about Socrates and Ion was finished; or so I thought.
The sad man surprised me. He had a bit more to tell about the magnetic stone.
“Socrates told Ion that the power in Euripides’ magnetic stone of Heraclea was so intense that it could make an iron ring attach itself .”
“Socrates pointed out that the ring that dangled from the magnetic rock could also become inspiring. This could result in another ring dangling from the first ring.”
“The magnetic rock remains the original inspiration. However, the first ring is supremely inspired and has added new depth and meaning to the original idea. This inspiration has modified and added to the original thought. Socrates points out that this allows the first ring to draw another ring to itself.”
“Socrates asks Ion if he has ever seen any of his audience cry or laugh. Ion answers ‘Yes’and then realizes that he has inspired the audience. Ion has become the first ring and the emotional listener has become the second ring. This sequence could go on infinitum until the original thought is no longer recognized; and sometimes no longer inspiring.”
“Socrates also points out to Ion that his gift was an inspiration and not a skill. Ion’s rhapsodizing of Homer’s stories did not make Ion skilled in what he spoke about. It was an inspiration that carried Ion away; a divinity. The ultimate inspiration is drawn from the magnetic stone; Euripides stone of Heraclea, the metaphor. The ultimate inspiration comes from the gods.”
“The original thought carries so much inspiration that it holds a long chain of rings to itself. Therefore men do not create art because they are artisans. They create art because they are inspired. Physicians heal people because they are artisans; they practice their art.”
It was getting to be late in the afternoon and a cool breeze could be felt. The sad man was quiet for a minute or two before he continued his story.