THE MAN WHO LOST A THOUGHT: Socrates and Meno (Post XXII)

The sad man surprised me with his story about the dialogue between Socrates and Ion. The Euripedes’ magnetic stone of Heraclea was quite interesting. I decided right then and there that I would have to read about it and decide for myself if the sad man’s insight was correct.

Yet there was one more thing that he wanted to tell me about.

I patiently waited and, once again, he did not disappoint me.


“I wish that Socrates’ insights would have explained it all. However, they did not.”

“I still wanted to search for my original thought. I was driven to search even though my original thought may not have been original. I remained convinced that it was not an inspired one but just as original as I thought. Earlier today, as I sat here under this pine tree, I remembered a discussion that Socrates had with Meno.”

“It was a discussion regarding mimesis; the mimicking of things that had existed previously. The dialogue between Socrates and Meno took on the connotation of the Idea; the original thing. I think of it in simpler terms.”

“An Idea is what happens when original man sat on the ground and placed his food on a rock next to where he sat. The rock is the original Idea for a table. An observer sees this and is inspired to make a table from a wooden slab. A second observer adds legs to the table and the mimeses has modified the original Idea into unrecognizable form. The Idea starts and the chain of magnetic rings begins.”

“Where did the original Idea come from? A muse? The Gods? Why did original man put his food on the rock table? Is there instinct born into us? A hound has the instinct to track rabbits. Is there some instinct in us that creates the Idea?”

“One of Socrates dialogues speaks of an uneducated slave. The slave had overheard someone speak of a geometric problem. The slave quickly solved it.”

“How did he correctly answer a difficult puzzle of geometry? How does the slave do this? Does he have an instinct of geometry? Did he carry this from a previous life? Is he now oblivious to that previous life? Is this where instinct comes from?”

“This morning, right under this pine tree, all those thoughts came rushing back. It was only then that I became horrified about my quest.”

“Even if I thought that I had an original thought, and lost it, the thought could not have been original. It must have been a mimesis created from something I saw in the library or a previous life. It was not an Idea in its original sense. It was a result of my own conceit that I viewed this lost mimesis as my own essence; an original and lost thought.”

“What had I done? I had spent my life chasing other people’s dreams.”

“The libraries, museums, institutions of learning; was all of it a wasted life? I would have been better off not meeting that little blond girl. I could have lived in the woods. Maybe that was an original Idea, an instinct, a drive caused by a previous life; living as a woodsman.”

“At that moment I knew that I never had an original thought. In fact no one in this post-modern world has an original thought. Thoughts are a mimesis of our world as we represent it to ourselves. What had I done? What had I done?”

Again the sad man burst into tears and sobbed uncontrollably. I let the emotion subside before I gave him a thought of my own. Surely my thought was not original either. However, it was the best thought I could offer at the time.

I finally interrupted his story to add my own viewpoint.


About Waldo "Wally" Tomosky

I am proud of my work life (not the jobs, just the work).  Bait monger  Lawn mower  Paper boy  Windshield cleaner in a drive-in theater (if you don't know what a drive-in theater is there is no sense in you reading any farther)  Snack shack janitor in a drive in theater (ditto for drive-in theater)  Milling machine clean-up boy in a tool and die shop  Plastic injection press operator  Centurion in the US Army  Factory hand  Apprentice boy  Tool and die maker  Software user manual writer  Computer programmer  Ex-patriate par excellence  Engineering manager  Software test manager  Retiree  University administrator  System analyst  Retiree (2nd try)  Licensed amateur paleontologist  Retiree (3rd try)  Shovel bum (archaeology)  Retiree (4th try)  Delivery driver  Retiree (5th try)  Graduate student (skipped AA and BA due to the level of difficulty)  Retiree (finally got the drift of it) I have been writing for fourteen years and have fifteen books on Amazon/Kindle. Some horror, some twisted, some experimental, some essay and a few historical. I think that now I will really, really, really retire and just write. Lets see if I can do retirement correctly this time!
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3 Responses to THE MAN WHO LOST A THOUGHT: Socrates and Meno (Post XXII)

  1. Reblogged this on waldotomosky and commented:

    Episode Twentytwo

  2. cindy knoke says:

    Fascinating, well written and erudite!

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