Jonathan Wolfman quoted Socrates on the younger generation and wondered:
Of whom/of what does this say most...
I answered with
everyone's tossing for change
yet mourns it day after day
yearning for that which he will see
wishing back what once was seen....
the second stanza of a Dutch Hymn, titled Rest my soul, very popular among believers.
I gave it a second thought, and I think the question deserves an independent post.
For starters, the invention of our Jewish Christian roots, a good thirty, forty years ago, when everyone told us of our Jewish Christian roots, as we told everyone of them: that heritage, to which we likely and so eagerly seem to concede these days - a bit different from our Greek Cultural roots.
Our great example is the relationship between the Father and the Son. There is an important difference in their approach to the world of the sinners, and we are happy with the progress of the views of the Son.
If it was for God, we all would feel his punishment: hell's destruction.
It is because of his Son that some of us ... not everyone, not me Jonathan ... that some of us will be redeemed.
I do not know if Open Salon is mirroring leftish America, but we all want a bit progress, isn't it?
Well, praying for progress will bring change.
And change will bring unrest.
To quote the highly regarded literature of the Psalms:
Why art thou cast down, O my soul
and why art thou disquieted within me?
So, the tribes of Jacob wanted to leave Egypt in change for freedom. After a lot of war during years that fairly outnumbered the 40 years in the desert, they have settled in Palestine, to sing their psalms. But the Tehillim speaks mostly of uneasy feelings, to say the least.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul is repeated three times in the psalms 42/43 which you can consider to be one.
And still to hear: the echo of the last lines of psalm 25
Redeem Israel, O God
out of all his troubles
As William Hamilton, the Scottish philosopher, said of mankind: they floundered on from blunder to blunder.
I'm thinking of two great American movies, The Graduate and Guess who's coming to dinner. Movies from the sixties, mirroring the changes that took place in that era.
We loved these stories, didn't we? And not only because of the intrinsic quality, which was reflected in the award nominations.
You witnessed the changes.
You believed in change!
But the pain is visible and touchable.
James M. E., commenting Jonathan, spoke of Socrates executed for corrupting the youth.
No James, the story is quite different - you know there's a distance between history and history writing. It was Bart Ehrman, your fellow American, who teaches us about the stories made up around Jesus - and he sighed his fate of being a biblical exegete: why is no one ever complaining about the corruption of the texts of Plato?
And indeed, it's the same problem with Socrates.
Like the disciples of Jesus made up a lot of stories, Socrates' disciples didn't want the remembrance of Socrates being smeared with what could be easily explained as suicide. And they invented the story of this trial and sentence.
But the story of Socrates' death is a bit different; see the (apocryphal) account of his death, told by another of his followers.
It was a sunny day and Socrates left his house to have another chat with the people in the town.
His wife, Xanthippe, standing in the door opening, shouted at him (as always):
Can't you help me with the gardening?
Or do some other decent work?
Why is it always on me to clean the shit up?
Her voice as shrill as a dentist's drill.
well, actually there were no dental drills in the Greece of Socrates, and certainly not the shrill ones; must be corruption of the text, introduced by a 19th-century copyist; but sure he must have felt it this way ...
Most of the time Socrates was amused.
Not this time - probably being hunted by bad dreams of the night before.
So he turned on his way and shouted (which he never did):
Get out of my way, woman.
Leave immediate my house and don't dare to return.
But she didn't.
Instead of this she shouted again:
O no, we all have to bear our cross.
You have to drain to the lees.
actually, it's a bit early for those days to speak of bearing ones cross or ad fundum, must be text corruption caused by a 4th-century copyist ...
And she smashed the door in his face.
And there goes Socrates, those last words echoing You have to drink to the last drop.
And he is thinking of his happy youth and the change that came with Xanthippe.
And he becomes very depressed and before the end of the day he has made up his mind.
So he gave his last lecture to the youth of Athens about the difference between figurative speech and literal sense and, to depict the thing realistically, he filled a teacup with poison and drank it to the last drop.
The moral: if you want some change: don't spoil it with nostalgia.