Platonism and the Big O

ScionofDestiny 05-01-2006 08:53 PM
Because of the fragmented nature of my threads that individually try to explain the Platonic concepts in Big O, I have decided to draw up this cohesive, "big point" treatise on the subject.

I will begin by identify the Forms. If you want an accurate depiction of the Forms, look elsewhere - this will be true, but I will gloss over many of the specifics for the sake of relevancy.

Plato is a Greek philosopher who was tutored and highly effected by Socrates - a philosopher who taught ethics, moral and virtue were the source of all worldly good. Plato was highly effected by Socrates and actually used his master as a character in his books who points out the ignorance in people. Whether the Forms was Socrates idea or Plato's is disputable, but most people credit it to Plato.

- The Forms exist in apart from our own. In Plato's Republic, Plato demonstrates that the world we see around us is a lie in every sense of the word. He explains that our universe is just the shadow of the true universe, which he calls the "world of ideas" and which scholars call "platonic heaven". He says the "world of ideas" is an eternal world where everything is constant, enlightened, and true, whereas our own world is ruled by chaos, change, and inconstiancy of act and thought.

Plato explained that all things come from and are one with the Forms, which he called the archetypes of reality, and says we all have deeply rooted memories of them inside us - and that sometimes, we can almost see or feel them.

In Plato's view, all things, material and immaterial, are based on the Forms. Thus there is the Form of Courage, the Form of Thought, the Form of Idea, the Form of dogs, cats, chairs, TV's, and human beings - pretty much everyone and everything. In Plato's view, the Form of Good is synomonous with "God" and we should always aspire to be good because of it.

- Next, Plato demonstrates that a person can escape from the false reality by explaining the "allegory of the cave". He says that we are prisoners bound in a cave, and that a fire behind us casts off images of the true things behind us.

Next he says that a prisoner can free themselves, but that the fire behind them will blind or burn them - and distract them from the truth. He also says that the sun will blind them once they get outside of the cave.

He says that one can only return to this enlightened state - being one with the Form, which he called the "archetypes" - for limited amounts of time. People always are distracted by the reality around us and also seek to free other people, raise them, and make them aware of the truth outside the cave.

Now for Big O ...

- Plato insisted that people can remember the Forms - that we have built in memories and knowledge of the Truth. This is synomonous with Paradigm City and the world prior to forty years ago - Paradigm City being the false reality and the world prior to forty years being the true reality.

- Moreover, Plato said that the sun was the image of the Form of Good - that all life, crops, and everything else is credited to the sun, the changing of years, and all other concepts. The sun is entirely unpresent in Paradigm City - and they make a big deal out of this. Thus the Form of Good is absent from Paradigm City.

- Many people in Paradigm City are clones or androids based on people prior to forty years ago - including Roger and Dorothy. Thus the True Forms are the people in the world prior to forty years ago, whereas Roger and Dorothy are trapped in the world of reality (the cave without sunlight).

- In short, people in Paradigm City are archetypes of people prior to forty years ago.

- Schwartzwald (in Big Duo Inferno) attempts to leave the Dome, explaining that "this is the truth I was searching for". He likely means he has realized that the true reality is outside the Domes - that Paradigm City really is just a stage where people before forty years ago "ideas" - or real people - live and act. Plato also explained that reality is a stage where the Forms can make us - ideas. He explains we are only part of what the Forms are though. Thus the Form of Roger imagines he is a Negotiator.

- The cases of memories of the World of Ideas - which is probably referring to the world the rest of us live in right now, thus presenting itself as irony - are too many to count. To start with, Roger complains in Act 14 that these memories of the people that existed prior to forty years ago - the Forms - are challenging the basis of who people in the present believes themselves to be. In Plato's view, the world of reality can lead people astray and make the act wholly different to their glorious Forms.

- The irony is that Plato taught our own universe was the false universe. In Big O, the world outside is the true universe and Paradigm City is the false reality. This means that Schwartzwald might escape from Paradigm City, only to learn that the truth he discovered it also a lie!

- That of course assumes that Plato is correct.

- There are more explanations - such as Beck and Schwartzwald and their own forays into the World of Ideas before Paradigm City

- The "tomato children" are the prisoners in the cave from the Allegory of the Cave. They are ruled by memories of the world of Archetypes. Moreover, the world burning around them symbolizes the cave and the fire of the cave. Gordon Rosewater explains "everything is a lie" to the tomatoes, thus meaning that the memories they have are just the false images from the shadows in the cave that they think is reality.