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Iris #’s 1- 8

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St George: Wiki Excerpt

Saint George and the Dragon

Miniature from a 13th-century Passio Sancti Georgii (Verona)

The legend of Saint George and the Dragon was first recorded in the 11th century, in a Georgian source. It reached Catholic Europe in the 12th century. In the Golden Legend, by 13th-century Archbishop of Genoa Jacobus da Varagine, George’s death was at the hands of Dacian, and about the year 287.[27]

Saint George Killing the Dragon, 1434/35, by Bernat Martorell


   The tradition tells that a fierce dragon was causing panic at the city of Silene, Libya, at the time Saint George arrived there. In order to prevent the dragon from devastating people from the city, they gave two sheep each day to the dragon, but when the sheep were not enough they were forced to sacrifice humans instead of the two sheep. The human to be sacrificed was elected by the city’s own people and that time the king’s daughter was chosen to be sacrificed but no one was willing to take her place. Saint George saved the girl by slaying the dragon with a lance. The king was so grateful that he offered him treasures as a reward for saving his daughter’s life, but Saint George refused it and instead he gave these to the poor. The people of the city were so amazed at what they had witnessed that they became Christians and were all baptized.[28]

   The Golden Legend offered a historicised narration of George’s encounter with a dragon. This account was very influential and it remains the most familiar version in English owing to William Caxton‘s 15th-century translation.[29]

   In the medieval romances, the lance with which Saint George slew the dragon was called Ascalon, after the Levantine city of Ashkelon, today in Israel. The name Ascalon was used by Winston Churchill for his personal aircraft during World War II, according to records at Bletchley Park.[30] In Sweden, the princess rescued by Saint George is held to represent the kingdom of Sweden, while the dragon represents an invading army.

Excerpt II:



The martyrdom of Saint George, by Paolo Veronese, 1564


   A titular church built in Lydda during the reign of Constantine the Great (reigned 306–37) was consecrated to “a man of the highest distinction”, according to the church history of Eusebius; the name of the titulus “patron” was not disclosed, but later he was asserted[by whom?] to have been George.

   The veneration of George spread from Syria Palaestina through Lebanon to the rest of the Byzantine Empire—though the martyr is not mentioned in the Syriac Breviarium[17]—and the region east of the Black Sea. By the 5th century, the veneration of Saint George had reached the Christian Western Roman Empire, as well: in 494, George was canonized as a saint by Pope Gelasius I, among those “whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to [God].”

The early cult of the saint was localized in Diospolis (Lydda), in Palestine. The first description of Lydda as a pilgrimage site where George’s relics were venerated is De Situ Terrae Sanctae by the archdeacon Theodosius, written between 518 and 530. By the end of the 6th century, the center of his veneration appears to have shifted to Cappadocia. The Life of Saint Theodore of Sykeon, written in the 7th century, mentions the veneration of the relics of the saint in Cappadocia.[35]


    Hercules, too, rescued a maiden, a daughter of the father of Priam, Leomedon, from a sea monster, but then was jilted in payment, hence beginning the first Trojan war.


Xenophon on the Turn from Presocratic Philosophy: Memorabilia I. 11- 16

 Blog Preface

  At the root of our theoretical attempt to reset the foundation of psychology is the suggestion that we simply follow Socrates in making the turn from pre-Socratic to Socratic philosophy. Our effort is to redirect psychiatry within a new comprehensive context- as distinct from dismissing what has been learned in the attempt to imitate the physical sciences. We assume a narrative: That modernity involved the attempt to turn to nature for an account of the fundamental causes of things, amounting to a Renaissance repetition of the ancient Greek discovery of nature. But the methods and models fail when addressing the human things, demonstrating a fundamental limitation of our science. Regarding man, simply put, our psyche-ology, does not attain knowledge. It addresses accidents and symptoms, while making itself a servant to the baser ends that usually govern mankind. What we say is that the science of the soul is no such slave. The obvious suggestion- if there has been a Renaissance repetition of the ancient Greek discovery of nature- is that we also follow ancient Greece in the emergence of Socratic from pre-Socratic philosophy. The following account of Xenophon allows one the best access to a direct account of the principle shown in the Socratic turn at the root of a psychology that may do more good than harm.

III. The Second Part of the Answer of Xenophon                        (original, pp. 15-23)

a) On I, i .10 The Impiety of the Other Philosophers in Conversation

b) On I, i .11-15  The Objections of Socrates to the Conversation of the Other                                                 Philosophers

c) On I, i .16 Socratic Conversation

1) The turn of Socrates to the Human Things

2) That Socrates Continued to study the Nature of All Things

3) The “What Is” Questions

4) Conclusion on Socratic Sophia and Phronesis

[From p. 15…

   …In attempting to show that Socrates was rather worthy of great honor from the city, Xenophon distinguishes Socrates from those who study the nature of all things, now called Pre-Socratic. In the second of three sections of the answer of Xenophon to the impiety charge in the indictment, he turn from the lack of impiety in the deeds to the lack of impiety in the speeches of Socrates. The account of the speeches aims to show that the jury “erred in judging what it is not manifest how they knew (I,i, 17).” At least part of the error of the citizens is to suppose that Socrates is the same as others,  those who talk about nature. Like the answer of Socrates to the old accusers in Plato’s Apology (18 a-24b), the account of Xenophon here serves to distinguish Socrates from the atheistic tendency  of the natural philosophers. This has been prepared by the discussion of Socrates’ daimon, which surely distinguishes him from the atheistic natural philosophers. It will be our aim here to follow out the theoretical section* of the account of this difference.

   Xenophon begins by saying that Socrates was always in the open, in the gymnasium or marketplace, speaking much to all who would hear, but never was he known to be impious in deeds seen or words heard:

…For he never spoke considering about the nature of all things in the manner of most of the others,as the sophists call the nature of the cosmos and the necessities by which each of the heavenly things comes to be.

                                                                                 (Memorabilia I,i,10)

Those who talk openly about the nature of all things are impious because the discovery of nature at the beginning of philosophy undermines the conventional beliefs in the mythic opinions of the first and most fundamental things, the origin or man and the way of the cosmos. Natural philosophy gives an account of the “necessities by which each thing comes to be” without reference to the gods, in terms of elements and motion. Jaffa gives a good example in his study of Lear: the belief that Zeus will punish human injustice by throwing lightening bolts is undermined by the account of the cause of lightening in terms of electricity. So is the belief that the care of the gods for men ensures that there is no disproportion between one’s just deserts and one’s fortunes (Mem. IV, iii,14; Hesiod, Works and Days, 238-285; Clouds, ). Men’s sight of the heavens and the earth is purged of the imagination. In the turn from the opinion of the city to natural philosophy, it is found that the gods have fled.

   In Plato’s Apology, Meletus asserts that Socrates believes the sun to be not a god, but a stone (26d). Socrates responds that Meletus has mistaken him for Anaxagoras. The atheism of the pre-Socratic thinkers is much like that of modern scientific “empiricism.” This seems to have emerged through a Renaissance repetition of the ancient Greek discovery of nature. It is the emergence of philosophy as such, rather than Socratic philosophy in particular, that undermines custom and is fundamentally at odds with pious belief. Yet, Socratic philosophy is a kind of philosophy.

   Upon the discovery of nature, it appears that justice or right is not natural, but exists only by human convention and agreement. Justice seems to be without trans-political support in the more general cosmos. Hence, Plato’s Republic. In his description of the discovery of nature at the origin of philosophy, Leo Strauss states:

   It is not surprising that philosophers should first have inclined toward conventionalism. Right presents itself, to begin with, as identical with law or custom or as a character of it.; and custom or convention comes to sight, with the emergence of philosophy, as that which hides nature.

Natural Right and History, p. 93)

[p. 17]

   According to Xenophon, Socrates, for three reasons, held that even to give thought to such things as the nature of all things, is madness. These reasons are two practical considerations surrounding a central theoretical objection. First, Socrates considered whether such thinkers came to give thought to such things upon believing themselves to see the human things sufficiently, or whether they were “roused from the human things to consider the divine things (ta daimonia) as leading them to what is fitting to do.”

   The question of what is fitting to do is more urgent for men than the question of the nature of all things. Do these thinkers then know this- what is fitting to do- sufficiently from the human things, or do they turn to the divine things in order to learn this? Natural philosophy is criticized for being useless, and for not seeking a good that is human (as is theoretical wisdom, Aristotle, Ethics, vi, 1141b 2-8). The natural philosophers  disregard the human things, which lead to a knowledge of what is fitting to do, knowledge of right action. It is possible that the natural things are called divine in accordance with the beliefs of the city. But again, one wonders if there is not some kind of contemplation of the nature of things that is not useless but leads to what is fitting to do.

   Secondly, Socrates wondered that “it was not manifest to them that human beings were not empowered to discover these things.” (I,i, 13). The evidence of this limitation of humans is that even the “greatest thinking” [Note 11] or hubristic, of these talkers did not agree with one another, but took extreme opposite positions on questions of the nature of all things. In this, they behaved madmen. For as madmen exhibit extremes regarding fear, shame and worship (some even worshiping wood (hule), so these talkers exhibit extreme opinions. Worrying about the nature of all things caused…

…some to believe being to be one, others, infinitely many, and some (to believe) all always to move, others never to move and some (to believe) that all comes to be and passes away, others that nothing ever comes to be and passes away.

                                                                                              I,i, 14

[p.18] The extremes of the madman regarding piety are analogous to the extremes in thought of those who give thought tio the nature of all things. Aspects of the regard of humans toward the gods are thus set in analogy with thought, corresponding to the distinction between characters of the passions and reason. This pattern of the presentation of the central objection of Socrates points to the question of whether or not the mean regarding piety is likewise analogous to the mean in thought regarding the first principles.

   The third objection of Socrates is, like the first, a practical objection. Socrates considered whether as those learning about the human things hope they are led by what they learn to do what they choose for themselves and others, those who pry into the divine things (ta thea) think that when they know the necessities by which each comes to be, that they will make wind (Aristophanes, Clouds, 385-395; Hippocrates, lost fragment), water seasons and other things when they need these things? Or are they satisfied only to know how each of these things comes to be (I,i, 15)? Do the natural scientists seek to apply their knowledge of the causes to produce the effects of these causes according to need,, mastering fortune and the elements as one obeyed by wind and sea? Or are they satisfied with knowledge for its own sake? Is the contemplation of these material and efficient causes, the theoretical wisdom of an Anaxagoras or Thales (Aristotle, Ethics, VI, 7, 1141 b 4-5), the same as that self-sufficient and thus satisfying activity which is the health of the best part of reason (Ibid., 1141 a 4)?

   Socrates own conversation was rather of the human things (I, i, 16). Through this kind of conversation one hopes to learn both what is fitting to do (.12) and to be able to do what one chooses for oneself and others (.15). “Xenophon in the Memorabilia (I,i, 16) links this knowledge to being kaloi te k’agathoi,” noble (beautiful) and good. Xenophon presents the difference of Socrates as that of one who is concerned with an entirely different subject matter than that of the natural philosophers. Xenophon is silent, though, regarding the commonality of Socrates with the other natural philosophers as philosophers. It will be helpful to follow the account of Leo Strauss in attempting to follow the account of Xenophon of the revolution or “turn” by which Socrates was different and yet similar, or the same in part, to those who converse about the nature of all things.

   By the turning from the divine or natural things to the human things, Socrates is said to have been the founder of political philosophy (Leo Strauss, NRH, p. 120, HPP, p. 4). [Note 12] Socrates is said to have been the first who called philosophy down from heaven and forced it to make inquiries about life and manners and good and bad things” NRH, p. 120). According to the most ancient reports, Socrates, after this turning, “directed his inquiry entirely into the human things” (HPP, p. 4). It seems that Socrates was induced to turn away from the study of the divine or natural things by his piety (HPP, p. 4). The account of Xenophon here (I,i,10-16) of the founding of political philosophy appears to agree with these ancient reports in ascribing the complete rejection of natural philosophy to the origin of Socratic or political philosophy.

   But Strauss emphasizes that Socrates continued the study of the nature of all things, even if he did not do this openly. While Socrates was always in the open, Socratic natural philosophy may yet be hidden, even in or through this open conversation. It is not itself open or apparent to all. Strauss reveals an excellent example of this character of Socratic conversation when, in interpreting the central objection of Socrates to the natural philosophers, he finds a piece of Socratic cosmology. Strauss writes that the list of the opinions of the natural philosophers would seem to imply…

That according to the sane Socrates, the beings are numerable or surveyable; those beings are unchangeable while the other things change, and those beings do not come into being or perish, while the other things come into being and perish.

                                                                Xenophon’s Socrates, p. 7

The Socratic cosmology is presented as the silent mean between immoderate extremes, analogous to the mean regarding fear, shame and worship neglected by the madman. Strauss states that “Socrates seems to have regarded the change which he brought about as a return to sobriety and moderation from the madness of his predecessors (NRH, p. 123). “Socrates did worry about the nature of all things, and to that extent, he too was mad; but his madness was at the same time sobriety: he did not separate wisdom (sophia) from moderation” (Xenophon’s Socrates, p. 7; Memorabilia III. 94). The cause of the turn of Socrates to the human things may have been his pursuit of wisdom rather than his piety.

   In describing Socratic conversation, Xenophon presents a list of questions which Socrates would consider. Xenophon, famously, writes:

   His own conversation was always considering the things of humans, what is pious and what impious, what is noble and what is base, what is just and what unjust, what is moderation and what madness, what is courage and what cowardice, what is a city and what a statesman, what is the rule of humans and what is a ruler of humans and what is a ruler of humans, and others, of which knowing would lead one to be noble and good, but ignorance (of which) is justly called slavery.

                                                                                 (Memorabilia, I,i, 16

   The “What is” question points toward the form or idea (eidos) of a thing and identifies this with its nature. Contrary to both custom and pre-Socratic natural philosophy, the nature of a thing is shown not in that out of which a thing has come into being (Memorabilia I,i, 12) but by the end which determines the process of its coming to be (NRH p. 123)., but by the end which determines the process of iots coming to be (NRH p. 123). Particular examples at their completion are those which most fully show the nature or class character of a thing. Because the kinds or classes are parts of a whole, thwe whole has a natural articulation, the natural logos. [Note 13] An example of a point oif this natural articulation is the fundamental twofold division between the “beings” and the “things” in the conjecture of Strauss of the silent Socratic cosmology presented above. In Book VI of Plato’s Republic, there are two kings, one the king of the intelligible and another king of the visible.

   Through the human things, Socratesa discovered a new kind of natural philosophy and a new kind of being. It is due fundamentally to this difference in object that Socratic philosophy differs from prersocratic philosophy, and from our natural history and science. Strauss states:

Socrates, it seems, took the primary meaning of the word “nature” more seriously than did his predecessors; he realized that “nature” is primarily form or “idea.” If this is true, he did not simply turn away from the study of natural things, but originated a new kind of the study in which, for example the nature of the human soul or man is more important than, for example, the nature of the sun (HPP, p. 5). Contrary to appearances , Socrates’ turn to the study of the human things was based, not upon disregard of the divine or natural things, but upon a new approach to the study of all things.

                                                                             (NRH, p. 122)

[In Plato’s Apology, Socrates distinguishes between divine wisdom, which belongs not to men but to “the God,” and his own human wisdom, which consists in part in knowing he does not have divine wisdom. There too, though, he claims not to know how to cultivate the human as well. It is strange that we should know the human without knowing the divine, but this is true in one sense, that the human is accessible.]

   Socratic philosophy presupposes and emerges out of pre-Socratic natural philosophy. Before turning to the human things, Socrates himself studied natural philosophy (Phaedo 99) Socratic philosophy emerges when the appeal from custom to nature regarding the causes is transferred from the direct inquiries of the natural philosopher into the divine or natural things, to be combined with the political concerns of man with right or justice. Socratic philosophy appeals from customary beliefs to nature in asking the “What is” questions, which are parts of the question of the nature of man and how men should live. [Note 14] The asking of the what is questions implies the attempt to ascend from opinion to knowledge regarding the nature of man. By asking what is the best life for man, Socrates discovered natural; right, and in this founded political philosophy. Strauss writes that ” the distinction between nature and convention which marks the emergence of natural philosophy retains its full significance for Socrates and for classical natural right in general” NRH, p. 121).

   From the inhuman madness of natural philosophy, not unlike the attempt to know “Being” directly in Metaphysics since Aristotle, Socrates returns to begin from the things that are first for us” NRH, p. 123-4), from opinion, (NRH, p. 124), from [page 22] the visible looks eidos), or from common sense (NRH, p. 123). Socratic philosophy begins from custom or from the beliefs of the city (Mem. IIV, iv, 30-31; Aristotle ethics, 1096 b1-12), regarding the way of the cosmos and the things good anmd bad for man. This teaching of custom is embodied in “visible” poetic images for apprehension by the human imagination. Conversation regarding the most important things ascends from opinion because opinion proves to point toward knowledge and truth as qan artifact points toward its original. Strauss states:

   The opinions prove to be solicited by the self subsisting truth, and the ascent to the truth proves to be guided by the self subsistent truth which all men always divine.                                                                                        (NRH, 124).

But upon returning to the human things,Socrates does not hold conventional beliefs  conventionally, as axioms taken as known from which to reason downward toward a conclusion. For example, he does not begin as do his accusers by assuming that they know what piety is and what Socrates thought and conclude from this that Socrates is guilty of impiety for not believing in the gods of the city. Believing in the gods in which the city believes may not be the whole of piety. Socratic philosophy rather turn the opinions into “steppingstones and springboards to reach what is free of hypothesis at the beginning of the whole” (Republic 511 b5). Trust in the visible things is transformed into dialectical insight. [Note 15] Socrates cannot believe the conventional opinions as these are conventionally held any more than one could believe the shadows of visible artifacts tio be real things (Ibid, 514 b5).

   Strauss writes: We have learned from Socrates that the political things are the key to the understanding of all things (Thoughts on Machiavelli, p. 19. Also, Xenophon’s Socrates, p. 8). Socratic philosophy replaces the activity of the poet of making myths with the construction i8n speech of the best regime. On the principle that the political things are the key to the understanding of all things, the most thorough account of the good life and of the highest beings is presented by Socrates not in a dialogue on questions of metaphysics or epistemology, but rather, as in Plato’s Republic, in a dialogue on the regime (politea) which asks the question “What is justice,” and is answered by the theme of the best regime. The just and unjust are the central pair above in which the good form has a what and an opposite. The Socratic cosmology is seen reflected in the nature of the soul, which is in turn reflected in the political things, and especially the articulation of the best regime. (501 b1-7; also 506 e1-507 a3, 490 b4-5; 484 c2-d6,540 a8-b1; 368c6-369 a1).


 Socrates held that seeing the things of which the what is question is asked would lead one to be “noble and good (I,i .16). Socratic phronesis and sophia are joined in this activity. In the Socratic work of unfolding and going through the treasures which the ancient wise men have left written in books, Socrates seemed to Xenophon to lead those hearing into the noble and good (I, vi .14). Socrates is one who by his thought is the cause or source of eupraxa, well-doing or right action (Aristotle Politics VII.iii; Memorabilia I, iv .15). By Socrates’ contemplation, he is enriched with virtue (IV, ii. 9), which is wisdom (III, ix, 5), and thus blessed. By the activity of his well ordered soul among his companions (Strauss, XS, p. 116-117), they are led into the virtues, or into the noble and good (NRH p. 128, Aristotle, Ethics, 1144b12, 1145 a1-2).

   Because Socrates goes beyond the beliefs of the city regarding the highest beings, we find again that he is in a way guilty as charged, and that Xenophon hides his account by hiding the wisdom of Socrates. Xenophon hides the wisdom of Socrates because the city cannot judge correctly regarding the whole of wisdom from the appearances which can be made visible to all. The citizens cannot see the difference between Socrates and the natural philosophers which makes his similarity with them an aspect of his virtue. Socrates brings conventional piety to its completion in his contemplation of the beings, his moderate cosmology, just as Socratic foresight is the fulfillment of conventional divination. The attempt to reconcile the city to philosophy is limited to opinion. The philosopher can be reconciled to this limitation. After the ascent from opinion or law to nature, “It appears more clearly than ever before that opinion, or law, contains truth…” (Strauss, HPP, p. 4) It is possible for Xenophon to veil his account of the philosophic activity of Socrates in an account given in terms of opinion because of the analogous relation of opinion to knowledge, or because the many opinions point toward the philosophic life.

Postscript on Modern Psychology

   What is sanity and what madness” is one of the Socratic questions, showing the place of psychology within Socratic political philosophy. Psychology as a separate science was just emerging, as in the direct essay of Aristotle of the title Psyche, a study of dreams, and of course his Ethics, his “structure and dynamics” of the soul. He follows the fundamental division of the two parts of the soul, distinguishing “ethical” from intellectual virtue so well that it must be argued that the Good is still king of the intelligible, and that there is par excellence good and evil regarding intellectual virtue. The intellectual virtues are the measure of the practical and theoretical faculties disturbed in madness, not so that all the imprudent and unwise might be quickly drugged for the great benefit of the whole, but so that we have any scientific measure at all. The neurons and chemicals cannot provide this. In addition to ethical vice, there is intellectual vice, understood in the collective shadow figures of literature and history. But that Justice is the good of the soul, and either is or is necessary to human happiness, while the unjust soul is in faction with its own true nature and within and with the outside world- this ground is shown most clearly through the best regime beginning from the three part soul, before moving to the two and the transcendent one. The three part city and soul: where three elements appear in a type represented by Monarchy, Aristocracy and Polity, seeking reason, honor and pleasures or compassion- is the basis in thought of the common model or archetype that connects political science and psychology. These arise in each city due to the dominance of the elements of the spirited pursuit of honor and beauty, the wisdom of its assembly, and the baser concerns of the many, as written by Plato at the opening of Book VIII of his Republic.

   Our psychology and psychiatry must now follow the Socratic turn, or the destruction if our civilization is likely. The very science that unleashed these powers has hitherto made it impossible for us to inquire into how these powers might be used well, even telling us that it is impossible to know anything about these matters most important to man, while profiting by the sophistic spread of drugs and first principles hardly better than what is available to the common man. By showing us the Socratic turn to follow the Renaissance repetition of the discovery of nature, Xenophon’s Socrates a way to subordinate the new technologies within a genuinely scientific pursuit that is appropriate to the faculties of man, rather than the instruments os science extending the bodily senses.

P. S.: The whole of the paper from which this blog is derived may be typed out from the original printed copy in the Philosophy section, available in the menu above.

Notes [to III, a] pp. 15-

Note 11: Under custom, it is impiety to think big or great thoughts, a hubris the opposite of moderation, punishable by the gods. But Socratic philosophy seems to follow a path that is both great thinking and yet not immoderate toward the gods in the way that the sophists or natural philosophers are, because Socrates did not separate wisdom from moderation (III, ix, 4-6).

Note 12 NRH will be used to refer to Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History, HPP to The History of Political Philosophy.

Note 13: There is a similarity between the Socratic turn toward the eidai and the statement of John 1: 1 that the word (logos) was in the beginning.

*Taken from a 1985 paper for the class of Wayne Ambler on Xenophon, at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas. The Socratic turn has also been described in “Philosophic Psychology” and the Introduction to Philosophy essays in the menu at the top of the page.

The Dixboro Ghost: Commentary

   Here is a genuine ghost story for the Halloween season. Our Michigan local history of the Dixboro Ghost is told quite well by Carol Willits Freeman in her book Of Dixboro, Lest We Forget, and by Russel Bidlock, in a 1962 paper, “The Dixboro Ghost,” presented to the Washtenaw County Historical Society. This Michigan Pioneer ghost story, too, is especially astonishing in a number of ways that invite our musing and commentary in the harvest season.

   Among the reasons that this appearance or apparition is astonishing is that the man who experienced it testified in the Washtenaw County Court before the Justice of the Peace, in December of 1845, to nine separate apparitions between September 27 and November 6th of that year. In this, the ghost of Martha Crawford-Mulholland apparently revealed three murders- her own, that of her sister, and possibly of a tin peddler who disappeared when passing through Dixboro, his horse and cart left undisturbed. The ghost may also have prevented a fourth murder, that of her son Joseph, who would likely be in danger from her apparent murderer, James Mulholland. The Ghost herself seems changed- pacified- through the appearances. As she- the ghost of Martha- says in her final word,

I wanted to tell a secret, and I thought I had.

    Isaac Van Woert, the one who saw the ghost, was travelling to Ann Arbor when his wagon broke down, and he was forced to turn back to Dixboro. Isaac had come from Livingston New York seeking a life Michigan with his wife and two children. Even then, Ann Arbor was a flourishing town, while Dixboro seemed to develop less, and became a suburb, as if stuck in time. John Dix had founded the town, but was unpopular. Dix had left in 1833 for Texas, just three years after the brothers James and John Mulholland arrived in 1830. Dix and Mulholland together were assessed a 50$ “indictment” by the United States. And the Mulhollands live on the corner of the general store. James had a wife Ann, who had become ill and disturbed when her sister, a young widow from Canada, came to visit with her young son Joseph, then about 5 years old. Unknown to Isaac and his family, Ann, James and most recently Mary had just died in Dixboro, the pall of the funeral week barely passed. Van Woert saw that Mr. Hawkins had a building under construction, and applied for the work. Needing lodging, he was directed to Joseph Crawford, now about 15, whose mother Martha had just died, and whose house was then available. From where it is that Joseph is summoned, and why he is not himself living in his mothers house is important to our story, but it is noted that Joseph later married Jane, the daughter of a Mr. Whitney, who had recently bought property on the north side of Main street or Plymouth road. Joseph later bought and owned this property until 1864. As He is found by Isaac moving a load of stone, and may have been working in lots 7 and 8 on the Whitney house he would later own with his wife.

   The first time the ghost appeared, she did not speak. Three days after arriving, Isaac was before the front window, his wife gone to visit a neighbor, Mrs. Hammond, two “rods distant,” and his sons playing in the back yard, about sunset. Combing his hair in the window, where one might see a reflection, there appeared…

…a woman with a candlestick in her hand in which was a candle burning. She held it in her left hand. She was a middling sized woman, wore a loose gown, had a white cloth around her head, her right hand clasped in her clothes near the waist. She was a little bent forward, her eyes large and much sunken, very pale indeed; her lips projected, and her teeth showed some.

   She moved slowly across the floor until she entered the bedroom and the door closed. I then went up and opened the bedroom door, and all was dark. I stepped forward and lighted a candle with a match, looked forward but saw no one, nor heard any noise, except just before I opened the bedroom door, I thought I heard one of the bureau doors open and shut.

The courage and open mind of Isaac are noteworthy, as well as his rational and responsible proceedings, given human ignorance regarding such matters. It is interesting too that the ghost chose- or Isaac was able- to see and hear her, rather than for example Joseph, who would have been disturbed and not believed. The purpose does seem to be to make the matter public. A few days later, Isaac spoke of what he had seen, and learned then, for the first time that a widow Mulholland had lived there and had recently died. It is likely he spoke to Mrs Hammond, the neighbor, though it may have been to Jackson Hawkins. It does not seem he spoke directly to his landlord, the 15 year old Joseph.

   The second time Isaac sees her, still early in October, she speaks. she says,

‘Don’t touch me- touch me not.’

Isaac steps back and asks her what she wants She says to him:

‘He has got it. He robbed me little by little, until they kilt me! They kilt me! Now he has got it all!’

Isaac asks her then, “Who has it all” She answers:

‘James, James, yes, James has got it at last, but it won’t do him long. Joseph! Oh, Joseph! I wish Joseph would come away.’

   James had petitioned the court to become executor of the estate of Mary by having her declared incompetent. But as Joseph, and not James, is the landlord, this does not seem to have worked- yet. It is possible too that she refers to something else that James does have, such as money or gold, from the joint enterprise with John. It is not said how John dies, but throughout the story, there is no suspicion that he was murdered by James. It is possible that the event of the ghost prevents the plots of James from occurring. Throughout the appearances, it is as though the ghost were trying to protect her son Joseph, and figuring out gradually how this might be done. In the third appearance, she appears in the night in his room, and he does not know what hour it is, so it is as if he were awakened. Here she says:

James can’t hurt me any more. No! he can’t I am out of his reach. Why don’t they get Joseph away? Oh, my boy! Why not come away?”

It is almost as if she is calling Joseph to come where she is, out of the reach of James. And who is it she thinks of when she she asks, why  “they” do not get Joseph away?

The fourth appearance is an apparition that is of a scene past, rather than of the ghost herself, and includes a person then currently living. The testimony of Isaac is as follows:

   The fourth time I saw her about 11 O’clock P.M. I was sitting with my feet on the stove hearth. My family had retired, and I was heating a lunch, when all at once the front door stood open, and I saw the same woman in the door supported in the arms of a man whom I knew. She was stretched back and looked as if she was in the agonies of death. She said nothing, but the man said, “She is dying. She will die.” And all disappeared, and the door closed without a noise.

   As Carol Freeman relates, “The night before she died, she went to a neighbor’s house where she “fell into a fit of delirium” and was carried home by her brother-in-law. He was heard to say, “She is dying. She will die” (Freeman, p. 23). This neighbor is likely Mrs. Hammond, 2 rods distant. If Isaac has heard this from the ghost for the first time, the confirmation is astonishing.

   The fifth appearance is the first in daylight, at least since the ghost appeared in the windowstill in October, “about sunrise.” Isaac testifies, “I came out of my house to go to my work, and I saw the same woman in the front yard. She said:

I wanted Joseph to keep  my papers, but they are ____.

Van Woert explains, “Here, something seemed to stop her utterance. Then she said,

‘Joseph! Joseph! I fear something will befall my boy.’

Van Woert concludes, “And all was gone.” The papers may relate to the interest of the ghost in the bureau drawer, though another possibility for this will soon appear. James may well have stolen the papers from the division of his property with his brother John, which the ghost would intend to be passed on to her son Joseph.

   In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Horatio also sees the ghost, confirming it is not one mind’s delusion. Horatio, a scholar, explains that the ghosts of damned spirits return at sunrise from wandering because they fear “Lest daylight should look their shames upon.” According to Puck and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, these willfully exile themselves from light, in contrast with the Fairy sort of spirits, who “oft make sport” with the morning’s love.” Some Protestants believed that all ghosts were bad, while others did not believe in them at all, rejecting these with Purgatory. It is not clear what role the Dixboro Methodist church plays in the story. A R. Stoddard is a Methodist minister in Ann Arbor in 1839. But there is not yet a Church and preacher in Dixboro.

   In Hamlet, a ghost too reveals a crime, and there is similarly the difficulty of the protagonist to bring the murderer to Justice when the crime is hidden.

   The sixth appearance is again at night, at midnight, still in October. Again the room became light though no candle was visible, and Isaac sees the same woman standing in the bedroom. Isaac looks at his wife, afraid she will awaken, but the ghost tells him,

‘She will not awake.’

Van Woert testifies: “The ghost seemed to be in great pain; she leaned over and grasped her bowels in one hand and in the other held a phial containing a liquid. I asked her what it was. She replied,

‘Doctor said it was balm of Gilead.’

Then she disappeared. She does not say that it is this balm, but that the doctor said it was such. A balm, though, is not an oil in a vial, but an ointment. “Balm of Gilead” is made in the US from cottonwood trees (and so is similar to turpentine). In the Eastern Hemisphere, it is the original anointing oil, grown in the suburb of Jericho that would be Gilead, and this is a fragrant healing ointment. It is also the name for universal tonics or remedies as were popular at the time and sold by paddlers.

   The last three appearances concern the ghost’s own purgatory. While working at a bench as he did in the evenings, the same woman appeared, saying to him,

 I wanted to tell James something, but I could not. I could not.

Isaac asks her what she wanted to tell James. She answers,

‘Oh, he did an awful thing to me.

Isaac asks her who, and she answers,

‘Oh! he gave me a great deal of trouble in my mind.’ ‘Oh, they kilt me, they kilt me!’

which she repeated several times. Isaac then walks toward her, but she kept the same distance from him, as does a rainbow or mirage. Isaac asks her if she had taken anything that killed her. She answered,

‘Oh, I don’t____. I don’t _____.’

Isaac relates, “The froth in her mouth seemed to stop her utterance,” showing him what she could not tell. Then saying again, “They kilt me,” Isaac asks, “Who killed you,” and she answers: “I will show you.” Isaac then relates:

   Then she went out of the back door near the fence, and I followed her. There I saw two men whom I knew, standing. They looked cast down and dejected. I saw them begin at the feet and melt down like lead melting, until they were entirely melted; then a blue blaze two inches thick burned over the surface of the melted mass. Then all began bubbling up like lime slacking. I turned to see where the woman was, but she was gone. I looked back again, and all was gone and dark.

As copper has a green flame, we might consider whether lead or other metal has such as lead or arsenic happens to have a blue flame. The image of damnation, for murder, is similar to the melting of the Wicked Witch of the West in the movie the Wizard of Oz. The two men known to Isaac are James but not John, nor Joseph, but possibly the peddler selling the balm of Gilead. The only other man in Dixboro we know he knows is Hawkins, on whose building Isaac is employed, though it would seem strange if he already had met the peddler.

   In the eighth appearance, Isaac relates:

   The next time I saw the woman was in the back yard, about Eight O’ clock. P. M. She said, “I want you to tell James to repent. Oh! if he would repent. But he won’t. He can’t. John was a bad man,” and muttered something I could not understand. She then said, “Do you know where Frain’s Lake is? She then asked another question of much importance, and said “Don’t tell of that.”

Van Woert later said that what he was told not to tell pertained to the well at the corner of Mill and Main, near Martha’s house. The well has since been filled in. Frain’s Lake is up the road to the East about a mile or so.

   I asked her if I should inform the public on the two men that she said had killed her. She replied, ‘There will be a time, The time is coming. The time will come. But Oh! Their end! Their end! Their wicked end. She muttered something about Joseph, and all was dark.

   When Martha Mulholland had come to visit her sister Ann in 1835, she begun the courtship with John, and planned to marry him, when Ann, disturbed, told her a terrible secret about John and James that has never been revealed. Martha then attempted to break off the engagement and return to Canada, but according to the story James then threatened that she would never reach Canada alive. Still, it is difficult to explain why she would then remain and marry John, except that she was pregnant. A child Martha had with John had died shortly after his father. One does note that every person standing between James and the property of his brother has died untimely. One wonders about the earthly end of John Mulholland. Martha had been taken to see a doctor Denton at the University of Michigan in 1845, just before she died. She offered to tell the doctor the secret if he would then bleed her to death, as she did not want to live after revealing it. The doctor, though, refused of course, but never did reveal the secret, likely as according to the Hippocratic Oath.

   In the ninth appearance, she is dressed in white, and her hands hang down at her side, as though her doing were done. She “stood very straight,” and “looked very pale.” She said, “I don’t want anybody here, I don’t want anybody here. She then muttered words he could not understand, except occasionally the word “Joseph.” She then said to Isaac, “I wanted to tell a secret, and I thought I had.”

And all was gone and dark.

   The secret may be that James and John killed the peddler, and then killed every person who knew about this: John who told Ann, Ann who told Martha, Martha who told…  But does murder fit the secret which Martha would not want to continue living having disclosed? It is possible that because she told the doctor, and Isaac testified before the Justice of the Peace, the body of Martha was exhumed in January, as the public demanded when the testimony of Isaac became known. It was determined then, famously, that Martha was indeed poisoned, and by a person other than herself, though what the poison was is not said. Notes from this coroner’s inquest would be very interesting with the hindsight of 173 years of the progress of science.

   The well might have been checked for a bottle from poison. The lake, too could now be searched better, and the bodies of both Martha and Ann exhumed, along with that of John. Many records no doubt exist, such as from the lawsuits for slander- none of which were brought against Isaac Van Woert, who speaks quite carefully in his testimony. Isaac continued living in Dixboro for about two years.

   That the Mulholland property was sold at a Sheriff’s sale means that it was not sold when James left Dixboro. He may have disappeared, or even suffered a fate similar to those he made suffer. The alternative explanation for the appearance of the ghost is that it was part of a conspiracy to banish Mulholland “because of his mistreatment of both his wife and his sister in law.” But on the 1874 map of Superior Township, a W. and an S. Mulholland own property just east of Dixboro, so it may be that his wife and some children remained.

   Ellen Hoffman, in an article, “The Dixboro Ghost” in 3 parts [See Appended section], adds some details regarding James and John. The property division was made by John when he was near death and in failing health, and all was not in place when John died. John was two years older than James, though the arrived in Dixboro two years later. James had brought Ann from Canada, though her maiden name, the same as that of Martha-  is yet unknown. The Mulhollands came from County Monaham in Ireland, and later sold 40 acres to Samuel their father. Samuel petitions the court in 1846 to appoint his sons Sam and William executors, but he does not ask that James be so appointed. And these would be those names owning property east of Dixboro on the map of 1874. Hoffman finds the second wife of James as well….

A site called “What Lies Beyond” adds:

However, James didn’t leave the area immediately. In 1838, he had married Emily Loomis and when she died in 1847, the two had four young children, one of whom was only 4-weeks-old. Although there was no evidence to charge him with murder, or any other crime, townsfolk condemned James, then 34, for his greed and blamed him for Martha death. Because he was no longer welcome, he gathered up his family and belongings and departed Dixboro for parts unknown, never to be seen nor heard of again. In 1852, some of his former land holdings were sold at public auction.

In the end, Martha’s son, Joseph Crawford, inherited John Mulholland’s estate and by 1850, he was the only one of the principals with a connection to the Dixboro ghost still living in Superior Township. He was a successful businessman, married in 1855 and later settled in Livingston County.

[Note 1]

   Another reason that the Dixboro apparition is astonishing is the spirit-ology assumed by the ghost and the literary imagery. It is accurate, and includes things of which a carpenter and family man is not likely to think, while excluding anything false that would indicate it was the work of human contrivance. The wish of the ghost that James could repent means that the ghost has been freed from revenge or the inability to forgive, as though making it through purgatory. That James, or such a murderer, cannot repent, as though they had extinguished the light of their own conscience, here too has another example. In these cases, it is as though the soul itself of the community wished to purge the disturbance, as of terrible crime. In murders, bodies are said to rise toward the surface, symbolically true. Socrates too notes that crime of public significance is sometimes revealed by a kind of divine madness (Phaedrus 244d-e). Yet it is difficult to imagine one more sane in his proceeding, having seen and spoken to a ghost, than Isaac Van Woert.

Note 1: Author: Graveyardbride.

Sources: John Robinson, WFMK, April 29, 2017; Ellen Hoffman, GLakes-Tales Blog;; Washtenaw Impressions, Washtenaw Historical Society; and William B. Treml, Ann Arbor News, October 31, 1972.


II The Dixboro Ghost: Psychological Commentary

   What Socrates says to Phaedrus is that love should not be rejected and favors given rather to the non-lover on the grounds that love is a madness, because there are some forms of madness that are a gift from the gods, and love is one, like prophecy, tragedy and lyric poetry. As translated by Hackforth, Socrates tells Phaedrus…

…When grievous maladies and afflictions have beset certain families by reason of some ancient sin, madness has appeared among them, and breaking out into prophecy, has secured relief by finding the means thereto [fleeing to the gods in] prayer and worship, and in consequence thereof, rites and means of purification were established, and the sufferer was brought out of danger, alike for the present and for the future. Thus did madness secure for him that was maddened aright and possessed, deliverance from his troubles…

   The event of the Dixboro ghost is quite like this second form of divine madness, as Isaac is otherwise wholly sound. Phrenology being then the fashion in psychiatry, these were brought in, and the head of Isaac measured. He was judged “bilous” among the four humors.

   The story does not concern Isaac personally, and so is a collective content in the sense of an issue concerning the community.

The phenomenon of apparitions of course occurs, and the question is whether these are what they seem to us to be, or as these present themselves. It is especially interesting when true things are revealed. In this case, it is very odd that Martha shows Isaac the scene of James carrying her from the house of Mrs. Hammonds- showing him an apparition of both herself and one then living, in order to communicate a truth.

   As in the case of Hamlet, the question arises as to whether the event of the appearance of the ghost might not be caused by the conscience of the king, or in this case the conscience of James Mulholland. This is at least an intriguing third possibility that allows us an alternative on the question of whether or not ghosts exist. That a specter is produced for Isaac showing a both James and Martha, and the specter here is distinct from the person of the ghost, is also revealing and intriguing.

   From Shakespeare, a teaching of Horatio on ghosts relates the cause of their trooping home to their beds in Churchyards before the approach of the sun, “for fear lest day should look their shames upon,” as Puck tells Oberon. Oberon explains to Puck, though, that they, the fairies, are “spirits of another sort.” The key indicator is that he often consorts with the dawn sunrise.

   The central of the nine appearances occurs at dawn. An ordering of the nine appearances, in groups of three, also appears.

   And in his Life of Dion, Plutarch writes that Dion and Brutus, both students of Plato, were alike also in seeing an apparition:

…by preternatural interposition both of them had notice given of their approaching death by an unpropitious form, which visibly appeared to them. Although there are people who utterly deny any such thing, and say that no man in his right senses ever yet saw any supernatural phantom or apparition, but that children only, and silly women, or men disordered by sickness, in empty and extravagant imaginations, whilst the real evil genius, superstition, was in themselves. Yet if Dion and Brutus, men of solid understanding, and philosophers, not to be easily deluded by fancy or discomposed by any sudden apparition, were thus affected by visions that they forthwith declared to their friends what they had seen, I know not how we can avoid admitting again the utterly exploded opinion of the oldest times, that evil and beguiling spirits, out of envy to good men, and a desire of impeding their own good deeds, make efforts to excite in them feelings of of terror and distraction, to make them shake and totter in their virtue, lest by a steady and unbiased perseverance they should obtain a happier condition than these beings after death…

It is interesting in comparison that our Isaac Van Woert is not unsteadied, nor is his apparition ethically inferior or jealous of his happiness, but rather learns top hope James will repent.

   The purpose of our strange holiday called Halloween is, or can be, to accustom ourselves to facing terrors, including the innate human fear of the dead. Gazing once as a seven year old out the back car window into an empty field, I asked my mother, “What if there was a dead body out there! She wisely answered, “It is not the dead ones you have to worry about, but the living.” And so in martial arts, we teach overcoming the fear of the dark, and clumsiness, too. We notice too that at night, one approaches not out of the artificial light, but out of the darkness.

Late notes: Here is a breakthrough in Dixboro ghostology: On a hunch, I looked up Independence, Texas, in Washington County, there east of Amerillo and North ‘o Houston. Dix went there from Dixboro, and Mulholland was his buddy. Strangely, I found a very similar Mulholland family in Independence Pennsylvania, with numerous similar names and dates. A James Mulholland also appears in the earliest records of the Seventh Day Adventists out in Iowa, from where the “Spectator” wrote.

Isaac Van Woert turns out to be the grandson of Isaac  Van Wart who captured Major Andre in the Revolutionary War, leading to the arrest of Benedict Arnold. Bidlack reports this, but there is no record of our seer in Livingston county NY. It is rather Livingston city, where Van Wart is from, and has his grave. In capturing Andre, Van Wart and 2 others declined substantial bribes at a crucial turning point in the Revolution. So something of the spirit of his grandfather may have allowed Van Wart to see the ghost.


Appendix A: Ellen Hoffman on Mulhollands and the Dixboro Ghost

From “Dixboro Ghost Part 3: Are We Related?
…According to the 1881 History of Washtenaw County, the Mulhollands were a family of weavers in Ireland, but their professions shifted to farming and other trades after arriving in the U.S. James and John Mulholland worked diligently to earn money to buy the kind of large farms not attainable in their homeland. By 1832, the brothers obtained their first land patent for 80 acres in Section 18 of Superior County, the same section in which Captain James Dix, the founder of Dixboro, bought in that year. In 1835, after more of the family had arrived from Ireland, James purchased another 40 acres in Section 20, a parcel which was sold to his father Sam sr. and where my great-great grandfather Samuel Mulholland jr later farmed. The description of this latter property looked like this, rather arcane for those who are not surveyors or deed writers:

Sw 1/4 of the Nw 1/4 of Section 20 in township 2 South of Range 7 East [Superior] in the District of lands subject to sale at Detroit Michigan Territory containing 40 acres (Land patent, certificate 8030, issued 9 Oct 1835, to James Mulhollan of Washtenaw County Michigan Territory)

John and James had continued to buy homestead property in Michigan, expanding beyond Washtenaw and picking up large parcels in Livingston and Ingham counties in 1837. In a history of Livingston county, it was pointed out that the Mulhollands never lived on their homestead but sold it off for a profit in the following two years. 
The patents show John and James held all but the Section 20 lands in common not in joint tenancy. Just prior to his death and in failing health, court records show John arranged for a division of the land held by himself and his brother. While John attempted to get his estate in order before his death, he was unable to get all in place.

With John’s death in June 1840, Martha became the administrator of John’s estate under Probate Court order to produce an appraisal of “goods, chattels, rights, and credits” in 1840. When the estate had not been appraised, James went back to the Probate Court in 1841 indicating that it needed to be done and that there were debts to be settled and he was the primary creditor. The court ordered a $1000 bond to bring in appraisers, but in 1842 Martha herself indicated she was not able to comply due to failing health, and requested that the court appoint a new administrator to review the estate. Despite continued claims and counterclaims, the estate remained unsettled until 1846, when John’s father Sam sr. petitioned the courts to appoint his sons Sam jr and William, John’s younger brothers, as administrators. In the petition dated 19 Jan 1846, Sam was sworn as stating:

The undersigned Samuel Mulholland would represent that he is the Father of John Mulholland late of Superior in said county deceased that said John Mulholland died at Superior aforesaid sometime in June in the year AD 1840 intestate leaving real and personal property to be administered. The undersigned further represent that the said deceased has no children now living and that it is necessary that some person or persons should be appointed to settle the estate of said deceased as there are debts to be collected and paid. The undersigned would waive his right to administer said estate on account of his extreme old age and requests you to appoint Samuel Mulholland jr and William Mulholland brothers of said deceased and sons of your petitioner administrators for said estate upon their [young hand?] for the faithful discharge of that trust.

With Martha’s death in 1845, eventually most of John’s remaining estate formally went to his stepson Joseph Crawford, Martha’s son from her first marriage as there was no will. If James felt some resentment for Martha’s teenage son, not even a member of the Mulholland family, inheriting the land and money he had worked so hard to attain with brother John, and likely had further plans to exploit, it would not be a surprise.

   James left Ireland and immigrated to Quebec, Canada in 1826 and by 1829 was living in Washtenaw, Michigan. He was an early settler in Dixboro founded by John Dix. In county civil court records from November 1829, James appeared in the court with Dix for an indictment of $50 owed to the United States. The indictment does not indicate the reason for the assessment but it must have been paid, as the two were released on their own recognizance and ordered to pay up or appear at the next court session. They do not appear again at the next court session.

The exact date that James married his first wife, Ann Mulholland, is unknown as is her maiden name, although some reports indicate she came with him to Michigan. By the time of the 1830 census of Panama Township, later divided into Superior and Salem Townships as we know them today, James is listed as living with a woman (most likely his wife Ann) between the ages of 20 and 30, about the same age as her husband, and with a son under five. In 1834, the household had grown to five with the addition of another adult male, presumably brother John who immigrated in 1831, and a daughter under 5. These early census records did not have names for any but the head of household. As a result, the names of most of James’ children have been lost to us unless new records are discovered. Only one son of James is known from a sad story of a toddler who got too close to the fireplace and burned to death when his clothes caught fire. James jr. died after his mother Ann, living from 1835 to 1838.
Martha Crawford and son were not listed as living with her sister Ann’s family in mid-1834 when the census data was recorded. She is reported to have arrived in mid-1835 from the later court hearings related to her enigmatic death. John and Martha were married in December 1835 when John was 33. When John died in 1840, he left behind a son reportedly born in 1836 but who died later in the same year as his father.
James remarried to Emily Loomis in 1838 after Ann’s death about 1836-7, all before John then Martha died. While the ghost story claimed James and his second wife had only one stillborn child, in fact they had at least two more children. Further, he and his family did not flee immediately after the 1846 inquest, nor were any criminal charges ever filed against him. In an interesting vignette reported in a Universalist Church publication in 1847, Emily Loomis Mulholland’s death is noted, indicating the family remained in Superior Township: 

Death. In Superior, on Ap 25 last [1847], Mrs. Emily, wife of Mr. James Mulholland, in the 34th year of her age. She has left a husband and four small children, the youngest about four weeks old, also an aged Father and Mother, to mourn the loss of a faithful child and virtuous Mother. She has been a member of the Universalist Church in Ann Arbor about nine years. (published Dec 1847, The Expounder of Primitive Christianity, v. 4, p. 175)

By 1850, only Martha’s son, Joseph Crawford, remained in Superior Township of all the characters from the Dixboro Ghost Story. He retained his inheritances, with the records showing he owned property worth $1000. Joseph married in 1855, and by 1870 he too had left Superior Township, moving initially north in Michigan to Livingston County where other Mulhollands had settled, and later to Ogemaw where he became one of those revered early settlers, dying shortly after his move there.

Mounting Problems for James Mulholland

For James Mulholland, the evidence suggests his departure from Superior Township after the ghost inquest may have been as much about finding a wife or caretaker for his four orphaned young children rather than any guilt over what happened to his sister-in-law. He did not flee immediately as has been recorded in legend but did eventually move on, and over time, community sentiment eased after the initial hysteria brought on by the wild tales of Martha’s ghost and perhaps gossip by a few who didn’t like James. Whether the community feud also rendered family ties to his father and siblings is unknown, but Sam jr. did testify to the Probate Court in 1846 that there were unpaid liens on John’s estate, perhaps providing some evidence the family was sympathetic to James’s complaints.

Debts may also have contributed to the disappearance of James as suggested in earlier histories. His lands were seized by the courts for unpaid debts. Initially land in Section 19 of Superior was sold at public auction in late 1849 for debts owed by James, his brother-in-law William Loomis, and David Bottsford, another original land owner in Washtenaw County.James debt problems continued to mount. Frederick Townsend petitioned for redress in the Detroit courts in February 1850 and as a result James’ two remaining lots in Dixboro were seized by the sheriff of Washtenaw County. With no creditors coming forward after 15 months, the lots were auctioned at a sheriff sale in fall 1852. Townsend was allowed, rather conveniently, to purchase the two village lots owned by James for $100, far below the actual value. As history has since recorded, based on Michigan laws at the time, this process of land seizure and repurchase was a corrupt one in which a debtor could collect and profit with little evidence and often few others being aware of the court orders and sale.The ending of the recorded ghost story stating it is uncertain where James Mulholland went remains true, as neither he nor his children have been located in official records after Emily’s death in 1847 and with the loss of his property in 1850. 


Appendix II: Isaac Van Woert is a descendant of Isaac Van Wart who captured Major Andre in the Revolutionary War (Bidlock) : From Wikipedia:

Isaac Van Wart (October 25, 1762 – May 23, 1828) was a militiaman from the state of New York during the American Revolution. In 1780, he was one of three men who captured British Major John André, who was convicted and executed as a spy for conspiring with treasonous Continental general and commandant of West Point Benedict Arnold.[1][2]

American Revolution

A yeoman farmer, Van Wart joined the volunteer militia when New York was a battle zone of the American Revolution. Overnight on 22–23 September 1780, he joined John Paulding and David Williams in an armed patrol of the area.[1][2] The three men seized a traveling British officer, Major John André in Tarrytown, New York, at a site now called Patriot’s Park. Holding him in custody, they discovered documents of André’s secret communication with Benedict Arnold. The militiamen, all yeomen farmers, refused André’s considerable bribe and delivered him to Continental Army headquarters.[3] Arnold’s plans to surrender West Point to the British were revealed and foiled, and André was hanged as a spy. With George Washington’s personal recommendation, the United States Congress awarded Van Wart, Paulding and Williams the first military decoration of the United States, the silver medal known as the Fidelity Medallion. Each of the three also received federal pensions of $200 a year, and prestigious farms awarded by New York State.

Personal life

Van Wart was born in the farm country of Greenburgh, New York, near the village of Elmsford. He lived on the frontier and his birthdate is not recorded.

Van Wart married Rachel Storm (1760–1834), a daughter of Elmsford’s most prominent family (from whom the settlement’s original name, “Storm’s Bridge”, was derived). He divided his time between his family, his farm, and his church (he became an elder deacon of the Dutch Reformed Church). Van Wart was buried in the cemetery of the Elmsford Reformed Church in Elmsford, New York.[4] His tombstone said that he died at the age of sixty-nine.


Van Wart died in Elmsford and is buried in the cemetery of the Old Dutch Reformed Church on Route 9.[5] A marble and granite monument was erected at his grave on 11 June 1829, bears the single emphatic word “FIDELITY”, followed by this epitaph,

On the 23rd of September 1780, Isaac Van Wart, accompanied by John Paulding and David Williams, all Farmers of the County of Westchester, intercepted Major André, on his return from the American Lines in the character of a Spy, and notwithstanding the large bribes offered them for his release, nobly disdaining to sacrifice their Country for Gold, Secured and carried him to the Commanding Officer of the district, whereby the dangerous and traitorous Conspiracy of Arnold was brought to light; the insidious designs of the enemy baffled; the American Army saved; and our beloved country now free and Independent, rescued from most imminent peril.

The three militiamen were highly celebrated in their lifetimes: commemorations large and small abound in Westchester, and can be found in many disparate parts of the early United States. Among other honors, each of the men had his name given to a county in the new state of Ohio (1803): Van Wert County, bearing a common alternate spelling of the name, is in the northwest corner of the state.

Still, Van Wart and the others did see their reputations impugned by some. André at his trial had insisted the men were mere brigands; sympathy for him remained in some more aristocratic American quarters (and grew to legend in England, where he was buried in Westminster Abbey). Giving voice to this sympathy, Representative Benjamin Tallmadge of Connecticut persuaded Congress to deny the men a requested pension increase in 1817, publicly assailing their credibility and motivations. Despite the slight, the men’s popular acclaim continued to grow throughout the 19th century to almost mythic status. Some modern scholars have interpreted the episode as a major event in early American cultural development, representing the apotheosis of the common man in the new democratic society.[6]

Van Wart and his companions are honored on the monument erected at the site of the capture in Tarrytown, dedicated on June 11, 1829, by the Revolutionary general and congressman Aaron Ward of nearby Ossining.[7] A Van Wart Avenue is located on the south side of Tarrytown, near the Tappan Zee Bridge. Three streets in the neighboring village of Elmsford, New York, are named for the militiamen, with Van Wart Street being one of the village’s main roads. White Plains, New York, has a Van Wart Avenue in the southwest section of the city, off NY Route 22.


  1. Jump up to:a b Raymond, pp. 11–17
  2. Jump up to:a b Cray, pp. 371–397
  3. ^ [1]“Vindication.” From New York Courier; reprinted in American & Commercial Advertiser, February 22, 1817. Account of capture of Andre, in rebuttal to criticism by Rep. Tallmadge. Depositions by Isaac van Wart and his neighbors, intended to refute allegations he and his companions were bandits or “Cow-boys”; Retrieved July 25, 2011
  4. ^ Austin O’Brien (August 1983). “National Register of Historic Places Registration: Elmsford Reformed Church and Cemetery”New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  5. ^ Isaac Van Wart at Find A Grave
  6. ^ White, p. 49
  7. ^ “In Saw Mill River Valley: Elmsford and its Revolutionary Church and Graveyard” (PDF)The New York Times. 17 November 1895. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  • Bolton, Robert (1848). A History of the County of West Chester. Gould, Alexander S. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  • Cray, Robert E. Jr. (Autumn 1997). “Major John André and the Three Captors: Class Dynamics and Revolutionary Memory Wars in the Early Republic, 1780-1831”. Journal of the Early Republic. Univ. of Pennsylvania Press. 17 (3). doi:10.2307/3123941.
  • White, James T., ed. (1892). The Builders of the Nation. New York: Stanley-Bradley Publishing Co. Retrieved 25 August 2013.

Further reading

The First Meeting of Jerusalem and Ancient Greece: Josephus on Alexander, 333 B. C.

   Alexander, the pupil of Aristotle for a while, met with the High Priest at Jerusalem on his way to conquer Asia, as reported by Josephus. From Book xi. 4-5, Jaddua the high priest was in terror when he heard that Alexander was coming. Alexander had sent a letter to Jerusalem during his siege of Tyre, asking for provisions, auxiliaries, and suggesting that Jerusalem send tribute now instead to him rather than Darius. The high priest had answered Alexander that…”he had given his oath to Darius not to bear arms against him; and that he would not transgress this while Darius was in the land of the living.” After the siege of Tyre, when Alexander was approaching, he and the people then appealed to God for protection,…

…whereupon God warned him in a dream, which came upon him after he had offered sacrifice, that he should take courage, and adorn the city, and open the gates; that the rest should appear in white garments, but that he and the priests should meet the king in the habits proper to their order, without the dread of any ill consequences, which the providence of God would prevent. Upon which, when he rose from his sleep, he greatly rejoiced; and declared to all the warning he had received from God. According to which dream he acted entirely, and so waited for the coming of the king. And when he understood that he was not far from the city, he went out in procession, with the priests, and the multitude of citizens…

Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine purple and scarlet clothing, with his miter on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself, and adored that name, and first saluted the High priest. The Jews also did altogether, with one voice, salute Alexander, and encompass him about; whereupon the kings of Syria and the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him disordered in his mind. However, Parmenio alone went up to him, and asked him how it came to pass that, when all others adored him, he should adore the High priest of the Jews? To whom he replied, I did not adore him, but that God who hath honoured him with his high priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit, when I was at Dios in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians. whence it is, that having seen no other in that habit, and now seeing this person in it, and remembering that vision, and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under the divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind. And when he had said this to Parmenio, and had given the High Priest his right hand, the priests ran along by him, and he came into the city; and when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high priest’s direction, and magnificently treated both the High priest and the priests. And when the book of Daniel was showed him, wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended; and as he was then glad, he dismissed the multitude for the present, but the next day he called them to him, and bade them ask what favors they pleased of him whereupon the high priest desired that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers, and pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all that they desired; and when they entreated him that he would permit the Jews in Babylon and Medea to enjoy their own laws also, he willingly promised to do hereafter what they desired; and when he said to the multitude, that if any of them would enlist themselves in his army on this condition, that they should continue under the laws of their forefathers he was willing to take them with him, many more were ready to accompany him in his wars.

One interesting point in this story is the double true or verdical dream.  That Alexander had seen the name on the breastplate, and the high priest was instructed to show the name is rather astonishing. There is nothing like this in all the history of dreams. Another is of course the interpretation of Daniel. The five are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, the legs being the East and West empires, then the feet and toes…5 from each, iron and clay, and from this will emerge 10 kings, in ch. 12, etc.

   A personal note: My first history lesson came from Mad Magazine, when at the age of 12 I read from Al Jaffe: Alexander the Great was not really so great.” I wondered about this through all my studies. One wonders why Alexander was not better advised- though he had dismissed Aristotle.


1) The goal is not world conquest. Don’t keep going east, but establish and consolidate- and enjoy! Rule for the good of the ruled and the realm: Why not?

2) Deal with the question of succession immediately, and work on institutions that secure Greek liberty. What if Alex had Thomas Jefferson and James Madison?

3) Don’t be all full of yourself. You MIGHT be lucky, but learn what a mortal god is- and go find Diogenes in his bucket!

76 Candidates for the 17 Greatest pure Rock Songs: Happy Fourth!

On Baptism: A Fragment

   The text for the day celebrating the Baptism of Jesus is John 1, after :19-34, and 3. Jesus does baptize after he is baptized by John. The word “Essene” apparently means “bather,” and with the Mikveh the Jews are likely the fuirst Baptists. In the US, that was Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island.
   The following is from my part of a discussion attempting to answer a question on what Baptism is. The inquirer had been told that baptism is necessary to become a Christian, and is either by water, by blood or by desire. At first, I think I know what they mean, but eventually, I figure out that I do not know what the statement cited intends to say. In the mean time, I have hit the fundamental points from which I would write an attempted account of the meaning of baptism- if I were to try to do that. The thoughtful reader may gather plenty on their own. It is a very hard question. Any comments are most welcome.


   Jesus did baptism passively, by John, not actively baptizing others. But I say: Socrates is saved,” a paradox. We align ourselves toward the mysteries. Mom says: “Baptism removes original sin” which is the proper answer. I also say “Noriega is not saved, despite being “baptized.” The mystery is a re-ordering of the soul, which is why one in such penance appears quite confused.

   What no one understands is whether by “water and the spirit” he means the outward ritual and the inward mystery it reminds us of, which comes by penance, or if it means the Christ, shown in the separate sacrament “Confirmation.” Jesus himself did baptism + transfiguration. Mysteries.


   We do baptism, then first communion, Eucharist and wine, then Chrism, anointing, and that seems as good as anyone gets it. Baptists were called rebaptizers, cause they figured a guy has to choose voluntarily. Who knows?

   The relevant scripture here is John 1:34, where John the Baptist contrasts “water,” his baptism, and says Jesus baptizes with the “Holy Spirit-” and we don’t know, again, what this means. But he says to Nic., “Are you a teacher of all Israel, and you don’t get this?” So it is not a new.

   Where is that quotation from? The Christians were not even called Christians until Antioch, in Acts 11-12, When Peter sees the vision and Paul and others begin to preach the way to non-Jews. Jesus did not tell them directly to do that (But it does seem correct).


   Oh, also, there is a diabolic opposite, as shown in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” But “Be not afraid. I go before you always.”

   Again, it is the core of psychology, and our psych can barely address it. Jung, Vol. 5, though, “Symbols of Transformation.” The Meno, 81 is just profound, especially with the Allegory of the cave..

   Our part is always penance. There are deep things too: Penance is accompanied by a regression of eros toward the origin, so Nicodemus, “…return to our mother’s womb?’ Through our mortal origin to His eternity, says Augustine. Cohen’s “Suzanne.”

   John, Andrew and James were followers of John the Baptist. Baptism seems to have been passed on from the earliest. It is Israeli: Mikvah. Peter says it is the meaning of Noah, “8 were saved by water.” It seems too to come from the washing of the newborn.

   I’m still trying to figure what that guy meant by “blood” and “desire.” I like how, in the Catholic Catechism, anyone, in a pinch, may do baptism, like if a guy is dying and wants it quick.

   Socrates in the myth of Recollection, in the Meno (81 a-e), and in the Allegory of the Cave (Republic VII), shows the mysteries too. Hence these are about human nature, not customs. The customs align us toward the mysteries, help us recollect- but we don’t do them by human making.

…Right, he could mean like Cohen’s Suzanne and the loss of love…but I doubt it! Romeo and Juliet ARE a saint! Or else it’s Juliet, but not quite Romeo alone. And the “blood” is just bloody wierd. Bet it was a Witness. Maybe ‘e means the wine?

Remember? Reblog From Straight Arrow: No “Collusion?” Sater, Cohen and Trump Tower Moscow

Through: A Nibble, A Bite or a Meal, on WordPress, from New York Magazine, Weekend Edition, September 1 2017.

…..But Wait!….There’s More!…..on  ……”the Russian thing”……………

   Just so there’s no confusion: Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer emailed Vladimir Putin’s personal spokesman? Seeking help from the Kremlin on a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow? During the presidential campaign?
   Yes, this really happened. While most attention was rightly focused on the devastating flood in Houston, there was quite a bit of news on the Russia front — all of it, from President Trump’s perspective, quite bad.The revelations begin with a Trump business associate named Felix Sater . A Russian émigré who bragged about his Kremlin connections, Sater was a principal figure in development of the Trump Soho hotel and condominium project in lower Manhattan. Sater wrote a series of emails to Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, touting the Moscow Trump Tower project as a way to help Trump win the presidency.In November 2015 — five months after Trump had entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination — Sater wrote to Cohen that he had “arranged” for Trump’s daughter Ivanka, during a 2006 visit to Moscow, “to sit in Putins private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin.”The email went on, “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected. We both know no one else knows how to pull this off without stupidity or greed getting in the way. I know how to play it and we will get this done. Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this.”

Felix H. Sater, right, attends the Trump Soho Launch Party in 2007 in New York with Donald Trump, left, and Tevfik Arif, center.

Could Sater be just a blowhard who exaggerated his influence with the Russian president? Perhaps. But Ivanka Trump did tell the New York Times that she took a “brief tour of Red Square and the Kremlin” during that 2006 visit. The Times reported she said that “it is possible she sat in Mr. Putin’s chair during that tour but she did not recall it.”

There is no evidence that Cohen, one of Trump’s closest associates, found anything improper in Sater’s pledge to get Putin “on this program.” Nor did Cohen or anyone in the Trump Organization bother to disclose the emails — or the Trump firm’s effort, even during the campaign, to profitably emblazon the Trump name on the Moscow skyline — until the correspondence was turned over to the House Intelligence Committee on Monday.

And there’s more: In January 2016, with the Moscow project apparently stalled, Cohen went straight to the top to get it back on track — or at least tried to. He sent an email to Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s longtime personal spokesman, “hereby requesting your assistance.”

   Peskov confirmed that the email was received but said he did nothing about it and that it was not given to Putin.

So Trump was lying when he tweeted, shortly before his inauguration, that “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA — NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” The truth is that in October 2015, on the same day he participated in a GOP candidates’ debate, he signed a letter of intent for the Moscow Trump Tower project.

That is a “deal,” and Trump’s hunger to keep it alive may explain his reluctance to say anything critical about Putin. Or it may tell just part of the story.

The other part involves the whole question of collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign to meddle with the election and boost Trump’s chances. Sater’s boasts, by themselves, are hardly definitive. But of course there is the larger context, which includes the infamous meeting that Donald Trump Jr. convened in New York at which he hoped to receive dirt, courtesy of the Russian government, on Hillary Clinton.

Thus far we have the president’s son, son-in-law Jared Kushner (who was at that meeting), then-campaign manager Paul Manafort (also at the meeting) and now his personal lawyer all seemingly eager for Russian help in the election. Who in the campaign wasn’twilling to collude?

All of this is under scrutiny by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the various congressional committees that are conducting investigations. Some have suggested that Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, the unrepentant “birther” and racial profiler, might have been a message to Trump associates facing heat from prosecutors: Hang tough and don’t worry, you’ll get pardons.

But there was more bad news for the president: Politico reported that Mueller is now cooperating and sharing information with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Presidents can only issue pardons for federal offenses, not state crimes. Uh-oh.

….Moose and Squirrel Must Die…….OR NOT…..Weekend Edition…..

 (MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP/Getty Images)

   Responding to a Russian government demand to drastically slash its diplomatic staff in Russia, the Trump administration Thursday ordered Moscow to close three of its consular offices in the United States.

Russia will be required to close its Consulate General in San Francisco, the chancery annex in Washington and the consular annex in New York, the State Department announced.

The move was the latest tit-for-tat action in worsening relations between Washington and Moscow, despite President Trump’s expressions of friendliness toward President Vladimir Putin.

Angered over a package of congressionally mandated economic sanctions, Russia had ordered the U.S. to cut its staff in Russia by around two-thirds, to 455.

Oil On Water Clean up

   There are better ways of getting oil spills cleaned up, related to the vortex sweeper already available for commercial cleanups. Oil sticks to itself on the surface of water, and slides off, into, for example, an open pop bottle held upright (not sideways) under the water, so that the opening is just under the surface. What water that gets in with the oil then separates, and could be drained off the bottom with a tap. In the gulf, this principle could also have been applied to protect the shore. The best method now used seems to be floating berms, deployed to physically block the oil from floating on the shore. But with underwater pipe-drains, reaching from the shore, under the water to the Gulf side of the floating berms, the oily side, a votex can be opened under the oil, into the pipe or hose.. The hoses then collect the oil into below ground level receivers on shore, before it is pumped into trucks for reclaiming. Waves out at sea were said to be a problem, but I do not believe this insurmountable. A large ship might have a chamber which lets in the oily water and calms it, before collecting the oil off the surface by the vortex method. The key is to work from under the water level, and open a place into which the oil can slide. I have seen ships, maybe in the Great Lakes, using a rotary sponge contraption, trying to lift the oil off the water from above. But in the Gulf, the decision was made to disperse the oil rather than clean it up, so they were not even trying. I wish I had a better idea for the coast once the oil is on it, and the birds. But the shore can be defended by the above method before the oil arrives there.

I saw this principle while trying to clean a pond in my yard that had an oil slick. Then I found two guys on the internet with floating devices.

Platonic Psych Tweets

   What would Psychology and Psychiatry look like set upon a Socratic or Platonic base? But as with teachers for pay, they would be non-profiteering, and a lot more humble, knowing that there are the questions of the soul.
Politics and psych would not be so separate: Instead of an animal man in an artificial state, Plato has three kinds of soul set upon a frame of three kinds of city. The bad forms give us 6, and then per Statesman there is the 7th- the best regime.
There is a study of tyranny, too, quite beyond our assumptions “authoritarianism” and “psych”- opathy or “socio”-pathy. Consider the werewolf in Books VIII-IX of the Republic. Drones. And here’s a biscuit: Who is the first thinker to suggest the equality of women in law and ed?
We say the knowledge of such things is “in” the human soul, and hence, self knowledge is possible. Plato also allows the question of the difference between madness, vice and ignorance, and between 4 types of divine madness and other types. Ever -iatros must know these things.
…Or we would not let them practice -iatreia. Let alone drug people for profit.
What is the same in these two- city and soul- is an example of what Jung calls an “archetype.” Socrates calls it the model and the form. Nations are of course different from cities. And for the artificial “state?” We have 50 of them, and none are yet like Machiavelli.
Politics and psych would not be so separate: Instead of an animal man in an artificial state, Plato has three kinds of soul set upon a frame of three kinds of city. The bad forms give us 6, and then per Statesman there is the 7th- the best regime.
Because there is a difference between philosopher and king.
What is the thought or theory regarding the health of the soul that is assumed by our modern psychiatry? For five years, we have asked this question on Twitter and wordpress, and no one has even attempted to state an answer. Anyone? Our Psych is mute- theory-less, THOUGHTLESS
Consider Allan Bloom (Closing, p. 356) on the world view of modern science: “But where natural science ends, trouble begins. It ends at man, the one being outside its purview, or, to be exact, it ends at that part or aspect of man which is not body, whatever that may be”
Bloom’s comment is the occasion of a 3 page study of modern psych in my “Shakespeare’s King Lear with the Tempest” book, notes 28-30 to Chapter V, because they bring in the doctor to treat the maddened Lear. It’s philosophy of psych- a whole new subject.
I have just found the original notes from the Conversation with Joseph Campbell, demonstrating that wholeness sought is the health of the soul, and good- and hence psychiatry assumes an objective good.
The knowledge in the soul is hence “in” an “unconscious,” and the highest faculties asleep in man. Theoretical virtue is its integration into “consciousness.”
The faculties that sleep in man, and the philosopher and king- are the measure unawares, of every human life- unaware as Oberon is to Theseus in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Twenty First Century Platonism: Tweets

 The penalty of injustice cannot be avoided- one becomes unjust. What we do to others is done to us. “Vengeance is mine,” says you know Who. Hence, he treads the wine press alone.
Mankind is not a politeuma.
Nor is a single man
Its like: family, tribe, village, polis, state, nation. One might stick in some colonies and township, and notice many intermediate political bodies. But the “world” is not a politeuma.
The delusion, though, carried over from the images, characterizes bioth tghe left and right forms of Twentieth century totalitarianism.
The “world state” is of course an impiety and a delusion. No more is mankind governed by a man…the redeemed are a part of the Bride of the Lord. The angels may be too. The righteous deeds of the saints are the linen of her garment.
We’re about to beat up Dante on monarchy, and start over, like from the three mentions of the crown in Proverbs and wise rule.
The sacraments are also images of mysteries- at least that and the Chrism. Jesus did Baptism and transfiguration. The Straussians think of it as if a thing made by man. But given the popularity of Dante, that is not surprising!
The first miracle is performed at a wedding.
So, what if everyone had gotten all worked up protesting the “Wall,” only to find it a non-issue. Trump literally does not care what his policies are, and if we ignore him, he may soon forget. On his level, seriously, he may not be able to do much harm- without our help.
He literally has no domestic powers not given by Congress. Nor any domestic funds. He does not get this. We can impeach him again, have the Court void the 2016 election, or invoke the 25th A, the latter not because he is ignorant nor a plant nor ethically unfit, but incapacitated
The Trumpsters simply will not admit that 90% of the Corvid deaths were preventable with the leadership of any nation other than those where Putin turned the election. No amount of “proof,” including war with Iran nor burying our grandchildren will give pause:
The penalty of injustice cannot be avoided- one becomes unjust. What we do to others is done to us. “Vengeance is mine,” says you know Who. Hence, he treads the wine press alone.
The Trumpsters simply will not admit that 90% of the Corvid deaths were preventable with the leadership of any nation other than those where Putin turned the election. No amount of “proof,” including war with Iran nor burying our grandchildren will give pause:
Watching emergency school board mtg re:opening. A veteran just stood up & said “The ghosts of the people I’ve killed to keep you all safe haunt me every night. Are you prepared to be haunted by the ghosts of the children & faculty for whom you are responsible?”
Or just go around them. As the Governors do in responding to Corona.
No one even raises the obvious question of KGB Putin and his relation to the left- Marxism- and right- white guy forms of Twentieth Century Totalitarianism. Has he raised the right in these elections to later raise the left? Brazil/ Venezuela?
If Putin were enacting a thirty year plan to destroy America, he could hardly do better, nor would we be able to discern it. Kaspersky controlled 400 million computer security accounts from Moscow in 2016, and we do not YET see the significance.
 The Don of course visited Russia as early as 1989, and they began grooming him, just in case.

Leo Strauss lectures on Plato’s Meno 1 – [1966] via

Leo Strauss lectures on Plato’s Meno 1 – [1966]
University of Chicago Spring 1966
There is a hierarchy of ends of the soul, and a consequent order of the soul. Ethics is about priorities. Is there a natural order of “values” characteristic of the “healthy or well ordered soul? We seek to know this. “The sage leaves that, and chooses this.” -Lao Tzu
Nazism will also speak of or a hierarchy, following Nietzsche. The new fascists seek to use both this conservatism and Leo Strauss, as at the University of Toronto, etc. The hierarchy in Nietzsche is up-side-down, based upon, as we say, upon a diabolic inversion of the soul.

Gen Michael Hayden


Paul Rosenzweig
If they voted to acquit Trump they have no merit. The conservative view will only be revived if authoritarian accommodationists are repudiated. Vote all of them out.
For the first time tonight there is officially a Wall of Veterans in Portland.
“All political action point toward the knowledge of the good.”

Constitution Day 2012 via

Constitution Day 2012
On September 16, 2012, Dr. Leo Paul de Alvarez gave this address at the University of Dallas’ annual Constitution Day dinner, hosted by the Politics Departme…

The Principle of American Politics and the Bible

Reflecting back on the Revolution, Ben Franklin is cited as having written:
…”God grant that not only the love of liberty, but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man, may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say, “This is my country.”
                                                             Commager & Morris, The Spirit of ’76
   We are working on how the Bible and American politics DO fit together, in the fundamentals of political theory. Madison’s Letter on Remonstrance: What is a duty to God is a right in relation to other men. Liberty is primary because of the Imago Dei– the “image of God” in man that is the the basis of all law- that  especially in the modern state. Or,as they say, rights take precedence over duties.” The colony, state or nation does not know the good, and cannot provide it. But neither is that its purpose. Rather, the purpose of government is “to secure these ” rights.
Of religion, Madison writes:
It [religion] is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.
So, the principle in Madison’s Remonstrance is the same as that of the second sentence of the Declaration: They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life…etc. See? murder is wrong. But here, in political as distinct from Biblical terms, it is a violation of the right to life of the one murdered.
   It is because of the Imago Dei- the basis of all law- that Liberty is primary, for the polis as well, but certainly for the modern state. Otherwise, things made by man, or artificial, would be allowed to rule over the divine in man. The image of God in man is the reason that murder is wrong (Genesis 9:6) and the basis of ethics regarding love as well (Genesis 1:26). It is the nature of man and the basis of the law- all law, including our Declaration. What is astonishing is how Jefferson and the Committee have fit together these “sacred and undeniable,” or in Franklin’s words, “self evident” truths with the simple absence of the essence of man or spark of the divine from the political realm. Where the world of medieval chivalry is Christian by analogy, the American way, suited too to the multiplicity of European sects, is to leave their roofs open, or allowing a place where the divine, too, might enter.

   The purpose of human government is not to make men good as a final cause but as an efficient cause, for example preventing thefts (or securing the rights of property) so that businesses and estates can get started and prosper. Because even for a single small city, we are not going to have a single, identifiable “philosopher King,” this liberty is better than almost any attempt a character formation, and surely better than any we are likely to otherwise find.
   In a definition of Liberty which we think excels Jefferson, the Frenchman Montesquieu writes that political liberty is where we are forbid to do nothing truly good, nor compelled to do injustice (Spirit of the Laws, XI).
   Because government does not know the good, and the American principle allow for that truth, the American principle fits well too with the Socratic knowledge of ignorance, and, if philosophy is the best life, allows the natural right to the pursuit of happiness according to the nature of man, called reason and “Nous. or intellect, the life of the rational element. Nous is the imago Dei in man. It has a nature, and what is like it, we call “noble” or “beautiful.”
   One wonders what the enemies of liberty, as Vladimir Putin or Karl Marx would answer such an argument for liberty. They seem still to be imagining the founders as did the students from Charles Beard, rich self interested “White” guys. The founders simply do not speak of “capitalism,” nor institute a “Capitalist system. It’s how liberty looks to tyrants.

The James Madison Essay:

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the
Commonwealth of Virginia
A Memorial and Remonstrance

We the subscribers, citizens of the said Commonwealth, having taken into serious consideration, a Bill printed by order of the last Session of General Assembly, entitled “A Bill establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion,”1 and conceiving that the same if finally armed with the sanctions of a law, will be a dangerous abuse of power, are bound as faithful members of a free State to remonstrate against it, and to declare the reasons by which we are determined. We remonstrate against the said Bill,

1.   Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.”2 The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, who enters into any subordinate Association, must always do it with a reservation of his duty to the General Authority; much more must every man who becomes a member of any particular Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no mans right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.3

2.   Because if Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body. The latter are but the creatures and vicegerents of the former. Their jurisdiction is both derivative and limited: it is limited with regard to the co-ordinate departments, more necessarily is it limited with regard to the constituents. The preservation of a free Government requires not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overleap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people.4 The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves.

3.   Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.5 We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?

4.   Because the Bill violates that equality which ought to be the basis of every law, and which is more indispensible, in proportion as the validity or expediency of any law is more liable to be impeached. If “all men are by nature equally free and independent,”6 all men are to be considered as entering into Society on equal conditions; as relinquishing no more, and therefore retaining no less, one than another, of their natural rights. Above all are they to be considered as retaining an “equal title to the free exercise of Religion according to the dictates of Conscience.”7 Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man: To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered. As the Bill violates equality by subjecting some to peculiar burdens, so it violates the same principle, by granting to others peculiar exemptions. Are the Quakers and Menonists the only sects who think a compulsive support of their Religions unnecessary and unwarrantable? Can their piety alone be entrusted with the care of public worship? Ought their Religions to be endowed above all others with extraordinary privileges by which proselytes may be enticed from all others? We think too favorably of the justice and good sense of these denominations to believe that they either covet pre-eminences over their fellow citizens or that they will be seduced by them from the common opposition to the measure.

5.   Because the Bill implies either that the Civil Magistrate is a competent Judge of Religious Truth; or that he may employ Religion as an engine of Civil policy.8 The first is an arrogant pretension falsified by the contradictory opinions of Rulers in all ages, and throughout the world: the second an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation.

6.   Because the establishment proposed by the Bill is not requisite for the support of the Christian Religion. To say that it is, is a contradiction to the Christian Religion itself, for every page of it disavows a dependence on the powers of this world: it is a contradiction to fact; for it is known that this Religion both existed and flourished, not only without the support of human laws, but in spite of every opposition from them, and not only during the period of miraculous aid, but long after it had been left to its own evidence and the ordinary care of Providence. Nay, it is a contradiction in terms; for a Religion not invented by human policy, must have pre-existed and been supported, before it was established by human policy. It is moreover to weaken in those who profess this Religion a pious confidence in its innate excellence and the patronage of its Author; and to foster in those who still reject it, a suspicion that its friends are too conscious of its fallacies to trust it to its own merits.

7.   Because experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. Enquire of the Teachers of Christianity for the ages in which it appeared in its greatest lustre; those of every sect, point to the ages prior to its incorporation with Civil policy. Propose a restoration of this primitive State in which its Teachers depended on the voluntary rewards of their flocks, many of them predict its downfall. On which Side ought their testimony to have greatest weight, when for or when against their interest?

8.   Because the establishment in question is not necessary for the support of Civil Government. If it be urged as necessary for the support of Civil Government only as it is a means of supporting Religion, and it be not necessary for the latter purpose, it cannot be necessary for the former. If Religion be not within the cognizance of Civil Government how can its legal establishment be necessary to Civil Government? What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just Government instituted to secure & perpetuate it needs them not. Such a Government will be best supported by protecting every Citizen in the enjoyment of his Religion with the same equal hand which protects his person and his property; by neither invading the equal rights of any Sect, nor suffering any Sect to invade those of another.

9.   Because the proposed establishment is a departure from that generous policy, which, offering an Asylum to the persecuted and oppressed of every Nation and Religion, promised a lustre to our country, and an accession to the number of its citizens. What a melancholy mark is the Bill of sudden degeneracy? Instead of holding forth an Asylum to the persecuted, it is itself a signal of persecution. It degrades from the equal rank of Citizens all those whose opinions in Religion do not bend to those of the Legislative authority. Distant as it may be in its present form from the Inquisition, it differs from it only in degree. The one is the first step, the other the last in the career of intolerance. The magnanimous sufferer under this cruel scourge in foreign Regions, must view the Bill as a Beacon on our Coast, warning him to seek some other haven, where liberty and philanthrophy in their due extent, may offer a more certain repose from his Troubles.

10.   Because it will have a like tendency to banish our Citizens. The allurements presented by other situations are every day thinning their number. To superadd a fresh motive to emigration by revoking the liberty which they now enjoy, would be the same species of folly which has dishonoured and depopulated flourishing kingdoms.

11.   Because it will destroy that moderation and harmony which the forbearance of our laws to intermeddle with Religion has produced among its several sects. Torrents of blood have been spilt in the old world, by vain attempts of the secular arm, to extinguish Religious discord, by proscribing all difference in Religious opinion. Time has at length revealed the true remedy. Every relaxation of narrow and rigorous policy, wherever it has been tried, has been found to assuage the disease. The American Theatre has exhibited proofs that equal and compleat liberty, if it does not wholly eradicate it, sufficiently destroys its malignant influence on the health and prosperity of the State.9 If with the salutary effects of this system under our own eyes, we begin to contract the bounds of Religious freedom, we know no name that will too severely reproach our folly. At least let warning be taken at the first fruits of the threatened innovation. The very appearance of the Bill has transformed “that Christian forbearance, love and charity,”10 which of late mutually prevailed, into animosities and jealousies, which may not soon be appeased. What mischiefs may not be dreaded, should this enemy to the public quiet be armed with the force of a law?

12.   Because the policy of the Bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it with the number still remaining under the dominion of false Religions; and how small is the former! Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of revelation11 from coming into the Region of it; and countenances by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them. Instead of Levelling as far as possible, every obstacle to the victorious progress of Truth, the Bill with an ignoble and unchristian timidity would circumscribe it with a wall of defence against the encroachments of error.

13.   Because attempts to enforce by legal sanctions, acts obnoxious to so great a proportion of Citizens, tend to enervate the laws in general, and to slacken the bands of Society. If it be difficult to execute any law which is not generally deemed necessary or salutary, what must be the case, where it is deemed invalid and dangerous? And what may be the effect of so striking an example of impotency in the Government, on its general authority?

14.   Because a measure of such singular magnitude and delicacy ought not to be imposed, without the clearest evidence that it is called for by a majority of citizens, and no satisfactory method is yet proposed by which the voice of the majority in this case may be determined, or its influence secured. “The people of the respective counties are indeed requested to signify their opinion respecting the adoption of the Bill to the next Session of Assembly.”12 But the representation must be made equal, before the voice either of the Representatives or of the Counties will be that of the people. Our hope is that neither of the former will, after due consideration, espouse the dangerous principle of the Bill. Should the event disappoint us, it will still leave us in full confidence, that a fair appeal to the latter will reverse the sentence against our liberties.

15.   Because finally, “the equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his Religion according to the dictates of conscience” is held by the same tenure with all our other rights. If we recur to its origin, it is equally the gift of nature; if we weigh its importance, it cannot be less dear to us; if we consult the “Declaration of those rights which pertain to the good people of Virginia, as the basis and foundation of Government,”13 it is enumerated with equal solemnity, or rather studied emphasis. Either then, we must say, that the Will of the Legislature is the only measure of their authority; and that in the plenitude of this authority, they may sweep away all our fundamental rights; or, that they are bound to leave this particular right untouched and sacred: Either we must say, that they may controul the freedom of the press, may abolish the Trial by Jury, may swallow up the Executive and Judiciary Powers of the State; nay that they may despoil us of14 our very right of suffrage, and erect themselves into an independent and hereditary Assembly or, we must say, that they have no authority to enact into law the Bill under consideration. We the Subscribers say, that the General Assembly of this Commonwealth have no such authority: And that no effort may be omitted on our part against so dangerous an usurpation, we oppose to it, this remonstrance; earnestly praying, as we are in duty bound, that the Supreme Lawgiver of the Universe, by illuminating those to whom it is addressed, may on the one hand, turn their Councils from every act which would affront his holy prerogative, or violate the trust committed to them: and on the other, guide them into every measure which may be worthy of his [blessing, may re]dound15 to their own praise, and may establish more firmly the liberties, the prosperity and the happiness of the Commonwealth.

St. Lucius: The First Christian King. Anywhere, 156 AD.

   In a Sixth Century book called Liber Pontificus, or Lives of the Popes, and repeated in Bede’s History of the Church in England, St. Lucius was the first Christian king of Britain, and, we note the first King anywhere to convert, making this the first example of the Christian King or the question of Christianity and kingship. The Emperor Constantine did not convert Rome until the Fourth Century. According to the story in Wikipedia:

   The story became widespread after it was repeated in the 8th century by Bede, who added the detail that after Eleutherius granted Lucius’ request, the Britons followed their king in conversion and maintained the Christian faith until the Diocletianic Persecution of 303.

The English monk Bede included the Lucius story in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731. He may have heard it from a contemporary who had been to Rome, such as Nothhelm.[1] Bede adds the detail that Lucius’ new faith was thereafter adopted by his people, who maintained it until the Diocletianic Persecution. Following Bede, versions of the Lucius story appeared in the 9th-century Historia Brittonum, and in 12th-century works such as Geoffrey of Monmouth‘s Historia Regum BritanniaeWilliam of Malmesbury‘s Gesta Pontificum Anglorum, and the Book of Llandaff.[1][6] The most influential of these accounts was Geoffrey’s, which emphasizes Lucius’ virtues and gives a detailed, if fanciful, account of the spread of Christianity during his reign.[7] In his version, Lucius is the son of the benevolent King Coilus and rules in the manner of his father.[8] Hearing of the miracles and good works performed by Christian disciples, he writes to Pope Eleutherius asking for assistance in his conversion. Eleutherius sends two missionaries, Fuganus and Duvianus, who baptise the king and establish a successful Christian order throughout Britain. They convert the commoners and flamens, turn pagan temples into churches, and establish dioceses and archdioceses where the flamens had previously held power.[8] The pope is pleased with their accomplishments, and Fuganus and Duvianus recruit another wave of missionaries to aid the cause.[9] Lucius responds by granting land and privileges to the Church. He dies without heir in AD 156, thereby weakening Roman influence in Britain.[10]

Later traditions are mostly based on one of these accounts, probably including a medieval inscription at the church of St Peter-upon-Cornhill in Cornhill, London in the City of London. There, he is credited with having founded the church in AD 179.

Bede, in the fourth chapter of the first book of his History, writes:

In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 156, Marcus Antonius Verus, fourteenth from Augustus, became emperor jointly with his brother Aurelius Commodus. During their reign, and while the Holy Eleutherus ruled the Roman Church, Lucius, a British King, sent him a letter, asking to be made a Christian by his direction The pious request was quickly granted, and the Britons received the faith and held it peacefully in all its purity and fullness until the time of the Emperor Diocletian.

And from the Liber Pontificus, listing the oldest listing of the Bishops of Rome:


Eleuther, by nationality a Greek, son of Habundius, from the town of Nicopolis, occupied the see 5 years, 3 months and 2 days.  He was bishop in the time of Antoninus and Commodus until the year when Paternus and Bradu a were consuls (AD 185). He received a letter from Lucius, king of Britain, asking him to appoint a way by which Lucius might become a Christian. He also decreed He also confirmed again the decree that no kind of food in common use should be rejected especially by the Christian faithful, inasmuch as God created it; provided, however, it were rational food and fit for human kind He held 3 ordinations in the month of December, 2 priests, 8 deacons, 5 bishops in divers places. He also was buried near the body of the blessed Peter in the Batican, May 24. And the bishopric was empty 15 days.

As to the meaning of the Greek name of Pope Eleutherius, Google answers:

The Greek word “ἐλευθερία” (capitalized Ἐλευθερία; Attic Greek pronunciation: [eleu̯tʰeˈria]), transliterated as eleutheria, is an Ancient Greek term for, and personification of, liberty. … In Ancient GreeceEleutheria was also an epithet for the goddess Artemis, and as such she was worshipped in Myra of Lycia.

Nennius, about 809, [22] writes:

Lucius, the British king, received baptism, with all the underkings of the British nation, 167 years after the coming of Christ, after a legation had been sent by the roman emperors and by Eucharistus, the Roman Pope.

   According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Lucius died without an heir, and the rule of Britain was quickly usurped before Severus Restored the rule of Rome in the early 200’s. Oddly, Geoffrey refers to Gildas , though Gildas seems to leave out the story of Lucius. If Britain was converted in 156, and Bishoprics established by 176, we would have about one century, three or four generations, to connect the Cole line of Lucius to the Colchester father of St. Helen.

St Lucius of Britain… and Chur


Just before Christmas I received a copy of King Lucius of Britain by David J. Knight. This actually came out in 2008 but I omitted to order a copy until recently. Lucius of Britain is a second century ‘King’ of Britain who was converted to Christianity and asked Pope St Eleutherius for missionaries to receive him into the Church. This story first appears in the Liber Pontificalis which dates from the fifth or sixth century. It is also reported in Bede. Obviously, there was no king in the mediaeval sense in the Roman province of Britannia in the second century. But it is not only possible but likely that there were indigenous Romanised aristocrats using such titles in their own circles. There is thus nothing intrinsically implausible about the account. It is of course deeply unpopular with Protestants and Modernists because it implies the recognition of the universal primacy…

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July 4th 2020: 76 candidates for the 17 best NOISY Rock Songs!

Ok, beginning the 76 candidates for the 17 best of all noisy Rock tunes. The Brits were out last night, heard in skirmishes in the distance. This’ll be # 76 this year:

Again at # 75 as pure Rock even though dance music is re-emerging here: David Bowie – Stay via

#74 Pink Floyd – See Emily Play via @YouTube

Ok, we’ll give the Bowie version #74 David Bowie – See Emily Play via

David Bowie – See Emily Play
See Emily Play is a song written by Syd Barret and performed here by David Bowie. It is from the album Pin Ups in 1973. Lyrics: Emily tries but misunderstand…

#73 White Stripes – Blue Orchid via @YouTube

We’ll keep Blue Orchid at #73- a great Rock tune, especially if the meaning begins to show through: The White Orchid is the lapel worn at weddings.

#72, per the suggestion of Cup of Remembrance: The patriotism is wrapped in the liberty for sarcasm of a Viet Vet. The hippies, of course, gave the vets a bad conscience on purpose, having forgotten WWII and the purpose of limiting Twentieth Century Totalitarianis- as we Centrists, all grown up, now say.

# 71 The Byrds Eight Miles High:

Classic Version, #71: The story is that this is about when the American answer to the British invasion landed in London. The Byrds- Eight Miles High (HQ) via

The Byrds- Eight Miles High (HQ)
Our High School WAS literally on Eight Mile, imagine that. I taught there as a sub, and the saying is still true:
The Byrds – Eight Miles High – 9/23/1970 – Fillmore East (Official) via @YouTube

This is about when the American reverberation of the British invasion landed in London by airplane.

# 70 Amboy Dukes– Journey To The Center Of The Mind via @YouTube

#70 in the classic countdown of the philosophic DJ Dr. MMac. Detroit’s own Ted, before he became a….

This is Crazy Ted BEFORE he took up hunting! Dude did not learn that from a journey to the center of mind! Oh well, he never said we’d MAKE it !

Beyond thought and “what” is of course interesting, because the Lord too is said to be beyond being or logos. He calls it the center, too, as of a circle. He warns of the danger of becoming trapped in the products of the imagination: Jung speaks of getting “possessed” by an “archetype-” the sources of the products of the imagination in the knowledge that is within the soul. We integrate the contents, by understanding, or else these disintegrate us. Hence the danger of psychedelic drugs especially for those who do too much, are not friends with themselves, and do not have the patience to sleep off a bad trip. One wonders if Ted did not get possessed, as by an Artemis the huntress archetype! Apologies from Michigan!

#69: The Bob Seger System – White Wall  via 

Now we’re warming up, getting in some Detroit Rock. Were looking for deep poetry, or we’d do more Pop Seger: The Bob Seger System – White Wall via

This whole album is a classic, with most of my favorite Bob on it.

#68: Creed – Beautiful  via  Self indulgence: (Not as famous as it should be). Platonic contemplaters of the beautiful should get it.

We’re doing the 76 candidates for the 17 best Rock songs, to forget the Corvid for a while and for the liberty of the Fourth: Now 244 years, and nearly 300 million people- give or take a few hundred thousand, depending on whether we wear masks and be more cautious.

It seemed to us that very few continued the Classic Rock strain at this level among the “newer” stars, that is, after the Eighties. “Arms Wide Open” is of course another.


Definitely of the stature of a possible top 17: Creed- Higher via @YouTube


Hensley is in music what a white wizard would be in the human world: Traveler in Time. (2017 Remastered) via

Traveller in Time (2017 Remastered)
Provided to YouTube by Sanctuary Records Traveller in Time (2017 Remastered) · Uriah Heep Demons and Wizards ℗ 2017 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Compa…
 We hold these Truths to be self evident: that all Men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain  unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Purs…
Ming Solenya Nethery
Why think Gaetz was threatening Cohen?
Bob Dylan “…Songs, to me, were more important than just entertainment. They were my preceptor and guide into some altered consciousness of reality, some different republic, some liberated republic. Grail Marcus,…
Grail Marcus, the music historian, would some thirty years later call it “the invisible republic.” Chronicles I, pp. 34-35

#65: Uriah Heep – Wizard  via 

#64: Uriah Heep – Stealin  via 

At # 64, some penance blues:
Uriah Heep – Stealin via @YouTube

Ignore Amazon, though, and buy from Barnes and Noble. Bozo puts YOU in HIS shopping Cart! Uugh, what America has become! Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads by Greil Marcus via

#63: The James Gang – Walk Away  via 

#62: Fantasy will set you free: Steppenwolf – Magic Carpet Ride 1968 HQ  via 

Caption: George III when he/she read Jefferson: (Or was it when he learned his favorite petticoat was not back yet from the cleaners?)

   ‘Least ‘e remembered t’ poof ‘is f’n whig! Dudes were cross-dressin back then! French fashions.

Crispus Attucks | Boston Massacre | Crispus Attucks Boston Massacre  via 

#61: Fortunate Son (Live At Cobo Hall 1986)- Bob Seger (Vinyl Restoration)  via 

That we had to draw the line on Communism expanding does not mean we had to draw it there at that time. But the North Vietnamese have not had good years under the tyranny if it was unavoidable. In Mi Lai, one sees that justice is in the end most for advantage.of arms, eh?

#59: The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again (Live at Kilburn 1977)  via 

Mesmerizing Townshend, with lots of new notes!
Bet we get fooled again, though- Big Time!
#58: At # 58, the tragedy of the father:
Jethro Tull – Locomotive Breath (Live)  via 

Lets have 57 again live. I don’t think we quite heard him: Car. Girl. Head. Liberty. Deep Purple – Highway Star 1972 Video HQ via

Deep Purple – Highway Star 1972 Video HQ
Classic Rock Deep Purple – Highway Star 1972 (Single, Album Machine Head) Ritchie Blackmore – Guitar Jon Lord – Keyboards, Organ Ian Paice – Drums Ian Gillan…
A personal favorite:
  “Gimmie my release, Come on…”

Twitter DJ is a strange occupation. It of course does not work in a certain way, but we get some Tweet-ees in Europe, eh? Right, no one likes the 76 candidates for the 17 greatest rock tunes of all time!

#54: Robin Trower – The Fool and Me.  via 

#53: Robin Trower – Bridge Of Sighs – 07 – Lady Love  via 

We’ll give this one #52 1/2 if it doesn’t have a number yet! Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music – Both Ends Burning via

Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music – Both Ends Burning
A Roxy Track To Blow Your Socks Off! 1975.. :p
#52 Lou Reed – Sweet Jane from Rock n Roll Animal  via 

#50: Blind Faith – Presence of the Lord  via 

Oops, that’s a religion hymn, and a bit too mellow. Move up # 52 1/2!

#49: Sunshine Of Your Love  via 

Guest Lyricist- some roadie!

This one was written by some roadie. Prob’ly some St. John’s college reject #46 Cream – Tales of Brave Ulysses via @YouTube

Soon the noise bombs, then the fireworks come out to cover the skirmishes in the edges of town, if there are any Redcoats about…

#44 The Who – Magic Bus – Live At Leeds HQ  via 

#41: The Who – I Can See For Miles  via 

#40: The Who ~ Summertime Blues  via 

#39: The Who ~ Substitute  via 

#38: Jethro Tull – My God  via 

37: Time of the Season – The Zombies (Lyrics on the screen)  via 

Janis Joplin- Summertime
Summertime, time, time, Child, the living’s easy. Fish are jumping out And the cotton, Lord, Cotton’s high, Lord, so high. Your daddy’s rich And your ma is s…

#34 Remember the book “Go ask Alice? Jefferson Airplane -White Rabbit- via

Jefferson Airplane -White Rabbit- Jefferson Airplane “White Rabbit” Live on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
The whole Declaration is to be read on the Fourth, as it was in Lincoln’s day and at the Constitutional Convention. + it has a list of examples of tyranny, + ethics of war. The Second Sentence of the Declaration  via 
#29: Day Of The Eagle – Robin Trower.  via 
Interlude: Some Contemporary Tunes:

 Counting Crows – Mr. Jones (Official Video)  via 

Counting Crows – Round Here (Official Video)  via 

#26: Dream On – Aerosmith  via 

#25: Led Zeppelin – The Rover (Physical Graffiti)  via 

#24: Led Zeppelin – Ramble On (Official Audio) via

Led Zeppelin – Ramble On (Official Audio)
You’re listening to the remastered version of Led Zeppelin’s iconic song “Ramble On” from “Led Zeppelin II”. “Ramble On” is co-written by Jimmy Page and Robe…
For in the darkest depths of Mordor I met a girl so fair But Gollum and the evil Lord Crept up and slipped away with her.

#21: Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion (Official Music Video)  via 

# 19: Ziggy Stardust (2012 Remaster) via

Side 2 is THE rock tragedy.

Ziggy Stardust (2012 Remaster)
Provided to YouTube by Parlophone UK Ziggy Stardust (2012 Remaster) · David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars ℗ 1972, 2012 …

#18: Jethro Tull – Cross-Eyed Mary  via via 

#17: David Bowie – Panic In Detroit via

Bowie met a 60’s violent revolutionary. His answer is “I wished someone would phone.” Human connectedness in the modern world is the cause of twentieth century totalitarianism in each case.

David Bowie – Panic In Detroit
Artist: David Bowie Song: Panic In Detroit Album: Aladdin Sane Lyrics Ah oooh He looked a lot like Che Guevara, drove a diesel van Kept his gun in quiet secl…
#15: TheAnimals – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (1965) HD/widescreen ♫♥  via 

#14: The Who : The Real Me  via 

Jimmy the Mod goes to the doctor, then the mother, then the preacher in an attempt to cure his teen age Quadrophrenia. Given that the preacher showed him “to the Golden Gate,” one sees what Plant means about the evangelicals in Stairway. Not that Jimmy needs a robed exorcist! The plea of Jimmy is surely not comprehensible to our science of psychiatry, which is why music is better at the healing of the soul than our over-paid “doctors.” They killed Nick Drake, for Chrissakes!

On the Philosophic Ascent in Plato’s Republic

An updated version is usually over in the philosophy section of the menu above.

[In progress]

   The following is the reworking of an old class paper for an exam question. It attempts to find the study of the soul and man in what is called the “allegorical line,” a reading of the line as an image of the objects considered not in math and all speech, but especially in politics and psychology, or what might if the name were not taken, be called the study of man or “Anthropology.”



It is not only now that these things must be heard,

but they must all be returned to many times in the future

                                                                                  -Glaucon, 532 d 3-4


Bring me to the test, and I the matter will reword…

Hamlet, III, iv, 143-5


[The plates are over on Twitter, but we have not been able to transfwer them yet.]

Plate 1:Image

Plate 2:Image

Photos by Marti Blackwood

    Philosophy and politics are inseparable in Plato’s Republic. The central idea of the work is that Philosophy and kingship must coincide if the the regime described in speech is ever to “come forth from nature insofar as possible and see the light of the sun” (473 c10-e5). It is the idea of the good, or the good itself that is to be used as a pattern for ordering men and cities (484 c1-d4; 500c-501b: 517 a7-c6; 540 a6-b1; 592 b2-5). The best rulers by nature, the philosopher kings, are to rule by virtue of their knowledge of the idea of the good or the good itself. This contemplative sight of the eye of the soul results in or allows access to a “divine pattern,” “in the soul,” (484 c3) or “in heaven perhaps” (592 b2,) by which the painters of the regime “produce the image of man, taking hints from exactly that phenomenon in human beings which Homer too called god-like and the image of god” (501 b3-7). [Note 1] It may be for the sake of this pattern that the dialogue of the Republic is undertaken (472 c4). Of the idea of the good, it is said that the man who is going to act prudently in public or private must see it (517 c5-6. The practical wisdom of politics or kingship thus said to be dependent upon this contemplative sight.

    But after the center of the book announcing that philosophers must rule as kings, Socrates delivers an account of the philosophic education which, as Benardete comments, appears “alien from its own setting” [Note 2] within the political study of the of the regime which led up to it. It is not clear how the things described: the mathematical beings of geometry and arithmetic; the physical things, things drawn, and visible reflections- are to facilitate and ascent to the contemplative sight on which all rule depends. Stated directly, the question is quite obvious: just when do the philosopher kings study politics? The account of the philosophic education appears to have little to do with the pursuit of self knowledge or the study of the human things, and it is not clear how to place the famous account of the Socratic turn from pre-Socratic philosophy within the the outline of the study. Hence, it is unclear why Plato apparently presents the account of the highest things in a work titled “the Regime,” more accurately translating Politea, in which Socrates is shown founding political philosophy by the construction in speech of the best regime. The account of the education of the philosophers appears to have little to do with the study of the regime, the nature of man, nor is it clear how self knowledge would be especially involved in the ascent. Theoretical and practical wisdom appear to be as distinct as are the theoretical studies of a Thales, Democritus or Anaxagoras from the practice of a Perikles [Note 3], so that we must wonder when Socrates says of the end of this ascent that the one who is to be prudent in public or private must see it, and that without this contemplative ascent there is no practical wisdom. We must wonder, then, how we are to understand how the section of the Republic on the education of the philosopher kings, and how this section fits within the whole.

   The account of the education of the philosophers is presented through three images: The Child of the good, the divided line and the allegory of the cave. These three are presented in explanation of an earlier famous image, the parable of the ship. The three images are explicitly intended to be drawn together (Plate 1). First, the divided line is drawn directly from the division of the visible and intelligible in the child of the good, and as a further explanation of the analogy (509d 4-6; Brann, Music, p. 15). Then Socrates states that that the allegory of the cave “must be connected with what was said before” regarding the visible and intelligible in the child of the good (517 a9-c4). The two fundamental levels or kinds of beings, and the four levels of beings and their reflections, ought then, correspond to one another throughout the three images. But the instructions for drawing the images raises difficulties regarding the discernment of the forms or levels described along the way of the ascent, especially going from the line to the cave. While it is obvious that the things inside the cave are to be read allegorically, the divided line appears to be literally about the objects of sense and mathematics. While this literal line is genuinely present, and quite revealing, we will suggest that the diligent attempt to see the images together reveals something like an allegorical line, and going back and forth proves most helpful. The levels of the soul and being presented in accounting for the education of the philosophers is in turn an image, and one which at first sight seems to have no place in the the divided line, except as a visible and mathematical object. It is not clear where the philosophers of the beautiful city ever study epistemology or ascend through such images as the allegory of the cave. But that is the question and the account which the present essay will attempt to follow out.

The Fraudulent Account of the Offspring of the Good

   [from p. 9] Right from the start, Socrates cautions Glaucon to beware that he does not in some way unwillingly deceive him in the account of the Child of the Good. The offspring and not the parent is presented because the account of the father is beyond their reach. The warning is repeated again before the account of the divided line. Our argument here asserts that the unwilling deception of Glaucon by the fraudulent offspring of the good does occur, and that it involves the replacement of the opinable things, “visible not by the eye of the body but only by imagination and belief, with the literally visible things- the physical objects. The undoing of this deception is the starting point of the a double or allegorical reading of the offspring of the good and the divided line, by which we hope to avoid a literal reading of the allegory of the cave. And so let us go back to this discussion distinguishing the opinable and the knowable, in an attempt to find the true particulars involved in the bondage of humans regarding education and the philosophic ascent.]

   The question of the good arises when Socrates undertakes to to reconsider what concerns the rulers “from the beginning” (502 c).  He reminds Adeimantus of their earlier discussion of what concerns the rulers, and then recalls the separating out of the three forms in the soul by which they figured out what justice, moderation, courage and wisdom each is,” based upon the corresponding parts and virtues found in the city (in book IV). Socrates recalls that there he had said that the method by which they were proceeding was inadequate, and that in order to get a precise grasp of the forms in the soul, “another longer and further road” would have to be taken (435 c10). But then Socrates was stopped and compelled to take this road (Book V), through the account of the three “waves,” , which culminate in the introduction of the philosopher-kings. Once philosophy and the philosophic nature is introduced,  the account of virtue is to be taken up from a new principle. Glaucon and Adeimantus are here told of a study greater than justice and the virtues previously sketched: the study of the idea of the good (505a).

   The Ethics of Aristotle follows the same pattern as Plato’s Republic in this regard. After describing the justice which preserves the political community as “the practice of complete virtue” and the whole of virtue practiced in relation to others (V,i, 1129 12- 1130 a), there is a new beginning in the discussion of intellectual virtue (VI.3; 1139 b13), and then a new beginning in the discussion of virtue and vice (VII.1, 1145 a15). The philosophic life shows the nature of man, the principle in light of which vulgar virtue is crafted (Republic, 500 d7). The philosophic education addressed in this section of the Republic corresponds to the Aristotelian treatment of intellectual virtue, while the Platonic “vulgar virtue” (518 d)  corresponds to the Aristotelian ethical virtue, according to the same division. [Appendice A].  

   The question of what the good is first appears as the question of what, among the goods pursued, is the good for man. Socrates says that in the opinion of the many, the good is pleasure, although the more refined think it to be prudence (phronesis, as is taken up again in Plato’s Philebus). But these definitions are inadequate. There are bad pleasures, and if one asks the refined few  what sort of prudence, they must finally say, “about the good, as though we knew what was meant when the name of the good is uttered. Socrates notes that while men are content to appear just or fair, no one is satisfied with things merely opined  to be good, but here, everyone “seeks the things that are,” and “despises opinion.” Even the unjust man in Book II seeks his real advantage while using the appearance of justice. The good is what every soul pursues, [Note 4], yet while the soul divines that it is something, the soul is at a loss and unable to grasp just what it is, or even able to attain a “stable trust” about it as is had about “the rest.” But, Socrates divines, “no one will adequately know the just and the fair things until it is known in what way these are good. The just and noble things won’t have a guardian worth much before these things are known, while it will be perfectly ordered if one who knows this oversees. Glaucon and Adeimantus learn, then, of a study greater than justice, the greatest and most fitting study, of the idea of the good (505 a).

   The action which stands as the portico to the presentation of the image of the good is a good example of the importance of the dramatic context in reading the dialogues. Socrates delivers his account not of the good but of the child of the good, as a compromise. He refuses to give an account of the good itself, but when Glaucon persists, saying it doesn’t appear just for Socrates to tell the opinions of others and not his own. Socrates hesitates, answering that it is not just to speak of what one does not know as if one knew. Adeimantus agrees, but says that one ought be willing to state what one supposes (hoimai) as one’s supposition.” Socrates remains hesitant, responding by asking Adeimantus if he has not noticed that all opinions without knowledge are ugly, and at best blind Nearing this peak, he speaks out of opinion, asking Adeimantus if men who opine something true without intelligence seem to him any different from blind men who travel the right road. Glaucon intervenes, saying he is not about to withdraw when they have arrived “as it were at the end,” But Socrates remains unchanged, saying that he fears suffering the penalty of ridicule for “cutting a graceless figure” in his eagerness. The image called a child of the good is a result of a compromise between this insistent pursuit and the hesitance of Socrates. As Socrates enters into the display of the analogy between the sun and the idea of the good, he tells Glaucon:

…lets leave aside for the time being what the good itself is- for it looks to me as though it’s out of the range of our present thrust to attain the opinions I now hold about it. But I am willing to tell what looks like a child of the good and most similar to it (506 e).

Glaucon accepts, saying “another time you’ll pay us what is due on the father’s narrative.” Socrates, taking up the pun in the language of debt, tells Glaucon:

“I could wish …that I were able to pay, and you were able to receive it itself, and not just the interest (or offspring, tokos). Anyhow receive this interest and child of the good itself (ton tokon te kai ekgonon). But be careful that I don’t in some way unwillingly deceive you in rendering the account of the interest (tokos [Note 4] fraudulent.

  We will argue that this unwilling deception does occur, and that, and includes the replacement of the opinable with the visible, and so opinion with vision.  Before entering the account of the divided line, too, Socrates says that he supposes he will leave quite a bit out, but says he will not leave anything out “willingly” (509c; 382 a7-8), so that the warning is repeated again before drawing the divided line.

   Soon this offspring of the good is identified with the visible sun, which the good is said to have begotten in proportion with itself using this image, Socrates gives an analogical account of the good according to which the good is to intelligence and things intellected (vooumena) as the the sun is to the eye and things seen.

   Before beginning the account of the offspring, Socrates reminds Glaucon of an earlier distinction between (471d-480a) between the many things- as the noble, the good- and the one idea of each kind of things, as the noble itself and the good itself (507b). It is on the basis of this earlier distinction between the many things and the singular ideas- the visible and the intelligible- that the child of the good and the divided line are based. The ideas are what “really is,” (or what is in “being”), and are intellected, while the many things are seen but not intellected. In book V, these two are called the “knowable” and the “opinable, but throughout the account of the child of the good, Socrates neglects to remind Glaucon of these names, and what was said about them. He allows the opinable to be equated with the physical, literally visible things and this appears to be the unwilling deception of Glaucon and those hearing. But the deception can be done in reading the account veiled in the images of the philosophic ascent.

   The distinction between the knowable and opinable arose just after the assertion that if the best regime is ever to  to come forth from nature,” and “see the light of the sun,” philosophers must rule as kings. There Socrates attempted to defend himself by distinguishing “whom we mean when we dare to assert that philosophers must rule as kings.” The philosophers are identified as those who desire all of wisdom, loving every kind of learning, rather than those who desire one part and not another. The philosophers,, as the “lovers of the sight of the truth,” who delight in what each thing is itself are distinguished for Glaucon from the “lovers of sights” and the lovers of “hearing (475d),” or the “lovers of sights, the arts and the practical men.” (476a). Here Glaucon uses the terms of the bodily senses of sight and hearing to refer to opinable particulars which cannot really be seen with the literal bodily senses. No explicit example of the lovers of sights is given in the recapitulation, but Glaucon identifies the lovers of hearing as those who “run around to every chorus at the Dionysia, missing none in the cities or villages” (475 d). Allan Bloom notes that the Dionysia was a festival held in honor of the god Dionysus each spring at Athens and the villages around Attica [Note  ]. Three days of the festival were devoted to the presentation of comedies and tragedies, and it is to the lovers of the hearing of these choruses that Glaucon refers. The lovers of learning  and sights, Socrates says, “delight in fair sounds and colors and all that craft makes from such things, but their thought is unable to see and delight in the nature of the fair (Kalon) itself. These are not connoisseurs of the literally visible objects of bodily sense, nor do men go to see dramas literally for the sounds and colors Rather, these lovers of sounds are the lovers of the imitations crafted by the dramatic poet. If the lovers of sights, too, are to be distinguished from the lovers of hearing, their identity is not here disclosed. But of these, Socrates says that they can in no way endure it if anyone asserts that that the fair is one, the just is one and so on with the rest (479 a). Those who held that there are many noble/beautiful things, but not that there is the kalon itself, and are unable to follow one who would lead them to the knowledge of it are said to be dreaming, believing the likeness of something to be not a likeness but the thing itself which it is like,. Meanwhile those seeing both beauty itself and what participates in it are agreed to be awake (476 d). Along these lines, of those dreaming and those awake, Socrates distinguishes those whose thought (dianoian) is knowledge and those whose is opinion (476 d) Opinion is to be located between knowledge and ignorance, and so the opinable doxaston [Note 6] is sought between what is and what is not, as something which participates in both “to be and not to be.” The opinable is exemplified by the various manys (oi polloi) 476c). or the many fair things, the many just things, etc. (479 a)Socrates says, ” Then we have found, as it seems, that the many beliefs (nomidzma) of the many  about what’s fair and about the other things roll around somewhere between not being (me on) and being purely and simply (479 d). Bloom notes that nomidzma, derived from nomos, usually means “the customary or lawful” (Note 41 to book V 479). Filling out the opinable, the lovers of sights, corresponding to the lovers of hearing as the lovers of dramatic poetry, those who are dreaming and not awake and who cannot endure anyone asserting that the fair itself is one and the just is one and so on are likely to be those attached not to the artifacts of the dramatic poet, but to the beliefs and images that make up the various customs or nomoi to which the peoples are attached. The association with craftsmen suggests politicians, too. In distinguishing the “opinable,” Socrates speaks not of the  singular ideas of every kind of thing, but only of the fair itself, the just itself, etc, ie, especially the parts of virtue and the human things. The opinable, then, looks like it includes the things made by man, the images and the laws made by the poets and legislators, as distinct from what is not made. It probably also includes the things done, the actions, and so the virtues of the practical man. (476 a9) These opinable manys are spoken of before the Child of the Good as visible only playfully.

   Similarly, there is no place in either the telling of the child of the good or the divided line for  imagination and belief as distinct from the sight and hearing of physical objects and their reflections. Rather, it looks like Socrates, while presenting a true analogy regarding the sun and sight with the sight of the intellect for the divided line, veils the brightness of the account of the philosophic ascent by replacing, in his fraudulent account of the offspring, the things made by the poets and legislators and the particulars of all the human things with the visible physical things and artifacts. What will not be endured from the philosopher is not that there is a square itself or a diagonal itself, but, nor worse yet, a rock, a car or tree, but that the many beliefs and images to which the peoples are attached, about the most important things, which make up their cosmos, that these are not knowledge or the truth itself. It is for this that Socrates himself was tried and put to death by the Athenians for impiety.

   There are certain perplexities resulting from the account of the opinable and knowable which might be kept in mind: One is the apparent implication, felt by many readers, that the particulars are unknowable, while what is would be un-opinable For it seems to us that the many things are more immediate and in our experience, and this acquaintance seems to be a kind of knowledge, if only an acquaintance, as we say such a person is “known” to us, while we do not seem to have knowledge of what man in general is. It seems too that we can be mistaken or correct, as when we say that if I drop this ball it will fall, though we might on occasion be surprised, as by helium. Aristotle begins his Physics with reference to this difference between what is first simply and first for us when we set out to inquire into nature. At the same time, it seems that what we have opinion and not knowledge about is especially the eternal or divine and natural things., or specifically regarding “what is” that we have opinion and not knowledge. The Republic itself has proceeded through various opinions of what justice itself is., each partly right though at a point deficient. And as Eva Brann points out, “About the greatest studies, …Socrates himself has, as he repeatedly says, only opinion (506 c4; e2; 509c3; 517 b7, 533 a4; e8; Phaedrus 278d). Not knowing fully what is just or good, it seems we have opinion not only of the many things opined to be just or beautiful in light of the suppositions, but also of what justice is and what the good is.

   Aristotle apparently, identifies the faculty of opinion with logistikon, the calculative faculty by which we apprehend the “things that can be other than they are.” The virtue of this faculty is not  sophia or theoretical wisdom, but practical wisdom (phronesis) Practical wisdom is the virtue of the part of the rational element of the soul that forms opinions, for opinion as well as practical wisdom deals with things that can be other than they are.” (Ethics, VI.7; 1140 b 27-29).

   Aristotle also uses the word for perception (aesthesis) not only in reference to the five senses, but also in reference to an activity of the intellect (nous) in practical wisdom (1143 b5). Perhaps echoing the Socratic account of the opinable of which there is not knowledge, (gnosis), Aristotle (Ostwald Tr.) states that practical wisdom has as its object the “ultimate (final) particular fact,” of which there is perception but no scientific knowledge” (episteme):

This is not the kind of perception with which each of the five senses apprehends its proper object, but the kind with which we perceive that in mathematics the triangle is the ultimate figure for in this direction, we shall have to reach a stop.

   In this way, the right thing to be done, the sight of the one right thing to be done, which is the end of practical wisdom at which deliberation too stops, is also called a kind of perception.

A second consideration from Aristotle is the possibility that the “faculty that forms opinion” has a double meaning, referring also to the faculty involved in legislation, forming the opinions of the citizens, selecting the best images and opinions to be cultivated in having the best customs for a particular people.It is the work of practical wisdom to give “a true conviction of the end or what is conducive to the end of action.” Book VI opens with another summary in which Socrates asks Glaucon, “Is it a blind or a sharp-sighted guardian who ought to keep watch over anything?” (484c).

   On the assumption that knowledge and opinion are two different powers, Socrates and Glaucon agree that the opinable and the knowable are different objects of these powers. Opinion is located as lying between knowledge and ignorance, and the opinable is sought between what is and what is not. Strangely, the opinable was called the “wanderer between, seized by the power between” (479 d7)…. The imagination too is sometimes represented as as a sea navigable to another shore, and the soul itself in some sense might be the opinable, in the sense of a collective unconscious between the seeker and knowledge. Socrates notes that unlike hearing, sight and the objects seen are in need of a third thing, light, in order to be yoked together in vision. The sun is called an “offspring of the good, begot in proportion with itself. Among the visible things, the sun is to sight and the things seen as the good is to intelligence and the things intellected. Just as the eye sees when light illuminates the colors of visible objects,, but appears nearly blind when in darkness, so the soul, Socrates teaches, “intellects, knows, and appears to possess intelligence when it is turned toward that which is “illuminated by truth and that which is,” but focusing on coming into being and passing away, or on what is mixed with darkness, it opines and is dimmed. As the sun isa visible, but neither is it vision nor the objects it illuminates, So the good, as the cause of knowledge and truth, can be understood to be a thing known, though it is yet something different than knowledge and truth. And as the sun provides what is seen with generation, growth and nourishment, so also existence and being are in the things known as a result of the good, although the good isn’t being but is still beyond being, exceeding it in dignity. As it is beyond the things that are, it is no wonder that Socrates is hesitant to say what it is.


Note 1: The word is theo-eides te kai theo eikelov, “divine of form” and “god-like.” Most sun formed is halio-eidestatoi, at 508b. The reference is apparently to the Homeric epithet as this is used for example of Achilles by Agamemnon (Iliad, I, 131) and of Odysseus Thrasymedes and Telemachos Odyssey,  III, 398, 414, 416). In Homer, the word is unlikely to have the significance of the image of God in man by which the legislator produces the the image of man. The legislator (at 500c-501b) uses the image of god in man as the philosopher-kings are later said to use the good itself (540 a9-b1) as a pattern in ruling all that that they rule.

Note 2: Benardete, Seth “Sun, Line and Cave,” p. 327. Benardete continues that the account in the Republic “appears to be prior to and is posterior to the discovery of political philosophy.”

Note 3: Aristotle, Ethics VI, 12140 b8 and 1141 b4. Aristotle’s examples of natural philosophers and non-philosophic politicians leads one to wonder about the distinction of Socratic wisdom from these kinds of theoretical and practical wisdom.

Note 4: Tokos means both interest and offspring Usury, lending at interest- is considered suspect because unlike profit from the natural reproduction a herd of sheep or cattle, interest is the “unnatural breed of barren metal.” (Yet lending capital might itself generate value.)

Note 5: Allan Bloom, Interpretive Essay,   .

Note 6: Jacob Klein notes that there is an “ironic ambiguity” in the term doxaston, because in addition to the opinable” it can also mean “what is held in honor,” as at 511 a8 dedoxamenois). See also Aristotle’s Ethics I.12. The Glory” in scripture is similarly the Doxan,” and an illumination around the Presence.



Bloom, Alan. Plato’s Republic. Interpretive Essay

Brann, Eva. The Music of the Republic

Strauss, Leo. The City and Man.