FILTERED RECOLLECTIONS - October 2018 Sybrand Veeger

The Greek Seed-Tree

Written by Sybrand Veeger:

Greek Seed-Tree

 

Sometimes I wonder…rather,

I’m inclined towards the question:

Is Western Thought’s development analogous to, say,

Benjamin Button’s?

 

That is, was it born mature,

And is now in decline,

Towards immaturity?

 

The metaphor does not do Greece justice, though,

It breaks down upon minimal geometry:

Unlike Button, thought was born strong;

And all-encompassing the Greeks were:

The unrestricted?

 

Plato’s mythological conservatism,

Summoning, say, Poseidon,

Plummeted him,

To hydrate the blossoming

Of dialectic and critique –

No less than the roots

Of thinking.

 

Eclectic,

Were the Greek,

Yet surgically incisive,

And profoundly thorough.

 

Plato’s offspring, Aristotle,

The Greek apogee,

Was bound to a skull,

And could rightly count himself king of infinite power,

Of infinite science.

 

A metaphor for the Great’s teacher’s mind

Could be the cosmic void itself, (any less would fall short, a void):

It expands in all directions, everywhere.

 

Two of an infinity of Aristotelian vectors:

The ethics, the politics,

They go down deeper than all petty moralism posterior,

They’re grounded in the natural,

Governed by eternal and immanent legislation;

They operate, like nature,

Through proportions, geometrics, arithmetics –

By distributions and corrections,

Up and down the topographic plain,

Not the cartographic Plan, of Being.

 

Justice and the Good Life blossom,

Only when facing the Sun,

When hydrated and rendered strong by the elements –

Then they’re virtuosos at equilibrium,

Dancing in harmony,

On the rope of the golden mean.

 

Aristotle’s universal spirit unfolded all spheres –

Like a cosmic bombshell, or an earthly rose, or,

The seed grains of the Western tree?

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