jealousy

“Let me tell you then why the creator made this world of generation. He was good, and the good can never have any jealousy of anything. And being free from jealousy, he desired that all things should be as like himself as they could be. This is in the truest sense the origin of creation and of the world, as we shall do well in believing on the testimony of wise men.” Plato’s Timaeus

It is one of the most remarkable lines in all of philosophical literature.

“And being free from all jealousy…”

What an astounding state of being. Reading these words in Plato gives occasion for pause. In reality, I am often motivated by jealousy. Why am I so prone to be jealous?

Plato boldly asserts that ‘the good’ are never jealous of anything. Clearly he uses the term good in a strong sense here. One who is truly good knows he is good, and lo, he wants others to be so too, and rejoices in their goodness. Such is true happiness.

Can I be this way–like the creator about which Plato speaks?

Plato seems to think so. Indeed he thinks this is the whole point of creation: ‘…that all things be as like him as they could be.’ Such is the testimony of wise men, whom we do well to believe.

Plato (427-347 B.C.), a student of Socrates, and teacher of Aristotle, is considered one of the greatest philosophers of all time.

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