“He’ll work at physical exercises in order to arouse the spirited part of his nature, rather than to acquire the physical strength for which other athletes diet and labor.

It looks as though they [the wise] established both [higher studies, and physical training] for the sake of the soul.”
Plato, Republic

For Plato ‘education’ is whole-person formation. It should have a laser-like focus on the profound reality of a well turned-out human being. And it is life long.

Physical training, in some form, is an essential element for all of us. Things of the body have their importance from their relation to things of the soul. Always. So bodily training takes its primary measure from how it serves the highest aspects of the human vocation.

Physical exercise strengthens not only the body but also a part of us Plato calls the ‘spirited part.’ Properly formed this part is to be a key helper to our rational part in the project of life.

We might call it an interior toughness—a toughness that can be used for good or for ill. It is not an end in itself, but it can and should be cultivated in any holistic approach to personal formation.

Some form of this training is within reach of all of us–whether a more complete exercise program or just daily walking, or cold showers.

And by a deep magic those things that are good for our bodily health are also good for our ‘spirit’ in more than one way. Especially when pursued for the best reasons.

~ ~ ~

Plato (427-347 B.C.), a student of Socrates, and teacher of Aristotle, is considered one of the greatest philosophers of all time. The Republic is one of the most widely read and influential of all books.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

The Longing for Things Higher

The Longing for Things Higher

“After the sufferings of many years of violence and oppression, the human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today’s mass living habits introduced by the revolting invasion of publicity, by TV stupor, and by intolerable music.”...

read more
Defending Your Right Not to Know

Defending Your Right Not to Know

“…or we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: ‘Everyone is entitled to know everything.’ But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era. People also have the right not to know and it's a much more valuable...

read more
Mulch: Using Nature’s Plan for Life

Mulch: Using Nature’s Plan for Life

“Art imitates nature.” Aristotle VIDEO FOLLOWED BY DISTINCT WRITTEN REFLECTION This growing season was dry. A number of trees, not to mention my garden, suffered. Upon seeing them losing leaves in early September, I asked my local state forester to look at my trees,...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest