The great benefit of solitude is that, in prolonged duration, dormant faculties of perception arise. An entirely new mode of being awakens. By solitude I mean not in a claustrophobic cage confined in a room, but a comfortable place in idyllic environs, like Thoreau’s situation at Walden pond. I think there really is a noetic advantage in securing such conditions, and not for the sole purpose of mere book-learning.
It was under such conditions that I finally understood platonism. The ‘forms’ are not some kind of speculative leap, but an intuition of the mind about its own formal processes of perception. A separation takes place between the organ of perception (mind) and the objects of perception (bodies), and a kind of map or index is revealed, where any given object is epitomized in seed-form and all modes of its manifestation thru time are implied. Like a seed that sprouts and undergoes a process of growth into a full-fledged tree, this same tree has an ‘essence’ or ‘soul’, which is its formal program, and not only is each stage of it couched in the essence, but in fact that same tree is also a part of a species of which it is but a branch.
Every thing is a variation on a theme, a specific mode of its formal essence. The soul appears to reside in an eternal world of ideas that are perfect, and there is a kind of ‘seeing’ into that world, when certain conditions are met. It is striking how it happens, a sudden flash of insight into the innermost essence of a thing. It isn’t a vague premonition, but a shocking felt immediacy. Also, when the separation takes place, it is unexpectedly a familiar recognition, as if Plato was also right in asserting that all knowledge is recollection. Like the saying goes; there is another world, but it is in this one, hidden in plain sight.
I cannot help but think that our world goes about in such a way as to exclude entirely the possibility of this wonderful second-sight. Small-town living at least approximates it. Hopefully I’m wrong, but even if I am right, I leave you all to allow this stupidity to perpetuate itself; let us fuck off our wonderful birthright. Sounds stupid, and so I guess that sounds about right.