Plato’s Tripartite Nature of the Soul — Made Easy

Minutes ago, I dreamed about a former priest. Yes, former. He’s a friend of mine but he now left the Priesthood to join a lady who happen to be my third year high school English Teacher. They were both friends of mine and my heart breaks of the thought that they are sinning together (if leaving the priesthood to join a woman is a sin).

In my dream, I have just entered the church to attend the Eucharist. To my surprise, it was my friend priest who celebrates and presides the Mass. I cannot contain my joy! My friend who was once lost — an anointed Priest of God; a priest who is so special, so blessed; and by whose hands alone the transformation of a simple bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is made possible — was found. A priest whom I consider as a shepherd has returned to tend his flock.

But when I have awaken, I was saddened by the realization that everything was a dream. It is bitter to accept the reality — the reality that in mankind, there is always and infinite strife between our soul’s appetite and spirit.

For Plato, man’s soul has three parts, also known as the tripartite nature of the soul, namely appetitive, spirited, and rational. Plato believed, and I adhere too, that reason should strike the balance between the two other parts of the soul. Reason, is given to humanity as a unique gift; a distinguishing factor from the animals. Therefore we should be wise to convince our spirits to control our appetites.

As illustrated by Plato, the soul is like a chariot comprised of two horses and a charioteer. The Black horse in the left is the Appetitive part, while on the right side is the Spirited part. The two horses doesn’t control the chariot but the Charioteer. It was the charioteer who governs the whole system, deciding which horse to give a reign or to hold back.

Plato believed, and so do I, that through the wise and rational decision and dispositions of the charioteer (whom I consider also as man himself), the harmony of the soul will create a just and good person leading to happiness.

I await with great enthusiasm, that my friend, together with the others who have gone astray, would be able to decide wise and control their appetites with reason, and one day reunite with us and walk their old good path.


About harksarmiento

Filipino. 27. Licensed Teacher of English. Writer. Leader and Team-builder. Speaker. Affiliations: PALT, Inc. (Active Member); PNU Manila (MA ELE); ONHS Main (English Department). Areas of Interest: Research, Philosophy, Psychology, Logic, Languages, Music, Politics, and Religion. Inclinations: blogging, watching movies, writing, reading. Hobby: badminton. Personality: Passionate, straightforward, tenacious.

Posted on December 14, 2011, in CULTURE, Lifestyle, Philosophy, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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