Contemplation on “Metaxy”

613870402Metaxy (Greek: μεταξύ) is defined in Plato’s Symposium via the character of the priestess Diotima as the “in-between” or “middle ground”. Diotima, tutoring Socrates, uses the term to show how oral tradition can be perceived by different people in different ways. In the poem by Socrates she depicts Eros as not an extreme or purity; rather, as a daemon, Eros is in between the divine Gods and mankind. Diotima thus exposes the flaws of oral tradition; it uses strong contrasts to express truth, thus revealing vulnerability to sophistry. This portion of the dialogue points to the idea that reality is perceptible only through one’s character (which includes one’s desires and prejudices and one’s limited understanding of logic). Man moves through the world of Becoming, the ever changing world of sensory perception, into the world of Being—the world of forms, absolutes and transcendence. Man transcends his place in Becoming by Eros, where man reaches the Highest Good, an intuitive and mystical state of consciousness. Neoplatonists like Plotinus later used the concept to express an ontological placement of Man between the Gods and animals.[1] Much like Diotima did in expressing that Eros as a daemon was in between the Gods and mankind. Love (Eros) is the thing in between or child of Poverty (Penia) and Possession (Poros).”

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