Plato was good at keeping secrets too
The Greek philosopher Plato has been revered as a great thinker for millennia. It turns out, his writings are even more valuable than we have thought.
A science historian at The University of Manchester has cracked "The Plato Code" — the long disputed secret messages hidden in the great philosopher's writings.
Plato was the Einstein of Greece's Golden Age and his work founded Western culture and science. Dr Jay Kennedy's findings are set to revolutionise the history of the origins of Western thought.
Dr Kennedy, whose findings are published in the leading US journal Apeiron, reveals that Plato used a regular pattern of symbols, inherited from the ancient followers of Pythagoras, to give his books a musical structure. A century earlier, Pythagoras had declared that the planets and stars made an inaudible music, a "harmony of the spheres". Plato imitated this hidden music in his books.
The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea — the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. The decoded messages also open up a surprising way to unite science and religion. The awe and beauty we feel in nature, Plato says, shows that it is divine; discovering the scientific order of nature is getting closer to God. This could transform today’s culture wars between science and religion.
"Plato’s books played a major role in founding Western culture but they are mysterious and end in riddles," Dr Kennedy, at Manchester's Faculty of Life Sciences explains.
In antiquity, many of his followers said the books contained hidden layers of meaning and secret codes, but this was rejected by modern scholars.
"It is a long and exciting story, but basically I cracked the code. I have shown rigorously that the books do contain codes and symbols and that unraveling them reveals the hidden philosophy of Plato."
"This is a true discovery, not simply reinterpretation."
This will transform the early history of Western thought, and especially the histories of ancient science, mathematics, music, and philosophy.
Dr Kennedy spent five years studying Plato's writing and found that in his best-known work the Republic he placed clusters of words related to music after each twelfth of the text — at one-twelfth, two-twelfths, etc. This regular pattern represented the twelve notes of a Greek musical scale. Some notes were harmonic, others dissonant. At the locations of the harmonic notes he described sounds associated with love or laughter, while the locations of dissonant notes were marked with screeching sounds or war or death. This musical code was key to cracking Plato's entire symbolic system.
Over the years Dr Kennedy carefully peeled back layer after symbolic layer, sharing each step in lectures in Manchester and with experts in the UK and US.
He recalls: "There was no Rosetta Stone. To announce a result like this I needed rigorous, independent proofs based on crystal-clear evidence.
The result was amazing — it was like opening a tomb and finding new set of gospels written by Jesus Christ himself.
Plato is smiling. He sent us a time capsule."
For more information: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=5894