Being before Knowing

I read the Laches today. I’m always struck by Plato’s insistence on being before knowing. He is insistent that one cannot know the good unless one is good. The good is something we enter into before we can know about it. It cannot be just an object on our knowledge, it must be already a part of us (active in us, it is who we are). Orthodoxy mirrors this way of living. knowledge is understated in comparison to being, I would even say it is unimportant. The most holy are the ones who are a certain way, not ones who know certain things. They do, however know something, but in the same way I know a fact about the world. They have entered into something they cannot tell. They can try and show us the way, but they cannot tell us the way. In the Gospels, this is reflected in the appeals of the apostles, “show us the Father!” (John 14:8) , not tell us of the Father. If it was merely a matter of knowing facts, it would be a pretty simple task, the giving of a text book would suffice. No, in order to have true knowledge of the good, you must be good. Being is always before knowing. How Plato and Orthodoxy align here is uncanny. I must work on myself if I am to know the things worth knowing. I will try to pull parts from the text to support this as I think on it more.

~ by Barky on September 9, 2011.

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