It was ironic,too,that Plato,socrates,edotor,ghost-writer and perpetuator,should become the patron saint of pure,chageless idea and author of the republic,the prototype and most influential of all Utopia,a terminal portrait of the perfected community.
And Plato's republic would claim to be the static end of seeking and the need for seekers."Although all the rulers are to be philophers,"British mathematician and philosophers Bertrand Russell once objected,"there are to be no innovations;a philosopher is to be,for all time,a man who understands and agress with Plato."Socrates could hardly have been any more content in plato's republic than he had been in his own Athens.
In recalling the story of our human search for meaning,we have been inclined to remember the courage,initiative and imagination of the menssengers and forget the message.The Hebrew prophets still live for us in their eloquent exhortations and jeremiads.The Greek philosophers live in the wisdom and drama of socrates.The prophers sought purpose in the word of the god for whom they spoke,the philosophers sought to fre the wondrous instrument of reason within herotic voices the prophets channels for the voice above;the philosophers midwives for the hidden voice within.
The next great age of seeking in the west sought purpose not in the vision of individual prophets or the personal revelation of reason within each person.The appeal was to man in society.Communal enterprises in he great age of discivery,beginning in the late 15th century,signaled a turn to experience-to sgared experience-and dramatitized the power and possibilities of community.The European exploration of America showed how much of the world the europeans still did not know,and how community entreprises of discovery could open opportunities for nations and individuals.Out of this experience and the vitality of the Renaissance with its discovery of the world and of man-came a new sense of seeking as a communal endivor.