Opening Windows, a painting within a painting, a scene within a scene. A soul, a spirit, a mind within a body. A world within, a world without, the macrocosm and the microcosm.
Spinning round and round until all is still. And it is only the still point, like the hub of the wheel where true stillness and true Goodness abides.
Socrates felt that only knowledge of The Good or the stillness that transcends being can deliver Truth and Beauty. The Good is the essence of what “is”, the true nature, intelligibility, and existence for everything in the sensible world. Socrates also felt that the entire soul must be turned towards The Good or to a higher world, and that the greatest knowledge of all is “to go on up until we see The Good.”
But we can ask: What is this Good that Socrates thought we could see?
Turning, turning the entire soul towards The Good or higher things. A window within a window, a painting within a painting, a soul within a body. The greatest Knowledge of all “to go on up until we see The Good.”
A world war within a life.
Turning, turning, the entire soul towards the lower things, and the quality of Reason and thought, it seems, is a much more godlike thing whose power never goes away, but as it is turned in one direction or another, becomes useful and able to do good or useless and able only to damage. How commonly it is said that to bad but sharper individuals, how quick their little souls are to see what is to their interest. It is clear they can see these things well enough. Only, the sharper their sight is, the worse are the things they do.
If the soul had been turned instead towards the things that are true and good, the same power in these individuals would have been quick to see the higher things.
To treasure art simply for its beauty is to miss the point. The true function of art is to dispose the heart with desire of going up the mountain, which is what we really wish to do but keep forgetting, that we return to our first intent “to go on until we see the Good.”