We return to the mathematical structures within the text of Plato’s masterwork, guided by a scholar who has looked deeply into the question. Maya Alapin discusses how harmonic theory, music, ratios and proportions intertwine with textual meaning in the Republic.
SHWEP is a roughly-chronological historical narrative: it starts way-back-when and moves forward from there. However, Episodes 0-4 are introductory materials. If you are a newcomer to the podcast, Episode Zero introduces the concept behind it. If you are a newcomer to the history of western esotericism, check out Episodes One, Two and Three, which provide a lot of useful background. If you want to skip the intro and start exploring the nitty-gritty of the history of western esotericism, start with Episode Four and go from there.
Episode 31: Sun, Line, Cave: Plato’s Inner Republic
In this episode we explore three beautiful, linked passages in Plato’s masterwork, among the most influential Platonic texts for the history of western esotericism, which describe a world of transcendent truth accessed through the human mind.
Episode 30: Introducing Plato’s Republic
Plato’s Republic is widely regarded as his masterwork. It is complex and sly. We introduce the dialogue and try to come to grips with it in a general way, noting the intricate structure of the text itself.
Episode 29: Otherworlds, Inner Worlds, and Utopias
Plato’s Republic is the world’s first utopia. But what is a utopia, exactly, and how does it differ from the other invisible worlds we encounter in western esoteric traditions, the otherworlds and inner worlds? We survey types of esoteric space.
Episode 28: Christopher Gill on Plato’s Atlantis
Christopher Gill, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Thought at the University of Exeter, takes us deep into the territory of Atlantis, one of Plato’s most puzzling creations.
Episode 27: Plato’s Timæus
In this episode we introduce Plato’s Timæus, the father of western esotericism’s single most influential dialogue. With this work Plato set the scene for pretty much all subsequent esoteric thought. Dig infinity!
When looking for esoteric wisdom in a text, you need esoteric hermeneutics to find it. We discuss ancient techniques of esoteric reading with Professor Peter Struck, and along the way we learn some fundamental things about esoteric hermeneutics more generally.
Episode 25: The Esoteric Plato
Plato was long considered an esoteric author who hid his true doctrines within his dialogues. We look at some of the reasons for his reputation as the esoteric author par excellence, and discuss modern academic debates around the ‘esoteric question’.
The greatest philosopher of the western world was a trickster. In this episode we introduce Plato, the father of western esotericism, and discuss his importance to the esoteric traditions.
Episode 23: Miguel Herrero de Jauregui on Ancient ‘Orphism’
The elusive 'Orphics' of antiquity continue to present a puzzle to scholars after several centuries of debate and the discovery of amazing new evidence. Dr Miguel Herrero helps us to navigate the fascinating question of ancient 'Orphism'.