It is around 400 BCE. And the groves of Rājagṛiha are alive with the gatherings of the learned, the wise, the charlatans and the hustlers.
Far to the West, Socrates’ new ‘Theory of Forms’ has been getting a lot of attention in the Athens cafe circuit. So here he is sitting alongside the aging Parmenides.
Rightness, Beauty, Goodness. These high and noble things all have their essence in an intangible ideal Form, the theory said. Behind the veil of everyday blandness lay this epiphany waiting to be had.
Perhaps, acknowledges Parmenides. But then what about the ugly, the depraved, the execrable, all around us?
What about, asks Parmenides, ‘The Hair..the Mud..the Dirt‘.
‘Oh, No!‘ Socrates quickly replies, ‘They are just the things we see. It would be too absurd to suppose that they have a Form‘.
And why not? Why turn back at the Cliff’s Edge?
‘When I have reached that point’ replies Socrates, ‘I am driven to retreat, for fear of tumbling into a bottomless pit of nonsense’.
‘That’ replied Parmenides, ‘is because you are still young and Philosophy has not taken hold of you so firmly as I believe it will someday’.
The vicinity of Shūnyam is when: ‘Philosophy..takes hold of you‘. To me it marked the point where a million compelling reasons why a Site such as this would carry no interest, serve no purpose…stood dismissed. [And Philosophy will never take hold of you under the trite ambitions of professorial stardom. See: ‘Who Needs Philosophy?’]
I recall the Pundit at the Vaishnava temple being initially dumbfounded, then cresting into righteous anger when I asked him the way to the Men’s Room. The very idea of a toilet in the divine premises was sacrilegious to him. Clearly, Divinity has no truck with Sweat and Piss and Crap. And has never heard or smelled a stentorian Fart.