Mandy Oviatt: Author

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Plato’s Meno

In the opening chapters of My Lady Olives, Olisbeth Mason is reading a book titled “Plato’s Meno” when she is rudely interrupted.

The following post contains a few selections from Meno, Specifically the discussion on the idea of anamnesis . The text in its entirety can be found here.

plato-socrates

Meno: And how will you enquire, Socrates, into that which you do notknow? What will you put forth as the subject of enquiry? And if you find what you want, how will you ever know that this is the thing which you did not know?

Socrates. I know, Meno, what you mean; but just see what a tiresome dispute you are introducing. You argue that man cannot enquire either about that which he knows, or about that which he does not know; for if he knows, he has no need to enquire; and if not, he cannot; for he does not know the, very subject about which he is to enquire.

Meno: Well, Socrates, and is not the argument sound?

Socrates. I think not.

<<<< Socrates talks about Reincarnation as a given>>

“For in the ninth year Persephone sends the souls of those from whom she has received the penalty of ancient crime back again from beneath into the light of the sun above, and these are they who become noble kings and mighty men and great in wisdom and are called saintly heroes in after ages.”

The soul, then, as being immortal, and having been born again many times….

Meno. Yes, Socrates; but what do you mean by saying that we do not learn, and that what we call learning is only a process of recollection?

Can you teach me how this is?

Socrates: … I am saying that there is no teaching, but only recollection…

Meno: … if you can prove to me that whatyou say is true, I wish that you would.

Socrates. It will be no easy matter, but I will try to please you to the utmost of my power. Suppose that you call one of your numerous attendants,that I may demonstrate on him.

<<Meno Calls a slave boy forward>>>

Socrates. He is Greek, and speaks Greek, does he not?

Meno. Yes, indeed; he was born in the house.

Socrates: Attend now to the questions which I ask him, and observe whether he learns of me or only remembers.

Meno: I will.

Socrates: Tell me, boy, do you know that a figure like this is a square?

Boy. I do.

Socrates: And you know that a square figure has these four lines equal?

Boy. Certainly.

Socrates: And these lines which I have drawn through the middle of the square are also equal?

Boy. Yes.

Socrates: A square may be of any size?

Boy. Certainly.

<<Socrates continues asking the boy about squares, and the boy answers questions properly.>>

Socrates: Do you observe, Meno, that I am not teaching the boy anything, but only asking him questions; and now he fancies that he knows how long a line is necessary in order to produce a figure of eight square feet; does he not?

Meno: Yes.

Socrates: And does he really know?

Meno: Certainly not.

Socrates: He only guesses that because the square is double, the line is double.

Meno: True.

Socrates: <<to the boy>> I want to know whether you still say that a double
square comes from double line?

Boy. Yes.
<<Socrates continues to ask the boy questions, the boy answers> >

Socrates: What do you say of him, Meno? Were not all these answers given out of his own head?

Meno: Yes, they were all his own.

Socrates: And yet, as we were just now saying, he did not know?

Meno: True.

Socrates: But still he had in him those notions of his-had he not?

Meno: Yes.

Socrates: Then he who does not know may still have true notions of that which he does not know?

Meno: He has.

Socrates: And at present these notions have just been stirred up in him, as in a dream; but if he were frequently asked the same questions, in different forms, he would know as well as any one at last?

Meno: I dare say.

Socrates: Without any one teaching him he will recover his knowledge for himself, if he is only asked questions?

Meno: Yes.

Socrates: And this spontaneous recovery of knowledge in him is recollection?

Meno: True.

Socrates: And this knowledge which he now has must he not either have acquired or always possessed?

Meno: Yes.

Socrates: But if he always possessed this knowledge he would always have known; or if he has acquired the knowledge he could not have acquired it in this life, unless he has been taught geometry; for he may be made to do the same with all geometry and every other branch of knowledge. Now, has any one ever taught him all this? You must know about him, if, as you say, he was born and bred in your house.

Meno: And I am certain that no one ever did teach him.

Socrates: And yet he has the knowledge?

Meno: The fact, Socrates, is undeniable.

Socrates: But if he did not acquire the knowledge in this life, then he must have had and learned it at some other time?

Meno: Clearly he must.

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Miles Herman, 1946: 8 Years Old.

<h2<h2London, June 21, 1946

Dear Journal,

Today, I got in trouble again. And, on my birthday of all days!

See, I rode my brand-new bike into town with Tony and Johnny and we were at the sweet shop, drooling over the candies on display.
I didn’t have any money cos I left my money at home hidden under the mattress. I’m saving up so I can spend money when we go on holiday next month.

But I promise, I didn’t mean to steal it!

The policeman stopped me on the street and emptied my pockets, finding a big wad of Turkish taffy that I promise I didn’t put there!
So Dad boxed my ears and Mom made me go to bed without dinner.
On my Birthday!
Because this is the third time I’ve been caught taking stuff from the stores.

London, November 11, 1946

We celebrated Armistce by hosting an American Soldier Dad knew in the War, a man named “Sergeant Harry Zeuner.”
I don’t know why my dad likes him; this Harry guy is scary! He is tall, mean, and looks like he could eat Nazis for breakfast. He’s also loud and rude.

He’s going to be staying for a few weeks before he returns home to America.

November 13, 1946

So, Sergeant Harry today caught me borrowing money from my Dad’s wallet.
I didn’t even realize I was doing it, but Dad’s wallet was sitting there, on the counter, open, and I couldn’t help but take the money laying out in the open. I couldn’t bear it if something happened to it!
Except Harry stopped me.

He put his hand around my shoulder and pulled me into the living room. Then I saw something.
It’s like I had a dream while I was awake.
I was a full grown man, dressed like a gladiator or a roman soldier or something, climbing in a mountain to a well. The well was made of bronze, and had a cap on it. I could hear wailing and shouting from within, and the ground shook beneath my feet. A pair of twins, angry looking giant men with gnarled teeth and rotted beards stood behind the well, daring me to open it.
Until my sister, who stood by my side, offered to snog one of the men if they’d let me look at the well.
Delighted, the men walked toward my sister, who turned into a deer and ran off, causing the men to chase her while I opened the well.

Inside was Sergeant Zeuner, or a man that looked just like him.

When the dream was over, Harry put me down and laughed. I was a little disoriented, I don’t have a sister, just my little brother.

“You’re Hermes!” he shouted. And it made sense.

So, you can’t blame me if I takes stuff now an again: I am a god who steals without meaning to.

Too bad Dad and Mum won’t believe it.

Christmas, 1946

I couldn’t believe my luck!
Today, under the christmas tree, sat a box with my name on it.
And in that box was the most amazing pair of shoes I think I’ve ever seen:
Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

shoes
This is the first time I’ve ever seen a pair in red, though. They’re almost always black!
The note in the box was from Harry Zeuner; he had them dyed red because of my Ginger hair.
Apparently, the shoes are worn by American Soldiers in Basic Training.
I’m never taking these shoes off.

Church of the Holy Light: The Lotus Eaters

This Article will contain spoilers about Book One:

Lotophagoi

The Lotus-Eaters, often called the lotophagi, are characters within the Odyssey that lived on an island near North Africa.  This island was covered in the ‘lotus’ plant, whose leaves and fruits were a powerful narcotic, causing people who ingest it to walk around in an apathetic like state.

The story of the Lotus-Eaters is as follows:

Odysseus and his crew were caught in a mighty storm out at sea, and found themselves on the island of the Lotus-Eaters. He sent scouts out to check the island out, to see if it was an okay place to stay. It was gorgeous: covered in beautiful flowers. The natives fed Odysseus’s men their plant, and they forgot their mission, wanting to remain on the island. The lotus was like a drug, and he had to kidnap his men, dragging them back to his ship and causing them to go into detox to take them away from the island.

Modern Day Implications and the Highest Light: 

I want to be clear when I say that the Church of the Holy Light, despite having a great amount of Biblical imagery within their chapel, are NOT meant to reflect an anti-Christian attitude on the part of the author.

 In the first book, one of the major antagonistic forces in Olisbeth’s life is the Church of the Holy Light. They are meant to be modern-day lotus eaters. 

We live in a day where there are several MASSIVE large-population churches. Some of the “Big Churches” of today have more members than moderate sized communities from 200 years ago. MASSIVE church communities are all around us. 

There are also churches like the real-life, completely intolerant Church that Will Not Be Named (CTWNBN) that spread messages of Hate and Intolerance. If you were to combine the size of one of the massive mega-churches with the message of hate preached by the CTWNBN, you would find something menacing indeed.

There are many massive churches out there in our world that do good for their communities. They help the homeless, they feed the poor, they preach stories of tolerance and goodness.
But, when you combine messages of Hate and Intolerance, the power of the Lotus, and  have the church headed by a Titan out to destroy Olympus: yeah, you’d get a church much like the Church of the Holy Light.

I would also like to point out that it is highly possible that the Church of the Holy Light is using a Church-specific translation of the Bible, translated by the Queen of Bad Misdirections, Emma Lumen.

Nectar and Ambrosia

In Classical Greek Mythology, Nectar and Ambrosia are the foods of the gods, granting longevity to mortals and immortality to the gods.

The preferred foods of the gods, they are used countless times in myths to aid and assist mortals.
Athena uses ambrosia to help Penelope appear younger in the Odyssey.

In Olisbeth’s world, Nectar and ambrosia take on specific forms for specific deities, relating to their myths and personal preferences.

The most obvious form is the Olive.

green_olives_trikala_peppers_498

The olive is a fruit sacred to Athena, and thus, they are ambrosia to Olisbeth.
Phoebe, however, prefers a less natural form of Ambrosia. In the book, we call it OrangeePop, but another variation could be known as:

sunkist20ozbottle

Phoebe’s favorite beverage has Nectar-like qualities bestowed upon it by the god of the Sun herself.

As to the nectar and ambrosia of other gods are…. I take a page from Robert Jordan..

READ AND FIND OUT!