The ascent to the meeting place,
Clothes in disarray, fine garments slashed.
The traveler is not congratulated.

Plato describes Love as an archetype in the following:

He is forever poor, and far from being beautiful as mankind imagine, for he is squalid and withered; he flies low along the ground, is homeless and unsandaled; sleeping without covering before the doors and in unsheltered streets, and possessing so far the mother's nature as being ever the companion of want. Yet, sharing also that of his father, he is forever scheming to obtain things good and beautiful; he is fearless, vehement, and strong; always devising some new contrivance; strictly cautious and full of inventive resource; a philosopher through his whole existence, a powerful enchanter, and a subtle sophist.1

The artist, as lover, often becomes possessed by this deity. S/he only desires to become the slave of the Muse. All worldly concerns are sacrificed for this other-worldly union.


The ascent is dangerous;
The ladder axed;
The loss of scholarly people.

Plato's ascent through love applies to both the physical and spiritual realms:

He who ascends under the influence of true love begins to perceive that beauty is not far from the end. And the true order of going, or being led by another, to the things of love is to begin from the beauties of earth and mount upward for the sake of that other beauty, using these as steps only, and from fair forms to fair practices, and from fairs practices to fair notions, until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute beauty, and at last knows what the essence of beauty is.

1 Plato. Symposium; n.d.; rpt. 1948; Macmillan Pub. Co.

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