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Spindle of Necessity – The Name and Mission
For the name of this blog, I take inspiration from the last chapter of Plato’s Republic in which Socrates relates the myth of Er, a soldier who died on the battlefield of the Trojan war and who was miraculously revived in order to tell the living of what he saw in the afterlife. What Er saw in the afterlife was a system of reincarnation. The immortal Achaean souls were ushered to the goddess Necessity, whereupon they would choose from a inventory of new lifetimes to live on Earth. After the soul selected a life, Necessity, along with her protégés, the three fates, would weave the soul’s new destiny into the universe by using The Spindle of Necessity.
Plato relates this story of Er to show his fellow Athenians that having a good moral compass is crucial for obtaining happiness and living the best possible life. Er observed that the most virtuous souls were wise enough to choose lives that were less decadent or glamorous than they were righteous and just, and that the most immoral souls were inclined to choose lives of greed, corruption, and, eventually, depravity. For example, a virtuous soul might choose the live of a pauper who was set to live a generous, virtuous life that promotes justice and charity, while a less virtuous soul might be tempted by the excessive, gluttonous life of a tyrant. The catch is that after the souls die the next time around, they must first be tortured in the afterlife according to the gravity of their sins before they are allowed to choose a new life at the Spindle of Necessity – sound familiar?
I find Plato’s afterlife to be an interesting thought experiment in philosophy, although it is more commonly referred to as a myth. Plato describes such an afterlife to imagine a circumstance in which a just man who is falsely accused of being unjust is rewarded in the long term. Conversely, the story shows how an unjust man who is perceived by others as being just is punished in the afterlife, especially since the new lives they choose gaslight them as individuals of poor moral judgment.
I choose the Spindle of Necessity as a title to showcase my interest in philosophy, but I also think it is a good metaphor for the writing process, personal growth, and critical thinking. Just as our souls may be revising their moral integrity through reincarnation at the Spindle of Necessity, so too does this blog seek to refine and develop my (our) understanding of philosophy, literature, and the ever growing digital cosmos with as much tenacity and skepticism as possible.
Thanks for visiting, and have a nice stay ~Christo