Plato (428-348 B.C.)
by Raphael Sanzio
Vatican Museum

Stories of the Human Spirit

for Accelerating Change Conference 2003
Stanford University, September 12-14, 2003

Edited by Peter Y. Chou

On the Nature of the One
Paintings of Socrates, Plato, St. John the Baptist
Quotes from Socrates, Plato, Plotinus, Zen
Poem by Peter Y. Chou

Plato (428 B.C.-348 B.C.),
The Myth of Er
Paul Shorey (translator),
The Republic Book X: 619a-621d
The Collected Dialogues of Plato,
Edith Hamilton & Huntington Cairns (Eds.)
Bollingen Series LXXI, Princeton University Press, 1961, pp. 842-844
(One of my favorite stories occurs at the end of Plato's Republic
Odysseus, King of Ithaca, inventor of the Trojan Horse to win the war,
declined immortality from the Sirens to come home to Penelope, now
chooses his next life— a common man rather than one of fame & fortune.)

Chuang Tzu (369 BC-286 BC),
The Gardener Watering a Ditch
Chuang Tzu: Taoist Philosopher and Chinese Mystic,
Translated by Herbert A. Giles (2nd Edition, 1926)
George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1961, pp. 124-125
(Werner Heisenberg quotes this Taoist story "of the danger of the machine"
in his 1955 book The Physicist's Conception of Nature.)

Dogen (1200-1253), "The mind and the word are equally being-time."
Shobogenzo Uji or Being Time(1240)
Translated by N. A. Waddell
The Eastern Buddhist, Vol. XII, No. 1 (May 1979), pp. 114-129
(For those of us who are caught up in the warp-speed of Silicon Valley,
here are some words of wisdom from Zen Master Dogen on "being-time"
in honor of the 750th anniversary of his death on September 29, 1253.)

Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), "The study of truth"
Letter to his nephew, Sebastiano Salvini (13 September, 1480)
Meditations on the Soul: Selected Letters of Marsilio Ficino,
Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont, 1996, pp. 20-21
(For the scientists attending the "Accelerating Change Conference" at Stanford,
September 12-14, 2003, this Marsilio Ficino letter written to his nephew exactly
523 years ago on the changeless truth is worthy of contemplation. Ficino's
translations of Plato from Greek into Latin ignited the Italian Renaissance.)

William Blake (1757-1827),
"A Vision of Albion" from Jerusalem (1804)
(Man enslaved by cruel Works of many Wheels with cogs tyrannic)

Mary Shelley (1797-1851),
Frankenstein (1818)
(A doctor's hubris in creating life from the dead)

D. T. Suzuki (1870-1966),
On Technology & Individuality (1909)
(A Zen scholar's insight on the shortcomings of Western technology)

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965),
Choruses from The Rock (1934)
(A poet's warning on the endless experiments & inventions of technology)

Kathleen Raine (1908-2003),
Amo Ergo Sum from The Year One (1952)
(A poet's vision of how love moves the sun and moon and all the stars)

Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976),
Role of Technology in Man's Relationship with Nature
in The Physicist's Conception of Nature (1958)
(A physicist's warning on technology limiting man's spiritual development)

Peter Y. Chou
Some Questions for Robo-Man (2003)
(A checklist for robotics engineers who wish to bypass humanity. Notes)

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (8-25-2003)