Plato describes beauty as the only virtue that is visible – though physical beauties are lower than invisible beauties of soul. Virtue begins with a love of beauty. The other virtues, Justice, and Truth, must be found lovely before they will be diligently pursued. “You choose a beloved according to your disposition and character, as though the beloved were a god, the lover fashions and adorns an image/statue to be the object of his veneration and worship.” To love beauty, wisdom, knowledge, truth, and justice, in others, those qualities must already be inside you. It is beautiful to appreciate beauty, and it is wise to seek wisdom. And we seek those things in our beloved. We recognize those qualities within them and encourage them to search for them.
A sociopath loves no man, because he admires no man. He does not love beauty or knowledge. If he does not have those qualities in himself, he cannot recognize them in others. He finds no one beautiful nor just. Someone has to be little bit beautiful to love beauty, and wise to pursue and admire wisdom. Just as we hate those qualities in others that we hate in ourselves – qualities we either have or fear that we have – so we love aspects of other people that we too share – negative and positive projection. Of all the negative qualities we could hate, we hate those most that have formed a wound within us. And of all the positive qualities we could love and admire, we love those most those things we already participate in, to some small extent.
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