Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

The Soul, Homer, and a Book Idea

I have about five and a half pages done of my draft of this last paper.

The title of said paper is “The Changing Conceptions of the Soul in Greek Culture” and I’m focusing on the terms and views of the soul shown by Homer in The Illiad and in The Odyssey, their evolution through the Presocratics and then the way they are used in Phaedo, Timeaus, and The Republic (Book IV) of Plato.

This sounds more fun that it really is (is that possible?). Most of it is descriptive in that I’m gathering the terminology together and how it is used. The main thesis is to show that Plato’s terminology and conception of the soul was different but it is an evolution from Homer’s view, which is why Plato, for example, puts different aspects of the soul in different parts of the body in Timaeus.

This is a 12 to 15 page paper and is due by this coming Friday. Needless to say, I may be taking one of my two floating holidays this week and taking Thursday off from work to finish up this term depending on my progress.

I’m sure R would like me to be done with my required classes in school. She usually proofreads my papers (because she loves me and you can’t really proof your own work) as a favor so she both gets the joy of reading my academic work and of watching me work on papers on weekends instead of doing fun things. She’s going out with friends tonight though so I can ferment in my academic juices.

I was considering the other day that no one has written a retrospective on Hakim Bey’s influence in the 1990s and, specifically, of T. A. Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone. Since I run one of the longest existing Hakim Bey sites on the net, I’m the one that put TAZ online initially when I was in college as postings on Usenet, and I’ve actually met Hakim Bey and worked with a bunch of the moors back in the day, I might be in a good position to write about it. Also, the anti-copyright nature of his work makes it quite easy to quote large swathes of it in a publication.

Hakim Bey has definitely receded to the background over the last five or so years (I believe he’s living in upstate New York now) and his influence has crested, it might be good to look back. This would tie into my Burning Man and other interests.