Hi, it’s William Wolfsworth, poetry correspondent at the Greenygrey. My human parallel William Wordsworth and his Romantic movement chums tried to open their minds to nature and the real world in the late 18th-19th centuries. Friedrich Nietzsche also stressed the importance of independent thinking in his philosophical works late in the 19th century. This has inspired Marc Latham’s new Folding Mirror poem.
Greek Philosophers Inspired Great Thinkers
Although great thinkers like Wordsworth and Nietzsche are very important, they were just adding to ideas already formulated over 2000 years previously in ancient Greece.
Aristotle influenced Nietzsche and he also inspired his contemporary, Diogenes of Sinope. Diogenes was labelled ‘Socrates gone mad’, and ‘the Dog’, as he preferred to live a vagrant life with stray dogs to a normal life within civilisation.
Today’s Scientists Know More than History’s Great Thinkers
However, although all the above are great thinkers, in their day they could only theorise much of the information that we now take for granted. This week the Voyager spacecraft became the first human object to leave our solar system.
In Aristotle and Diogenes’s time they still thought the Earth was at the centre of everything.
In line with Goethe’s independent thinking, neurologists have discovered how power affects the brain physically; deactivating nerve circuits that help us internalise others’ experiences.
In line with Diogenes’s valuing of animals, scientists have also discovered that orangutans plan their day.
Mirror Poem of Free Independent Thinking
Because Nietzsche was more modern and aspired to rise above he’s on the top of the Folding Mirror poem. Diogenes is on the bottom because he was in history when Nietzsche was thinking great thoughts, possibly being one of the undercurrents in Nietzsche’s thinking, and because he aspired to the bottom. Here it is:
Aristotle’s Disciples Meet, Middle Divides Ages
what outside forces expect of you
what power you seek to gain
to create your ideal
to be your ideal creation
self control, humanity’s goal
living at one with nature
creating a visible virtue
a reality within mind and self
that cannot be broken or stolen