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“How Splendid it would be, Agathon, if wisdom was the sort of thing that could flow from the fuller to emptier of us when we touch each other, like water, which flows through a piece of Wool from a fuller cup to an emptier one.” says Socrates inPlato's Symposium [1].
Let’s ignore for a moment the philosopher’s double-entendre which leaves no doubt in the context of the book, and look at the imagery of Socrates’s thought. 

Knowledge in a cup, a swig of wisdom, which opens your eyes to all hidden mysteries and gives you an answer to all questions human mind can possibly conceive. What a splendid idea, indeed! If this would be true, how nice it would be instead of slogging through fifteen years of School and college (and still getting dumber day by day), just to have a cup and to become Smarter than Socrates himself."

I guess, this idea was up in the air in V century B.C. When the Greeks joked about a magical drink while imbibing themselves with Wine. Eight hundred miles away, at four o'clock right across the Pont,Ezra (the same one, see ON DEMOCRACY IN HADES) actually drunk just that kind of cup. “A cup full of what seemed like water, except that its color was the color of fire” [2].

Well, I admit, I stretched it a bit: Ezra received his Cup of Wisdom from God Almighty Himself in the field of Ardat in 458 B.C. i.e. when Socrates was only 12 years old. At this time and age he was the one who was receiving his wisdom in exchange for a touch and I bet he loathed that But, considering our vantage point set 25 centuries later, what difference one or two decades can make? Or, who knows, maybe this difference is just the time taken for the news of the magical cup of Ezra to reach Greek shores?

After gulping the cup Ezra began dictating his wisdom to five Scribes non-stop, night and day and in 40 days they produced 94 books: a Superhuman prolificacy attained nowadays only by literary giants likeSteven King, Patterson and Danielle Steele. Sadly, of those 94 books only 24 were open to the public eye, and as far as I know, only 6 are available today [3].

Perhaps, Socrates had drunk that cup too, after all western thought as we know it originates from this man. Yet, everything comes for a price, and in 399 B.C. Socrates will have to drink another cup: this time a cup of poison hemlock (Cicuta). All because the good citizens of Athens felt that he was too smart for limping around and scaring them with his with. Against all injustice of his condemnation, Socrates took the poison with a joke: “We owe a rooster to Asclepius for that one!”

Ezra survived his ordeal and became one of the great prophets. Yet, about five centuries later, One Whom he so openly prophesized about, will have to drink His cup in the garden of Gethsemane: “Pater, ci vis, transfer calicem istum a me” [5]. This cup was filled with the knowledge of all men's sins, beginning from Adam.

“Wait”, you may say, “this cup was just a metaphor” So I say: “How would you know? Was the cross a metaphor too?' I feel that we ought to be careful with metaphors when it comes to the Scriptures (June 22, 2016. THE FORGOTTEN NAME). What if it was not a metaphoric chalice, what if the cup was just as real, as one taken by Ezra'? You can see it in depictions of Agony in the Garden, where an angel holds the cup next to Jesus.

In the turmoil of arrest, the cup was left empty under an olive tree. Eons had passed and it got buried under the Soil and roots. It must be still there, in Jerusalem, waiting for the time to be found and filled again.

* I admit, I've reduced the profound thought of Socrates regarding the peculiar practice of Greek aristocracy into a piece of kitchenware, but this would be a different story if I would go there, wouldn’t it? Sodomy as a form of tuition is not my subject today.

1 Plato. The Symposium, translated with introduction and notes by Christopher Gill, Penguin Books, 1999. 7. 22 Ezdras 14:39. 3 Ibid. 14:46. Those six books are: the canonic Book of Ezra, Book of Nehemiah, two Books of Chronicles and apocryphal 1" and 2" Books of Ezdras.

4 Socrates indictment carried the charge of impiety, or asebeia, punished by death. The stateimposed murder of Socrates later will be copycatted en mass by murders committed in the name of French Republic and hundred millions similar cases which will follow from then on. For Socrates case see: Carlos Garcia Gual. The Trial of Socrates, National Geographic History, March/April 2016, 44. (5) Luke 22:42.

Bela Abel.

 


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