Comparing Plato’s Forms with Aspects of Ancient Egypt

Photo by Mouad Mabrouk on

Nicolai Tesla’s assertion that if and when science turns its attention from the material to the nonmaterial makes me think of ancient Egypt as a mysterious place where the nonmaterial seems to have been at the center of a spiritual science that we can no longer comprehend purely rationally.

I first became fascinate with the great pyramid from the work of Peter Tompkins who wrote “Secrets of the Great Pyramid” where I was introduced to the work of Schwaller de Lubicz, an archeologist who spent years at the “Temple of Man” attempting to discern its significance.

His work was later highlighted by John Anthony West and featured prominently on Magical Egypt, a web-based program that delved deeply into these mysteries with the understanding that what they were finding was a deep understanding and appreciation by the Egyptians for what we call Consciousness, with a capital C.

Some of the most amazing graphics in the series shows remarkable correlations between Egyptian art and sculpture and parts of the human brain.

We seem to believe the brain is where consciousness is created in some ways because it seems to be where thought is happening.  It seems to me that for Schwaller and the Egyptians the complete human organism is a vessel for Consciousness and not its source.

The old analogy of the fish not being aware of water being how we are always in the influence of Consciousness while not being generally aware of its effects and reality.  Now more and more thinkers are going back to other ancient wisdom that suggests there is only Consciousness.

My fascination with this topic made me ask Chat to compare Schwaller’s work with that of Plato, because it seemed to me that his theory of forms also points to a realm of reality that is pure mind, and perhaps at the root of all creation.

Schwaller focused greatly on the Egyptians’ use of their art as what he termed the “symbolique”; as a pointer to the nonmaterial realm through the use of evocative imagery and sculpture like the Temple of Man that connected the human organism with the divine – or nonmaterial source of all – Consciousness.

In ways similar to Jung’s theory of a Collective Unconscious it seemed that both Schwaller and Plato saw the ethereal reality of whatever is “Mind” as primary and accessible to a harmonious human organism, perhaps through the brain and its pineal gland.

It always seemed to me that the timeless perfection of mathematics as exemplified in the theory of forms and the Pythagorean theories might be the source for the manifestation of our imperfect physical universe.

Of course many believe that Pythagoras, Plato and much of Greek science was based on Egyptian wisdom and that the Greek God Hermes was also the Egyptian God Thoth.

So in order to bring my musings back into the realm of more conventional thinking with an entity that wants to stick to “just the facts” I asked Chat to compare the work of Schwaller and Plato.  Here is its assessment:

How does Schwaller de Lubicz’s notion of the symbolique compare to Plato’s theory of forms?

Schwaller de Lubicz’s notion of the “symbolique” and Plato’s theory of forms share some similarities, but they also have significant differences.

Both Schwaller de Lubicz and Plato believed that there is a realm of reality that transcends the material world, which is accessible through symbols or forms. For Plato, the world of forms or ideas is the ultimate reality, while the material world is merely a shadow or imitation of it. For Schwaller de Lubicz, the symbolique represents a non-material reality that can be accessed through symbols and archetypes.

However, there are also important differences between the two concepts. For Plato, the forms are objective and exist independently of human perception, while for Schwaller de Lubicz, the symbolique is a subjective reality that is created by the human mind. Schwaller de Lubicz believed that the symbolique is a product of the collective unconscious, which is the shared store of archetypes and symbols that underlies all human cultures.

Another difference is that Plato’s theory of forms is focused on the search for universal and eternal truths, while Schwaller de Lubicz’s symbolique is more concerned with the particularities of human experience and culture. Schwaller de Lubicz believed that each culture has its own unique symbolique, which reflects its particular history, geography, and worldview.


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