Aristotle - Third in the Look Who's Talking Series

Mary McCauley

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My name is Aristotle. I was born in 384 BC in the mountains of Macedonia. My father, a surgeon to King Amyntas whenever he came to hunt in our mountains, died in an avalanche of stones. I was taken to the home of a relative, Proxenus, where I became a good friend of the King's son, Philip. His father treated us as equals.

In time, the king asked me to return to the capital and be a companion to his son. I declined because I wanted to go to Athens and study with the great teacher, Plato.

King Amyntas was kind and generous. When I was 17 he agreed to send me to Athens where I studied with the great master for twenty years. I found Plato to be elderly, over sixty, but like Socrates, his own teacher, he looked younger than his years.

It was a wonderful place of learning. We spent much of our time in the gardens where we read or talked and listened to lectures by our Master. We became friends. Mostly he thought of me as a son, which he did not have.

I became a teacher at the Garden School, and over the years became quite successful. I owned a large library and I studied natural history, plants, animals, nature in general, and I was most interested in economics.

When my beloved teacher died, I encountered great resistance of the people because I was considered a foreigner. I moved away, took a wife and in time was summoned by King Philip to come to Macedonia and be a teacher to his thriteen year old son, Alexander.

At that time, I was forty two, filled with health and vitality. I often rode into the desert and slept under the stars. I loved animals and had what you today would call a zoo. Alexander and I trained many animals and we kept a menagerie of all kinds of species. We studied horses, and once we made a skeleton of the bones. We were laughed at by people who believed we were trying to make a living animal.

Alexander became a great military leader in his time. He fought to defend Greece from the Persians. He went on to conquer many lands and we corresponded until his death. When that happened, I was again assailed because I was a foreigner. I retreated to my county home where I lived and taught until I died at the age of 62.

I believe that I am best known as a student of Plato and a teacher of Alexander. I do not feel that my wisdom was greater than another, or that I excelled at any study. I have always believed that people should live in gentleness, moderation, and helpfulness.

We are all part of the nature of life and should live accordingly.

Trust yourself, know that wisdom lies within you, and be guided by your intuition.

Happiness itself is sufficient excuse. Beautiful things are right and true; so beautiful actions are those pleasing to the gods.

Wise men have an inward sense of what is beautiful and the highest wisdom is to trust this intuition and be guided by it. The answer to the last appeal of what is right lies within a man's own breast.

Trust thyself.

"What say you Socrates of these scribblings of Aristotle?"

"I think his modesty is exceeded only by his greatness. Did he not discern that all truth is relative? His contention was that things are perceived according to the view. You taught him well, Plato. "

"I well recall when he arrived at the Academy. His zeal for learning esoteric principles was over shadowed by his desire to understand physical anatomy. He was a man of science, imbued with the need to understand the physical as well as mental. "

"Yes, Plato, he has left future generations much to think of. Perhaps, had he preceded us, we might have clamored to be his students. "

"I believe we would have, Socrates. I also believe that the legacy left by Aristotle has been our legacy as well. "

"Teacher or student, Plato, who shall say which is greater?"

"None. Each has made his own worthwhile contribution. Aristotle personified the best of both. I commend his modesty, I extol his virtue, and I admire his genuine ideals. "

"Shall we go and confer our accolades upon him?"

"He would be embarrassed, Socrates, let us merely add this commentary to that which he has humbly written. "

Mary Bradley McCauley is a writer in no particular genre. Her articles, short stories, essays, poems, travel bits, and ‘thinking about’ series have been published and well received. Her metaphysical novel, “The House of Annon" has been one of her writing highlights.

After the nomadic life of the military with it's countless moves, Ms. McCauley lived in FL for 27 years and recently retired in Franklin TN. A former Army Brat, Army Wife and Group Tour Travel Advisor, she claims her first love is being with her grandchildren and second is communicating in any way, shape or form.


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