learning, a place where Bergson used to teach. The thesis isnthat Greek thinkers understood their function not as schoolmastersnbut as therapeutes of the soul. Rather than speak ofnthe “unity of Western philosophy,” we might, withoutndenying this aspect of speculation, add to it an aspect ofndiscontinuity, the break occurring by the 12th century whennScholastics, later the Cartesians, turned philosophy intonscience. The speculative enterprise up to the year 1000 ornso was not primarily scientific; it was also a way of calmingnthe soul through meditation, discipline of soul and body (tonavoid devastation by passions), and exercise. We tend tonshrug off yoga, but our rejection is justified when wenunderstand yoga’s character as a spiritual athleticism; wenshould reject the emptiness, the objectlessness, but not thentherapeutic aspect itself For the Greek philosophers thenmoral content was always present while leading the soul tonthe understanding of the cosmos and to peace. What isnPlato’s teaching if not the apprenticeship of the Logos andnthe guiding of the soul away from the sensory world? Platonwas not very far removed from certain conclusions ofnOriental wisdom, yet he profoundly recast it because whilenOriental wisdom directs the vision toward absorption innNothingness, Plato turns to pure thought and conversion tonthe Good.nThe outstanding thinkers of Hellas elaborated their ownnpaideia, not of course for youth but for the mature mannwho educates his soul in view of the soul’s adjustment to thenessence of the universe. This essence varied from Plato tonthe Stoics to the Epicureans: it was interpreted as the Good,nthe nous, reason or cosmic harmony, but all — the Academy,nthe Stoa, the Gardens—were united in adopting andnteaching a way of life. Disciples did not join in order to learnnthings new — as the modern school defines the teacher’snand student’s task—but to hear further refined argumentsnwhy the chosen way of life was wise and practicable. This isnwhy we find mature men around Socrates, thinkers andnpoliticians, who do not wish to learn but to penetrate morendeeply into the practice of the good life and to acquirendialectical skills in the defense of their world view.nThe chief works of Greek philosophy, those we now buynin paperback and write term papers about, were spiritualnexercises, Hadot argues. They were meant to lead souls, thenway Hermes, as a psychopompos, led souls, namely to thenrealm of death. Death here does not mean the Hindus’nself-annihilation; it means apprenticeship in the demands ofnthe spirit which gradually conquers the body and itsnpassion-derailed will. It is a transfiguration, an overcomingn— neither an ascesis nor a frenzy. Even in search ofnwisdom, the Greek mind aspired to harmony and measure.nPlato formulated it with great precision in the Republic:n”[The wise man only goes to sleep] after awakening hisnreasonable part and nourishing it with fair thoughts. . . .nOnly after having calmed the sensual and irascible parts ofnhis being . . . does his soul attain truth.”nWisdom can be reached through training, a trainingnwell-directed toward universal reason (Marcus Aurelius) orntoward the contemplation of the One in a mystical actn(Plohnus). In the ancient Greek school (the term derivednfrom schold is of course out of place here) the therapeute’sndogma and methodology were not discussed because tonadhere to philo-sophy, to philosophize, was to be convertednto this dogma and method. This is why the fundamentalndoctrine and the way of life derived from it did not changenwithin one school over the centuries. The disciple whonfound his passions becalmed at the feet of Pythagoras, Plato,nZeno, or Epicurus saw no motivation to probe in otherndirections — except perhaps Aristotle, who rejected hisnmaster’s doctrine and method completely! But then to be annAristotelian was already to become a man of science, not ansage.nAncient philosophy was therefore anything but what wenunderstand by philosophy. First, it could not be learnednfrom books; it was rather an imitatio through the living wordnand through example. A more interesting case than Plato’sndiscipleship in the Socratic circle was, perhaps, the nondiscipleshipnof Alcibiades, who understood the Socratic truthnbut was unable (that is unwilling, too possessed by passion)nto imitate the way of life. Medieval Ghristians would say thatnhis concupiscence was stronger than his “fair thoughts.” Wendo not, therefore, speak of Alcibiades as a disciple ofnSocrates; at best he was a distant and jealous admirer.nIt follows that the ancient philosopher taught orally, notnthrough books. Discipleship was achieved by listening to thenliving word—listening not individually but in a group, ornrather in a community, and in view not of knowledge but ofnspiritual progress. “Plagiarism” as we understand it did notnmatter; the utilization of long-accepted formulas, obviousnfrom the reading of the philosopher’s lives in DiogenesnLaertius, was licit; they were only adapted to differentnsituations.nIt is fairly evident that religion in Hellas was an affair ofnexternal manifestations, of cold ceremonies addressed tontribal-cultic deities, objects of magic manipulations, supplications,ngratitude. What we call religion, that is conversionnto an insight, a way of life, a grace touching us, was thenbusiness of philosophy—internal conversion, the turning ofnthe soul, but also, as in our religious life, a consciousnessnthat life is limited and that the art of dying well requiresngood habits from the soul, a technique of inner life and thensoul’s movements. Whether for Platonism or the Stoics, thengood life and readiness before death were obtained bynliberation from individual anguish and a passage to anuniversal perspective wherein the self is transcended in thendirection of a totality. Let us observe that this is emphaticallynnot what Christianity understands by religion, the goodnlife, and salvation. Not a word of good works, charity, love ofnfellowmen, except as a consequence of self-controllednbehavior and avoidance of passion. Let us not entertain,ntherefore, the error that one can step back and forthnbetween Greek philosophy and the Christian religion, ornthat Socrates was an alter ego of Christ. Plato’s spiritualitynwas a huge step away and above what Hindus, for example,nunderstand by this term. But it is not religion in our sense.nIf we adopt these views about ancient Greek philosophynas plausible and borne out by a careful reading of thendocuments, we are obliged to rethink the current positionnand conclude that there was indeed a break somewherenalong the “Western” history of speculation. Hegel’s dialecticsnis the first to be dismissed, namely that the philosophy ofnhistory is contained in the history of philosophy. Othernformulations do not fare much better. They are flawednbecause they posit the same problematics uninterruptednnnAPRIL 19881 21n