Thank you Robert, I see you’ve missed me 😉 I do appreciate your thoughts and comments in our COHO series as well as your challenges to my line of argument.
What you say about the literal mundane explanation vs the mythic or “spiritual” perspective is on point with Diotima’s lesson to Socrates. She precisely brings the phenomenon of “correct opinion” as one of those in-between creatures that dwells in the heart of humanity between ignorance and wisdom. As Socrates explains:
[…] that Love was a mighty god, and likewise fair and she [Diotima] proved to me as I proved to [Agathon] that, by my own showing, Love was neither fair nor good. “What do you mean, Diotima,” I said, “is love then evil and foul?” “Hush,” she cried; “must that be foul which is not fair?” “Certainly,” I said. “And is that which is not wise, ignorant? do you not see that there is a mean between wisdom and ignorance?” “And what may that be?” I said. “Right opinion,” she replied; “which, as you know, being incapable of giving a reason, is not knowledge (for how can knowledge be devoid of reason? nor again, ignorance, for neither can ignorance attain the truth), but is clearly something which is a mean between ignorance and wisdom.” “Quite true,” I replied. “Do not then insist,” she said, “that what is not fair is of necessity foul, or what is not good evil; or infer that because love is not fair and good he is therefore foul and evil; for he is in a mean between them.” (<http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/symposium.html>)
In the case of Will Smith, whether he “lost it” or was in full possession of his wits, I think public correct opinion is on the side of “he lost it.” That doesn’t mean that he was possessed by an alien force which turned him into a puppet literally. The idea of “losing it” itself is, again, a metaphor, another perfect mean between being conscious and unconscious of what you’re doing. It is certainly not a scientific expression but it is nonetheless accurate: “They know not what they do,” regardless of knowing that they’re doing it. For today, even in the case of a psychotic break, we don’t literally believe the devil made him do it.
This is the advantage of the true mythic perspective, in my opinion, one we want to cultivate with the works of Campbell and beyond. It is a perspective that allows us to look at the phenomenon whole and not split along ideological lines, extremes that are only half truths blown to the proportion of a Total Lie.
Love, above all else, lies in this daimonic zone of the inbetween which Plato brings to mind in the Symposium.