Sokrates loved etymology. He wanted to know what was meant by words as well as their lineage and origin. His favorite etymological resonance was between sophia (wisdom) and sophrosyne (temperance, restraint). He was forever preaching the necessity of sophrosyne as the foundation of sophia.

     It was often said, and provable by anyone who engages the process of harmonic temperance, that as the personal and inter-personal harmonia grows, the harmonia of the kosmos can be heard and enjoyed. Sophrosyne is certainly the foundation of sophia.

     The Orphic description of maturation clearly asserted the necessity for restraint in the attunement to harmonia. But let it be noted: While much of the tuning the strings of the lyre involves tightening, the ideal is neither too loose nor too tight. Or in the wise words of Mae West, “I’m all for restraint, so long as it doesn’t go too far.”


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