What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. ~Ecclesiastes 1:9
I agree with Plato that everything exists from Forms and that Forms are the domain of God. That God made man in His image, and God encompasses the Super Man. When He created man in His image, he created a finite number of forms to carve out man and everything else in the lower waters, under Heaven. And the Forms which are alive have their corresponding essence in the Upper Waters (see post on Matter and Antimatter: Lower and Upper Waters, Day and Night), which is why Plato thought Forms existed in a ‘place beyond heaven’ (see below quote bolded).
In this context God is the Ubermensch as described by Friedrich Nietzsche, and is a goal for humanity to set for itself (wikipedia); God is the perfect Form as declared in Genesis 1:27:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Plato‘s theory of Forms or theory of Ideas argues that non-physical (but substantial) forms (or ideas) represent the most accurate reality. When used in this sense, the word form or idea is often capitalized. Plato speaks of these entities only through the characters (primarily Socrates) of his dialogues who sometimes suggest that these Forms are the only objects of study that can provide knowledge; thus even apart from the very controversial status of the theory, Plato’s own views are much in doubt. However, the theory is considered a classical solution to the problem of universals.
The early Greek concept of form precedes attested philosophical usage and is represented by a number of words mainly having to do with vision, sight, and appearance. The words, εἶδος (eidos) and ἰδέα (idea) come from the Indo-European root *weid-, “see”.Eidos (though not idea) is already attested in texts of the Homeric era, the earliest Greek literature. This transliteration and the translation tradition of German and Latin lead to the expression “theory of Ideas.” The word is however not the English “idea,” which is a mental concept only.
Starting with at least Plato and possibly germinal in some of the presocratics the forms were considered as being “in” something else, which Plato called nature (physis). The latter seemed as carved “wood”, ὕλη (hyle) in Greek, corresponding to materia in Latin, from which the English word “matter” is derived, shaped by receiving (or exchanging) forms.
The Forms are expounded upon in Plato’s dialogues and general speech, in that every object or quality in reality has a form: dogs, human beings, mountains, colors, courage, love, and goodness. Form answers the question, “What is that?” Plato was going a step further and asking what Form itself is. He supposed that the object was essentially or “really” the Form and that the phenomena were mere shadows mimicking the Form; that is, momentary portrayals of the Form under different circumstances.The problem of universals – how can one thing in general be many things in particular – was solved by presuming that Form was a distinct singular thing but caused plural representations of itself in particular objects.
A Form is aspatial (transcendent to space) and atemporal (transcendent to time). Atemporal means that it does not exist within any time period, rather it provides the formal basis for time. It therefore formally grounds beginning, persisting and ending. It is neither eternal in the sense of existing forever, nor mortal, of limited duration. It exists transcendent to time altogether. Forms are aspatial in that they have no spatial dimensions, and thus no orientation in space, nor do they even (like the point) have a location. They are non-physical, but they are not in the mind. Forms are extra-mental (i.e. real in the strictest sense of the word).
A Form is an objective “blueprint” of perfection. The Forms are perfect themselves because they are unchanging.
The English word “form” may be used to translate two distinct concepts that concerned Plato—the outward “form” or appearance of something, and “Form” in a new, technical nature, that never
…assumes a form like that of any of the things which enter into her; … But the forms which enter into and go out of her are the likenesses of real existences modelled after their patterns in a wonderful and inexplicable manner….
The objects that are seen, according to Plato, are not real, but literally mimic the real Forms. In the Allegory of the Cave expressed in Republic, the things that are ordinarily perceived in the world are characterized as shadows of the real things, which are not perceived directly. That which the observer understands when he views the world mimics the archetypes of the many types and properties (that is, of universals) of things observed.
Plato often invokes, particularly in the Phaedo, Republic and Phaedrus, poetic language to illustrate the mode in which the Forms are said to exist. Near the end of the Phaedo, for example, Plato describes the world of Forms as a pristine region of the physical universe located above the surface of the Earth (Phd. 109a-111c). In the Phaedrus the Forms are in a “place beyond heaven” (huperouranios topos) (Phdr.247c ff); and in the Republic the sensible world is contrasted with the intelligible realm (noēton topon) in the famous Allegory of the Cave.
Plato emphasizes that the Forms are not beings that extend in space (or time), but subsist apart from any physical space whatsoever. Thus we read in the Symposium of the Form of Beauty: “It is not anywhere in another thing, as in an animal, or in earth, or in heaven, or in anything else, but itself by itself with itself,” (211b). And in the Timaeus Plato writes: “Since these things are so, we must agree that that which keeps its own form unchangingly, which has not been brought into being and is not destroyed, which neither receives into itself anything else from anywhere else, nor itself enters into anything anywhere, is one thing.”
Plato’s main evidence for the existence of Forms is intuitive only and is as follows.
We call both the sky and blue jeans by the same color, blue. However, clearly a pair of jeans and the sky are not the same color; moreover, the wavelengths of light reflected by the sky at every location and all the millions of blue jeans in every state of fading constantly change, and yet we somehow have a consensus of the basic form Blueness as it applies to them. Says Plato:
But if the very nature of knowledge changes, at the time when the change occurs there will be no knowledge, and, according to this view, there will be no one to know and nothing to be known: but if that which knows and that which is known exist ever, and the beautiful and the good and every other thing also exist, then I do not think that they can resemble a process of flux, as we were just now supposing.
No one has ever seen a perfect circle, nor a perfectly straight line, yet everyone knows what a circle and a straight line are. Plato utilizes the tool-maker’s blueprint as evidence that Forms are real:
… when a man has discovered the instrument which is naturally adapted to each work, he must express this natural form, and not others which he fancies, in the material ….
Perceived circles or lines are not exactly circular or straight, and true circles and lines could never be detected since by definition they are sets of infinitely small points. But if the perfect ones were not real, how could they direct the manufacturer?
Subjugate to Forms, Archetypes were identified extensively by Carl Jung and are a sub-type of Form. They are characteristics of the Form itself. Archetypes can be further broken down into smaller characteristics like Personality Type (also identified by Jung), Appearance (identified by Socionics to some degree), followed by Traits or Quirks people can have (disorders, neuroses, or habits), finally arriving at the Person Him or Herself. We therefore go from the Universal to the Individual or Specific, from the Form to the Person or Thing, as along a continuum, with Form being at one end and Person or Thing Itself being at the other end.
Each point on the spectrum, or subset, allows us a perspective to understand the thing in question, changing our viewpoint in order to see various nuances otherwise undetectable without changing our perspective. For example, knowing that male man is a Form under God allows us certain understandings of ‘maleness’ that we might not derive from simply studying a certain man we know named ‘Andy’. This man might be an archetypal father who shares characteristics of all fathers. Along the middle of the spectrum and refining our man even more, he might be part of a group of the INTJ personality type who all carry certain understandable and consistent characteristics of perception and reasoning which help us to remember how to interact with such persons, understanding him as an INTJ father. He will have a certain look or Appearance that reminds us of other males we have seen before (stocky and bearded). The male in question may have developed some common inherited or acquired quirks or Traits, like a personality disorder, or the habit of cracking his knuckles. Our man named ‘Andy’ may share his name with many other ‘Andys’, but he will have a distinct DNA blueprint and life experiences which make him completely new and induplicable even if he were to be cloned (due to the ‘experiences’ aspect of living).
Form is a hierarchical concept that is the mold from which all things exist. Thing cannot exist without its Form. And since nothing can exist without God, Form is from God. Form is God’s stencil. At each subset from Form to Person or Thing, there are reproducible aspects of the subject until we reach the endpoint, Person or Thing Itself, which is unreproducible. Within this conceptual framework we can see and prove that no Thing can exist on its own without Form or without God. Because if we look we can see that Person or Thing is like other persons or things that have come before it, and exist outside of time and space to the Person or Thing Itself.
This is an irreversible process, extending from God down to us.
It is impossible to start at a Unique Individual and create an intentional and different Unique Individual from it by ourselves. We can clone ourselves which creates a copy of us, but it will still have a random difference based upon its life experiences. We must always go back to Form for Individual Person or Thing to be created. And Form comes from God. To explain: Andy can participate in creating another Individual, but his daughter would be a completely different Form than him, being a woman not a man, taking us back to the top of the hierarchy of Form. As another example for Thing, a Table cannot produce another table! But a table can be reproduced by the entity capable of understanding the Form of a table, like a carpenter.
Interesting that Jesus was a carpenter!
Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? ~Mark 6:3
Before man discovered the wheel, Form for wheel existed, but it had not been made yet. Wheel did not end up making a wheel, because wheel did not yet exist. Man conceived of wheel in his mind, and made a wheel. In this same way, man could not make man. Nor can animal have made man, because animal is a completely different Form from man. Only man can think in his mind–‘SHWB’ in the Hebrew–which means to shine in the mind. Even though man can think higher than animal, man can still not produce other living creatures, man can only produce things. Because the domain of Life is the sovereignty of God alone:
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.” ~Genesis 3:22-23
A hypothetical hierarchy of Form:
Individual Person or Thing
For example, Male:
God, Man, Father Archetype, INTJ, *picture of Andy who looks like other ‘Andys’*, Narcissist, Andy Himself
Or example, Female:
God, Woman, Mother Archetype, ISFJ, *picture of Susan who looks like other ‘Susans’, Caretaker, Susan Herself.
Forms exist separate from space and time just like God does. Forms, like all existence, were breathed into being.
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. ~Genesis 1:2-3
And Jesus was the Word that existed before all things:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~John 1:1-5
Paul states the theory of Forms well when he says:
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?…What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory– ~Romans 9:20-21, 23