the real progenitor of somatic education was Plato, whose philosophy of Soul, or intrinsic, organic, individual Being is just what is most central to somatic education, what the “body epiphany” is all about. Plato did not have to emphasize the somatic aspect of intrinsic knowledge, because his students were already embodied, highly physical people (who had become enamored of reason). Plato, or his teacher, Socrates, could lead students to question their superficial opinions and to produce a “spark of intelligence” or internal understanding, to their own discovery of what was beautiful, or just, or good, or true, because they were somatically alive beings who could recognize these qualities as intrinsic ideas
‘Soul’ is not an abstract theological concept, but an experience, it is deeper than personality, it is present in certain experiences of love, for example, when it may emerge with its overtones of the eternal, transcendental, and Meaningful. The basic tendencies of our lives, the most organic and fundamental aspects of our being, are manifestations of soul. The body epiphany is an experience of soul, and thus soul lies at the center of the somatic field.
James Hillman brought Platonic ideas of Soul back into contemporary psychology. In The Soul’s Code he returns to Plato and Plotinus and the conception that the Soul has its own direction and guiding image, its own destiny, which psychotherapy (and somatic education) should seek to uncover. Destiny and vocation become as organic and embodied as sexual identity and preference
But Platonism can have its drawbacks. It can impose ideal standards which violate experiential reality,Ethos at the expense of Pathos. an image which enabled us to find the experience. Plato only points out that the Ideal exists on a deeper level than the Actual. genuinely Platonic approach to the body would elicit specific somatic techniques as a clue for finding a set of relationships which are real and organic