another angle on cosmos
At the tail end of prosecuting his interlocutor Callicles, who has scorned his offer of friendship, balked at his refutations, and threatened him with murder, Socrates withdraws for a moment from the struggle of argument, having won something like the moment of calm perception that an exhausted warrior receives beside the ongoing fray, seeing the potential futility of his efforts set within a more abiding scale, and as he does so he reveals an alternate view of the world, one whose appeal has already possessed his heart:
To me, of course, this seems to be the mark on which we must set our eyes throughout life, devoting and constraining all our own actions and those of the polis toward the single purpose that justice and temperance dwell in anyone who would be truly happy. One should not allow his desires to become wanton and undertake to fulfill them, leading the life of a pirate – an illimited evil. You see, such a person would be friendly with neither another human being nor a god; he would not have the power of acting in common, and without acting in common can be no friendship. Wise men say, Callicles, that acting in common and friendship and self-restraint and orderliness and justice hold heaven and earth and gods and human beings together, and on account of these they call this whole an ordered beauty — a cosmos — my friend, and not a disorder or wantonness. But you do not seem to me to apply your mind to these things, even though you are wise concerning them; it has escaped you that a geometric equality holds great sway among gods and humans, but you think it is necessary to overreach others. You see, you are careless of geometry. So be it.