We often find ourselves awed by the great intellects of the past. Plato, for instance, has cast his shadow on all the millenniums that followed his brief life. We look to these men as icons of greatness. Indeed, some of us aspire to a measure of such influence, but I wonder, does any of this acclaim really matter to Plato? As I consider the aim of my life, I am often haunted by the single thought: is Plato smiling?
If there is some form of conscious existence beyond the grave, perhaps Plato enjoys his achievements. If not, then the only value he (Plato) could have derived from all of his work was extracted long ago in the brief presence of his existence.