Script 54 pages by A. Vancy

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Just before the Black Plague reached Europe (1347), RACHEL and her fiancé, HENRY, decide to sail to India, in order to follow the footsteps of Plato's woman disciple: LASTHENEIA OF MANTINEA and her secret of immortality.

They have to pass the tests of fire, water, earth and air in order to cross the threshold of consciousness into the Garden of Eternity flooded with bright light.

LASTHENEIA relates her peaceful life in Athens when, dressed as a young man, she was a student at Plato's Academy (true fact).
In the Himalayas, she met several masters who taught her Hindu philosophy and after long meditations, she decided to build a perfect society based on soul consciousness, justice and Plato's altruistic values.

Comments from the author:

In LASTHENEIA, my main purpose was to develop the following aspects:

1/ First, Plato's Myth of the Cave which is for me an important key to the meaning of life.
Ever since I heard this allegory from my philosophy teacher at the age of 17, something in my life shifted to a larger dimension. According to Plato, human beings keep hitting the wall at the bottom of the cave. They don't realize that what they believe to be the real world is just a pale and distorted reflection of the true values. Plato's sage understands that all this excitement is merely an illusion. He then decides to explore the cave in order to find a way out. Having found it, he leaves the cave. There, he faces the true values and he contemplates them, letting his spirit fly towards them. The wise man understands that the true values are deep within himself. Eventually, he comes back to the cave to teach incredulous human beings how to fly from within, deep inside themselves, and to enjoy true peace and eternal happiness.

2/ The second aspect has been described again by Plato as the Atlantide which, for me, beyond the many things which have been written about it, is not just a myth but a historical reality before time as described in our school books. This description of a lost paradise has been developed in the ELSEWHERE trilogy.

3/ I wanted to show the tolerance of Andalusia up until the 14th century and how the three monotheist religions lived together in respect and harmony. Henry is catholic while Rachel is a jew who has been brought up in the Muslim religion. Both are fascinated by ancient philosophy and particularly by Plato who will indirectly lead them to travel as far as India.

4/ The old dream of immortality is considered here in view of "soul-consciousness" which, of course, entails the idea of reincarnation. In other words: "I am a soul and I have a body". I am not this body. This body is perishable whereas the soul is immortal, with all the identifications it automatically removes.

I based the illustration of these four main aspects on the character of LASTHENEIA who has really existed as one of the two women who actually followed Plato's teachings at the Academy. Very little is known about her. Just that she had to dress up as a man. But knowing how a single woman was treated in Athens at the time, it shows her courage and her very high intelligence.