The popular Thomistic philosopher and writer Josef Pieper focuses on the thesis of Plato, which at first sight appears strange and unrealistic, that those experiences that advance human life to its true fullness are bestowed on us only during a "god-given" state of "being-beside-oneself". This thesis is then resolutely confronted with our contemporary and above all psychoanalytical knowledge of man's nature, as well as with the Christian conception of man's existence, thus revealing its amazing unexpected relevance.
"Man's real spiritual patrimony is achieved and preserved only through a willingly accepted openness: openness for divine revelation, for the salutary pain of catharsis, for the recollecting power of the fine arts, for the emotional shock brought about by eros and caritas-in short, through the attitude rooted in the mysterious experience that Plato called theia mania." —Josef Pieper
Josef Pieper, perhaps the most popular Thomist philosopher of the twentieth century, was schooled in the Greek classics and the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. He also studied philosophy, law, and sociology, and he was a professor at the University of Munster, West Germany. His numerous books have been widely praised by both the secular and religious press.