Socrates

Here is a little sample from my 2nd book, Musings of a Natural Philosopher, Book Deux about our beloved Socrates!

Available here: https://amazon.com/author/stephanestpierre As well as my first and third book!

Today, I will be writing about the father of western philosophy, Socrates. He was a classical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought. (Wiki)

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β€œTrue wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”

– Socrates

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β€œMost people, including ourselves, live in a world of relative ignorance. We are even comfortable with that ignorance, because it is all we know. When we first start facing truth, the process may be frightening, and many people run back to their old lives. But if you continue to seek truth, you will eventually be able to handle it better. In fact, you want more! It’s true that many people around you now may think you are weird or even a danger to society, but you don’t care. Once you’ve tasted the truth, you won’t ever want to go back to being ignorant.”

– Socrates

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β€œIf you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”

– Socrates

MUSING: So, maybe the lesson here is to appreciate what you already have and realize that you can only ever be happy in the now, not wishing for something future to happen or waiting for it, or obviously not by worrying about the past. Now, some might say, like the Catholic Church, that suffering is a crucial part of life, yet, once you truly start being grateful about the smaller things in your life, you allow the greater things the possibility to coalesce in your life!

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β€œEmploy your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.”

– Socrates

MUSING: So, this is one of my missions in life to share my knowledge and wisdom, and I’ve found by using quotes of wiser men than me, allows me to learn and teach at the same time. Via these posts, and my books, I share timeless wisdom shared by these masters and muses and include my own modern take to these philosophers and teachers, old and new!

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β€œWhom do I call educated? First, those who manage well the circumstances they encounter day by day. Next, those who are decent and honorable in their intercourse with all men, bearing easily and good naturedly what is offensive in others and being as agreeable and reasonable to their associates as is humanly possible to be… those who hold their pleasures always under control and are not ultimately overcome by their misfortunes… those who are not spoiled by their successes, who do not desert their true selves but hold their ground steadfastly as wise and sober β€” minded men.”

– Socrates

MUSING: the concept of balance comes to mind here, and also in many spiritual traditions. I see it as a wake up call to people that are unkind and just plain assholes on here (Facebook) and online in general. Just because you are not face to face with your converser, doesn’t mean you can treat them like crap. Remember the most important Golden Rule of all spiritual traditions, which is do onto others…

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β€œEvery action has its pleasures and its price.”

– Socrates

Consequences…always!

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β€œBeware the barrenness of a busy life.”

– Socrates

MUSING: what I take most about this and applying it to the modern world, is that we are defined more often than not by what we do, and not by who we are. Thus the need for this busyness all the time… We have a lot of trouble being alone, with our thoughts, with our families and with ourselves. We always need to be busy doing something as we fear that we will be nothing, if we do nothing. Yet, isn’t being the ultimate goal of the spiritual quest? Being happy, being authentic, being blissful, being kind, being compassionate? No doing… doing work, doing exercises, doing chores, doing, doing, doing… Perhaps, if we took a little time just to be, we might not be acting out our insecurities and fears, but living from our heart space, and realizing that suffering itself is an illusion created by our minds to give us meaning, and feeling, yet we can find out as many ways to be happy being, then just suffering…

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BBC Genius of the Ancient World (Ep 2) Socrates:

Not always a fan of the BBC but this is a good doc:[1]

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 β€œEsteemed friend, citizen of Athens, the greatest city in the world, so outstanding in both intelligence and power, aren’t you ashamed to care so much to make all the money you can, and to advance your reputation and prestige–while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your soul you have no care or worry?”

– Socrates

MUSING: perhaps a wake up call for our rapidly deteriorating planet, and the paradigm of unlimited growth that is threatening her own (and ours) life support system…

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I will leave you with this one to ponder:

β€œOne day, the old wise Socrates walks down the streets, when all of the sudden a man runs up to him “Socrates I have to tell you something about your friend who…”

“Hold up” Socrates interrupts him “About the story you’re about to tell me, did you put it trough the three sieves?”

“Three sieves?” The man asks “What three sieves?”

“Let’s try it” Socrates says.

“The first sieve is the one of truth, did you examine what you were about to tell me if it is true?” Socrates asks.

“Well no, I just overheard it” The man says.

“Ah, well then you have used the second sieve, the sieve of good?” Socrates asks “Is it something good what you’re about to tell me?”

“Ehm no, on the contrary” the man answers.

“Hmmm” The wise man says “Let’s use the third sieve then, is it necessary to tell me what you’re so exited about?”

“No not necessary” the man says.

“Well” Socrates says with a smile “If the story you’re about to tell me isn’t true, good or necessary, just forget it and don’t bother me with it.”

– Socrates

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My books are available here: https://amazon.com/author/stephanestpierre


[1] www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-uAEPNvTzo  (59 min)

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