8.28 Socrates

Socrates, a teacher of Plato, was a Greek philosopher who lived from about 470 to 399 BC.

Like many of the linchpins of philosophical and religious tradition, he spoke Truth to power, criticized the false and corrupt political and religious practices, was accused of failing to acknowledge the city's gods and corrupting the youth, and sentenced to death.

He often proclaimed his ignorance, and taught that the realization of our ignorance is the first step towards Wisdom and Knowledge.

His work on rationalism, ethics, and philosophy, and his tremendous ongoing influence has caused many to view him as the principle founder of Western philosophy. He was an expert in using Right Questions to expose inconsistencies and ignorance in the opinions of experts, as a means to open a doorway towards Truth.

Rather than teaching a fixed or dogmatic philosophical doctrine, he humbly acknowledged his own ignorance and engaged side by side with his students and interlocutors in the Search For Truth.

He believed that the pursuit of Eudaimonia (the state of condition of good spirit / well-being) motivates all human action, and is inextricably linked to virtue / character / knowledge / wisdom.

He taught that possessing the cognitive power to comprehend what they desire, one should make rational and moral decisions to put aside irrational or immoral desires and beliefs, in order to pursue the Greatest Good.

Socrates thought that the Essence of Goodness transcended the minor gods worshiped in Greece at the time, and constituted a Higher Standard that any minor gods must also be pious towards. He rejected sacrificing to the gods, and pointed towards a Wise, Just Creator evidenced by the signs of forethought present in the universe.

He also linked divinity to the human soul, and argued that by looking deeply at the part of oneself that “resembles God”, and coming to know all that is Divine, one would thereby gain the best knowledge of ones Self.

He also spoke of first hand experience with an inner divine voice, present since his youth, that helped guide his action.

He embodied the principle of self-determination and individual Sovereignty as primary, and was loyal to inner Truth to the point of disobedience to the state, even unto death.

The individual hero must possess the Authority and Courage to break the rules in order to do what is right.

“I know that I know nothing”.

“One ought never to act unjustly, even to repay a wrong.”

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