It amazes me that with all the so-called progress that we have made as a species that we today easily forget the knowledge and wisdom that has proceeded us. Or quite possibly that this wisdom and knowledge opposed certain agendas along the way and was substituted for more agreeable alternatives?
However, the point I would like to make today is that when you realize thousand’s of years ago people encountered the same issues in life that we face today. Solutions that were discovered then still apply now, so let’s tap into it.
I remember reading “The Republic of Plato” for the first time and realizing that what I was looking at was written well before the doctrine that I was told in my youth proceeded all…hey my universe back then was as big as New Zealand and whatever else resided on my parents bookshelf…don’t judge me!
Anyways it was a defining moment that still leads me on many journeys into exploring our human history and imparticular the great thinkers of old such as Socrates; Aristotle; and Plato.
Below is a small excerpt from the”The Republic of Plato” that actually challenged and changed a fundamental belief that was instilled in me as a child “Spare the rod, spoil the child”. Let just say many a rod was not spared on me and fortunately for my children, I came across Plato sooner rather than later:
[Socrates]“Do horses that have been harmed become better or worse?” [Polemarchus]“Worse.”
[Socrates]“With respect to the virtue of dogs or to that of horses?’ [Polemarchus]” With respect to that of horses.”
[Socrates]“And when dogs are harmed, do they become worse with respect to the virtue of dogs and not to that of horses?” [Polemarchus]“Certainly.”
[Socrates]“Should we not assert the same of human beings, my comrade that when they are harmed, they become worse with respect to human virtue?” [Polemarchus]“Most certainly.”
[Socrates]“But isn’t justice human virtue?” [Polemarchus] “That’s also necessary.”
[Socrates]“Then, my friend, human beings who have been harmed necessarily become more unjust.” [Polemarchus]“It seems so.”
[Socrates]“Well, are musicians able to make men unmusical by music?” [Polemarchus] “impossible.”
[Socrates]“Are men skilled in horsemanship able to make men incompetent riders by horsemanship?” [Polemarchus] “That can’t be.”
[Socrates]“But are just men able to make others unjust by justice, of all things? Or, in sum, are good men able to make other men bad by virtue of justice?” [Polemarchus]“impossible”
[Socrates]“For I suppose that cooling is not the work of heat, but of its opposite.” [Polemarchus]“Yes.”
[Socrates]“Nor wetting the work of dryness but of its opposite.” [Polemarchus]“Certainly.”
[Socrates]“Nor is harming, in fact, the work of the good but of its opposite.” [Polemarchus]“It looks like it.”
[Socrates]“And it’s the just man who is good?” [Polemarchus]“Certainly.”
[Socrates]“Then it is not the work of the just man to harm either a friend or anyone else, Polemarchus, but of his opposite, the unjust man.”
Rather than excepting and following what others say is right, choose to exercise an objective perspective and your mind’s ability to come to a logical conclusion. We can learn from the past and minds of old, outside of our little silos and smart devices, so open your mind and look for yourself.
“So I’m learning to question everything…and haven’t been misled by the authority of a Great Name having said it was true” – Beatrice Tinsley