“As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.”
Socrates was a philosopher living in Ancient Greece, Athens. The painting above, probably the most famous, is by Jacques-Louis David, painted in 1787. The painting shows the most notable fact known of Socrates and that is the time of his death. Socrates was a professor of Philosophy in Athens and he was condemned to death for “corrupting” the minds of the youth and for showing a lack of respect towards Greek Gods and Goddesses.
He had a choice though – either to be executed or to renounce himself as a teacher. So in this painting, Socrates is holding a cup of poison, having chosen to kill himself. He believed in what he stood for and therefore wouldn’t renounce his profession.
Unfortunately, we have very little information on Socrates because he never wrote anything he taught. The only source of information that we’ve received on Socrates are through his notable students, such as, Plato, but this is all second hand.
I find Socrates so fascinating though! He was sort of like a hippie-rebel-character in Athens. He walked around with a long Spartan-style haircut (even though Athens was at war with Sparta), he walked barefoot, and you could find him at the marketplace talking to everyone, including women, slaves, kids, rich, poor – didn’t matter! I think it should also be made clear that Socrates was irreverent to Greek Gods and Goddesses, because he wanted people to think on their own. There have been many misconceptions in the past about Socrates relationship with the Gods, which have somehow been related to Jesus or Buddha. Socrates was neither Jesus nor Buddha. Instead, Socrates taught people to think for themselves. Here it is, in his own words:
“The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”
This is why Socrates would be in the marketplace talking, asking, and listening to people’s ideas on courage, love, reverence, moderation, and the state of their souls.
And so in Socrates-style let’s ask these questions and it would be wonderful to hear your thoughts!
What is love?
What is a soul?
What is fear?
What is happiness?
Peace & Love
Molly and Natalia