Friday, June 18, 2010

The Great Socrates

A savant of western philosophy in ancient Greece, Socrates’ quest for life is beautifully versed as, “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves and the world around us”. Today such enlightenment is a treasure for those who believe perspicacity of the surroundings to be paragon of the self. Applying Socratic art of discernment is like an internal compass that can draw our true north, while awakening us to quandaries and solutions through reasoning and rendition. What Socrates always believed in, was questioning about things, what, how and why the way they happen. With an unfastened vision on life, Socratic teachings are like a phenomenon, that if observed can leverage life’s blueprint. As a philosopher he wandered for the unknown, which according to him could be derived from the known. He wasn’t a Management guru, relationship expert or diplomat but his back in the day social prognosis can be an invaluable diagnose to our apprehensions, perceptions and actions in the present day. Socrates’ idea of truth and knowledge was not hearsay but testimony of the actual. Realizing and implementing such insight into practice is one way we can ease our adaptation to change in our own life, lives of other people and the macrocosm. 

If we habituate to Socratic state of mind by putting ourselves to test through open-ended questions related to our thoughts, feelings and actions, or even engage in genesis for our problems and situations, we in a way initiate self-management. Being conscious through such SWOT, we liberate ourselves of fears and biases, attempt at unlearning old practices and learn to be part of a distinctive genre. Such avant-garde exploration of the unknown through self questioning and rumination for the way we are, the way we act, the influence of other’s behavior on us and the means by which we construe the creation around us, we can build acumen as a competitive advantage only to contribute mindfully and intently to the society. This Socratic love for wisdom and intellectualism in each of us can further shape our acuity to live life differently by learning to focus on cause rather than just the effect. So if we relied on grapevine communications more often at work or felt productively occupied with gossip in familial relationships, we will realize that such information spreads like fire, it may have good or bad effect because it’s just a rumor but its cause most of the time remains uncertain as such communication carries partial information, which only astounds problems and gaps and does not improve these.   

Elucidating admiration for Socratic logic and synthesis further, if we feel exhilarated and secured with material wealth, cash on over ambitions to prove our net worth, why do most of us feel stressed out and empty inside-out ? Possibly here too we emphasize on effect, forgetting the cause for such consequence. Why it is that ego, false prestige and greed makes one counterfeit themselves at the cost of sensitive relations? Why jealousy or one-upmanship among parent-child relation leads to clashes? Besides why do often people camouflage in public, while uncovering there real self privately? Also, are ethics and moral values precepts that only a few of us need to follow? Or is our society undergoing an intimidating phase of double standards? These are some questions that as direct dialogue can head start self examination and aid analysis of situations in one’s life. Settings, station and level of understanding of life, ourselves and of people around may differ though. However developing such sagacity is what Socrates called wisdom to answer the enigma of life. 

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