Socrates, the Awakened One

Hugo La Rosa By Hugo La Rosa, 23rd Apr 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Philosophy>Philosophers

Socrates meditated as a spiritual practice, and in his writings is the proof of his awakening methods.

Socrates, the Awakened One

Socrates sat up on the bed, and drew up his leg and massaged it, saying as he did so, “What queer thing it is, my friends, this sensation which is popularly called pleasure! It is remarkable how closely is connected with its apparent opposite, pain. They will never come to a man both at once, but if you pursue one of them and catch it, you are virtually compelled always to have the other as well.”

On this guise, Socrates, according to Plato in his work “Phaedo”, embarks on an astonishing discourse that ended up by establishing a close relationship between the human soul and Wisdom itself.

Clearly, Socrates points out that because he had a discomfort, or pain, in his leg, he was compelled to scratch it to feel some relief. Once a person establishes in his mind that what causes the pain or discomfort go away anytime he scratches or rubs it, he will be also compelled to seek for that pleasure every time. Therefore, pleasure and pain are inseparably linked to each other, that to feel one is practically to see the other coming.

By virtue of the law of opposites, Socrates develops a philosophical edifice with such uncontested reasoning that he surprisingly continues to amaze scientists and philosophers even at the dawn of this century.

Now the trick question comes when his disciple and friend Cebes, asks Socrates that because the idea of death produces naturally fear or pain in an individual, why “it is not legitimate to do one’s self violence, although a philosopher will be willing to follow a friend who dies?”

Obviously, Socrates is referring to someone’s idea of taking his own life because of the difficult circumstances of his life in his/her body; he is talking about suicide.

However, Socrates elaborates that a true “philosopher’s business” is not to “concern himself with what most “people call pleasures -food, drink, for instance.” Even sex.

“Now take the acquisition of Wisdom; is the body a hindrance or not, if one takes it into a partnership to share an investigation?” Socrates thought that poets are poets because they leave a better life than most peoples do, and that this precise cause is the one that allows them to have his senses clear so as to delight us with the truth in their poetry.

“Then when is it that the soul attains to truth? When it tries to investigate anything with the help of the body, it is obviously liable to be led astray,” Socrates continues.

Then Socrates hits with a gold mine:

“Surely the soul can reason best when it is free of all distractions such as hearing or sight or pain or pleasure of any kind-that is, when it leaves the body to its own devices, becomes as isolated as possible, and strives for reality while avoiding as much physical contact and association as it can.”

Here, astonishingly, Socrates seems to have borrowed from Buddhists and Hindu meditators the techniques and method of Meditation.

“That is so,” Simmias responds.

“Here are some questions, Simmias. Do we recognize such a thing as justice itself?”-Socrates says.

“Indeed we do.”

“And beauty itself and goodness too?”

“Of course.”

“Have you ever seen any of these things with your eyes?”

“Certainly not,” said he.

“Well, have you ever apprehended them with any other bodily sense?”Is it through the body that we get our truest view of them?


Hence, Socrates, might have concluded the high value of philosophy, and the key importance of freeing the soul from the unnecessary claims of the body for pleasure an comfort

“Wonderful, Simmias. No, I am afraid that, from the moral standpoint, it is not the right method to exchange one denomination of pleasure and pain or fear for another, like coins of different values. I suspect there is only one currency for which all these things should be exchanged, and that is Wisdom.”

Socrates added that when pleasure and pain, or any opposite for that matter, are taken on the moral standpoint, they become a simple rule of thumb, or at most, a commandment prone to be obeyed with only the flickering human will. But taken and developed through the aid of Wisdom -that is, non hindering the Soul with the claims of the body, this same exercise of the corresponding virtues in the face of fear, or pain, or discomfort, become values in themselves. Thus every virtue is seen as the soul’s natural development from its original Wisdom.”

“The real thing, whether self-control or justice or courage, is in fact a kind of purification from all this kind of motivation, and wisdom itself is a sort of cleansing agent.”

I believe that Socrates views of Justice, Truth and Freedom as developed from the Soul. This particular philosophy about the acquisition of Wisdom is similar in a great way to the views of Heraclitus.

Therefore, it is quite clear that, when Socrates talks about Wisdom, he is talking about a mystical way or method to isolate or at least to loosen up the Soul from the clamoring necessities of the body. He implies that the wise person should be a methodical and systematically frugal one in regards to satisfaction of the senses.

However, what is of paramount importance is the method to acquire Wisdom itself, Meditation.


Awakening, God, Good, Intelligence, Love, Meditation, Realization, Self, Society, Virtue, Wisdom

Meet the author

author avatar Hugo La Rosa
I am a US citizen living in New York who likes to write short stories and poems. I was born in Peru.

If you comment on one of my pages, I'll do the same on yours.

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Hugo La Rosa
25th Apr 2011 (#)

<a href="" class="twitter-share-button" data-count="vertical" data-via="larosahugo">Tweet</a><script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?