” …a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method)
Though I’ve heard of Socrates, it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that I began hearing about the Socratic Method. Socrates was an Athenian philosopher from around 400 BC. It is through his most famous student, Plato, that we know anything of Socrates or his philosophical methods.
Socrates had a way of annoying people, and that’s putting it lightly. He was ultimately put to death because he pissed off the wrong people. In some ways, Socrates could be considered one of the wisest men due to his method in garnering wisdom. On the other hand, it did bring about his death.
The basis for his method was simply this: trust that you know nothing.
Most of us, believe we know much more than nothing. We know our experiences. We know the facts that were regurgitated to us in school. We know that which we see with our own eyes. We know how we feel towards something. But our experiences are clouded by time, regurgitated facts are passed on by the victors and condensed for simple minds, sometimes what we see is a mere trick of the brain to make sense of that which we saw, and sometimes our feelings are clouded by past experiences of pain or joy.
Do we really know anything? There is always the paradox which states that everything has an opposite in this world. There’s so much out there we don’t know about and yet we claim to know the history of our world, the history of humankind.
Truth is obscured by ingrained beliefs, handed down from generation to generation.
My challenge to you is to begin questioning everything. Ask the “why’s” and see what happens. I very vividly remember going through a time in my life where everything I said I would counter with its opposite. It was the strangest, most fascinating revelation I’ve had. I had realized that everything had an opposite, that nothing was absolute.
I have this saying I love and have literally adhered to since the time I could ask “why?”: question authority. Question everything you’ve ever been told. When I was 8, I realized adults weren’t infallible. I found they could make up their minds without thinking about the consequences or wisdom of their conviction. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I realized what I had learned in school was questionable and clouded by biases. How much have you questioned in your life? How many suppositions, facts, and personal biases have you questioned and challenged?
Recently, with the help of Abraham Hicks and other self-help gurus, it has become like a neon sign flashing before me how inadequate and deprecating my deep-rooted ideas and convictions of who I believe myself to be. More than likely there have been moments in your life in which you’ve come to the conclusion that your life is stagnant and depleted of joy. We have a tendency to get fixated on egocentric ideas that keep us “safe” but do nothing for our soul but imprison us until we feel like screaming with a primordial gut-wrenching cry. It is at these times that a reexamination of those long-held beliefs we have about ourselves need to be reexamined. For example, I’ve had the subconscious notion that I sucked at relationships which is why I did nothing to change my singleton status. Upon reexamination though, I am actually really good at relationships by talking things through (without the yelling), trying to understand the situation from the others point-of-view, making myself heard yet still giving and receptive, and allowing my independent nature to receive love and give space to another. On the other hand, I chose men who treated me less than my worth, who always seemed to want their way, and most certainly never wanted me even on their top ten list of priorities (which is obviously telling of my past sense of self.) It was never that I sucked at relationships but that I consistently chose men who replicated how I must have felt about myself. In a sense, I allowed men who chose me (not so much the other way around) to decide who I was. That’s pretty impactful. I’ve always prided myself on constantly examining and really learning who I am but all that bullshit pride gets blown out of the water when you realize you’ve just been lying to yourself all of these years. It’s amazing the revelations you may come up with when you stop bullshitting yourself. But perhaps there’s never a point that you stop the bullshitting, so maybe we should just start telling ourselves some good bullshit – you know, the kind in which we build ourselves up and NOT tear ourselves down. Or, on the other hand, we could just stop putting ourselves into a little box that says exactly who we are, and instead decide all we need to know about ourselves is that:
Sometimes the facade of the house is not always an indicator of the solid foundation protected beneath.
Peace and love to you all and remember to be your awesome selves.