Socrates was in a devout pursuit of the Truth. His method was inquiry that usually took the form of questions.
He battled with the Sofists
soph·ist (s?f’?st) Pronunciation Key
One skilled in elaborate and devious argumentation.
A scholar or thinker.
Sophist Any of a group of professional fifth-century B.C. Greek philosophers and teachers who speculated on theology, metaphysics, and the sciences, and who were later characterized by Plato as superficial manipulators of rhetoric and dialectic.
The Sophist seemed to espouse rhetoric of what is is to be good, better, and ideal. They would give you what you needed to know and all you had to do was believe them. I would liken this to the people of today who write and speak about all the “good things you should be doing” even for your own happiness.
However, in their pursuit of the prettier picture and self image of success, they have sacrificed an honest inquiry for the Truth.
It is the difference between accepting what you are told is the truth, and finding out for your self.
The first approach is easier and can give a quick and easy peace of mind. However, it leaves you no peace in your soul. To find the truth for your self you sometimes have to scratch and claw your way with inquiry past all the illusions you hold. However the skills over your attention, discernment, and perception, will serve you well for all your remaining days and nights. It will make it difficult for any liar or sophist to betray you. Even your own mind.
You may have found in my writing and audio that I am not inviting you to believe me. If you work with me individually, you will also find that I often don’t answer your quesitons directly. Instead I likely ask you a question in response to yours? This is is not to annoy anyone, but rather to invite them into a process of finding out for themselves, instead of putting their faith in the stories of someone else.
Advice often comes from the Blind. People in emotional pain reach out, to anyone, even those that don’t know how to help. Although they try to help, and intend to help, they don’t. Sometimes they just make things worse.
In a forum someone wrote:
I am very miserbale and sometimes feel like giving up. What are some things that I can do to be happy. Do you know of any websites I could use?….ANYTHING
Are you happy?What makes you happy? — Miserable
One of the bits of advice they got back was:
Think about a warm puppy. Another person suggested to forget about your self for a while and focus on helping others.
Other bits were helpful, but too often people give advice that can’t be integrated. IF this person is really miserable then it is unlikely that they will be able to focus their attention on a warm puppy. They might think about a warm puppy, but jump to the fact that they want one but don’t have one. If a person doesn’t have the skill to focus their attention where they choose, then suggesting that they focus on something positive is not just a waste of time, but setting them up for failure. This will take them on a deeper downward spiral.
If a person is drowning, do you suggest to them that they try the breast stroke?
Then if a person is drowning in emotional suffering there are many good intentions, suggestions, and advice that don’t amount to a life raft or a helping hand. If you don’t have something that you know will help, then don’t throw anything that will help them sink further.
Power of Prayer to Strengthen Your Connection to Life
Growing up a in a Catholic family and being highly skeptical I didn’t appreciate prayer much. To say that I rebelled would be more accurate. What I found with prayer is that the power is not in the words. The words are just a mechanism with which we can direct our attention and intent.
Prayer can be a powerful force. It is so because we put our intent behind it. We focus our attention, our emotion, and our personal intent in the direction of our desire. Our prayers are also in the direction of Love. This aligns us with the natural intent of Life and furthers the strength of our Word. Miguel Ruiz was generous to provide us with an intent for our lives that helped guide us to our integrity and love. He took that expression of Life and put it into words as cleanly as he possibly could. He called it the Circle of Fire prayer. The depth of meaning and way of life that it has guided me to has been revealed over years.
Today, is the day of the Lord, when the Divinity returns to us.
When living our Free Will, and with all the Power of our Spirit,
We decide to live our lives in free Communion with God,
With no Expectations.
We will live our lives with Gratitude, Love, Loyalty and Justice,
Beginning with Ourselves,
And continuing with our Brothers and Sisters.
We will respect all Creations as the Symbol or our Love communion
With the One who Created us.
To the Eternal Happiness of Humanity.
from Prayers, a book by don Miguel Ruiz