The Trial and Death of Socrates by Plato (approx 400 B.C.)(Trans by G.M.A. Grube)
“…in my investigation in the service of the god I found that those who had the highest reputation were nearly the most deficient, while those who were thought to be inferior were more knowledgeable.” Apology 22“…are you not ashamed of your eagerness to possess as much wealth, reputation, and honors as possible, while you do not care for nor give thougth towisdom or truth, or the best possbile state of your soul?” Apology 29e
“…keep this one truth in mind, that a good man cannot be harmed either in life or in death…” Apology 41d
“…a man should be of good cheer about his own soul, if during life he has ignored the pleasures of the body…but has seriously concerned himself with the pleasures of learning, and adorned his soul…with…namely moderation, righteousness, courage, freedom, and truth…” Phaedo 115
The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila (circa 1577)
“…I know the power obedience has of making things easy which seem impossible…”
“I thought of the soul as resembling a castle,…containing many rooms, just as in heaven there are many mansions.”
“Rarely do we reflect upon what gifts our souls may possess, Who dwells within them, or how extremely precious they are. Therefore we do little to preserve their beauty; all our care is concentrated on our bodies, which are but the coarse setting of the diamon, or the outer walls of the castle.”
“god does not bestow these favours on certain souls because they are more holy than others…but to manifest His greatness…”
“If you realize your pitable condition, how can you refrain from trying to remove the darkness from the crystal of your souls?”
“…for beholding His greatness we are struck by our own baseness, His purity shows our foulness, and by meditating on His humility we find how very far we are from being humble.”
As I have begun my reading for my Philosophy class (Plato) and have delved into my Mother’s Day gift (St. Teresa), I have found both to be edifying. No surprise there. Having read Plato before I knew what to expect. The second read through was much more edifying since I understood it better than the first time which was 4 years ago.
I was not expecting to be so struck by St. Teresa’s words. I’m not sure why. However, her humility, love for God and care for her sister’s in Christ are quite evident. I’ve not gotten too far into the book as of yet since now I need to read 52 pages of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics before tomorrow night.
I was also quite struck by the similar thoughts of Plato and St. Teresa though there was almost 2000 years between them (if I did the math right – which is not a given!).
I am sure there is more I could write, but my brain is awash with philosophical thoughts! Perhaps the silt will settle down and clarity will come eventually.