Lessons given by Socrates
This philosophy story about Socrates and his student — Plato, has been circulated for a while in internet. I’ve been several times refer to it whenever discussing about the matters with family or friends, but sometimes had difficulties to point the link since its been gone, or other reason. I will just put here so I can refer to my own link next time.
Its a good philosophy; if you understand the meaning very well then you’ll understand the truth of life. (human perspective; let me just put aside religious view for a while, although in my personal view they can be related).
I’ve been trying to find the original source without luck until now, so not really sure if these are really part of philosophy lesson given by Socrates to Plato. However, it is confirmed that Plato was Socrates’s student.
One day, Plato asked Socrates What love is.
Socrates said: I ask you to go across this rice field, pick up and bring back the biggest and best ear of wheat, but remember one thing, you cannot go back, and you just have one chance.
Then Plato did so, but he came back with nothing after a long time.
Socrates asked him why?
Plato answered: I once saw some very big and good wheat when I walked through the field, but I was always thinking that maybe there would some bigger and better ones, so I just passed by; but what I saw later is not better than before, so I had nothing at last.
Socrates said this is love.
Another day, Plato asked Socrates What marriage is.
Socrates said: I ask you to go across this forest, cut down and bring back the thickest and solidest tree as the Christmas tree, but remember one thing, you cannot go back and you just have one chance.
Then Plato did so, but he just brought back a not tall and solid but just good one.
Socrates asked him why?
Plato said: I saw some very good trees on my way in the forest, this time, I learned something from the last event of wheat, so I just chose this good one. If I did not, I was afraid that I would come back with nothing again, though this one was not the best one I had seen.
This time, Socrates said with significance this is marriage.
One more time, Plato asked Socrates What happiness is.
Socrates said: I ask you to go across this field, pick the most beautiful flower, but remember one thing, you cannot go back, and you just have one chance.
Then Plato did so, and he came back with a fairly pretty flower.
Socrates asked him was this the most beautiful one.
Plato said: I saw this beautiful flower, picked it and thought this was the most beautiful one, when I walked in the field. And even I saw many beautiful ones, I still believed this was the most beautiful one, so I brought it back.
Then Socrates said profoundly this is happiness.
Again, Plato asked his teacher Socrates What affair is.
Socrates asked him to go through the forest again, and he could go back and bring back the most beautiful flower.
Plato went out with confidence, and came back, bringing a bright but a little withered flower after two hours.
Socrates asked him whether this was the most beautiful flower.
He answered to his teacher: I was looking for the prettiest one for two hours and found this was the one, but on my way back, this picked flower was becoming withered.
Then Socrates told him this is affair.
The other day, Plato asked his teacher Socrates What life is.
Socrates asked him again to go through the forest, he could go back but must bring back the most beautiful flower.
Plate learned from last experience and went out with great confidence.
Three days passed, he did not come back.
Socrates just walked into the forest to look for him and finally found him had pitched a camp in it.
Socrates asked him whether he had found the prettiest flower.
He pointed at a flower beside him and said this was the one.
Socrates asked him why he did not bring it back.
He answered: If I did, it would be withered soon. Even I did not, it would be sooner or later. So I was beside it when it was in its best blossom, and when it died, I would find the next; this was the second one I found here.
This time, Socrates told him: now you’ve already known the truth of life.