Over the past two months, I have been thoroughly enjoying a class in Classical Philosophy. And, I have found myself very intrigued by Plato's writing about Socrates--especially regarding the trial and last days of his life. The similarities between these events and the Bible's record of Jesus' trial and death are very interesting.
Socrates is on trial because of the questions he asks of all with whom he comes in contact. This questioning has become an embarrassment to politicians, tradesmen, and Athen citizens alike, because it reveals that they do not hold to the things they say they value and, in fact, do not even understand these values. The charges brought against him state that he "does not believe in the gods whom the states believes in, but other new spiritual things instead." And yet, he says we belong to God.
While he is speaking to the jury (501 citizens who will hear the trial and decide his fate in one day's time) he states that, if they should decide to let him go free with a condition that he no longer question people that his answer to that decision would be:
"Many thanks indeed for your kindness, gentlemen, but I will obey the god rather than you, and as long as I have breath in me, and remain able to do it, I will never cease being a philosopher, and exhorting you, and showing what is in me to any one of you I may meet, by speaking to him in my usual way...For this is what God commands me, make no mistake, and I think there is no greater good for you...than my service to God. All I do is to go about and try to persuade you, both young and old, not to care for your bodies or your monies first, and to care more exceedingly for the soul, to make it as good as possible. . ."
"It is disclosed that he followed an inner urging which guided him by dreams, visions, and all kinds of experiences." I can't help but think of Ernest Holmes' statement, "We believe in the direct revelation of Truth through the intuitive and spiritual nature of man, and that any man may become a revealer of Truth who lives in close contact with this Indwelling God." Socrates' point is well taken. "Once you live in contact with this Indwelling God, how could you not follow it's lead. I have heard that the hardest thing is to follow the guidance you get, however, that is not my experience." I notice that when I attempt to ignore it, I simply become more and more uncomfortable inside, until I come back into alignment with the guidance. When I do this, I am indeed in service to God.
I think it is important to make clear that the Divine never points me in a way that is against my nature or the Divine Nature since each of us is part of It. After all, Holmes stated, "We believe in the incarnation of the Spirit in man and that all men are incarnations of the One Spirit." Finally, as a Religious Scientist, I believe in a friendly Universe. Holmes said it this way, "We believe in the Eternal Goodness, the Eternal Loving-Kindness, and the Eternal Givingness of Life to all. All we have to do is 'Listen Up!' "
Love, Rev. Kris
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