Socrates – Preparing the Way for Christianity and Spiritism

By Brian Foster

Abstract

Socratesv1Allan Kardec in the book, The Gospel According to Spiritism, lays out the philosophy of Socrates as recorded by Plato. The basic doctrine of Socrates is very similar to what Jesus preached and Spiritism codified. Which should not be surprising, since all had their headwaters in the same place; the spirit world.

Introduction

Socrates was born in Athens, Greece, sometime in the years 470 or 469 BC and lived 71 years untildeathofSocrates his death by state execution in the year 399 BC.[1] He was executed by the state for questioning the use of power by Athens and his supposedly bad influence on the youth of the day. His major crime was to object to the rule of “might makes right” and his exposure of follies by the leaders of Athens.[2] An example of the teachings of Socrates, as reported by Plato, which may have been objectionable to the ruling citizens of Athens is;

“One should never return injustice for injustice, nor do evil to anyone, whatever may be the evil they have done to us.” [3]

More than 400 years before Christ, Socrates was telling us to learn to live with one another and to forgive others without hesitation. Socrates believed the best way for people to live was to focus on the pursuit of virtue rather than the pursuit of material wealth.[4] The message of forgiveness and self-improvement could be taken verbatim from the New Testament or the Doctrine of Spiritism.
Socrates goes on the explain what is important to God;

“The most beautiful prayers and the most beautiful sacrifices please the Divinity less than agreekgods virtuous soul who puts forth the effort to resemble it. It would be a grave thing if the gods were to have more consideration for our offerings than for our soul. This way, even the guiltiest could render themselves favorable. But no, there are no truly just and wise except those who through their work and deeds redeem what they owe to the gods and men.” [5]

This is the message that has been repeated again and again to us, by philosophers from China, Persia, India, Greece, Israel, and lastly France via Allan Kardec. Are these persons plagiarizing one another throughout the centuries or is it the spirit world sending us the wisdom that we all need to acquire to better ourselves?

Reincarnation

Socrates also knew that we are immortal souls, who go through periods incarnated on earth;

“While we have our body, and as long as our soul is immersed in this corruption, we will never possess the object of our desire: the truth. In fact the body brings forth in us a thousand obstacles due to our need to care for it. Moreover, it fills us with desire, appetites, fears, a thousand chimeras and a thousand follies, so that, while in it, it is impossible to be wise, even for an instant. However, since it is not possible to know anything purely while the soul is united with the body, one of two things will happen: either we will never know the truth, or we will only come to know it after death. Freed from the insanity of the body, we then will converse – hopefully – with individuals likewise freed, and we will know for ourselves the essence of things. That is why true philosophers prepare themselves to die, and why death is no way seems fearsome to them.”[6]

Death is the great freedom. We are free from our material form, we are free from the trials we signed up for, and we are free from hate, jealousy, hunger, and pain. We are free to think and be with others we love and respect. A revelation given to us in The Spirits Book, but has also been in front of us for the last 2500 years in the Dialogues of Plato.

Socrates also knew what happens after death, where we are interrogated; discuss our lessons learned and lessons failed, spend our time in the spirit world, then after the allotted interval we construct the plan for our next life. Socrates describes it thusly;

“After our deaths, the spirit (daimon) who had been assigned to us during life leads us to a place where all those who must be taken to Hades are gathered in order to be judged. After having remained in Hades for the time required, souls are re-conducted to this life for numerous and long periods.”[7]

Parallels with Jesus

Socrates dedicated himself to pursuit of knowledge, via a series of questions, each one meant to find what was wrong with the previous answer, or contradicted other statements to get to the truth. He believed the quest for knowledge was our primary duty and only thus could we temporarily escape the torments and needs of our physical existence. By his rigorous thought processes he tried to enable people to comprehend the beauty in spiritual growth and the transitory nature of material wealth. On wealth he said; “Wealth is a great danger. All who love wealth love neither themselves nor what they are, but something that is even more foreign to them than what they are.”[8]

camel-through-the-eye-of-a-needleHow like the teachings of Jesus, who gave us the image of a camel passing through the eye of a needle to the chances of a rich person attaining heaven. For when we worship that which is of this earth, we are unable to lift our thoughts to higher matters, for with wealth we must deal with the daily pressures to protect our goods, contend with numerous enemies who are after our assets, and plot our next steps.

Socrates also understood our failings to examine ourselves, when he was recorded saying, “It is a natural disposition in each of us to perceive our own defects much less than those of others.”[9] The parallels with Jesus’ admonishing us that we see the speck in our neighbor’s eye, but not the plank in our own eye, is telling. These are not just two random men with similar philosophies, but a concerted effort by the spiritual world to reveal how to comport ourselves in order to prepare our souls for advancement.

Conclusion

His dialogues, written and publish by Plato, remain treasures of logical thought and philosophy until today. We can all learn from the wisdom of the Athenian philosopher, whose Socratic dialogue formed the basis of the scientific method and taught us to constantly assess where we are, who we are, and how are we improving and acquiring knowledge on a daily basis.

Socrates

Socrates

Like Jesus, Socrates in his pursuit to lead us onto the right path, suffered obstruction from enemies of enlightenment, and both in the end were condemned to die by the state. Allan Kardec lived in a more advanced society where non-believers weren’t struck down, but merely ridiculed, shunned, and repressed by the state and church. We too live in a time, when the teachings of Spiritism and words of spirituality will cause a wave of aversion to our ideals. Where the mere mention of God is seen as an insult to someone and must be punished. We aren’t even given the gift of being ignored if one doesn’t like our message. Through all of the verbal assaults, we must like thousands of adherents before us be strong and know in our hearts that our message of love, fraternity, charity and the active participation of God’s workers in our daily lives will someday be heard.

Author:
Brian Foster has a BSCS degree and a MBA. He has worked in R&D for medical device corporations and in IT for large financial institutions. Brian Foster has a blog at http://www.nwspiritism.com.

Works Cited
Kardec, A. (2008). The Gospel According to Spiritism. Brasilia (DF): International Spiritist Council.
Wikipedia. (2014, August 5). Socrates. Retrieved from Wikipedia – Socrates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates

[1] Wikipedia, “Socrates”, n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates, (accessed August 5, 2014)
[2] Wikipedia, “Socrates”, n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates, (accessed August 5, 2014)
[3] Kardec, A., The Gospel According to Spiritism, EDICEI, p. 42
[4] Wikipedia, “Socrates”, n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates, (accessed August 5, 2014)
[5] Kardec, A., The Gospel According to Spiritism, EDICEI, p. 43
[6] Kardec, A., The Gospel According to Spiritism, EDICEI, pp. 37-38
[7] Kardec, A., The Gospel According to Spiritism, EDICEI, p. 39
[8] Kardec, A., The Gospel According to Spiritism, EDICEI, p. 42
[9] Kardec, A., The Gospel According to Spiritism, EDICEI, p. 44

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