Socrates Test of Three – When Gossip is Acceptable

Socratesv1In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. He espoused many of the same beliefs that Jesus would present to the world 400 years later. As Spiritist we need to control our thoughts and not speak ill of others. In fact, we should seek out times to speak well of others. Socrates gives a great lesson on gossip.

One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly and said,

“Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”

“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me,
I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”

“Test of Three?”

“That’s correct,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man replied, “actually I just heard about it.”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued, “You may still pass though because there is a third test – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really…”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even ReincarnationBook-Small-3duseful, why tell it to me at all?”

Socrates was trying to teach, four hundred years before Christ, that we must not only do good, we must think well of others too. Learn what life is for on earth with my book, The Case For Reincarnation – Your Path to Perfection.

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