[Socrates and Rich man], On Being A ‘Gadfly’

In this dialogue, the Socratic method is about holding people accountable for their beliefs by questioning them as a guide, who is really wishing them ‘good thoughts’. Socrates compared himself to being a midwife in the sense he tries to guide others to having better thought like having a baby. In fact, he also is said to have called himself a Gadfly of Athens.

Socrates: How important is it to you?

Rich man: Money is a road to power, which I enjoy. It is a form of currency. It circulates like an electric current. And it has power like an electric current. But now, we must state the truth. It is an agreed upon system of coins and bills that a group uses to buy goods. This group is usually a recognized country like the USA that has dollars and coins.

S: Why do you want power?

Rm: Who doesn’t? I crave it. To me, there is never enough money or power. I think I crave the latter more.

S: What do you gain?

Rm: More power. I am in lust with it. I will never have enough. It is intoxicatingly everything.

S: Would you help people with your wealth and power? Maybe, by showing them how to built a well to hold water when they have no water?

Rm: I would need some help.

S: I have a friend who would show you, but you would have to pay a small price for it.

Rm: Would poor people pay me back?

S: I am sure they would when they are able. Do you want to think of other ways to help people?

Rm: Not particularly, but perhaps I could be persuaded for a small price.

S: What did you have in mind?

Rm: A small profit.

S: For you?

Rm: Maybe, and for them too.

S: What would you say to doing it for free?

Rm: I suppose I could afford it.

S: I imagine I could do better by talking to many rich people about it.

[Alexander and Diogenes], The Greater Freedom

In this dialogue, Alexander the Great, apologizes to the great Cynic Diogenes when each fiery remark enables numerous replies.

Alexander:  If I could be you, I would give up me.  But I am trying to civilize the barbarian hoard into the Grecian way.

Diogenes:  Being free of my ego is better than money, fame or power.  And you will never experience it.

A:  I am sorry you feel this way.  You teach me to be better with less in many ways.  You accomplish more with less by using your mind in difficult good ways.

D:  Exercise the habits of freedom and you will be at peace.

[Homer, Ulysses], Ithaca

In this dialogue, the author of the Odyssey has an imaginary talk with the story's main character Ulysses (the Latin name for Odysseus). He is also the author, ascribed by their Ancient Greeks, of the other epic poem called the Iliad. Ithaca is the real place the author ascribes the home or kingdom of the imaginary character Ulysses. Here in the west we still need ways to guide us through our own journey and many people find substance in these two epic poems.

Homer: Well, Odysseus, you are finally coming home from the Trojan War. What shall you do?

Ulysses: I wish you would use my Latin name. And not dwell on the past.

H: I am a poet. My job is to unify humanity.

U: Sure, anything you say, so now I have to go on an epic adventure!

H: Yes, rather than dwelling on the war and anger, I want you to bring us together by illustrating that life is a journey and that god intervenes along the way.

U: Yes, yes, but why does it have to be so long, can't you just let me go home and be done with it. For God's sake, it takes a good twenty years. And what's up with all the gods?

H: Odysseus, 20 years to represent the gods and a person's life is nothing. Humanity must understand that life is full of 'ups and downs' and that the gods or 'what we believe' is important in learning along the way.

U: Well, I'm okay about your message, but I prefer to be called Ulysses.

H: Very well, I wouldn't want to make you angry, again.

[Teacher and Student], Build Your Brain

In this dialogue, neuroplasticity and behavior is discussed with those learning to live and love.  They explore the responsibility we have to receive fruitful outcomes or growing problems.

Teacher:  There is no good behavior there is only behavior. 

Student:  What does that mean.

T:  Everything you learn, good or bad will change your brain.  The best habits for you may not work on your friend.  The best habits for you today, may not work for you tomorrow.

S:  Does that mean that I may be a good learner today and a bad one tomorrow?

T:  Essentially, yes.  If you do harm, like consume drugs every day.  You may create a bad habit.  If you do good, like learn your work.  You may create a good habit.

S:  Will meditation and exercise and healthy eating and good routine help my overall ability to have better results.

T:  Yes.  And so will a supportive community and connections with people in your life.

S:  Is not this a recipe for Success and failure?

T:  In a way,  we still need to study and learn what is best for ourselves on the day to day basis.  There is no magic about it.  You still need to do the work.

[Pythagorus, Student], What It Means To Lead The Inner Life In A Community

In this dialogue, the father of philosophy, tells his student how to live.  He explores the love of wisdom, love of community and the love of people.  He explains why he left no record or had no answers and made no false promises.  He explains that he does not want to be an enigma but a true student of life and a true collaborator.  

Pythagorus:  What do you want and how can you get it?

Student:  I want to be a philosopher and a great student who lives the simple life and helps with the community to build a better world.

P:  This is good.  But to be a philosopher you must learn to learn.  To learn the simple life, you must have a thirst to know and believe.  To build a better world, you must build a better you!

S:  How can I do all this?

P:  Just live, love and learn.

S:  I believe we are the first to live the inner-life so openly in our community.  We prosper as a group because we build from the inside out.

P:  This is true.  And our word of mouth and brotherhood and sisterhood will grow around the world. I am not going to leave a legacy, I will leave an idea.  Many will believe it is my math because in time, all will see the fruit of this great work.  But it is less obvious what a life well lived will do for the world.   

S:  I thirst to love, learn and live.

P:  We are indeed fortunate that we eat the fruit that will build a heaven within each of us.

[Teacher Monkey, Student Monkey ], Your Inner Baby Monkey

In this dialogue, the teacher-student relationship is taken to the next level.  Here the teacher discusses mindfulness and connecting with others.

Student:  I meditate every morning before breakfast for half an hour and when I am ambitious, half an hour in the evening, but I just can’t focus.

Teacher:  Do you like to do chores?  Of course you don’t and neither do I, but I value the outcomes through experience, strength and hope.

S:  I love to ape other apes, but it gets a little boring when the outcomes take so long to aquire.

T:  The outcomes are immediate.  You are doing a life long habit which will bare fruit for your entire life.  And you will use your mantrum to aquire proficiency with meditation.

S:  I have experienced outcomes using my mantrum, but I never realized it was a watered down version of my daily meditation.

T:  This is your Inner baby Monkey brain that tells you such obvious misinterpretations.  But you have supplied me with good reason to help guide you along this razor’s edge.

S:  What is my Inner Baby Monkey?

T:  Just sit and watch any baby monkey to see.  And then report back to me.

The student sees a baby monkey acting in various normal ways and realizes that he too behaves like this at times.  He also feels like it is good to remember a part of himself that helps him understand and accept himself as a whole monkey.

T:  Well, what have you learnt about the Inner Baby Monkey?

S:  Do, I really act so circular with my action, thoughts, beliefs?  Yes, and thanks to you, I have been allowed to aquire a better path of experience, strength and hope.  The baby monkey is still inside of me.  I just did not recognize myself.  I need to parent it when it needs me.  And I need to learn more about myself in this regard.

T:  It is wonderful to have a student who teaches himself and needs me to guide him.

[Pro, Amateur], Tennis

In this dialogue, two tennis players talk about their game.  She won.  And he lost.  He is the winner of the top athletic award in his high school.  She is an Olympic qualifying athlete.  She may be a little older and more mature, but they learn a lot from each other playing the game.

Pro:  You rocked when you made those two-handed backhands.  Jim.  Jim.

Amateur:  It was great that you asked me if I wanted to play a game.

P:  Ya, well, you might want to work on your 1st serve.  And I’d like to play again but I’m going to summer camp tomorrow.  But, I meant it when I said you have a good return serve.

A:  Why do you want to play against a younger man?

P:  Because I am struggling to develop upper body strength, stamina, and aggressive play.  You can challenge me in all these areas of my game.  Why do you want to play me?

A:  Really, I mean, I was here playing and you asked me.

P:  Really.  Well, if that’s your answer.

A:  Okay, you are hot and I just wanted to have an excuse to see you.

P:  Good answer.  And I am hot.  But, I am going to tennis camp tomorrow.  So I really need to go.  Nice game.

A: Thanks