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Socrates and Plato - Track 501

Higher than sensation is perception, higher than perception is rational inference and higher than rational inference is intuition, and higher than intuition is universal knowledge. Now similarly instinct is the lowest on the side of will, instinct is the lowest. Higher than that is desire, higher than that is intention, higher than that is motive, higher than that is universal will. Now knowledge and will become identical only at the highest level, universal knowledge and universal will.

Question: What is difference between intention and motive? Is that your question also?

Then I’ll answer what is the difference between intention and motive? I ask you in the morning and I say what is your program today? Then you say I intend to go to Super school this morning. I intend. Then I ask you a further question why do you want to go to Super school? You intend to go there, why do you want to go? Then the answer would be, I would like to study Socrates. So that is the motive. Motive is that which moves you, intention is always lower than motive. I intend to do this, why because I want to study Socrates that is the motive. But you can always go on, why do you want to study Socrates? In which case, your studying Socrates is intention. I intend to study Socrates because I want to have universal knowledge that is your motive. So whatever is higher in intention is motive that which moves you. That which takes you to the fulfilment of motive is intention, because by going to Super school you’ll learn Socrates therefore going to Super school is intention and studying Socrates is a motive. And then you ask further question why do you want to study Socrates? Then you say I intend to study Socrates because I want to universalise my consciousness that is my motive. Clear now.

Now what Socrates is pointing out is that knowledge and virtue become one, knowledge and will become one only at the highest level. Virtue is knowledge only when virtue is at the highest level and when knowledge is at the highest level. But if you take it at the lower level then you’ll find mistakes in it. So he says: if you criticise my doctrine it is only because you don’t understand that to me virtue is knowledge only when virtue is at the highest level and knowledge is at the highest level. So the doctrine 'Virtue is Knowledge’ can be seen to be valid only when you go to the highest level. If you apply it in ordinary circumstances it may fall flat. So your criticism was valid only because you did not understand my words fully. You thought that I was speaking of virtue in the term of ‘a’ virtue, not universal will. When I spoke of knowledge you thought of opinion, knowledge of a particular, therefore you found fault with my doctrine. But if you have to understand that I meant by knowledge universal knowledge and by will I meant universal state of consciousness in which all that is untrue is eliminated. The highest will and the highest knowledge they combine together. Alright.

 So that is our study of Socrates we shall finish now only five or six sentences which were left yesterday. You read the last paragraph now.

 What in effect have we arrived at, virtue is not this virtue or that virtue and knowledge is not the apprehension of a particular good. What Socrates seems to be stating is that there is a state of consciousness where there is totality of knowledge which manifests spontaneously in the form of virtues actions. Indeed this state does not belong to the moral plane, for in the moral plane we cannot speak of having attained to the totality of knowledge which is a unity of virtues.

Now here I am introducing a new word’ moral plane’, moral plane is a plane corresponding to the mind, mental plane which is ruled by inference, rational inference. Now you will have seen in the hierarchy gradation that I have put down for you that there is first sensation, than perception then rational inference and then intuition and then universal knowledge. Right? Similarly I put down instinct, desire, intention, motive and then universal will. So plane of intention and motive is the plane of moral plane. These two are corresponding when you reach the level of intention–motive; you have reached the moral plane. Just as when you reach the plane of inference you have reached the mental plane. So when Socrates says ‘virtue is knowledge’ that statement is not true of the mental plane or of the moral plane. If you look at it only from the moral point of view or mental plane point of view then the statement is not true. At the mental level, at the moral plane virtue is not knowledge. it is only when you go beyond, you go to the universal level of consciousness and universal level of will then only the two become one then only ‘virtue is knowledge’. Now you read again.

For in the moral plane we cannot speak of having attained to the totality of knowledge which is a unity of virtues. There the state of ‘is’ is always contrasted with what ought to be. This contrast ceases when the summum bonum or the highest good is attained in the state of spiritual illumination.

Now this word summum bonum, I’ll just speak of it for two minutes that will be the end of this chapter. Summum bonum, it’s a Latin word, summum is summit and bonum means bonn that which is good, the highest good, the summit good, the highest of highest. Socrates speaks of the summum bonum, he speaks of the highest good. When all virtues are united in a state of consciousness like Jesus, all the virtues were united in his consciousness that is summum consciousness, highest consciousness. So when he says virtue is knowledge, what he says is summit of consciousness and summit of virtue are identical. In the moral plane or mental plane this identity doesn’t exist, there is effort moving still towards the higher height when you reach the summum bonum you have reached the height, summum, summit. So when you are climbing there knowledge and virtue may not be identical there you may know the right but may not do the right. But when you reach the summum, the summit then what you know to be correct is also you would do. Indeed even in the spiritual field there are degrees and progression but the essential knowledge is there at every stage which prevents evil in will. With reference to the spiritual man therefore we can say ‘virtue is knowledge’.

Now the rest of the two paragraphs you read at home. They should be very easy now for you, you read at home and tell me tomorrow whether you understood these two paragraphs or not.

Unity of virtue, universal knowledge ’ you have to explain this otherwise people might misunderstand that you agree wrongly. This is what Socrates meant when he said ‘virtue is knowledge’ and therefore we agree with it. But if you put another interpretation on it then there are bound to be difficulties.

So let us write down a few questions.

One question I had already dictated to you at one time, I don’t know if you remember it or if you have recorded it. If you have, I would like you to read it out. ………….

1) How does the ego act when it is ignorant of the higher power that always acts?

2) What are the three stages of the Integral yoga and the role of the personal effort in these three stages? What is the meaning of utsaha?

3) Who is the Supreme Guide of the Integral yoga?

4) “My God, my incarnation, my Prophet, my Guru” ’ how to correct this exclusive tendency?

5) Example, instruction, and influence: explain these three terms.

6) What is the method and system of the teacher of the Integral yoga?

7) What is time?

8) When is time an enemy? When is it an instrument?

9) What is the ideal attitude towards time?

10) What is the greatness of Socrates?

 11) What was the accusation brought against Socrates?

12) What is the meaning of a sophist and what is the meaning of sophistry?

13) Virtue is knowledge: do you agree? Why?

Now on the last question which will be given to everybody and you have to write at least one full page on it.


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