George Andersen

Philosophical Counselor

Archive for July, 2016

19 July

On the care of the soul

Created by the Russian artist Sceith.

“And therefore if the head and the body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul; that is the first and essential thing. And the care of the soul, my dear youth, has to be effected by the use of certain charms, and these charms are fair words; and by them temperance is implanted in the soul, and where temperance comes and stays, there health is speedily imparted, not only to the head, but to the whole body.”

by Socrates – as captured by Plato in “Charmides”

The “fair words” that Socrates mentions are to me words that persuade us to be gentle, considerate, and adequate to the situation at hand. These fair words rarely come to us in moments of turmoil and adversity if we did not practice persuading our soul with them in moments of tranquility. In order to charm our soul into temperance, for example, we have to prepare the right “charms” in advance and practice their assertion, so that we remember and use them when needed. In this sense, charming our own soul into any virtue could be a daily spiritual exercise.