In ancient Greece…

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In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?”

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

“Triple filter?” asked the acquaintance.

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

“No,” the man said, “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 filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

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

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, “You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes 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 Useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?”

The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

Author; Unknown


13 thoughts on “In ancient Greece…

  1. Keep this in mind the next time you are about to repeat a rumour or spread gossip. (。◕‿◕。)

  2. When I need something to be spread around through gossip, especially what is important and truthful, I sometimes tell it to someone who loves to gossip. It works.

  3. wonderfully expresses right speech; is it true, kind and necessary!

  4. Accorging to this, 90 % of ALL media would go to where it belongs: TRASH!

  5. This is wonderful, thank you. Let’s go a little deeper. When one is judging another, which is gossiping than one is seeing the bad in the other as well as in them self because judging another always begins with judging oneself first. When one recognizes this within them self, healing work can be done (letting go of beliefs about oneself that are lies). I know this to be true because I’ve judged others plenty of times not realizing the whole time I’m judging myself. I’ve acted like the acquaintance who went to Socrates sharing the story about Diogenes. The acquaintance took whatever Diogenes did personally and wanted Socrates to see the bad or ugly in Diogenes and the acquaintance. Judge not, lest ye be judge. There is beauty (a gift) to be found in all ugly behavior. 🙂

    • Are you saying: “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” ? 🙂
      ― Hermann Hesse, Demian

  6. Yes, the other person is your mirror. We are all each others mirrors reflecting back our own beliefs and patterns. When you see beauty in another, you are seeing the beauty within you. When you have an emotional reaction toward another by judging (gossiping), they are handing you a gift. The gift is seeing a judgment you’ve accepted for yourself. This judgment will continue to show up until the judgment is relinquished (this depends how long the person as nurtured their judgment). When we share a story to learn because we have questions and want to see something differently more than likely there is no judgment and or one recognizes the judgment toward them self. When we share a story with the need to be right about our convictions toward the other than there is judgment.

    I like your quote you picked. 🙂

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