I am officially into David Deutsch’s book. Bigtime. And loving it.
So the chapter I am reading right now… Chapter 10 – ‘A Dream of Socrates’…turns out it was actually a dream Socrates was having (I didn’t want to assume).
If we are told something in our dreams, or in reality, it doesn’t matter. We process things the same way. It’s not about what we are told. It’s about how we interpret it. Someone could tell us something in our waking hours that has barely even a tenth of the effect something we are told in our sleep has.
And not only that, in Chapter 10, after being woken up, Socrates gets involved in a conversation with Plato (who on first impression seems super neurotic, super impulsive, but super curious and inquisitive). In Ancient Greece, Athens was about enlightenment and trying to improve things, as well as placing a great value on expression, creativity and originality. Sparta, however, was kind of the opposite. Socrates says, ‘…the Spartans seek only – stasis.’ It was about protecting what they had built, where change and new ideas were avoided.
But after Socrates has his conversation with Hermes in his dream, he tells Plato:
I suspect that we have all been labouring under a misconception about Sparta. Could it be that Spartans do not seek war, as such, at all? At least, not since they conquered their neighbours, centuries ago, and made them helots. Perhaps, since then, they have acquired an entirely different concern that is of overriding importance to them; and perhaps they fight only when that concern is under threat.
I had a fight with my girlfriend earlier today, but I tried to think, ‘is it that she only wants to fight? Or is she actually trying to protect some concern of hers that is under threat?’
That is a much better way to understanding the other side. Whether it’s Sparta, or it’s your missus.