Is. 61:1-2a, 10-11; 1 Thess. 5:16-24; Jn. 1:6-8, 19-28
Socrate’s close friend Chaerephon once consulted God at the Oracle of Delphi and asked, “Is there any person in the world who is smarter than Socrates?”
God answers: No man is wiser than Socrates.
Chaerephon happily informed Socrates of God’s answer. But to Chaerephon’s surprise, Socrates was mystified and even felt uncomfortable. Socrates did not believe that he was the wisest or the most intelligent person in the world. To disprove God’s conclusion, he decided to look for a person with more wisdom and a better standing than himself.
Firstly, he found a politician. The politician had a very high opinion of his own knowledge and talked non-stop with Socrates. Socrates saw the politician’s self-righteousness and unawareness. He thought, “This person knows nothing about compassion and has no higher learning, yet, he thinks that he knows everything. At least I recognize that I am ignorant; so it seems that I may be wiser than him.”
Socrates was not satisfied, so he continued with his pursuit. He found a poet. This poet was a genius at writing poems, though he thought that he was the wisest man alive, simply because he could write poems.
The next person Socrates met with was a craftsman. To his dismay, the craftsman made the same mistake as did the poet and the politician. He too thought that he was greater than others and above reproach, because he had some good skills.
Socrates thought, that it was ignorance and pride that eroded the intelligence of these three persons.
Finally, Socrates came to an understanding to the true meaning of the words God had spoken to Chaerephon. He was aware of his own ignorance. “True Knowledge Is Knowledge of Oneself”. Said, Swami Vivekananda. Today’s Gospel gives the Picture of a man who knew well who he was.
When John the Baptist began his ministry, a deputation came to interview him. The deputation was composed of two kinds of people - priests and the Levites. Their interest was natural. The priests wanted to know that John was the son of a priest, therefore, why he was behaving in such an unusual manner. Second, there were emissaries of the Sanhedrin. John was a preacher to whom the people were flocking in hordes. The Sanhedrin may well have felt it their duty to check up on this man in case he was a false prophet.
They asked him three questions: Firstly, they asked him if he was the Messiah. Then they asked him if he was Elijah. Then they asked him if he was the expected and promised prophet. When they found that John’s answer was ”no”, they asked him the most difficult question: “Who are you?”
Throughout human history, only a handful of people were able to find an answer to that question. We call them “the super achievers”. Only they knew what to reach for. They knew where to place themselves. John the Baptist was one among them. He was very clear about his role.
We seldom know what gifts we are endowed with. We will have to learn where we belong, what we have to learn to get the full benefit from our strengths, where our weaknesses lie, what our values are. So, it is fundamental to know oneself. Where do we come from? Where are we going? What is the objective of existence? Why do we live? What do we live for?
Lemuria was an ancient civilization which existed prior to and during the time of Atlantis. Physically, it is believed that Lemuria existed largely in the Southern Pacific, between North America and Asia/Australia. The people of Lemuria used to see the world as it really is. They knew that this world has nine dimensions. They used to see the world in its multi-dimensional form. In the fire they used to perceive the Salamanders or creatures of fire; in the water they were able see the Undines, or creatures of water; in the air they would perceive the Sylphs, and in the element earth they could perceive the Gnomes. When they would lift up their eyes towards the infinite they could perceive other planetary humanities. The planets of space were visible to them in a distinct way as they could see the aura of the planet plus its planetary genii (angel).
Unfortunately though, when the human Essence was bottled up within all of those "I's," or psychological aggregates that form the "myself," or the ego, then the Consciousness fell asleep. Now, we l carry on with our Consciousness asleep, embottled within all these "I's" we carry inside. So the wise men always advised to discover the self. “Oracle of Delphi” says:
"My advice to you, whoever you may be,
Oh, you who desire to explore the Mysteries of Nature;
if you do not discover within yourself that which you seek,
neither will you find it without.
If you ignore the excellence of your own house,
how can you aspire to find excellence elsewhere?
Within you is hidden the treasure of treasures.
Oh Man! Know thyself, and you will know the universe and the Gods".
John was different from us all who try at all times to appear more than what we are. So, the season of Advent invites us to reflect on the following three questions:
· What do I think of myself…?
· What do people think that I am…?
· What does God think about me…..?