Socrates - Plato Euthydemus - Vault among swords, and turn upon a wheel
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Plato – Euthydemus
O heavens, Dionysodorus, I said, I see now that you are in earnest; hardly have I got you to that point. And do you really and truly know all things………?
Certainly, he said…………….
And do you know things such as the numbers of the stars and of the sand?
Certainly; did you think we should say No to that?
By Zeus, said Ctesippus, interrupting, I only wish that you would give me some proof which would enable me to know whether you speak truly.
What proof shall I give you? he said.
Will you tell me how many teeth Euthydemus has? and Euthydemus shall tell how many teeth you have.
Will you not take our word that we know all things?
‘Certainly not’, said Ctesippus: ‘you must further tell us this one thing, and then we shall know that you are speak the truth; if you tell us the number, and we count them, and you are found to be right, we will believe the rest’.
They fancied that Ctesippus was making game of them, and they refused, and they would only say in answer to each of his questions, that they knew all things. For at last Ctesippus began to throw off all restraint; no question in fact was too bad for him; he would ask them if they knew the foulest things, and they, like wild boars, came rushing on his blows, and fearlessly replied that they did. At last, Crito, I too was carried away by my incredulity, and asked Euthydemus whether Dionysodorus could dance.
Certainly, he replied.
And can he vault among swords, and turn upon a wheel, at his age? has he got to such a height of skill as that?
He can do anything, he said.
And did you always know this?
Always, he said.
When you were children, and at your birth?
They both said that they did.
This we could not believe. And Euthydemus said: You are incredulous, Socrates.
Yes, I said, and I might well be incredulous, if I did not know you to be wise men.