Was Socrates Psychic?

The prejudice against psychics and psychic phenomenon is well known, and unfortunate largely accepted. So, it should be no surprise that many psychic events and the discussion of famous individuals exhibiting (or even claiming) psychic abilities gets largely overlooked (or buried by historians). It is not unheard of that some authors, teachers and so forth are tempted to skip the ‘messy parts’ of history, or worse, re-write history to remove certain facts. Such seems to be the case of one of the world’s greatest philosophers, Socrates, who claimed he had psychic experiences, or at least something remarkably similar.

It is no wonder that many, if not most, modern written material about the great, ancient Greek philosopher Socrates never mention that Socrates openly talked about being guided by a ‘daemon’. The word ‘daemon’, during the time of Socrates, was applied to a kind, benevolent spirit that sometimes communicated with mortals. Daemons provided guidance and were "good beings who dispense riches … remain invisible, known only by their acts" according to the writing of another ancient Greek, Hesiod. An ancient Greek myth said that daemons were created by the god Zeus to benevolently serve humans as guardian spirits. In ancient Greece it was thought that sometimes heroes and virtuous men and women would die and become daemons. It was also not uncommon for Greeks to build shrines for daemons to help such spirits find a home and assist the local people.
Was Socrates A New Age Psychic
It would not be until much later the word ‘daemons’ would be confused with ‘daimones’ or spirits with evil intent, leading to the word ‘demon’, which is in modern terms always an evil being. In an unfortunate twist of fate, a 5th century doctor decided to claimed that neurotic women and girls could be driven mad (or even to suicide) by imaginary apparitions or "evil daimones". It is possible this is where the words ‘daimone’, ‘daemon’ and ‘demon’ all began to be confused and all the words began to mean ‘evil spirit’. Today, the word ‘daemon’ would be more accurately translated as ‘guardian angel’ or ‘spirit guide’. And such is the type of being Socrates felt he communicated with.

Plato, a beloved student of Socrates, writes in Theagets that Socrates says, "By favour of the gods, I have, since my childhood, been attended by a semi-divine being whose voice from time to time dissuades me from some undertaking, but never directs me what I am to do." Socrates goes on to tell a story about how he tried to warn Charmides, the son of Glaucon, not to go and compete in the Nemean Games. Socrates’s guardian spirit told Socrates that Charmides should not go to Nemean. Charmides ignores Socrates advice and is killed during the games.

Xenophon, friend and contemporary of Socrates, writes that Socrates told him, "This prophetic voice has been heard by me throughout my life: It is certainly more trustworthy than omens from the flight or entrails of birds: I call it a god or daemon. I have told friends the warnings I have received, and up to now the voice has never been wrong".

It is understandable that many modern philosophers, writers, teachers and historians who consider Socrates the Father of All Logic would want to skip over Socrates self proclaimed precognitive abilities and spiritual guidance from a ‘guardian angel’. Some in the historical community have tried to gross over Socrates psychic experiences by framing Socrates as a brilliant philosopher who was excentric or maybe just a bit ‘touched in the head’ but who nonetheless was one of the greatest minds in history for his pursuit of the truth. Other historians tried to re-write Socrates spirit guide into Socrates ‘inner voice’, since the idea that Socrates was following some sort of spiritual, psychic-like guidance was just unacceptable. Such is the prejudice against psychics and psychic phenomenon that many modern historians try and strip one of the greatest philosophers of all time of one his key personal beliefs. Socrates was a very spiritual man. Fortunately, many venerable, ancient philosophers and historians recorded that Socrates was beloved and embraced for his commitment to his spirituality and outspokenness about his guardian spirit or daemon (and never belittled because of it).

Socrates was a seeker of spiritual as well as rational truth according to his most famous pupil, Plato. Plato himself left an extensive body of philosophical work on spirituality. He took seriously the exploration of consciousness and considered the world of ideas just as real as the physical world. Plato even made logical distinctions between understanding the world through a rational, physical process and understanding the world through inspired states, out-of-body experiences, inner voices, dreams and trances. Plato did not consider either method inferior, only that both needed to be pursued carefully and methodically.

Since Socrates did not leave any personal writing or works of his own, all we can know of him is what those who knew him best recorded. So, none of us can really know if Socrates had psychic experiences. What we do know is that those who knew him best loved and accepted his belief he was guided by a spirit or angel of some sort. Maybe it seems odd, but the man who left us with the ultimate advice, Know Thy Self and the unexamined life is not worth living believed in his personal spirit guide.

Here are some interesting, related resources you may enjoy:

If you happen to be someone who does embrace the idea of guardian angels and spirit guides, you may appreciate a personal reading from Psychic Betty who is a talented clairvoyant and medium. You can contact her at 1-866-407-7164. A wonderful group of psychics who work with spirits is at AskPsychics.net Ask The Spirits. They also have a toll free number, 1-866-327-9032. For angel readings, I’d highly recommend Psychic Dona whom you can reach at 1-866-407-7164.

Divine inspiration and guidance can come from some of the most unlikely places … something Socrates knew well. Was he psychic? We will likely never know for sure. But it sure is fascinating that history records his possible precognitive abilities.