I believe that the meaning of life, according to Socrates, is to know one's self, to indulge in activities that will benefit as well as be good for the soul, and to always engage in a continual search for knowledge. By doing so, we are living, as he describes, an examined life: a life that is to knowing more; a life in which growth means shedding false beliefs; a life in which pretence is continually reduced. In other words, we are living to be consciously aware of the human conditions rather than satisfying our various needs and desires (120). "It is the greatest good for a human being to discuss virtue every day and the other things about which you hear me conversing & examining both myself & others, for the unexamined life is not worth living for a man- (46). According to Socrates, to live an unexamined life would not be worth living because we would be devoid of philosophical thinking as well as lack human excellence; therefore, it is hardly a human life (120). .
To know one's self is to ignore what society has classified as importance to our identities: appearances, status and position of power. Like Socrates, we also live in a cultured world of dizzy excesses, crass materialism, & cut-throat competition for money, power & prestige (104). Therefore, "man's consciousness is determined by his social being."" Instead, we should focus on the inner qualities of a person, such as his personality and intellectuality because these qualities articulate the "real person- within the individual. Socrates (c. 470-399 BCE), also known as "physician of the soul- (135), believed that the "real person- is not body, but the psyche (135); psyche is the Greek term for soul. He believed that human psyche is the essence of humanness whereas the psyche is a combination of the mind & soul: consciousness, the capacity to reason, & the ability of reflective thinking. For instance, the mind enables an individual to think and rationalize choices that will help us within our daily life situations, while the soul allows him to feel emotions that are, in some way, affected by his life situations and ultimately the decisions he makes; therefore, "he thinks what he feels and feels what he thinks.