A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
When the darkness of the world seems overwhelming, unstoppable, crushing, when beings like Celeste, who love life and sing about love are being turned into meat and handbags by the millions every day, when the pain of loving them seems unbearable, the answer is NOT to stop loving, NOT to stop caring, NOT to add to the darkness. The answer is to love more, deeper, wider. To love despite the darkness and the pain. Indeed, to love because of it. To love those who need it most desperately, not only those we happen to like, to love because your love is profoundly, vitally needed, not because it is self-gratifying. To love as though life depended on it. It does.
The Folarians (such was their name) were a pacifistic people who believed in free will, free thought, free love, free land, free living, free rides, freeloading and freebies of all kinds. Bitter enemies of the Vegetarians, the Fruitarians (who lived exclusively on raw fruit), the Pietarians (or “New Fruitarians,” as they were sometimes called, who ate only raw fruit pies) and the Breatharians (who subsisted on air alone), the Folarians promoted a doctrine wherein eternal life was achieved by abstaining from all food sources save foliage—thus their name. Moreover, this foliage—whether leaves, stems or flowers—must already have fallen to the ground of its own accord. This way, eating only nature’s leftovers, the Folarians lived in perfect harmony with Mother Earth.
Source: Beginner's Luke: Book I of the Beginner's Luke Series, Pages: 44..45
All of us cherish our beliefs. They are, to a degree, self-defining. When someone comes along who challenges our belief system as insufficiently well-based - or who, like Socrates, merely asks embarrassing questions that we haven't thought of, or demonstrates that we've swept key underlying assumptions under the rug - it becomes much more than a search for knowledge. It feels like a personal assault.