Surely this node would not be complete without an example of the master at work. Here is Socrates talking with Protarchus about worldly pleasure versus the life of the mind, from the Dialogues of Plato. I like this one particularly, because at one point Protarchus says, in effect, "ow, my head hurts", and Socrates replies, "cheer up, son, you're doing fine":
Socrates: But, let us first agree on some little points.
Protarchus: What are they?
Socrates: Is the good perfect or imperfect?
Protarchus: The most perfect, Socrates, of all things.
Socrates: And is the good sufficient?
Protarchus: Yes, certainly, and in a degree surpassing all other things.
Socrates: And no one can deny that all percipient beings desire and
hunt after good, and are eager to catch and have the good about
them, and care not for the attainment of anything which its not
accompanied by good.
Protarchus: That is undeniable.
Socrates: Now let us part off the life of pleasure from the life of
wisdom, and pass them in review.
Protarchus: How do you mean?
Socrates: Let there be no wisdom in the life of pleasure, nor any
pleasure in the life of wisdom, for if either of them is the chief
good, it cannot be supposed to want anything, but if either is shown
to want anything, then it cannot really be the chief good.
Socrates: And will you help us to test these two lives?
Socrates: Then answer.
Socrates: Would you choose, Protarchus, to live all your life long in the
enjoyment of the greatest pleasures?
Protarchus: Certainly I should.
Socrates: Would you consider that there was still anything wanting to you
if you had perfect pleasure?
Protarchus: Certainly not.
Socrates: Reflect; would you not want wisdom and intelligence and
forethought, and similar qualities? would you not at any rate want sight?
Protarchus: Why should I? Having pleasure I should have all things.
Socrates: Living thus, you would always throughout your life enjoy the
Protarchus: I should.
Socrates: But if you had neither mind, nor memory, nor knowledge, nor
true opinion, you would in the first place be utterly ignorant of
whether you were pleased or not, because you would be entirely
devoid of intelligence.
Socrates: And similarly, if you had no memory you would not recollect
that you had ever been pleased, nor would the slightest recollection
of the pleasure which you feel at any moment remain with you; and if
you had no true opinion you would not think that you were pleased when
you were; and if you had no power of calculation you would not be able
to calculate on future pleasure, and your life would be the life,
not of a man, but of an oyster or pulmo marinus. Could this be otherwise?
Socrates: But is such a life eligible?
Protarchus: I cannot answer you, Socrates; the argument has taken away from
me the power of speech.
Socrates: We must keep up our spirits; let us now take the life of mind
and examine it in turn.
Protarchus: And what is this life of mind?
Socrates: I want to know whether any one of us would consent to live,
having wisdom and mind and knowledge and memory of all things, but
having no sense of pleasure or pain, and wholly unaffected by these
and the like feelings?
Protarchus: Neither life, Socrates, appears eligible to me, or is likely,
as I should imagine, to be chosen by any one else.
Socrates: What would you say, Protarchus, to both of these in one, or
to one that was made out of the union of the two?
Protarchus: Out of the union, that is, of pleasure with mind and wisdom?
Socrates: Yes, that is the life which I mean.
Protarchus: There can be no difference of opinion; not some but all would
surely choose this third rather than either of the other two, and in
addition to them.
Socrates: But do you see the consequence?
Protarchus: To be sure I do. The consequence is, that two out of the
three lives which have been proposed are neither sufficient nor
eligible for man or for animal.
Socrates: Then now there can be no doubt that neither of them has the
good, for the one which had would certainly have been sufficient and
perfect and eligible for every living creature or thing that was
able to live such a life; and if any of us had chosen any other, he
would have chosen contrary to the nature of the truly eligible, and
not of his own free will, but either through ignorance or from some
Protarchus: Certainly that seems to be true.