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been the chief concern of you and me in our past lives. And now that

the hour of departure is appointed to me, this is the hope with

which I depart, and not I only, but every man who believes that he has

his mind purified.

Certainly, replied Simmias.

And what is purification but the separation of the soul from the

body, as I was saying before; the habit of the soul gathering and

collecting herself into herself, out of all the courses of the body;

the dwelling in her own place alone, as in another life, so also in

this, as far as she can; the release of the soul from the chains of

the body?

Very true, he said.

And what is that which is termed death, but this very separation and

release of the soul from the body?

To be sure, he said.

And the true philosophers, and they only, study and are eager to

release the soul. Is not the separation and release of the soul from

the body their especial study?

That is true.

And as I was saying at first, there would be a ridiculous

contradiction in men studying to live as nearly as they can in a state

of death, and yet repining when death comes.


Then, Simmias, as the true philosophers are ever studying death,

to them, of all men, death is the least terrible. Look at the matter

in this way: how inconsistent of them to have been always enemies of

the body, and wanting to have the soul alone, and when this is granted

to them, to be trembling and repining; instead of rejoicing at their

departing to that place where, when they arrive, they hope to gain

that which in life they loved (and this was wisdom), and at the same

time to be rid of the company of their enemy. Many a man has been

willing to go to the world below in the hope of seeing there an

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