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phaedo   


practically indestructible. You allow that?

Yes.

And are we to suppose that the soul, which is invisible, in

passing to the true Hades, which like her is invisible, and pure,

and noble, and on her way to the good and wise God, whither, if God

will, my soul is also soon to go-that the soul, I repeat, if this be

her nature and origin, is blown away and perishes immediately on

quitting the body as the many say? That can never be, dear Simmias and

Cebes. The truth rather is that the soul which is pure at departing

draws after her no bodily taint, having never voluntarily had

connection with the body, which she is ever avoiding, herself gathered

into herself (for such abstraction has been the study of her life).

And what does this mean but that she has been a true disciple of

philosophy and has practised how to die easily? And is not

philosophy the practice of death?

Certainly.

That soul, I say, herself invisible, departs to the invisible

worldto the divine and immortal and rational: thither arriving, she

lives in bliss and is released from the error and folly of men,

their fears and wild passions and all other human ills, and forever

dwells, as they say of the initiated, in company with the gods. Is not

this true, Cebes?

Yes, said Cebes, beyond a doubt.

But the soul which has been polluted, and is impure at the time of

her departure, and is the companion and servant of the body always,

and is in love with and fascinated by the body and by the desires

and pleasures of the body, until she is led to believe that the

truth only exists in a bodily form, which a man may touch and see

and taste and use for the purposes of his lusts-the soul, I mean,

accustomed to hate and fear and avoid the intellectual principle,

which to the bodily eye is dark and invisible, and can be attained

only by philosophy-do you suppose that such a soul as this will depart

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