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phaedo   


Even among them some are happier than others; and the happiest

both in themselves and their place of abode are those who have

practised the civil and social virtues which are called temperance and

justice, and are acquired by habit and attention without philosophy

and mind.

Why are they the happiest?

Because they may be expected to pass into some gentle, social nature

which is like their own, such as that of bees or ants, or even back

again into the form of man, and just and moderate men spring from

them.

That is not impossible.

But he who is a philosopher or lover of learning, and is entirely

pure at departing, is alone permitted to reach the gods. And this is

the reason, Simmias and Cebes, why the true votaries of philosophy

abstain from all fleshly lusts, and endure and refuse to give

themselves up to them-not because they fear poverty or the ruin of

their families, like the lovers of money, and the world in general;

nor like the lovers of power and honor, because they dread the

dishonor or disgrace of evil deeds.

No, Socrates, that would not become them, said Cebes.

No, indeed, he replied; and therefore they who have a care of

their souls, and do not merely live in the fashions of the body, say

farewell to all this; they will not walk in the ways of the blind: and

when philosophy offers them purification and release from evil, they

feel that they ought not to resist her influence, and to her they

incline, and whither she leads they follow her.

What do you mean, Socrates?

I will tell you, he said. The lovers of knowledge are conscious that

their souls, when philosophy receives them, are simply fastened and

glued to their bodies: the soul is only able to view existence through

the bars of a prison, and not in her own nature; she is wallowing in

the mire of all ignorance; and philosophy, seeing the terrible

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