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phaedrus   



who are in need; and he who has part in this gift, and is truly

possessed and duly out of his mind, is by the use of purifications and

mysteries made whole and except from evil, future as well as

present, and has a release from the calamity which was afflicting him.

The third kind is the madness of those who are possessed by the Muses;

which taking hold of a delicate and virgin soul, and there inspiring

frenzy, awakens lyrical and all other numbers; with these adorning the

myriad actions of ancient heroes for the instruction of posterity. But

he who, having no touch of the Muses' madness in his soul, comes to

the door and thinks that he will get into the temple by the help of

art-he, I say, and his poetry are not admitted; the sane man

disappears and is nowhere when he enters into rivalry with the madman.

I might tell of many other noble deeds which have sprung from

inspired madness. And therefore, let no one frighten or flutter us

by saying that the temperate friend is to be chosen rather than the

inspired, but let him further show that love is not sent by the gods

for any good to lover or beloved; if he can do so we will allow him to

carry off the palm. And we, on our part, will prove in answer to him

that the madness of love is the greatest of heaven's blessings, and

the proof shall be one which the wise will receive, and the witling

disbelieve. But first of all, let us view the affections and actions

of the soul divine and human, and try to ascertain the truth about

them. The beginning of our proof is as follows:-

The soul through all her being is immortal, for that which is ever

in motion is immortal; but that which moves another and is moved by

another, in ceasing to move ceases also to live. Only the self-moving,

never leaving self, never ceases to move, and is the fountain and

beginning of motion to all that moves besides. Now, the beginning is

unbegotten, for that which is begotten has a beginning; but the

beginning is begotten of nothing, for if it were begotten of

something, then the begotten would not come from a beginning. But if

unbegotten, it must also be indestructible; for if beginning were

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