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phaedrus   



intelligence, being nurtured upon mind and pure knowledge, and the

intelligence of every soul which is capable of receiving the food

proper to it, rejoices at beholding reality, and once more gazing upon

truth, is replenished and made glad, until the revolution of the

worlds brings her round again to the same place. In the revolution she

beholds justice, and temperance, and knowledge absolute, not in the

form of generation or of relation, which men call existence, but

knowledge absolute in existence absolute; and beholding the other true

existences in like manner, and feasting upon them, she passes down

into the interior of the heavens and returns home; and there the

charioteer putting up his horses at the stall, gives them ambrosia

to eat and nectar to drink.

Such is the life of the gods; but of other souls, that which follows

God best and is likest to him lifts the head of the charioteer into

the outer world, and is carried round in the revolution, troubled

indeed by the steeds, and with difficulty beholding true being;

while another only rises and falls, and sees, and again fails to see

by reason of the unruliness of the steeds. The rest of the souls are

also longing after the upper world and they all follow, but not

being strong enough they are carried round below the surface,

plunging, treading on one another, each striving to be first; and

there is confusion and perspiration and the extremity of effort; and

many of them are lamed or have their wings broken through the

ill-driving of the charioteers; and all of them after a fruitless

toil, not having attained to the mysteries of true being, go away, and

feed upon opinion. The reason why the souls exhibit this exceeding

eagerness to behold the plain of truth is that pasturage is found

there, which is suited to the highest part of the soul; and the wing

on which the soul soars is nourished with this. And there is a law

of Destiny, that the soul which attains any vision of truth in company

with a god is preserved from harm until the next period, and if

attaining always is always unharmed. But when she is unable to follow,

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