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phaedrus   



follows in the train of any other god, while he is unspoiled and the

impression lasts, honours and imitates him, as far as he is able;

and after the manner of his god he behaves in his intercourse with his

beloved and with the rest of the world during the first period of

his earthly existence. Every one chooses his love from the ranks of

beauty according to his character, and this he makes his god, and

fashions and adorns as a sort of image which he is to fall down and

worship. The followers of Zeus desire that their beloved should have a

soul like him; and therefore they seek out some one of a philosophical

and imperial nature, and when they have found him and loved him,

they do all they can to confirm such a nature in him, and if they have

no experience of such a disposition hitherto, they learn of any one

who can teach them, and themselves follow in the same way. And they

have the less difficulty in finding the nature of their own god in

themselves, because they have been compelled to gaze intensely on him;

their recollection clings to him, and they become possessed of him,

and receive from him their character and disposition, so far as man

can participate in God. The qualities of their god they attribute to

the beloved, wherefore they love him all the more, and if, like the

Bacchic Nymphs, they draw inspiration from Zeus, they pour out their

own fountain upon him, wanting to make him as like as possible to

their own god. But those who are the followers of Here seek a royal

love, and when they have found him they do just the same with him; and

in like manner the followers of Apollo, and of every other god walking

in the ways of their god, seek a love who is to be made like him

whom they serve, and when they have found him, they themselves imitate

their god, and persuade their love to do the same, and educate him

into the manner and nature of the god as far as they each can; for

no feelings of envy or jealousy are entertained by them towards

their beloved, but they do their utmost to create in him the

greatest likeness of themselves and of the god whom they honour.

Thus fair and blissful to the beloved is the desire of the inspired

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