The Works of Plato
p60: "But far more dangerous are the others, who began when you were children, and took possession of your minds with their falsehoods ... And they are many, and their charges against me are of ancient date, and they were made by them in the days when you were more impressible than you are now - in childhood, or it may have been in youth - and the cause when heard went by default, for there was none to answer."
p138: "Is that idea or essencde, which in the dialectical process we define as essence or true existence - whether essence of equality, beauty, or anything else - are these essences, I say, liable at some times to some degree of change? or are they each of them always what they are, having the same simple self-existent and unchanging forms, not admitting of variation at all, or in any way, at any time?
... And these you can touch and see and perceive with the senses, but the unchanging things you can only perceive with the mind - they are invisible and are not seen?
That is very true, he said.
Well then, added Socrates, let us suppose that there are two sorts of existences - one seen, the other unseen."
p139: "And were we not saying long ago that the soul when using the body as an instrument of perception, that is to say, when using the sense of sight or hearing or some other sense (for the meaning of perceiving through the body is perceiving through the senses) - were we not saying that the soul too is then dragged by the body into the region of the changeable, and wanders and is confused; the world spins around her, and she is like a drunkard, when she touches change?
But when returning into herself she reflects, then she passes into the other world, the region of purity, and eternity, and immortality, and unchangeableness, which are her kindred, and with them she ever lives, when she is by herself and is not let or hindered; then she ceases from her erring ways, and being in communion with the unchanging is unchanging. And this state of the soul is called wisdom?"
p142: "And this corporeal element, my friend, is heavy and weighty and earthy, and is that element of sight by which a soul is depressed and dragged down again into the visible world, because she is afraid of the invisible and of the world below - prowling about tombs and sepulchres, near which, as they tell us, are seen certain ghostly apparitions of souls which have not departed pure, but are cloyed with sight and therefore visible."
p145: "Why, because each pleasure and pain is a sort of nail which nails and rivets the soul to the body, until she becomes like the body, and believes that to be true which the body affirms to be true; and from agreeing with the body and having the same delights she is obliged to have the same habits and haunts, and is not likely ever to be pure at her departure to the world below, but is always infected by the body; and so she sinks into another body and there germinates and grows, and has therefore no part in the communion of the divine and pure and simple."
p146: "... a soul which has been thus nurtured and has had these pursuits, will at her departure from her body be scattered and blown away by the winds and be nowhere and nothing."
p162: "I cannot understand how, when separated from the other, each of them was one and not two, and now, when they are brought together, the mere juxtaposition or meeting of them should be the cause of their becoming two ..."
p179: "But the true earth is pure and situated in the pure heaven - there are stars also; and it is the heaven which is commonly spoken of by us as the ether, and of which our own earth is the sediment gathering in the hollows beneath. But we who live in these hollows are deceived into the notion that we are dwelling above on the surface of the earth; which is just as if a creature who was at the bottom of the sea were to fancy that he was on the surface of the water, and that the sea was the heaven through which he saw the sun and the other stars, he having never come to the surface by the reason of his feebleness and sluggishness, and having never lifted up his head and seen, nor ever heard from one who had seen, how much purer and fairer the world above is than his own. And such is exactly our case: for we are dwelling in a hollow of the earth, and fancy that we are on the surface; and the air we call the heaven, in which we imagine that the stars move. But the fact is, that owing to our feebleness and sluggishness we are prevented from reaching the surface of the air: or if any man could arrive at the exterior limit, or take the wings of a bird and come to the top, then like a fish who puts his head out of the water and sees the world, he would see a world beyond; and, if the nature of man could sustain the sight, he would acknowledge that this other world was the place of the true heaven and the true light and the true earth."
p182: "There is a chasm which is the vastest of them all, and pierces right through the whole earth ... And the seesaw is caused by the streams flowing into and out of this chasm, and they each have the nature of the soil through which they flow. And the reason why the streams are always flowing in and out, is that the watery element has no bed or bottom, but is swinging and surging up and down, hither and thither, over the earth - just is in the act of respiration the air is always in process of inhalation and exhalation, - and the wind swinging with the water in and out produces fearful and irresistible blasts: when the waters retire with a rush into the lower parts of the earth, as they are called, they flow through the earth in those regions, and fill them up like water raised by a pump, and then when they leave those regions and rush back hither, they again fill the hollows here, and when these are filled, flow through subterranean channels and find their way to their several places, forming seas, and lakes, and rivers, and springs."
p268: "And I maintain that I ought not to fail in my suit, because I am not your lover: for lovers repent of their kindnesses which they have shown when their passion ceases, but to the non-lovers who are free and not under any compulsion, no time of repentance ever comes ..."
p284: "There will be more reason in appealing to the ancient inventors of names, who would never have connected prophecy (μαντιχή), which foretells the future and is the noblest of arts, with madness (μανιχή), or called them both by the same name, if they had deemed madness to be a disgrace or a dishonour; - they must have thought that there was an inspired madness which was a noble thing; for the two words μαντιχή and μανιχή, are really the same, and the letter τ is only a modern and tasteless insertion ... prophecy is more perfect and august than augury, both in name and fact, in the same proportion, as the ancients testify, is madness superior to a sane mind, for the one is only of human, but the other of divine origin."
p286-7: "The soul in her totality has the care of inanimate being everywhere, and traverses the whole heaven in divers forms appearing; - when perfect and fully winged she soars upward, and orders the whole world; whereas the imperfect soul, losing her wings and drooping in her flight, at last settles on the solid ground - there, finding a home, she receives an earthly frame which appears to be self-moved, but is really moved by her power; and this composition of soul and body is called a living and mortal creature. For immortal no such union can be reasonably believed to be; although fancy, not having seen nor surely known the nature of God, may imagine an immortal creature having both a body and a soul which are united throughout all time."
p288: "The divine 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."
p292-3 (hur hur): "Now he who is not newly initiated or who has become corrupted, does not easily rise out of this world to the sight of true beauty in the other; he looks only at her earthly namesake, and instead of being awed at the sight of her, he is given over to pleasure, and like a brutish beast he rushes on to enjoy and beget; he consorts with wantonness, and is not afraid or ashamed of pursuing pleasure in violation of nature ... at first a shudder runs through him, and again the old awe steals over him; ... then while he gazes on him there is a sort of reaction, and the shudder passes into an unusual heat and perspiration; for, as he receives the effluence of beauty through the eyes, the wing moistens and he warms. And as he warms, the parts out of which the wing grew, and which had been hitherto closed and rigid, and had prevented the wing from shooting forth, are melted, and as nourishment streams upon him, the lower end of the wing begins to swell and grow from the root upwards; and the growth extends under the whole soul - for once the whole was winged. During this process the whole soul is all in a state of ebullition and effervescence, - which may be compared to the irritation and uneasiness in the gums at the time of cutting teeth, - bubbles up, and has a feeling of uneasiness and tickling; but when in like manner the soul is beginning to grow wings, the beauty of the beloved meets her eye and she receives the sensible warm motion of particles which flow towards her, therefore called emotion, and is refreshed and warmed by them, and then she ceases from her pain with joy. But when she is parted from her beloved and her moisture fails, then the orifices of the passage out of which the wing shoots dry up and close, and intercept the germ of the wing; which, being shut up with the emotion, throbbing as with the pulsations of an artery, pricks the aperture which is nearest, until at length the entire soul is pierced and maddened and pained, and at the recollection of beauty is again delighted. And from both of them together the soul is oppressed at the strangeness of her condition, and is in a great strait and excitement, and in her madness can neither sleep by night nor abide in her place by day. And wherever she thinks that she will behold the beautiful one, thither in her desire she runs."
p309: "Here he appears to have done just the reverse of what he ought; for he has begun at the end, and is swimming on his back through the flood to the place of starting."
p322: "I have heard a tradition of the ancients, whether true or not they only know; although if we had found the truth ourselves, do you think that we should care much about the opinions of men?"