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Plato - Meno - On reincarnation and past lives

Identifier

022071

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

MENO by Plato   Translated by Benjamin Jowett

SOCRATES: Some of them were priests and priestesses, who had studied how they might be able to give a reason of their profession: there have been poets also, who spoke of these things by inspiration, like Pindar, and many others who were inspired.

And they say--mark, now, and see whether their words are true--they say that man has an immortal soul [a part of the soul that is immortal], and at one time has an end, which is termed dying, and at another time is born again, but is never destroyed.

And the moral is, that a man ought to live always in perfect holiness. 'For in the ninth year Persephone sends the immortal souls of those from whom she has received the penalty of ancient crime back again from beneath into the light of the sun above, and these are they who become noble kings and mighty men and great in wisdom and are called saintly heroes in after ages.'

The immortal soul, then, having been born again many times, and having seen all things that exist, whether in this world or in the world below, has knowledge of them all; and it is no wonder that she should be able to call to remembrance all that she ever knew about virtue, and about everything; for as all nature is akin, and the soul has learned all things; there is no difficulty in her eliciting or as men say learning, out of a single recollection all the rest, if a man is strenuous and does not faint; for all enquiry and all learning is but recollection.

The source of the experience

Plato

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Activities

Observation contributed by: Margaret Booth