Parmenides - On Nature - 02 to 07
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Come now, I will tell thee - and do thou hearken to my
saying and carry it away - the only two ways of search that
can be thought of. The first, namely, that It is, and that it is
impossible for anything not to be, is the way of conviction,
5 for truth is its companion.. The other, namely, that It is not,
and that something must needs not be, - that, I tell thee, is a
wholly untrustworthy path. For you cannot know what is
not - that is impossible - nor utter it;
For it is the same thing that can be thought and that can be.
Behold things which, although absent, are yet securely present to the mind;
for you cannot cut off What IS by holding on to What IS;
neither by dispersing it in every way, everywhere throughout the cosmos,
nor by gathering it together [or, unifying it].
It is unimportant to me
Where I make a beginning; for there I come back again.
It needs must be that what can be thought and spoken of IS;
for it is possible for it to be, and it is not possible for, what IS
nothing to be. This is what I bid thee ponder. I hold thee
back from this first way of inquiry, and from this other also,
5 upon which mortals knowing naught wander in two minds; for
hesitation guides the wandering thought in their breasts, so that
they are borne along stupefied like men deaf and blind.
Undiscerning crowds, in whose eyes the same thing and not the
same is and is not, and all things travel in opposite directions !
For this shall never be proved, that the things that are not
are; and do thou restrain thy thought from this way of inquiry.
Nor let habit force thee to cast a wandering eye upon this
devious track, or to turn thither thy resounding ear or thy
5 tongue; but do thou judge the subtle refutation of their
discourse uttered by me.