Plutarch – The Vision of Aridæus 02
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
ECHOES FROM THE GNOSIS - VOL. III. BY G. R. S. MEAD
THE VISION OF ARIDÆUS - Plutarch
In that region, he said, he saw only one soul of a relative, though he was not quite sure about it, for his kinsman had died while he (Aridæus) was still a boy. However, he came up to him and said: "Welcome, Thespesius!" And on his replying in surprise that his name was not Thespesius, but Aridæus, the other remarked:
"It was Aridæus, but from henceforth it will be Thespesius [that is, ‘Sent by the Gods’]; for indeed thou art not dead, but by the will of the Gods thou art come hither with thy reason about thee, whilst thou hast left the rest of thy soul, as it were an anchor, in the body. And this thou mayest now and hereafter prove to thyself by the fact that the souls of the dead cast no shadow and never close their eyelids."
On hearing this, Thespesius set himself the more to use his rational faculties, and taking a closer look he saw that he had a faint and shadowy outline attached to him, while they [the dead] shone all round and were transparent, though not all in the same way. For some were like the purest full-moon light, emitting one smooth, continuous and even colour; while others had patches across them or narrow strips. Others again were quite mottled--extraordinary sights--dappled with livid spots, like adders; and others had faint scratches.