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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

Were punished tenfold for each one of those crimes


To

give the reader a general idea of what was the belief of the ancients, and of their philosophers, in regard to Metempsychosis, we take from the tenth and last book of the Republic of Plato the following lengthy but instructive extract:--

"It is not the narration of Alcinoues (namely, a false story, such as the one of Ulysse to the Pheacians,) that I will tell you; but that of a noble man, of Her, the Armenian, a native of Pamphily. He had been killed in a battle; but when, ten days after, the dead bodies were taken away for inhumation, his, instead of being in putrefaction like the others, was found natural and entire. It was carried to his house, and, on the twelfth day, when laid on the wood-pile, he came again to life; and he related to the assistants what he had seen in the other world.

"'As soon,' he says, 'as my soul left my body, I arrived, in company with a great number of souls, at a mysterious place, where were seen two openings near each other, and two others corresponding in the sky. Between these two regions were judges sitting: when they had pronounced their sentence they ordered the righteous to take the right hand side route through one of the openings of the sky, after having previously placed on their breast a mark containing the judgment rendered in their favor; also they ordered the wicked to take the left hand side route through one of the openings of the earth, carrying on their back a

mark containing all their evil actions. When I was presented to the judges, they decided that I should return to the earth to inform men of what was done in the other world; and they bade me listen and observe all I was to witness.

"'First I saw the souls of those who had been judged, the ones ascending to the heavens, and the others descending below the earth through the two corresponding openings. Withal I saw, through the other opening of the earth, many souls coming out, covered with filthiness and dust; and also, through the other opening in the sky, I saw souls pure and spotless descending: they seemed to return from a long voyage, and to stop with pleasure in the meadow, as if in a place of reunion. Those who knew each other mutually inquired what they had seen in the heaven, and in the earth. The ones related their adventures with groans and tears, caused by the recollection of the sufferings they had endured, or seen others endure, during their voyage below the earth, whose duration was of a thousand years. The others, who returned from the heaven, related the rapturous pleasures they had enjoyed, and the marvellous things they had seen.'

"It would be too long, my dear Glaucon, to relate the whole discourse of Her on this subject. It might be summed up in saying that the souls were punished ten times for each injustice they had committed while on earth; that the duration of each punishment was of one hundred years, natural length of man's life, in order that the punishment be ever tenfold for each crime. Thus those who had contaminated themselves with murder; who had betrayed States and armies, and reduced them to servitude; or who had committed similar crimes, were punished tenfold for each one of those crimes. Whereas those who had done good to their fellow men, who had been holy and virtuous, received in the same proportion the reward of their good deeds. In regard to children who die immediately, or a short time after they are born, Her gave details which it is useless to relate. According to his narration there were great recompenses for those who had honored the gods, and had respected their parents; and also there were extraordinary tortures for the parricides, and for impious men.


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