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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

'Thereupon the Hierophant casting the fates


"'This

is what the virgin Lachesis, daughter of Necessity, says: Voyaging souls you are to commence another career, and return into a mortal body. The genius will not choose for you: each one of you shall choose hers. The first one that fate will designate shall choose first, and her choice shall be irrevocable. Virtue has no master; she clings to him who honors her, and flies from him who despises her. The error of the choice shall fall on you. God is innocent.

"'Thereupon the Hierophant casting the fates, each soul picked up the one that fell before her, except myself who had been forbidden it. Each one knew then in which rank she had to choose. Then the same Hierophant placed before them callings of all kinds, whose number was greater than that of the souls who were to choose; for all the conditions of men and beasts were assembled therein. There were tyrannies, the ones were to last till death; and the others were to be suddenly interrupted, and were to end by exile, poverty and indigence. Also there were seen conditions of illustrious men, the ones for beauty, for strength, for fame in the combats; and the others by their nobleness, and the great qualities of their ancestors; there were seen also obscure conditions. There were destinies of women of the same variety. But there was no regulation for the rank of the souls, because each one was necessarily to change of nature according to her choice. Besides, wealth, poverty, and diseases, were found

in all conditions: here without any mixture, there in a just proportion of advantages and disadvantages.'

"But this is evidently, my dear Glaucon, the redoubtable trial for mankind.... The Hierophant added: he who chooses the last, provided he be judicious, and then be consistent in his conduct, may hope to be blessed in life. Therefore let him who is to have the first choice, be not presumptuous; and let him who has the last choice, despair not. When the Hierophant had thus spoken, he to whom the first fate had been devolved, hastily advanced, and took, without any deliberation, the greatest tyranny; but when he had considered it, and seen that his destiny was to eat his own children, and to commit other enormous crimes, he lamented; and, forgetting the recommendation of the Hierophant, charged upon the fortune and the gods, with the wretchedness of his fate. This soul was one of those who came from heaven; she had previously lived in a well governed state, and had been virtuous more from temper and habit, than from philosophy.

"On the contrary, the souls who had sojourned in the subterranean region, and who had both the experience of their own sufferings, and the knowledge of the misfortunes of others, were cautious in their choice. This experience on one side, and that inexperience on the other, together with the fate which decided the rank for the choice, were the cause that the most of the souls exchanged a good condition for a bad one, and a bad one for a good one. He also said, that it was a strange spectacle to see in what manner each soul made her choice, nothing was more extraordinary, nor more pitiful; the most of them were guided in their choice by the habits they had contracted in their previous life. He had seen the soul of Orpheus choosing the condition of a swan, from hatred to women who had killed him, and from whom he did not wish to receive birth. He saw the soul of Thamyris choosing the condition of nightingale; likewise he saw a swan and several other birds choosing the human condition.


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