Socrates' Story on Reincarnation Icon

September 28, 2015

The Story of Er

Socrates I will tell you of the heroic tale of Er the son of Armenius, a Pamphylian by birth. He was slain in battle. Ten days later when the bodies of the dead are decomposing, his body was found unaffected by decay. It was carried home to be buried. On the 12th day, as he was lying on the funeral pile, he returned to life and told them what he had seen in the other world. He said that when his soul left the body, he went on a journey with a great company. They came to a mysterious place where there were two openings in the earth, near together. Above them were two other openings in the heaven above. In the intermediate space, there were judges seated. After they had given judgment on them and had bound their sentences in front of them:
  • the just were to ascend by the heavenly way on the upper right side,
  • the unjust were bidden by them to descend by the lower way on the lower left side.
Their sentences also bore the symbols of their deeds, fastened on their backs. They told him to hear and see all that was there and that he was to be the messenger to carry the report of the other world to men.
  • On the right side, he saw the souls departing for heaven when sentence had been given on them, or going to earth.
  • On the left side, at the two other openings, he saw other souls:
    • some ascending out of the earth dusty and worn with travel, as if coming from a long journey
    • some descending out of heaven clean and bright. These went forth with gladness into the meadow, where they encamped as at a festival. Those who knew one another embraced and conversed.
  • The souls which came from earth curiously asked about the things above.
  • The souls which came from heaven asked about the things beneath.
  • Those from below were weeping at the things which they had endured in their journey beneath the earth which lasted 1,000 years.
  • While those from above were describing heavenly delights and beauty.
The summary of the long story is that Er said that for every wrong which they had done to anyone, they suffered tenfold* or once in 100 years.
  • 100 years was reckoned to be the length of man's life.
  • The penalty being thus paid 10 times in 1,000 years.
> *Translator's Note= This is the concept of karma in Hinduism For example, they received punishment 10 times over for each offence such as:
  • being the cause of many deaths,
  • betraying or enslaving cities or armies, or
  • being guilty of any other evil behaviour.
The rewards of beneficence, justice, and holiness were in the same proportion. He also said about young children dying almost as soon as they were born. There were other rewards and punishments far greater which he describe for piety and impiety to gods and parents, and murderers.
## The Tyrant in the Afterlife
Socrates Ardiaeus lived 1,000 years before the time of Er.
  • He had been the tyrant of a city of Pamphylia.
  • He had murdered his aged father and his elder brother.
One of the spirits asked another, 'Where is Ardiaeus the Great?' The other answered= 'He will never come.' 'We were at the mouth of the cavern, having completed all our experiences. We were about to re-ascend, when suddenly Ardiaeus and several tyrants and criminals appeared. They were just about to return into the upper world. But the mouth gave a roar instead of admitting them, whenever any of these incurable sinners, or some one who had not been sufficiently punished, tried to ascend. Then, wild fiery men heard the sound and seized them, binding Ardiaeus and others by head, foot, and hand. They threw them down and flayed them with scourges, and dragged them along the road at the side, carding them on thorns like wool. They declared to the passers-by their crimes, and that they were being taken away into hell.' The spirits then ascended with exceeding joy. Er said that these were the penalties and retributions, and there were blessings as great. After the spirits in the meadow had tarried seven days, they were obliged to proceed on their journey on the eighth. On the fourth day after, they came to a place where they could see from above a line of light, straight as a column, extending right through the whole heaven and through the earth, in resembling a bright and pure rainbow. After another day's journey, they arrived at the place. There, in the midst of the light, they saw the ends of the chains of heaven let down from above. This light is the belt of heaven which holds together the circle of the universe, like the under-girders of a trireme.

### The Eight Chakras
Socrates From these ends extends the spindle of Necessity, on which all the revolutions turn. The shaft and hook of this spindle are made of steel. The whorl is made partly of steel and also partly of other materials.
  • It has one large hollow whorl which is scooped out.
  • Into this is fitted another smaller one, and another, and another, and four others, making eight in all, like vessels which fit into one another.
The whorls show their edges on the upper side. On their lower side, all together form one continuous whorl. This is pierced by the spindle, which is driven home through the centre of the eighth. According to rim size, their rankings are:

| Whorl | Description | | +++ | +++ | | Whorl 1 | This is spangled | | Whorl 6 | This is second in whiteness | | Whorl 4 | This is reddish | | Whorl 8 | This is colored by Whorl 7 | | Whorl 7 | This is the brightest | | Whorl 5 | This has a similar yellow color as Whorl 2. It is yellower than Whorl 7 | | Whorl 3 | This has the whitest light | | Whorl 2 | This has a similar yellow color as Whorl 5. It is yellower than Whorl 3 |
Socrates The whole spindle has the same motion. But, as the whole revolves in one direction, the seven inner circles move slowly in the other. In terms of speed, their rankings are:
| Speed Rank | Whorl | | +++ | +++ | | 1 | Whorl 8 | | 2 | Whorl 7, 6, and 5 move together | | 3 | Whorl 4, which appears to move in a reverse motion | | 4 | Whorl 3 | | 5 | Whorl 2 | > *Translator's Note= The image interprets the whorls as chakras and the spindle as the anthakarana which binds the chakras to physical reality. The key is Socrates' description of the fourth whorl as having a reddish color which matches the Hindu description of the navel or third chakra as having a red color. The top chakra is also known to have the highest frequency and accordingly has the fastest speed according to Socrates. The lower chakras (Whorl 2, 3, and 4) are known to act opposite to the higher chakras. Socrates describes this as those latter whorls having a reverse motion. In yoga, each chakra has a specific sound, which is described below. On the upper surface of each circle is a siren, who goes round with them, hymning a single tone or note.
Socrates The spindle turns on the knees of Cause and Effect. The eight together form one harmony. Round about, at equal intervals, there are the three daughters of Cause and Effect called Fates sitting on their thrones as Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropos. They wear white robes and have chaplets upon their heads. They accompany with their voices the harmony of the sirens.
  • Lachesis sings of the past. Lachesis laying hold of either in turn, first with one hand and then with the other.
  • Clotho sings of the present. Clotho from time to time assists with a touch of her right hand the revolution of the outer circle of the whorl or spindle.
  • Atropos sings the future. Atropos with her left hand touching and guiding the inner ones**.
> **Translator's Note= The mind categorizes cause & effect in three phases= past, present, and future. The lower chakras (outer whorls to Socrates) are concerned with the present, while the higher chakras (inner whorls) are concerned with the future. When Er and the spirits arrived, their duty was to go at once to Lachesis.
Socrates There was a prophet who arranged them in order. Then he took from the knees of Lachesis lots and samples of lives. He went to a high pulpit and spoke=

Hear the word of Lachesis, the daughter of Cause and Effect. Mortal souls, behold a new cycle of life and mortality.

Your genius will not be allotted to you, but you will choose your genius. Let him who draws the first lot have the first choice, and the life which he chooses shall be his destiny.

Virtue is free. A man will have more virtue the more he honours it. The responsibility is with the chooser.

He then scattered lots indifferently among them all. Each of them took up the lot which fell near him except Er himself (he was not allowed). Each took his lot and saw his number. Then, the Interpreter placed on the ground before them the samples of lives.
  • There were many more lives than the souls present, and they were of all sorts.
  • There were lives of every animal and of man in every condition.
  • There were tyrannies among them, some lasting out the tyrant's life, others which broke off in the middle and came to an end in poverty and exile and beggary.
  • There were lives of famous men, some who were famous for their beauty, strength, and success in games. Some were famous for their birth and the qualities of their ancestors. Some were infamous, for the opposite qualities.
  • There were also women's lives. But there was no definite character in them, because the soul, when choosing a new life, must of necessity become different.
  • There were other qualities all mingled with one another. Elements of wealth mingled with poverty. Disease mingled with health.
  • There were mean states also.
Here, my dear Glaucon, is the supreme peril of our human state. Therefore, the utmost care should be taken. **Let each of us leave every other kind of knowledge and seek and follow one thing only.** This will help us learn and discern between good and evil. In this way, we can always and everywhere choose the better life. We should consider the bearing of all these things on virtue. We should know:
  • what the effect of beauty is when combined with poverty or wealth in a particular soul,
  • what are the good and evil consequences of:
    • noble and humble birth,
    • private and public station,
    • strength and weakness,
    • cleverness and dullness, and
    • all the natural and acquired gifts of the soul, and
    • the operation of them when conjoined.
These will make us look at the nature of the soul and be able to determine which is the better and the worse. We will give the name of:
  • "evil" to the life which will make souls more unjust, and
  • good to the life which will make souls more just.
All else we will disregard. We have seen and known that this is the best choice both in this life and in the next life. A man must take with him after death an adamantine faith in truth and right so that in the next life he may be undazzled by the desire of wealth or the other allurements of evil. If not, he will come upon tyrannies and similar villainies. He will do irremediable wrongs to others and suffer worse himself. But let him know how to choose the mean and avoid the extremes on either side not only in this life but in all lives to come, for this is the way of happiness. According to Er, the prophet said=
Even for the last comer, if he chooses wisely and will live diligently, there is appointed a happy and not undesirable existence.

The first chooser should not be careless. The last chooser should not despair.
The first chooser came forward and chose the greatest tyranny.
  • His mind had been darkened by folly and sensuality.
  • He had not thought out the whole matter before he chose.
  • He did not at first sight perceive that he was fated, among other evils, to devour his own children.
  • But when he had time to reflect and saw what was in the lot, he began to beat his breast and lament over his choice, forgetting the prophet's proclamation.
  • For, instead of throwing the blame of his misfortune on himself, he accused chance and the gods, and everything rather than himself.
  • He was one of those who came from heaven.
  • In a former life, he had dwelt in a well-ordered State.
  • But his virtue was a matter of habit only, and he had no philosophy.
This was true of others who were similarly overtaken. Most of them came from heaven and therefore they had never been schooled by trial. Whereas the pilgrims who came from earth having themselves suffered and seen others suffer, were not in a hurry to choose. Due to this inexperience and also because the lot was a chance, many of the souls exchanged a good destiny for an evil or an evil for a good. A man might be happy here if, from his arrival in this world, he
  • had always dedicated himself to sound philosophy and
  • had been moderately fortunate in the number of the lot .
His journey to another life and return to this would be smooth and heavenly, instead of being rough and underground.
Most curious was the spectacle—sad, laughable, and strange.
Socrates The choice of the souls was in most cases based on their experience of a previous life. He saw:
  • the soul who had once been Orpheus choosing the life of a swan because of his enmity to women. He hated to be born of a woman because they had been his murderers.
  • the soul of Thamyras choosing the life of a nightingale. Like swan and other musicians, it is a bird that wants to be male.
  • Ajax, the son of Telamon, obtaining the 20th lot and choosing the life of a lion. He remembered the injustice which was done him in the judgment about the arms.
  • Agamemnon taking the life of an eagle because, like Ajax, he hated human nature by reason of his sufferings.
  • Atalanta choosing to the great fame of an athlete and was unable to resist the temptation.
  • the soul of Epeus, the son of Panopeus, choosing the nature of a woman cunning in the arts
  • the soul of the jester Thersites was putting on the form of a monkey
  • lastly, the soul of Odysseus who remembered his former toils which then disenchanted him of ambition. And so he spent a considerable time searching the life of a private man who had no cares. He had some difficulty in finding this, which was lying around neglected by everybody else. When he saw it, he said that he would have done the same had his lot been first instead of last, and that he was delighted to have it.
Not only did men pass into animals. There were animals tame and wild who also changed into one another and into corresponding human natures. The good changed into the gentle and the evil into the savage, in all sorts of combinations*. All the souls had now chosen their lives. > *Translator's note= The analysis of such evolutionary combinations for a soul can be done by machine learning They went in the order of their choice to Lachesis [past] who sent with them the genius that they had chosen, to be:
  • the guardian of their lives and
  • the fulfiller of the choice.
This genius led the souls first to Clotho [present] and drew them within the revolution of the spindle impelled by her hand, thus ratifying the destiny* of each. > *Translator's note= This explains free-will being bound by predestination. In app development, this is similar to the compilation process of code. In Superphysics, the life-patterns are compiled into the chakras of the metaphysical soul, just as biological patterns are compiled into the DNA of a physical body Then, when they were fastened to this, carried them to Atropos [future]. He spun the threads and made them irreversible* and they passed beneath the throne of Necessity. > *Translator's note= This is similar to the deploy phase of an app onto the Play store or App store When they had all passed, they marched on in a scorching heat to the plain of Forgetfulness*, which was a barren waste destitute of trees and verdure. > *Translator's note= This is the main property of Maya that generates the illusion of dualistic existence. In apps, this prevents the app or user input from knowing the app's uncompiled code or blueprint Then towards evening, they encamped by the river of Unmindfulness, whose water no vessel can hold. They were all obliged to drink a certain quantity of this. Those who were not saved by wisdom drank more than was necessary. Those who drank forgot all things. After they had gone to rest, at the middle of the night there was a thunderstorm and earthquake. Instantly, they were driven upwards in all manner of ways to their birth, like shooting stars. Er was hindered from drinking the water. He could not say how he returned to the body except that he awoke suddenly and found himself lying on the pyre. Thus, Glaucon, the tale has been saved and has not perished. It will save us if we are obedient to it. We shall pass safely over the river of Forgetfulness and our soul will not be defiled. My counsel is that we hold fast ever to the heavenly way and follow after justice and virtue always. We should consider that the soul is immortal and able to endure every sort of good and every sort of evil. Thus, we shall live dear to one another and to the gods, both while remaining here and when, like conquerors in the games who go round to gather gifts, we receive our reward. It shall be well with us both in this life and in the pilgrimage of a thousand years in the afterlife.


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