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The Greek "Book of the Dead" by Plutarch

May 03, 2012 11:00 PM
by Daniel


Plutarch on the fate of  the three-fold 
human being [body (soma), soul or mind (psyche) and spirit (nous)] 
after physical death.


Man is compound [soma, psyche & nous]; and they are mistaken who
think him to be compounded of two parts only. 

For they imagine that the understanding [nous] is a part of the soul
[psyche], but they err in this no less than those who make the soul
[psyche] to be a part of the body [soma].

For the understanding [nous] as far exceeds the soul [psyche], as the
soul [psyche] is better and diviner than the body [soma]. 

Now this composition of the soul [psyche] with the understanding
[nous] makes reason; and [the composition of psyche] with the body
[soma] [makes] passion [thumos].

Of these three parts [soma, psyche & nous] conjoined and compacted
together, the earth has given the body [soma], the moon [has given]
the soul [psyche], and the SUN [has given]the understanding [nous] 
to the generation [creation] of man.

Now of the [two] deaths we die, the one [the first death, the
physical death] makes man two [psyche & nous] [instead] of three 
and the other [the second death in hades ] [makes] one [nous]
[instead] of two. 

The former [the first death] is in the region of Demeter [earth].

As for the other [second] death, it is in the moon or region of
Persephone [hades].

This [first death] suddenly and with violence plucks the soul
[psyche]   from the body [soma]; but Persephone mildly and in a long
time disjoins the understanding [nous] from the soul [psyche]..

For this reason she is called Monogenes, only begotten, or rather
begetting one alone; for the better part of man [nous] becomes alone
[one] when it [nous] is separated [in Hades from psyche] by her. 

Now both the one [first death] and the other [second death] happens
thus according to nature. 

It is ordained by Fate  that every soul [psyche], whether with or
without understanding [nous] , when gone out of the body [soma],
should wander for a time, though not all for the same [time], in the 
region [of hades] lying between the earth and moon .

For those that have been unjust and dissolute suffer then [in hades]
the punishment due to their offences; but the good and virtuous are
there [in hades] detained till they are purified, and have, by
expiation, purged out of them all the infections they might have
contracted from the contagion of the body [soma], living in the
mildest part of the air, called the Meadows of Hades, where they must
remain for a certain prefixed and appointed time. 

And then, as if they were returning from a wandering pilgrimage or
long exile into their [home] country, they have a taste of joy, such
as they principally receive who are initiated into Sacred Mysteries, 
mixed with admiration, and each one's proper and peculiar hope.


Abridged, edited and adapted from HPB's Isis Unveiled and The Key to



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