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it becomes the associate of the wise and good of
all ages. •
Is it not strange, my friends, that, after all I have said to convince you I am going to the society of the happy, you still think this body to be Socrates ? Bury my lifeless body where you please; but do not mourn over it, as if that were Socrates. ...
It would be wrong for me not to be grieved to die, if I did not think I should go to dwell with men who have departed from this life, and are better than any who are here. And be assured I hope to go and dwell among good men. I entertain a good hope that something awaits those who die, and that it will be better for the good than for the evil, as has been said long since.
Socrates, 469 B.C.
The soul lives after the body dies. The soul passes through the gate; he makes a way in the darkness to his Father. He has pierced the heart of evil, to do the things of his Father. He has come a prepared Spirit. He says: Hail, thou Self-Created! Do not turn me away. I am one of thy types on earth. I have not privily done evil against any man; I have not been idle; I have not made any to weep; I have not murdered; I have not defrauded; I have not committed adultery. I am pure. The Judge of the Dead answers: Let the soul pass on.
He is without sin; he lives upon truth. He has made his delight in doing what men say, and what the gods wish,
He has given food to the hungry; drink to the thirsty; and clothes to the naked.
His lips are pure, and his hands are pure. His heart weighs right in the balance. The departed fought on earth the battle of the good gods, as his Father, the Lord of the Invisible World, had commanded him. O God, the protector of him who has brought his cry unto thee, make it well with him in the world of Spirits ! A portion of the Egyptian Book of the Dead found in
ancient tombs, written on papyrus,— 2000 B.C.
May thy soul attain to the Creator of all mankind. ... These have found grace in the eyes of the Great God. They dwell in the abodes of glory, where the heavenly life is led. The bodies which they have abandoned will repose forever in their tombs, while they will enjoy the presence of the Great God.
Writing in Egyptian tombs,— 2000 B.C.
The God of the Dead waits enthroned in immortal light to welcome the good into his kingdom of joy: to the homes he had gone to prepare for them, where the One Being dwells beyond the stars.
Oldest of the Vedas, Hindu,—1500 B.C.
Death does not differ at all from life.
Thales, Grecian,- born 640 B.C.
The evil-doer mourns in this world, and he will mourn in the next world : in both worlds has he
sorrow. He grieves, he is tormented, seeing the evil of his deeds.
The virtuous man rejoices in this world, and he will rejoice in another world : in both worlds hath he joy. He rejoices, he exults, seeing the virtue of his deeds.
As kindred, friends, and dear ones salute him who hath travelled far and returned home safe, so will good deeds welcome him who goes from this world and enters another.
Dhammapada, Buddha, Sakya, Hindu,— born 627 B.C.
The man who has constantly contended against evil, morally and physically, outwardly and inwardly, may fearlessly meet death; well assured that radiant Spirits will lead him across the luminous bridge into a paradise of eternal happiness. ... Souls risen from the graves will know each other, and say, That is my father, or my brother, my wife, or my sister.
Zendavesta, Persian, Zoroaster,- 589 B.C.
When thou shalt have laid aside thy body, thou shalt rise, freed from mortality, and become a god of the kindly skies.
Pythagoras, Grecian,- born 580 B.C.
My body must descend to the place ordained, but my soul will not descend : being a thing immortal, it will ascend on high, where it will enter a heavenly abode.
Heraclitus, Ephesian,- 500 B.C.
The soul is the principle of life, which the Sovereign Wisdom employed to animate bodies. Matter is inert and perishable. The soul thinks, , acts, and is immortal. ... There is another invisible, external existence superior to this visible one, which does not perish when all things perish. Those who attain to this never return.
Bhagavadgita, Hindu,—200 B.C.
The soul is not born ; it does not die. not produced from any one, nor was any produced from it. Unborn, eternal, it is not slain, though the body is slain. Subtler than what is subtle, y greater than what is great,— sitting, it goes far; sleeping, it goes everywhere. Thinking of the soul as unbodily among bodies, and firm among fleeting things, the wise man casts off all grief.
The effect of water poured on the root of a tree is seen aloft in the branches and fruit; so in the next world are seen the effects of good deeds performed here.
Buddhist Scriptures, Siam.
There are treasures laid up in the heart, - treasures of charity, piety, temperance, and soberness. These treasures a man takes with him beyond death, when he leaves this world.
Buddhist Scriptures, Ceylon.
Man never dies. The soul inhabits the body for a time, and leaves it again. The soul is my > self : the body is only my dwelling-place. Birth is
not birth: there is a soul already existent when the body comes to it. Death is not death : the soul merely departs, and the body falls. It is because men see only their bodies that they love life and hate death.
Buddhist Scriptures, Chinese.
It is impossible there should be much happiness in this life; but there is great hope that after death every person may obtain what he most wishes for. This doctrine is not new, but has been known both to Greeks and other nations. ...
The soul of each of us is an immortal Spirit, and goes to other immortals to give an account of its actions.. Can the soul be destroyed ? No.
No. But if in this present life it has shunned being governed by the body, and has governed itself within itself, and has separated from the body in a pure state, taking nothing sensual away with it, does it not then depart to that which resembles itself, to the invisible, the divine, the wise, the immortal ? And, on its arrival there, is it not freed from errors, ignorance, fears, wild passions, and all other human evils ?...
Those who have lived a holy life, when they are freed from this earth and set at large, will arrive at a pure abode above, and live through all future "time. They will arrive at habitations more beautiful than it is easy to describe.
Plato,— 429 B.C. - O glorious day, when I shall remove from this confused crowd to join the divine assembly of