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This idea at the present time the priests intimate with great circumspection in acquitting themselves of this religious secret and in trying to conceal it : that this god Osiris is the ruler and king of the dead, nor is he any other than the god that among the Greeks is called Hades and Pluto. But since it is not understood in what manner this is true, it greatly disturbs the majority of people who suspect that the holy and sacred Osiris truly dwells in the earth and beneath the earth,1 where are hidden away the bodies of those that are believed to have reached their end. But he himself is far removed from the earth, uncontaminated and unpolluted and pure from all matter that is subject to destruction and death ; but for the souls of men here, which are compassed about by bodies and emotions, there is no association with this god except in so far as they may attain to a dim vision of his presence by means of the apperception which philosophy affords. But when these souls are set free and migrate into the realm of the invisible and the unseen, the dispassionate and the pure, then this god becomes their leader and king, since it is on him that they are bound to be dependent in their insatiate contemplation and yearning for that beauty which is for men unutterable and indescribable. With this beauty Isis,2 as the ancient story declares, [p. 185] Is for ever enamoured and pursues it and consorts with it and filis our earth here with all things fair and good that partake of generation.

This which I have thus far set forth comprises that account which is most befitting the gods.

1 Cf. 375 d, supra.

2 Cf. 372 e and 374 f, supra.

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