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[77a] our soul existed before we were born, and that the essence of which you speak likewise exists. For there is nothing so clear to me as this, that all such things, the beautiful, the good, and all the others of which you were speaking just now, have a most real existence. And I think the proof is sufficient.”

“But how about Cebes?” said Socrates. “For Cebes must be convinced, too.”

“He is fully convinced, I think,” said Simmias; “and yet he is the most obstinately incredulous of mortals. Still, I believe he is quite convinced of this, that our soul existed [77b] before we were born. However, that it will still exist after we die does not seem even to me to have been proved, Socrates, but the common fear, which Cebes mentioned just now, that when a man dies the soul is dispersed and this is the end of his existence, still remains. For assuming that the soul comes into being and is brought together from some source or other and exists before it enters into a human body, what prevents it, after it has entered into and left that body, from coming to an end and being destroyed itself?” [77c] “You are right, Simmias,” said Cebes. “It seems to me that we have proved only half of what is required, namely, that our soul existed before our birth. But we must also show that it exists after we are dead as well as before our birth, if the proof is to be perfect.”

“It has been shown, Simmias and Cebes, already,” said Socrates, “if you will combine this conclusion with the one we reached before, that every living being is born from the dead. For if the soul exists before birth, and, [77d] when it comes into life and is born, cannot be born from anything else than death and a state of death, must it not also exist after dying, since it must be born again? So the proof you call for has already been given. However, I think you and Simmias would like to carry on this discussion still further. You have the childish fear that when the soul goes out from the body the wind will really blow it away and scatter it, especially [77e] if a man happens to die in a high wind and not in calm weather.”

And Cebes laughed and said, “Assume that we have that fear, Socrates, and try to convince us; or rather, do not assume that we are afraid, but perhaps there is a child within us, who has such fears. Let us try to persuade him not to fear death as if it were a hobgoblin.”

“Ah,” said Socrates, “you must sing charms to him every day until you charm away his fear.”


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