Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

346 
PLANCHETTE. 
get now, have I forgotten it for ever? Or because, on this sup¬ 
position, too much time would be lost to me? Lost? What have 
I then to fear from delay? Is not the 'whole eternity mine? ” 
According to Herodotus, the Egyptians were the first to enter¬ 
tain the doctrine of metempsychosis. They believed that the 
soul was clothed successively with the forms of all the animals 
that live on the earth, and that it then returned, after a cycle of 
three thousand years, into the body of a man to recommence its 
eternal pilgrimage. From them the Greeks may have received 
the idea, which was a leading feature of the doctrine of Pytha¬ 
goras, who claimed to recollect his former self in the person of a 
herald named Æthalides; Euphorbus, the Trojan; and others; 
and he even pointed out, in the temple of Juno, at Argos, the 
shield he used when he attacked Patroclus, He taught that after 
the rational mind of man is freed from the chains of the body, it 
assumes an ethereal vehicle, and passes into the regions of the 
dead, where it remains till it is sent back to this world to be the 
inhabitant of some other body, human or brutal ; and that after 
suffering successive purgations, when it is sufficiently purified, 
it is received among the gods, and returns to the eternal source 
from which it first proceeded. 
Ritter says that the sum of the Pythagorean doctrine of im¬ 
mortality was this, — that condition would accurately follow-char¬ 
acter. Pletho states that the Pythagoreans, as the Platonists 
after them, conceived the soul to be a substance not wholly 
separate from ail body, nor wholly inseparate ; but partly separ¬ 
ate, partly inseparate, separable potentially, but ever inseparate 
actually. 
The later Pythagoreans maintained that the soul has a life 
peculiar to itself, which it enjoyed in common with demons or 
spirits before its descent to the earth, and that there must be a 
degree of harmony between the faculties of the soul and the form 
which it assumes : this last is also the idea of Swedenborg. 
Plato, in his u Phædo,” maintains pre-existence of the soul be¬ 
fore it appears, in man; and of this pre-existent condition it 
retains dim reminiscences ; and after death, according to its
        

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