Socrates proceeded : I thought that as I had failed in the contemplation of true existence, I ought to be careful that I did not lose the eye of my soul ; as people may injure their bodily eye by observing and gazing on the sun during an eclipse, unless they take the precaution of only looking at the image reflected in the water, or in some similar medium. That occurred to me, and I was afraid that my soul might be blinded altogether if I looked at things with my eyes or tried by the help of the senses to apprehend them.
Benjamín Jowett nació el 15 de abril de 1817 en Londres, Inglaterra; y falleció el 1 de octubre del año 1893. Fue educador, traductor, teólogo y erudito inglés. Traductor de las obras de Platón.
Then I heard someone who had a book of Anaxagoras, as he said, out of which he read that mind was the disposer and cause of all, and I was quite delighted at the notion of this, which appeared admirable, and I said to myself : If mind is the disposer, mind will dispose all for the best, and put each particular in the best place ; and I argued that if anyone desired to find out the cause of the generation or destruction or existence of anything, he must find out what state of being or suffering or doing was best for that thing, and therefore a man had only to consider the best for himself an
Socrates paused awhile, and seemed to be absorbed in reflection. At length he said : This is a very serious inquiry which you are raising, Cebes, involving the whole question of generation and corruption, about which I will, if you like, give you my own experience ; and you can apply this, if you think that anything which I say will avail towards the solution of your difficulty.
I should very much like, said Cebes, to hear what you have to say.
Thus much, said Socrates, of Harmonia, your Theban goddess, Cebes, who has not been ungracious to us, I think ; but what shall I say to the Theban Cadmus, and how shall I propitiate him ?
But, rejoined Socrates, you will have to think differently, my Theban friend, if you still maintain that harmony is a compound, and that the soul is a harmony which is made out of strings set in the frame of the body ; for you will surely never allow yourself to say that a harmony is prior to the elements which compose the harmony.
No, Socrates, that is impossible.
But first let us take care that we avoid a danger.
And what is that ? I said.
Cebes said : I will tell you. My feeling is that the argument is still in the same position, and open to the same objections which were urged before ; for I am ready to admit that the existence of the soul before entering into the bodily form has been very ingeniously, and, as I may be allowed to say, quite sufficiently proven ; but the existence of the soul after death is still, in my judgment, unproven.
Well, Socrates, said Simmias, then I will tell you my difficulty, and Cebes will tell you his. For I dare say that you, Socrates, feel, as I do, how very hard or almost impossible is the attainment of any certainty about questions such as these in the present life. And yet I should deem him a coward who did not prove what is said about them to the uttermost, or whose heart failed him before he had examined them on every side.
No, indeed, he replied ; and therefore they who have a care of their souls, and do not merely live in the fashions of the body, say farewell to all this ; they will not walk in the ways of the blind : and when philosophy offers them purification and release from evil, they feel that they ought not to resist her influence, and to her they incline, and whither she leads they follow her.
What do you mean, Socrates ?
That can never be, dear Simmias and Cebes. The truth rather is that the soul which is pure at departing draws after her no bodily taint, having never voluntarily had connection with the body, which she is ever avoiding, herself gathered into herself (for such abstraction has been the study of her life). And what does this mean but that she has been a true disciple of philosophy and has practised how to die easily ? And is not philosophy the practice of death ?