> Weird and Wonderful > Plato
Reincarnation, and Astrology
Part I: Blame It On Plato
the Western world, an afterlife belief in the concept of "general
reincarnation" has been steadily on the rise and gaining ground.
concept of "general reincarnation" is the belief that
everyone and every living thing repeatedly "reincarnates"
(i.e. lives more than one life on this physical plane) in order
to learn lessons and spiritually evolve.
naturally assume this growing Western world belief in reincarnation
is primarily based on a simultaneous increasing influence of Eastern
religion and thought. This assumption is due, in part, to much of
the Eastern religious world having long adhered to a belief in general
notwithstanding recurring allusions to the Eastern concept of karma
and reincarnation by New Age thinkers – our extraverted Western
attitude toward death and the afterlife experiences great angst
when encountering the Eastern religious concept of the annihilation
of the ego and/or individual personality after death.
close attention, the current Western World “rebirth”
of a belief in reincarnation (pun intended) owes much or most of
the credit to the ancient classical Greeks and their fascinating
views on the afterlife and reincarnation.
particular, we owe many of our ideas to the musings and discourses
of the ancient classical Greek philosopher Plato (428/427 BC –
and The Republic
The fact is that we, in the Western world, feel much more at home
and comfortable with the metaphysical philosophies of the ancient
Greeks and specifically with those of Plato.
of the best peeks into the cosmological views of Plato and reincarnation
is contained in the final chapter of The Republic and the
"Myth of Er."
it or not, if you’re a Westerner that believes in general
reincarnation, then much of what Plato had to say on the matter
in The Republic will resonate as being quite familiar.
oversimplifying, ancient classical Greek views of the afterlife
were generally a hazy amalgamation of “heaven and hell”
combined with reincarnation. Keeping things simple, I’ll be
sticking with Plato’s stated views on reincarnation and leaving
out the “heaven and hell” part.
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