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Plato, Reincarnation, and Astrology
Part I: Blame It On Plato

In the Western world, an afterlife belief in the concept of "general reincarnation" has been steadily on the rise and gaining ground.

The 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.

Many 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 reincarnation.

However, 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.

Paying 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.

In particular, we owe many of our ideas to the musings and discourses of the ancient classical Greek philosopher Plato (428/427 BC – 348/347 BC).

Plato 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.

One 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."

Believe 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.

Greatly 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.

Next page > So What Does Plato Say? > Page 1, 2, 3

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