Plato’s Phaedo: An original translation

Plato’s work can simply be defined by one goal: to preserve the truth of the Sacred Mysteries, the Great Mysteries of the initiates of this world. This world, as Plato so aptly and popularly taught, is not what it seems and most of humanity is suffering or experiencing (which is the same, for Plato, as suffering), of this illusory world.

In modern times, however, these teachings have been lost and buried, just as they were in Plato’s day, where they condemned a philosopher, Socrates, Plato’s beloved teacher, to death for “corrupting the young” and “worshipping gods that were not the gods of Athens”. Today, however, the ego of mankind stretches far, whether it may be spirituality in general, science, or technology. Today, the idea that the world is an illusion is accompanied by a cherry-picking mind, that only chooses to identify illusions as it suits the ego. The truth is that the entire thing is an illusion. Today, and tomorrow, as in each and every day, human beings will cling to the words of experts, soothsayers, psychologists, and anyone else who is projected into their field, as long as it makes them feel safe, and they don’t have to do the work required, to open the windows of their own soul.

However, there is, as Plato also taught, goodness for those still absorbed in the illusion and those who cherry-pick. It is always part of the process to begin in complete ignorance, in the bowels of the dark cave, the one described in his famous metaphor. Regardless the conversations of Socrates, as it is shown in this dialogue, are not really meant for those ears that are filled with the spells and speeches of illusion. This may seem unjust to an egalitarian kind of sentimentality, but it is the truth. This dialogue is incredibly dense and deep, and is probably the most profound and enlightening of all the Platonic dialogues, simply because it addresses the true aim of Philosophy, both in its appearance, and in its truth.

Socrates represents the nature of philosophy as embodied in one man. He is joyful, playful, and loves truth and life with passion, dignity, and courage. He does not mourn the delusions of mankind but is simply aware of them and takes them into account. His joy reflects his strength, and his humor is of a divine nature, the kind that only an immortal would be able to muster. The awareness that Socrates reflects is through the light (phos) or emanation, and so where he goes, all, even the darkest of minds, begins to feel the warmth of his presence. He was, in life and death, universalyl loved, and yet universally condemned by a public that still carried an excessive amount of darkness and fear.

I hope you enjoy my translation. I have completed it offline and am slowly posting it here. I will most like do revisions as I go, as my understanding deepens. I attempt to clarify some of Plato’s language with footnotes, because there is a great deal that is missed through translation. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask.

First part:
Plato’s Phaedo: Phaedo and Execrates (57α – 59c)

eu prattein (Fare well),

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