Monday, April 22, 2024


Lawsuit of the Soul Against the Body

[Plutarch,] On Desire and Grief 2 (tr. F.H. Sandbach):
Theophrastus, on the contrary, said that the soul's lodging in the body was an expensive one; that for a short tenancy it paid a heavy price in its pains and fears, desires and jealousies; and that its involvement with these emotions in the body gave it a better case to take to court, since it could accuse the body of mayhem for all it had been caused to forget, of forcible seizure for its detention, and of outrage for the ill-fame and vituperation it suffers through being undeservedly held responsible for the evils that befall the body.

Θεόφραστος δὲ τοὐναντίον ἔφη τῷ σώματι πολλοῦ τὴν ψυχὴν ἐνοικεῖν, ὀλίγου χρόνου βαρεῖς μισθοὺς ὑποτελοῦσαν, τὰς λύπας, τοὺς φόβους, τὰς ἐπιθυμίας, τὰς ζηλοτυπίας, αἷς συμφερομένη περὶ τὸ σῶμα δικαιότερον ἂν αὐτῷ δικάζοιτο πηρώσεως ὧν ἐπιλέλησται, καὶ βιαίων ἐφ' οἷς κατέχεται, καὶ ὕβρεως ὧν ἀδοξεῖ καὶ λοιδορεῖται, τῶν ἐκείνου κακῶν ἀναδεχομένη τὰς αἰτίας οὐ προσηκόντως.

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