[Socrates:] “[A]ny man who has the spirit of philosophy, will be willing to die, but he will not take his own life, for that is held to be unlawful.”
Here he changed his position, and put his legs off the couch on to the ground, and during the rest of the conversation he remained sitting.
“Why do you say, enquired Cebes, that a man ought not to take his own life, but that the philosopher will be ready to follow the dying?
Socrates replied: And have you, Cebes and Simmias, who are the disciples of Philolaus, never heard him speak of this?
Yes, but his language was obscure, Socrates.
My words, too, are only an echo; but there is no reason why I should not repeat what I have heard: and indeed, as I am going to another place, it is very meet for me to be thinking and talking of the nature of the pilgrimage which I am about to make. What can I do better in the interval between this and the setting of the sun?
Let us reflect in this way, too, that there is good hope that death is a blessing, for it is one of two things: either the dead are nothing and have no perception of anything, or it is, as we are told, a change and relocating for the soul from here to another place. If it is complete lack of perception, like a dreamless sleep, then death would be a great advantage… If, on the other hand, death is a change from here to another place, and what we are told is true and all who have died are there, what greater blessing could there be, gentleman of the jury? If anyone arriving in Hades will have escaped from those who call themselves jurymen here, and will find those true jurymen who are said to sit in judgment there, Minos and Rhadamanthus and Aecus and Triptolemys and the other demi-gods who have been upright in their own life, would that be a poor kind of change? Again, what would one of you give to keep company with Orpheus and Musaeus, Hesiod and Homer?I am willing to die many times if that is true.... You too must be of good hope as regards death, gentlemen of the ury, and keep this one truth in mind, that a good man cannot be harmed either in life or in death, and that his affairs are not neglected by the gods.