More from Peter Watson’s book:


The modern concept of the immortal soul is a Greek idea, which owes much to Pythagoras. Before that, most ancient civilizations thought that man had two kinds of soul. There was the “free-soul”, which represented the individual personality. And there were a number of “body-souls” which endowed the body with life and consciousness. For the early Greeks, for example, human nature was composed of three entities: the body, the psyche, identified with the life principle and located in the head; and the thymos, “mind” or consciousness, located in the phrenes, or lungs. During life, the thymos was regarded as more important but didn’t survive death, whereas the psyche became the eidolon, a shadowy form of the body. This distinction was not maintained beyond the sixth century B.C., when the psyche came to be thought of as both the essential self, the seat of consciousness and the life principle.

…Both Socrates and Plato shared Pindar’s idea of the divine origin of the soul and it is here that the vision took root that the soul was in fact more precious than the body.

…In fact, life after death, resurrection, judgement, heaven and paradise were all Zoroastrian ideas first, along with hell and the devil.


I just like knowing who to squarely blame for things like this.