more from Lucretius

Single Idea 5723

[catalogued under 29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 2. Immortality / b. Soul]

Full Idea

If the spirit is by nature immortal and is slipped into the body at birth, why do we retain no memory of an earlier existence, no impress of antecedent events?

Gist of Idea

If spirit is immortal and enters us at birth, why don't we remember a previous existence?


Lucretius (On the Nature of the Universe [c.60 BCE], III.670)

Book Reference

Lucretius: 'On the Nature of the Universe', ed/tr. Latham,Ronald [Penguin 1951], p.116

A Reaction

Plato took the view that we do recall previous existence, as seen in our innate ideas. This problem forced the Christian church into the uncomfortable claim that God creates the soul at conception, but that it then goes on to immortality.