In ancient Greek mythology
, one of the several rivers of Hades
. Drinking from the river Lethe ("(river of) forgetfulness" or "oblivion") caused complete forgetfulness. Some ancient Greeks believed that souls were made to drink from the river before being reincarnated
, so they would not remember their past lives.
Some gnostic groups taught the existence of another river, the Mnemosyne; those who drank from the Mnemosyne would remember everything and attain omniscience. Initiates were taught that they would receive a choice of rivers to drink from after death, and to drink from Mnemosyne instead of Lethe.
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