Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.
» Contents of this EnneadII: 69 pages - You are on Page 27
2. But of what nature is this sovereign principle?
If material, then definitely it must fall apart; for every material entity, at least, is something put together.
If it is not material but belongs to some other Kind, that new substance must be investigated in the same way or by some more suitable method.
But our first need is to discover into what this material form, since such the soul is to be, can dissolve.
Now: of necessity life is inherent to soul: this material entity, then, which we call soul must have life ingrained within it; but [being a composite as by hypothesis, material] it must be made up of two or more bodies; that life, then, will be vested, either in each and all of those bodies or in one of them to the exclusion of the other or others; if this be not so, then there is no life present anywhere.
If any one of them contains this ingrained life, that one is the soul. But what sort of an entity have we there; what is this body which of its own nature possesses soul?
Fire, air, water, earth, are in themselves soulless — whenever soul is in any of them, that life is borrowed — and there are no other forms of body than these four: even the school that believes there are has always held them to be bodies, not souls, and to be without life.
None of these, then, having life, it would be extraordinary if life came about by bringing them together; it is impossible, in fact, that the collocation of material entities should produce life, or mindless entities mind.
No one, moreover, would pretend that a mere chance mixing could give such results: some regulating principle would be necessary, some Cause directing the admixture: that guiding principle would be — soul.
Body — not merely because it is a composite, but even were it simplex — could not exist unless there were soul in the universe, for body owes its being to the entrance of a Reason-Principle into Matter, and only from soul can a Reason-Principle come.
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