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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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If Soul acts as a genus or a species, the various [particular] souls must act as species. Their activities [Acts] will be twofold: the activity upward is Intellect; that which looks downward constitutes the other powers imposed by the particular Reason-Principle [the Reason-Principle of the being ensouled]; the lowest activity of Soul is in its contact with Matter to which it brings Form.

This lower part of Soul does not prevent the rest from being entirely in the higher sphere: indeed what we call the lower part is but an image of Soul: not that it is cut off from Soul; it is like the reflection in the mirror, depending upon the original which stands outside of it.

But we must keep in mind what this “outside” means. Up to the production of the image, the Intellectual realm is wholly and exclusively composed of Intellectual Beings: in the same way the Sensible world, representing that in so far as it is able to retain the likeness of a living being, is itself a living being: the relation is like that of a portrait or reflection to the original which is regarded as prior to the water or the painting reproducing it.

The representation, notice, in the portrait or on the water is not of the dual being, but of the one element [Matter] as formed by the other [Soul]. Similarly, this likeness of the Intellectual realm carries images, not of the creative element, but of the entities contained in that creator, including Man with every other living being: creator and created are alike living beings, though of a different life, and both coexist in the Intellectual realm.

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