And The Idea Of God 217

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certain mythic element in Plato's statement of this view; and we are not able to say how far he means what he says of the pre-natal and the future states to be taken literally. But there cannot be any reasonable doubt that he attributes a self-determined and therefore immortal existence to the soul—or, perhaps we should rather say, to the reason or spirit; for, in his later and more definite statements, the soul is taken as the principle that connects the pure reason with the mortal body; and it is only to the spiritual part of man's being that the attribute of immortality is assigned.

It is obvious, however, that Plato could not stop at this point. As he could not rest in the thought of a multiplicity of ideas without referring them back to the one Idea of Good, so neither could he be content with the conception of a multitude of self-determined and immortal souls without referring back to one divine reason, as the source and end of their spiritual life. Hence in the PhUebus we find him speaking of a " divine intelligence," which is the ultimate cause of all order and organisation in the mixed and imperfect nature of man and of his world. And the same ■ thought is expressed in the mythical language of the Tvmaem, where Plato declares that the souls of the gods and the higher element in the souls of men are the direct work of the Creator: they are, therefore,

218 the Immortality of the soul incapable of being destroyed except by him who has created them, and he cannot will to destroy what he has himself made.1 Thus, in place of a number of independent spiritual beings, each immortal in his own right, we have the idea of a kingdom of spirits, who all, indeed, partake in the divine nature, and are therefore raised above time and change, but who, nevertheless, have a dependent and derived existence and are immortal. only through their relation to God. It is in accordance with this that in the Laws, where Plato repeats the argument of the Phaedms that the soul is immortal, because it is self-determined, he applies it only to the divine Being. God only is the first mover, the source of life and activity in all other beings. He is the sovereign will, who has ordered the world as an organic whole in which each individual has the exact part to play for which he is fitted.2 If man be

immortal it is not in his own right as an individual, but because the divine life is communicated to him. In other words, we have to prove his immortality on the ground that the universal principle of reason, which is the presupposition of all being and of all knowledge, is the principle of his own life; and that all beings, in whom this principle is realised, must have this nature manifested in them. We

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