And Their Systematic Unity 115

elements, but a transparent and unchanging unity. But, as such, it is invisible, and cannot be presented to sense or imagination, but only grasped by the intelligence: and the intelligence which grasps it must itself be of kindred nature to it. Furthermore, even the intelligence can only grasp such a unity when it withdraws into itself from the confusions of sehse which distract and disturb its pure activity. For "when in its perception of things it uses the body as its instrument, apprehending through sight or hearing or any other sense, then it is dragged down by the body into the region of things that never maintain their identity; it wanders and is confused, and loses control of itself, and is as it were intoxicated, because it is dealing with things that have no stability in themselves. But when it returns into itself and reflects, it passes into another region, the region of that which is pure and everlasting, immortal and unchangeable; and feeling its kindred thereto, it dwells there under its own control and has rest from its wandering, and is constant and one with itself, as are the objects with which it deals."1. From this point of view the body is a kind of tomb of the soul from which it can rise only at death, and the whole life of the philosopher has. to i be conceived as a practice for that final moment in

* i which it shall free itself from this "muddy vesture i

1 Phaedof 79 o.

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