I6 The immortality of The soul

creatures. At least he regards them all as alike in the fundamental principle of their being, however the manifestation of it may be obstructed by the kind of body with which it has become associated. In short, as I have before explained, all life for Plato is the life of intelligence, more or less adequately realised. While, therefore, in all souls that are incarnated in bodies, there is ipso facto a finite and perishable nature which cannot survive the crisis of death, there is also in them a principle which is altogether independent of the accidents of their mortal part. Hence the individual who is capable of moral and intellectual activity— who, in spite of the narrow conditions of mortal life, can become a ' spectator of all time and existence/ and who, in bis practical efforts, is guided by a consciousness, or at least a foretaste and prophetic anticipation, of the universal good—such an individual is essentially self-determined. He has in him a universal principle of activity or life, and nothing can be imposed upon him from without which is not accepted from within. In this way Plato could maintain the originality and independence of every spiritual being, as such, even in his lowest degradation—even when, in his subjection to sense and appetite, he sinks below humanity: for in all its transmigrations the soul is conceived as remaining one with itself. There is, indeed, always a t

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