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Section 1

1. The soul: what dubious questions concerning it admit of solution, or where we must abide our doubt- with, at least, the gain of recognizing the problem that confronts us- this is matter well worth attention. On what subject can we more reasonably expend the time required by minute discussion and investigation? Apart from much else, it is enough that such an enquiry illuminates two grave questions: of what sphere the soul is the principle, and whence the soul itself springs. Moreover, we will be only obeying the ordinance of the God who bade us know ourselves.

Our general instinct to seek and learn, our longing to possess ourselves of whatsoever is lovely in the vision will, in all reason, set us enquiring into the nature of the instrument with which we search.

Now even in the universal Intellect [Divine Mind] there was duality, so that we would expect differences of condition in things of part: how some things rather than others come to be receptacles of the divine beings will need to be examined; but all this we may leave aside until we are considering the mode in which soul comes to occupy body. For the moment we return to our argument against those who maintain our souls to be offshoots from the soul of the universe [parts and an identity modally parted].

Our opponents will probably deny the validity of our arguments against the theory that the human soul is a mere segment of the All-Soul- the considerations, namely, that it is of identical scope, and that it is intellective in the same degree, supposing them, even, to admit that equality of intellection.

They will object that parts must necessarily fall under one ideal-form with their wholes. And they will adduce Plato as expressing their view where, in demonstrating that the All is ensouled, he says "As our body is a portion of the body of the All, so our soul is a portion of the soul of the All." It is admitted on clear evidence that we are borne along by the Circuit of the All; we will be told that- taking character and destiny from it, strictly inbound with it- we must derive our souls, also, from what thus bears us up, and that as within ourselves every part absorbs from our soul so, analogically, we, standing as parts to the universe, absorb from the Soul of the All as parts of it. They will urge also that the dictum "The collective soul cares for all the unensouled," carries the same implication and could be uttered only in the belief that nothing whatever of later origin stands outside the soul of the universe, the only soul there can be there to concern itself with the unensouled.

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