12. The souls of men, seeing their images in the mirror of Dionysus as it were, have entered into that realm in a leap downward from the Supreme: yet even they are not cut off from their origin, from the divine Intellect; it is not that they have come bringing the Intellectual Principle down in their fall; it is that though they have descended even to earth, yet their higher part holds for ever above the heavens.
Their initial descent is deepened since that mid-part of theirs is compelled to labour in care of the care-needing thing into which they have entered. But Zeus, the father, takes pity on their toils and makes the bonds in which they labour soluble by death and gives respite in due time, freeing them from the body, that they too may come to dwell there where the Universal Soul, unconcerned with earthly needs, has ever dwelt.
For the container of the total of things must be a self-sufficing entity and remain so: in its periods it is wrought out to purpose under its Reason-Principles which are perdurably valid; by these periods it reverts unfailingly, in the measured stages of defined life-duration, to its established character; it is leading the things of this realm to be of one voice and plan with the Supreme. And thus the kosmic content is carried forward to its purpose, everything in its co-ordinate place, under one only Reason-Principle operating alike in the descent and return of souls and to every purpose of the system.
We may know this also by the concordance of the Souls with the ordered scheme of the kosmos; they are not independent, but, by their descent, they have put themselves in contact, and they stand henceforth in harmonious association with kosmic circuit- to the extent that their fortunes, their life experiences, their choosing and refusing, are announced by the patterns of the stars- and out of this concordance rises as it were one musical utterance: the music, the harmony, by which all is described is the best witness to this truth.
Such a consonance can have been procured in one only way:
The All must, in every detail of act and experience, be an expression of the Supreme, which must dominate alike its periods and its stable ordering and the life-careers varying with the movement of the souls as they are sometimes absorbed in that highest, sometimes in the heavens, sometimes turned to the things and places of our earth. All that is Divine Intellect will rest eternally above, and could never fall from its sphere but, poised entire in its own high place, will communicate to things here through the channel of Soul. Soul in virtue of neighbourhood is more closely modelled upon the Idea uttered by the Divine Intellect, and thus is able to produce order in the movement of the lower realm, one phase [the World-Soul] maintaining the unvarying march [of the kosmic circuit] the other [the soul of the Individual] adopting itself to times and season.
The depth of the descent, also, will differ- sometimes lower, sometimes less low- and this even in its entry into any given Kind: all that is fixed is that each several soul descends to a recipient indicated by affinity of condition; it moves towards the thing which it There resembled, and enters, accordingly, into the body of man or animal.