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Section 4

4. Our opponents themselves are driven by stress of fact to admit the necessity of a prior to body, a higher thing, some phase or form of soul; their "pneuma" [finer-body or spirit] is intelligent, and they speak of an "intellectual fire"; this "fire" and "spirit" they imagine to be necessary to the existence of the higher order which they conceive as demanding some base, though the real difficulty, under their theory, is to find a base for material things whose only possible base is, precisely, the powers of soul.

Besides, if they make life and soul no more than this "pneuma," what is the import of that repeated qualification of theirs "in a certain state," their refuge when they are compelled to recognize some acting principle apart from body? If not every pneuma is a soul, but thousands of them soulless, and only the pneuma in this "certain state" is soul, what follows? Either this "certain state," this shaping or configuration of things, is a real being or it is nothing.

If it is nothing, only the pneuma exists, the "certain state" being no more than a word; this leads imperatively to the assertion that Matter alone exists, Soul and God mere words, the lowest alone is.

If on the contrary this "configuration" is really existent- something distinct from the underlie or Matter, something residing in Matter but itself immaterial as not constructed out of Matter, then it must be a Reason-Principle, incorporeal, a separate Nature.

There are other equally cogent proofs that the soul cannot be any form of body.

Body is either warm or cold, hard or soft, liquid or solid, black or white, and so on through all the qualities by which one is different from another; and, again, if a body is warm it diffuses only warmth, if cold it can only chill, if light its presence tells against the total weight which if heavy it increases; black, it darkens; white, it lightens; fire has not the property of chilling or a cold body that of warming.

Soul, on the contrary, operates diversely in different living beings, and has quite contrary effects in any one: its productions contain the solid and the soft, the dense and the sparse, bright and dark, heavy and light. If it were material, its quality- and the colour it must have- would produce one invariable effect and not the variety actually observed.

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