Sacred Texts  Classics  Index  Previous  Next 

Section 11

11. (16) What intelligent mind can doubt the immortality of such a value, one in which there is a life self-springing and therefore not to be destroyed?

This is at any rate a life not imported from without, not present in the mode of the heat in fire- for if heat is characteristic of the fire proper, it certainly is adventitious to the Matter underlying the fire; or fire, too, would be everlasting- it is not in any such mode that the soul has life: this is no case of a Matter underlying and a life brought into that Matter and making it into soul [as heat comes into matter and makes it fire].

Either life is Essential Reality, and therefore self-living- the very thing we have been seeking- and undeniably immortal: or it, too, is a compound and must be traced back through all the constituents until an immortal substance is reached, something deriving movement from itself, and therefore debarred from accepting death.

Even supposing life could be described as a condition imposed upon Matter, still the source from which this condition entered the Matter must necessarily be admitted to be immortal simply by being unable to take into itself the opposite of the life which it conveys.

Of course, life is no such mere condition, but an independent principle, effectively living.

Next: Section 12