3. We will have to examine this Nature, the Intellectual, which our reasoning identifies as the authentically existent and the veritable essential: but first we must take another path and make certain that such a principle does necessarily exist.
Perhaps it is ridiculous to set out enquiring whether an Intellectual-Principle has place in the total of being: but there may be some to hesitate even as to this and certainly there will be the question whether it is as we describe it, whether it is a separate existence, whether it actually is the real beings, whether it is the seat of the Ideas; to this we now address ourselves.
All that we see, and describe as having existence, we know to be compound; hand-wrought or compacted by nature, nothing is simplex. Now the hand-wrought, with its metal or stone or wood, is not realized out of these materials until the appropriate craft has produced statue, house or bed, by imparting the particular idea from its own content. Similarly with natural forms of being; those including several constituents, compound bodies as we call them, may be analysed into the materials and the Idea imposed upon the total; the human being, for example, into soul and body; and the human body into the four elements. Finding everything to be a compound of Matter and shaping principle- since the Matter of the elements is of itself shapeless- you will enquire whence this forming idea comes; and you will ask whether in the soul we recognise a simplex or whether this also has constituents, something representing Matter and something else- the Intellectual-Principle in it- representing Idea, the one corresponding to the shape actually on the statue, the other to the artist giving the shape.
Applying the same method to the total of things, here too we discover the Intellectual-Principle and this we set down as veritably the maker and creator of the All. The underly has adopted, we see, certain shapes by which it becomes fire, water, air, earth; and these shapes have been imposed upon it by something else. This other is Soul which, hovering over the Four [the elements], imparts the pattern of the Kosmos, the Ideas for which it has itself received from the Intellectual-Principle as the soul or mind of the craftsman draws upon his craft for the plan of his work.
The Intellectual-Principle is in one phase the Form of the soul, its shape; in another phase it is the giver of the shape- the sculptor, possessing inherently what is given- imparting to soul nearly the authentic reality while what body receives is but image and imitation.