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Section 21

21. What does all this come to? What answer do we give to him who, with no opinion of his own to assert, asks us to explain this presence? And what do we say to the question whether there is one only mode of presence of the entire soul or different modes, phase and phase?

Of the modes currently accepted for the presence of one thing in another, none really meets the case of the soul's relation to the body. Thus we are given as a parallel the steersman in the ship; this serves adequately to indicate that the soul is potentially separable, but the mode of presence, which is what we are seeking, it does not exhibit.

We can imagine it within the body in some incidental way- for example, as a voyager in a ship- but scarcely as the steersman: and, of course, too, the steersman is not omnipresent to the ship as the soul is to the body.

May we, perhaps, compare it to the science or skill that acts through its appropriate instruments- through a helm, let us say, which should happen to be a live thing- so that the soul effecting the movements dictated by seamanship is an indwelling directive force?

No: the comparison breaks down, since the science is something outside of helm and ship.

Is it any help to adopt the illustration of the steersman taking the helm, and to station the soul within the body as the steersman may be thought to be within the material instrument through which he works? Soul, whenever and wherever it chooses to operate, does in much that way move the body.

No; even in this parallel we have no explanation of the mode of presence within the instrument; we cannot be satisfied without further search, a closer approach.

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