Sacred Texts  Classics  Index  Previous  Next 

Section 8

8. A. [sometimes appearing as 9] There are those who insist on the activities observed in bodies- warming, chilling, thrusting, pressing- and class soul with body, as it were to assure its efficacy. This ignores the double fact that the very bodies themselves exercise such efficiency by means of the incorporeal powers operating in them, and that these are not the powers we attribute to soul: intellection, perception, reasoning, desire, wise and effective action in all regards, these point to a very different form of being.

In transferring to bodies the powers of the unembodied, this school leaves nothing to that higher order. And yet that it is precisely in virtue of bodiless powers that bodies possess their efficiency is clear from certain reflections:

It will be admitted that quality and quantity are two different things, that body is always a thing of quantity but not always a thing of quality: matter is not qualified. This admitted, it will not be denied that quality, being a different thing from quantity, is a different thing from body. Obviously quality could not be body when it has not quantity as all body must; and, again, as we have said, body, any thing of mass, on being reduced to fragments, ceases to be what it was, but the quality it possessed remains intact in every particle- for instance the sweetness of honey is still sweetness in each speck- this shows that sweetness and all other qualities are not body.

Further: if the powers in question were bodies, then necessarily the stronger powers would be large masses and those less efficient small masses: but if there are large masses with small while not a few of the smaller masses manifest great powers, then the efficiency must be vested in something other than magnitude; efficacy, thus, belongs to non-magnitude. Again; Matter, they tell us, remains unchanged as long as it is body, but produces variety upon accepting qualities; is not this proof enough that the entrants [with whose arrival the changes happen] are Reason-Principles and not of the bodily order?

They must not remind us that when pneuma and blood are no longer present, animals die: these are necessary no doubt to life, but so are many other things of which none could possibly be soul: and neither pneuma nor blood is present throughout the entire being; but soul is.

Next: Section 8