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Section 12

12. Think of a sound passing through the air and carrying a word; an ear within range catches and comprehends; and the sound and word will strike upon any other ear you may imagine within the intervening void, upon any that attends; from a great distance many eyes look to the one object and all take it fully; all this, because eye and ear exist. In the same way, what is apt for soul will possess itself of soul, while from the one identical presence another will derive something else.

Now the sound was diffused throughout the air not in sections but as one sound, entire at every point of that space. So with sight: if the air carries a shape impressed upon it this is one undivided whole; for, wherever there be an eye, there the shape will be grasped; even to such as reject this particular theory of sight, the facts of vision still stand as an example of participation determined by an identical unity.

The sound is the clearer illustration: the form conveyed is an entirety over all the air space, for unless the spoken word were entire at every point, for every ear to catch the whole alike, the same effect could not be made upon every listener; the sound, evidently, is not strung along the air, section to section. Why, then, need we hesitate to think of soul as a thing not extended in broken contact, part for part, but omnipresent within the range of its presence, indwelling in totality at every point throughout the All?

Entered into such bodies as are apt to it, the soul is like the spoken sound present in the air, before that entry, like the speaker about to speak- though even embodied it remains at once the speaker and the silent.

No doubt these illustrations are imperfect, but they carry a serviceable similitude: the soul belongs to that other Kind, and we must not conceive a part of it embodied and a part intact; it is at once a self-enclosed unity and a principle manifested in diversity.

Further, any newcoming entity achieving soul receives mysteriously that same principle which was equally in the previously ensouled; for it is not in the dispensation that a given part of soul situate at some given point should enter here and there; what is thought of as entering was always a self-enclosed entire and, for all the seeming entry, so remains; no real entry is conceivable. If, then, the soul never entered and yet is now seen to be present- present without waiting upon the participant- clearly it is present, here too, without breach of its self-inclusion. This can mean only that the participant came to soul; it lay outside the veritable reality but advanced towards it and so established itself in the kosmos of life. But this kosmos of life is a self-gathered entire, not divisible into constituent masses but prior to mass; in other words, the participation is of entire in entire. Any newcomer into that kosmos of life will participate in it entire. Admitting, then, that this kosmos of life is present entire in the universe, it must be similarly entire in each several entity; an identity numerically one, it must be an undivided entire, omnipresent.

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