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Thomas Taylor – queda da alma no corpo

sábado 14 de maio de 2022

Souls fall into bodies, (says Proclus   in Tim. p. 343.) because they wish to imitate the providential energies of the Gods, and on this account proceed into generation, and leave the contemplation of true being. For as divine perfection is twofold, one kind being intellectual and the other providential, and one kind consisting in an abiding energy, but the other in motion, hence souls imitate the prolific, intellectual, and immutable energy of the Gods by contemplation, but their providential and motive characteristic, through a life conversant with generation. As the intelligence too, of the human soul is partial, so likewise is her providence; but being partial it associates with a partial body. But still further, the descent of the soul contributes to the perfection of the universe. For it is necessary that there should not only be immortal and intellectual animals, such as are the perpetual attendants of the Gods, nor yet mortal and irrational animals only, such as are the last progeny of the Demiurgus of the universe, but likewise such as subsist between these, and which are by no means [wholly] immortal, but are capable of participating reason and intellect. And in many parts of the universe, there are many animals of this kind. For man is not the only rational and mortal animal, but there are other such-like species, some of which are more demoniacal, and others approximate nearer to our essence. But the descents of a partial soul contribute to the perfect composition of all animals, which are at the same time mortal and rational.

Should it be again asked, Why, therefore, are partial souls descending into generation filled with such material perturbation, and such numerous evils ? We reply, that this takes place through the inclination arising from their free will ; through their vehement familiarity with body ; through their sympathy with the image of soul, or that divisible life which is distributed about the body; through their abundant mutation from an intelligible to a sensible nature, and from a quiet energy to one entirely conversant with motion ; and through a disordered condition of being, naturally arising from the composition of dissimilar natures, viz. of the immortal and mortal, of the intellectual and that which is deprived of intellect, of the indivisible and that which is endured with interval. For all these become the cause to the soul of this mighty tumult and labour in the realms of generation ; since we pursue a flying mockery which is ever in motion. And the soul, indeed, by verging to a material life, kindles a light in her dark tenement the body, but she herself becomes situated in obscurity; and by giving life to the body, she destroys herself and her own intellect, in as great a degree as these are capable of receiving destruction. For thus the mortal nature participates of intellect, but the intellectual part of death, and the whole becomes a prodigy, as Plato   beautifully observes in his Laws  , composed of the mortal and immortal, of the intellectual and that which is deprived of intellect. For this physical law, which binds the soul to the body, is the death of the immortal life, but is the cause of vivification to the mortal body."