7. This is the significance of Plato's account of the birth of Love.
The drunkenness of the father Poros or Possession is caused by Nectar, "wine yet not existing"; Love is born before the realm of sense has come into being: Penia had participation in the Intellectual before the lower image of that divine Realm had appeared; she dwelt in that Sphere, but as a mingled being consisting partly of Form but partly also of that indetermination which belongs to the Soul before she attains the Good and when all her knowledge of Reality is a fore-intimation veiled by the indeterminate and unordered: in this state Poverty brings forth the Hypostasis, Love.
This, then, is a union of Reason with something that is not Reason but a mere indeterminate striving in a being not yet illuminated: the offspring Love, therefore, is not perfect, not self-sufficient, but unfinished, bearing the signs of its parentage, the undirected striving and the self-sufficient Reason. This offspring is a Reason-Principle but not purely so; for it includes within itself an aspiration ill-defined, unreasoned, unlimited- it can never be sated as long as it contains within itself that element of the Indeterminate. Love, then, clings to the Soul, from which it sprung as from the principle of its Being, but it is lessened by including an element of the Reason-Principle which did not remain self-concentrated but blended with the indeterminate, not, it is true, by immediate contact but through its emanation. Love, therefore, is like a goad; it is without resource in itself; even winning its end, it is poor again.
It cannot be satisfied because a thing of mixture never can be so: true satisfaction is only for what has its plenitude in its own being; where craving is due to an inborn deficiency, there may be satisfaction at some given moment but it does not last. Love, then, has on the one side the powerlessness of its native inadequacy, on the other the resource inherited from the Reason-Kind.
Such must be the nature and such the origin of the entire Spirit Order, each- like its fellow, Love- has its appointed sphere, is powerful there, and wholly devoted to it, and, like Love, none is ever complete of itself but always straining towards some good which it sees in things of the partial sphere.
We understand, now, why good men have no other Love other Eros of life- than that for the Absolute and Authentic Good, and never follow the random attractions known to those ranged under the lower Spirit Kind.
Each human being is set under his own Spirit-Guides, but this is mere blank possession when they ignore their own and live by some other spirit adopted by them as more closely attuned to the operative part of the Soul in them. Those that go after evil are natures that have merged all the Love-Principles within them in the evil desires springing in their hearts and allowed the right reason, which belongs to our kind, to fall under the spell of false ideas from another source.
All the natural Loves, all that serve the ends of Nature, are good; in a lesser Soul, inferior in rank and in scope; in the greater Soul, superior; but all belong to the order of Being. Those forms of Love that do not serve the purposes of Nature are merely accidents attending on perversion: in no sense are they Real-Beings or even manifestations of any Reality; for they are no true issue of Soul; they are merely accompaniments of a spiritual flaw which the Soul automatically exhibits in the total of disposition and conduct.
In a word; all that is truly good in a Soul acting to the purposes of nature and within its appointed order, all this is Real-Being: anything else is alien, no act of the Soul, but merely something that happens to it: a parallel may be found in false mentation, notions behind which there is no reality as there is in the case of authentic ideas, the eternal, the strictly defined, in which there is at once an act of true knowing, a truly knowable object and authentic existence- and this not merely in the Absolute, but also in the particular being that is occupied by the authentically knowable and by the Intellectual-Principle manifest in every several form.
In each particular human being we must admit the existence of the authentic Intellective Act and of the authentically knowable object- though not as wholly merged into our being, since we are not these in the absolute and not exclusively these- and hence our longing for absolute things: it is the expression of our intellective activities: if we sometimes care for the partial, that affection is not direct but accidental, like our knowledge that a given triangular figure is made up of two right angles because the absolute triangle is so.