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Section 5

5. This discussion of Nature has shown us how the origin of things is a Contemplation: we may now take the matter up to the higher Soul; we find that the Contemplation pursued by this, its instinct towards knowing and enquiring, the birth pangs set up by the knowledge it attains, its teeming fullness, have caused it- in itself, all one object of Vision- to produce another Vision [that of the Kosmos]: it is just as a given science, complete in itself, becomes the source and cause of what might be called a minor science in the student who attains to some partial knowledge of all its divisions. But the visible objects and the objects of intellectual contemplation of this later creation are dim and helpless by the side of the content of the Soul.

The primal phase of the Soul- inhabitant of the Supreme and, by its participation in the Supreme, filled and illuminated- remains unchangeably There; but in virtue of that first participation, that of the primal participant, a secondary phase also participates in the Supreme, and this secondary goes forth ceaselessly as Life streaming from Life; for energy runs through the Universe and there is no extremity at which it dwindles out. But, travel as far as it may, it never draws that first part of itself from the place whence the outgoing began: if it did, it would no longer be everywhere [its continuous Being would be broken and] it would be present at the end, only, of its course.

None the less that which goes forth cannot be equal to that which remains.

In sum, then:

The Soul is to extend throughout the Universe, no spot void of its energy: but, a prior is always different from its secondary, and energy is a secondary, rising as it must from contemplation or act; act, however, is not at this stage existent since it depends upon contemplation: therefore the Soul, while its phases differ, must, in all of them, remain a contemplation and what seems to be an act done under contemplation must be in reality that weakened contemplation of which we have spoken: the engendered must respect the Kind, but in weaker form, dwindled in the descent.

All goes softly since nothing here demands the parade of thought or act upon external things: it is a Soul in vision and, by this vision, creating its own subsequent- this Principle [of Nature], itself also contemplative but in the feebler degree since it lies further away and cannot reproduce the quality or experiences of its prior- a Vision creates the Vision.

[Such creative contemplation is not inexplicable] for no limit exists either to contemplation or to its possible objects, and this explains how the Soul is universal: where can this thing fail to be, which is one identical thing in every Soul; Vision is not cabined within the bournes of magnitude.

This, of course, does not mean that the Soul is present at the same strength in each and every place and thing- any more than that it is at the same strength in each of its own phases.

The Charioteer [the Leading Principle of the Soul, in the Phaedrus Myth] gives the two horses [its two dissonant faculties] what he has seen and they, taking that gift, showed that they were hungry for what made that vision; there was something lacking to them: if in their desire they acted, their action aimed at what they craved for- and that was vision, and an object of vision.

Next: Section 6