26. After that conjunction with him who performs the act of generation.
The declaration that the descending souls become rice plants, and so on, cannot be taken literally for that reason also, that the text afterwards declares them to become those who perform the act of generation: 'Whoever the being may be that eats the food and begets offspring, that being he (i.e. the soul that has descended) becomes.' Now the meaning of this latter text can only be that the soul enters into conjunction with the creature which eats the grain; and hence we have to interpret the previous text, as to the soul's becoming a plant, in the same way.