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On The Soul   

have said, maintain the very reverse, viz. that what feeds and what is

fed are contrary to one another; like, they argue, is incapable of

being affected by like; but food is changed in the process of

digestion, and change is always to what is opposite or to what is

intermediate. Further, food is acted upon by what is nourished by

it, not the other way round, as timber is worked by a carpenter and

not conversely; there is a change in the carpenter but it is merely

a change from not-working to working. In answering this problem it

makes all the difference whether we mean by 'the food' the

'finished' or the 'raw' product. If we use the word food of both, viz.

of the completely undigested and the completely digested matter, we

can justify both the rival accounts of it; taking food in the sense of

undigested matter, it is the contrary of what is fed by it, taking

it as digested it is like what is fed by it. Consequently it is

clear that in a certain sense we may say that both parties are

right, both wrong.

Since nothing except what is alive can be fed, what is fed is the

besouled body and just because it has soul in it. Hence food is

essentially related to what has soul in it. Food has a power which

is other than the power to increase the bulk of what is fed by it;

so far forth as what has soul in it is a quantum, food may increase

its quantity, but it is only so far as what has soul in it is a

'this-somewhat' or substance that food acts as food; in that case it

maintains the being of what is fed, and that continues to be what it

is so long as the process of nutrition continues. Further, it is the

agent in generation, i.e. not the generation of the individual fed but

the reproduction of another like it; the substance of the individual

fed is already in existence; the existence of no substance is a

self-generation but only a self-maintenance.

Hence the psychic power which we are now studying may be described

as that which tends to maintain whatever has this power in it of

continuing such as it was, and food helps it to do its work. That is

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