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On The Soul   

And in fact mind as we have described it is what it is what it is by

virtue of becoming all things, while there is another which is what it

is by virtue of making all things: this is a sort of positive state

like light; for in a sense light makes potential colours into actual


Mind in this sense of it is separable, impassible, unmixed, since it

is in its essential nature activity (for always the active is superior

to the passive factor, the originating force to the matter which it


Actual knowledge is identical with its object: in the individual,

potential knowledge is in time prior to actual knowledge, but in the

universe as a whole it is not prior even in time. Mind is not at one

time knowing and at another not. When mind is set free from its

present conditions it appears as just what it is and nothing more:

this alone is immortal and eternal (we do not, however, remember its

former activity because, while mind in this sense is impassible,

mind as passive is destructible), and without it nothing thinks.


The thinking then of the simple objects of thought is found in those

cases where falsehood is impossible: where the alternative of true

or false applies, there we always find a putting together of objects

of thought in a quasi-unity. As Empedocles said that 'where heads of

many a creature sprouted without necks' they afterwards by Love's

power were combined, so here too objects of thought which were given

separate are combined, e.g. 'incommensurate' and 'diagonal': if the

combination be of objects past or future the combination of thought

includes in its content the date. For falsehood always involves a

synthesis; for even if you assert that what is white is not white

you have included not white in a synthesis. It is possible also to

call all these cases division as well as combination. However that may

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