laws (books 7 - 12)
Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been
most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.
Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by
reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being
in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by
any lower number which you may prefer?
Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute
truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the
body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul,
which is the ruler?
Cle. Nothing can be more true.
Ath. Do you remember our old admission, that if the soul was prior
to the body the things of the soul were also prior to those of the
Ath. Then characters and manners, and wishes and reasonings, and
true opinions, and reflections, and recollections are prior to
length and breadth and depth and strength of bodies, if the soul is
prior to the body.
Cle. To be sure.
Ath. In the next place, must we not of necessity admit that the soul
is the cause of good and evil, base and honourable, just and unjust,
and of all other opposites, if we suppose her to be the cause of all
Cle. We must.
Ath. And as the soul orders and inhabits all things that move,
however moving, must we not say that she orders also the heavens?
Cle. Of course.
Ath. One soul or more? More than one-I will answer for you; at any
rate, we must not suppose that there are less than two-one the
author of good, and the other of evil.
Cle. Very true.
Ath. Yes, very true; the soul then directs all things in heaven, and
earth, and sea by her movements, and these are described by the
terms-will, consideration, attention, deliberation, opinion true and
false, joy and sorrow, confidence, fear, hatred, love, and other
primary motions akin to these; which again receive the secondary
motions of corporeal substances, and guide all things to growth and
decay, to composition and decomposition, and to the qualities which
accompany them, such as heat and cold, heaviness and lightness,
hardness and softness, blackness and whiteness, bitterness and
sweetness, and all those other qualities which the soul uses,
herself a goddess, when truly receiving the divine mind she
disciplines all things rightly to their happiness; but when she is the
companion of folly, she does the very contrary of all this. Shall we
assume so much, or do we still entertain doubts?
Cle. There is no room at all for doubt.
Ath. Shall we say then that it is the soul which controls heaven and
earth, and the whole world?-that it is a principle of wisdom and
virtue, or a principle which has neither wisdom nor virtue? Suppose
that we make answer as follows:-
Cle. How would you answer?
Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of
heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the
movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by
kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul
takes care of the world and guides it along the good path.
Ath. But if the world moves wildly and irregularly, then the evil
soul guides it.
Cle. True again.
Ath. Of what nature is the movement of mind?-To this question it
is not easy to give an intelligent answer; and therefore I ought to