I agree with you, Socrates, he said.
And can all this be true, think you? he said; and are all these
consequences admissible-which nevertheless seem to follow from the
assumption that the soul is a harmony?
Certainly not, he said.
Once more, he said, what ruling principle is there of human things
other than the soul, and especially the wise soul? Do you know of any?
Indeed, I do not.
And is the soul in agreement with the affections of the body? or
is she at variance with them? For example, when the body is hot and
thirsty, does not the soul incline us against drinking? and when the
body is hungry, against eating? And this is only one instance out of
ten thousand of the opposition of the soul to the things of the body.
But we have already acknowledged that the soul, being a harmony, can
never utter a note at variance with the tensions and relaxations and
vibrations and other affections of the strings out of which she is
composed; she can only follow, she cannot lead them?
Yes, he said, we acknowledged that, certainly.
And yet do we not now discover the soul to be doing the exact
opposite-leading the elements of which she is believed to be composed;
almost always opposing and coercing them in all sorts of ways
throughout life, sometimes more violently with the pains of medicine
and gymnastic; then again more gently; threatening and also
reprimanding the desires, passions, fears, as if talking to a thing
which is not herself, as Homer in the "Odyssey" represents Odysseus
doing in the words,
"He beat his breast, and thus reproached his heart:
Endure, my heart; far worse hast thou endured!"
Do you think that Homer could have written this under the idea that