to arrive at the general conclusion that not only opposites will not
receive opposites, but also that nothing which brings the opposite
will admit the opposite of that which it brings in that to which it is
brought. And here let me recapitulate-for there is no harm in
repetition. The number five will not admit the nature of the even, any
more than ten, which is the double of five, will admit the nature of
the odd-the double, though not strictly opposed to the odd, rejects
the odd altogether. Nor again will parts in the ratio of 3:2, nor
any fraction in which there is a half, nor again in which there is a
third, admit the notion of the whole, although they are not opposed to
the whole. You will agree to that?
Yes, he said, I entirely agree and go along with you in that.
And now, he said, I think that I may begin again; and to the
question which I am about to ask I will beg you to give not the old
safe answer, but another, of which I will offer you an example; and
I hope that you will find in what has been just said another
foundation which is as safe. I mean that if anyone asks you "what that
is, the inherence of which makes the body hot," you will reply not
heat (this is what I call the safe and stupid answer), but fire, a far
better answer, which we are now in a condition to give. Or if anyone
asks you "why a body is diseased," you will not say from disease,
but from fever; and instead of saying that oddness is the cause of odd
numbers, you will say that the monad is the cause of them: and so of
things in general, as I dare say that you will understand sufficiently
without my adducing any further examples.
Yes, he said, I quite understand you.
Tell me, then, what is that the inherence of which will render the
The soul, he replied.
And is this always the case?
Yes, he said, of course.
Then whatever the soul possesses, to that she comes bearing life?