Guthrie: Tractate 38,5 (VI, 7, 5) - MAN AS A SOUL SUBSISTING IN A SPECIAL REASON

MAN AS A SOUL SUBSISTING IN A SPECIAL REASON.

5. Man must therefore have as "reason" (or, as essence), something else than the soul. Still, in this case, man might be something composite; that is, the soul would subsist in a particular "reason," admitting that this "reason" was a certain actualization of the soul, though this actualization could not exist without its producing principle. Now such is the nature of the "seminal reasons." They do not exist without the soul; for the generating reasons are not inanimate; and nevertheless they are not the soul purely and simply. There is therefore nothing surprising in the statement that these (human) beings are ("seminal) reasons."

THESE REASONS ARE THE ACTUALIZATIONS OF THE SOUL WHICH BEGETS THE ANIMAL.

Of which soul are these reasons, which do not beget the man (though they do beget the animal), then the actualization? Not of the vegetative soul; they are the actualizations of the (reasonable) soul which begets the animal, which is a more powerful, and therefore a more living soul. Man is constituted by the soul disposed in some manner, when present to matter disposed in some particular fashion — since the soul is some particular thing, according as she is in some particular disposition — even in the body. In the bodies, she fashions a resembling form. So far as the nature of the body allows it, she thus produces an image of the man, as the painter himself makes an image of the body; she produces, I repeat, an inferior man (the sense-man, the animal), which possesses the form of man, his reasons, morals, dispositions, faculties, although in an imperfect manner, because he is not the first man (the intellectual man). He has sensations of another kind; sensations which, though they seem clear, are obscure, if they be compared to the superior sensations of which they are the images. The superior man (the reasonable man) is better, has a diviner soul, and clearer sensations. It is he doubtless to whom Plato refers (when he says, Man is the soul); in his definition he adds, "which makes use of the body," because the diviner man dominates the soul which uses the body, and thus uses the body only in an indirect manner.

NATURE OF THE COMBINATION BEGOTTEN BY THE SOUL.

In fact, the soul attaches herself to the thing begotten by the soul, because she was capable of feeling. The soul does this by vivifying it more; or rather, the soul does not attach herself thereto, but draws it to herself. She does not depart from the intelligible world, but even while remaining in contact with it, she holds the inferior soul (which constitutes the sense-man) suspended to herself; and by her reason she blends herself with this reason (or, she unites herself to this being by her "being"). That is why this man (known by the senses), who by himself is obscure, is enlightened by this illumination.