THE soul is then, O Ammon, an essence having its end in itself, receiving from the beginning the life prepared for her, and attracting to herself, as a material, a certain reason endowed with passion and desire. Passion is a matter; if it enters into accord with the intelligent part of the soul, it becomes courage, and does not yield to fear. Desire also is a matter; in association with the rational part of the soul, it becomes aspiration and yields not to voluptuousness. For reason enlightens the blindness of desire. When the faculties of the soul are thus co-ordinated under the supremacy of reason, they produce justice. The government of the faculties of the soul belongs to the Intellectual Principle which subsists in itself in its provident reason, having for authority its own reason. It governs all like a magistrate; its provident reason serves it as counsellor. The reason of this Principle is the cognizance of the reasons which furnish the image of rationality to the irrational; an image relatively obscure when compared with reason, but rational when compared to the irrational, as an echo compared to a voice, or the light of the moon compared to that of the sun. Passion and desire are ordained according to a certain reason; they mutually attract each other, and establish between them a circulatory current of thought. Every soul is immortal, and always in movement. For we have seen that movements proceed either from energies or from bodies. We have seen, also, that the soul, being incorporeal, proceeds not from any matter, but from an essence incorporeal itself. Everything that is born is necessarily produced by some other thing. Two movements necessarily accompany everything the generation of which involves decay; that of the soul which moves it, and that of the body which augments, diminishes, and decomposes it, in decomposing itself. It is thus that I define the movement of perishable bodies. But the soul is perpetually in motion, without cessation she moves and produces movement. Thus every soul is immortal and always in motion, moved by her own activity. There are three species in souls: divine, human, and irrational. The divine soul abides in a divine form, it is therein that she has her energy; therein she moves and acts. When this soul separates herself from mortal creatures, she forsakes her irrational parts and enters into the divine form; and, as she is always in motion, she is borne along in the universal movement. The human soul has also something divine, but she is bound to irrational elements desire and passion; these elements are undying, because they are energies; but they are energies of mortal bodies, therefore they are removed from the divine part of the soul, which inhabits the divine form. When this divine part enters into a mortal body and meets therein these irrational elements, she becomes, by means of their presence, a human soul. The soul of animals is composed of passion and desire, therefore the animals are called brutes, because their soul is deprived of reason. The fourth species in soul, that possessed by inanimate creatures, is placed outside the bodies actuated. This soul moves in the divine form, and impels it passively.
147:1 The above fragment appears to me extremely obscure and unsatisfactory. I include it in the series of Hermetic writings because it is quoted as such by Stobæus, but it certainly needs much interpretation and explanation, if it be indeed genuine.
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