The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).
clear, or is trammelled and obscure.  And this union is that which we call Love, whereby it is possible to know that which is within the Soul, by looking at those whom it loves in the world without.  This Love, which is the union of my Soul with that gentle Lady in whom so much of the Divine Light was revealed to me, is that speaker of whom I speak; since from him continuous thoughts were born, whilst gazing at and considering the wondrous power of this Lady who was spiritually made one with my Soul.

The place in which I say that he thus speaks is the Mind.  But in saying that it is the Mind, one does not attach more meaning to this than before; and therefore it is to be seen what this Mind properly signifies.  I say, then, that the Philosopher, in the second book on the Soul, when speaking of its powers, says that the Soul principally has three powers, which are, to Live, to Feel, and to Reason:  and he says also to Move, but it is possible to make this one with feeling, since every Soul moves that feels, either with all the senses or with one alone; for the power to move is conjoined with feeling.  And according to that which he says, it is most evident that these powers are so entwined that the one is a foundation of the other; and that which is the foundation can of itself be divided; but the other, which is built upon it, cannot be apart from its foundation.  Therefore, the Vegetative power, whereby one lives, is the foundation upon which one feels, that is, sees, hears, tastes, smells, and touches; and this vegetative power of itself can be the Soul, vegetative, as we see in all the plants.  The Sensitive cannot exist without that.  We find nothing that feels, and does not live.  And this Sensitive power is the foundation of the Intellectual, that is, of the Reason; so that, in animate mortals, the Reasoning power is not found without the Sensitive.  But the Sensitive is found without Reason, as in the beasts, and in the birds, and in the fishes, and in any brute animal, as we see.  And that Soul which contains all these powers is the most perfect of all.  And the Human Soul possessing the nobility of the highest power, which is Reason, participates in the Divine Nature, after the manner of an eternal Intelligence:  for the Soul is ennobled and denuded of matter by that Sovereign Power in proportion as the Divine Light of Truth shines into it, as into an Angel; and Man is therefore called by the Philosophers the Divine Animal.

In this most noble part of the Soul are many virtues, as the Philosopher says, especially in the third chapter of the Soul, where he says that there is in it a virtue which is called Scientific, and one which is called Ratiocinative, or rather deliberative; and with this there are certain virtues, as Aristotle says in that same place, such as the Inventive and the Judging.  And all these most noble virtues, and the others which are in that excellent power, are designated by that one word, which we sought to understand, that is, Mind.  Wherefore it is evident that by Mind is meant the highest, noblest part of a man’s Soul.

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The Banquet (Il Convito) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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