January 6, 2009

3 Sentences of Porphyry

15. "Memory is not the conservation of mental images, but a putting forth again of what the mind formerly entertained."

16. "The soul contains the reasons for all things, and busies itself with them when called to the task by something else. Either that or it turns to them inwardly, at its own behest. When summoned from without, it tallies sensory perceptions against external facts; when turning inward, it deals with conceptions of the intellect. External perception is not possible without some affection of a living being's sense-organs, and in like manner the operations of the intellect are impossible without imagination. By this analogy, the 'imprint' is accessory to the living sense in the same way that imagination accompanies the soul's intellectual activity."

28. "Containment of the incorporeal within a body cannot be like the beast's enclosure in its den; the body is altogether incapable of encaging or comprehending it in this way. Nor can the incorporeal be contained like air or fluid in a bladder. Rather, it necessarily subsists in its union with outward-tending faculties that direct its descent and implication into a body. In this way does an unspecifiable extension of the incorporeal produce its connection to the body. Nothing binds it but itself, and what liberates it is not the destruction of the body, but its self-guided turn away from sharing the body's sufferings."