Stolen Legacy

Page 98

Page 98

(b) The doctrine of the Nous or World Soul.

This teaches that the universe are living animals and that they are endowed with the most perfect and intelligent souls; that if God had made the world as perfect as the nature of matter allowed, that He must have endowed it with a perfect soul. This soul acts as mediator between the Ideas and natural phenomena, and is the cause of life, motion, order, and knowledge in the universe. (Timaeus, 30, 35).

(c) The doctrine of a Demiurgos in Creation (Cosmology)

In the myth of creation found in the Timaeus, we find the doctrine on Creation, as it is ascribed to Plato's authorship, as follows:--

Out of chaos, which was ruled by necessity, God the Demiurgos or Creator, made order, by fashioning the phenomena of matter according to the eternal prototypes (i.e., the Ideas) in as perfect a manner, as the imperfection of matter would allow. He next created the Gods, and ordered them to fashion the body of man, while He himself, made the soul of man, from the same material as that of the world soul.

The soul of man is a self-moving principle and is responsible for life, motion and consciousness in the body.

(Myth of creation in Timaeus; Wm. Turner's Hist. of Philosophy, p. 109-110).

(II) The Ethical Doctrines

The ethical doctrines that have been attributed to Plato are (A) that of the highest good, i.e., the Summum Bonum (B) the connotation of virtue and (C) the reduction of the virtues to four and the place of wisdom among them (A) as something subjective, and as an earthly experience, the highest good is happiness: but as an objective attainment, it is the Idea of good, and consequently identified with God.

Therefore the purpose of man's life is freedom from the fetters of the body, in which the soul is confined, and the practice of virtue and wisdom, makes him like a God, even while on earth.