The Nature of the Soul

Cicero

Cicero

It’s impossible to locate an earthly origin of souls. There’s nothing mixed or compounded in souls, they’re not earth or made of earth. They’re not even moist or airy or fiery. There’s nothing in these elements that accounts for the power of memory, mind or thought, that recalls the past, foresees the future or comprehends the present. These faculties are divine; you won’t find a way for them to get to man except from god. The natural power of the soul is therefore unique, distinct from the usual and familiar elements. Whatever it is that thinks, knows, lives and grows must be heavenly, divine, and therefore eternal. And god, who is recognized by us, can only be recognized by a mind that is free and unencumbered, distinct from any mortal compound, sensing all and setting all in motion, itself endowed with eternal movement. The human mind consists of the same element, the same nature.—Marcus Tullius Cicero, Consolation