1. The living beings in heaven are constituted of fire and air, (43) and those which are on earth of the four elements, (44) Man is a reasonable living being, (45) for he has Nous; (46) but all of he other living beings which are endowed with voice (47) have breath and soul, since all that decreases and increases is a living being. (48)
2. And among the living beings, some are immortal and animated, (49) some have Nous, soul and spirit, some have only spirit, some have soul and spirit, others only life. (50) For life can acquire consistency without spirit, Nous, soul and immortality, but all of the others without life cannot possibly exist. (51)
- The living beings in heaven are constituted of fire and air, (43: SH 26.30 “For fire and breath, naturally rising, rush to the soul that belongs to the same upper region. Conversely, the moist and earthly elements, naturally descending, take up residence in the body that belongs to the same environment.”) and those which are on earth of the four elements, (44: SH 2A.1-2 “ …For a human being is an imperfect animal composed of imperfect members, a tent made up of foreign and multiple bodies…  Among these eternal bodies, the bodies themselves are true: fire is solely essential fire and nothing else; earth is essential earth and nothing else; air is essential air; water is essential water and nothing else. Yet our bodies are constructed of these elements. They possess a share of fire, a share of earth, a share of water, and a share of air…”) Man is a reasonable living being, (45: CH 8.1 “…Death has to do with destruction, yet none of the things in the cosmos is destroyed. If the cosmos is a second God and an immortal living thing, it is impossible for any part of this immortal living thing to die. All things in the cosmos are parts of the cosmos, but especially mankind, the living thing that reasons.”) for he has Nous; (46: SH 20.4 “A being is called a ‘lifeform’ because it has life; it is called ‘rational’ due to consciousness, and ‘mortal’ because of the body. So the soul is without body and wields an infallible power. For how can one call something a ‘lifeform’ if it does not have the reality that provides life? What’s more, one could not call it rational without there being a reflective reality that provides intelligent life.”) but all of the other living beings which are endowed with voice (47: CH 13.13 “Tat- ‘Father, I see the universe and I see myself in mind.’ Hermēs- ‘This, my child, is rebirth; no longer picturing hints in three bodily dimensions. . . . through this discourse on being born again that I have noted down for you alone to avoid casting it all before the mob but to give it to those whom god himself wishes.’”) have breath and soul, since all that decreases and increases is a living being. (48: CH 4.11 “But everything generated is imperfect and divisible, subject to increase and decrease. None of this happens to what is perfect. And what can be increased takes increase front the monad, but it is defeated by its own weakness, no longer able to make room for the monad…”; CH 12.18 “Therefore, my child, you should know that everywhere in the cosmos everything is moved, either by decrease or by increase. What is moved also lives…”)
- And among the living beings, some are immortal and animated, (49: CH 10.11 “The immobility of mind initiates the motion of matter in this way: Since the cosmos is a sphere – a head, that is – and since there is nothing material above the head just as there is nothing of mind below the feet, where all is matter, and since mind is a head which is moved spherically – in the manner of a head, that is – things joined to the membrane of this head, in which is the soul, are by nature immortal, as if they have more soul than body because body has been made in soul; hints far away from the membrane, however, are mortal, because they have more body than soul; thus, every living being, and likewise the universe, has been constituted of the material and the mental.”) some have Nous, soul and spirit, some have only spirit, some have soul and spirit, others only life. (50: Contrary to CH 12.12: “Notice this also, my child, that to mankind – but not to any other mortal animals – god has granted these two things, mind [Nous] and reasoned speech [Logos], which are worth as much as immortality. Mankind also has the speech that he utters. If one uses these gifts as he should, nothing will distinguish him from the immortals; instead, when he has left the body, both these gifts will guide him tot he troop of the gods and the blessed.”) For life can acquire consistency without spirit, Nous, soul and immortality, but all of the others without life cannot possibly exist. (51: AH 35 “Every class of being, O Asclepius, whether mortal or immortal, rational or irrational, whether endowed with a soul or without a soul, each will have the characteristics belonging to its archetype. And although each being has the whole form of its archetype, yet each individual from the same form differs from the others. Although archetypal man has one form, so that a man may be known as such by his appearance, nevertheless within that same form individual men differ from each other. For the ideal form, being divine, is incorporeal, as is everything which is apprehended by mind. Since therefore there are two elements of which forms consist, the corporeal and incorporeal, it is impossible for any form to come into existence exactly similar to any other form at different points of time and place. Indeed, they are changed as often as the hour has moments, during the turning of the circle in which He dwells, who has all form, whom we have called God. So the ideal form is permanent and brings forth from itself as many and as diverse images as the revolution of the cosmos has moments, for the universe itself changes in the course of its revolution, but he ideal form itself neither changes nor revolves. Thus the forms of every class persist but there are different within the same form.” -Salaman)
-Footnoted quotes from the CH, SH, and AH are by Copenhaver and Litwa unless specified.