Chapter 3 of Book 10

The Immortality of the Soul Icon

September 28, 2020

Imitation is only a kind of play or sport. The tragic poets are imitators in the highest degree. Imitation is concerned with that which is thrice removed from the truth. Imitation addresses what faculty in man?

A body is large when seen near and appears small when seen from afar. The same object appears straight when seen out of the water, and crooked when in the water. The concave becomes convex due to the illusion on colours to which the sight is liable.

Thus, every confusion is revealed to come from within us. This is that weakness in the inferior part of the human mind that is imposed on by illusory tricks which affects us like magic.


The arts of measuring, counting, and weighing come to the rescue of the human understanding. These free us from the uncertainty of greater or less, or more or heavier. The better part of the soul to measure and calculation.

The imitative art is an inferior one who marries an inferior, and has inferior offspring. This inferiority extends itself to sight and hearing with regards to poetry. Imitation imitates the actions of men, whether voluntary or involuntary. This results in a man not being in unity with himself.