Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



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CHAPTER  VII.                              71

If man were created for the purpose of acting, his
organs would be difi'erent, as actions are different in
consequence of the difference of the three primary forces.
However, bodily nature is bent upon acting on account
of its essential opposition to knowing. Besides, it
wishes to invest action with pileasures which in reality
are pains. But knowledge is such as to leave this
nature behind itself prostrated on the earth like an
opponent, and removes all darkness from the soul as
an ecli23se or clouds are removed from the sun."

This resembles the opinion of Socrates, who thinks Quotation
that the soul "being with the body, and wishing to pimdo.
inquire into something, then is deceived by the body.
But by cogitations something of its desires becomes
clear to it. Therefore, its cogitation takes place in that
time when it is not disturbed by anything like hearing,
seeing, or by any pain or pleasure, when it is quite by
itself, and has as much as possible quitted the body
and its companionship. In particular, the soul of the
philosopher scorns the body, and wishes to be separate
from it."

" If we in this our life did not make use of the body,
nor had anything in common with it except in cases of
necessity, if we were not inoculated with its nature,
but were perfectly free from it, we should come near
knoioledge by getting rest from the ignorance of the
body, and we should become pure by knowing our¬
selves as far as God would permit us. And it is only
right to acknowledge that this is the truth."

Now we return and continue our quotation from the xhe iwcess

book Gitd.                                                                                   ridge al"

" Likewise the other organs of the senses serve for ^°i^"'nd*^°
acquiring knowledge.    The knowiiig person rejoices in l^^^^^^^
turning them to and fro on the field of knowledge, so
that they are his spies.    The apprenhension of the senses
is different according to time.    The senses which serve
the heart perceive only that which  is  present.    The
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