15 But since ye are about to consider whether this is only a dream, do ye learn the meaning thereof. Plato gives the name gods to those that are visible, the sun and moon, the stars and the heavens, but these are only the likenesses of the invisible gods. The sun which is visible to our eyes is the likeness of the intelligible and invisible sun, and again the moon which is visible to our eyes and every one of the stars are likenesses of the intelligible. Accordingly Plato knows of those intelligible and invisible gods which are immanent in and coexist with the creator himself and were begotten and proceeded from him. Naturally, therefore, the creator in Plato`s account says gods when he is addressing the invisible beings, and of gods, meaning by this, evidently, the visible gods. And the common creator of both these is he who fashioned the heavens and |339 the earth and the sea and the stars, and begat in the intelligible world the archetypes of these.
16 Observe then that what follows is well said also. For, he says, there remain three kinds of mortal things, meaning, evidently, human beings, animals and plants; for each one of these has been denned by its own peculiar definition. Now, he goes on to say, if each one of these also should come to exist by me, it would of necessity become immortal. And indeed, in the case of the intelligible gods and the visible universe, no other cause for their immortality exists than that they came into existence by the act of the creator. When, therefore, he says, Such part of them as is immortal must needs be given to these by the creator, he means the reasoning soul. For the rest, he says, do ye weave mortal with immortal. It is therefore clear that the creative gods received from their father their creative power and so begat on earth all living things that are mortal. For if there were to be no difference between the heavens and mankind and animals too, by Zeus, and all the way down to the very tribe of creeping things and the little fish that swim in the sea, then there would have had to be one and the same creator for them all. But if there is a great gulf fixed between immortals and mortals, and this cannot become greater by addition or less by subtraction, nor can it be mixed with what is mortal and subject to fate, it follows that one set of gods were the creative cause of mortals, and another of immortals.