The human soul, coming from eternity into life, has not forgotten altogether “the sea of beauty” of which it had once enjoyed the vision. All beautiful things remind us of it, and (once more to quote Wordsworth):
“Hence in a season of calm weather,
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither.”
Thus all men possess a natural yearning for beauty, however much their glimpses of it may have been darkened and distorted by their earthly experiences, and in their beloved they are seeing the reflection of the reality of beauty. The procreant impulse is part of man’s yearning for immortality; it is out of goodness and beauty that the immortal is to be begotten.
With Plato’s political views as expressed especially in the “Republic” we shall be able to deal more fully in the next chapter, when we come to consider the political