The present world was but temporary, and their true life was in the future.
A mighty power impelled men to deny themselves in the service of others, and to find in this service their own true life.
Thus he describes the body (which, after Epicurus, he calls the flesh) as a mere husk or fetter or prison of the soul; with its departure begins the soul's true life.
The ghost has now been brought back to much of true life again by the skill of the most scrupulous of all restorers, Cavaliere Cavenaghi, who, acting under the authority of a competent commission, and after long and patient experiment, found it possible to secure to the wall the innumerable blistered, mildewed and half-detached flakes and scales of the original work that yet remained, to clear the surface thus obtained of much of the obliterating accretions due to decay and mishandling, and to bring the whole to unity by touching tenderly in with tempera the spots and spaces actually left bare.
It is in contemplating the abstract reality which concrete things obscurely exhibit, the type or ideal which they imperfectly imitate, that the true life of the mind in man must consist; and as man is most truly man in proportion as he is mind, the desire of one's own good, which Plato, following Socrates, held to be permanent and essential in every living thing, becomes in its highest form the philosophic yearning for knowledge.