Ah, a beautiful battle of thought. The medium must know itself in the unfolding of the poetic voice. Yes, Cato points the way up, but you are wrong in that he will stay where he is! After all, purgatory gives everyone redemption. Cato will move on, eventually! He has been forgiven his sin. For at this pathway to the mountain, Cato is urging Moral purification. He is saying to begin again...in forgiveness!
Appreciate what the good must be...
Love too much?
Love too little?
Love the wrong thing?
How do we measure?
What is the symbolic significance of Cato being the general guardian at the foot of the mountain?
I was thinking about the Roman virtues to look into this question. Because I figure Cato, being a Roman of strict values would have adhered to these virtues as a means to climb the mountain of vices ahead.
Auctoritas--"Spiritual Authority": The sense of one's social standing, built up through experience, Pietas, and Industria.
Comitas--"Humor": Ease of manner, courtesy, openness, and friendliness.
Clementia--"Mercy": Mildness and gentleness.
Dignitas--"Dignity": A sense of self-worth, personal pride.
Firmitas--"Tenacity": Strength of mind, the ability to stick to one's purpose.
Frugalitas--"Frugalness": Economy and simplicity of style, without being miserly.
Gravitas--"Gravity": A sense of the importance of the matter at hand, responsibility and earnestness.
Honestas--"Respectibility": The image that one presents as a respectable member of society.
Humanitas--"Humanity": Refinement, civilization, learning, and being cultured.
Industria--"Industriousness": Hard work.
Pietas--"Dutifulness": More than religious piety; a respect for the natural order socially, politically, and religiously. Includes the ideas of patriotism and devotion to others.
Prudentia--"Prudence": Foresight, wisdom, and personal discretion.
Salubritas--"Wholesomeness": Health and cleanliness.
Severitas--"Sternness": Gravity, self-control.
Veritas--"Truthfulness": Honesty in dealing with others.