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Section 18

18. But in what way is the content of Intellectual-Principle participant in good? Is it because each member of it is an Idea or because of their beauty or how?

Anything coming from The Good carries the image and type belonging to that original or deriving from it, as anything going back to warmth or sweetness carries the memory of those originals: Life entered into Intellectual-Principle from The Supreme, for its origin is in the Activity streaming Thence; Intellectual-Principle springs from the Supreme, and with it the beauty of the Ideas; at once all these, Life, Intellectual-Principle, Idea, must inevitably have goodness.

But what is the common element in them? Derivation from the First is not enough to procure identical quality; there must be some element held in common by the things derived: one source may produce many differing things as also one outgoing thing may take difference in various recipients: what enters into the First Act is different from what that Act transmits and there is difference, again, in the effect here. Nonetheless every item may be good in a degree of its own. To what, then, is the highest degree due?

But first we must ask whether Life is a good, bare Life, or only the Life streaming Thence, very different from the Life known here? Once more, then, what constitutes the goodness of Life?

The Life of The Good, or rather not its Life but that given forth from it.

But if in that higher Life there must be something from That, something which is the Authentic Life, we must admit that since nothing worthless can come Thence Life in itself is good; so too we must admit, in the case of Authentic Intellectual-Principle, that its Life because good derives from that First; thus it becomes clear that every Idea is good and informed by the Good. The Ideas must have something of good, whether as a common property or as a distinct attribution or as held in some distinct measure.

Thus it is established that the particular Idea contains in its essence something of good and thereby becomes a good thing; for Life we found to be good not in the bare being but in its derivation from the Authentic, the Supreme whence it sprung: and the same is true of Intellectual-Principle: we are forced therefore admit a certain identity.

When, with all their differences, things may be affirmed to have a measure of identity, the matter of the identity may very well be established in their very essence and yet be mentally abstracted; thus life in man or horse yields the notion of animal; from water or fire we may get that of warmth; the first case is a definition of Kind, the other two cite qualities, primary and secondary respectively. Both or one part of Intellect, then, would be called by the one term good.

Is The Good, then, inherent in the Ideas essentially? Each of them is good but the goodness is not that of the Unity-Good. How, then, is it present?

By the mode of parts.

But The Good is without parts?

No doubt The Good is a unity; but here it has become particularized. The First Activity is good and anything determined in accord with it is good as also is any resultant. There is the good that is good by origin in The First, the good that is in an ordered system derived from that earlier, and the good that is in the actualization [in the thing participant]. Derived, then, not identical- like the speech and walk and other characteristics of one man, each playing its due part.

Here, it is obvious, goodness depends upon order, rhythm, but what equivalent exists There?

We might answer that in the case of the sense-order, too, the good is imposed since the ordering is of things different from the Orderer but that There the very things are good.

But why are they thus good in themselves? We cannot be content with the conviction of their goodness on the ground of their origin in that realm: we do not deny that things deriving Thence are good, but our subject demands that we discover the mode by which they come to possess that goodness.

Next: Section 19