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Section 2

2. Enough on that point: we come now to the question of memory of the personality?

There will not even be memory of the personality; no thought that the contemplator is the self- Socrates, for example- or that it is Intellect or Soul. In this connection it should be borne in mind that, in contemplative vision, especially when it is vivid, we are not at the time aware of our own personality; we are in possession of ourselves but the activity is towards the object of vision with which the thinker becomes identified; he has made himself over as matter to be shaped; he takes ideal form under the action of the vision while remaining, potentially, himself. This means that he is actively himself when he has intellection of nothing.

Or, if he is himself [pure and simple], he is empty of all: if, on the contrary, he is himself [by the self-possession of contemplation] in such a way as to be identified with what is all, then by the act of self-intellection he has the simultaneous intellection of all: in such a case self-intuition by personal activity brings the intellection, not merely of the self, but also of the total therein embraced; and similarly the intuition of the total of things brings that of the personal self as included among all.

But such a process would appear to introduce into the Intellectual that element of change against which we ourselves have only now been protesting?

The answer is that, while unchangeable identity is essential to the Intellectual-Principle, the soul, lying so to speak on the borders of the Intellectual Realm, is amenable to change; it has, for example, its inward advance, and obviously anything that attains position near to something motionless does so by a change directed towards that unchanging goal and is not itself motionless in the same degree. Nor is it really change to turn from the self to the constituents of self or from those constituents to the self; and in this case the contemplator is the total; the duality has become unity.

None the less the soul, even in the Intellectual Realm, is under the dispensation of a variety confronting it and a content of its own?

No: once pure in the Intellectual, it too possesses that same unchangeableness: for it possesses identity of essence; when it is in that region it must of necessity enter into oneness with the Intellectual-Principle by the sheer fact of its self-orientation, for by that intention all interval disappears; the soul advances and is taken into unison, and in that association becomes one with the Intellectual-Principle- but not to its own destruction: the two are one, and two. In such a state there is no question of stage and change: the soul, without motion [but by right of its essential being] would be intent upon its intellectual act, and in possession, simultaneously, of its self-awareness; for it has become one simultaneous existence with the Supreme.

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