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Section 12

12. It may be urged that all the multiplicity and development are the work of Nature, but that, since there is wisdom within the All, there must be also, by the side of such natural operation, acts of reasoning and of memory.

But this is simply a human error which assumes wisdom to be what in fact is unwisdom, taking the search for wisdom to be wisdom itself. For what can reasoning be but a struggle, the effort to discover the wise course, to attain the principle which is true and derives from real-being? To reason is like playing the cithara for the sake of achieving the art, like practising with a view to mastery, like any learning that aims at knowing. What reasoners seek, the wise hold: wisdom, in a word, is a condition in a being that possesses repose. Think what happens when one has accomplished the reasoning process: as soon as we have discovered the right course, we cease to reason: we rest because we have come to wisdom. If then we are to range the leading principle of the All among learners, we must allow it reasonings, perplexities and those acts of memory which link the past with the present and the future: if it is to be considered as a knower, then the wisdom within it consists in a rest possessing the object [absolved, therefore, from search and from remembrance].

Again, if the leading principle of the universe knows the future as it must- then obviously it will know by what means that future is to come about; given this knowledge, what further need is there of its reasoning towards it, or confronting past with present? And, of course, this knowledge of things to come- admitting it to exist- is not like that of the diviners; it is that of the actual causing principles holding the certainty that the thing will exist, the certainty inherent in the all-disposers, above perplexity and hesitancy; the notion is constituent and therefore unvarying. The knowledge of future things is, in a word, identical with that of the present; it is a knowledge in repose and thus a knowledge transcending the processes of cogitation.

If the leading principle of the universe does not know the future which it is of itself to produce, it cannot produce with knowledge or to purpose; it will produce just what happens to come, that is to say by haphazard. As this cannot be, it must create by some stable principle; its creations, therefore, will be shaped in the model stored up in itself; there can be no varying, for, if there were, there could also be failure.

The produced universe will contain difference, but its diversities spring not from its own action but from its obedience to superior principles which, again, spring from the creating power, so that all is guided by Reason-Principles in their series; thus the creating power is in no sense subjected to experimenting, to perplexity, to that preoccupation which to some minds makes the administration of the All seem a task of difficulty. Preoccupation would obviously imply the undertaking of alien tasks, some business- that would mean- not completely within the powers; but where the power is sovereign and sole, it need take thought of nothing but itself and its own will, which means its own wisdom, since in such a being the will is wisdom. Here, then, creating makes no demand, since the wisdom that goes to it is not sought elsewhere, but is the creator's very self, drawing on nothing outside- not, therefore, on reasoning or on memory, which are handlings of the external.

Next: Section 13