Sacred Texts  Classics  Index  Previous  Next 

Section 7

7. The contemplating of God, we might answer.

But to admit its knowing God is to be compelled to admit its self-knowing. It will know what it holds from God, what God has given forth or may; with this knowledge, it knows itself at the stroke, for it is itself one of those given things- in fact is all of them. Knowing God and His power, then, it knows itself, since it comes from Him and carries His power upon it; if, because here the act of vision is identical with the object, it is unable to see God clearly, then all the more, by the equation of seeing and seen, we are driven back upon that self-seeing and self-knowing in which seeing and thing seen are undistinguishably one thing.

And what else is there to attribute to it?

Repose, no doubt; but, to an Intellectual-Principle, Repose is not an abdication from intellect; its Repose is an Act, the act of abstention from the alien: in all forms of existence repose from the alien leaves the characteristic activity intact, especially where the Being is not merely potential but fully realized.

In the Intellectual-Principle, the Being is an Act and in the absence of any other object it must be self-directed; by this self-intellection it holds its Act within itself and upon itself; all that can emanate from it is produced by this self-centering and self-intention; first- self-gathered, it then gives itself or gives something in its likeness; fire must first be self-centred and be fire, true to fire's natural Act; then it may reproduce itself elsewhere.

Once more, then; the Intellectual-Principle is a self-intent activity, but soul has the double phase, one inner, intent upon the Intellectual-Principle, the other outside it and facing to the external; by the one it holds the likeness to its source; by the other, even in its unlikeness, it still comes to likeness in this sphere, too, by virtue of action and production; in its action it still contemplates, and its production produces Ideal-forms- divine intellections perfectly wrought out- so that all its creations are representations of the divine Intellection and of the divine Intellect, moulded upon the archetype, of which all are emanations and images, the nearer more true, the very latest preserving some faint likeness of the source.

Next: Section 8