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Section 8

8. If, then, the Intellection is an act upon the inner content [of a perfect unity], that content is at once the Idea [as object: eidos] and the Idea itself [as concept: idea].

What, then, is that content?

An Intellectual-Principle and an Intellective Essence, no concept distinguishable from the Intellectual-Principle, each actually being that Principle. The Intellectual-Principle entire is the total of the Ideas, and each of them is the [entire] Intellectual-Principle in a special form. Thus a science entire is the total of the relevant considerations each of which, again, is a member of the entire science, a member not distinct in space yet having its individual efficacy in a total.

This Intellectual-Principle, therefore, is a unity while by that possession of itself it is, tranquilly, the eternal abundance.

If the Intellectual-Principle were envisaged as preceding Being, it would at once become a principle whose expression, its intellectual Act, achieves and engenders the Beings: but, since we are compelled to think of existence as preceding that which knows it, we can but think that the Beings are the actual content of the knowing principle and that the very act, the intellection, is inherent to the Beings, as fire stands equipped from the beginning with fire-act; in this conception, the Beings contain the Intellectual-Principle as one and the same with themselves, as their own activity. Thus, Being is itself an activity: there is one activity, then, in both or, rather, both are one thing.

Being, therefore, and the Intellectual-Principle are one Nature: the Beings, and the Act of that which is, and the Intellectual-Principle thus constituted, all are one: and the resultant Intellections are the Idea of Being and its shape and its act.

It is our separating habit that sets the one order before the other: for there is a separating intellect, of another order than the true, distinct from the intellect, inseparable and unseparating, which is Being and the universe of things.

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