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Section 39

39. Since the Supreme has no interval, no self-differentiation what can have this intuitional approach to it but itself? Therefore it quite naturally assumes difference at the point where Intellectual-Principle and Being are differentiated.

Intellect, to act at all, must inevitably comport difference with identity; otherwise it could not distinguish itself from its object by standing apart from it, nor could it ever be aware of the realm of things whose existence demands otherness, nor could there be so much as a duality.

Again, if the Supreme is to have intellection it cannot know only itself; that would not be intellection, for, if it did know itself, nothing could prevent it knowing all things; but this is impossible. With self-intellection it would no longer be simplex; any intellection, even in the Supreme, must be aware of something distinct; as we have been saying, the inability to see the self as external is the negation of intellection. That act requires a manifold-agent, object, movement and all the other conditions of a thinking principle. Further we must remember what has been indicated elsewhere that, since every intellectual act in order to be what it must be requires variety, every movement simple and the same throughout, though it may comport some form of contact, is devoid of the intellective.

It follows that the Supreme will know neither itself nor anything else but will hold an august repose. All the rest is later; before them all, This was what This was; any awareness of that other would be acquired, the shifting knowledge of the instable. Even in knowing the stable he would be manifold, for it is not possible that, while in the act of knowing the laters possess themselves of their object, the Supreme should know only in some unpossessing observation.

As regards Providence, that is sufficiently saved by the fact that This is the source from which all proceeds; the dependent he cannot know when he has no knowledge of himself but keeps that august repose. Plato dealing with essential Being allows it intellection but not this august repose: intellection then belongs to Essential Being; this august repose to the Principle in which there is no intellection. Repose, of course, is used here for want of a fitter word; we are to understand that the most august, the truly so, is That which transcends [the movement of] Intellection.

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