6. — Em que sentido, então, empregamos «Uno», e como podemos acordá-lo a nossa intelecção? — É preciso entender «Uno» em sentidos numerosos que aqueles que fazem dizer que a unidade e o ponto são «unos». Pois, nestes dois casos, a alma, em subtraindo a grandeza e a multiplicidade numérica, chega ao que é o menor, e se apoia então sobre algo que é indivisível, mas que estava no divisível e logo que é em alguma outra coisa, enquanto o Uno não é nem «em um outro», nem no divisível, que também não é individual à maneira disto que há de menor. Com efeito, é a coisa maior de todas, não quanto a sua grandeza, mas quanto a seu poder, de sorte que mesmo o fato de não ter grandeza depende de seu poder. Pois mesmo as coisas que vêm depois dele são indivisíveis e desprovidas de partes quanto a seu poder, mas não quanto a sua massa. É preciso admitir ainda que é ilimitado, não porque não consegue medir a grandeza ou o número, mas em razão da ilimitação de seu poder. Com efeito se o concebes como Intelecto ou como deus, é mais que isso. E se, além do mais, o unificas pela razão, aí ainda é mais que o possas te representar dele, porque tem mais unidade que a noção que tens dele; com efeito, é por si e não tem nenhum atributo. E se poderia ainda conceber sua unidade por meio da noção de autarcia. Pois é preciso que seja a coisa mais independente, a mais autárcica e a mais desprovida de necessidade de todas. Tudo isto que é multiplicidade permanece na necessidade, tanto tempo quanto, de multiplicidade que era, não se tornou uno; logo é sua própria realidade que tem necessidade de ser una. Mas o Uno não tem necessidade dele mesmo, pois é ele mesmo. E certamente, as coisas que são múltiplas têm necessidade de tudo isto que faz parte desta multiplicidade; e cada uma das coisas nesta multiplicidade, na medida em que ela é com as outras coisas e não nela mesma, posto que ela tem necessidade das outras coisas, introduz a necessidade desta multiplicidade, assim como em cada uma de suas partes quanto em sua totalidade. Logo, se é preciso que haja algo que seja totalmente autárcico, isto deve ser o Uno, posto que ele é o único que é tal que não tem qualquer necessidade, nem em relação a ele mesmo, nem em relação a outra coisa. Com efeito, não busca algo que lhe permita ser, nem algo que lhe permita bem-estar, nem algo que lhe permita ser estabelecido lá. Pois, como é causa das outras coisas, não recebe delas o que ele é; quanto a seu bem-estar, como poderia se encontrar fora dele? Seu bem-estar não lhe pertence portanto por acidente, pois coincide com ele. Além do mais, não ocupa nenhum lugar, pois não tem necessidade de um lugar onde se estabelecer em alguma parte, é de preferência o ser inanimado e a massa que cai, na medida que não está estabelecida em alguma parte. É em virtude dele que as outras coisas são estabelecidas em um lugar, e é dele que têm sua existência ao mesmo tempo que o lugar ao qual elas estão designadas. Além do mais, buscar um lugar, é estar na necessidade; um princípio não tem necessidade das coisas que vêm depois dele, e o princípio de todas as coisas é aquele que não tem necessidade de nenhuma coisa. Com efeito, o que está na necessidade está na necessidade porque deseja o princípio; mas se o Uno tivesse necessidade de algo, buscaria, é evidente, a não ser mais uno, de sorte que teria necessidade disto que o destruiria. Ora, tudo o que se diz estar na necessidade, tem necessidade de bem-estar e disto que pode garantir sua salvaguarda. Logo segue-se que não há para o Uno nenhum bem, nem, em consequência, nenhuma vontade do que quer que seja; mas está acima do bem e é o bem não para ele mesmo, mas para as outras coisas, se uma delas pode participar nele. Para ele, não há nem intelecção, afim que não haja nele nenhuma alteridade, nem movimento, pois é anterior ao movimento e à intelecção. Com efeito, que poderia ele bem pensar? Ele mesmo? Antes de pensar, seria portanto ignorante, e teria então necessidade da intelecção para se conhecer ele mesmo, ele que, no entanto, se basta a ele mesmo. Não é porque não se conhece que que não se pensa que teria a ignorância nele; pois, para que haja ignorância, é preciso que haja outro ser, e que um ignore o outro. Em revanche, o que é só não conhece, e nada tem que ignore, mas sendo um e unido a ele mesmo, não tem necessidade de se conhecer ele mesmo. Em consequência, não é preciso nem mesmo lhe adicionar «o fato de ser consigo», para lhe conservar a unidade; as é preciso também lhe retirar o ato de pensar, o fato de ser consigo e a intelecção de si como das outras coisas; pois não é preciso o pôr ao nível daquele que pensa, mas de preferência ao nível do pensamento. O pensamento não pensa, mas é a causa que faz que um outro pense, e o que é causa não é idêntico ao que é causado. Ora, a causa de todas as coisas não coincide com nenhuma dentre elas. Logo não é preciso nem mesmo dizer que é o bem que ele confere; mas é em outro sentido que é o bem: aquele que está acima dos outros bens.
6. In what sense, then, do we assert this Unity, and how is it to be adjusted to our mental processes?
Its oneness must not be entitled to that of monad and point: for these the mind abstracts extension and numerical quantity and rests upon the very minutest possible, ending no doubt in the partless but still in something that began as a partible and is always lodged in something other than itself. The Unity was never in any other and never belonged to the partible: nor is its impartibility that of extreme minuteness; on the contrary it is great beyond anything, great not in extension but in power, sizeless by its very greatness as even its immediate sequents are impartible not in mass but in might. We must therefore take the Unity as infinite not in measureless extension or numerable quantity but in fathomless depths of power.
Think of The One as Mind or as God, you think too meanly; use all the resources of understanding to conceive this Unity and, again, it is more authentically one than God, even though you reach for God’s unity beyond the unity the most perfect you can conceive. For This is utterly a self-existent, with no concomitant whatever. This self-sufficing is the essence of its unity. Something there must be supremely adequate, autonomous, all-transcending, most utterly without need.
Any manifold, anything beneath The Unity, is dependent; combined from various constituents, its essential nature goes in need of unity; but unity cannot need itself; it stands unity accomplished. Again, a manifold depends upon all its factors; and furthermore each of those factors in turn - as necessarily inbound with the rest and not self-standing - sets up a similar need both to its associates and to the total so constituted.
The sovranly self-sufficing principle will be Unity-Absolute, for only in this Unity is there a nature above all need, whether within itself or in regard to the rest of things. Unity seeks nothing towards its being or its well-being or its safehold upon existence; cause to all, how can it acquire its character outside of itself or know any good outside? The good of its being can be no borrowing: This is The Good. Nor has it station; it needs no standing ground as if inadequate to its own sustaining; what calls for such underpropping is the soulless, some material mass that must be based or fall. This is base to all, cause of universal existence and of ordered station. All that demands place is in need; a First cannot go in need of its sequents: all need is effort towards a first principle; the First, principle to all, must be utterly without need. If the Unity be seeking, it must inevitably be seeking to be something other than itself; it is seeking its own destroyer. Whatever may be said to be in need of a good is needing a preserver; nothing can be a good to The Unity, therefore.
Neither can it have will to anything; it is a Beyond-Good, not even to itself a good but to such beings only as may be of quality to have part with it. Nor has it Intellection; that would comport diversity: nor Movement; it is prior to Movement as to Intellection.
To what could its Intellection be directed? To itself? But that would imply a previous ignorance; it would be dependent upon that Intellection in order to knowledge of itself; but it is the self-sufficing. Yet this absence of self-knowing does not comport ignorance; ignorance is of something outside - a knower ignorant of a knowable - but in the Solitary there is neither knowing nor anything unknown. Unity, self-present, it has no need of self-intellection: indeed this "self-presence" were better left out, the more surely to preserve the unity; we must eliminate all knowing and all association, all intellection whether internal or external. It is not to be though of as having but as being Intellection; Intellection does not itself perform the intellective act but is the cause of the act in something else, and cause is not to be identified with caused: most assuredly the cause of all is not a thing within that all.
This Principle is not, therefore, to be identified with the good of which it is the source; it is good in the unique mode of being The Good above all that is good.
 En quel sens disons-nous donc l’Un, et comment pouvons-nous le concevoir ? — Reconnaissons que l’Un est une unité beaucoup plus parfaite que le point et la monade : car dans ceux-ci, faisant abstraction de la grandeur [géométrique] et delà pluralité numérique, on s’arrête à ce qu’il y a de plus petit et on se repose dans une chose indivisible, il est vrai, mais qui existait déjà dans un être divisible, dans un sujet autre qu’elle-même; mais l’Un n’est ni dans un sujet autre que lui-même, ni dans une chose divisible. S’il est indivisible, ce n’est pas non plus de la même manière que ce qu’il y a de plus petit ; tout au contraire, il est ce qu’il y a de plus grand, non par la grandeur [géométrique] , mais par la puissance; n’ayant pas de grandeur [géométrique], il est indivisible dans sa puissance : car les êtres qui sont au-dessous de lui sont indivisibles dans leurs puissances, et non dans leur masse [puisqu’ils sont incorporels]. Il faut admettre également que l’Un est infini, non comme le serait une masse ou une grandeur qu’on ne pourrait parcourir, mais par l’incommensurabilité de sa puissance. Lors même que vous le concevez comme Intelligence ou comme Dieu, il est encore au- dessus. Lorsque, par la pensée, vous vous le représentez comme l’unité la plus parfaite, il est au-dessus encore; vous tâchez de vous former une idée de Dieu en vous élevant à ce qu’il y a de plus un dans votre intelligence [mais il est encore plus simple] : car il demeure en lui-même et il n’y a en lui rien de contingent.
On peut encore comprendre (20) qu’il est souverainement un par ce fait qu’il se suffit à lui-même (qu’il est absolu, τῷ αὐτάρκει) : car le principe le plus parfait est nécessairement celui qui se suffit le mieux à lui-même, qui a le moins besoin d’autrui. Or toute chose qui n’est pas une, mais multiple, a besoin d’autrui: n’étant pas une, mais composée d’éléments multiples, son essence a besoin de devenir une ; mais l’Un ne saurait avoir besoin de lui-même, puisqu’il est déjà un. Bien plus, l’être qui est multiple a besoin d’autant de choses qu’il en contient en lui : car chacune des choses qui sont en lui n’existant que par son union avec les autres, et non en elle-même, se trouve avoir besoin des autres ; de sorte qu’un tel être a besoin d’autrui, soit pour les choses qui sont en lui, soit pour son ensemble. Si donc il doit y avoir quelque chose qui se suffise pleinement à soi-même, c’est assurément l’Un, qui seul n’a besoin de rien soit relativement à lui-même, soit relativement au reste. Il n’a besoin de rien ni pour être, ni pour être heureux, ni pour être édifié. D’abord, étant la cause des autres êtres, il ne leur doit pas l’existence. Ensuite, comment tiendrait-il son bonheur du dehors? En lui, le bonheur n’est pas une chose contingente, c’est sa nature même. Enfin, n’occupant point de lieu, il n’a pas besoin d’un fondement pour être édifié dessus, comme s’il ne pouvait pas se soutenir lui-même; tout ce qui a besoin d’être édifié est inanimé ; c’est une masse prête à tomber si elle n’a point de soutien (21).
Quant à l’Un, [bien loin qu’il ait besoin d’un soutien,] c’est sur lui que sont édifiées toutes les autres choses, c’est lui qui en leur donnant l’existence leur a donné en même temps un lieu où elles fussent placées. Or ce qui demande à être placé dans un lieu ne se suffit pas par soi-même.550 Ce qui est principe n’a pas besoin de ce qui est au-dessous de lui. Le principe de toutes les choses n’a besoin d’aucune d’elles. Tout être qui ne se suffit pas par lui-même ne se suffit pas parce qu’il aspire à son principe. Si l’Un aspirait à quoique chose, il aspirerait évidemment à n’être plus un, c’est-à-dire, à s’anéantir; mais tout ce qui aspire à quelque chose aspire évidemment au bonheur et à la conservation; ainsi, puisqu’il n’y a pas pour l’Un de bien hors de lui, il n’y a rien qu’il puisse vouloir. Il est le Bien d’une manière transcendante (ὑπεράγαθον) ; il est le Bien, non pour lui-même, mais pour les autres êtres. pour ceux qui peuvent participer de lui.
Il n’y a donc pas de pensée dans l’Un, parce qu’il ne doit pas y a voir en lui de différence; ni de mouvement, parce que l’Un est antérieur au mouvement comme à la pensée. Que penserait-il d’ailleurs? Se penserait-il lui-même? Dans ce cas, avant de penser il serait ignorant et il aurait besoin de la pensée, lui qui se suffit pleinement à lui-même. N’allez pas croire d’ailleurs que, parce qu’il ne se connaît pas et qu’il ne se pense pas, il y ait pour cela ignorance en lui. L’ignorance suppose un rapport, elle consiste en ce qu’une chose n’en connaît pas une autre. Mais l’Un, étant seul, ne peut ni rien connaître ni rien ignorer : étant avec soi, il n’a pas besoin de la connaissance de soi ; il ne faut même pas lui attribuer ce qu’on appelle être avec soi (συνεῖναι) si l’on veut qu’il reste l’Un dans toute sa pureté ; il faut au contraire supprimer l’intelligence, la conscience, la connaissance de soi-même et d’autres êtres. On ne doit pas le concevoir comme éatnt ce qui pense (τὸ νοοῦν), mais plutôt comme étant la pensée (νόησις). La pensée ne pense pas, mais est la cause qui fait penser à un autre être (22), la cause ne peut être identique à ce qui est causé. A plus forte raison, ce qui est la cause de toutes les choses exis- 551 tantes ne peut être aucune d’elles. Il ne faut donc pas regarder cette cause comme identique au bien qu’elle dispense, mais la concevoir comme le Bien dans un sens plus élevé, le Bien qui est au-dessus de tous les autres biens (23).
THE ONE MAY BE CONCEIVED OF AS INDIVISIBLE AND INFINITE.
6. In what sense do we use the name of unity, and how can we conceive of it? We shall have to insist that the One is a unity much more perfect than the point of the monad; for in these, abstracting (geometric) magnitude, and numerical plurality, we do indeed stop at that which is most minute, and we come to rest in something indivisible; but this existed already in a divisible being, in a subject other than itself, while the One is neither in a subject other than itself, nor in anything divisible. If it be indivisible, neither is it of the same kind as that which is most minute. On the contrary, it is that which is greatest, not by (geometric) magnitude, but by power; possessing no (geometric) magnitude, it is indivisible in its power; for the beings beneath it are indivisible in their powers, and not in their mass (since they are incorporeal). We must also insist that the One is infinite, not as would be a mass of a magnitude which could be examined serially, but by the incommensurability of its power. Even though you should conceive of it as of intelligence or divinity, it is still higher. When by thought you consider it as the most perfect unity, it is still higher. You try to form for yourself an idea of a divinity by rising to what in your intelligence is most unitary (and yet He is still simpler); for He dwells within Himself, and contains nothing that is contingent.
THE ONE IS SELF-SUFFICIENT AND NEEDS NOTHING FOR ESTABLISHMENT.
His sovereign unity may best be understood by His being self-sufficient; for the most perfect principle is necessarily that which best suffices Himself, and which least needs anything else. Now anything that is not one, but manifold, needs something else. Not being one, but being composed of multiple elements, its being demands unification; but as the One is already one, He does not even need Himself. So much the more, the being that is manifold needs as many things as it contains; for each of the contained things exists only by its union with the others, and not in itself, and finds that it needs the others. Therefore such a being needs others, both for the things it contains, as for their totality. If then there must be something that fully suffices itself, it must surely be the One, which alone needs nothing either relatively to Himself, or to the other things. It needs nothing either to exist, or to be happy, or to be composed. To begin with, as He is the cause of the other beings, He does not owe His existence to them. Further, how could He derive His happiness from outside Himself? Within Him, happiness is not something contingent, but is His very nature. Again, as He does not occupy any space, He does not need any foundation on which to be edified, as if He could not sustain Himself. All that needs compounding is inanimate; without support it is no more than a mass ready to fall. (Far from needing any support) the One is the foundation of the edification of all other things; by giving them existence, He has at the same time given them a location. However, that which needs a location is not (necessarily) self-sufficient.
THE SUPREME, AS SUPERGOODNESS, COULD NOT ASPIRE TO ANYTHING ELSE.
A principle has no need of anything beneath it. The Principle of all things has no need of any of them. Every non-self-sufficient being is not self-sufficient chiefly because it aspires to its principle. If the One aspired to anything, His aspiration would evidently tend to destroy His unity, that is, to annihilate Himself. Anything that aspires evidently aspires to happiness and preservation. Thus, since for the One there is no good outside of Himself, there is nothing that He could wish. He is the super-good; He is the good, not for Himself, but for other beings, for those that can participate therein.
THE ONE IS NOT THINKER BUT THOUGHT ITSELF.
Within the One, therefore, is no thought, because there can be no difference within Him; nor could He contain any motion, because the One is prior to motion, as much as to thought. Besides, what would He think? Would He think Himself? In this case, He would be ignorant before thinking, and thought would be necessary to Him, who fully suffices to Himself. Neither should He be thought to contain ignorance, because He does not know Himself, and does not think Himself. Ignorance presupposes a relation, and consists in that one thing does not know another. But the One, being alone, can neither know nor be ignorant of anything. Being with Himself, He has no need of self-knowledge. We should not even predicate of Him presence with Himself, if we are to conceive of Him Unity in sheer purity. On the contrary, we should have to leave aside intelligence, consciousness, and knowledge of self and of other beings. We should not conceive of Him as being that which thinks, but rather as of thought. Thought does not think; but is the cause which makes some other being think; now the cause cannot be identical with that which is caused. So much the more reason is there then to say that that which is the cause of all these existing things cannot be any one of them. This Cause, therefore, must not be considered identical with the good He dispenses, but must be conceived as the Good in a higher sense, the Good which is above all other goods.
VI. How, therefore, can we speak of the one, and how can we adapt it to intellectual conception ? Shall we say that this may be accomplished, by admitting that it is more transcendently one than the monad and a point? For in these, indeed, the soul taking away magnitude and the multitude of number, ends in that which is smallest, and fixes itself in a certain thing which is indeed impartible, but which was in a partible nature, and is in something different from itself. But the one is neither in another thing, nor in that which is partible. Nor is it impartible in the same way as that which is smallest. For it is the greatest of all things, not in magnitude, but in power. So that it is without magnitude in power. For the natures also which are [immediately] posterior to it, are impartible in powers, and not in bulk. The principle of all things likewise must be admitted to be infinite, not because he is magnitude or number which cannot be passed over, but because the power of him is incomprehensible. For when you conceive him to be intellect or God, he is more [excellent] than these. And again, when by the dianoetic power you equalize him with the one, or conceive him to be God, by recurring to that which is most united in your intellectual perception, he even transcends these appellations. For he is in himself, nor is any thing accidental to him. By that which is sufficient to itself also the unity of his nature may be demonstrated. For it is necessary that the principle of all things should be most sufficient both to other things, and to itself, and that it should also be most un-indigent. But every thing which is multitudinous and not one, is indigent; since consisting of many things it is not one. Hence the essence of it requires to be one. But the one is not in want of itself. For it is the one. Moreover, that which is many, is in want of as many things as it is. And each of the things that are in it, as it subsists in conjunction with others, and is not in itself, is indigent of other things ; and thus a thing of this kind exhibits indigence, both according to parts and according to the whole. If, therefore, it is necessary there should be something which is most sufficient to itself, it is necessary there should be the one, which alone is a thing of such a kind, as neither to be indigent with reference to itself, nor with reference to another thing.  For it does not seek after any thing in order that it may be, nor in order that it may be in an excellent condition, nor that it may be there established. For being the cause of existence to other things, and not deriving that which it is from others, nor its happiness, what addition can be made to it external to itself ? Hence its happiness, or the excellency of its condition, is not accidental to it. For it is itself [all that is sufficient to itself]. There is not likewise any place for it. For it is not in want of a foundation, as if it were not able to sustain itself. For that which is established in another thing is inanimate, and a falling mass, if it is without a foundation. But other things are established on account of the one, through which also they at the same time subsist, and have the place in which they are arranged. That, however, which seeks after place is indigent. But the principle is not indigent of things posterior to itself. The principle, therefore, of all things is unindigent of all things. For that which is indigent, is indigent in consequence of aspiring after its principle. But if the one was indigent of any thing it would certainly seek not to be the one; so that it would be indigent of its destroyer. Every thing, however, which is said to be indigent, is indigent of a good condition, and of that which preserves it. Hence to the one nothing is good, and, therefore, neither is the wish for any thing good to it. But it is super-good. And it is not good to itself, but to other things, which are able to participate of it. Nor does the one possess intelligence, lest it should also possess difference; nor motion. For it is prior to motion, and prior to intelligence. For what is there which it will intellectually perceive ? Shall we say itself ? Prior to intellection, therefore, it will be ignorant, and will be in want of intelligence in order that it may know itself, though it is sufficient to itself. It does not follow, however, that because the one does not know itself, and does not intellectually perceive itself, there will be ignorance in it. For ignorance takes place where there is diversity, and when one thing is ignorant of another. That, however, which is alone neither knows auy thing, nor has any thing of which it is ignorant. But being one, and associating with itself, it does not require the intellectual perception of itself; since neither is it necessary, in order that you may preserve the one, to adapt to it an association with itself. But it is requisite to take away intellectual perception, an association with itself, and the knowledge of itself, and of other things. For it is not proper to arrange it according to the act of perceiving intellectually, but rather according to intelligence. For intelligence does not perceive intellectually, but is the cause of intellectual perception to another thing. Cause, however, is not the same with the thing caused. But the cause of all things is not any one of them. Hence neither must it be denominated that good which it imparts to others ; but it is after another manner the good, in a way transcending other goods.