quinta-feira 24 de março de 2022
V. 3. 17
(Armstrong Selection and Translation)
[The One transcends even Noûs, and our soul is not satisfied till it reaches It; the attainment described as an illumination.]
What then is better than this wisest life, without fault or mistake, and than Noûs which contains everything, than universal life and universal Noûs? If we say, ’That which made them’, how did it make them? If nothing better appears, our train of thought will not go on to something else, but will stop at Noûs. But there are many reasons for going higher, particularly the fact that the self-sufficiency of Noûs which results from its being composed of all things is something which comes to it from outside; each of the things of which it is composed is obviously insufficient; and because each of them participates in the same One, Noûs too participates in One and is not the One Itself. What then is That in which it participates, Which makes it exist and all things along with it? If It makes each individual thing exist, and it is by the presence of the One that the multitude of individual things in Noûs, and Noûs itself, is self-sufficient, it is clear that It, since It is the Cause of being and self-sufficiency, is not being but beyond it and beyond self-sufficiency.
Is that enough? Can we end the discussion by saying this? No, my soul is still in even stronger labour; perhaps she has still something which she must bring forth; she is filled with birth-pangs in her eager longing for the One. But we must sing another charm to her, if we can find one anywhere to allay her pangs. Perhaps there might be one in what we have said already, if we sang it over and over again. What other new charm can we find ? The soul runs over all truths, and all the same shuns the truths we know if someone tries to express them in words and discursive thought: for discursive thought, in order to express anything, has to consider one thing after another; this is the method of description; but how can one describe the Absolutely Simple? It is enough if the intellect comes into contact with It: but when it has done so, while the contact lasts it is absolutely impossible, nor has it time, to speak; reasoning about It comes afterwards. One must believe one has seen, when the soul suddenly takes light; for this light is from Him, and He is it. We must think that He is present, when, like another god whom someone called to his house, He comes and brings light to us; for if He had not come, He would not have brought the light. So the soul which does not see Him is without light: but when it is enlightened it has what it sought, and this is the soul’s true end, to touch that Light and see It by Itself, not by another light, by Itself, Which gives it sight as well. It must see That Light by which it is enlightened; for we do not see the sun by another light than his own. How then can this happen ? Take away everything!