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quinta-feira 24 de março de 2022

V. 8. 7
(Armstrong   Selection and Translation from the Enneads  )

[The visible universe comes into being as a whole; it is not planned and then made part by part but proceeds without thought or effort from the world of Noûs.]

As for this All, if we agree that its being and its being what it is come to it from another, are we to think that its maker conceived earth in his own mind, with its necessary place in the centre, and then water and its place upon earth, and then the other elements in their order up to heaven, then all living things, each with the sort of shapes which they have now, and their particular internal organs and outward parts, and then when he had them all arranged in his mind proceeded to his work? Planning of this sort is quite impossible. For where could the ideas of all these things come from to one who had never seen them? And if he received them from someone else he could not carry them out as craftsmen do now, using their hands and tools; for hands and feet come later. The only possibility that remains, then, is that all things exist in something else, and, since there is nothing between because of their closeness to something else in the realm of real being, an imprint and image of that other suddenly appears, either by its direct action or through the assistance of soul (this makes no difference for the present discussion), or of a particular soul. All that is here below comes from There, and exists in greater beauty There: for here it is adulterated, but There it is pure. All this universe is occupied by forms from beginning to end; matter first of all by the forms of the elements, and then other forms upon these, and then again others; so that it is difficult to find the matter hidden under so many forms. Then matter too is a sort of ultimate form ; so this universe is all form, and all the things in it are forms: for its archetype is form: the making is done without noise and fuss, since that which makes is all real being and form. So this is another reason why the visible universe is fashioned without toil and trouble: and as it is an All that makes, so an All is made. There is nothing to hinder the making; even now it has the mastery, and, though one thing obstructs another, nothing obstructs it: for it abides as an All.