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Intelecto Divino

sexta-feira 25 de março de 2022


VI. 7. 9
(Armstrong   Selection and Translation from the Enneads  )

[In the world of Noûs   are the Forms of all things that exist in the world of the senses, even irrational animals (and nonliving things), but they are all alive and intelligent There, living thought-realities in the Divine Intellect, and each is in a sense   the whole and the whole is in every part.]

But, someone will say, granted that the noble forms of life are there, how can the base and irrational exist in Noûs? It is clear that the base is the irrational, since the noble is the rational; if it is intelligence which makes things noble, it is lack of intelligence which makes them the opposite. Yet how can anything be unintelligent or irrational when they all exist in and come from Noûs? Before we speak about this and answer these questions, let us consider that just as man here is not the same as man in Noûs, so the other living creatures are not the same here and There; one must consider those There in a larger way. Besides, there are no rational beings There; man here perhaps is rational, but the man There is before and above reasoning. Why then does man reason here, but other things do not? It is because there is a difference There in the intellection of man and of the other living creatures, and consequently a difference in their rationality here; and there are in a way many rational activities in the other living creatures. But why are they not just as rational as man? And why are some men less rational than others? One must consider that, as there are many lives There — a kind of movements — and many thoughts, they could not be the same; they must be different lives and thoughts. There must be degrees of brightness and clearness, first, second, and third, according to their nearness to the first principles. So some thoughts are gods, others of a second kind, to which belongs what we call rationality here, and below these comes what is called the irrational. But There what we speak of as irrational is reason, and the unthinking as Noûs, for what thinks a horse is Noûs, and the thought of a horse is Noûs. If it was only a thought, there would be nothing absurd in its being really a thought of something unthinking. But if thought and thing are the same, how can the thought be a thought and the thing be unthinking? That would mean that Noûs would make itself unthinking. But it is not an unthinking thing but a particular Noûs, since it is a particular life. For just as a particular life does not cease to be life, so a particular Noûs does not cease to be Noûs. The Noûs which thinks a particular living thing does not cease to be the Noûs of everything (including, for instance, man), since every part, whichever one you take, is all things, though in a different way from the way in which it is a part. It is actually that particular part but potentially all things. What we grasp in each particular is what it is actually; but what it is actually is the last and lowest point in its development; so the last phase of this particular Noûs is horse; horse is where it stopped in its continuous going forth towards a lesser life; another Noûs will stop at something lower still. As the powers unfold they always leave something behind above. They lose something continually as they go forth; and, as they lose one thing after another, they see the defectiveness of the living being which has appeared as the result of the loss, and find something else to add to it. For instance, if it has not still sufficient means to preserve life, nails or talons or fangs or horns appear: so exactly where Noûs descends it rises again, by attaining natural self-sufficiency and finds ready in itself the cure for the defect.