Guthrie: Tractate 38 (VI, 7) - HOW IDEAS MULTIPLIED, AND THE GOOD


1. The eyes were implanted in man by divine foresight.

Senses not given to man because of experience of misfortunes.

Nor because of god's foresight of these misfortunes.

Foresight of creation is not the result of reasoning.

Both reasoning and foresight are only figurative expressions.

In god all things were simultaneous, though when realized they developed.

2. In the intelligible, everything possesses its reason as well as its form.

Intelligence contains the cause of all its forms.

In the intelligible world each being is accompanied by its whyness.

3. Intelligence did not deliberate before making sense-man.

Being contains its cause.

4. Such questions demand scrutiny of the intelligible man.

Difference between the man known by the senses and the intelligible man.

Man defined as a reasonable soul.

5. Man as a soul subsisting in a special reason.

These reasons are the actualizations of the soul which begets the animal.

Nature of the combination begotten by the soul.

6. The three men in each of us.

Fate of these three men. In brutalization and in divinization.

7. Animal seminal reasons may be contrary to soul's nature; though not to the soul herself.

The sense-world and the intelligible world are connected by the manifold triple nature of man.

8. Intelligible animals do not incline towards the sense-world for they are pre-existing, and are distinct from their creating image.

Irrational animals must exist within intelligence, unless man alone was to exist.

9. Many animals are not so irrational as different.

10. Apparent imperfections are only lower forms of perfection.

Co-existence of unity and multiplicity demands organization in system.

11. But how could the intelligible world contain vegetables or metals?

How the earth exists in the intelligible.

The fire as it is in the intelligible world.

Water and air as intelligible entities.

12. The intelligible world is a complete model of this our universe.

All things united by a common source.

13. Simplicity of the intelligible does not deny compositeness, but infers height of source.

Intelligence evolves over the field of truth.

14. Intelligence contains the infinite as simultaneousness of one and many and as friendship.


15. All souls are united by their highest, with intelligence shining down from the peak they form.

16. Intelligence contains all things that are conformed to the good.

The good is not only the cause of being. But its intuition as well.

17. All is intelligence; but this is differentiated into universal and individual.

Multiplicity of intelligences implies their mutual differences.

18. Life, intelligence, and idea bear the form of the good.

This form of the good may. However. Exist at varying degrees.

Intelligence and life are only different degrees of the same reality.

Is the word good a common label or a common quality?

19. Good cannot be a desire of the soul.

No need to seek the cause of good as in the intelligible the cause coincides with the nature.

20. Pythagorean oppositions are also worthless as explanations of good.

Good not defined by intelligence, as the soul has other aspirations.

21. The good is intelligence and primary life.

22. Good consists in illumination by the extreme.

23. The supreme is the good because of his supremacy.

The good as creator and preserver.

24. Many further questions about the good; for the individual it is illumination.

Attributing good to life is only the result of fear of death.

25. Plato's answer to Philebus: there are two goods, the human and the universal.

The aristotelian supreme good.

26. The true good implies a counterfeit good.

The good cannot be pleasure which is changeable and restless.

27. A thing's good is its form; or, its intimacy with itself.

Pleasure may accompany the good. But the good is independent thereof.

28. Matter is improved by form, the dream of the good.

Matter is not wickedness, but neutral evil.

The good is a nature which possesses no kind of form itself.

29. The independence of the good from pleasure proved by the temperate man.

Even scorn of life implies the existence of the good.

30. Two interpretations of Plato's opinion about the good.

Pleasure is indeed an accessory to all goods of the soul.

31. The soul scorning all things below rises to the good.

32. The author of this perfection must be above it.

The supreme is limitless.

33. Absolute beauty is a formless shape.

The supreme is essential beauty; the shapeless shaper; transcendent.

Thus love begins physically but becomes spiritual.

34. The formlessness of the supreme is proved by the fact that the soul when approaching him spontaneously rids herself of forms.

35. The soul scorns even thought; she is intellectualized and ennobled.

Intelligence has the two powers of intelligence and love.

The soul does not think god, for in that condition she does not think.

36. The touch with the good is the greatest of sciences.

37. God being above thought ignores everything.

The first principle has no function.

38. Of the first principle we may not even say that it is.

The self-sufficient good does not need self-consciousness thereof.

39. The good is a simple perception of itself; a touch.

40. The first principle has no thought as the first actualization of a hypostasis.

Even if the good thought, there would be need of something superior.

41. Thought is a help for sub-divine natures.

The good is not good for itself. But only for the natures below it.

42. The beautiful the supreme of three ranks of existence.