Guthrie: Tractate 38,13 (VI, 7, 13) - SIMPLICITY OF THE INTELLIGIBLE DOES NOT DENY COMPOSITENESS

SIMPLICITY OF THE INTELLIGIBLE DOES NOT DENY COMPOSITENESS, BUT INFERS HEIGHT OF SOURCE.

13. Neither Intelligence, nor the Soul that proceeds therefrom, are simple; both contain the universality of things with their infinite variety, so far as these are simple, meaning that they are not composite, but that they are principles and actualizations; for, in the intelligible world, the actualization of what occupies the last rank is simple; the actualization of what occupies the first rank is universal. Intelligence, in its uniform movement, always trends towards similar and identical things; nevertheless, each of them is identical and single, without being a part; it is on the contrary universal, because what, in the intelligible world, is a part, is not a simple unit, but a unity that is infinitely divisible. In this movement, Intelligence starts from one object, and goes to another object which is its goal. But does all that is intermediary resemble a straignt line, or to a uniform and homogeneous body? There would be nothing remarkable about that; for if Intelligence did not contain differences, if no diversity awoke it to life, it would not be an actualization; its state would not differ from inactivity. If its movement were determined in a single manner, it would possess but a single kind of (restricted) life, instead of possessing the universal Life. Now it should contain an universal and omnipresent Life; consequently, it must move, or rather have been moved towards all (beings). If it were to move in a simple and uniform manner, it would possess but a single thing, would be identical with it, and no longer proceed towards anything different. If however it should move towards something different, it would have to become something different, and be two things. If these two things were then to be identical, Intelligence would still remain one, and there would be no progress left; if, on the contrary, these two things were to be different, it would be proceeding with this difference, and it would, by virtue of this difference joined to its divinity, beget some third thing. By its origin, the latter is simultaneously identical and different; not of some particular difference, but of all kinds of difference, because the identity it contains is itself universal. Thus being universal difference as well as universal identity, this thing possesses all that is said to be different; for its nature is to be universal differentiation (to spread over everything, to become everything else). If all these differences preceded this (Intelligence), the latter would be modified by them. If this be not the case, Intelligence must have begotten all the differences, or rather, be their universality.

INTELLIGENCE EVOLVES OVER THE FIELD OF TRUTH.

Essences ("beings") therefore cannot exist without an actualization of Intelligence. By this actualization, after having produced some ("being"), Intelligence always produces some other one, somehow carrying out the career which it is natural for veritable Intelligence to carry out within itself; this career is that of the beings, of which each corresponds to one of its evolutions, (or, it roams around among beings, so that through its roaming around these beings unite and form.) Since Intelligence is everywhere identical, its evolutions imply permanence, and they make it move around the "field of truth" without ever issuing therefrom. It occupies this whole field, because Intelligence has made itself the locality where its evolutions operate, a locality which is identical with what it contains. This field is varied enough to offer a career to be fulfilled; if it were not universally and eternally varied, there would be a stopping-place where variety would cease; and, were Intelligence to stop, it would not think; and if it had never stopped, it would have existed without thought (or, it would not exist). This however, is not the case; therefore thought exists, and its universal movement produces the fulness of universal "Being." Universal "Being," however, is the thought that embraces universal Life, and which, after each thing, ever conceives some other; because, since that which within it is identical is all so different. It continually divides and ever finds something different from the others. In its march, Intelligence ever progresses from life to life, from animated (beings) to animated (beings); just as some traveller, advancing on the earth, finds all that he travels through to be earth, whatever variations thereof there may have been. In the intelligible world, the life whose field one traverses is always self-identical, but it is also always different. The result is that (this sphere of operations) does not seem the same to us, because in its evolution, which is identical, life experiences (or, traverses) things which are not the same. That however does not change this life, for it passes through different things in a uniform and identical manner. If this uniformity and identity of Intelligence were not applied to different things, Intelligence would remain idle; it would no longer exist in actualization, and no more be actualization. Now these different things constitute Intelligence itself. Intelligence is therefore universal, because this universality forms its very nature. Being thus universal, Intelligence is all things; there is nothing in it which does not contribute to its universality; and everything is different, so as to be able still to contribute to totality, by its very difference. If there were no difference, if "everything in it were identical, the being of Intelligence would be diminished, inasmuch as its nature would no more co-operate towards its harmonic consummation.