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Section 9

9. But when he is out of himself, reason quenched by sickness or by magic arts?

If it be allowed that in this state, resting as it were in a slumber, he remains a Sage, why should he not equally remain happy? No one rules him out of felicity in the hours of sleep; no one counts up that time and so denies that he has been happy all his life.

If they say that, failing consciousness, he is no longer the Sage, then they are no longer reasoning about the Sage: but we do suppose a Sage, and are enquiring whether, as long as he is the Sage, he is in the state of felicity.

"Well, a Sage let him remain," they say, "still, having no sensation and not expressing his virtue in act, how can he be happy?"

But a man unconscious of his health may be, none the less, healthy: a man may not be aware of his personal attraction, but he remains handsome none the less: if he has no sense of his wisdom, shall he be any the less wise?

It may perhaps be urged that sensation and consciousness are essential to wisdom and that happiness is only wisdom brought to act.

Now, this argument might have weight if prudence, wisdom, were something fetched in from outside: but this is not so: wisdom is, in its essential nature, an Authentic-Existence, or rather is The Authentic-Existent- and this Existent does not perish in one asleep or, to take the particular case presented to us, in the man out of his mind: the Act of this Existent is continuous within him; and is a sleepless activity: the Sage, therefore, even unconscious, is still the Sage in Act.

This activity is screened not from the man entire but merely from one part of him: we have here a parallel to what happens in the activity of the physical or vegetative life in us which is not made known by the sensitive faculty to the rest of the man: if our physical life really constituted the "We," its Act would be our Act: but, in the fact, this physical life is not the "We"; the "We" is the activity of the Intellectual-Principle so that when the Intellective is in Act we are in Act.

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