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Section 3

3. We come now to the purpose of all this discussion; to make clear in what sense or to what degree Actualization is predicable in the Intellectual Realm and whether all is in Actualization there, each and every member of that realm being an Act, or whether Potentiality also has place there.

Now: if there is no Matter there to harbour potentiality: if nothing there has any future apart from its actual mode: if nothing there generates, whether by changes or in the permanence of its identity; if nothing goes outside of itself to give being to what is other than itself; then, potentiality has no place there: the Beings there possess actuality as belonging to eternity, not to time.

Those, however, who assert Matter in the Intellectual Realm will be asked whether the existence of that Matter does not imply the potential there too; for even if Matter there exists in another mode than here, every Being there will have its Matter, its form and the union of the two [and therefore the potential, separable from the actual]. What answer is to be made?

Simply, that even the Matter there is Idea, just as the Soul, an Idea, is Matter to another [a higher] Being.

But relatively to that higher, the Soul is a potentiality?

No: for the Idea [to which it is Matter] is integral to the Soul and does not look to a future; the distinction between the Soul and its Idea is purely mental: the Idea and the Matter it includes are conceived as a conjunction but are essentially one Kind: remember that Aristotle makes his Fifth Body immaterial.

But surely Potentiality exists in the Soul? Surely the Soul is potentially the living-being of this world before it has become so? Is it not potentially musical, and everything else that it has not been and becomes? Does not this imply potentiality even in the Intellectual Existences?

No: the Soul is not potentially these things; it is a Power towards them.

But after what mode does Actualization exist in the Intellectual Realm?

Is it the Actualization of a statue, where the combination is realized because the Form-Idea has mastered each separate constituent of the total?

No: it is that every constituent there is a Form-Idea and, thus, is perfect in its Being.

There is in the Intellectual Principle no progression from some power capable of intellection to the Actuality of intellection: such a progression would send us in search of a Prior Principle not progressing from Power to Act; there all stands ever realized. Potentiality requires an intervention from outside itself to bring it to the actualization which otherwise cannot be; but what possesses, of itself, identity unchangeable for ever is an actualization: all the Firsts then are actualizations, simply because eternally and of themselves they possess all that is necessary to their completion.

This applies equally to the Soul, not to that in Matter but to that in the Intellectual Sphere; and even that in Matter, the Soul of Growth, is an actualization in its difference; it possesses actually [and not, like material things, merely in image] the Being that belongs to it.

Then, everything, in the intellectual is in actualization and so all There is Actuality?

Why not? If that Nature is rightly said to be "Sleepless," and to be Life and the noblest mode of Life, the noblest Activities must be there; all then is actualization there, everything is an Actuality, for everything is a Life, and all Place there is the Place of Life, in the true sense the ground and spring of Soul and of the Intellectual Principle.

Next: Section 4