1. What, then, will be the Soul's discourse, what its memories in the Intellectual Realm, when at last it has won its way to that Essence?
Obviously from what we have been saying, it will be in contemplation of that order, and have its Act upon the things among which it now is; failing such Contemplation and Act, its being is not there. Of things of earth it will know nothing; it will not, for example, remember an act of philosophic virtue, or even that in its earthly career it had contemplation of the Supreme.
When we seize anything in the direct intellectual act there is room for nothing else than to know and to contemplate the object; and in the knowing there is not included any previous knowledge; all such assertion of stage and progress belongs to the lower and is a sign of the altered; this means that, once purely in the Intellectual, no one of us can have any memory of our experience here. Further; if all intellection is timeless- as appears from the fact that the Intellectual beings are of eternity not of time- there can be no memory in the intellectual world, not merely none of earthly things but none whatever: all is presence There; for nothing passes away, there is no change from old to new.
This, however, does not alter the fact that distinction exists in that realm- downwards from the Supreme to the Ideas, upward from the Ideas to the Universal and to the Supreme. Admitting that the Highest, as a self-contained unity, has no outgoing effect, that does not prevent the soul which has attained to the Supreme from exerting its own characteristic Act: it certainly may have the intuition, not by stages and parts, of that Being which is without stage and part.
But that would be in the nature of grasping a pure unity?
No: in the nature of grasping all the intellectual facts of a many that constitutes a unity. For since the object of vision has variety [distinction within its essential oneness] the intuition must be multiple and the intuitions various, just as in a face we see at the one glance eyes and nose and all the rest.
But is not this impossible when the object to be thus divided and treated as a thing of grades, is a pure unity?
No: there has already been discrimination within the Intellectual-Principle; the Act of the soul is little more than a reading of this.
First and last is in the Ideas not a matter of time, and so does not bring time into the soul's intuition of earlier and later among them. There is a grading by order as well: the ordered disposition of some growing thing begins with root and reaches to topmost point, but, to one seeing the plant as a whole, there is no other first and last than simply that of the order.
Still, the soul [in this intuition within the divine] looks to what is a unity; next it entertains multiplicity, all that is: how explain this grasping first of the unity and later of the rest?
The explanation is that the unity of this power [the Supreme] is such as to allow of its being multiple to another principle [the soul], to which it is all things and therefore does not present itself as one indivisible object of intuition: its activities do not [like its essence] fall under the rule of unity; they are for ever multiple in virtue of that abiding power, and in their outgoing they actually become all things.
For with the Intellectual or Supreme- considered as distinct from the One- there is already the power of harbouring that Principle of Multiplicity, the source of things not previously existent in its superior.