38. And yet this "He Is" does not truly apply: the Supreme has no need of Being: even "He is good" does not apply since it indicates Being: the "is" should not suggest something predicated of another thing; it is to state identity. The word "good" used of him is not a predicate asserting his possession of goodness; it conveys an identification. It is not that we think it exact to call him either good or The Good: it is that sheer negation does not indicate; we use the term The Good to assert identity without the affirmation of Being.
But how admit a Principle void of self-knowledge, self-awareness; surely the First must be able to say "I possess Being?"
But he does not possess Being.
Then, at least he must say "I am good?"
No: once more, that would be an affirmation of Being.
But surely he may affirm merely the goodness, adding nothing: the goodness would be taken without the being and all duality avoided?
No: such self-awareness as good must inevitably carry the affirmation "I am the Good"; otherwise there would be merely the unattached conception of goodness with no recognition of identity; any such intellection would inevitably include the affirmation "I am."
If that intellection were the Good, then the intellection would not be self-intellection but intellection of the Good; not the Supreme but that intellection would be the Good: if on the contrary that intellection of the Good is distinct from the Good, at once the Good exists before its knowing; all-sufficiently good in itself, it needs none of that knowing of its own nature.
Thus the Supreme does not know itself as Good.
As what then?
No such foreign matter is present to it: it can have only an immediate intuition self-directed.