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Section 6

6. How then did we come to place freedom in the will when we made out free action to be that produced- or as we also indicated, suppressed- at the dictate of will?

If what we have been saying is true and our former statement is consistent with it, the case must stand thus:

Virtue and Intellectual-Principle are sovereign and must be held the sole foundation of our self-disposal and freedom; both then are free; Intellectual-Principle is self-confined: Virtue, in its government of the soul which it seeks to lift into goodness, would wish to be free; in so far as it does so it is free and confers freedom; but inevitably experiences and actions are forced upon it by its governance: these it has not planned for, yet when they do arise it will watch still for its sovereignty calling these also to judgement. Virtue does not follow upon occurrences as a saver of the emperilled; at its discretion it sacrifices a man; it may decree the jettison of life, means, children, country even; it looks to its own high aim and not to the safeguarding of anything lower. Thus our freedom of act, our self-disposal, must be referred not to the doing, not to the external thing done but to the inner activity, to the Intellection, to virtue's own vision.

So understood, virtue is a mode of Intellectual-Principle, a mode not involving any of the emotions or passions controlled by its reasonings, since such experiences, amenable to morality and discipline, touch closely- we read- on body.

This makes it all the more evident that the unembodied is the free; to this our self-disposal is to be referred; herein lies our will which remains free and self-disposing in spite of any orders which it may necessarily utter to meet the external. All then that issues from will and is the effect of will is our free action; and in the highest degree all that lies outside of the corporeal is purely within the scope of will, all that will adopts and brings, unimpeded, into existence.

The contemplating Intellect, the first or highest, has self-disposal to the point that its operation is utterly independent; it turns wholly upon itself; its very action is itself; at rest in its good it is without need, complete, and may be said to live to its will; there the will is intellection: it is called will because it expresses the Intellectual-Principle in the willing-phase and, besides, what we know as will imitates this operation taking place within the Intellectual-Principle. Will strives towards the good which the act of Intellectual-Principle realizes. Thus that principle holds what will seeks, that good whose attainment makes will identical with Intellection.

But if self-disposal is founded thus on the will aiming at the good, how can it possibly be denied to that principle permanently possessing the good, sole object of the aim?

Any one scrupulous about setting self-disposal so high may find some loftier word.

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