Armstrong: O Todo

VI. 5- 12
(Armstrong Selection and Translation)

[The All, Real Being, or Noûs, is infinite, not spatially, but because it is entirely without quantity, pure spirit. We, in our higher selves, are truly that All, but we do not understand it and so effectively become it till we radically simplify ourselves and turn away from all considerations of space and quantity and from our lower selves and their concerns in the material world.]

How then is it present? As one life; for life in a living thing does not only extend to a particular point beyond which it cannot advance to the whole, but is everywhere. If anyone again wants to know how, he should remember its power; it is not just so much, but if you go on dividing it mentally to infinity it has always the same power, fundamentally infinite; for it has no matter in itself to make it diminish along with the size of the body’s bulk. If then you understand its ever-flowing spring of infinity, its nature, unwearying and unwearing and nowhere failing, boiling over with life in itself, wherever you look or on whatever you fix your gaze, you will not find it there. In fact, you will have the opposite experience; you will not be able to pass it and go beyond it nor bring it to a stop at a degree of smallness where it has nothing more to give because it has so diminished: but if you are able to go along with it, or, better, are in the All, you will seek nothing more; or else you will give up and turn aside to something else and fall, not seeing it when it is present because you are looking at something else. But if you are not looking for anything any more, how will you experience it? Because you have come to the All, and not stayed in a part of it, and have not said even about yourself, I am just so much. By rejecting the so much you have become all — yet you were all before; but because something else other than the All added itself to you, you became less by the addition; for the addition did not come from real being (you cannot add anything to that) but from that which is not. When you have become a particular person by the addition of non-being you are not all till you reject the non-being. You will increase yourself then by rejecting the rest, and by that rejection the All is with you. While you are with other things the All does not appear; it does not come in order to be present but you go away when it is absent. But you do not really go away from it (for it is there); you do not go anywhere, but remain present to it and turn your back on it. So the other gods too often appear to one when many are present, because only that one can see them. These are the gods who ‘in many forms travel through our cities’, but to that god the cities turn, and all the earth and sky; everywhere they abide with him and in him and hold from him being and the true beings, down to soul and life, which depend upon him and move to unity in his infinity without size.