Duas Matérias

II. 4. 5
(Armstrong Selection and Translation from the Enneads)

[The difference between matter in the Intelligible World (the unformed living potency of Soul or Noûs, turning in a timeless process to that which is above it to receive form) and the dead matter of the world of the senses.]

The botton of each and every thing is matter; so all matter is dark, L ause light is the logos (and the intellect is logos). So intellect sees the logos in each thing, and considers that what is under it is dark because it lies below the light; just as the eye, which has the form of light, directs its gaze at the light and at colours (which are lights), and reports that what lies below the colours is dark and material, hidden by the colours. The darkness, however, in the Intelligible World differs from that in the world of sense, and so does the matter, just as much as the form superimposed on both is different. The divine matter when it receives that which defines it has a defined and intelligent life, but the matter of our world becomes something defined, but not alive or thinking, a decorated corpse. Shape here is only an image; so that which underlies it is also only an image. But There the shape is true shape, and what underlies it is true too. So those who say that matter is substance must be considered to be speaking correctly if they are speaking of matter in the intelligible world. For that which underlies form There is substance, or rather, considered along with the form imposed upon it, makes a whole which is illuminated substance.

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