Mundo do Tempo e da Mudança

V. I. 4
(Armstrong Selection and Translation from the Enneads)

[The world of Noûs contrasted with the world of time and change here below; its eternal perfection and self-sufficiency; its unity-in-diversity of thought and object of thought; the Categories of the world of Noûs.]

One might come to see it also in the following way. If you admire the size and beauty of this visible world of ours, as you gaze upon the order of its everlasting movement, and the gods in it, both visible and invisible and the daemons and all the animals and plants; then rise up to its pattern, to the truer reality. There look upon all the intelligible things which exist eternally in it with their own intimate consciousness and life, and Noûs in its purity presiding over them, and irresistible wisdom, and the true life of the age of Cronos, of the god who is fullness and Noûs. For he includes in himself all the immortals, every particular Noûs, every god, every soul, all at rest for ever. For why should he seek change when all is well with him? Where could he move to, when he has all things in himself? And he does not seek enlargement, since he is most perfect. Therefore all things in him are perfect, that he may be altogether perfect with nothing imperfect in him; he has nothing in his world which does not think; and his thought is not seeking but possession. His blessedness is not something acquired from an outside source. It is all things eternally, in the true eternity which time imitates, circling round Soul, abandoning one thing to attend to another. In Soul there are always different things, now Socrates, now a horse, always some one particular being; but Noûs is all things. It has in itself all things at rest in the same place; it simply is, and always is, and there is no room in it for any future, for it is in the future too. Nor has it any past, for nothing There passes away, but all things remain, always the same because they are, we may say, well pleased to be as they are. Each of them is Noûs and being, and the totality of them is universal Noûs and universal being. Noûs makes being exist by thinking it, and being as object of thought gives thinking and existence to Noûs. (But there is another cause of thinking, which is also cause of being; so both together have another cause.) For being and Noûs exist together and never leave each other, but the two of them make this unity which is at once Noûs and being, thought and object of thought; it is Noûs as thought, being as object of thought. There could be no thought without Otherness and Sameness. So the primary things are Noûs, Being, Otherness, and Sameness; and we must add Motion and Rest.2 There must be movement if there is thought, and rest to keep it the same. Then if you take away otherness it will pass into the silence of unity; and the objects of thought, too, must have otherness in relation to each other. And there must be sameness, since it is one in itself, and all the objects of thought have something in common; and the distinctive quality of each is otherness. The fact that there are several of these primaries makes number and quantity; and the particularity of each makes quality; and from these as principles all other things come.