Visão da Beleza na beleza

II. 9. 16
(Armstrong Selection and Translation)

[To despise the visible universe and to be insensitive to its beauty is proof that one has no real knowledge of the intelligible universe, the realm of Noûs.]

No intelligent man would even inquire about this [about whether the visible universe is good, intelligent, and providentially directed], but only someone who is blind, without perception or intelligence and far from the sight of the universe of Noûs, since he does not even see this universe here. For how could there be a musician who sees the melody in the realm of Noûs and is not stirred when he hears the melody of sensible sounds? Or how could there be anyone skilled in geometry and the science of numbers who is not pleased when he sees right relation, proportion, and order with his bodily eyes? Of course, people do not look at the same things in the same way; some, when they are looking at pictures, see the works of art with their eyes but recognize in them an imitation in the world of sense of the reality existing in Noûs, and are excited by it and come to a recollection of the truth: this is the experience from which passionate loves arise. But if someone who sees beauty excellently represented in a face is carried to that higher world, will anyone be so sluggish in mind and so immovable that, when he sees all the beauties of the world of sense, all its good proportion and the mighty excellence of its order, and the splendour of form which the stars, for all their remoteness, make manifest, he will not be seized with reverence and think, ‘What wonders, and from what a source’? If he does not, he neither understands the world of sense nor sees that higher world.