Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.
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2. What definition are we to give to Eternity?
Can it be identified with the [divine or] Intellectual Substance itself?
This would be like identifying Time with the Universe of Heavens and Earth — an opinion, it is true, which appears to have had its adherents. No doubt we conceive, we know, Eternity as something most august; most august, too, is the Intellectual Kind; and there is no possibility of saying that the one is more majestic than the other, since no such degrees can be asserted in the Above-World; there is therefore a certain excuse for the identification — all the more since the Intellectual Substance and Eternity have the one scope and content.
Still; by the fact of representing the one as contained within the other, by making Eternity a predicate to the Intellectual Existents — “the Nature of the Exemplar,” we read, “is eternal” — we cancel the identification; Eternity becomes a separate thing, something surrounding that Nature or lying within it or present to it. And the majestic quality of both does not prove them identical: it might be transmitted from the one to the other. So, too, Eternity and the Divine Nature envelop the same entities, yes; but not in the same way: the Divine may be thought of as enveloping parts, Eternity as embracing its content in an unbroken whole, with no implication of part, but merely from the fact that all eternal things are so by conforming to it.
May we, perhaps, identify Eternity with Repose-There as Time has been identified with Movement-Here?
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