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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE FIFTH ENNEAD Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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SIXTH TRACTATE.

THAT THE PRINCIPLE TRANSCENDING BEING HAS NO INTELLECTUAL ACT. WHAT BEING HAS INTELLECTION PRIMALLY AND WHAT BEING HAS IT SECONDARILY.

1. There is a principle having intellection of the external and another having self-intellection and thus further removed from duality.

Even the first mentioned is not without an effort towards the pure unity of which it is not so capable: it does actually contain its object, though as something other than itself.

In the self-intellective, there is not even this distinction of being: self-conversing, the subject is its own object, and thus takes the double form while remaining essentially a unity. The intellection is the more profound for this internal possession of the object.

This principle is the primally intellective since there can be no intellection without duality in unity. If there is no unity, perceiving principle and perceived object will be different, and the intellection, therefore, not primal: a principle concerned with something external cannot be the primally intellective since it does not possess the object as integrally its own or as itself; if it does possess the object as itself — the condition of true intellection — the two are one. Thus [in order to primal intellection] there must be a unity in duality, while a pure unity with no counterbalancing duality can have no object for its intellection and ceases to be intellective: in other words the primally intellective must be at once simplex and something else.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus/enneads-5.asp?pg=75