Summary Against Modern Thought: Instantaneous Knowledge of God

Summary Against Modern Thought: Instantaneous Knowledge of God

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More clues about how God fattens our intellects. Not through our reason, but by gifts, as it were.


1 Now that we have shown that the created intellect, seeing the divine substance, understands all the species of things in God’s very substance, and that whatever things are seen by one species must be seen at once and by one vision, since a vision corresponds to the principle of the vision, it necessarily follows that the intellect which sees the divine substance contemplates all things at once and not in succession.

2 Again, the highest and perfect felicity of intellectual nature consists in the vision of God, as we showed above. But felicity is not a matter of habit but of act, since it is the ultimate perfection and the ultimate end. So, of the things that are seen through the vision of the divine substance, whereby we are made blessed, all are seen actually. Therefore, one is not first and then another later.

Notes Sounds like induction-intuition, eh? Which is better than reason, which has to work things our step by step. See paragraph 4 especially.

3 Besides, when each thing reaches its ultimate end it rests, for all motion is in order to attain an end. Now, the ultimate end of the intellect is the vision of the divine substance as we showed above. So, the intellect seeing the divine substance is not moved from one intelligible object to another. Therefore, it considers actually at once all the things that it knows through this vision.

4 Moreover, the intellect knows all the species of things in the divine substance, as is clear from what has been said. Now in some genera there are infinite species, for example, of numbers, figures, and proportions. So, the intellect sees an infinity of things in the divine substance. But it could not see all of these unless it saw them at once, for it is impossible to pass through an infinity of things. Therefore, all that the intellect sees in the divine substance must be seen at once.

5 Hence, what Augustine says, in Book XV of The Trinity: “Our thoughts will not then be fleeting, going to and fro from some things to others, but we shall see all our knowledge in one single glance.”

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