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CHAPTER CIWhether to Separately Subsisting Intelligences all Points of their Natural Knowledge are Simultaneously Present

Not everything is actually understood, of which there is an intellectual impression actually in the understanding. For since a subsistent intelligence has also a will, and is thereby master of his own acts, it is in his power, when he has got an intellectual impression, to use it by actually understanding it; or, if he has several, to use one of them. Hence also we do not actually consider all things whereof we have knowledge. A subsistent intelligence therefore, knowing by a plurality of impressions, uses the one impression which he wishes, and thereby actually knows at once all things which by one impression he does know. For all things make one intelligible object inasmuch as they are known by one presentation, — as also our understanding knows many things together, when thy are as one by composition or relation with one another. But things that an intelligence knows by different impressions, it does not take cognisance of together. Thus, for one understanding, there is one thing at a time actually understood. There is therefore in the mind of a separately subsisting intelligence a certain succession of acts of understanding; not however movement, properly so called: since it is not a case of actuality succeeding potentiality, but of actuality following upon actuality. But the Divine Mind, knowing all things by the one medium of its essence, and having its act for its essence, understands all things simultaneously: hence in its understanding there is incident no succession, but its act of understanding is entire, simultaneous, perfect, abiding, world without end. Amen.

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