The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).
Cause, it is received diversely, according to the more or less of virtue in the recipients.  Wherefore it is written in the book Of Causes:  “The First Goodness sends His good gifts forth upon things in one stream.  Verily each thing receives from this stream according to the manner of its virtue and its being.”  And we can have a sensible, living example of this in the Sun.  We see the light of the Sun, which is one thing, derived from one fountain, to be variously received by material substances; as Albertus Magnus says in his book On the Intellect, that certain bodies, through having mixed in themselves an excess of transparent brightness, so soon as the Sun sees them they become so bright that, by the multiplication of light within them, their aspect is hardly discernible, and from themselves they render back to others great splendour or brilliancy, such as is gold and any gem.  Sure I am that by being entirely transparent, not only do they receive the light, but that they do not intercept it; nay, they pass it on, like stained glass, coloured with their own colour, to other things.  And there are certain other bodies so overpowering in the purity of the transparency that they become so radiant as to overpower the adjustments of the eye, and you cannot look at them without fatigue of sight; such as are the mirrors.  Certain others are so free from transparency, that but little light can they receive; as is the Earth.  Thus the Goodness of God is received in sundrywise by the sundry substances, that is, in one way by the Angels, who are without grossness of matter, as if transparent through their purity of form; and otherwise by the human Soul, which although on one side it may be free from matter, on another side it is impeded:  even as the man who is all in the water but his head, of whom one cannot say that he is entirely in the water, or entirely out of it.  Again otherwise it is received by the animals, whose soul is wholly comprised in matter; but I say that the soul of animals receives of the Goodness of God in proportion as it is ennobled.  Again otherwise is it received by the minerals; and otherwise by the Earth, than by the others, because the Earth is most material, and therefore most remote, and most out of all proportion to the First most simple and most high Cause, which is alone Intellectual, that is to say, God.

And although here below there may be placed general degrees of excellence, nevertheless, singular degrees of excellence may also be placed; that is to say, that amongst human Souls one Soul may receive more bountifully than another.  And since in the intellectual order of the Universe one ascends and descends by degrees almost continuous from the lowest form to the highest, and from the highest to the lowest, as we see in the visible order of things; and between the Angelic Nature, which is intellectual, and the Human Soul there may be no step, but the one rise to the other as it were continuously through the height

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The Banquet (Il Convito) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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