Utrum videntes Deum per essentiam omnia in Deo videant
Whether those who see the essence of God see all in God?
Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod videntes Deum per essentiam omnia in Deo videant. Dicit enim Gregorius, in IV Dialog. quid est quod non videant, qui videntem omnia vident? Sed Deus est videns omnia. Ergo qui vident Deum, omnia vident.
Objection 1: It seems that those who see the essence of God see all things in God. For Gregory says (Dialog. iv): What do they not see, who see Him Who sees all things? But God sees all things. Therefore those who see God see all things.
Item, quicumque videt speculum, videt ea quae in speculo resplendent. Sed omnia quaecumque fiunt vel fieri possunt, in Deo resplendent sicut in quodam speculo, ipse enim omnia in seipso cognoscit. Ergo quicumque videt Deum, videt omnia quae sunt et quae fieri possunt.
Obj. 2: Further, whoever sees a mirror, sees what is reflected in the mirror. But all actual or possible things shine forth in God as in a mirror; for He knows all things in Himself. Therefore whoever sees God, sees all actual things in Him, and also all possible things.
Praeterea, qui intelligit id quod est maius, potest intelligere minima, ut dicitur III de anima. Sed omnia quae Deus facitvel facere potest, sunt minus quam eius essentia. Ergo quicumque intelligit Deum, potest intelligere omnia quae Deus facit vel facere potest.
Obj. 3: Further, whoever understands the greater, can understand the least, as is said in De Anima iii. But all that God does, or can do, are less than His essence. Therefore whoever understands God, can understand all that God does, or can do.
Praeterea, rationalis creatura omnia naturaliter scire desiderat. Si igitur videndo Deum non omnia sciat, non quietatur eius naturale desiderium, et ita, videndo Deum non erit beata. Quod est inconveniens. Videndo igitur Deum, omnia scit.
Obj. 4: Further, the rational creature naturally desires to know all things. Therefore if in seeing God it does not know all things, its natural desire will not rest satisfied; thus, in seeing God it will not be fully happy; which is incongruous. Therefore he who sees God knows all things.
Sed contra est quod Angeli vident Deum per essentiam, et tamen non omnia sciunt. Inferiores enim Angeli purgantur a superioribus a nescientia, ut dicit Dionysius, VII cap. Cael. Hier. Ipsi etiam nesciunt futura contingentia et cogitationes cordium, hoc enim solius Dei est. Non ergo quicumque vident Dei essentiam, vident omnia.
On the contrary, The angels see the essence of God; and yet do not know all things. For as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. vii), the inferior angels are cleansed from ignorance by the superior angels. Also they are ignorant of future contingent things, and of secret thoughts; for this knowledge belongs to God alone. Therefore whosoever sees the essence of God, does not know all things.
Respondeo dicendum quod intellectus creatus, videndo divinam essentiam, non videt in ipsa omnia quae facit Deus vel facere potest. Manifestum est enim quod sic aliqua videntur in Deo, secundum quod sunt in ipso. Omnia autem alia sunt in Deo, sicut effectus sunt virtute in sua causa. Sic igitur videntur alia in Deo, sicut effectus in sua causa. Sed manifestum est quod quanto aliqua causa perfectius videtur, tanto plures eius effectus in ipsa videri possunt. Qui enim habet intellectum elevatum, statim uno principio demonstrativo proposito, ex ipso multarum conclusionum cognitionem accipit, quod non convenit ei qui debilioris intellectus est, sed oportet quod ei singula explanentur. Ille igitur intellectus potest in causa cognoscere omnes causae effectus, et omnes rationes effectuum, qui causam totaliter comprehendit. Nullus autem intellectus creatus totaliter Deum comprehendere potest, ut ostensum est. Nullus igitur intellectus creatus, videndo Deum, potest cognoscere omnia quae Deus facit vel potest facere, hoc enim esset comprehendere eius virtutem. Sed horum quae Deus facit vel facere potest, tanto aliquis intellectus plura cognoscit, quanto perfectius Deum videt.
I answer that, The created intellect, in seeing the divine essence, does not see in it all that God does or can do. For it is manifest that things are seen in God as they are in Him. But all other things are in God as effects are in the power of their cause. Therefore all things are seen in God as an effect is seen in its cause. Now it is clear that the more perfectly a cause is seen, the more of its effects can be seen in it. For whoever has a lofty understanding, as soon as one demonstrative principle is put before him can gather the knowledge of many conclusions; but this is beyond one of a weaker intellect, for he needs things to be explained to him separately. And so an intellect can know all the effects of a cause and the reasons for those effects in the cause itself, if it comprehends the cause wholly. Now no created intellect can comprehend God wholly, as shown above (A. 7). Therefore no created intellect in seeing God can know all that God does or can do, for this would be to comprehend His power; but of what God does or can do any intellect can know the more, the more perfectly it sees God.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Gregorius loquitur quantum ad sufficientiam obiecti, scilicet Dei, quod, quantum in se est, sufficienter continet omnia et demonstrat. Non tamen sequitur quod unusquisque videns Deum omnia cognoscat, quia non perfecte comprehendit ipsum.
Reply Obj. 1: Gregory speaks as regards the object being sufficient, namely, God, who in Himself sufficiently contains and shows forth all things; but it does not follow that whoever sees God knows all things, for he does not perfectly comprehend Him.
Ad secundum dicendum quod videns speculum, non est necessarium quod omnia in speculo videat, nisi speculum visu suo comprehendat.
Reply Obj. 2: It is not necessary that whoever sees a mirror should see all that is in the mirror, unless his glance comprehends the mirror itself.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, licet maius sit videre Deum quam omnia alia, tamen maius est videre sic Deum quod omnia in eo cognoscantur, quam videre sic ipsum quod non omnia, sed pauciora vel plura cognoscantur in eo. Iam enim ostensum est quod multitudo cognitorum in Deo, consequitur modum videndi ipsum vel magis perfectum vel minus perfectum.
Reply Obj. 3: Although it is more to see God than to see all things else, still it is a greater thing to see Him so that all things are known in Him, than to see Him in such a way that not all things, but the fewer or the more, are known in Him. For it has been shown in this article that the more things are known in God according as He is seen more or less perfectly.
Ad quartum dicendum quod naturale desiderium rationalis creaturae est ad sciendum omnia illa quae pertinent ad perfectionem intellectus; et haec sunt species et genera rerum, et rationes earum, quae in Deo videbit quilibet videns essentiam divinam. Cognoscere autem alia singularia, et cogitata et facta eorum, non est de perfectione intellectus creati, nec ad hoc eius naturale desiderium tendit, nec iterum cognoscere illa quae nondum sunt, sed fieri a Deo possunt. Si tamen solus Deus videretur, qui est fons et principium totius esse et veritatis, ita repleret naturale desiderium sciendi, quod nihil aliud quaereretur, et beatus esset. Unde dicit Augustinus, V Confess., infelix homo qui scit omnia illa (scilicet creaturas), te autem nescit, beatus autem qui te scit, etiam si illa nesciat. Qui vero te et illa novit, non propter illa beatior est, sed propter te solum beatus.
Reply Obj. 4: The natural desire of the rational creature is to know everything that belongs to the perfection of the intellect, namely, the species and the genera of things and their types, and these everyone who sees the Divine essence will see in God. But to know other singulars, their thoughts and their deeds does not belong to the perfection of the created intellect nor does its natural desire go out to these things; neither, again, does it desire to know things that exist not as yet, but which God can call into being. Yet if God alone were seen, Who is the fount and principle of all being and of all truth, He would so fill the natural desire of knowledge that nothing else would be desired, and the seer would be completely beatified. Hence Augustine says (Confess. v): Unhappy the man who knoweth all these (i.e., all creatures) and knoweth not Thee! But happy whoso knoweth Thee although he know not these. And whoso knoweth both Thee and them is not the happier for them, but for Thee alone.
Utrum ea quae videntur in Deo, a videntibus divinam essentiam per aliquas similitudines videantur
Whether what is seen in God by those who see the divine essence, is seen through any similitude?
Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod ea quae videntur in Deo, a videntibus divinam essentiam per aliquas similitudines videantur. Omnis enim cognitio est per assimilationem cognoscentis ad cognitum, sic enim intellectus in actu fit intellectum in actu, et sensus in actu sensibile in actu, inquantum eius similitudine informatur, ut pupilla similitudine coloris. Si igitur intellectus videntis Deum per essentiam intelligat in Deo aliquas creaturas, oportet quod earum similitudinibus informetur.
Objection 1: It seems that what is seen in God by those who see the Divine essence, is seen by means of some similitude. For every kind of knowledge comes about by the knower being assimilated to the object known. For thus the intellect in act becomes the actual intelligible, and the sense in act becomes the actual sensible, inasmuch as it is informed by a similitude of the object, as the eye by the similitude of color. Therefore if the intellect of one who sees the Divine essence understands any creatures in God, it must be informed by their similitudes.
Praeterea, ea quae prius vidimus, memoriter tenemus. Sed Paulus, videns in raptu essentiam Dei, ut dicit Augustinus XII super Gen. ad litteram, postquam desiit essentiam Dei videre, recordatus est multorum quae in illo raptu viderat, unde ipse dicit quod audivit arcana verba, quae non licet homini loqui, II Cor. XII. Ergo oportet dicere quod aliquae similitudines eorum quae recordatus est, in eius intellectu remanserint. Et eadem ratione, quando praesentialiter videbat Dei essentiam, eorum quae in ipsa videbat, aliquas similitudines vel species habebat.
Obj. 2: Further, what we have seen, we keep in memory. But Paul, seeing the essence of God whilst in ecstasy, when he had ceased to see the Divine essence, as Augustine says (Gen ad lit. xii, 28,34), remembered many of the things he had seen in the rapture; hence he said: I have heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter (2 Cor 12:4). Therefore it must be said that certain similitudes of what he remembered, remained in his mind; and in the same way, when he actually saw the essence of God, he had certain similitudes or ideas of what he actually saw in it.
Sed contra est quod per unam speciem videtur speculum, et ea quae in speculo apparent. Sed omnia sic videntur in Deo sicut in quodam speculo intelligibili. Ergo, si ipse Deus non videtur per aliquam similitudinem, sed per suam essentiam; nec ea quae in ipso videntur, per aliquas similitudines sive species videntur.
On the contrary, A mirror and what is in it are seen by means of one likeness. But all things are seen in God as in an intelligible mirror. Therefore if God Himself is not seen by any similitude but by His own essence, neither are the things seen in Him seen by any similitudes or ideas.
Respondeo dicendum quod videntes Deum per essentiam, ea quae in ipsa essentia Dei vident, non vident per aliquas species, sed per ipsam essentiam divinam intellectuieorum unitam. Sic enim cognoscitur unumquodque, secundum quod similitudo eius est in cognoscente. Sed hoc contingit dupliciter. Cum enim quaecumque uni et eidem sunt similia, sibi invicem sint similia, virtus cognoscitiva dupliciter assimilari potest alicui cognoscibili. Uno modo, secundum se, quando directe eius similitudine informatur, et tunc cognoscitur illud secundum se. Alio modo, secundum quod informatur specie alicuius quod est ei simile, et tunc non dicitur res cognosci in seipsa, sed in suo simili. Alia enim est cognitio qua cognoscitur aliquis homo in seipso, et alia qua cognoscitur in sua imagine. Sic ergo, cognoscere res per earum similitudines in cognoscente existentes, est cognoscere eas in seipsis, seu in propriis naturis, sed cognoscere eas prout earum similitudines praeexistunt in Deo, est videre eas in Deo. Et hae duae cognitiones differunt. Unde secundum illam cognitionem qua res cognoscuntura videntibus Deum per essentiam in ipso Deo, non videntur per aliquas similitudines alias; sed per solam essentiam divinam intellectui praesentem, per quam et Deus videtur.
I answer that, Those who see the divine essence see what they see in God not by any likeness, but by the divine essence itself united to their intellect. For each thing is known in so far as its likeness is in the one who knows. Now this takes place in two ways. For as things which are like one and the same thing are like to each other, the cognitive faculty can be assimilated to any knowable object in two ways. In one way it is assimilated by the object itself, when it is directly informed by a similitude, and then the object is known in itself. In another way when informed by a similitude which resembles the object; and in this way, the knowledge is not of the thing in itself, but of the thing in its likeness. For the knowledge of a man in himself differs from the knowledge of him in his image. Hence to know things thus by their likeness in the one who knows, is to know them in themselves or in their own nature; whereas to know them by their similitudes pre-existing in God, is to see them in God. Now there is a difference between these two kinds of knowledge. Hence, according to the knowledge whereby things are known by those who see the essence of God, they are seen in God Himself not by any other similitudes but by the Divine essence alone present to the intellect; by which also God Himself is seen.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod intellectus videntis Deum assimilatur rebus quae videntur in Deo, inquantum unitur essentiae divinae, in qua rerum omnium similitudines praeexistunt.
Reply Obj. 1: The created intellect of one who sees God is assimilated to what is seen in God, inasmuch as it is united to the Divine essence, in which the similitudes of all things pre-exist.
Ad secundum dicendum quod aliquae potentiae cognoscitivae sunt, quae ex speciebus primo conceptis alias formare possunt. Sicut imaginatio ex praeconceptis speciebus montis et auri, format speciem montis aurei, et intellectus ex praeconceptis speciebus generis et differentiae, format rationem speciei. Et similiter ex similitudine imaginis formare possumus in nobis similitudinem eius cuius est imago. Et sic Paulus, vel quicumque alius videns Deum, ex ipsa visione essentiae divinae potest formare in se similitudines rerum quae in essentia divina videntur, quae remanserunt in Paulo etiam postquam desiit Dei essentiam videre. Ista tamen visio, qua videntur res per huiusmodi species sic conceptas, est alia a visione qua videntur res in Deo.
Reply Obj. 2: Some of the cognitive faculties form other images from those first conceived; thus the imagination from the preconceived images of a mountain and of gold can form the likeness of a golden mountain; and the intellect, from the preconceived ideas of genus and difference, forms the idea of species; in like manner from the similitude of an image we can form in our minds the similitude of the original of the image. Thus Paul, or any other person who sees God, by the very vision of the divine essence, can form in himself the similitudes of what is seen in the divine essence, which remained in Paul even when he had ceased to see the essence of God. Still this kind of vision whereby things are seen by this likeness thus conceived, is not the same as that whereby things are seen in God.
Utrum videntes Deum per essentiam simul videant omnia quae in ipso vident
Whether those who see the essence of God see all they see in it at the same time?
Ad decimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod videntes Deum per essentiam non simul videant omnia quae in ipso vident. Quia, secundum Philosophum, contingit multa scire, intelligere vero unum. Sed ea quae videntur in Deo, intelliguntur, intellectu enim videtur Deus. Ergo non contingit a videntibus Deum simul multa videri in Deo.
Objection 1: It seems that those who see the essence of God do not see all they see in Him at one and the same time. For according to the Philosopher (Topic. ii): It may happen that many things are known, but only one is understood. But what is seen in God, is understood; for God is seen by the intellect. Therefore those who see God do not see all in Him at the same time.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, VIII super Gen. ad litteram, quod Deus movet creaturam spiritualem per tempus, hoc est per intelligentiam et affectionem. Sed creatura spiritualis est angelus, qui Deum videt. Ergo videntes Deum, successive intelligunt et afficiuntur, tempus enim successionem importat.
Obj. 2: Further, Augustine says (Gen ad lit. viii, 22, 23), God moves the spiritual creature according to time—i.e., by intelligence and affection. But the spiritual creature is the angel who sees God. Therefore those who see God understand and are affected successively; for time means succession.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, ultimo de Trin., non erunt volubiles nostrae cogitationes, ab aliis in alia euntes atque redeuntes; sed omnem scientiam nostram uno simul conspectu videbimus.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. xvi): Our thoughts will not be unstable, going to and fro from one thing to another; but we shall see all we know at one glance.
Respondeo dicendum quod ea quae videntur in Verbo, non successive, sed simul videntur. Ad cuius evidentiam considerandum est, quod ideo nos simul non possumus multa intelligere, quia multa per diversas species intelligimus; diversis autem speciebus non potest intellectus unus simul actu informari ad intelligendum per eas, sicut nec unum corpus potest simul diversis figuris figurari. Unde contingit quod, quando aliqua multa una specie intelligi possunt, simul intelliguntur, sicut diversae partes alicuius totius, si singulae propriis speciebus intelligantur, successive intelliguntur, et non simul; si autem omnes intelligantur una specie totius, simul intelliguntur. Ostensum est autem quod ea quae videntur in Deo, non videntur singula per suas similitudines, sed omnia per unam essentiam Dei. Unde simul, et non successive videntur.
I answer that, What is seen in the Word is seen not successively, but at the same time. In proof whereof, we ourselves cannot know many things all at once, forasmuch as we understand many things by means of many ideas. But our intellect cannot be actually informed by many diverse ideas at the same time, so as to understand by them; as one body cannot bear different shapes simultaneously. Hence, when many things can be understood by one idea, they are understood at the same time; as the parts of a whole are understood successively, and not all at the same time, if each one is understood by its own idea; whereas if all are understood under the one idea of the whole, they are understood simultaneously. Now it was shown above that things seen in God, are not seen singly by their own similitude; but all are seen by the one essence of God. Hence they are seen simultaneously, and not successively.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod sic unum tantum intelligimus, inquantum una specie intelligimus. Sed multa una specie intellecta simul intelliguntur, sicut in specie hominis intelligimus animal et rationale, et in specie domus parietem et tectum.
Reply Obj. 1: We understand one thing only when we understand by one idea; but many things understood by one idea are understood simultaneously, as in the idea of a man we understand animal and rational; and in the idea of a house we understand the wall and the roof.
Ad secundum dicendum quod Angeli, quantum ad cognitionem naturalem qua cognoscunt res per species diversas eis inditas, non simul omnia cognoscunt, et sic moventur, secundum intelligentiam, per tempus. Sed secundum quod vident res in Deo, simul eas vident.
Reply Obj. 2: As regards their natural knowledge, whereby they know things by diverse ideas given them, the angels do not know all things simultaneously, and thus they are moved in the act of understanding according to time; but as regards what they see in God, they see all at the same time.
Utrum aliquis in hac vita possit Deum per essentiam videre
Whether anyone in this life can see the essence of God?
Ad undecimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod aliquis in hac vita possit Deum per essentiam videre. Dicit enim Iacob, Gen. XXXII, vidi Deum facie ad faciem. Sed videre facie ad faciem, est videre per essentiam, ut patet per illud quod dicitur I Cor. XIII, videmus nunc per speculum et in aenigmate, tunc autem facie ad faciem. Ergo Deus in hac vita per essentiam videri potest.
Objection 1: It seems that one can in this life see the Divine essence. For Jacob said: I have seen God face to face (Gen 32:30). But to see Him face to face is to see His essence, as appears from the words: We see now in a glass and in a dark manner, but then face to face (1 Cor 13:12). Therefore God can be seen through his essence in this life.
Praeterea, Num. XII dicit dominus de Moyse, ore ad os loquor ei, et palam, et non per aenigmata et figuras, videt Deum. Sed hoc est videre Deum per essentiam. Ergo aliquis in statu huius vitae potest Deum per essentiam videre.
Obj. 2: Further, the Lord said to Moses: I speak to him mouth to mouth, and plainly, and not by riddles and figures doth he see the Lord (Num 12:8); but this is to see God in His essence. Therefore it is possible to see the essence of God in this life.
Praeterea, illud in quo alia omnia cognoscimus, et per quod de aliis iudicamus, est nobis secundum se notum. Sed omnia etiam nunc in Deo cognoscimus. Dicit enim Augustinus, XII Conf., si ambo videmus verum esse quod dicis, et ambo videmus verum esse quod dico, ubi quaeso illud videmus? Nec ego in te, nec tu in me, sed ambo in ipsa quae supra mentes nostras est, incommutabili veritate. Idem etiam, in libro de vera religione, dicit quod secundum veritatem divinam de omnibus iudicamus. Et XII de Trin. dicit quod rationis est iudicare de istis corporalibus secundum rationes incorporales et sempiternas, quae nisi supra mentem essent, incommutabiles profecto non essent. Ergo et in hac vita ipsum Deum videmus.
Obj. 3: Further, that wherein we know all other things, and whereby we judge of other things, is known in itself to us. But even now we know all things in God; for Augustine says (Confess. xii): If we both see that what you say is true, and we both see that what I say is true; where, I ask, do we see this? Neither I in thee, nor thou in me; but both of us in the very incommutable truth itself above our minds. He also says (De Vera Relig. xxx) that, We judge of all things according to the divine truth; and (De Trin. xii) that, it is the duty of reason to judge of these corporeal things according to the incorporeal and eternal ideas; which unless they were above the mind could not be incommutable. Therefore even in this life we see God Himself.
Praeterea, secundum Augustinum, XII super Gen. ad Litt., visione intellectuali videntur ea quae sunt in anima per suam essentiam. Sed visio intellectualis est de rebus intelligibilibus, non per aliquas similitudines, sed per suas essentias, ut ipse ibidem dicit. Ergo, cum Deus sit per essentiam suam in anima nostra, per essentiam suam videtur a nobis.
Obj. 4: Further, according to Augustine (Gen ad lit. xii, 24, 25), those things that are in the soul by their essence are seen by intellectual vision. But intellectual vision is of intelligible things, not by similitudes, but by their very essences, as he also says (Gen ad lit. xiii, 24, 25). Therefore since God is in our soul by His essence, it follows that He is seen by us in His essence.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Exod. XXXIII, non videbit me homo et vivet. Glossa, quandiu hic mortaliter vivitur, videri per quasdam imagines Deus potest; sed per ipsam naturae suae speciem non potest.
On the contrary, It is written, Man shall not see Me, and live (Exod 33:20), and a gloss upon this says, In this mortal life God can be seen by certain images, but not by the likeness itself of His own nature.
Respondeo dicendum quod ab homine puro Deus videri per essentiam non potest, nisi ab hac vita mortali separetur. Cuius ratio est quia, sicut supra dictum est, modus cognitionis sequitur modum naturae rei cognoscentis. Anima autem nostra, quandiu in hac vita vivimus, habet esse in materia corporali, unde naturaliter non cognoscit aliqua nisi quae habent formam in materia, vel quae per huiusmodi cognosci possunt. Manifestum est autem quod per naturas rerum materialium divina essentia cognosci non potest. Ostensum est enim supra quod cognitio Dei per quamcumque similitudinem creatam, non est visio essentiae ipsius. Unde impossibile est animae hominis secundum hanc vitam viventis, essentiam Dei videre.
I answer that, God cannot be seen in His essence by a mere human being, except he be separated from this mortal life. The reason is because, as was said above (A. 4), the mode of knowledge follows the mode of the nature of the knower. But our soul, as long as we live in this life, has its being in corporeal matter; hence naturally it knows only what has a form in matter, or what can be known by such a form. Now it is evident that the Divine essence cannot be known through the nature of material things. For it was shown above (AA. 2, 9) that the knowledge of God by means of any created similitude is not the vision of His essence. Hence it is impossible for the soul of man in this life to see the essence of God.