QUESTION 54 ON THE BOOK OF SENTENCES
Can one Angel talk to another Angel, and how can they do this?
And as two persons can understand one another through their affatus (sense of speech), their hearing and their sight, so likewise and to a much higher degree, Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel understand and love each other through God, as each one manifests and represents to the other the glory which they receive from God, and the goodness, greatness etc. which they perceive in God in the manner that is indicated in the third, in the forty sixth, and in the fifty second question. And for all this, and infinitely more, the Vision of God is sufficient, in the same way that the affatus (sense of speech), and the senses of hearing, and sight, are sufficient for the mutual love and understanding that exist between two humans. For their understanding and loving are their very speech, and their mode of conversation is consistent with the mode we described in the triangle. But now, we will take yet another triangle, to explain how Angels speak to each other.
2. When two round mirrors, a large one and a small one, are put face to face, and one should be large, and the other small so that the figure of the small one can be seen in the large one, then three circles appear in the large mirror. One of these is larger than the others, and this is a figure of the small circular mirror, containing in turn one circle, which is a circular figure of the larger mirror again containing a figure of the smaller mirror. Of course, someone with good eyesight can see four, five, and naturally, even more circles that are not normally visible. But in our example, we only want to deal with three circles, and we call the largest circle A., and the medium size circle B., and the smallest circle C. And thus, there follow three more circles in the smaller mirror, and the largest of these we call D., this one is from the big mirror. And we call the medium size circle E., and this one belongs to the small mirror, and the smallest circle we call F., and it is cast by the big mirror. And we call the big mirror G., and the small mirror H. And the same thing can be done with even more than two mirrors, but then their disposition and emplacement no longer allow the human eye to see their mutual reflections. And thus, as G. shows itself to H., and vice versa, it receives A. from H., and as H. shows itself to G., so G. receives its own likeness as B. inside A., and G. sends B. back to H., and through B., G. receives C., which is its own likeness H. And thus G. shows itself, and receives, and re transmits, and on account of this, it contains A.B.C. And H. acts in G. in the same way. and this representation is straight, when the mirrors are straight. And if one mirror is straight, and the other one slanted, then their speculation is neutral. And if both are slanted, then the speculation is absolutely slanted. And the Speech of Angels consists in the said mode, be they good or evil, as each one represents its own concept to the other, and each one also represents whatever it receives from the other, in the same way as C. does with F. and F. with C. And if the Angels are good, and if they cannot understand one another through a straight representation, then they change their mode and objectify each other through C.F. with neutral lines. And likewise with the evil Angels, and if one is good, and the other is evil, then the good Angel, from its standpoint, perceives the evil one through a straight line, which the evil Angel takes to be an oblique one. And the evil Angel does the opposite. And thus, the way in which Angels converse with each other has been explained.
3. The Hermit says: (a).Raymond, your metaphor
about Angels is invalid, because mirrors are corporeal beings, whereas
Angels are purely spiritual, and as such they cannot speak, because they
lack the bodily instruments, without which there can be no speech.
4. Raymond replies: my dear Hermit, just as
sight needs none of the conditions of hearing in order to see, nor vice
versa, likewise and to a much higher degree, in the locutions of Angels,
none of the conditions of sense and imagination are needed, because they
are not joined to a body. You might just as well say, that if a blind
man cannot see, then he cannot hear either. And when you say that the metaphor
is invalid, because it confuses things of different natures, you are right
from a corporeal point of view, but wrong from the spiritual point of view.
And this is because the speech of Angels proceeds through their intellective
and loving nature, in the same way as the mode of speculation proceeds
with mirrors through light, transparency, and shade.
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