The True Power Behind Russia & The Coming Church, Part II — Guest Post by Ianto Watt

Read Part I.

If the Tsar is the Autocrat, who then is the Autocephalous One? And which of these two Russian heads is supreme? Which head controls that Russian Eagle? For the sake of clarity let’s say it up front: I contend that no autocrat of Russia can rule (for long) without the at least implicit approval of the Patriarch of Moscow. While the second head appears to be a stunted stump, it in fact controls the fate of the ruler and thus, by extension, the people of Russia.

I know that is a bold claim. One that almost every ‘modern’ historian will howl at. But ask yourself something; have any of these guys ever foreseen a single train wreck coming down the tracks? Through the windshield, and not the rear-view mirror? There’s their problem. The mirror displays things in reverse. Which is why all of these ‘brilliant’ ones can never plumb the reasons for why things happen. All they can do is parrot the party line that is always conveniently available in the immediate aftermath of the latest disaster. The real story usually takes about a hundred years to surface. Eventually, it does. But that doesn’t stop the ‘hysterians’ of the day.

To make any progress here, we need to understand the origins of the Patriarchy. We already know the origins of the Tsars, and specifically this newly-proclaimed ‘autocratic’ one, Ivan III. We need to understand that this whole thing had played out earlier in time, in the Byzantine Empire. Yes, the Empire that the Russians had been married into, all the way from Vladimir the Great (988) to Ivan III. And that meant that Russia was Orthodox, just as all the Byzantine Emperors were (or claimed to be). And that meant that there was a bond between Church and State. None of this separation-of-things nonsense. Personally, I’m a fan of that bond. As long as it is between a national State and a universal Church. Why do I make that distinction? Because if the State is bigger than the Church, then guess what happens to the Church?

Let’s pause for a moment while all our partisan nationalist-church fans bay at the moon. There, do you feel better now? How’s that nationalist church thing working out for you? Are you liking all those modernizations to your liturgy? Your doctrines? Your clergy? Are you having lots of converts swarm into your church? That’s what’s supposed to happen, you know. The Church is supposed to purify all the pagan tribes. Not the other way around. Now tell me again, is it that way in your church? Do you see why the Church must be larger than the State? Do you see now the implicit danger that comes from an ever-expanding State that morphs into an Empire? And that the Empire will subjugate the Church, in order to subjugate the people? Just like in Byzantium, the Second Rome. Just like in Moscow, the Third Rome. But there’s a problem here, citizen: First Rome has never fallen. And never will. Until the end, of course.

In other words, only one head can effectively rule the body, or else you’ve got a Russian mutant on your hands. Let’s look at how this happened. First, the concept of the Patriarchy (and it’s follow-on, the Pentarchy) must be understood. It was never intended to mean an Autocephalous body that was, by definition, independent (in thought) from any other body. Or head. Otherwise, with four (or five) different Patriarchs running around, you had no chance at gaining or keeping doctrinal unity. Each one held an implicit veto over the others. Who could imagine Constantinople being in agreement with Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch? Except, of course, on the one question of whether Rome was above them all? So, what’s that spell? Hydra, of course. We’re back to Greek mythology.

Now three of these Patriarchates had fallen to the Mohammedans early on in the whirlwind of the East. And the fourth, Constantinople, had finally succumbed in 1453 (although it had been nibbled down to next-to-nothing several hundred years before). Since each of these four Patriarchates was subject to the Mohammedans and had no freedoms, religious or otherwise, they were all subject to the external Emperor. Who cares if the Emperor was a Greek or a Mohammedan? The reality was that the Eastern Church was enslaved to the State.

During this time of enslavement, these four slave-churches had been reduced to sending emissaries to Moscow, the last redoubt of Eastern Orthodoxy, to beg for alms from the Tsars. For hundreds of years, the Tsars obliged them. And eventually obligated them. After all, it was pretty clear to any idiot (except the Patriarchs) that the real population and power of Eastern Orthodoxy resided in Russia. As it does to this day. Pretty soon, the Russian rulers began to ask the inevitable question: why do we have to ask Constantinople for our bishops and metropolitans? Why do we need Greeks to head our Church? They can’t seem to defend themselves. What has their faith brought them?

Now a smarter man might have asked this last question first. But the Russian rulers were really no different than most others, especially the Western Orthodox (Anglican and Lutheran) rulers. For those Western rulers had clearly seen the temporal advantages of having a nationalistic church as their lap dog. They understood the lesson Photius had taught the Emperor in 860 AD. The Church kept the people in line, and the Emperors kept the Church in line. Such a deal, no? If you’re the Emperor, that is.

It was Feodor I, the last of the Rurikid line of rulers, the son of Ivan the IV, that finally made the request. No, he didn’t get uppity or anything. He didn’t have to. He was the benefactor, remember? He just asked why Moscow couldn’t be the Patriarchate that replaced ‘apostate’ Rome. After all, all the Orthodox world recognized Moscow as the Third Imperial Rome, as the first had supposedly collapsed, and the second, in Constantinople, had rotted in sensuality. Why shouldn’t Third Rome also be seen as the true Holy Rome? Such a simple request, right? Now let’s see; if this guy, the Tsar (whoever he is at the moment) is the guy we other four Patriarchs have to beg for money to keep our empty churches open (and thus keep our position of relative power and glory), how can we refuse him in this request? After all, if he refuses our call for alms, we will be reduced to nothing in very short order.

So, mirabile dictu, the request for the elevation of Moscow to the ranks of the Patriarchy was granted. Moscow was not only the Third Imperial Rome, now it was also to be considered (amongst the Eastern Orthodox Greeks) the Third Ecclesial Rome. At least, to some folks. The rulers of the Russian Church were no longer Greeks sent from (and loyal to) Constantinople. No, now they were Russians. Our own homegrown variety of Komrades! Guess who they owed their existence to? The Tsar? Good guess. Everybody was happy. Right?

Of course they were! Everyone got what they wanted. Best of all, the Tsar got what he wanted, autonomy. Which would grow into Autocracy. Total independence, and not just from the Mongols. Independence from everybody. Including the Church. Ain’t that swell?

It’s pretty simple, really, if you understand one thing. And that is that even though it was (and still is) in schism from First Rome, the Eastern Orthodox Church has three truths that are un-denied, even by Holy Rome: true sacraments, true doctrines (apart from Hesychasm) and a true priesthood. That means (to the irritation of any Orthodox who stops to think about it) the Eastern Orthodoxy has true Catholic Christians for subjects. Sure, maybe it has bad, even rebellious and schismatic leaders. But hey, no monopoly there! Nevertheless, the Orthodox faithful, like in the Latin Church, are exactly that: faithful, to the truth.

This reality of a Catholic pedigree for the Orthodox people is undeniable. And that means trouble, for somebody. Who could that be? The Tsar, silly. Why is that? After all, have I not said that in her claim to be Holy (Third) Rome, the Russian Orthodox Church is incorrect? Correct. Nevertheless, the Russian Orthodox Church, whether she knows it or not, is still a part of the Universal Church. Regardless of her protestation that she alone is the Universal Church, the ecclesial fact of the matter is this: she rightly commands the people’s allegiance in the matter of ruling on the legitimacy of the State. And that claim comes from her legitimacy of belief. Which beliefs are defined by Original (and still existing) Holy Rome. What does this mean?

I’ve said this before. The True Church (and all of her true parts) has three nuclear weapons to use against nationalistic (or even Imperialistic) rulers who abuse the Church or her people; excommunication, interdiction, and release of allegiance. Many rulers don’t give a damn (literally) about the first power. Some get uncomfortable with the second, which causes unrest among the people when their sacraments are denied to them. But the third one, the release of allegiance, is the deadliest power against any despot, regardless of title. For when the Church releases people from the sin that usually accompanies rebellion, then all political bets are off. Who in their right mind would willingly serve in the army of a ruler who openly defied their faith? Right. Damn few. That’s bad news for a national leader. It’s even worse for an Emperor.

Now we’re back to the inverse of the problem of Autocracy. As we’ve seen, through the eyes of Solzhenitsyn, the Autocrat was supposed to possess this power in the outward sense, against other nations who might have designs on the rightful independence of their neighbors. Beginning with Tsar Ivan III, he (and by extension, his people) were proclaiming their independence of any and all external political powers. But internally, they were to be one. Sobornost, Komrade.

The Autocephalous one, from an Ecclesial perspective, can only be One. Not four. Not five. Only One. Why? Because the nations (plural) are legitimately unique. Ordained by God at the Tower of Babel, the nations were created as a means of separating mankind so that they could not unite to commit again the sins that brought down the deluge of Noah’s time. Therefore, their multiplicity is a legitimate fact, a blessing even. For it removed the divine threat of annihilation. See that rainbow over there? No, not that fake flag. Up in the sky, silly. The real sky.

The Church on the other hand can only have one head, one body, one mind, one tongue. Why? Because it is built upon one belief. If you have multiple heads, then you could (and eventually will) have multiple beliefs. Divergent wills. This will divide the body. A process known as death. It may take a while, as the recurring schisms amputate further parts of the one body. But soon enough, there’s nothing left. Just like the Eastern Empire in the centuries before the final fall of Constantinople in 1453. Nothing left but a stump.

Sooner or later, this reality of the unity of the Church will become apparent to the ruler(s) of Russia. As I’ve noted, the sacraments, dogma and priesthood are all valid in Eastern Orthodoxy. The people can sense it, hence their tenacious loyalty of belief. This loyalty to the Church, anywhere, Orthodox or Latin, carries with it the seeds of Imperial destruction if the Emperor (Tsar) decides to push the Church too hard. Or if someone wearing the Klobuk decides to take advantage of his power and seize the throne for himself, as Photius, the father of Schism intended. Someone wearing the White Cowl of Novgorod, perhaps?

Here’s the point, my friend: Vlad the the Autocrat is not the real enemy. Rather, it is the Autocephalous Patriarch who is to be feared. Patriarch Kyrill, who prolongs the division of Christendom, is the one we must fear. For he seeks to subsume the Autocracy into his own Autocephaly, and to make them one. This is the one Robert Hugh Benson was worried about in his work The Lord of This World.

So, Vlad, you’d better be careful. The Greek (Russian) Orthodox Church is the second head on the body of Russia. The stunted head that is just now awakening. Patriarch Kyrill is the one that is awakening the Russian people from their Hesychastic trance. Kyrill has the power to correct or even depose Vlad. Kyrill can release the people of their duty of allegiance to Vlad. Kyrill can unite people beyond the borders of Russia and Religions, and is doing exactly that.

Kyrill is looking more desirable to more and more people, East and West, every day, as Francis has scattered his flock. Those two weren’t playing patty-cake in Havana.

Doesn’t anyone remember Odysseus, or Sinon and his big lie? Therein lies our danger. No one remembers anything anymore. Now, the Greek (Orthodox) Horse is being readied to be brought inside the walls of First Rome. The gates are being opened. Her leaders are drunk. Aeneas has fled.

Beware, Romans. The War at Troy has not ended. The ships are not gone. The danger has not passed. The test is before us.
My brothers, if you can’t bring yourself to pray for the conversion of Russia, because in your hedonistic Western-Orthodox dream-state, you think the East is already saved, will you do the next best thing? Will you please pray for the conversion of the West?

St. Olga, pray for us.

Why Not Only Us? Men Speak, Animals Make Noise

A review of the book Why Only Us: Language and Evolution by Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky.

Everybody knows, or used to know, that only men speak. Animals make noise, but men make words. A tweet or a bellow is not a language—though a bellowing tweet is. Why?

The standard classical answer—an answer that is not incompatible with the central thesis of Berwick and Chomsky that man is unique—is that man is different in essence than every other animal. What they might not hold with is the proposition that man is possessed of, among other things, a rational soul. He also is equipped with a sensitive soul, just like other animals. Yet man is an entirely different creature.

Saying man alone among other animals possess a rational soul is not an thorough explanation for why only us. Why can’t otters, say, or crows or dolphins also possess a rational soul? After all, if evolution via some physio-environmental-chemical process is what “created” animals, and man is partly an animal, why can’t this physio-environmental-chemical process cause, or has caused, more animals to posses rationality? (Saying evolution is not to name the process.)

The answer is that those parts of us that comprise our rationality, our intellects and will, are not made of physical stuff; they are immaterial. (The proof of this can be found in many places.) Accepting that, even for the sake of argument, means that a physio-environmental-chemical process cannot account for those parts of us which are rational, for the very simple reason that physio-environmental-chemical processes cannot affect non-material substances.

So we are not here because of evolution; or, rather, not wholly. Some physio-environmental-chemical process could have (and I think did) brought us to the point at which our frames were sufficiently able to interact with non-material intellects and wills. But at the point some Higher Power must necessarily have intervened.

It’s not likely Berwick and Chomsky would agree with this explanation. They argue that some physio-environmental-chemical process created all animals, including us, and including those parts of us that create and process speech—and they assume, but of course cannot prove, also those parts that comprehend speech.

In search of this, much of the book is given over to anatomical discussion of neural pathways, brain structures, and so on. We see pictures of the dorsal pathway “Part of the AF/SLF connecting to precentral premotor cortex” in humans, chickens, macaques, etc. Lots of supposition where in the brain noise-making and noise-recognition is processed. About how it all works they say their guesses are “necessarily speculative because we do not really know how the Basic Property is actually implemented in neural circuitry.” This non-answer is satisfactory for the philosophical reader, but obviously won’t be for the biological one. I’ll not say anything more about physiology, as I’m in the philosophical camp. I also won’t here discuss what they call the Darwinian “Modern Synthesis”, “fitness”, about which they are critical, and “random” and “fully stochastic” evolution, and the like except to say “random” or “stochastic” are not substitutes for cause.

We are unique. There have been they say eight major transitions of lifeforms “ranging from the origin of DNA to sexuality to the origin of language—six, including language, appear to have been unique evolutionary events confined to a single lineage” (emphasis added). We don’t have to agree with what process caused these events to agree with this observation. Quoting Ernst Mayer about our uniqueness, “Nothing demonstrates the improbability of the origin of high intelligence better than the millions of … lineages that failed to achieve it” (ellipsis original).

Evolution (by whatever process) is punctuated, even in the genus homo. “What we do not see is any kind of ‘gradualism’ in new tool technologies like fire, shelters, or figurative art.” Examples in animals of “instantaneous” phenotypic change are also noted.

Only certain birds, they say, come anywhere close to us, but even that distance is unbridgeable. The most advanced birdsound is not a language; neither are any other animals sounds languages.

Human language has these key properties: “(1) human language syntax is hierarchical, and is blind to considerations reserved for externalization; (2) the particular hierarchical structures associated with sentences affects their interpretation; and (3) there is no upper bound on the depth of relevant hierarchical structure.” These structures aren’t found in any other animal sounds. “Linear processing,” which is found, “does not even come close to being adequate for human language.” There are “plenty of animal communication systems. But they are all radically different from human language structure and function. Human language does not even fit within the standard typologies of animal communications systems…” These terms are all explained and defended at length, leaving no doubt about our uniqueness.

True, other primates communicates, for instance as we do by gesture, “but this is not language, since, as Burling notes, ‘our surviving primate communication system remains sharply distinct from language.'”

In a “for whatever it is worth” aside a fundamental truth is revealed: “the overwhelming use of language is internal—for thought. It takes an enormous act of will to keep from talking to oneself in every waking moment—and asleep as well, often a considerable annoyance.”

This hints at why language is necessary. They echo neurologist Harry Jerison who thought language necessary “for the construction of a real world.” How else do you name the animals? Tattersall agrees there was a sudden “innovation” in homo sapiens that accounted for language (ellipses original) “a neural change … in some population of the human lineage … rather minor in genetics terms [which] probably had nothing whatever to do with adaptation”.

In this adaption (they say) “there is no room in this picture for any precursors to language…There is no rationale for positing such a system: to go from seven-word sentences to the discrete infinity of human language requires emergence of the same recursive procedure as to go from zero to infinity, and there is of course no direct evidence of for such ‘protolanguages’.”

Berwick and Chomsky emphasize “that language is optimized for the system of thought, with mode of externalization secondary.” We think first and talk second. The natural question is why, especially since no physio-environmental-chemical process could have brought this about. Something else must have.

Manipulating the Alpha Level Cannot Cure Significance Testing — Update: Paper Finally Live!

A new paper has been submitted to a well known journal, “Manipulating the Alpha Level Cannot Cure Significance Testing: Comments on ‘Redefine Statistical Significance'”, by David Trafimow, Valentin Amrhein, Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, and — count ’em! — fifty-one others, of which is included Yours Truly. The other authors kindly and graciously allowed me to add my Amen, for which I am most grateful.

The “comments” refer to the paper by DJ Benjamin, Jim Berger, and a slew of others, “Redefine statistical significance” in Nature Human Behavior 1, 0189. Our submission is to the same journal, obviously as rebuttal.

We looked at Benjamin before, in the post Eliminate The P-Value (and Bayes Factor) Altogether & Replace It With This. The replacement is predictive modeling, which I wrote about extensively in Uncertainty and briefly in the JASA paper The Substitute for P-Values.

From the new paper, the One sentence summary: “We argue that depending on p-values to reject null hypotheses, including a recent call for changing the canonical alpha level for statistical significance from .05 to .005, is deleterious for the finding of new discoveries and the progress of cumulative science.”

You may download the entire paper as a PDF preprint at Peer J Preprints.

Here (not set in blockquote to avoid the italics) is the entire Conclusion. Help spread the word! It’s time to kill off p-values and “null hypothesis” significance testing once and for all — and restore a great portion of Uncertainty that has falsely been killed off. (Yes, Uncertainty.)

Conclusion

It seems appropriate to conclude with the basic issue that has been with us from the beginning. Should p-values and p-value thresholds be used as the main criterion for making publication decisions? The mere fact that researchers are concerned with replication, however it is conceptualized, indicates an appreciation that single studies are rarely definitive and rarely justify a final decision. Thus, p-value criteria may not be very sensible. A counterargument might be that researchers often make decisions about what to believe, and using p-value criteria formalize what otherwise would be an informal process. But this counterargument is too simplistic. When evaluating the strength of the evidence, sophisticated researchers consider, in an admittedly subjective way, theoretical considerations such as scope, explanatory breadth, and predictive power; the worth of the auxiliary assumptions connecting nonobservational terms in theories to observational terms in empirical hypotheses; the strength of the experimental design; or implications for applications. To boil all this down to a binary decision based on a p-value threshold of .05, .01, .005, or anything else, is not acceptable.

UPDATE Peerj says “This manuscript has been submitted and is being checked by PeerJ staff.” I thought it would have already cleared by now. It hasn’t, so the link above won’t yet work, as John discovered. Once the paper clears, I’ll update again. Sorry for the confusion.

UPDATE Difficulty is that Peer J says all authors have to confirm authorship, which means 54 people have to sign up for an account, etc. etc. Stay tuned.

UPDATE Paper is finally live! Follow this link!

Summary Against Modern Thought: Angels Know What We Know, And All At Once

This may be proved in three ways. The first...
This may be proved in three ways. The first…
See the first post in this series for an explanation and guide of our tour of Summa Contra Gentiles. All posts are under the category SAMT.

Previous post.

Today marks the close of Book II. There are four books in the series, with Book III being a bruiser, more than 50% longer than the others. We began Book I on 25 May 2014, two-and-a-half years ago. Therefore, I estimate we have a little more than three years to go before we finish; perhaps Christmas of 2020. Then it’s on to Summa Theologica!

Chapter 99 That separate substances know material things (alternate translation) We’re still using the alternate translation.

1 Thus, through the intelligible forms in question a separate substance knows not only other separate substances, but also the species of corporeal things.

Notes Angels know us.

2 For their intellect, being wholly in act, is perfect in point of natural perfection, and, therefore, it must comprehend its object—intelligible being—in a universal manner. Now, the species of corporeal things are also included within intelligible being, and the separate substance, therefore, knows them.

3 Moreover, since the species of things are distinguished as the species of numbers are distinguished, as noted above, the higher species must contain in some way that which is in the lower, just as the greater number contains the lesser. Since, then, separate substances are above corporeal substances, it follows that whatever things exist in corporeal substances in a material way are present in separate substances in an intelligible way, for that which is in something is in it according to the mode of that in which it is.

4 Also, if the separate substances move the heavenly bodies, as the philosophers say, then whatever results from the movement of the heavenly bodies is attributed to those bodies as instruments, since they move in being moved, but is ascribed to the separate substances which move them, as principal agents.

Now, separate substances act and move by their intellect. Hence, they are actually causing whatever is effected by the movement of the heavenly bodies, even as the craftsman works through his tools. Therefore, the forms of things generated and corrupted enjoy intelligible being in the separate substances. And that is why Boethius, in his book On the Trinity [II], says that from forms that are without matter came the forms that are in matter. Separate substances, then, know not only separate substances, but also the species of material things. For, if they know the species of generable and corruptible bodies, as the species of their proper effects, much more do they know the species of the heavenly bodies, as being the species of their proper instruments.

5 Indeed, the intellect of a separate substance is in act, having all the likenesses to which it is in potentiality, as well as being endowed with the power to comprehend all the species and differences of being; so that of necessity every separate substance knows all natural things and the total order thereof.

6 But since the intellect in perfect act is the thing understood in act, someone may think that a separate substance does not understand material things; for it would seem incongruous that a material thing should be the perfection of a separate substance.

7 Rightly considered, however, it is according to its likeness present in the intellect that the thing understood is the perfection of the one who understands it; for it is not the stone existing outside the soul that is a perfection of our possible intellect. Now, the likeness of the material thing is in the intellect of a separate substance immaterially, according to the latter’s mode, not according to that of a material substance. Hence, there is no incongruity in saying that this likeness is a perfection of the separate substance‚Äôs intellect, as its proper form.

Chapter 100 That separate substances know singulars (alternate translation) We’re still using the alternate translation.

1 Now, the likenesses of things existing in the intellect of a separate substance are more universal than in our intellect, and more efficacious as means through which something is known. And that is why separate substances, through the likenesses of material things, know material things, not only in terms of the nature of the genus or the species, as our intellect does, but in their individual nature as well.

2 For, since the species of things present in the intellect must be immaterial, they could not in our intellect be the principle of knowing singulars, which are individuated by matter; the species of our intellect are, in fact, of such limited power that one leads only to the knowledge of one.

Hence, even as it is impossible for the likeness of the generic nature to lead to the knowledge of the genus and difference so that the species be known through that likeness, so the likeness of the specific nature cannot lead to the knowledge of the individuating principles, which are material principles, so that through that likeness the individual may be known in its singularity. But the likeness existing in the separate substance’s intellect as a certain single and immaterial thing is of more universal power and, consequently, is able to lead to the knowledge of both the specific and the individuating principles, so that through this likeness, residing in its intellect, the separate substance can be cognizant, not only of the generic and specific natures, but of the individual nature as well. Nor does it follow that the form through which it knows is material; nor that those forms are infinite, according to the number of individuals…

4 A further argument. The species of intelligible things come to our intellect in an order contrary to that in which they reach the intellect of a separate substance. For they reach our intellect by way of analysis, through abstraction from material and individuating conditions; that is why we cannot know singulars through them.

But it is as it were by way of synthesis that intelligible species reach the intellect of a separate substance, for the latter has intelligible species by reason of its likeness to the first intelligible species—the divine intellect—which is not abstracted from things, but productive of them. And it is productive not only of the form, but also of the matter, which is the principle of individuation. Therefore, the species of the separate substance’s intellect regard the total thing, not only the principles of the species, but even the individuating principles. The knowledge of singulars, therefore, must not be denied to separate substances, although our intellect cannot be cognizant of singulars…

Chapter 101 Whether separate substances have natural knowledge of all things at the same time (alternate translation) We’re still using the alternate translation.

1 Now, since “the intellect in act is the thing understood in act, just as the sense in act is the sensible in act,” and since the same thing cannot at the same time be many things actually, it is seemingly impossible, as we observed above, that the intellect of a separate substance should be possessed of diverse species of intelligibles.

2 But it must be known that not everything is actually understood, the intelligible species of which is actually present in the intellect. For, since an intelligent substance is also endowed with will, being, thereby, master of its own acts, it is in its power after it possesses an intelligible species to use it for understanding actually, or, if it have several intelligible species, to use one of them.

That is why we do not actually consider all the things of which we have scientific knowledge. Therefore, an intellectual substance, being cognizant of things through a plurality of species, uses the one that it chooses, and thereby actually knows at the same time through the one species all the things which it knows; for they are all as one intelligible thing so far as they are known through one, even as our intellect knows at the same time several things brought together or related to one another as one individual thing. On the other hand, the things that the intellect knows through diverse species, it does not know at the same time. And, consequently, just as there is one understanding, so is there one thing actually understood.

3 Therefore, in the intellect of a separate substance there is a certain succession of understandings, but not movement properly so called, since act does not succeed potentiality; rather, act succeeds act.

4 But the divine intellect knows all things at the same time, because it knows all things through one thing, its essence, and because its action is its essence.

5 Wherefore, in God’s understanding there is no succession, but His act of understanding, wholly and simultaneously perfect, endures through all the ages. Amen.