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Whether the essence of God can be seen with the bodily eye?

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This article helpfully provides a clarification on what we mean by the "beatific *vision,*" we do not mean to say that there is "literal," i.e., corporeal, vision (as we may see a red car through our bodily eyes), but, that there is a certain analogy of proper proportionality between this vision we have of corporeal objects and the knowledge our intellect will have of God.


We may phrase this analogy thus, "just as we *see* a corporeal object with our corporeal eyes, so also will we know a spiritual object with our intellect."


St. Thomas gives a powerful reason for this. As we will learn later on, man is a creature which is both corporeal and spiritual. We stand between the angels and the animals, in a sense being a "little Cosmos." In this mixed state, we touch both realms by our faculties. Now, our sight or any other sensory organ is ordered towards the corporeal, not the spiritual. Thus, it will not be ordered towards the vision of God, who is completely incorporeal. Thus, the conclusion follows.

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