| Human spirit is able to recognize the existence of God. Man needs to contemplate on "Where God is" before he recognizes it. The method of contemplating on "Where God is", for Thomas Aquinas is his proof of five ways. St. Thomas - five ways was firstly enlightened by Platos participation and contemplating on the Idea; Aristotle pointed out the life of contemplation is a life like God, contemplation is the most precious for human being among creatures, it is a intellectual virtue which leads human being to the happiness.
The proof of Five Ways is secondly influenced by the Bible. The Book of Wisdom affirms: If they are capable of acquiring enough knowledge to be able to investigate the world, how have they been so slow to find its Master? In fact we could find the five ways' footprint in Thomas' commentary on the Gospel according to St. John chapter I which has mentioned about three kinds of contemplation.
The third element is the influence of Dominican's contemplative spirituality: The path of affirmation and gradation.
Lastly it comes from the genius of Thomas Aquians' summary.
Looking from the development of Metaphysics, we could find that Thomas used the way of Analogy and the notion of participation. He sees beings take part in the perfection of Being, this makes beings be transcendental from the finite toward the infinite. Thomas strongly established his five ways passed through Neo-Platonism's Participation and Aristotle's Analogy, this includes the reason's use of the principles of potency and act, causality.
Contemplation is the necessary way for understanding the proof of five ways, its practical methods for Thomas is through imaginary pictures, intelligible effects and contemplation in its essence. The aim of Thomas five ways is no doubt to lead human being pass through the wide way for visioning God.