18. The Ideal Principle possessing the Intellection [= Idea, Noesis] of Magnitude- assuming that this Intellection is of such power as not merely to subsist within itself but to be urged outward as it were by the intensity of its life- will necessarily realize itself in a Kind [= Matter] not having its being in the Intellective Principle, not previously possessing the Idea of Magnitude or any trace of that Idea or any other.
What then will it produce [in this Matter] by virtue of that power?
Not horse or cow: these are the product of other Ideas.
No: this Principle comes from the source of Magnitude [= is primal "Magnitude"] and therefore Matter can have no extension, in which to harbour the Magnitude of the Principle, but can take in only its reflected appearance.
To the thing which does not enjoy Magnitude in the sense of having mass-extension in its own substance and parts, the only possibility is that it present some partial semblance of Magnitude, such as being continuous, not here and there and everywhere, that its parts be related within it and ungapped. An adequate reflection of a great mass cannot be produced in a small space- mere size prevents- but the greater, pursuing the hope of that full self-presentment, makes progress towards it and brings about a nearer approach to adequate mirroring in the parallel from which it can never withhold its radiation: thus it confers Magnitude upon that [= Matter] which has none and cannot even muster up the appearance of having any, and the visible resultant exhibits the Magnitude of mass.
Matter, then, wears Magnitude as a dress thrown about it by its association with that Absolute Magnitude to whose movement it must answer; but it does not, for that, change its Kind; if the Idea which has clothed it were to withdraw, it would once again be what it permanently is, what it is by its own strength, or it would have precisely the Magnitude lent to it by any other form that happens to be present in it.
The [Universal] Soul- containing the Ideal Principles of Real-Beings, and itself an Ideal Principle- includes all in concentration within itself, just as the Ideal Principle of each particular entity is complete and self-contained: it, therefore, sees these principles of sensible things because they are turned, as it were, towards it and advancing to it: but it cannot harbour them in their plurality, for it cannot depart from its Kind; it sees them, therefore, stripped of Mass. Matter, on the contrary, destitute of resisting power since it has no Act of its own and is a mere shadow, can but accept all that an active power may choose to send. In what is thus sent, from the Reason-Principle in the Intellectual Realm, there is already contained a degree of the partial object that is to be formed: in the image-making impulse within the Reason-Principle there is already a step [towards the lower manifestation] or we may put it that the downward movement from the Reason-Principle is a first form of the partial: utter absence of partition would mean no movement but [sterile] repose. Matter cannot be the home of all things in concentration as the Soul is: if it were so, it would belong to the Intellective Sphere. It must be all-recipient but not in that partless mode. It is to be the Place of all things, and it must therefore extend universally, offer itself to all things, serve to all interval: thus it will be a thing unconfined to any moment [of space or time] but laid out in submission to all that is to be.
But would we not expect that some one particularized form should occupy Matter [at once] and so exclude such others as are not able to enter into combination?
No: for there is no first Idea except the Ideal Principle of the Universe- and, by this Idea, Matter is [the seat of] all things at once and of the particular thing in its parts- for the Matter of a living being is disparted according to the specific parts of the organism: if there were no such partition nothing would exist but the Reason-Principle.