9. (14) Over against that body, stands the principle which is self-caused, which is all that neither enters into being nor passes away, the principle whose dissolution would mean the end of all things never to be restored if once this had ceased to be, the sustaining principle of things individually, and of this kosmos, which owes its maintenance and its ordered system to the soul.
This is the starting point of motion and becomes the leader and provider of motion to all else: it moves by its own quality, and every living material form owes life to this principle, which of itself lives in a life that, being essentially innate, can never fail.
Not all things can have a life merely at second hand; this would give an infinite series: there must be some nature which, having life primally, shall be of necessity indestructible, immortal, as the source of life to all else that lives. This is the point at which all that is divine and blessed must be situated, living and having being of itself, possessing primal being and primal life, and in its own essence rejecting all change, neither coming to be nor passing away.
Whence could such a being arise or into what could it disappear: the very word, strictly used, means that the thing is perdurable. Similarly white, the colour, cannot be now white and now not white: if this "white" were a real being it would be eternal as well as being white: the colour is merely white but whatsoever possesses being, indwelling by nature and primal, will possess also eternal duration. In such an entity this primal and eternal Being cannot be dead like stone or plank: it must be alive, and that with a life unalloyed as long as it remains self-gathered: when the primal Being blends with an inferior principle, it is hampered in its relation to the highest, but without suffering the loss of its own nature since it can always recover its earliest state by turning its tendency back to its own.