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Section 27

27. What view are we to take of that which is opposed to Motion, whether it be Stability or Rest? Are we to consider it as a distinct genus, or to refer it to one of the genera already established? We should, no doubt, be well advised to assign Stability to the Intellectual, and to look in the lower sphere for Rest alone.

First, then, we have to discover the precise nature of this Rest. If it presents itself as identical with Stability, we have no right to expect to find it in the sphere where nothing is stable and the apparently stable has merely a less strenuous motion.

Suppose the contrary: we decide that Rest is different from Stability inasmuch as Stability belongs to the utterly immobile, Rest to the stationary which, though of a nature to move, does not move. Now, if Rest means coming to rest, it must be regarded as a motion which has not yet ceased but still continues; but if we suppose it to be incompatible with Motion, we have first to ask whether there is in the Sensible world anything without motion.

Yet nothing can experience every type of motion; certain motions must be ruled out in order that we may speak of the moving object as existing: may we not, then, say of that which has no locomotion and is at rest as far as pertains to that specific type of motion, simply that it does not move?

Rest, accordingly, is the negation of Motion: in other words, it has no generic status. It is in fact related only to one type of motion, namely, locomotion; it is therefore the negation of this motion that is meant.

But, it may be asked, why not regard Motion as the negation of Stability? We reply that Motion does not appear alone; it is accompanied by a force which actualizes its object, forcing it on, as it were, giving it a thousand forms and destroying them all: Rest, on the contrary, comports nothing but the object itself, and signifies merely that the object has no motion.

Why, then, did we not in discussing the Intellectual realm assert that Stability was the negation of Motion? Because it is not indeed possible to consider Stability as an annulling of Motion, for when Motion ceases Stability does not exist, but requires for its own existence the simultaneous existence of Motion; and what is of a nature to move is not stationary because Stability of that realm is motionless, but because Stability has taken hold of it; in so far as it has Motion, it will never cease to move: thus, it is stationary under the influence of Stability, and moves under the influence of Motion. In the lower realm, too, a thing moves in virtue of Motion, but its Rest is caused by a deficiency; it has been deprived of its due motion.

What we have to observe is the essential character of this Sensible counterpart of Stability.

Consider sickness and health. The convalescent moves in the sense that he passes from sickness to health. What species of rest are we to oppose to this convalescence? If we oppose the condition from which he departs, that condition is sickness, not Stability; if that into which he passes, it is health, again not the same as Stability.

It may be declared that health or sickness is indeed some form of Stability: we are to suppose, then, that Stability is the genus of which health and sickness are species; which is absurd.

Stability may, again, be regarded as an attribute of health: according to this view, health will not be health before possessing Stability.

These questions may however be left to the judgement of the individual.

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