Sacred Texts  Classics  Index  Previous  Next 

Section 14

14. To the argument touching relation we have an answer surely legitimate:

The Unity is not of a nature to lose its own manner of being only because something else stands in a state which it does not itself share; to stray from its unity it must itself suffer division into duality or the still wider plurality.

If by division the one identical mass can become a duality without loss of quantity, clearly the unity it possessed and by this destructive division lost was something distinct. What may be alternatively present and absent to the same subject must be classed among Real-Beings, regardless of position; an accidental elsewhere, it must have reality in itself whether it be manifested in things of sense or in the Intellectual- an accidental in the Laters but self-existent in the higher, especially in the First in its aspect of Unity developing into Being. We may be told that Unity may lose that character without change in itself, becoming duality by association with something else; but this is not true; unity does not become two things; neither the added nor what takes the addition becomes two; each remains the one thing it was; the duality is predicable of the group only, the unity remaining unchanged in each of those unchanged constituents.

Two and the Dyad are not essentially relative: if the only condition to the construction of duality were meeting and association such a relation might perhaps constitute Twoness and Duality; but in fact we see Duality produced by the very opposite process, by the splitting apart of a unity. This shows that duality- or any other such numerical form- is no relation produced either by scission or association. If one configuration produces a certain thing it is impossible that the opposite should produce the same so that the thing may be identified with the relation.

What then is the actual cause?

Unity is due to the presence of Unity; duality to that of Duality; it is precisely as things are white by Whiteness, just by Justice, beautiful by Beauty. Otherwise we must reject these universals and call in relation here also: justice would arise from a certain attitude in a given situation, Beauty from a certain pattern of the person with nothing present able to produce the beauty, nothing coming from without to effect that agreeable appearance.

You see something which you pronounce to be a unity; that thing possesses also size, form, and a host of other characteristics you might name; size, bulk, sweetness, bitterness and other Ideas are actually present in the thing; it surely cannot be thought that, while every conceivable quality has Real-Being, quantity [Number] has not and that while continuous quantity exists, discrete quantity does not and this though continuous quantity is measured by the discrete. No: as size by the presence of Magnitude, and Oneness by the presence of Unity, so with Duality and all the other numerical modes.

As to the How of participation, the enquiry is that of all participation in Ideal Forms; we must note, however, that the presence of the Decad in the looser totals is different from its presence in the continuous; there is difference again in its presence within many powers where multiplicity is concentred in unity; arrived at the Intellectuals, there too we discover Number, the Authentic Number, no longer entering the alien, Decad-Absolute not Decad of some particular Intellectual group.

Next: Section 15