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Section 28

28. Now to see what all this reasoning has established:

Universally, what approaches as a good is a Form; Matter itself contains this good which is Form: are we to conclude that, if Matter had will, it would desire to be Form unalloyed?

No: that would be desiring its own destruction, for the good seeks to subject everything to itself. But perhaps Matter would not wish to remain at its own level but would prefer to attain Being and, this acquired, to lay aside its evil.

If we are asked how the evil thing can have tendency towards the good, we answer that we have not attributed tendency to Matter; our argument needed the hypothesis of sensation in Matter- in so far as possible consistently with retention of its character- and we asserted that the entry of Form, that dream of the Good, must raise it to a nobler order. If then Matter is Evil, there is no more to be said; if it is something else- a wrong thing, let us say- then in the hypothesis that its essence acquire sensation would not the appropriate upon the next or higher plane be its good, as in the other cases? But not what is evil in Matter would be the quester of good but that element in it [lowest Form] which in it is associated with evil.

But if Matter by very essence is evil how could it choose the good?

This question implies that if Evil were self-conscious it would admire itself: but how can the unadmirable be admired; and did we not discover that the good must be apt to the nature?

There that question may rest. But if universally the good is Form and the higher the ascent the more there is of Form-Soul more truly Form than body is and phases of soul progressively of higher Form and Intellectual-Principle standing as Form to soul collectively- then the Good advances by the opposite of Matter and, therefore, by a cleansing and casting away to the utmost possible at each stage: and the greatest good must be there where all that is of Matter has disappeared. The Principle of Good rejecting Matter entirely- or rather never having come near it at any point or in any way- must hold itself aloft with that Formless in which Primal Form takes its origin. But we will return to this.

Next: Section 29