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And it is older (is it not?) when in becoming, it gets to the
point of time. between "was" and "will be," which is "now": for surely
in going from the past to the future, it cannot skip the present?
And when it arrives at the present it stops from becoming older, and
no longer becomes, but is older, for if it went on it would never be
reached by the present, for it is the nature of that which goes on, to
touch both the present and the future, letting go the present and
seizing the future, while in process of becoming between them.
But that which is becoming cannot skip the present; when it
reaches the present it ceases to become, and is then whatever it may
happen to be becoming.
And so the one, when in becoming older it reaches the present,
ceases to become, and is then older.
And it is older than that than which it was becoming older, and it
was becoming older than itself.
And that which is older is older than that which is younger?
Then the one is younger than itself, when in becoming older it
reaches the present?
But the present is always present with the one during all its being;
for whenever it is it is always now.
Then the one always both is and becomes older and younger than
And is it or does it become a longer time than itself or an equal
time with itself?
An equal time.
But if it becomes or is for an equal time with itself, it is of
the same age with itself?
And that which is of the same age, is neither older nor younger?
The one, then, becoming and being the same time with itself, neither
is nor becomes older or younger than itself?
I should say not.
And what are its relations to other things? Is it or does it
become older or younger than they?
I cannot tell you.
You can at least tell me that others than the one are more than
the one-other would have been one, but the others have multitude,
and are more than one?
They will have multitude.
And a multitude implies a number larger than one?
And shall we say that the lesser or the greater is the first to come
or to have come into existence?
Then the least is the first? And that is the one?
Then the one of all things that have number is the first to come
into being; but all other things have also number, being plural and
And since it came into being first it must be supposed to have
come into being prior to the others, and the others later; and the
things which came into being later, are younger than that which
preceded them? And so the other things will be younger than the one,
and the one older than other things?
What would you say of another question? Can the one have come into
being contrary to its own nature, or is that impossible?
And yet, surely, the one was shown to have parts; and if parts, then
a beginning, middle and end?
And a beginning, both of the one itself and of all other things,
comes into being first of all; and after the beginning, the others
follow, until you reach the end?
And all these others we shall affirm to be parts of the whole and of
the one, which, as soon as the end is reached, has become whole and
Yes; that is what we shall say.
But the end comes last, and the one is of such a nature as to come
into being with the last; and, since the one cannot come into being
except in accordance with its own nature, its nature will require that
it should come into being after the others, simultaneously with the
Then the one is younger than the others and the others older than
That also is clear in my judgment.
Well, and must not a beginning or any other part of the one or of
anything, if it be a part and not parts, being a part, be also of
And will not the one come into being together with each
part-together with the first part when that comes into being, and
together with the second part and with all the rest, and will not be
wanting to any part, which is added to any other part until it has
reached the last and become one whole; it will be wanting neither to
the middle, nor to the first, nor to the last, nor to any of them,