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while the process of becoming is going on?
Then the one is of the same age with all the others, so that if
the one itself does not contradict its own nature, it will be
neither prior nor posterior to the others, but simultaneous; and
according to this argument the one will be neither older nor younger
than the others, nor the others than the one, but according to the
previous argument the one will be older and younger than the others
and the others than the one.
After this manner then the one is and has become. But as to its
becoming older and younger than the others, and the others than the
one, and neither older. nor younger, what shall we say? Shall we say
as of being so also of becoming, or otherwise?
I cannot answer.
But I can venture to say, that even if one thing were older or
younger than another, it could not become older or younger in a
greater degree than it was at first; for equals added to unequals,
whether to periods of time or to anything else, leave the difference
between them the same as at first.
Of course. Then that which is, cannot become older or younger than
that which is, since the difference of age is always the same; the one
is and has become older and the other younger; but they are no
longer becoming so.
And the one which is does not therefore become either older or
younger than the others which are
But consider whether they may not become older and younger in
In what way?
Just as the one was proven to be older than the others and the
others than the one.
And what of that?
If the one is older than the others, has come into being a longer
time than the others.
But consider again; if we add equal time to a greater and a less
time, will the greater differ from the less time by an equal or by a
smaller portion than before?
By a smaller portion.
Then the difference between the age of the one and the age of the
others will not be afterwards so great as at first, but if an equal
time be added to both of them they will differ less and less in age?
And that which differs in age from some other less than formerly,
from being older will become younger in relation to that other than
which it was older?
And if the one becomes younger the others aforesaid will become
older than they were before, in relation to the one.
Then that which had become younger becomes older relatively to
that which previously had become and was older; it never really is
older, but is always becoming, for the one is always growing on the
side of youth and the other on the side of age. And in like manner the
older is always in process of becoming younger than the younger; for
as they are always going in opposite directions they become in ways
the opposite to one another, the younger older than the older and
the older younger than the younger. They cannot, however have
become; for if they had already become they would be and not merely
become. But that is impossible; for they are always becoming both
older and younger than one another: the one becomes younger than the
others because it was seen to be older and prior, and the others
become older than the one because they came into being later; and in
the same way the others are in the same relation to the one, because
they were seen to be older, and prior to the one.
That is clear.
Inasmuch then, one thing does not become older or younger than
another, in that they always differ from each other by an equal
number, the one cannot become older or younger than the others, nor
the other than the one; but inasmuch as that which came into being
earlier and that which came into being later must continually differ
from each other by a different portion-in this point of view the
others must become older and younger than the one, and the one than
For all these reasons, then, the one is and becomes older and
younger than itself and the others, and neither is nor becomes older
or younger than itself or the others.
But since the one partakes of time, and partakes of becoming older
and younger, must it not also partake of the past, the present, and
Of course it must.
Then the one was and is and will be, and was becoming and is
becoming and will become?
And there is and was and will be something which is in relation to
it and belongs to it?
And since we have at this moment opinion and knowledge and
perception of the one, there is opinion and knowledge and perception
Then there is name and expression for it, and it is named and
expressed, and everything of this kind which appertains to other:
things appertains to the one.
Certainly, that is true.