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Then we must say that the one which is not never stands still and
Nor is there any existing thing which can be attributed to it; for
if there had been, it would partake of being?
That is clear.
And therefore neither smallness, nor greatness, nor equality, can be
attributed to it?
Nor yet likeness nor difference, either in relation to itself or
Well, and if nothing should be attributed to it, can other things be
attributed to it?
And therefore other things can neither be like or unlike, the
same, or different in relation to it?
Nor can what is not, be anything, or be this thing, or be related to
or the attribute of this or that or other, or be past, present, or
future. Nor can knowledge, or opinion, or perception, or expression,
or name, or any other thing that is, have any concern with it?
Then the one that is not has no condition of any kind?
Such appears to be the conclusion.
Yet once more; if one is not, what becomes of the others? Let us
Yes; let us determine that.
The others must surely be; for if they, like the one, were not, we
could not be now speaking of them.
But to speak of the others implies difference-the terms "other"
and "different" are synonymous?
Other means other than other, and different, different from the
Then, if there are to be others, there is something than which
they will be other?
And what can that be?-for if the one is not, they will not be
other than the one.
They will not.
Then they will be other than each other; for the only remaining
alternative is that they are other than nothing.
And they are each other than one another, as being plural and not
singular; for if one is not, they cannot be singular but every
particle of them is infinite in number; and even if a person takes
that which appears to be the smallest fraction, this, which seemed
one, in a moment evanesces into many, as in a dream, and from being
the smallest becomes very great, in comparison with the fractions into
which it is split up?
And in such particles the others will be other than one another,
if others are, and the one is not?
And will there not be many particles, each appearing to be one,
but not being one, if one is not?
And it would seem that number can be predicated of them if each of
them appears to be one, though it is really many?
And there will seem to be odd and even among them, which will also
have no reality, if one is not?
And there will appear to be a least among them; and even this will
seem large and manifold in comparison with the many small fractions
which are contained in it?
And each particle will be imagined to be equal to the many and
little; for it could not have appeared to pass from the greater to the
less without having appeared to arrive at the middle; and thus would
arise the appearance of equality.
And having neither beginning, middle, nor end, each separate
particle yet appears to have a limit in relation to itself and other.
Because, when a person conceives of any one of these as such,
prior to the beginning another beginning appears, and there is another
end, remaining after the end, and in the middle truer middles within
but smaller, because no unity can be conceived of any of them, since
the one is not.
And so all being, whatever we think of, must be broken up into
fractions, for a particle will have to be conceived of without unity?
And such being when seen indistinctly and at a distance, appears
to be one; but when seen near and with keen intellect, every single
thing appears to be infinite, since it is deprived of the one, which
Nothing more certain.
Then each of the others must appear to be infinite and finite, and
one and many, if others than the one exist and not the one.
Then will they not appear to be like and unlike?
In what way?
Just as in a picture things appear to be all one to a person
standing at a distance, and to be in the same state and alike?