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But when you approach them, they appear to be many and different;
and because of the appearance of the difference, different in kind
from, and unlike, themselves?
And so must the particles appear to be like and unlike themselves
and each other.
And must they not be the same and yet different from one another,
and in contact with themselves, although they are separated, and
having every sort of motion, and every sort of rest, and becoming
and being destroyed, and in neither state, and the like, all which
things may be easily enumerated, if the one is not and the many are?
Once more, let us go back to the beginning, and ask if the one is
not, and the others of the one are, what will follow.
Let us ask that question.
In the first place, the others will not be one?
Nor will they be many; for if they were many one would be
contained in them. But if no one of them is one, all of them are
nought, and therefore they will not be many.
If there be no one in the others, the others are neither many nor
They are not.
Nor do they appear either as one or many.
Because the others have no sort or manner or way of communion with
any sort of not-being, nor can anything which is not, be connected
with any of the others; for that which is not has no parts.
Nor is there an opinion or any appearance of not-being in connection
with the others, nor is not-being ever in any way attributed to the
Then if one is not, the others neither are, nor any of the others
either as one or many; for you cannot conceive the many without the
Then if one is not, there is no conception of can be conceived to be
either one or many?
It would seem not.
Nor as like or unlike?
Nor as the same or different, nor in contact or separation, nor in
any of those states which we enumerated as appearing to be;-the others
neither are nor appear to be any of these, if one is not?
Then may we not sum up the argument in a word and say truly: If
one is not, then nothing is?
Let thus much be said; and further let us affirm what seems to be
the truth, that, whether one is or is not, one and the others in
relation to themselves and one another, all of them, in every way, are
and are not, and appear to be and appear not to be.