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Then it will neither partake of one measure, nor of many, nor of
few, nor of the same at all, nor be equal to itself or another; nor be
greater or less than itself, or other?
Well, and do we suppose that one can be older, or younger than
anything, or of the same age with it?
Why, because that which is of the same age with itself or other,
must partake of equality or likeness of time; and we said that the one
did not partake either of equality or of likeness?
We did say so.
And we also said, that it did not partake of inequality or
How then can one, being of this nature, be either older or younger
than anything, or have the same age with it?
In no way.
Then one cannot be older or younger, or of the same age, either with
itself or with another?
Then the one, being of this nature, cannot be in time at all; for
must not that which is in time, be always growing older than itself?
And that which is older, must always be older than something which
Then, that which becomes older than itself, also becomes at the same
time younger than itself, if it is to have something to become older
What do you mean?
I mean this:-A thing does not need to become different from
another thing which is already different; it is different, and if
its different has become, it has become different; if its different
will be, it will be different; but of that which is becoming
different, there cannot have been, or be about to be, or yet be, a
different-the only different possible is one which is becoming.
That is inevitable.
But, surely, the elder is a difference relative to the younger,
and to nothing else.
Then that which becomes older than itself must also, at the same
time, become younger than itself?
But again, it is true that it cannot become for a longer or for a
shorter time than itself, but it must become, and be, and have become,
and be about to be, for the same time with itself?
That again is inevitable.
Then things which are in time, and partake of time, must in every
case, I suppose, be of the same age with themselves; and must also
become at once older and younger than themselves?
But the one did not partake of those affections?
Not at all.
Then it does not partake of time, and is not in any time?
So the argument shows.
Well, but do not the expressions "was," and "has become," and "was
becoming," signify a participation of past time?
And do not "will be," "will become," "will have become," signify a
participation of future time?
And "is," or "becomes," signifies a participation of present time?
And if the one is absolutely without participation in time, it never
had become, or was becoming, or was at any time, or is now become or
is becoming, or is, or will become, or will have become, or will be,
But are there any modes of partaking of being other than these?
There are none.
Then the one cannot possibly partake of being?
That is the inference.
Then the one is not at all?
Then the one does not exist in such way as to be one; for if it were
and partook of being, it would already be; but if the argument is to
be trusted, the one neither is nor is one?
But that which is not admits of no attribute or relation?
Of course not.
Then there is no name, nor expression, nor perception, nor
opinion, nor knowledge of it?
Then it is neither named, nor expressed, nor opined, nor known,
nor does anything that is perceive it.
So we must infer.
But can all this be true about the one?
I think not.
Suppose, now, that we return once more to the original hypothesis;
let us see whether, on a further review, any new aspect of the
I shall be very happy to do so.
We say that we have to work out together all the consequences,
whatever they may be, which follow, if the one is?
Then we will begin at the beginning:-If one is, can one be, and
not partake of being?
Then the one will have being, but its being will not be the same