Sacred Texts  Classics  Index  Previous  Next 

Section 4

4. Now, in general anything that has a potentiality is actually something else, and this potentiality of the future mode of being is an existing mode.

But what we think of as Matter, what we assert to be the potentiality of all things, cannot be said to be actually any one being among beings: if it were of itself any definite being, it could not be potentially all.

If, then, it is not among existences, it must necessarily be without existence.

How, therefore, can it be actually anything?

The answer is that while Matter can not be any of the things which are founded upon it, it may quite well be something else, admitting that all existences are not rooted in Matter.

But once more, if it is excluded from the entities founded upon it and all these are Beings, it must itself be a Non-Being.

It is, further, by definition, formless and therefore not an Idea: it cannot then be classed among things of the Intellectual Realm, and so is, once more, a Non-Being. Falling, as regards both worlds, under Non-Being, it is all the more decidedly the Non-Being.

It has eluded the Nature of the Authentic Existences; it has even failed to come up with the things to which a spurious existence can be attributed- for it is not even a phantasm of Reason as these are- how is it possible to include it under any mode of Being?

And if it falls under no mode of Being, what can it actually be?

Next: Section 5