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Section 3

3. We assert, then, a plurality of Existents, but a plurality not fortuitous and therefore a plurality deriving from a unity.

But even admitting this derivation from a unity- a unity however not predicated of them in respect of their essential being- there is, surely, no reason why each of these Existents, distinct in character from every other, should not in itself stand as a separate genus.

Is, then, this unity external to the genera thus produced, this unity which is their source though it cannot be predicated of them in respect of their essence? it is indeed external; the One is beyond; it cannot, therefore, be included among the genera: it is the [transcendent] source, while they stand side by side as genera. Yet surely the one must somehow be included [among the genera]? No: it is the Existents we are investigating, not that which is beyond Existence.

We pass on, then, to consider that which is included, and find to our surprise the cause included with the things it causes: it is surely strange that causes and effects should be brought into the same genus.

But if the cause is included with its effects only in the sense in which a genus is included with its subordinates, the subordinates being of a different order, so that it cannot be predicated of them whether as their genus or in any other relation, these subordinates are obviously themselves genera with subordinates of their own: you may, for example, be the cause of the operation of walking, but the walking is not subordinate to you in the relation of species to genus; and if walking had nothing prior to it as its genus, but had posteriors, then it would be a [primary] genus and rank among the Existents.

Perhaps, however, it must be utterly denied that unity is even the cause of other things; they should be considered rather as its parts or elements- if the terms may be allowed,- their totality constituting a single entity which our thinking divides. All unity though it be, it goes by a wonderful power out into everything; it appears as many and becomes many when there is a motion; the fecundity of its nature causes the One to be no longer one, and we, displaying what we call its parts, consider them each as a unity and make them into "genera," unaware of our failure to see the whole at once. We display it, then, in parts, though, unable to restrain their natural tendency to coalesce, we bring these parts together again, resign them to the whole and allow them to become a unity, or rather to be a unity.

All this will become clearer in the light of further consideration- when, that is to say, we have ascertained the number of the genera; for thus we shall also discover their causes. It is not enough to deny; we must advance by dint of thought and comprehension. The way is clear:

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