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Section 9

9. The elements in their totality, as they stand produced, may be thought of as one spheric figure; this cannot be the piecemeal product of many makers each working from some one point on some one portion. There must be one cause; and this must operate as an entire, not by part executing part; otherwise we are brought back to a plurality of makers. The making must be referred to a partless unity, or, more precisely, the making principle must be a partless unity not permeating the sphere but holding it as one dependent thing. In this way the sphere is enveloped by one identical life in which it is inset; its entire content looks to the one life: thus all the souls are one, a one, however, which yet is infinite.

It is in this understanding that the soul has been taken to be a numerical principle, while others think of it as in its nature a self-increasing number; this latter notion is probably designed to meet the consideration that the soul at no point fails but, retaining its distinctive character, is ample for all, so much so that were the kosmos vaster yet the virtue of soul would still compass it- or rather the kosmos still be sunk in soul entire.

Of course, we must understand this adding of extension not as a literal increase but in the sense that the soul, essentially a unity, becomes adequate to omnipresence; its unity sets it outside of quantitative measurement, the characteristic of that other order which has but a counterfeit unity, an appearance by participation.

The essential unity is no aggregate to be annulled upon the loss of some one of the constituents; nor is it held within any allotted limits, for so it would be the less for a set of things, more extensive than itself, outside its scope; or it must wrench itself asunder in the effort to reach to all; besides, its presence to things would be no longer as whole to all but by part to part; in vulgar phrase, it does not know where it stands; dismembered, it no longer performs any one single function.

Now if this principle is to be a true unity- where the unity is of the essence- it must in some way be able to manifest itself as including the contrary nature, that of potential multiplicity, while by the fact that this multiplicity belongs to it not as from without but as from and by itself, it remains authentically one, possessing boundlessness and multiplicity within that unity; its nature must be such that it can appear as a whole at every point; this, as encircled by a single self-embracing Reason-Principle, which holds fast about that unity, never breaking with itself but over all the universe remaining what it must be.

The unity is in this way saved from the local division of the things in which it appears; and, of course, existing before all that is in place, it could never be founded upon anything belonging to that order of which, on the contrary, it is the foundation; yet, for all that they are based upon it, it does not cease to be wholly self-gathered; if its fixed seat were shaken, all the rest would fall with the fall of their foundation and stay; nor could it be so unintelligent as to tear itself apart by such a movement and, secure within its own being, trust itself to the insecurity of place which, precisely, looks to it for safety.

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