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Section 27

27. But what is that whose entry supplies every such need?

Some Idea, we maintain. There is a Form to which Matter aspires: to soul, moral excellence is this Form.

But is this Form a good to the thing as being apt to it, does the striving aim at the apt?

No: the aptest would be the most resemblant to the thing itself, but that, however sought and welcomed, does not suffice for the good: the good must be something more: to be a good to another a thing must have something beyond aptness; that only can be adopted as the good which represents the apt in its better form and is best to what is best in the quester's self, to that which the quester tends potentially to be.

A thing is potentially that to which its nature looks; this, obviously, it lacks; what it lacks, of its better, is its good. Matter is of all that most in need; its next is the lowest Form; Form at lowest is just one grade higher than Matter. If a thing is a good to itself, much more must its perfection, its Form, its better, be a good to it; this better, good in its own nature, must be good also to the quester whose good it procures.

But why should the Form which makes a thing good be a good to that thing? As being most appropriate?

No: but because it is, itself, a portion of the Good. This is why the least alloyed and nearest to the good are most at peace within themselves.

It is surely out of place to ask why a thing good in its own nature should be a good; we can hardly suppose it dissatisfied with its own goodness so that it must strain outside its essential quality to the good which it effectually is.

There remains the question with regard to the Simplex: where there is utter absence of distinction does this self-aptness constitute the good to that Simplex?

If thus far we have been right, the striving of the lower possesses itself of the good as of a thing resident in a certain Kind, and it is not the striving that constitutes the good but the good that calls out the striving: where the good is attained something is acquired and on this acquisition there follows pleasure. But the thing must be chosen even though no pleasure ensued; it must be desirable for its own sake.

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