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Section 16

16. But if in the soul thing follows thing, if there is earlier and later in its productions, if it engenders or creates in time, then it must be looking towards the future; and if towards the future, then towards the past as well?

No: prior and past are in the things its produces; in itself nothing is past; all, as we have said, is one simultaneous grouping of Reason-Principles. In the engendered, dissimilarity is not compatible with unity, though in the Reason-Principles supporting the engendered such unity of dissimilars does occur- hand and foot are in unity in the Reason-Principle [of man], but apart in the realm of sense. Of course, even in that ideal realm there is apartness, but in a characteristic mode, just as in a mode, there is priority.

Now, apartness may be explained as simply differentiation: but how account for priority unless on the assumption of some ordering principle arranging from above, and in that disposal necessarily affirming a serial order?

There must be such a principle, or all would exist simultaneously; but the indicated conclusion does not follow unless order and ordering principle are distinct; if the ordering principle is Primal Order, there is no such affirmation of series; there is simply making, the making of this thing after that thing. The affirmation would imply that the ordering principle looks away towards Order and therefore is not, itself, Order.

But how are Order and this orderer one and the same?

Because the ordering principle is no conjoint of matter and idea but is soul, pure idea, the power and energy second only to the Intellectual-Principle: and because the succession is a fact of the things themselves, inhibited as they are from this comprehensive unity. The ordering soul remains august, a circle, as we may figure it, in complete adaptation to its centre, widening outward, but fast upon it still, an outspreading without interval.

The total scheme may be summarized in the illustration of The Good as a centre, the Intellectual-Principle as an unmoving circle, the Soul as a circle in motion, its moving being its aspiration: the Intellectual-Principle possesses and has ever embraced that which is beyond being; the soul must seek it still: the sphere of the universe, by its possession of the soul thus aspirant, is moved to the aspiration which falls within its own nature; this is no more than such power as body may have, the mode of pursuit possible where the object pursued is debarred from entrance; it is the motion of coiling about, with ceaseless return upon the same path- in other words, it is circuit.

Next: Section 17