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Section 5

5. How then can a multitude of essential beings be really one?

Obviously either the one essence will be entire in all, or the many will rise from a one which remains unaltered and yet includes the one- many in virtue of giving itself, without self-abandonment, to its own multiplication.

It is competent thus to give and remain, because while it penetrates all things it can never itself be sundered: this is an identity in variety.

There is no reason for dismissing this explanation: we may think of a science with its constituents standing as one total, the source of all those various elements: again, there is the seed, a whole, producing those new parts in which it comes to its division; each of the new growths is a whole while the whole remains undiminished: only the material element is under the mode of part, and all the multiplicity remains an entire identity still.

It may be objected that in the case of science the constituents are not each the whole.

But even in the science, while the constituent selected for handling to meet a particular need is present actually and takes the lead, still all the other constituents accompany it in a potential presence, so that the whole is in every part: only in this sense [of particular attention] is the whole science distinguished from the part: all, we may say, is here simultaneously effected: each part is at your disposal as you choose to take it; the part invites the immediate interest, but its value consists in its approach to the whole.

The detail cannot be considered as something separate from the entire body of speculation: so treated it would have no technical or scientific value; it would be childish divagation. The one detail, when it is a matter of science, potentially includes all. Grasping one such constituent of his science, the expert deduces the rest by force of sequence.

[As a further illustration of unity in plurality] the geometrician, in his analysis, shows that the single proposition includes all the items that go to constitute it and all the propositions which can be developed from it.

It is our feebleness that leads to doubt in these matters; the body obscures the truth, but There all stands out clear and separate.