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Section 8

8. The light of our world can be allocated because it springs from a corporeal mass of known position, but conceive an immaterial entity, independent of body as being of earlier nature than all body, a nature firmly self-based or, better, without need of base: such a principle, incorporeal, autonomous, having no source for its rising, coming from no place, attached to no material mass, this cannot be allotted part here and part there: that would be to give it both a previous position and a present attachment. Finally, anything participating in such a principle can participate only as entirety with entirety; there can be no allotment and no partition.

A principle attached to body might be exposed, at least by way of accident, to such partition and so be definable as passive and partible in view of its close relationship with the body of which it is so to speak a state or a Form; but that which is not inbound with body, which on the contrary body must seek, will of necessity go utterly free of every bodily modification and especially of the very possibility of partition which is entirely a phenomenon of body, belonging to its very essence. As partibility goes with body, so impartibility with the bodiless: what partition is possible where there is no magnitude? If a thing of magnitude participates to any degree in what has no magnitude, it must be by a participation without division; divisibility implies magnitude.

When we affirm unity in multiplicity, we do not mean that the unity has become the multiples; we link the variety in the multiples with the unity which we discern, undivided, in them; and the unity must be understood as for ever distinct from them, from separate item and from total; that unity remains true to itself, remains itself, and so long as it remains itself cannot fail within its own scope [and therefore does reach over the multiple], yet it is not to be thought of as coextensive with the material universe or with any member of the All; utterly outside of the quantitative, it cannot be coextensive with anything.

Extension is of body; what is not of body, but of the opposed order, must be kept free of extension; but where there is no extension there is no spatial distinction, nothing of the here and there which would end its freedom of presence. Since, then, partition goes with place- each part occupying a place of its own- how can the placeless be parted? The unity must remain self-concentrated, immune from part, however much the multiple aspire or attain to contact with it. This means that any movement towards it is movement towards its entirety, and any participation attained is participation in its entirety. Its participants, then, link with it as with something unparticipated, something never appropriated: thus only can it remain intact within itself and within the multiples in which it is manifested. And if it did not remain thus intact, it would cease to be itself; any participation, then, would not be in the object of quest but in something never quested.

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