Sacred Texts  Classics  Index  Previous  Next 

Section 11

11. It may be suggested that the decad is nothing more than so many henads; admitting the one henad why should we reject the ten? As the one is a real existence why not the rest? We are certainly not compelled to attach that one henad to some one thing and so deprive all the rest of the means to unity: since every existent must be one thing, the unity is obviously common to all. This means one principle applying to many, the principle whose existence within itself we affirmed to be presupposed by its manifestation outside.

But if a henad exists in some given object and further is observed in something else, then that first henad being real, there cannot be only one henad in existence; there must be a multiplicity of henads.

Supposing that first henad alone to exist, it must obviously be lodged either in the thing of completest Being or at all events in the thing most completely a unity. If in the thing of completest Being, then the other henads are but nominal and cannot be ranked with the first henad, or else Number becomes a collection of unlike monads and there are differences among monads [an impossibility]. If that first henad is to be taken as lodged in the thing of completest unity, there is the question why that most perfect unity should require the first henad to give it unity.

Since all this is impossible, then, before any particular can be thought of as a unit, there must exist a unity bare, unrelated by very essence. If in that realm also there must be a unity apart from anything that can be called one thing, why should there not exist another unity as well?

Each particular, considered in itself, would be a manifold of monads, totalling to a collective unity. If however Nature produces continuously- or rather has produced once for all- not halting at the first production but bringing a sort of continuous unity into being, then it produces the minor numbers by the sheer fact of setting an early limit to its advance: outgoing to a greater extent- not in the sense of moving from point to point but in its inner changes- it would produce the larger numbers; to each number so emerging it would attach the due quantities and the appropriate thing, knowing that without this adaptation to Number the thing could not exist or would be a stray, something outside, at once, of both Number and Reason.

Next: Section 12