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Section 9

9. If we cannot but speak of Happening we must not halt at the word but look to the intention. And what is that? That the Supreme by possession of a certain nature and power is the Principle. Obviously if its nature were other it would be that other and if the difference were for the worse it would manifest itself as that lesser being. But we must add in correction that, as Principle of All, it could not be some chance product; it is not enough to say that it could not be inferior; it could not even be in some way good, for instance in some less perfect degree; the Principle of All must be of higher quality than anything that follows it. It is therefore in a sense determined- determined, I mean, by its uniqueness and not in any sense of being under compulsion; compulsion did not co-exist with the Supreme but has place only among secondaries and even there can exercise no tyranny; this uniqueness is not from outside.

This, then, it is; This and no other; simply what it must be; it has not "happened" but is what by a necessity prior to all necessities it must be. We cannot think of it as a chance existence; it is not what it chanced to be but what it must be- and yet without a "Must."

All the rest waits for the appearing of the king to hail him for himself, not a being of accident and happening but authentically king, authentically Principle, The Good authentically, not a being that acts in conformity with goodness- and so, recognisably, a secondary- but the total unity that he is, no moulding upon goodness but the very Good itself.

Even Being is exempt from happening: of course, anything happening happens to Being, but Being itself has not happened nor is the manner of its Being a thing of happening, of derivation; it is the very nature of Being to be; how then can we think that this happening can attach to the Transcendent of Being, That in whose power lay the very engendering of Being?

Certainly this Transcendent never happened to be what it is; it is so, just as Being exists in complete identity with its own essential nature and that of Intellectual-Principle. Certainly that which has never passed outside of its own orbit, unbendingly what it is, its own unchangeably, is that which may most strictly be said to possess its own being: what then are we to say when we mount and contemplate that which stands yet higher; can we conceivably say "Thus, as we see it, thus has it happened to be"? Neither thus nor in any mode did it happen to be; there is no happening; there is only a "Thus and No Otherwise than Thus." And even "Thus" is false; it would imply limit, a defined form: to know This is to be able to reject both the "Thus" and the "Not-Thus," either of which classes among Beings to which alone Manner of Being can attach.

A "Thus" is something that attaches to everything in the world of things: standing before the indefinable you may name any of these sequents but you must say This is none of them: at most it is to be conceived as the total power towards things, supremely self-concentred, being what it wills to be or rather projecting into existence what it wills, itself higher than all will, will a thing beneath it. In a word it neither willed its own "Thus"- as something to conform to- nor did any other make it "Thus."

Next: Section 10