Chapter 6

Relativity of the One to the Others


There is another argument. In so far as it is affected in the same way it is not affected otherwise, and not being affected otherwise is not unlike, and not being unlike, is like.

But in so far as it is affected by other it is otherwise, and being otherwise affected is unlike.

Then because the One is the same with the Others and other than the Others, on either or both of these two grounds, then the One will be both like and unlike the others.

In the same way as being other than itself and the same with itself, on either of these two grounds and on both of them, it will be like and unlike itself.

Again, how far can the One touch or not touch Itself and Others?

The One is in Itself which was a Whole and also in Others within that Whole.

When viewed from the Whole, the One would touch the Others. But when viewed from Itself, it would be debarred from touching them and would touch Itself only.

But what do you say to a new point of view? Must not that which is to touch another be next to that which it is to touch, and occupy the place nearest to that in which what it touches is situated?

Then the One, if it is to touch Itself, should be situated next to Itself and occupy the place beside It. And that would require that the One should be two and be in two places at once. While It is One, this will never happen. Nor can It touch Others.

Whatever is to touch another must be separate. No third thing can be between them.

Two things, then, at the least are necessary to make contact possible.

If a third is added to the two, the number will be three, and the contacts two.

Every additional number makes one additional contact. It means that that the contacts are one less in number.

The first two numbers exceeded the contacts by one. The whole number exceeds the contacts by one.

So if there is only One then there will be no contact.

The Others are not One and have no part in the One. Then they have no number, if they have no One in them. Then the Others are neither one nor two, and do not have any number. One, then, alone is one, and two do not exist and there is no contact.

Is the One equal and unequal to Itself and Others

If the One were greater or less than the Others, or the Others greater or less than the One, they would not be greater or less than each other in virtue of their being the One and the Others.

But, if in addition to their being what they are they had equality, they would be equal to one another, or if the one had smallness and the others greatness, or the One had greatness and the others smallness—whichever kind had greatness would be greater, and whichever had smallness would be smaller?

Then there are two such ideas as largeness and smallness.

If smallness is present in the one, then it will be present either in the Whole or in a part of the Whole.

In the Whole, smallness will be either co-equal and co-extensive with the Whole One, or will contain the one?

If smallness were co-extensive with the One, it will be co-equal with the One, or if containing the one it will be greater than the one?

But can smallness be equal to anything or greater than anything, and have the functions of greatness and equality and not its own functions?

Then smallness cannot be in the Whole of One, but in a part only, and surely not in all of a part, for then the difficulty of the Whole will recur. It will be equal to or greater than any part in which it is.

Then smallness will not be in anything, whether in a whole or in a part; nor will there be anything small but actual smallness.

Neither will greatness be in the one, for if greatness be in anything there will be something greater other and besides greatness itself, namely, that in which greatness is.

This too when the small itself is not there, which the one, if it is great, must exceed. This, however, is impossible, seeing that smallness is wholly absent.

But absolute greatness is only greater than absolute smallness, and smallness is only smaller than absolute greatness.

Then other things not greater or less than the one, if they have neither greatness nor smallness; nor have greatness or smallness any power of exceeding or being exceeded in relation to the one, but only in relation to one another; nor will the one be greater or less than them or others, if it has neither greatness nor smallness.

Then if the one is neither greater nor less than the others, it cannot either exceed or be exceeded by them?

That which neither exceeds nor is exceeded, must be on an equality; and being on an equality, must be equal.

This will be true also of the relation of the one to itself; having neither greatness nor smallness in itself, it will neither exceed nor be exceeded by itself, but will be on an equality with and equal to itself.

Then the one will be equal both to itself and the others?

And yet the one, being itself in itself, will also surround and be without itself; and, as containing itself, will be greater than itself; and, as contained in itself, will be less; and will thus be greater and less than itself.

Now there cannot possibly be anything which is not included in the one and the others?

But, surely, that which is must always be somewhere?

But that which is in anything will be less, and that in which it is will be greater; in no other way can one thing be in another.

And since there is nothing other or besides the one and the others, and they must be in something, must they not be in one another, the one in the others and the others in the one, if they are to be anywhere?

But inasmuch as the one is in the others, the others will be greater than the one, because they contain the one, which will be less than the others, because it is contained in them; and inasmuch as the others are in the one, the one on the same principle will be greater than the others, and the others less than the one.

The one, then, will be equal to and greater and less than itself and the others?

And if it be greater and less and equal, it will be of equal and more and less measures or divisions than itself and the others, and if of measures, also of parts?

And if of equal and more and less measures or divisions, it will be in number more or less than itself and the others, and likewise equal in number to itself and to the others?

It will be of more measures than those things which it exceeds, and of as many parts as measures; and so with that to which it is equal, and that than which it is less.

And being greater and less than itself, and equal to itself, it will be of equal measures with itself and of more and fewer measures than itself; and if of measures then also of parts?

And being of equal parts with itself, it will be numerically equal to itself; and being of more parts, more, and being of less, less than itself?

And the same will hold of its relation to other things; inasmuch as it is greater than them, it will be more in number than them; and inasmuch as it is smaller, it will be less in number; and inasmuch as it is equal in size to other things, it will be equal to them in number.

Once more, then, as would appear, the one will be in number both equal to and more and less than both itself and all other things.


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