Chapter 3

The Motion of the One Icon

December 29, 2021
Parmenides Hinduism
The One Nirguna Brahma
The Whole Saguna Brahma
The Not One Maya

The One Cannot Have Parts

1.a. If there is one thing, then it cannot be many and cannot have parts.

If it cannot have parts, then it cannot be a whole because a whole implies having parts.

Then, if the one is to remain one, it will not be a whole, and will not have parts.

But if it has no parts, it will have neither beginning, middle, nor end, for these would be parts of it. But then, again, a beginning and an end are the limits of everything.

Thus, the One has no beginning nor end. It is unlimited and therefore formless.

It cannot have the idea of round or straight because:

  • round is made up of the extreme points that are equidistant from the centre
  • straight is the centre intercepting the view of the extremes.

The One

Then the One would have parts and would be many, if it took either a straight or a circular form.

But having no parts, it will be neither straight nor round.

If it has no parts then it cannot be in any place, for it cannot be either in another or in itself because if it were in another, it would be encircled by that in which it was, and would touch it at many places and with many parts.

But that which is one and indivisible, and does not partake of a circular nature, cannot be touched all round in many places.

But if, on the other hand, the One were in Itself, it would only be contained by Itself.

But if It contained Itself, then that One container is different from the One being contained. This means there are two Ones.

Can the One have either rest or motion?

If the One were moved, It would be either:

  • moved in place, or
  • changed in nature

These are the only kinds of motion.

Then the One, when it changes and ceases to be Itself, cannot be singular any longer.

It cannot therefore experience the sort of motion which is change of nature.

Thus, the motion of the One is in place.

But if the One moved in place, must it not either move round and round in the same place, or from one place to another.

And that which moves in a circle must rest upon a centre; and that which goes round upon a centre must have parts which are different from the centre; but that which has no centre and no parts cannot possibly be carried round upon a centre.

But perhaps the motion of the One consists in change of place. But It cannot be in anything, so its coming into being in anything is still more impossible. Because anything which comes into being in anything, can neither as yet be in that other thing while still coming into being, nor be altogether out of it, if already coming into being in it.

Therefore whatever comes into being in another must have parts. Then one part may be in, and another part out of that other. But that which has no parts can never be at one and the same time neither wholly within nor wholly without anything.

It is more impossible for a One that has no parts and is not a whole to come into being anywhere, since it cannot come into being either as a part or as a whole.

Then it does not change place by revolving in the same spot, nor by going somewhere and coming into being in something; nor again, by change in itself.

Then it means that the One is immoveable.

But neither can the One be in anything. Then it is never in the same Because if it were in the same it would be in something.

It could not be in itself, and could not be in other. Then One is never in the same place.

But that which is never in the same place is never quiet or at rest.

The One then is neither at rest nor in motion.

The One will also not be the same with itself or other; nor again, other than itself or other, because if It is other than Itself, then It would no longer be one.

If the same with other, it would be that other, and not Itself and it would likewise not have the nature of one.

Thus, it is unique.

Neither will it be other than other, while it remains one; for not one, but only other, can be other than other, and nothing else.

Then not by virtue of being one will it be other?

But if not by virtue of being one, not by virtue of itself; and if not by virtue of itself, not itself, and itself not being other at all, will not be other than anything?

Neither will one be the same with itself.

Surely the nature of the one is not the nature of the same.

It is not when anything becomes the same with anything that it becomes one.

Anything which becomes the same with the many, necessarily becomes many and not one.

But, if there were no difference between the one and the same, when a thing became the same, it would always become one; and when it became one, the same.Therefore, if the One is the same with Itself, it is not one with itself, and will therefore be one and also not one. Therefore the one can neither be other than other, nor the same with itself.

And thus the one can neither be the same, nor other, either in relation to itself or other. Neither will the one be like anything or unlike itself or other Because likeness is sameness of affections.

Sameness is different from oneness. But if the one had any other affection than that of being one, it would be affected in such a way as to be more than one; which is impossible.

Then the One can never be so affected as to be the same either with another or with itself. Then it cannot be like another, or like itself.

Nor can it be affected so as to be other, for then it would be affected in such a way as to be more than one.

That which is affected otherwise than itself or another, will be unlike itself or another, for sameness of affections is likeness.

But the one, as appears, never being affected otherwise, is never unlike itself or other. Then the one will never be either like or unlike itself or other. It can neither be equal nor unequal either to itself or to other.

But how can that which does not partake of sameness, have either the same measures or have anything else the same? And not having the same measures, the one cannot be equal either with itself or with another?

But again, whether it have fewer or more measures, it will have as many parts as it has measures; and thus again the one will be no longer one but will have as many parts as measures.

And if it were of one measure, it would be equal to that measure; yet it has been shown to be incapable of equality.

Then it will neither partake of one measure, nor of many, nor of few, nor of the same at all, nor be equal to itself or another; nor be greater or less than itself, or other?

Can one be older, or younger than anything, or of the same age with it?

Why, because that which is of the same age with itself or other, must partake of equality or likeness of time; and we said that the one did not partake either of equality or of likeness?

It did not partake of inequality or unlikeness.

How then can one, being of this nature, be either older or younger than anything, or have the same age with it?

Then the One cannot be older or younger, or of the same age, either with itself or with another. It cannot be in time at all because whatever is in time must be always growing older than Itself. And that which is older, must always be older than something which is younger?

Then, that which becomes older than itself, also becomes at the same time younger than itself, if it is to have something to become older than.

I mean this:—A thing does not need to become different from another thing which is already different; it IS different, and if its different has become, it has become different; if its different will be, it will be different; but of that which is becoming different, there cannot have been, or be about to be, or yet be, a different—the only different possible is one which is becoming.

But, surely, the elder is a difference relative to the younger, and to nothing else. Then that which becomes older than itself must also, at the same time, become younger than itself?

But again, it is true that it cannot become for a longer or for a shorter time than itself, but it must become, and be, and have become, and be about to be, for the same time with itself?

Then things which are in time, and partake of time, must in every case, I suppose, be of the same age with themselves; and must also become at once older and younger than themselves?

But the One did not partake of those affections and so It does not partake of time, and is not in any time.

And if the One is absolutely without participation in time, it never had become, or was becoming, or was at any time, or is now become or is becoming, or is, or will become, or will have become, or will be, hereafter.

But being must be in either of those states, and so the One cannot possibly partake of being. This means that the One does not exist in such way as to be one. If it were and partook of being, it would already be.

But if the argument is to be trusted, the one neither is nor is one?

But that which is not admits of no attribute or relation?

Then there is no name, nor expression, nor perception, nor opinion, nor knowledge of it?

Then it is neither named, nor expressed, nor opined, nor known, nor does anything that is perceive it.

But can all this be true about the One?

*Translator’s Note= This is the same as Chapter 24 of the Tao Te Ching= There was something undefined and complete, coming into existence before Heaven and Earth. It was still and formless, standing alone, and undergoing no change. It reaches everywhere yet in no danger of being exhausted! It may be regarded as the Mother of all things. I do not know its name, but I call it as an effect of the Way or Course of the Tao. Making an effort further, I call it ‘The Great’.


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