Chapter 4

The Whole Icon

December 28, 2021

The Whole (Brahma)

1.b. Let us return to the original hypothesis to see if any new aspect of the question appears. If the One exists, then we have to work out all the consequences.

We will start at the beginning.

If the One exists, then It will have being. But its being will not be the same with the One. If it were the same, it would not be the being of the One and; nor would the One have participated in being, for the proposition that one is would have been identical with the proposition that one is one;

But our hypothesis is whether the One exists, not whether the One is one.

We mean that being has not the same significance as the One.

Once more then let us ask, if one is what will follow. Does not this hypothesis necessarily imply that one is of such a nature as to have parts?

If being is predicated of the One, if the One exists, and the One is of being, if being is one; and if being and one are not the same.

Since the one exists, then the Whole has the One and being as its parts.

Each of these parts have both the One and being as its parts and is at the least made up of two parts.

The same principle goes on forever. Every part always has these two parts because being always involves one, and one involves being, so that one is always disappearing, and becoming two.

This makes the One infinite in multiplicity.

The One has being and therefore exists. this leads it to become many.

But now, let us abstract the One which partakes of being, and try to imagine it apart from that of which, as we say, it partakes—will this abstract one be one only or many?

The being of the One must be other than one because the One is not being but only has being.

If being and the One are two different things, it is not because the One is different from being and being is different from the One. It is because they differ from one another in otherness and difference.

In this way, they are different because they are not the same. Therefore whether we take being and the other, or being and the one, or the one and the other, in every such case we take two things, which may be rightly called both.

So when I speak of being and one, I speak of them both.

If I speak of being and the other, or of the one and the other, I speak of both. This means that they are two.

It means that the two things are individually one. Any addition to the pair makes the whole become three.

Then if the One exists, then number must also exist.

But if there is number, there must also be many, and infinite multiplicity of being; for number is infinite in multiplicity, and partakes also of being.

If all numbers has being, then every part of number will also have being. Then being is distributed over the whole multitude of things. Nothing that is, however small or however great, is devoid of it. How can anything that has being be devoid of being?

Then the One is divided into the greatest and into the smallest, and into being of all sizes, and is broken up more than all things; the divisions of it have no limit. It has the greatest number of parts.

All of these parts have a part of being and the One.

Then the One attaches to every single part of being, and does not fail in any part, whether great or small, or whatever may be the size of it.

But can One, in its entirety, cannot be in many places at the same time. This means that It is divided. It cannot be present with all the parts of being, unless divided.

That which has parts will be as many as the parts. Then we were wrong in saying that being was distributed into the greatest number of parts. For it is not distributed into parts more than the one, into parts equal to the One.

The One is never lacking in being, or being lacking to the One because, being two, they are co-equal and co-extensive.

The One itself, then, having been broken up into parts by being, is many and infinite. This means that not only the One which has being is many, but the One itself, distributed by being, must also be many.

These divisions are parts of a whole. This means that the One, as a whole, will be limited, for the parts are contained by the whole.

The Whole

The whole which contains is a limit. Then the One, if it has being is one and many, whole and parts, has limits and yet unlimited in number.

Since It has limits, It also has extremes.

A whole has beginning, middle, and end. Then the One also will have beginning, middle, and end.

Its middle will be equidistant from the extremes. This means the One has a shape, either rectilinear or round, or a union of the two.

If this is the case, it will be both in itself and in another too.

Every part is in the Whole, and none is outside the Whole. All the parts are contained by the whole.

The one is the Whole.

But if all the parts are in the Whole, and the One is all of them and the Whole, and they are all contained by the Whole, the One will be contained by the One. Thus, the One will be in Itself.

But then, again, the Whole is not in the parts. If it is in all, then it must be in One. If there were any One in which it was not, It could not be in all the parts, for the part in which it is lacking is One of all, and if the whole is not in this, how can it be in them all?

Nor can the whole be in some of the parts otherwise the greater would be in the less, which is impossible.

But if the Whole is neither in One, nor in more than One, nor in all of the parts, it must be in something else, or cease to be anywhere at all.

If It were nowhere, it would be nothing. But being a whole, and not being in itself, it must be in another.

The One then, regarded as a Whole, is in another. But the One regarded as being all its parts, is in Itself.

Therefore, the One must be Itself in Itself and also in another.


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