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Metaphysics   


rational wish. But desire is consequent on opinion rather than opinion
on desire; for the thinking is the starting-point. And thought is
moved by the object of thought, and one of the two columns of
opposites is in itself the object of thought; and in this, substance
is first, and in substance, that which is simple and exists
actually. (The one and the simple are not the same; for 'one' means
a measure, but 'simple' means that the thing itself has a certain
nature.) But the beautiful, also, and that which is in itself
desirable are in the same column; and the first in any class is always
best, or analogous to the best.
That a final cause may exist among unchangeable entities is
shown by the distinction of its meanings. For the final cause is (a)
some being for whose good an action is done, and (b) something at
which the action aims; and of these the latter exists among
unchangeable entities though the former does not. The final cause,
then, produces motion as being loved, but all other things move by
being moved. Now if something is moved it is capable of being
otherwise than as it is. Therefore if its actuality is the primary
form of spatial motion, then in so far as it is subject to change,
in this respect it is capable of being otherwise,-in place, even if
not in substance. But since there is something which moves while
itself unmoved, existing actually, this can in no way be otherwise
than as it is. For motion in space is the first of the kinds of
change, and motion in a circle the first kind of spatial motion; and
this the first mover produces. The first mover, then, exists of
necessity; and in so far as it exists by necessity, its mode of
being is good, and it is in this sense a first principle. For the
necessary has all these senses-that which is necessary perforce
because it is contrary to the natural impulse, that without which
the good is impossible, and that which cannot be otherwise but can
exist only in a single way.
On such a principle, then, depend the heavens and the world of
nature. And it is a life such as the best which we enjoy, and enjoy
for but a short time (for it is ever in this state, which we cannot
be), since its actuality is also pleasure. (And for this reason are
waking, perception, and thinking most pleasant, and hopes and memories
are so on account of these.) And thinking in itself deals with that
which is best in itself, and that which is thinking in the fullest
sense with that which is best in the fullest sense. And thought thinks
on itself because it shares the nature of the object of thought; for
it becomes an object of thought in coming into contact with and
thinking its objects, so that thought and object of thought are the
same. For that which is capable of receiving the object of thought,
i.e. the essence, is thought. But it is active when it possesses
this object. Therefore the possession rather than the receptivity is
the divine element which thought seems to contain, and the act of
contemplation is what is most pleasant and best. If, then, God is
always in that good state in which we sometimes are, this compels
our wonder; and if in a better this compels it yet more. And God is in
a better state. And life also belongs to God; for the actuality of
thought is life, and God is that actuality; and God's self-dependent
actuality is life most good and eternal. We say therefore that God
is a living being, eternal, most good, so that life and duration
continuous and eternal belong to God; for this is God.
Those who suppose, as the Pythagoreans and Speusippus do, that
supreme beauty and goodness are not present in the beginning,
because the beginnings both of plants and of animals are causes, but
beauty and completeness are in the effects of these, are wrong in
their opinion. For the seed comes from other individuals which are
prior and complete, and the first thing is not seed but the complete
being; e.g. we must say that before the seed there is a man,-not the
man produced from the seed, but another from whom the seed comes.
It is clear then from what has been said that there is a substance
which is eternal and unmovable and separate from sensible things. It

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