On Generation and corruption
of its burning as a 'combining' either of its particles with one
another or of itself with the fire: what we say is that 'the fire is
coming-to-be, but the wood is 'passing-away'. Similarly, we speak
neither (ii) of the food as 'combining' with the body, nor (iii) of
the shape as 'combining' with the wax and thus fashioning the lump.
Nor can body 'combine' with white, nor (to generalize) 'properties'
and 'states' with 'things': for we see them persisting unaltered.
But again (iv) white and knowledge cannot be 'combined' either, nor
any other of the 'adjectivals'. (Indeed, this is a blemish in the
theory of those who assert that 'once upon a time all things were
together and combined'. For not everything can 'combine' with
everything. On the contrary, both of the constituents that are
combined in the compound must originally have existed in separation:
but no property can have separate existence.)
Since, however, some things are-potentially while others
are-actually, the constituents combined in a compound can 'be' in a
sense and yet 'not-be'. The compound may he-actually other than the
constituents from which it has resulted; nevertheless each of them may
still he-potentially what it was before they were combined, and both
of them may survive undestroyed. (For this was the difficulty that
emerged in the previous argument: and it is evident that the combining
constituents not only coalesce, having formerly existed in separation,
but also can again be separated out from the compound.) The
constituents, therefore, neither (a) persist actually, as 'body' and
'white' persist: nor (b) are they destroyed (either one of them or
both), for their 'power of action' is preserved. Hence these
difficulties may be dismissed: but the problem immediately connected
with them-whether combination is something relative to perception'
must be set out and discussed.
When the combining constituents have been divided into parts so
small, and have been juxtaposed in such a manner, that perception
fails to discriminate them one from another, have they then 'been