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On Generation and corruption   


Strife is actually setting them in motion, the 'simple' bodies

themselves have absolutely no movement or rest. But this is

paradoxical: and what is more, they do in fact obviously move. For

though Strife 'dissociated', it was not by Strife that the 'Ether' was

borne upwards. On the contrary, sometimes he attributes its movement

to something like chance ('For thus, as it ran, it happened to meet

them then, though often otherwise"), while at other times he says it

is the nature of Fire to be borne upwards, but 'the Ether' (to quote

his words) 'sank down upon the Earth with long roots'. With such

statements, too, he combines the assertion that the Order of the World

is the same now, in the reign of Strife, as it was formerly in the

reign of Love. What, then, is the 'first mover' of the 'elements'?

What causes their motion? Presumably not Love and Strife: on the

contrary, these are causes of a particular motion, if at least we

assume that 'first mover' to be an originative source'.

An additional paradox is that the soul should consist of the

'elements', or that it should be one of them. How are the soul's

'alterations' to take Place? How, e.g. is the change from being

musical to being unmusical, or how is memory or forgetting, to

occur? For clearly, if the soul be Fire, only such modifications

will happen to it as characterize Fire qua Fire: while if it be

compounded out of the elements', only the corporeal modifications will

occur in it. But the changes we have mentioned are none of them

corporeal.



7



The discussion of these difficulties, however, is a task appropriate

to a different investigation:' let us return to the 'elements' of

which bodies are composed. The theories that 'there is something

common to all the "elements"', and that they are reciprocally

transformed', are so related that those who accept either are bound to

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