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On The Heavens   

principle of their movement has the reverse position, since the

movement itself is the contrary of the other: hence it follows that we

are at its beginning and they at its end. Here we may end our

discussion of the distinctions of parts created by the three

dimensions and of the consequent differences of position.


Since circular motion is not the contrary of the reverse circular

motion, we must consider why there is more than one motion, though

we have to pursue our inquiries at a distance-a distance created not

so much by our spatial position as by the fact that our senses

enable us to perceive very few of the attributes of the heavenly

bodies. But let not that deter us. The reason must be sought in the

following facts. Everything which has a function exists for its

function. The activity of God is immortality, i.e. eternal life.

Therefore the movement of that which is divine must be eternal. But

such is the heaven, viz. a divine body, and for that reason to it is

given the circular body whose nature it is to move always in a circle.

Why, then, is not the whole body of the heaven of the same character

as that part? Because there must be something at rest at the centre of

the revolving body; and of that body no part can be at rest, either

elsewhere or at the centre. It could do so only if the body's

natural movement were towards the centre. But the circular movement is

natural, since otherwise it could not be eternal: for nothing

unnatural is eternal. The unnatural is subsequent to the natural,

being a derangement of the natural which occurs in the course of its

generation. Earth then has to exist; for it is earth which is at

rest at the centre. (At present we may take this for granted: it shall

be explained later.) But if earth must exist, so must fire. For, if

one of a pair of contraries naturally exists, the other, if it is

really contrary, exists also naturally. In some form it must be

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