All That Is

The All-that-Is, wherever its paths may lead,
is boundless, for then it would have to have an end.
But there can be no end to anything
without something beyond to mark that end
and show where nature and sense can go no further.
But we must admit there’s nothing beyond the All;
it has no end, has then no bound nor limit.
Nor does it matter at which point one may stand:
whatever position a man takes up, he finds
the All still endless alike in all directions.

. . . Furthermore, that the All may not itself
set limits, Nature has ruled, for she compels
void to be bounded by matter, matter by void,
one by the other, and thus is the All made endless;
or else the one, if the other should not bound it,
would extend, in single substance, without end.

– Lucretius (from The Nature of Things,
translated by Frank O. Copley)

Advertisements