Each of them is a being, and, since the same can be said of everything else, we cannot avoid the conclusion that being is the only property certainly shared in common by all that which is. Being, then, is the fundamental and ultimate element of reality.
Being is quite conceivable apart from actual existence; so much so that the very first and the most universal of all the distinctions in the realm of being is that which divides it into two classes, that of the real and that of the possible.
The question of the nature of being first arose in the context of Parmenides' series of logical dichotomies between being and nonbeing (me on): that which is, cannot not be; that which is not, cannot be, i.e., a denial of passage from being to nonbeing or genesis (q.v.; fr.
Being is the notion implicit only: its special forms have the predicate ‘is’; when they are distinguished they are each of them an ‘other’: and the shape which dialectic takes in them, i.e.
Being, as we first apprehend it, is something utterly abstract and characterless; but it is the very essence of Being to characterise itself, and its complete characterisation is reached in Measure.
Being or immediacy, which by the negation of itself is a mediation with self and a reference to self — which consequently is also a mediation which cancels itself into reference to self, or immediacy — is Essence.
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