2. In a grain of wheat, there is specific form and matter. Now as one grain generates another grain, the individual identity of the generating grain decays, whereupon its substance made of its own specific form and matter also decays, or else nothing would be subject to generation and decay, which is an impossibility. Therefore, the individual identity of the generating grain decays, and through decay it returns to nothingness, since it had never been positively added to its constituent principles. And as the substantial generation of substantial beings proceeds from form and matter, given the pre existing ingredients of form and matter, so does substantial decay occur when form and matter cease to constitute a substantial being, even though the constituting essence of form and matter does not decay.
3. We can see clearly enough that this grain of wheat, as it generates another grain of wheat, gives the likeness of its form and matter to the grain it generates. And this happens because the essence of the generating grain, which, as said above, naturally reverts to the first degree through decay, is the essence most akin to the generated grain among all the essences that are likewise diffused throughout all of the first degree of Chaos and converted into one single confused essence of this first degree. And because it is so much closer to this generated grain than is any other essence, its virtue is more apt to transmit its influence into the essence about to be generated in the generated grain, than into any other essence.
4. In the sea, water which is specific to the essence of a decaying dead fish because it had formerly entered into the composition of the fish, reverts to simple water in the same order as that through which it had arisen from simple water, so as to generate some other supposite, and this also applies to all other supposites, both animal and vegetal.
5. Supposing many grains have decayed or been burned so that their matter aggregates in the air in contact with a field sowed with grains of a species like their own, then the first degree of Chaos would send the influence of the said matter into the sown grains sooner and more quickly than any other matter, and this is because of the similarity between species and the appetite whereby everything in nature seeks things similar to itself.
6. In human procreation, the first degree of Chaos sends the influence of its essence through an instrument into the third degree; but the father, in procreating, does not send the influence of his own essence, namely the form and matter that makes him a man, but he transmits the influence whereby the first Chaos instills from itself form and matter similar to the father's to provide a body for the offspring; and thus it is clear that a father does not produce an offspring from his own human essence, but rather, it is produced by the essence which flows from the first degree of Chaos and is converted into the essence of a human body, clothing itself with the specific likeness of this body; therefore, a father, as he procreates, transmits his specific likeness to his offspring, but does not transmit his human individuality, namely his individual and specific form and matter, or else no man would have his own specific essence, and resurrection would mean nothing, nor would the first degree of Chaos transmit individual essences to the third, nor would it preserve the individual forms and matters which they must take up again as they resurrect on the final day.
7. In a graft, transmutation proceeds as one form flows into another form and one matter into another matter, and not only between the form and matter of a single species, for wherever two species are joined, as we see when part of a peach tree is grafted on an apple tree where we have two different species each of which keeps its own specific being and substantial identity in a single continuous body but finally, the essences of both species are mixed and compounded in the fruit, as is evident in the color, taste and shape of the fruit of any tree grafted in this way.
8. The very same applies to the breeding of a mule, for in a mule we have the mixed influences of the likenesses of a horse and a female donkey which belong to distinct species.
9. The images and letters engraved on a seal do not transmit their identity to the wax, but only the likeness of their shape; likewise, the form and matter of a generating being do not give their identity to the offspring, but only their likeness substantiated by the influence that flows through them, transmitted by the first degree of Chaos from itself into the third through instruments, namely males and females in animals, or seeds in plants.
artificial work there is no transmutation of one form into another form
or of one matter into another matter, and consequently there is no transmutation
of one essence into another, as we see in a silver cup, for if it is melted
down and then cast again, the first form is entirely destroyed and another
form is made, without any change in the identity of the matter, because
in the destruction and construction of artificial forms, the matter is
at no time converted to the first Chaos while it exists at one time as
a cup of one form and at another time as a cup of another form.