2. Chaos per se contains four essences, namely igneity, etc., and in every elemented thing, fire has its own innate, original and essential ignificative and ignificable with which it seeks to be a single and simple body existing per se, which it cannot be in any elemented thing as it is compounded with the other elements. This fire which is ignificative and ignificable, etc. in the being of Chaos is not the same as the fire whose influence has flowed from Chaos into elemented things, but neither the former nor the latter fire can exist in time as a simple body. And these things we have understood about fire equally apply to the other elements.
3. Further, just as the ignificative contains its own ignificable, the aerificative also contains its own aerificable, and the same applies to the aqueificative, etc. Now if fire were a simple body, air could not be passive under fire, etc. and thus, mixture could not occur, and without mixture there would be no generation, and without generation, no corruption, which is impossible.
4. Further, if fire were a simple body, it would burn up all other species with its excessive heat, as seen in the fact that fire in stones or in iron exists in small material quantities, not as readily sensed as earth, water and air, which exist in larger quantities in these minerals. Now if fire could exist in minerals in the same material quantity as earth, it would convert all the other elements to fire by burning them up, as it burns whatever is next to it, etc.
5. Further, a body cannot be made of form without matter, or of matter without form, and likewise, no element alone can constitute the body of Chaos, nor can any element alone become an elemented body, as this can only be done through the circle, the triangle and the square. If any element could indeed do this, Chaos would be destroyed and the simple elements could never move from their own spheres since no part could be severed from them, because each element would be self contained and perfect in itself.
6. Further, if a simple element were a simple body per se, there would be two reasons why fire could not descend to water and earth. Now if simple fire were a simple body per se, as we said, it would never want to diminish itself, and if it tried to lower a particle of itself down to the lower elements, this particle could never reach earth, as it could not penetrate the spheres of air and water. Now as the whole is stronger than any infinitesimal part, especially when facing opposition, it would be impossible, if simple fire were a body per se, and if water, its opposite element, were likewise a simple body, for any particle of fire to penetrate through the sphere of water, and this likewise applies to air, water and earth.
7. Fire is certainly warm and dry, air is moist and warm, water is cold and moist, and earth is dry and cold. Thus, if the simple elements existed as simple bodies per se, each element would have to have two qualities per se, namely fire would be warm and dry per se, and air moist and warm per se, and so with the others. And this is not possible, for if it were, two qualities would have to destroy one quality, and thus the heat and dryness of fire would destroy the moisture of air, all the way down to the sphere of earth, but then on the other hand, the dryness of earth could not resist the moisture of air and water, as fire could never cooperate with earth due to the other elements standing in the way.
8. Further, if any element existed as a simple body per se, the spheres would not mutually interpenetrate throughout Chaos, and thus none of the spheres could be entirely mobile, nor could any sphere entirely participate in natural operations, and each sphere would exist more in potentiality than in act, because its element could not entirely participate in mixture or any other natural operation. Therefore, fire would destroy the other elements with its superior velocity and natural appetite, and in this destruction, the very beginning, middle and end of nature would be destroyed, which is an impossibility.
9. Further, if the simple elements were simple bodies per se, they would not be so receptive to the influences of the heavenly bodies, nor could their parts be so readily mixed, digested and compounded, because the principle of majority in generation and corruption would be destroyed.
10. Further, supposing they were simple bodies, then each one would be perfectly self sufficient, and fire interfacing with air on its outer edge would display an unnatural appetite, as it would not be natural for fire to function by converting air to its own essence, and multiplying its species into infinitesimal particles containing air, etc. It is therefore obvious that the simple elements are not bodies existing each on its own.
11. If the matter of fire with its form constituted a simple body, the matter would be so crude and undigestible that it could neither be digested, nor allow any part of itself to be severed when entering composition, just as it would be unnatural for a hand to freely allow one of its fingers to be cut off.
12. As igneity, aereity, etc., produce one single being called Chaos, the entirety of the ignificative is active in the ignificable, aerificable, terreificable, etc. and vice versa, and likewise with the other elements, ensuring uninterrupted essential homogeneity throughout Chaos. But if each simple element were a body per se, the entirety of the ignificative and ignificable could not be actually active and passive everywhere in the Chaos, which would entail the destruction of essential fiery form and matter throughout Chaos, and the same would also happen to the other elements, which is an impossibility.
13. Further, if the simple elements were bodies per se, the Chaos would not consist of two essential parts, which are universal form and prime matter, as each element would be on its own, outside the essence of this Chaos. And the integral parts could not constitute one single Chaos existing under its essential parts, which is an impossibility. Similarly, the parts of the elements could not mutually interpenetrate, nor could different elements be in mutual agreement or opposition. Thus, nature would be defeated in its very principles, which is obviously impossible, etc. Without human intervention, compound fire would not appear as man produces fire artificially from iron and stone, which means that if fire were a simple body, it would burn up all substantial beings with its extreme heat. To prevent it from doing this, as we have said, compound fire is hemmed in, so it cannot make its appearance until it has been artificially brought forth. And these considerations on simplicity are sufficient for proving the point regarding elemental simplicity, namely that the elements cannot be simple bodies per se. Now we have spoken about the corporeal essence of the elements and elemented bodies. From this it can be understood that, as we said, no simple element exists as a body per se, although we say that they have a corporeal nature. And as they are all mixed together, we understand that they constitute a single body. Therefore, corporeal essence belongs to corporeal existence, and this corporeal essence exists in simple elements, as Chaos exists under corporeal essence, and this corporeal essence consists of igneity, aereity, etc. in the same way that the vegetative power exists in the trunk of a tree, where it does not exist as a body, although it is the essence of body in that vegetal being.