1. The first degree of Chaos is a genus which contains whatever we understand to be physical or corporeal. Through specification, this supreme degree descends into the third in which there are other kinds of genera, like the animal genus, the genus of color, the genus of trees and things like this, under which there are several species, such as the human species, the species of lions, whiteness, blackness, apple trees, pear trees etc.
2. In the essence of the first degree of Chaos, the ignificative is generificative, the Chaos is generificable, but the ignificable is specificable because the ignificative acts upon the aerificable, aqueificable and terreificable; and in the essence of the first degree of Chaos the very same applies to the aerificative because it is generificative etc. and because it likewise acts in turn upon the aqueificative, the terreificative etc. The aqueificative, the terreificative etc. act in the same way, and here we see how the first degree of Chaos is a genus containing in itself a specifying nature so that the third degree can follow.
3. In the third degree of Chaos, seeds constitute a genus, and a wheat grain is a species containing many individual wheat grains; in this grain, the aerificative is generificative over the aerificable, the ignificable etc, and likewise with the other elements, while a great many grains are produced from one grain. This shows how each grain, together with the influence of the first degree of Chaos and the virtue of the third can be a genus for generating a large number of grains.
4. The first degree of Chaos, not only by reason of substantial form and matter, but also by reason of accidental forms such as quantity etc., is a genus general to all the substantial and accidental forms in the third degree, which is clear enough, since this first degree substance has its own accidents closer to itself than any other substance has, and is continually active as the ignificative substantially ignifies its own ignificable and consequently the other elementables as well, and the same likewise applies to the other elements.
5. From this continuous act, the particular substances of the third degree arise; and when this act of the first degree of Chaos is interrupted because the third degree of Chaos is unable to receive its influence, substances are corrupted and upon corruption, they revert to the substance from which they arose, which is neither generated nor corrupted whereas they always undergo generation and corruption.
6. The Chaos is a corporeal substance in which many corporeal substances exist as real and natural genera throughout the third degree of Chaos, such as animals, plants, metals etc. or else the first degree could not instill its essence and virtue into the third, which is impossible.
7. Just as in a circle many lines converge toward one point, likewise, many species of the third degree of Chaos converge toward one point, namely the first degree of this Chaos, and just as the lines get closer to one another as they approach the point in which they unite, likewise, whenever the species of the third degree tend toward confusion, they also tend more toward the first degree of Chaos, and so the first simile shows that the virtue of generation exists in the middle of substance, as we see in the human heart where the virtue of blood is greater than in the other organs and limbs, and likewise in the trunk of a tree where there is more virtue than outside in the branches, leaves and fruit.
8. Given that genus is rationally deduced by the intellectual faculty from a number of species, it is deemed to have no real existence: now the animal genus is nothing but a mere rational construct, as it has no supposite with matter and form, but since reason understands that the first degree of Chaos cannot flow into the third without a medium, in this instance the animal genus, it understands that the animal genus is something that really exists as a medium and instrument through which the Chaos divides itself into species, and from the species into individuals in the third degree, or else the third could neither govern itself nor receive essence from the first; however we do not say that the animal genus is a supposite, as it has no specific form or matter, but we assert that it is the general point in which the natural conjunction and mixture of the vegetative and sensitive powers proceeds; now this point is invisible and intangible because it is diffused in its entirety throughout diverse species, and we say that this point is a creature and one of the principles of nature.
9. At first sight, a wheat grain is deemed to be an individual with specific form and matter, but the intellect understands more than this when it concludes that it is a genus in the way described above, due to its potential ability to generate and produce a great many grains of its own and of other species, like winter wheat, darnel etc. while the Chaos flows into it, and to be transubstantiated into human blood, and from blood into flesh once the form of bread is transmuted into the form of blood and the matter of bread into the matter of blood, which shows clearly enough that through the intermediary of Chaos, this grain's essence is a genus and something really universal which holds many particular potential species while this essence is substantially converted into another substance such as winter wheat, darnel, blood etc. In the wheat grain, these supposites are things aggregated from matter and form which are intangible and invisible under the species of wheat, because they exist in potentiality in the first degree of Chaos which is also intangible and invisible.
is therefore clear, from what we said at the beginning of this chapter,
that the first degree of Chaos is really a genus; but with regard to the
secondary genus, which flows from the first degree of Chaos into the second
and the third, some may doubt that it is more than a mere rational construct
built on species, but as for us, as we said above, we assert that this
secondary genus is a real thing according rational judgment based on real