On the Essence of Association, No.652

Association consists of the primary qualities of objects which are solidity and extension. Within these qualities are the presence of figure, motion, and cohesion. All objects, to be an object, must be associated with something other than itself. And the sense of this something cannot exist independently without a particular quality. Motion could not be detected unless it were measured against another object. Figures must have extension and penetrate beyond themselves into a something. The idea of cohesion comes to us through reason as we tie together the variation of qualities into a formidable and comprehensible subject of our senses.
The secondary qualities, associated with all objects, are color, taste, figure, texture, etc., which could not exist independently but must be associated with a something. The same is true for primary qualities. They have a single or mixture of secondary qualities that impress upon the senses, exhibiting particular forms which, through custom, we recognize, name, find, define, and so on.
As objects change, their figure and motions change. They become associated not with their original qualities or properties, but “decay” into something altogether different from their beginning. The force of motion effects everything in which our senses are aware and associates these properties as belonging together. A flower will eventually wither; a tree will penetrate into more space; water thrown on a fire will douse its flames, etc.
We comprehend reality, and existence, by this essence of association, this sense of extension and motion between objects which impress upon us their being and their effect on nature. We could not recognize an extended object without it being associated with something else; nor, for instance, could the sense of sweetness be experienced unless something was possessed with that particular taste.
The essence of association is what produces the contradiction of all things, which is its most basic quality, and its inner being, without which nothing would have solidity or extension. Any object must have a secondary, associative, quality that would make it relatable. Without a distinct property clinging to every object, reality would be impossible to comprehend.

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