In esoteric writings the name Proteus has been aptly applied to the primal matter, the Akasa of the Brahmins, the Iliaster of Paracelsus.
"The nature of the universe," Marcus Antoninus has observed, "delights not in anything so much as to alter all things, and present them under another form. This is her conceit to play one game and begin another. Matter is placed before her like a piece of wax and she shapes it to all forms and figures. Now she makes a bird, then out of the bird a beast--now a flower, then a frog, and she is pleased with her own magical performance as men are with their own fancies."
"Ineluctable modality of the visible," Stephen's monologue begins; "at least that, if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, blue-silver, rust; coloured signs.
Here though, it seems that matter is only a plastic substance passively altered, but I enjoy thinking that matter itself enjoys the workings of the principle of reconfiguration as much as you and I might enjoy a long overdue makeover, and the ecstatic purpose of creation is to let these crazy journeys of transfiguration free wheel through the universe.