Like the early Ionians he postulated a primary substance, fire, out of which all things have emerged and into which all must return.
He postulated primitive Matter, identical with air and mingled with Mind, thus avoiding the dualism of Anaxagoras.
For the world as a whole, however, he postulated a beginning in time (whence his use of the word creation), and further supposed that the impulse of organization which was conveyed to chaotic matter by the Creator issued from a central point in the infinite space spreading gradually outwards.
Though again in the Transcendental Dialect he spoke of pure reason conceiving " ideals " of noumena, he did not mean that a noumenon is nothing but a thought arising only through thinking, or projected by reason, but meant that pure reason can only conceive the " ideal " while, over and above the " ideal " of pure reason, a noumenon is a real thing, a thing in itself, which is not indeed known, but whose existence is postulated by practical reason in the three instances of God, freedom, and immortality.
This Barlaam held to be polytheistic, inasmuch as it postulated two eternal substances, a visible and an invisible God.