Oct 10View SourceDear José,I certainly can't speak for Michael but I think I can help answer your question. In the Myth of Er Plato himself talks about some souls choosing the life of an animal. Orpheus chose a swan, Agamemnon an eagle, Ajax a lion, Thersites a monkey, Thamyris a nightingale. He also mentions some unjust humans turning to wild animals and just ones to tame animals. So a life of a dog would be for a just soul, I suppose.Marilynn
On Oct 10, 2013, at 5:02 AM, Baracat Junior <baracatjr@...> wrote:
Great topic! Unfortunately I just could read the messages now.
I hope this is not your last message on it, because for me there is one thing more curious here:
The deviation/inclination/rotation of the zodiacal point according to which each one is each one, is what I understood when I read the fragment.
I am not so sure that paráklisis and stimé are technical terms, as someone has pointed out, for if they were, we probably would find many more instances of them in the surviving literature. But they are certainly describing traditional astrological concepts.
However, what makes me curious – and I do hope you can elaborate a little more on that – is Porphyry’s saying that a soul “chooses” its life – why would a soul choose to be a dog?
OK, one last post on the meaning of *paraklisis tEs stigmEs* in Porphyry,
On what depends on us, fr. 271 Smith = Stobaeus, II, p. 171, 7 Wachsmuth,
the meaning of which has just become clear. Many thanks to all those who
contributed to the discussion, thus enabling me to see the solution.
The point (*stigmE*) in question is the point *in time*, or the moment at
which the horoscope rises, as should have been immediately clear to me
from the parallel at p. 170, 12 Wachsmuth: *kata stigmEn tou khronou tEs
anaphoras tou hOroskopou*. The *paraklisis* is, then, the deviation or
difference made by a slight change in this moment.
Let me explain. The context is the following: the question of how it is
possible that if the horoscope - that is, the rising zodiacal sign -
determines the soul's life, man, dogs, and various other dissimilar
creatures are born in the same rising of a horoscope. Porphyry's answer -
entirely traditional, as we see from Bouché-Leclercq 581-593 - is that the
celestial sphere rotates really, really fast, so that even if say, twins
*appear* to be born at exactly the same time, in fact a different portion
of the zodiac will correspond to the birth of each one, owing to the very
slight difference in the times of their birth. The *paraklisis tEs
stigmEs* is thus the very slight change or deviation in time of birth, and
hence in the precise degree or minute of the zodiacal sign that is rising
on the horizon, which explains how a dog can be born "under the same sign"
as a man.
In Porphyry's interpretation, when the soul is on the outside of the
world, watching the constellations of the celestial sphere spinning around
in front of it, it chooses one it likes and dives in. But the spinning of
the sphere is so fast that no matter how close together two souls may take
the plunge, their entry into the world, and hence their birth, is ever so
slightly different, and so is the degree or minute of the zodiacal sign
rising at the horizon at the instant of their birth.
One can and should thus make an addition to LSJ: *paraklisis, hE*:
"deviation, alternation, variation".
Thanks once again to all,
CNRS UPR 76