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2081Re: Iamblichus 'eye of wisdom' alleged reference

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  • vaeringjar
    May 16, 2008
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      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "Leonard George" <lgeorge@...>
      > Thanks to all for your very generous and valuable responses!
      > I'm intrigued by the question of how various Platonists understood
      > the ontological status of this 'eye of the soul'. The esteemed Dr.
      > Dillon, in his paper "Aisthesis Noete: A Doctrine of Spiritual
      > in Origen and in Plotinus" (in The Golden Chain: Studies in the
      > Development of Platonism and Christianity) noted passages by those
      > two that imply a belief in spiritual sense organs that are neither
      > metaphors for Nous nor references to the faculties of the soul, but
      > *literal* though non-material organs. With this in mind, I then
      > at a passage in De Mysteriis that has long caught my
      attention: "the
      > advent of the gods... shows what is not body as body to the eyes of
      > the soul by means of those of the body" (DM II.6.81-82). A few
      > modern commentators have briefly glossed this passage with rather
      > general statements about the soul's vehicle, without discussing
      > precisely what role is played by the 'eyes of the body'. I infer
      > that these bodily eyes, being contrasted to the 'eyes of the soul',
      > are the physical sense organs. So then how exactly do these two
      > of organs interact to give rise to the mysterious experience of
      > perceiving 'what is not body as body'? As the physical eyes are
      > involved, I assume that the perception of physical objects is part
      > the process - we're not just talking about visionary activity in
      > phantastikon here. If anyone feels like offering further thoughts
      > leads on this, I'd be glad.
      > Cheers,
      > Leonard

      Does that famous Greek concept of like "sensing" like come into play

      I haven't had a chance to review that passage in DM yet, but I would
      wonder also perhaps about the role of light in this process. Book I
      is heavily concerned with the concept of ellampsis, and of course
      later on Iamblichus will emphasize the role of the sun as the major
      synthema in theurgy. And of course light at least as a metaphor if
      not an actual mechanism figures way back already in Plato in the
      allegory of the cave in the Republic and largely of course in
      Plotinus as well. I am currently trying to research ellampsis in Book
      I so thanks for this other reference which might also be relevant.

      Dennis Clark
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