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2089Re: Iamblichus 'eye of wisdom' alleged reference

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  • neoplatonist2000
    May 19, 2008
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      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, John Dilon <jmdillon@...> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Hi ~
      > >
      > > I've run across the following statement on a website concerning
      > > medical knowledge:
      > >
      > > 'Iamblichus repeats the statement of Plato that the study of the
      > > science of Numbers tends to awaken that organ in the brain which the
      > > ancients described as the "eye of wisdom", the organ now known to
      > > physiology as the pineal gland.'
      > >
      > > I imagine the Plato reference is to Republic VII. Could anyone point
      > > me toward the specific passage in Iamblichus to which this might be
      > > referring?
      > >
      > > Thanks very much,
      > >
      > > Leonard George
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > I imagine in the introduction to his commentary on Nicomachus, but
      one would
      > need to check. JMD
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      Dear Leonard

      Re your earlier reference to numbers. This is what Plotinus has to
      say on the subject of mathematics.

      "The metaphysician, equipped by that very character, winged already
      and not like those others, in need of disengagement, stirring of
      himself towards the supernal but doubting of the way, needs only a
      guide. He must be shown, then, and instructed, a willing wayfarer by
      his very temperament, all but self-directed.

      Mathematics, which as a student by nature he will take very easily,
      will be prescribed to train him to abstract thought and to faith in
      the unembodied; a moral being by native disposition, he must be led to
      make his virtue perfect; after the Mathematics he must be put through
      a course in Dialectic and made an adept in the science." (The Six
      Enneads - first Ennead.)

      Les Greenhill
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