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2967Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Odysseus in the myth of Er

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  • leslie greenhill
    Jan 3, 2010
      3 Jan. 10

      Hi David
      Your email of the 9th December just arrived.  I understand what you are saying about numbers and geometry.  I feel that you might feel as strongly about numbers and geometry as I do.  However, as someone who deals in dreams as well, I'm not so sure that we can be so sure what numbers and geometry are all about anyway.  In Carl Jung's "Synchonicity - an acausal connecting principle" he writes:  "There is something peculiar, one might even say mysterious, about numbers...". 

      You can only write something like that when you have experienced the mystery of number.  And that is something I can say something about as well.  Not so much here because numbers don't attract much interest.  Below is a quote from Plotinus that I have cited before: 

      “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.) 

      Now, here is a question.  How many in this group have thought about what the "Six Enneads" may encrypt in its title?  The number 54 (6 x 9) perhaps?  If you can tell me to what it refers, we can, perhaps, start a marvellous conversation. 

      A quote from Plutarch - the passage is from his essay “The E at Delphi” - which is published in Moralia, Volume V, immediately following the essay on “Isis and Osiris”.  The interlocutor is Plutarch. 

      “When Nicander had expounded all this, my friend Theon, whom I presume you know, asked Ammonius if Logical Reason had any rights in free speech, after being spoken of in such a very insulting manner.  And when Ammonius urged him to speak and come to her assistance, he said, “That the god [Apollo] is a most logical reasoner the great majority of his oracles show clearly; for surely it is the function of the same person both to solve and to invent ambiguities.  Moreover, as Plato said, when an oracle was given that they should double the size of the altar at Delos (a task requiring the highest skill in geometry), it was not this that the god was enjoining, but he was urging the Greeks to study geometry.  And so, in the same way, when the god gives out ambiguous oracles, he is promoting and organizing logical reasoning as indispensable for those who are to apprehend his meaning aright.”  (Babbitt, pp. 209-211/Stephanus 386)

      So, let's hear about the number 54.  It's half 108.  Remember Penelope's 108 suitors?


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      --- On Wed, 9/12/09, dgallagher@...
      <dgallagher@...> wrote:

      From: dgallagher@... <dgallagher@...>
      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Odysseus in the myth of Er
      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      Received: Wednesday, 9 December, 2009, 1:24 AM


      In a message dated 12/4/2009 7:56:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      neoplatonist2000@ yahoo.com writes:

      P.S. I don't think that life is all about number and geometry.


      Consider the subtleties of the preposition 'about' (think spherically,
      which implicates the solids), and a possible rephrasing: Number and geometry
      are all about life. The suggestion involves recognition of cosmos existing
      'within' soul rather than soul embodied in cosmos.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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