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6064Re: RES: [neoplatonism] Re: Calling all astrologers!

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  • Sebastian Moro
    Oct 10, 2013
      Dear all,

      Very interesting topic. In relation to José's question one could say that according to Proclus' interpretation (In Remp. II.309.3 ff.) it is not possible for a human soul to be born in an animal body, he says that this kind of choice means a choice of a mode of life, and mentions the example of the dog as an irrational kind of life (according to the Oracles). The choices and the lots (klêroi) depend on the qualitative aspect of the soul and its dispositions (In Remp. 263.5). Do these dispositions depend on a previous life? (on merits, as Festugiere translates II. 265.5) or do they depend on the kind of soul and the causal seirai that each represents?
      There are more details in Proclus about human and animal souls after II.310.
      Kind regards,

      On Thursday, October 10, 2013 4:46 PM, Marilynn Lawrence <pronoia12@...> wrote:
      Dear 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. 


      On Oct 10, 2013, at 5:02 AM, Baracat Junior <baracatjr@...> wrote:

      Dear Michael,
      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?
      De: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com [mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com] Em nome de Goya
      Enviada em: quarta-feira, 9 de outubro de 2013 21:32
      Para: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: CLASSICS-L
      Assunto: Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Calling all astrologers!
      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,


      Michael Chase
      CNRS UPR 76

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