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Re: The Many Souls of Numenius(?)

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  • plotinosgr
    THE PROMETHEUS TRUST LINK http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/1_-_elements.html Proclus Elements of Theology PROPOSITION I All multitude participates in a
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 14, 2002
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      THE PROMETHEUS TRUST LINK


      http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/1_-_elements.html

      Proclus' Elements of Theology

      PROPOSITION I
      All multitude participates in a certain respect of The One.
      For if it in no respects participates of The One, neither will the
      whole be one whole, nor each of the many of which the multitude
      consists; but there will also be a certain multitude arising from
      each of these, and this will be the case to infinity. Each of these
      infinities, likewise, will again be infinite multitude. For
      participating in no respect of any one, neither according to the
      whole of itself, nor according to each of the many which it contains,
      it will be in every respect, and according to the whole, infinite.
      For each of the many which you may assume, will either be one, or not
      one, will either be many or nothing. But if each is nothing, that
      also which consists of these will be nothing. And if each is many,
      each will consist of infinites infinitely: [and this not in capacity,
      but in energy]. These things, however, are impossible. For neither
      does any being consist of infinites infinitely assumed; since there
      is not more than the infinite; but that which consists of all is more
      than each. Nor is it possible for any thing to be composed from
      nothing. All multitude, therefore, participates in a certain respect
      of The One.
      PROPOSITION II
      Every thing which participates of The One, is both one and not one.
      For if it is not The One Itself (since it participates of The One)
      being something else besides The One, it suffers, or is passive to it
      according to participation, and sustains to become one. If,
      therefore, it is nothing besides The One, it is one alone, and does
      not participate of The One, but will be The One Itself. But if it is
      something besides The One, which is not The One, but its parti-
      cipant, it is both not one, and one, not indeed such a one as The One
      Itself, but one being, as participating of The One. This, therefore,
      is not one, nor is it that which The One is. But it is one, and at
      the same time a participant of The One. Hence, being of itself not
      one, it is both one and not one, being something else besides The
      One. And so far indeed as it abounds, it is not one, but so far as it
      is passive [to The One] it is one. Every thing, therefore, which
      participates of The One, is both one and not one.
      PROPOSITION III
      Every thing which becomes one, becomes so through the participation
      of The One, and is one, so far as it suffers the participation of The
      One.
      For if things which are not one become one, they doubtless become so
      by a conjunction and communication with each other, and they sustain
      the presence of The One, not being that which The One Itself is.
      Hence, they participate of The One so far as they suffer to become
      one. For, if they are already one they will not become one; since
      that which is does not become that which it is already. But if they
      become one from nothing, i.e. from the privation of The One, since a
      certain one is ingenerated in them, The One Itself is prior to them.
      [And this ingenerated one must be derived from The One Itself. Every
      thing, therefore, which becomes one, becomes so through the
      participation of The One, &c.]
      PROPOSITION IV
      Every thing which is united is different from The One Itself.
      For if it is united, it will participate in a certain respect of The
      One, so far as it is said to be united. That, however, which
      participates of The One, is both one and not one. But The One Itself
      is not both one and not one. For if this were the case, again the one
      which is in it would have both these, and this would take place to
      infinity, there being no One Itself at which it is possible to stop;
      but every thing being one and not one, there will be something united
      which is different from The One. For if The One is the same with the
      united, it will be infinite multitude. And in a similar manner each
      of the things of which the united consists will be infinite
      multitude. [Every thing, therefore, which is united is different from
      The One Itself.]
      PROPOSITION V
      All multitude is posterior to The One.
      For if multitude is prior to The One, The One indeed will participate
      of multitude, but multitude which is prior to The One will not
      participate of The One, since that multitude existed prior to the
      subsistence of The One. For it will not participate of that which is
      not; because that which participates of The One, is one and at the
      same time not one; but The One will not yet subsist, that which is
      first being multitude. It is, however, impossible that there should
      be a certain multitude, which in no respect whatever participates of
      The One. Multitude, therefore, is not prior to The One. But if
      multitude subsists simultaneously with The One, and they are
      naturally co-ordinate with each other; for nothing of time will
      prevent them being so; neither will The One of itself be many, nor
      will multitude be one, as being at one and the same time oppositely
      divided by nature, if neither is prior or posterior to the other.
      Hence, multitude of itself will not be one, and each of the things
      that are in it will not be one, and this will be the case to
      infinity, which is impossible. Multitude, therefore, according to its
      own nature, participates of The One, and it will not be possible to
      assume any thing of it which is not one. For not being one, it will
      be an infinite consisting of infinites; as has been demonstrated.
      Hence, it entirely participates of The One. If, therefore, The One
      which is of Itself one, in no respect participates of multitude,
      multitude will be entirely posterior to The One; participating indeed
      of The One, but not being participated by The One. But if The One
      also participates of multitude, subsisting indeed as one according to
      hyparxis, but as not one, according to partici- pation, The One will
      be multiplied, just as multitude is united on account of The One. The
      One, therefore, will communicate with multitude, and multitude with
      The One. But things which coalesce, and communicate in a certain
      respect with each other, if indeed they are collected together by
      something else, that something else is prior to them. But if they
      themselves collect themselves, they are not opposed to each other.
      For opposites do not hasten to each other. Hence, if The One and
      multitude are oppositely divided, and multitude so far as multitude
      is not one, and The One so far as one is not multitude, neither will
      one of these subsisting in the other be one and at the same time two.
      If, also, there is something prior to them which collects them, this
      will either be one or not one. But if it is not one, it will either
      be many or nothing. It will not, however, be many, lest multitude
      should be prior to The One, nor yet will it be nothing. For how can
      nothing congregate? It is, therefore, one alone. For this which is
      the one cannot be many, lest there should be a progression to
      infinity. It is, therefore, The One Itself, and all multitude is from
      The One Itself.
      PROPOSITION VI
      (concerning unity)
      Every multitude consists either of things united, or of unities.
      For that each of things many will not be itself multitude alone, and
      again that each part of this will not be multitude alone is evident.
      But if it is not multitude alone, it is either united, or unities.
      And if, indeed, it participates of The One it is united; but if it
      consists of things of which that which is primarily united consists,
      it will be unities. For if there is The One Itself, there is also
      that which primarily participates of it, and which is primarily
      united. But this consists of unities. For if it consists of things
      united, again things united consist of certain things, and this will
      be the case to infinity. It is necessary, however, that what is
      primarily united should consist of unities. And thus we have
      discovered what we proposed at first, [viz. that every multitude
      consists either of things united, or of unities].
    • Edward Moore
      On Sun, 14 Jul 2002 01:40:34 +0100 Tom Milner-Gulland ... I d prefer to invoke the standard existentialist motto: existence precedes essence ; and thereby
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 14, 2002
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        On Sun, 14 Jul 2002 01:40:34 +0100 "Tom Milner-Gulland"
        <tmgulland@...> writes:
        > Are we saying, then, that essence consists in operation?


        I'd prefer to invoke the standard existentialist motto: "existence
        precedes essence"; and thereby posit that essence is the end-result of an
        operation. In early Christian Trinitarian theology, esp. Origen, we find
        the idea that God is three persons (_hupostaseis_) known not in their
        nature (or 'substance,' _ousia_), but only by the results of their
        operations (_energeiai_) [cf. Origen, _De Principiis_ 1.3.5,7].


        > If this
        > is the case it seems we must establish the distinction between
        > transient and eternal operations.


        If an operation affects a being who is, by nature or by salvation,
        eternal or immortal, then even a seemingly transient operation will bring
        about an effect that bears upon an inherently eternal being. In this
        case, all operations (and their effects) will find an eternal 'archive'
        in the memory or archaeo-logoic persistence of any and all beings in
        Being.

        Regards,

        Edward




        ---------------------------

        Edward Moore, S.T.L., D.D. (candidate)
        St. Elias Orthodox Theological Seminary
        www.orthodoxtheology.org
        Email. proteus28@... Fax. 1-810-454-1893

        ----------------------------

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      • Tom Milner-Gulland
        ...
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 15, 2002
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          >From: Edward Moore <proteus28@...>
          <<thereby posit that essence is the end-result of an
          >operation. In early Christian Trinitarian theology, esp. Origen, we find
          >the idea that God is three persons (_hupostaseis_) known not in their
          >nature (or 'substance,' _ousia_), but only by the results of their
          >operations >>

          Interesting, but it would seem to dissociate essence from the pre-existing
          conditions that must reside in all operations that render them meaningful.

          <<If an operation affects a being who is, by nature or by salvation,
          >eternal or immortal, then even a seemingly transient operation will bring
          >about an effect that bears upon an inherently eternal being. In this
          >case, all operations (and their effects) will find an eternal 'archive'
          >in the memory or archaeo-logoic persistence of any and all beings in
          >Being.>>

          If we are to accept some notion of a veil of appearances, then operations
          such as salvation only occur in essence, in so far as their occurrence can
          be definitively distinguished from any other event.
          Regards,
          Tom

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        • Cosmin I. Andron
          ... I am not sure which would be your alternative of translation; however, if I get correctly what you mean, still you will need either eis men or ho eis
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 17, 2002
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            >"ho theos mentoi ho deuteros kai tritos estin eis" (11.13-14), which
            >Dillon translates as: "The Second and Third God, however, are in fact
            >one." Yet it is not necessary to translate eis as "one." The term often
            >denotes personal relationship, and even hostile relationship. So if we
            >say that these two gods are related, then they remain ontologically
            >distinct, though in communion with one another.

            I am not sure which would be your alternative of translation; however, if I
            get correctly what you mean, still you will need either 'eis men' or 'ho
            eis' or something similar. The way the text is I cannot see an alternative
            to 'eis' = 'numerically one'.

            >We are led to deduce, then, that the
            >Second and Third gods were not
            >begotten (gennao^) but rather created.

            Rather born out of the first go: fr.12

            >So is it possible to interpret Numenius' fragment as referring to an
            >intelligible matter (the "Third God"), with the Second God as the
            >limiting principle?

            I would not try to see any type of intelligible matter in N. It is extremely
            risky to push analogies on the basis of such a limited amount of text we
            have. The second god is mostly described as the 'agent' through which the
            first God acts. The third god is contrasted with the intelligible: ['twi oûn
            mè einai pròs twi noetwi (...) dià tò tèn húlen blépein' 11.16-17],
            intelligible which is identified with the second god [... ên gàr àn pròs
            heautwi 11.17]. I guess that the intelligible realm is identified (limited)
            with the second god.

            >If this is the case, then we are really dealing with
            >one operation -- i.e., the activity of the limit upon the limitless --
            >and not with two ontologically distinct souls.

            Here not two ontologically distinct souls or ‘noes’ but in other frgs. there
            are: two souls: frs. 52; 22 –quite conflicting- ; two noes: frs. 12;
            15;16;17.


            >that the Second God (after the First, or
            >the One) has, like Plotinus' Intellect, two capacities: theo^ria and
            >energeia, contemplation and production.

            Yes, according to frs. 12; 16; 22


            With every best wish, yours
            Cosmin


            ~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Cosmin I. Andron BA, MA (Cluj), PhD cand.

            Department of Classics
            Royal Holloway College
            University of London
            Egham
            Surrey TW20 OEX
            England

            Phone: 0044 (0) 7759 188 337
            Email: C.I.Andron@...

            Web page: http://www2.rhbnc.ac.uk/~pklc006/homepage.htm
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          • Edward Moore
            Greetings Cosmin (and All): Many thanks for your reply. I have examined sections of the work of Nock and Ferwerda, and am prepared to concede that the
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 19, 2002
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              Greetings Cosmin (and All):

              Many thanks for your reply. I have examined sections of the work of Nock
              and Ferwerda, and am prepared to concede that the evidence points
              strongly toward a Numenian doctrine of two souls. This realization lends
              some extra weight to Origen's insistence that the Logos possessed a
              pre-existent soul even before its Incarnation as the God-Man Jesus
              Christ. Apparently, Origen was trying to distance himself from an
              influence that was rather too close for comfort.

              Below is a brief remark concerning the translation of Numenius fr. 11.

              On Thu, 18 Jul 2002 02:46:11 +0100 "Cosmin I. Andron"
              <c.i.andron@...> writes:
              > >"ho theos mentoi ho deuteros kai tritos estin eis" (11.13-14), which
              > >Dillon translates as: "The Second and Third God, however, are in
              > fact
              > >one." Yet it is not necessary to translate eis as "one." The term
              > often
              > >denotes personal relationship, and even hostile relationship. So
              > if we
              > >say that these two gods are related, then they remain ontologically
              > >distinct, though in communion with one another.
              >
              > I am not sure which would be your alternative of translation;
              > however, if I
              > get correctly what you mean, still you will need either 'eis men'
              > or 'ho
              > eis' or something similar. The way the text is I cannot see an
              > alternative
              > to 'eis' = 'numerically one'.


              My alternative translation would simply say it like it is: "the second
              and third gods are related." Variant translations might render _estin
              eis_ as "are for one another," or "are with one another," etc. Cp.
              Colossians 1:16.

              Perhaps I am being naive, but I can't understand why Numenius, who has
              already 'numericized' his gods by labelling them '_deuteros_' and
              '_trias_' (respectively) would then insist, in the same breath, that they
              are "numerically one." So "one" in what capacity? If in substance, then
              surely one soul -- yet if in relation only, then it follows that they
              both have their own unique soul, related in operation or faculty, yet not
              in substance.

              All the Best,

              Edward



              --------------------------------------------------------
              Edward Moore, S.T.L., D.D. (candidate)
              St. Elias Orthodox Theological Seminary
              www.orthodoxtheology.org
              Email. proteus28@... Fax. 1-810-454-1893
              Homepage: www.livejournal.com/users/edwardmoore
              --------------------------------------------------------

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            • adurigon
              I would like to greet, very belatedly, all participants in the most interesting discussion on Numenius that took place last July, which has just been shown to
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 26, 2002
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                I would like to greet, very belatedly, all participants in the most
                interesting discussion on Numenius' that took place last July, which
                has just been shown to me by Peter Durigon (as we drink wine in his
                apartment in Cambridge, MA). It is a most interesting question how
                oneness should be interpreted in this context. N. does after all want
                to maintain that his second and third gods (broadly, the transcendent
                Demiurge and the cosmos or world-soul) are distinct, but they are also
                'one', in that the limiting action of the Demiurge on the material
                subtratum generates the cosmos as a third god, and this can be seen as
                the Demiurge in his immanent aspect. So, if thente Demiurge is to be
                acounted a soul, there are two souls involved, but they are not fully
                distinct. John Dillon
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