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Platonic Path

Discussion in 'Seekers Circle' started by Nicholas W., Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Nicholas W.

    Nicholas W. Bodhicitta

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    As we are parts of the universe it is fit that we should be in want of the universe. For a conversion to the whole imparts salvation to every thing.

    If therefore you possess virtue, you should invoke that which antecedently comprehends all virtue. For that which is all-good, will also be the cause to you of appropriate good.

    Proclus
     
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  2. Nicholas W.

    Nicholas W. Bodhicitta

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    What then are powerful anchors? Prudence, magnanimity, fortitude. These no tempest can shake.

    This is the Law of God: that virtue is the only thing that is strong; and that every thing else is a trifle.

    Pythagoras
     
  3. dannerz

    dannerz Member

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    Good stuff. The ancient Greeks had a lot of culture.
     
  4. Nicholas W.

    Nicholas W. Bodhicitta

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  5. Nicholas W.

    Nicholas W. Bodhicitta

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    In 2013 a couple of Platonists gave three lectures that are a fine survey of the basics. Here is the first one by Tim Addey of Prometheus Trust:

    http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/Platonic_Life_-_the_Philosopher_in_the_World.pdf

    Now the second by Guy Wyndham-Jones. All three of these transcribed talks are about 10-15 pages.

    http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/The_Platonic_Life_-_the_Philosopher_in_the_Soul.pdf

    And the final one, also by Addey:

    http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/The_Platonic_Life_-_The_Philosopher_amongst_the_Stars.pdf
     
  6. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    I disagree.

    Gobbledygook. Can you expand?
     
  7. Nicholas W.

    Nicholas W. Bodhicitta

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    Valjean,
    This is from Proclus commentary on Plato's Timaeus. Both the work and Proclus are very profound. I may not be of much help, so will you explain what you disagree with in the first line of Proclus.

    Also study the Guy Wyndham-Jones talk in the link above, he uses this quote on page four.
     
    #7 Nicholas W., Oct 9, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  8. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

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    Although I don't follow that path myself, I have a great respect for those that do.

    Actually it's very similar to some Hindu and Buddhist thought. If the passage that someone called gobbledegook were paraphrased as advising the person who seeks salvation to seek to unite themself to Brahma, perhaps it might be more comprehensible. I think the translation is the two-hundred year old one by Thomas Taylor, whose style can get as difficult to follow as the original Greek!
     
  9. Nicholas W.

    Nicholas W. Bodhicitta

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    True that Taylor's style & vocabulary is hard for us to follow, so Prometheus Trust put together a Glossary that does help somewhat:

    http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk/Glossary.pdf

    However, we cannot put the difficulty only on the shoulders of translators. Mystic writings are about the non-conceptual or at least the trans-conceptual, so language is a poor transfer medium.
    Here is more Proclus from his Elements, yet translated by the modern Dodds. Still not a snap to comprehend.

    PROP. 1. Every manifold in some way participates unity.

    For suppose a manifold in no way participating unity. Neither
    this manifold as a whole nor any of its several parts will be one;
    each part will itself be a manifold of parts, and so to infinity; and
    of this infinity of parts each, once more, will be infinitely manifold;
    for a manifold which in no way participates any unity, neither as
    a whole nor in respect of its parts severally, will be infinite in every
    way and in respect of every part. For each part of the manifold -- take
    which you will -- must be either one or not-one; and if not one,
    then either many or nothing. But if each part be nothing, the
    whole is nothing; if many, it is made up of an infinity of infinites.
    This is impossible: for, on the one hand, nothing which is is made
    up of an infinity of infinites (since the infinite cannot be exceeded,
    yet the single part is exceeded by the sum); on the other hand,
    nothing can be made up of parts which are nothing. Every manifold,
    therefore, in some way participates unity.
     
    #9 Nicholas W., Oct 10, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  10. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I can cope with that. But Proclus was a philosopher, although a very religious one rather than a mystic. Still, better Proclus's arguments than, say, Heidegger!
     
  11. Nicholas W.

    Nicholas W. Bodhicitta

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    “For if we are temperate, we shall still continue to be so, though these calamities may befall us, and if we are contemplators of true beings, neither shall we be plundered of this habit; but all these dreadful events taking place, we shall still persevere in celebrating the rulers of all things, and in investigating the causes of effects.” - Proclus, On Providence, Fate, and that which is in our Power
     
  12. Nicholas W.

    Nicholas W. Bodhicitta

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    “Now among the first principles of reality, the Good transcends beauty and the beautiful lies superior to justice. The first is established in inaccessible heights above the intelligibles, whereas the second is situated secretly among the first intelligibles and more evidently is at the lower limit of that order; the third appears unitarily in the most primary rank of intellectual beings, and assumes secondary manifestations at the end of the intellectual procession of the Gods. Again the Good is on the level of the Gods, the beautiful on the level of intellect, the just on the level of souls.”

    “So where the just is, there also is the beautiful, and where the beautiful, there also is the good, whether you want to consider the most primary principles, or their irradiations as far as the lowest levels. All things enjoy the good (since it is the principle of all things), but only those things enjoy the beautiful which partake of form, only those things enjoy the just which partake of soul. But at least in the midmost centre of all beings, such as the soul is, all these are united to one another, the good, the beautiful, the just . . .”

    Proclus, Commentary on the Alcibiades, 320-21
     
  13. Nicholas W.

    Nicholas W. Bodhicitta

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    From an excellent book on Proclus, titled Proclus: An Introduction, by Radek Chlup:

    "
    C HA P T E R 4 - Epistemology

    Chapters 2 and 3 have described the 'objective' metaphysical structure
    of Produs' universe, consisting of a hierarchy of universal principles and
    powers. For the Neoplatonists, however, the ontological structure of reality
    is not just something lying 'out there' as an external system of hypostases
    into which we are placed. It is also something to be realized subjectively
    within each one of us by a progressive process of cognition. The ultimate
    aim is to achieve full harmony between the psychic reality inside and the
    metaphysical reality outside: to adjust all of the motions of one's soul to
    the universal streams of energy flowing 'out there', so that one might be
    able to dance with them in unison, I achieving what Plato famously termed
    'assimilation to god as far as possible' (Theaetetus, I76b) .
     
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