Proclo, Commento al Parmenide, I Libro [668.30- 688.20]

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«Ma io» risposi, «sono qui proprio per questo motivo, per chiedervi un favore».
«Puoi esporre la tua richiesta», disse. [126 A 5-7]
– Come devono essere le anime che vogliono elevarsi

Ed io: «come si chiamava quel vostro fratello da parte di madre? Non ricordo. Era solo un bambino, quando per la prima volta mi stabilii qui da Clazomene: ma da allora è ormai trascorso molto tempo.» [126 B 1-4]
– La storia della famiglia
– Analogia con le Realtà: γνῶσις, πέλασις, ἕνωσις
– Come le anime possono riunirsi all’oggetto del loro desiderio/conoscenza

«Il nome del padre, mi sembra, era Pirilampe».
«Certamente», rispose.
«E lui?»
«Antifonte. Ma perché ti interessa così tanto?» [126 B 4-7]
– L’attività degli esseri automotori

«Costoro», dissi io, «sono miei concittadini, filosofi senza dubbio, e hanno sentito dire che questo Antifonte si è incontrato molte volte con un certo Pitodoro, discepolo di Zenone, e ricorda, per averli spesso ascoltati da Pitodoro, i discorsi che allora Socrate, Zenone e Parmenide avevano tenuto». [126 B 8-C 3]
– Auriga e potenze di secondo grado nelle anime
– L’ordine dei personaggi: analogie
– I Logoi Divini

«Quello che dici è vero», disse.
«Proprio questi discorsi», dissi, «chiediamo di ascoltare».
«Ma non è una cosa difficile», rispose. «Era ancora un giovanetto, e già rifletteva assai attentamente intorno a tali questioni, mentre ora, come il nonno suo omonimo, trascorre la maggior parte del suo tempo dedicandosi all’equitazione. Ma se proprio si deve, andiamo da lui: un momento fa è andato via di qui e sta andando a casa: abita qui vicino, in Melite». [126 C 4-10]
– Come le anime godono direttamente dei Daimones e cosa ne deriva per esse
– A proposito dei “θείους δαίμονας”
– Dei, Angeloi e Daimones
– Poseidone e i Daimones
– L’anima che passa dalle immagini ai Modelli
– I giovani e l’insegnamento della filosofia

Dopo queste parole ci mettemmo in strada, e trovammo Antifonte in casa, mentre stava consegnando ad un fabbro una briglia da riparare: non appena si liberò da quell’uomo, i fratelli gli spiegarono il motivo per cui eravamo venuti, e fu così che mi riconobbe dal mio precedente soggiorno e mi salutò con affetto. [127 A 1-5]
– Lo stile contribuisce al fine del dialogo
– Le considerazioni etiche che si deducono dal passo
– Considerazioni fisiche deducibili dal passo
– Considerazioni teologiche deducibili dal passo – la risalita delle anime e la partecipazione ai beni demonici e divini

Quando noi gli chiedemmo che ci esponesse quei discorsi, in un primo tempo si mostrò esitante – diceva infatti che si trattava di un’opera assai ardua – ma in un secondo tempo cominciò ad esporli. [127 A 5-7]
– Conoscenza, desiderio: “è in ciò che consiste il racconto: uno svelamento ed una rivelazione di ciò che è nascosto, ed una perfezione elevante donata alle anime dai Daimones divini.”
– L’opera più ardua ed i discorsi epoptici

Antifonte prese a dire come Pitodoro gli aveva raccontato di Zenone e Parmenide che una volta erano venuti alle Grandi Panatenee. [127 A 7-B 1]
– Virtù ed imitazione
– La molteplicità e la riunificazione presso la Causa divina – l’esempio delle Panatenee

Parmenide era già assai vecchio, i capelli completamente bianchi, l’aspetto bello e nobile, e si trovava intorno ai sessantacinque anni [127 B 1-3]
– Analogie deducibili dal passo

Zenone allora era vicino ai quaranta anni, alto di statura ed elegante a vedersi, e si diceva che fosse stato il giovane amico di Parmenide. [127 B 4-6]
– Analogie deducibili dal passo

Disse che costoro avevano alloggiato presso Pitodoro, fuori delle mura, nel Ceramico. [127 B 6-C 1]
– Il ruolo degli Angeloi
– “i Pitagorici consigliavano di evitare le strade ampie”

Lì era giunto Socrate, e insieme a lui molte altre persone, tutte desiderose di ascoltare la lettura dell’opera di Zenone – allora, per la prima volta da quelli il libro fu portato qui fra noi. In quel tempo Socrate era assai giovane. Fu lo stesso Zenone a leggere il libro. [127 C 1-6]
– La giovane età di Socrate, il suo ruolo di guida – analogie con gli Dei
– Lo scritto ed il peplo in onore della Dea
– I modi in cui gli Dei si rivelano per gradi

Monthly meditations- Sources..

“May She be gracious to us and grant us the gift of pure wisdom and the fulfillment with noeric power, while providing us with Olympic blessings that elevate the souls, while banishing the gigantic appearances produced by the world of becoming, while waking in us the pure and unperverted notions about all the Gods and while shining upon us with the divine light from Herself.”

Proclus, Commentary to the Timaeus

*The hypostases underlying each Triad subsist as Being, Life, and Intelligence; Being ” abides,” Life “proceeds,” and Intelligence “returns” or “converts.” The Noetic Order principally subsists as to Being, the Noetic-Noeric as to Life, and the Noeric as to Intelligence—the keynotes of the three supersensible orders being respectively permanent Being, permanent Life, and permanent Intelligence. Says Proclus in his commentary to the Cratylus of Plato: “Of the intelligible [noetic] Gods the first genera, which are conjoined with the one itself and are called occult, have much of the unknown and ineffable. For that which is perfectly apparent and effable cannot be conjoined with the perfectly ineffable, but it is requisite that the progression if intelligible [the Noetic Order], should be terminated in this order, in which there is the first effable [the prototype of the Third or Manifested Logos], and that which is called by proper names. For the first forms are there, and the intellectual nature of intelligibles there shines forth to the view.” About the middle Triad, so Proclus in the Theology of Plato: “In the intelligible and at the same time intellectual [i.e., the noetic- noeric] order, each triad has essence, life and intellect; one indeed intelligibly and at the same time intellectually, but more intelligibly, so far asit is in continuity with the first intelligibles; the other intellectually and intelligibly, but more intellectually, because it is proximately carried in intellectuals ; and another according to an equal part, as it comprehends in itself both the peculiarities. Hence the first triad, that we may speak of each, was in intelligibles [the noetic order] bound, infinity, and essence; for essence was that which was primarily mixed. But here [in the noetic- noeric order] the first triad is essence, life and intellect,with appropriate unities.” Each member of the Triad is, in its turn, triadic. The first subsists according to essence, life and intellect. The second subsists according to infinity, or infinite power, for the power of the cause which is generative of being, is infinity. Thus its characteristic is intelligible life, “the proceeding”. It is further said to be “parturient with multitude and the origin of separation”. The third subsists according to intelligible intellect. It is said to be “all perfect” and “folds into light in itself, intelligible multitude and form”. It “converts the intelligible end to the beginning and converts the order in itself,” therefore it is called “the returning”. Finally the noeric Triad: Kronos, Rhea and Zeus, as also the Curetes: “”Plato, following Orpheus, calls the inflexible and undefiled triad of the intellectual [noeric] Gods Curetic, as is evident from what the Athenian guest says in the Laws, celebrating the armed sports of the Curetes, and their rhythmical dance. For Orpheus represents the Curetes, who are three, as the guards of Zeus. And the sacred laws of the Cretans, and all the Hellenic theology, refer a pure and undefiled life and energy to this order. For to koron, indicates nothing else than the pure and incorruptible. Hence we have before said that the mighty Kronos, as being essentially united to the cause of undefiled purity, is a pure intellect. The paternal Gods [Kronos, Rhea, Zeus] therefore are three, and the undefiled Gods [the Curetes] also are three.” The noeric Curetic triad depends on the Mother Rhea, who is then called Kore , and her reflection in the next order is in fact Athena, clad in the breastplate of righteousness, just as are the Curetes, of whom She is the guide. Here we arrive at the Vivific/ Corybantic Triad of Artemis, Kore and Athena: “The mystic tradition of Orpheus makes mention of these more clearly. And Plato being persuaded by the mysteries, and by what is performed in them, indicates concerning these unpolluted Gods. And in the Laws indeed he reminds us of the inflation of the pipe by the Corybantes, which represses every inordinate and tumultuous motion. But in the Euthydemus, he makes mention of the collocation on a throne, which is performed in the Corybantic mysteries, just as in other dialogues he makes mention of the Curetic Order, speaking of the armed sports of the Curetes. For they are said to surround and to dance round the Demiurgus of wholes, when He was unfolded into light from Rhea. In the intellectual Gods [the noeric order], therefore, the first Curetic order is allotted its hypostasis. But the order of the Corybantes which precedes Kore, and guards her on all sides, as the theology says, is analogous [in the supercosmic order] to the Curetes in the intellectual [noeric] order.”

 

“Nike(Victory) Athena: alternatively She stands allegorically for the notion that even winning is completely dependent on thought; for thought contributes to victory, but being thoughtless and impetuous while fighting leads to defeat. When She has wings She symbolizes that aspect of the mind that is sharp and, so to speak, swift-winged; but when She is depicted without wings She represents that aspect of it that is peaceful and quiet and civil, that by which the things of the earth flourish, a boon of which the pomegranate in Her right hand is a representation. Just as the helmet in Her left is a representation of battle. Thus She has the same capability as Athena”
(Suidas s.v. Nike Athena)

Winged Nike, from Pompei, Italy

“The Gods purify the universe, either by fire or water; and prophets also in this respect imitate the Gods. In the most sacred of the Mysteries too, purifications are employed prior to initiation into them, in order to take away every thing foreign from the proposed sacred Mystery. We may likewise add, that the referring multiform purifications to the one cathartic power of the Gods, is adapted to him. For Apollo everywhere unites and elevates the multitude to The One, and uniformly comprehends all the modes of purification; purifying all heaven, generation, and all mundane lives, and separating partial souls from the grossness of matter. Hence the theurgist who is the leader of the Mysteries of this God begins from purifications and sprinklings:
Αυτος δ’ εν πρωτοις ιερευς πυρος εργα κυβερνων,
Κυματι ραινεσθω παγερῳ βαρυηχετος αλμης.
“The priest in the first place governing the works of fire,
Must sprinkle with the cold water of the loud-sounding sea,”
…as the Oracle says concerning him.”

(Proclus on the Cratylus of Plato Concerning Apollo)

“From discoursing about king Apollo, Plato proceeds to the Muses, and the name of music; for Apollo is celebrated as Musagetes, or the leader of the Muses. And He indeed is a monad with respect to the harmony in the world; but the choir of the Muses is the monad of all the number of the ennead (i.e. nine): From both likewise the whole world is bound in indissoluble bonds, and is one and all-perfect, through the communications of these divinities; possessing the former through the Apolloniacal monad, but its all-perfect subsistence through the number of the Muses. For the number nine which is generated from the first perfect number (that is 3) is, through similitude and sameness, accommodated to the multiform causes of the mundane order and harmony; all these causes at the same time being collected into one summit for the purpose of producing one consummate perfection.”

(Proclus on the Cratylus of Plato Concerning the Muses)
(Apollo sitting with the Muses under a tree; Unpublished: TRAY 17.1)

“She is the cause therefore of orderly and measured motion, which She first imparts to the Curetic order, and afterwards to the other Gods. For Athena according to this power is the leader of the Curetes, as Orpheus says, whence also, as well as those divinities She is adorned with empyrean arms, through which She represses all disorder, preserves the demiurgic series immoveable, and unfolds dancing through rhythmical motion. She also guards reason as it proceeds from intellect; through this power vanquishing matter. For the visible region, says Timæus, is mingled from intellect and necessity, the latter being obedient to the former, and all material causes being in subjection to the will of the Father. It is this Goddess therefore, who arranges necessity under the productions of intellect, raises the universe to the participation of Zeus, excites and establishes it in the port of its Father, and eternally guards and defends it.”
(Proclus, commentary to the Cratylus)

“…This notion about the supreme Zeus, that He is the Demiurge and the Father of this universe and that He is the unpartecipated and completely perfect Intellect and that He fills all with life and the other good things.”
Proclus, Commentary to the Cratylus

“This isolation and this failure to mingle with the other Gods, but to rejoice in frequenting and relating to himself, remaining still and constantly setting the All in order, presents the nature of the intelligible God; for he [Homer] knows that the God who oversees and manages the All, is Intellect.”
Pseudo-Plutarch, De vita et poeseos Homeri

 

 

“Worshippers of the Gods, give ear. This is the hour for the morning (or the afternoon, or the evening) prayer to the Gods. Let us invoke all the Gods and Zeus, who reigns over Them, with all our mind, and all our reason, and all our soul.’ After this proclamation has been made (once on ordinary days, twice on holidays, and thrice on the days of the new moon), the assemblage, to begin the service, must face upward, kneel on both knees, raise the hands with palms up, and cry, ‘O Gods, be propitious.’ While repeating this prayer, the people are, first of all, to worship the Gods of Olympus by touching the ground with the right hand and simultaneously lifting one knee. Then, after pronouncing this invocation once and kneeling [in this way] once, they are to worship the rest of the Gods with the left hand and with the same words. Next, all must call upon Zeus, the King, saying, ‘O Zeus, the King, be propitious,’ and falling upon both knees and both hands, with the head touching the ground. In this case, both the invocation and the adoration are to be repeated three times, the whole counting as a single adoration. This rite is to be repeated in the same way once every day for each prayer, and three times on holidays. The people are to perform their obeisances under the leadership of a priest or one of the most venerable of those present, using the Hypophrygian mode for the invocation to the gods worshipped with the right hand, the Phrygian for the invocation to the gods worshipped with the left hand, and the Hypodorian for the invocation to Zeus.”

(Pletho’s calendar from Alexandre, 230.11)