On the Theology of Plato
Thomas Taylor's introduction to Proclus "On the Theology of Plato"
Introduction to the electronic edition of Proclus work "On the Theology of Plato".
The following text pertains to the lengthy introduction of Thomas Taylor on Proclus' work "On the theology of Plato".
Taylor gives a nice summary of some key tenets of the universal philosophy of ancient civilization, notably Middle-Eastern and Greek. Those civilizations recognized the universe as an organism that is alive.
They acknowledged The One principle of principles, out of which arises several successive orders of being. These are six in total, as is beautifully outlined in the student edition "Beyond the Shadows", published by Prometheus Trust, an organization that is dedicated to promulgating the translations of Thomas Taylor of the famous Greek and NeoPlatonic authors of old.
The "six causes", mentioned by Proclus in his writings, are also elucidated in the above booklet. Being an important refinement of Aristotle's four causes, these give enough food for thought to ground a whole new science that is truly holistic in scope and intent!
The knowledge and insights expressed by Proclus cannot be overestimated. When digested properly, it can help reorient our perplexed civilization, so out of touch with nature and deeper feelings, to the Spirit within each of us, and, give help to the lost ones. Without the guiding Light of Reason, or, true understanding, the world may very well spiral to self-destruction, caused by wrong beliefs, economic over-exploitation, materialistic philosophy, etc.
In that book Proclus systematically develops his ontology.
As a help to understanding the following text, keep in mind that the words:
Animal is generally descriptive of an ensouled being; from planets to the simplest organism that can move itself.
Daemon or daimon does not mean a "demon", but a kind of (half)god. Hence, the word daimoniacal pertains to such a halfgod.
Occult means hidden to the (outer) senses.
Intellectual means true understanding, deep insight and direct experience of the essence of things. Not to be confused with the brain-mind which plays a minor role in Platonic philosophy.
Greek text has mostly been omitted, except where deemed important, from this text, since it contributes little to the understanding of this text, except perhaps for specialized scholars, which have their own resources anyway.
A few sparse elucidations have been inserted by me in square brackets. Text has been reformatted for easier reading on computer screens.
A seguir excertos desta edição eletrônica disponível no depósito SCRIBD.