Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do symbols perfect the cosmos or only enform it?

Gregory Shaw Theurgy and the Soul p.164
Posing the question of what relation theurgic sunthemata have to the Platonic Forms, Andrew Smith acknowledges their similarity but distinguishes the sunthemata and sumbola by noting that they "perfect the cosmos rather than simply enform it." Smith explains that for Proclus the sunthemata tend to express more the anagogic than emanative power of the Forms, and he says this distinction is also present in the De Mysteriis where Iamblichus asserts the "analogy" but not identity between the sunthemata and the Forms.
Andrew Smith, Porphyry's Place in the Neoplatonic Tradition: A Study in Post-Plotinian Neoplatonism (1974)

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