Wednesday, January 19, 2011
To Proclus, theurgy is not a short-cut to God. -Lucas Siorvanes
Proclus... was no fatuous theosophist. His theory of magic was a serious philosophical undertaking. "Natural Magic, Hermeticism, and Science"
Proclus in PT V.34 p.101 explains that the divine monadic numbers, more simple than Forms, exist ontologically prior to intelligible entities. As with sacrament, these numbers are both one and many. Theurgy, when it employs these numbers, takes part in monadic sympathy to effect ineffable rites. Metaphysically, numbers exhibit a creative ability -- the monadic numbers create the universe when they emanate into infinit. Later in the same passage, Proclus shows that monadic numbers also have an anagogic power. Because the monadic number is beyond all intelligible number, it collects numbers into itself--it elevates souls from things 'apparent', i.e. intelligible number. "Pseudo-Dionysius and the Neoplatonic Tradition" p.105 n.21
Rebecca Coughlin (article on Dionysius and Iamblichean theurgy)
155 Proclus, Pl.Th. I 25 (113) "Through these [love, truth, and belief] all is saved and is joined together with the primary causes, that is through erotic madness, divine philosophy, and theurgic power. This last is more powerful than all human wisdom and knowledge, having gathered together the good of the prophetic and the purifying powers of the perfection of the rites, and equally all activities of divine possession.
155 For Proclus, theurgic activity consists in all aspects of human connection with the divine. It emcompasses prophecy, purification, ritual, and all things derived from contact with the divine. After enumerating the tasks and modes of theology Proclus says that "he who is revealing the same truth of the gods according to itself by divine inspiration is most clearly among the highest of the theurgists." (Pl.Th. I 4 (20)
157 Shaw maintains that both Smith and Sheppard reduce Neoplatonic theurgy "to a mysticism imagined as progressive mental abstraction, denying materiality and corporeality to advanced degrees of spiritual union." ("Theurgy" 10)...