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Proclus insists on the fact that the One cannot be named and that it cannot be talked about. Proclus does not emphasize the poverty of language, but rather the transcendence of the One. The human discourse concerning the One can be generally validated as a reflection “of the natural striving of the soul towards the One”. The goal of the soul is thus not to obtain “scientific knowledge” (ἐπιςτήμθ) but to achieve resemblance to the One, for only thus can the soul know the One. Unification is what brings us closer to the One, and this unity is another type of knowledge: it is knowledge inspired by divinity, higher than the “scientific knowledge”.
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IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
PHILOBIBLON
Transylvanian Journal
Of Multidisciplinary Research in the Humanities
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
2
PHILOBIBLON
Transylvanian Journal
Of Multidisciplinary Research in the Humanities
VOL. XXII (2017) NO. 2
EDITORIAL BOARD
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Franco ANGIOLINI  CS   B (University of Szeged), Imre
B (BBU Cluj), Andrei BERESCHI (BBU Cluj), Monica B (IHRT, Paris), Ana Maria C
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Akademie Bretten), Rodica F (BBU Cluj), Csilla G (BBU Cluj), Moshe IDEL (Hebrew University of
Jerusalem), Dana JALOBEANU (University of Bucharest), Zsolt K  L (BBU Cluj),
  LUPESCU (BBU Cluj), Mihai MAGA (BBU Cluj), Claudiu M   Bogdan
M N (BBU Cluj), Adrian N (Romanian Academy, Bucharest),
Csaba OLAY (ELTE Budapest), Adrian PAPAHAGI (BBU Cluj), Judit P (BBU Cluj), Adrian PODARU (BBU Cluj),
Alina PREDA (BBU Cluj), Emese SARKADI -NAGY (Christian Museum of Esztergom), Zsuzsa SELYEM (BBU Cluj),
Levente S   S    S (ELTE Budapest), Alexandru TOFAN
T (MTA Budapest), Virgiliu  (BBU Cluj), Mihaela URSA (BBU Cluj)
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
3
CONTENTS
VOL. XXII (2017) NO. 2
DOI: 10.26424/PHILOBIB.2017.22.2
STUDIES
CRISTINA M. HOROTAN, Evolution of Mentalities and Political Forms Reflected in
the Work of Sallust Platonic Influences
DANIEL JUGRIN, Knowing the Ineffable One: The Mystical Philosophy of Proclus
EVELINA MITEVA, Intellect, Natural Philosophy, Finality: Albertus Magnus’
Attempt at a Universal System of Sciences
ADRIAN PAPAHAGI, The Incunabula of the Dominicans from Bistrița at the Central
Piarist Library in Budapest
LEVENTE T. S, Cultural Brokers, Forms of Hybridity and the Emergence of the
First International Comparative Literary Journal
KSENIIA SKAKUN, Translation as a Means of Reaching the Collective Memory: The
Ukrainian Versions of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
RODICA F, The Romanian Version of : Signa Propria and Signa
Translata in Gheorghe Băgulescu’s Suflet Japonez (Japanese Soul)
TEFAN BOLEA, Of Hatred and Solitude in the Works of Mary Shelley and E. M.
Cioran
ADRIANA STAN, The Failure of Literary Sociology in Post-war Romanian Criticism
ZSUZSANNA LURCZA, Deconstruction of the Destruktion Heidegger and Derrida
KEREKES E, The Zižekian Critique of Multiculturalism. Multiculturalism
versus Paul?
5
21
37
51
67
81
89
105
117
129
147
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
4
DAN-I JULEAN, The Architecture of a Photograph: Deconstructing La
Castiglione’s Scherzo di follia
FLORINA ILIS, Towards a Post-human Condition of the BQdy in Haruki
Murakami’s 1Q84: From Grief to Nostalgia
ALINA PREDA, A Defense of the Cross-Cultural Approach to Male-Female
(Mis)Communication
159
175
187
BOOK REVIEWS
JMPFEDWARD WILSON-LEE (eds.), Translation and the
Book Trade in Early Modern Europe (SABIN DUMITRU COROIAN)
DORU RADOSAV, Istoria din memorie. Încercări de istorie orală (IONUȚ COSTEA)
RODICA F, Limbajul poetic act creator și actualitate culturală. Modelul
cultural japonez (FLORINA ILIS)
201
204
207
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21
KNOWING THE INEFFABLE ONE: THE MYSTICAL PHILOSOPHY OF PROCLUS
DANIEL JUGRIN*
Abstract Proclus insists on the fact that the One cannot be named and that it cannot
be talked about. Proclus does not emphasize the poverty of language, but rat her the
transcendence of the One. The human discourse concerning the One can be generally

             chieve
resemblance to the One, for only thus can the soul know the One. Unification is what
brings us closer to the One, and this unity is another type of knowledge: it is

Keywords Proclus, the Ineffable One, mystical knowledge, transcendence, negation.
From a strictly philosophical point of view, the late Neoplatonist Proclus (A.D. 412485) is a
          purification produced by
discursive reacontemplation, established at the level of the Intellect
           
 
).1 Contemplative philosophy seeks detachment from the multiplicity and the ascension
towards the primordial unity. Beyond this level, the one seeking the purification of the soul
from materiality and, thus, coming into contact with the gods2 is theurgy.3 The close
* doi: 10.26424/philobib.2017.22.2.02
University of Bucharest. jugrindaniel@gmail.com.
1 Phrase originating in The Chaldean Oracles. Cf. Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1047.2, ed. V.
Cousin, Procli philosophi Platonici opera inedita, pt. 3 (Hildesheim: Olms, 1961); In Platonis Alcibiadem I,
248.3, ed. L.G. Westerink, Proclus Diadochus, Commentary on the first Alcibiades of Plato (Amsterdam:
North-Holland, 1954).
2 -
Mélanges d’archéologie et d’histoire offerts à André Piganiol, ed. R. Chevallier (Paris: S.E.V.P.E.N., 1966),
1581   Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture 3
(2009): 2143.
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
22
relation between theurgy and intellection leads to im
of knowledge.4
           
doctrines (Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism), to compose a single philosophy, a single
theoretical body. Proclus enhances the idea of a possible agreement between philosophy
(Platonic and Aristotelian), theology (Orphic and Pythagorean) and the revelation of the
Chaldean Oracles.5 He transposes this agreement6 in a fundamental condition of philosophy
and its task: for the Neoplatonic philosopher, all theologies (including the texts of Plato, read in
a theological manner) are under the sign of the same single truth, and philosophy has to
enhance this agreement.7
“The One beyond all”
O thou beyond all. How else is it meet for me to sing of Thee?
What words can make thy hymn? For no word can describe Thee.
What mind perceives Thee? For no mind can grasp Thee.
Thou alone art unspeakable, though creator of all that is spoken of,
Thou alone art unknowable, though creator of all that is known.




.8
3 Theurgy religious magic practiced by Late Neoplatonists was usually regarded as the point in which
Neoplatonism degenerated into magic, superstition and irrationalism. On the relation between theurgy,
            The Classical
Quarterly 32/ 1 (1982): 212224; J. Trouillard, L’Un et l’âme selon Proclus (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1972),
171 The Journal of Roman Studies 37/
12 (1947): 5569; A. Smith, Porphyry’s place in the Neoplatonic tradition (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1974), 111
sqAll from One: A Guide to
Proclus239.
4 See St. Gersh, Being Different. More Neoplatonism after Derrida (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2014), 5260.
5 It is about a writing in the late 2nd century, whose author is, by tradition, Julian the Chaldean or his son,
Julian the Theurgist, the latter being a contemporary of Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121180). Influenced by

philosophy, being himself a connoisseur of theurgy.
6 See H.-          
On Proclus and His Influence on Medieval Philosophy, eds. E.P. Bos and P.A.
50.
7       Difficulties and Solutions of First Principles, vol. I
(Bucharest: Humanitas, 2006), 1617.
8 Cf. Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca, ed. J.-P. Migne, vol. 37, 507.610 (trans. R. Mortley, in
Idem, From Word to Silence, vol. 2: The Way of Negation (Bonn: Hanstein, 1986), 98).
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
23
This is the way in which the hymn dedicated by Proclus to the first principle unfolds
9 which gathers in itself the 
.10
Werner Beierwaltes11 places on the same level this hymn and a remark that Proclus
   Parmenides, stating that the negations in the Parmenides 139e are
nothing more than  heologische Hymnus auf das Eine durch die Negationen
(12 
  13 and Proclus reads in this text a statement regarding the
transcendence of the One in relation to the ten categories, the negations being arranged in the
form of a hymn.14
The transcendent terminology of the One revealed in the writings of Proclus is perhaps
the most comprehensive compared to any other Neoplatonic philosopher and marks the
climax in the development of the apophasis in Greek thinking.15 Linking his conception of the
One with the negations of the First Hypothesis of the Parmenides, Proclus repeatedly
 16 He invokes the Republic
VI (509b) as a source for the discussion of the One in the negative terms of the First
9 Deirdre Carabine, The Unknown God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition. Plato to Eriugena
(Louvain: Peeters Press, 1995), 162.
10 The ineffable and unknowable principle beyond all is hymned (). Theologia Platonica I.10,
42.12, ed. H.-D. Saffrey and L. G. Westerink, Proclus, Théologie platonicienne, livre I (Paris: Les Belles
Lettres, 1968); II.11, 65.57, ed. H.-D. Saffrey and L. G. Westerink, Proclus, Théologie platonicienne, livre II
(Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1974), without saying what it is who made heaven and earth. Cf. Deirdre
Carabine, The Unknown God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition. Plato to Eriugena, 162163, n.
29.
11 See W. Beierwaltes, Proklos. Grundzuge seiner Metaphysik (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann,
1979), 353.
12 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1191.3435, ed. V. Cousin, Procli philosophi Platonici opera inedita,
pt. 3 (Paris: Durand, 1864):     
Morrow and J.M. Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
                 

13 Plato, Parmenides 139e7   (trans.
Mary Louise Gill and P. Ryan), in Plato, Complete Works, ed. J.M. Cooper (Indianapolis/Cambridge:
Hackett Publishing Company, 1997), 374.
14 The hymn written by Proclus was once attributed to St Gregory of Nazianzus but, as W. Beierwaltes (cf.
Proklos. Grundzuge seiner Metaphysik, 353) seems to prove, there is largely unity in terms of the thinking
encountered in the hymn and the one in the Proclean philosophical works. Cf. also R. Mortley, From Word
to Silence, vol. 2: The Way of Negation, 98.
15 W. Beierwaltes (Proklos. Grundzuge seiner Metaphysik, 352353, n. 65, 67) compiles the terms on
absolute transcendence: , 
16 In Platonis Parmenidem II, 763.4 Cousin:       
Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 130.
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
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Hypothesis,17              
intellect and the intelligible and beyond e18       
above all plu         
19
The fundamental statement which is centred on the Proclean vision regarding the One
  
    20 For all that can be qualified is not something absolute  
quality is not to be applied to the One in the essential and absolute sense, in order that it may
                   
     21 To ascend to
 compre  22
thinking must seponere quidem anime multitudinem).23 Entering the
way towards the authentic and absolute One        
( )24 requires the application of  25 by which
the One is negated of every name that has its roots in the multiplicity of beings.26
17 All Neoplatonists remained true to the Plotinian view that the first principle was to be described using
         Parmenides (137c142a), and the Good, as
established by Plato in the Republic (VI, 508e
a negative theology as founded by Plato in the First Hypothesis of the Parmenides
     
because this would introduce some kind of positive attribution of a name, setting apart this one from
other things, and thus, introducing some kind of relation to those other things. This would compromise

All from One: A Guide to Proclus97.
18 In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 64k (eds. R. Klibansky and C. Labowsky, Parmenides usque ad finem primae
hypothesis nec non Procli Commentarium in Parmenidem, pars ultima adhuc inedita interprete G. de
Moerbeka, Warburg Institute, London, 1953). Cf. Proclus, Commentaire sur le Parménide de Platon,
traduction de Guillaume de Moerbeke, ed. C. Steel, tome II, Livre VVII (Leuven: Leuven University Press,
1985), 515.9091 (trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 597).
19 In Platonis Parmenidem II, 763.89 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s
Parmenides, 131). Cf. Deirdre Carabine, The Unknown God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition.
Plato to Eriugena, 163.
20 In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1069.21 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s
Parmenides, 423). Cf. Plotinus, Enneads 5.5.13.1 sq.;  
21 In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1096.2426 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on
Plato’s Parmenides, 443).
22 In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1071.18 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s
Parmenides, 424).
23 See In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 58k Klibansky/Labowsky (512.9495 Steel) (trans. Morrow/Dillon, in
Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 594, modified).
24 In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1071.5 sq. Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s
Parmenides, 424).
25  Parmenides (142a48) reflects the final recognition
of the insufficient nature of any kind of determination of the absolute One. Absolute unity requires the
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
25
The basic rule of Proclus follows the Plotinian line of thinking: regarding the One,
additions diminish.27 

it re         28 Therefore, the One is not any
the things that are 
 29            
         30 In its
absolute unity, the One is totally  31
Although like all apophatic philosophers Proclus insists on the fact that the One
cannot be named and that it cannot be talked about, yet we find in him the description of the
ways by which the One can be expressed. The human discourse concerning the One can be
generally validated as a re         
removal of all plurality and, hence, of all positive determination. Cf. Gerd Van Riel, 
All from One: A Guide to Proclus76.
26 In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1069.16  negated of this
        Proclus Commentary on
Plato’s Parmenides, 423, modified); In Platonis Parmenidem       
removal of all  llon), in Proclus Commentary on
Plato’s Parmenides, 523; In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1072.2       
negated     Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 425, modified; Theologia Platonica II.10 (62.18 Saffrey/Westerink):
     
 The Platonic Theology, vol. I (Kew Gardesn:
Selene Books, 1985), 137. Cf. W. Beierwaltes, Proklos. Grundzuge seiner Metaphysik, 341.
27 Cf. C. Steel, Negatio negationis. Proclus on the final lemma of the First Hypothesis of the Parmenides
in Traditions of Platonism. Essays in honour of John Dillon, ed. John J. Cleary (AldershotBrookfield:
Ashgate, 1999), 363.
28 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem 1177.2023 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary on
Plato’s Parmenides, 527. Cf. Proclus, Theologia Platonica II.10, 63.13 sq. Saffrey/Westerink; Institutio
theologica 8, 8.29 sq., ed. E.R. Dodds, Proclus, The Elements of Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1963). See also Plotinus, Enneads 3.8.11.1213; 6.7.38.23.
29 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1199.1316 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 545.
30 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem II, 763.1620 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 131).
31 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1070.13 Cousin; see also Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII,
36k Klibansky/Labowsky (499.810 Steel); Theologia Platonica II.9, 57.22 Saffrey/Westerink. A systematic
discussion on the concept of transcendent unity is found at the end of In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 46k
Klibansky/Labowsky (504.6567 Steel: Ab omni ergo cognitione partibili et intelligentia le unum exaltatum
est et ab omni contactu. Solum autem unio nos adducit uni; et hoc quidem ut melius omni ente
incognitum    transcends all analysable knowledge and intellection and all contact. And

(trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 587. Cf. Deirdre Carabine, The
Unknown God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition. Plato to Eriugena, 163164.
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26
       32           
            33 We cannot give a
definitive shape to a definition of what is incomprehensible and beyond being, as long as we
cannot even gain an understanding of simple Forms, devoid of parts. All definitions and
names34 are part of the composite horizon;35 therefore, it is not appropriate to talk of the One
in terms of having the relation of cause to those things following upon it, nor as being
greater nor smaller nor equal; for these qualities only have place in things which are
subject to comparison    
36
Nor is it acceptable for the One to have applied to it the superlative form of some
epithet (highest, greatest, best, etc.); such an exigency hides the aspiration for conceiving
more about the One than it is possible to achieve  .37
     
not describe something as being white in the superlative, as long as it is not white
by any means.38
Although it shows how far the human discourse falls from the One, there is at Proclus a
continuous tension between the  alm of existence
which we are forced to invoke when we refer to the One and the validity of this language.
This tension cannot be grasped especially in the context of the process of naming39 a topic
which is extremely important for understanding the subsequent negative theology.40
32 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1191.89 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary
on Plato’s Parmenides, 539.
33 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1191.56 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary
on Plato’s Parmenides, 539. See also Plotinus, Enneads 5.3.14.58. Cf. Deirdre Carabine, The Unknown
God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition. Plato to Eriugena, 165166.
34 For the One is inexpressible by both description and name. See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem 46k
Klibansky/Labowsky (505.7982 Steel).
35 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem IV, 939.2530 Cousin.
36 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1211.2629 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary
on Plato’s Parmenides, 555).
37 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1211.3338 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 555.
38 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1212.1 sq. Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 556.
39            De Jamblique à Proclus,
Entretiens sur l’Antiquité classique, tome 21, ed. O. R255.
40 Cf. Deirdre Carabine, The Unknown God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition. Plato to Eriugena ,
167168.
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27
The Transcendent Negations
hypernegations41 though it could also be
rendered by one of the next forms: transcendent negations42 or  indicating
ations are superior to affirmations, as in the case of something that does not
possess a characteristic because it transcends this characteristic: the negations which are
43
Proclus asserts44 that Plato hav genera  
45 from the Sophist46 has shown how the One, though it is the cause of the so-
hypernegations),47 
one of them, proving by this that the One transcends them, being 48
the intelligible zone.49
In the Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides VII,50 Proclus initiates a tripartite taxonomy of
negation: negations must fall under the incidence of three categories, corresponding to the
three stages of the rela              
           
ions, and they are
distributed in a descending order. On the first and highest level, there are those negations
  lation to itself and in conformity with this relation the One is
negated of Motion and Rest. Concerning the relation to itself and other things, the One is
negated of Sameness and Otherness; in a similar fashion, the One which is in relation to itself
and the others is negated of the Like and the Unlike, the equal and the unequal, the younger
41              Vitae
philosophorum VII, 69.10
negative is meant the negation of a negation, e.g. It is not non-
    
(trans. R.D. Hicks), in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers (London/New York:
    hypernegation would
be, e.g.,  
                 
opposition (cf. J.M. Dillon, n. 33, in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 523).
42 Cf. trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 523.
43 The Philosophy of Proclus. The Final Phase of Ancient Thought York, 1949),
122123.
44 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1172 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary on
Plato’s Parmenides, 523.
45 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1172.32 Cousin.
46 Plato, Sophista 256a sq.
47 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1172.33   

48 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1172.37 Cousin.
49 Trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 523524. Cf. R. Mortley, From
Word to Silence, vol. 2: The Way of Negation, 110111.
50 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1176 Cousin.
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
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and the older. Thus, 
of sub 
51 Proclus adds further52 that Plato 
of the Sameness and the Otherness has gone further than Parmenides himself53 and he is

() both the Sameness () and the Otherness () from
the One (), in order to illustrate that it transcends the one-in-being (54
             
predecessor, Parmenides. Proclus does not emphasize so much the poverty of language, as the
55
 and Otherness (

prior to these as being pure of these, or else in its participation in these it will not be solely

             
   thing
that is alien to it.56
Therefore, the genuine Oneness is to be found beyond the relations of Sameness and
Otherness, and Proclus here reaffirms the parad  di   
subtraction, when we speak of the One. The One is the only entity that is nothing more than its
own singleness 
completely destroyed. Proclus insists that even that which is identical with itself cannot be added
to the One, its unity being obscured.57
51 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1176.3436 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary
on Plato’s Parmenides, 526527.
52 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1177 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary on
Plato’s Parmenides, 527528.
53 See Parmenides, Fragment 8.2930, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, vol. 1, 6th edn., eds. H. Diels and
 
 
The Presocratic Philosophers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), 276. Cf. also trans.
Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s      

54 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1177.1012 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary
on Plato’s Parmenides, 527.
55 R. Mortley, From Word to Silence, vol. 2: The Way of Negation, 111.
56 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1177.1523 Cousin: (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 527. Cf. J. Trouillard, L’Un et l’Âme selon Proclus, 140.
57 Cf. R. Mortley, From Word to Silence, vol. 2: The Way of Negation, 112.
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
29
As Proclus shows in the Commentary on the Elements of Euclid,58 the pair of affirmations
and negations reveals the superior and the inferior 
reached by negation alone. For Proclus, negation brings forward the superior situated beyond
the source of each being, which is the subject of affirmation. Even hypernegations which eluci-
date the transcendence of a particular attribute, showing that it does not exist in a manner
specific to an inferior attribute are not applicable to the One, which is itself the cause of those
hypernegations.59
Using the same strategy, Damascius confirms that the Ineffable ( 
gard to it, we are situated in a state
of hyperignorance 60
Knowing the Ineffable One
The soul has only a fragmented view and strives for reaching a unified view.61 Proclus
desire for 
           
( 62
The soul is brought up to the One by desire for the nature of the One, and it runs up to it
from all sides and wishes to embrace it, and wishes with its supreme love (
) to be present to it completely, and makes itself one as much as it is able and
purges itself of           
somehow it might be perfected by the One ( ).63
58 Procli Diadochi in primum Euclidis elementorum librum commentarii, ed. G. Friedlein (Leipzig: Teubner,
1873), 94.
59 Procli Diadochi in primum Euclidis elementorum librum commentarii, ed. G. Friedlein, 118. Cf. R.
Mortley, From Word to Silence, vol. 2: The Way of Negation, 110, 118.
60 Damascii successoris dubitationes et solutiones, I, ed. C.E. Ruelle (Paris: Klincksieck, 1899), 5658. Cf. J.
Trouillard,          Savoir, faire,
espérer: les limites de la raison -Louis, 1976), 311.
61 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem III, 808.17
Intellect thinks all      
        ,       (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in
Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 174.
62 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 42k Klibansky/Labowsky (cf. 503.171172,   
Parmenides
Carlos Steel and Friedrich Rumbach, trans. D. Gregory MacIsaac, in Documenti e studi sulla tradizione
filosofica medievale, VIII (Turnhout: Brepols, 1997); trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on
Plato’s Parmenides, 585.
63 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 46k Klibansky/Labowsky (cf. 504.205208 Steel/Rumbach; trans. D.
        mmentary on the Parmenides: A Greek

IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
30
Although the One is incomprehensible and unknowable (  
        nquenchable love (   
).64 Nonetheless, Proclus manages to find a solution for breaking the deadlock
             
oul for the One ensures a certain likeness to the One
(  65 
( 66
In this circumstance, the full function of negation might be discovered: if the purpose of ac-
cessing the dialectics of negation consists of removing the multiplicity, then negation can be
conceived as an instrument of intellectual purification:67
For, if we are to approach the One by means of these negative ( 
conceptions and to emancipate ourselves from our accustomed ways of thought, we
must take away (strip off () our multifarious

it to the divine and to the reception of divinely inspired power (
In order that having first lived in such a way as to deny the multiplicity within ourselves
( o the undifferentiated intuition
of the One.68
In order to enter the vicinity of the One with the help of intuition, the soul must first
purify itself,69 so that removing the multiplicity will leave open the path towards the
apprehension of the One. Since the intellectual negation itself proved incapable of grasping the
One, the way left open to the soul is the one of union: the way of intellectual intuition.70 The
64 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 54k Klibansky/Labowsky (cf. 509.365, 509.364 Steel/Rumbach).
See also Proclus, Theologia Platonica I.22, 102.1214 Saffrey/Westerink.
65 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1199.2831 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 546.
66             Enneads 3.8.9.2223). Cf. Proclus, In
Platonis Parmenidem IV, 975.36   
                
 simili simile sit cognoscibile); Institutio
theologica 32 Dodds.
67              
Hermathena 157/ 1994, 4748.
68 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem 1094.291095.2 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 442, modified.
69 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem V, 990.3137 Cousin. See also Proclus, Theologia Platonica I.2, 10.11
sq. Saffrey/Westerink.
70 On intuition, or non-     Non-Discursive Thought: An Enigma of
 Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 70 (19691970), 261 
-
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
31
itineration of the soul through the various spheres of knowledge is illustrated by Proclus 71 as a
      ion towards Nous and 
72 which is the only faculty capable of divination.
The ascension of the soul from a fragmented to a unified vision stands under the sign of
divine inspiration.73 Therefore, the fact that the soul has within itself an image of primary
causes makes it capable of invoking the power of these entities and especially the power of the
awaken the One of the soul, which
             
           74 There are obvious theurgic
 75 which
 76 and so to the possibility of
  77
as it were find mooring, taking our stand above everything intelligible within ourselves
and dispensing (   
consort with it alone and perform a dance around it, leaving behind (
intellections of the soul which are directed to secondary things.78
Platonism and Forms of Intelligence, eds. J. Dillon and Marie-Elise Zovko (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2008),
247258.
71 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem V, 1029.34 sq. Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 376 sq.).
72 The genuine ways of knowledge recognized by Neoplatonic epistemology are intellectual intuition

same epistemological vision in many different formulations. See, e.g., Eclogae de philosophia Chaldaica
2.1,    Oracles chaldaïques, (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1971): 
           
represented as consisting of three levels. Proclus does not always hold the same terminology and the
various distinctions depend on the different exegetical needs in his reading of Plato. Cf. T. Lankila,
Arctos: Acta philologica fennica 44 (2010),
149, n. 4.
73 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1072.34; 1071.37 sq. Cousin.
74 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1071.2529 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary
on Plato’s Parmenides, 424. See also Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1081.47, 1094.2122 Cousin.
75 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1072.8 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary on
Plato’s Parmenides, 425.
76 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1072.89 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary on
Plato’s Parmenides, 425. Cf. Plato, Phaedrus 251b.
77 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1072.910 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary
on Plato’s Parmenides, 425.
78 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1072.1015 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary
on Plato’s Parmenides, 425. The ascent towards the One is eloquently described in Theologia Platonica
II.11, 64         Enneads 6
9.8.44 (cf. also Enneads 
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
32
  ibility of
the non- because of the indefinite imagination , divine inspiration is needed, which
will deliver a superlative comprehension of the Non-Being:79
I see here a great fuss being stirred up by those who think that these negations (
-existent or something such, since by reason of
the lack of definition our imagination does not have anything definite to grasp onto,
inasmuch as nothing is proposed to it, but everything absolutely is removed from the One
(             
establish some nature and characteristic for the One.80
In the ascent of the soul towards the supreme orders of existence, the intellectual and
affective elements work in conjunction with the divine initiative. When Proclus takes into
consideration the mystical contact of the soul with the supreme intelligibles and the One itself,
he indicates a supra-rational sense of mystical knowledge which transcends the inferior
faculties of the soul.81 82 
I (London: Heinemann; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966), 281) and in Proclus: In Platonis
Parmenidem 1080.18 Cousin; Theologia Platonica IV.5, 21 Saffrey/Westerink. It ultimately derives,
perhaps, from the dance of the planets described in Plato, Epinomis 982c. Cf. J.M. Dillon, n. 50, in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 425.
79 Cf. Deirdre Carabine, The Unknown God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition. Plato to Eriugena,
179180.
80 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1105.321106.1 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 450451.
81 To such a special faculty of the soul, Pro        
         
        

151; 151, n. 9.
82 Some scholars have considered  , borrowed from
the Chaldean Oracles         Platonic
TheologyProclus et la Théologie platonicienne: actes du colloque international de Louvain (13–16 mai
1998) en l’honneur de H.-D. Saffrey et L. G. Westerink, eds. A.-Ph. Segonds and C. Steel (Leuven/Paris:
Leuven University Press/Les Belles Lettres, 2000), 302. In the In Platonis Cratylum commentaria 32.18;
65.16, ed. G. Pasquali (Leipzig: Teubner, 1908), Proclus distinguishes between that point of the intelligible
g ) where the highest god that can be named is situated, and the higher regions of the
intelligible which are unknowable and unnameable. The first point can be attained through theurgy, while
              ). Cf. Anne Sheppard,
The Classical Quarterly 32/1 (1982): 221. This idea has Plotinian roots: in
the Enneads 5.5.8.2223 and 6.9.3.2627, Plotinus speaks as if there were a special element within the
nous  
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
33
-technical way, what makes the mystical union with
the One possible.83 A passage in the Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides is especially helpful
for enlightenment on the manner in which     chol-
ogy:84
Or how else are we to become nearer to the One, if we do not rouse up the One of the
 
most accurate of authorities declare that divine possession most especially comes about?
And how are we to make this One and flower of the soul ( ) shine forth
unless we, first of all, activate our intellect? For the activity of the intellect leads the soul
towards a state and activity of calm. And how are we to achieve perfect intellectual
activity if we do not travel there by means of logical conceptions, using composite
intellections prior to simpler ones? So then, we need demonstrative power in our
preliminary assumptions, whereas we need intellectual activity in our investigations of
being (for the orders of being are denied of the One  
need inspired impulse in our consciousness of that which transcends all beings, in order
that we may not slip unawares from our negations ( -
 nite imagination, but rousing up the One
          
Hermes 92 (1964): 213
221, n. 31.
83 In the view of other resear  one   indispensable for reaching mystical union
with the One           In
Platonis Alcibiadem I, 247.711, ed. L.G. Westerink, Proclus Diadochus, Commentary on the first
Alcibiades of Plato (Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1954); In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 42.610; VI, 42.23, ed.
V. Cousin, Procli philosophi Platonici opera inedita  
believes (cf. Damascius, Traité des premiers principes, tome II: De la triade et de l'unifié (Paris: Les Belles
           
     Helikon 3132 (19911992): 14, n. 879; 66, n. 1133. For other
In Platonis Cratylum commentaria 47, 15 Pasquali; De
malorum subsistentia 11, 2324, ed. H. Boese, Procli Diadochi tria opuscula (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1960); De
providentia et fato et eo quod in nobis ad Theodorum mechanicum 32.2 Boese; Theologia Platonica I,
15.34 Saffrey/Westerink; In Platonis Timaeum commentaria III, 14.6 Diehl. Proclus argues that, strictly
                   
 the One (cf.
Eclogae de philosophia Chaldaica 4.5152 des Places)  
          diator between the rational and the
ineffable realms rather than the embracing of the latter. Cf. S. Gersh, From Iamblichus to Eriugena. An
Investigation of the Prehistory and Evolution of the Pseudo-Dionysian Tradition (Leiden: Brill, 1978), 121,
n. 200. A detailed discussion on the distinction mentioned above is to be found in Ysabel de Andia,
Henosis. L’union Dieu chez Denys l’Aréopagite 224.
84 Platonic TheologyProclus et
la Théologie platonicienne, eds. A.-Ph. Segonds and C. Steel (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2000), 302.
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
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  
were find mooring, taking our stand above everything intelligible within ourselves and
dispensing (            
consort with it alone and perform a dance around it, leaving behind (
he soul which are directed to secondary things.85
This statement gives us solid testimony for the fact that the supreme mystical states
transcend not only discursive rationality activity which is still a preliminary one but also the
intuitive noetic level. 
approaches and attains contact with the One.86
In this process of unification, the logic of negation finally finds its place, since the
-
is to say that via negationis 87
Let us then declare it to be Not-Being, and let us cognise it by that in us which is similar to
it (for there is in us a sort of seed of that Non--
transcending a
are proper to the One, and in what manner all things are denied (
that all knowledge of the One is through negation (     
88
The soul, while ascending to the level of the Intellect, and from there, further, getting
close to the One, no longer asks what the One is and what the One is not, 
               sed
omniquaque claudentem et omnem operationem contrahentem et contentam unione solum.89
85 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1071.201072 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 424425.
86 Platonic TheologyProclus et
la Théologie platonicienne, eds. A.-Ph. Segonds and C. Steel, 303.
87 Cf. Deirdre Carabine, The Unknown God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition. Plato to Eriugena ,
180.
88 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VI, 1082.6 sq. Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary
on Plato’s Parmenides, 432433.
89 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 74k Klibansky/Labowsky (520.3941 Steel; trans. Morrow/Dillon),
in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 602. Cf. Plotinus, Enneads I.6.8.25   
 
  
259).
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
35

 Ab omni ergo cognitione partibili et intelligentia le unum
exaltatum est et ab omni contactu. Solum autem unio nos adducit uni.90
This unity is another kind of knowledge: it is knowledge inspired   
   melius cognitione).91 This new type of knowledge reaches the soul by
illumination (illustrationem anime),92   (particulare enim
et ipsa lumen).93 By the One in ourselves do we apprehend the One:94 the transcendent One
can be seen only through its own light.95
*
The Proclean influence, especially regarding negative theology, was experienced alongside
certain adaptations and developments perceived in the Dionysian Corpus: the discourse on the
transcendent underwent an extension, integrating affirmative, symbolic, negative and mystical
theologies.96  Corpus
Dionysiacum, Liber de causis seems to have had a great significance which passed in medieval
90 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 46k Klibansky/Labowsky (504.6566 Steel; trans. Morrow/Dillon),
in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 587.
91 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 58k Klibansky/Labowsky (511.79 Steel; trans. Morrow/Dillon), in
Proclus Commentary on Plato’s    
Neoplatonic Concep
92 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 48k Klibansky/Labowsky (506.7 Steel; trans. Morrow/Dillon), in
Proclus Commentary on Plato’s       Plato, Epistulae VII,
341c.
93 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 48k Klibansky/Labowsky (506.78 Steel; trans. Morrow/Dillon), in
Proclus Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 588.
94 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 48k Klibansky/Labowsky (506.911 Steel): sic uno unum et claritate
luminis causam omnibus entibus, per quod omnia participant uno (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus
Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 588.
95 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 48k Klibansky/Labowsky (505.3506.6 Steel; trans.
Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary on Plato’s         
through which there comes about in such a way as is possible to us a glimpse of it, which makes us
participate in it in respect of that part of ourselves that is most divine. But the most divine thing in us is
the One in us (Diuinissimum autem eorum que in nobis le unumIn Platonis Parmenidem IV, 951.18
19 Cousin. See also Plotinus, Enneads 5.3.17.36
we do not see the sun by another             
             
Heinemann; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984), 135. Cf. Deirdre Carabine, The Unknown
God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition. Plato to Eriugena, 181.
96 Cf. Deirdre Carabine, The Unknown God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition. Plato to Eriugena ,
186.
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
36
times as the work of Aristotle, although, in fact, it was a Latin translation by Gerard of Cremona
after an Elements of Theology.97
97 The Elements of Theology, xxvii sq.
IDEAS BOOKS SOCIETY READINGS
210
PHILOBIBLON Transylvanian Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Humanities is indexed in:
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ISSN: 1224 7448
ISSN (online) 2247 8442
ISSN L 1224 7448
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
without saying what it is who made heaven and earth. Cf. Deirdre Carabine, The Unknown God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition
  • L G Saffrey
  • Westerink
II.11, 65.5-7, ed. H.-D. Saffrey and L. G. Westerink, Proclus, Théologie platonicienne, livre II (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1974), without saying what it is who made heaven and earth. Cf. Deirdre Carabine, The Unknown God. Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition. Plato to Eriugena, 162-163, n. 29.
Grundzuge seiner Metaphysik (Frankfurt am Main
  • See W Beierwaltes
See W. Beierwaltes, Proklos. Grundzuge seiner Metaphysik (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1979), 353.
Cousin, Procli philosophi Platonici opera inedita, pt. 3 (Paris: Durand, 1864): ὕμνον διὰ τῶν ἀποφάςεων τού των ἕνα κεολογικὸν ἀναπέμπων (trans
  • G R Morrow
  • J M Dillon
12 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1191.34-35, ed. V. Cousin, Procli philosophi Platonici opera inedita, pt. 3 (Paris: Durand, 1864): ὕμνον διὰ τῶν ἀποφάςεων τού των ἕνα κεολογικὸν ἀναπέμπων (trans. G.R. Morrow and J.M. Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato's Parmenides (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987), 539: "raising up to the One a single theological hymn by means of all these negations").
14 The hymn written by Proclus was once attributed to St Gregory of Nazianzus but, as W. Beierwaltes (cf. Proklos. Grundzuge seiner Metaphysik, 353) seems to prove, there is largely unity in terms of the thinking encountered in the hymn and the one in the Proclean philosophical works
  • Parmenides Plato
Plato, Parmenides 139e7-8: Οῦδὲ μὴν ὅμοιόν τινι ἔςται οῦδϋ ἀνόμοιον οῧτε αὑτῷ οῧτε ἑτέρῳ (trans. Mary Louise Gill and P. Ryan), in Plato, Complete Works, ed. J.M. Cooper (Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 1997), 374. 14 The hymn written by Proclus was once attributed to St Gregory of Nazianzus but, as W. Beierwaltes (cf. Proklos. Grundzuge seiner Metaphysik, 353) seems to prove, there is largely unity in terms of the thinking encountered in the hymn and the one in the Proclean philosophical works. Cf. also R. Mortley, From Word to Silence, vol. 2: The Way of Negation, 98.
Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis17-19 Cousin: "For the One is one only and precedes thought, Intellect thinks all Ideas as one, and Soul sees them all one by one"-ἐκεῖνο μὲν γὰρ ἓν μόνον ἐςτὶ καὶ πρὸ νοιςεωσ· ὁ δὲ νοῦσ ὡσ ἓν πάντα νοεῖ, ἡ δὲ ψυχὴ κακ' ἓν πάντα ὁρᾷ (trans
  • Trouillard
Trouillard, "Théologie négative et autoconstitution psychique chez les néoplatoniciens", in Savoir, faire, espérer: les limites de la raison (Bruxelles: Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis, 1976), 311. 61 Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem III, 808.17-19 Cousin: "For the One is one only and precedes thought, Intellect thinks all Ideas as one, and Soul sees them all one by one"-ἐκεῖνο μὲν γὰρ ἓν μόνον ἐςτὶ καὶ πρὸ νοιςεωσ· ὁ δὲ νοῦσ ὡσ ἓν πάντα νοεῖ, ἡ δὲ ψυχὴ κακ' ἓν πάντα ὁρᾷ (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary on Plato's Parmenides, 174.
in Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale, VIII (Turnhout: Brepols, 1997); trans
  • Carlos Steel
  • Friedrich Rumbach
  • Trans D Gregory
  • Macisaac
Carlos Steel and Friedrich Rumbach, trans. D. Gregory MacIsaac, in Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale, VIII (Turnhout: Brepols, 1997); trans. Morrow/Dillon, in Proclus Commentary on Plato's Parmenides, 585.
The Final Section of Proclus' Commentary on the Parmenides: A Greek Retroversion of the Latin Translation
  • Gregory Macisaac
Gregory MacIsaac, in "The Final Section of Proclus' Commentary on the Parmenides: A Greek Retroversion of the Latin Translation", 231).
12-14 Saffrey/Westerink. 65 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1199.28-31 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary on Plato's Parmenides, 546. 66 As we already know from Plotinus
  • Theologia See Also Proclus
  • Platonica
See also Proclus, Theologia Platonica I.22, 102.12-14 Saffrey/Westerink. 65 See Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem VII, 1199.28-31 Cousin (trans. Morrow/Dillon), in Proclus Commentary on Plato's Parmenides, 546. 66 As we already know from Plotinus, "like is known by like" (cf. Enneads 3.8.9.22-23). Cf. Proclus, In Platonis Parmenidem IV, 975.36-37 Cousin ("like is comprehensible by like"-τῷ ὁμοίῳ… τὸ ὅμοιόν ἐςτι λθπτόν);
Non-Discursive Thought: An Enigma of Greek PhilosophyThe One of the Soul and the 'Flower of the Intellect'. Models of Hyper-intellection in Later Neoplatonism," in I (London: Heinemann
  • See A C Lloyd
70 On intuition, or non-discursive intellection, see A.C. Lloyd, "Non-Discursive Thought: An Enigma of Greek Philosophy," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 70 (1969-1970), 261-274; John Dillon, "The One of the Soul and the 'Flower of the Intellect'. Models of Hyper-intellection in Later Neoplatonism," in I (London: Heinemann; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966), 281) and in Proclus: In Platonis Parmenidem 1080.18 Cousin; Theologia Platonica IV.5, 21 Saffrey/Westerink. It ultimately derives, perhaps, from the dance of the planets described in Plato, Epinomis 982c. Cf. J.M. Dillon, n. 50, in Proclus Commentary on Plato's Parmenides, 425.