Timaeus Class Summary

Monday, August 24, 2014:

Proclus’ Commentary on Timaeus 41e: “And [the demiurge] showed them, that the first generation, distributed to all of them, would be one; lest any particular soul should be allotted a less portion of generation than another.”  Our discussion was mainly involved with the meanings of semination, generation, dissemination, medical, telestic and The Laws of Fate.  The etymology of ‘medical’ is interesting in this context: Greek medomai "be mindful of," medein "to rule".  Telestic = mystical.  Greek telestikos, from telestos (verbal of telein to fulfill, initiate into mysteries or sacred rites).


Monday, August 11, 2014:

Reading and discussion of footnote 35 in Taylor’s translation of Timaeus (41d).  Drawn entirely from Proclus’ Commentary, this note provides detailed elaboration on how Soul is both one and varied in its expressions.  The material is especially congruent with pp. 184-186 in Astronoesis, “Individual or Unit Souls.”  From the footnote: “… the demiurgus among other causes contains that of Nature in himself, to which he also converts souls.  For, by showing Nature to souls, he also beholds it himself.  But he alone beholds things prior to and in himself.  Now, therefore, he beholds Nature in himself, which he comprehends supernaturally, or according to cause.”  Given Jupiter symbolizing the Demiurge in the chart, this seems to suggest the one must look to the henad of Jupiter rather than ‘confining’ that idea to the 9th house.


Monday, August 4, 2014:

Continued reading of Proclus’ Commentary on Timaeus 41d: “But having constituted the universe, he [the Demiurge] divided souls equal in number to the stars, and distributed each into each.”  Bear in mind that Timaeus class is the continuation of Astronoesis class with a 15-minute break in between.  The underlying topic, Soul, is the same in each segment.  Tonight we focused on Proclus’ comment: “…the form and the character accede to the attendants, from the leading Gods. But this form is number, defining the peculiarity of life.” Wonderful discussion.


Monday, July 28, 2014:

Continued reading and discussion of Proclus’ Commentary on Timaeus 41d: “But having constituted the universe, he [the Demiurge] divided souls equal in number to the stars, and distributed each into each.” The question presented appears to involve whether only one of the divided souls is distributed individually into each individual star, versus a multiplicity of divided souls distributed into each individual star; one to each or many to each.  The answer may lie in the distinction of “divided” and “partial” where parts are subjected to wholes.


Monday, July 14, 2014:

Reading and discussion of Proclus’ Commentary on Timaeus 41d: “But having constituted the universe, he divided souls equal in number to the stars, and distributed each into each.”  This continues the investigation into the function or operation of the Demiurge (Jupiter) at various “levels” within the metaphysical chart.  Close attention is requisite here as Proclus repeatedly ranges up, down, and across the levels of “divided souls.”  The “play” is within and among ratios (logoi) involving degrees of mixture of same and different.


Monday, July 7, 2014:

Reading and discussion of Thomas Taylor’s footnote 34 on Timaeus 41d: “Thus spoke the demiurgus; and again into the same crater, in which mingling he had tempered the soul of the universe, he poured mingling the remainder of the former mixture: in a certain respect indeed after the same manner, yet not similarly incorruptible according to the same, but deficient from the first in a second and third degree.”  Taylor’s footnotes are ‘cribbed’ almost verbatim from Proclus’ Commentary on Timaeus, and seem critical to comprehending aspects of the Soul chapter in Astronoesis.


Monday, June 16, 2014:

Continuation of Phi Ratio study through construction of Plato’s divided line on the radii within the two circles that form a vesica piscis, including geometric proofs that the resulting segments on the line conform to Plato’s description in Republic.  We will proceed further with this next week demonstrating that the points thus far established unfold two interpenetrating pentagons nested perfectly within the vesica, where the points “forming” the pentagons also yield the appearance of a hexahedron.  A significant implicate in this figure is the relationship of root 3 and root 5 in the context of the relationship between the two initial circles.


Monday, June 9, 2014:

Continuation of Phi Ratio study through further exploration of the pentagram via Geometer’s Sketchpad software, with focus on algebraic proofs, courtesy Severin Drix, for the mathematic presence of the square root of 5 in the constructions.  Involvement of a mathematician in the discussion is indispensable.   We will continue with this next week.  

The relevance to Timaeus and Astronoesis becomes evident when we think of Soul (Logos) as Ratio, and Schwaller’s assertion that the Phi Ratio represents the principle of generation.  The implications for our understanding are far greater than can be summarized here.


June 2, 2014:

We enjoyed a hiatus from our usual texts with the entire evening devoted to a special presentation by Severin Drix on the Golden (Phi) Ratio.  This involved both geometric and algebraic proofs for the relationships of the lengths of the shorter to longer edges of the unique rectangles and triangles which are traditionally classified as 'golden'.  The demonstrations and proofs included an investigation of the pentagram via angles and edges as well as the patterns of Fibonacci-ratio spirals that appear in nature.  Much more involved than can be briefly summarized here.