In Numenius as Turner presents him, the Dyad is not the 2nd God. Here is Turner again:
The first god is an inert Mind, called the Monad, King and Sower; it is the Good in itself and is characterized by stability and motionless motion. Though not explicit in the system, this Monad seems to be opposed by an Indefinite Dyad, that is Matter, at first unbegotten, but then begotten by the Demiurge (i.e. by the second and third gods; cf. frg. 52 des Places). The second god, called Good and Cultivator, is a Mind in motion contemplating (kathorôn, theôrêtikos) the first, in which act it is self-generated (autopoiei tên te idean eautou kai ton kosmon) as an imitation of the first god (frg. 16 des Places). But this self-generation is also the generation of the world; that is, the second god is dyadic, alternating between contemplation of the first god above and demiurgical activity directed below (for so I interpret dêmiourgos ôn, epeita theôrêtikos holôs, frg. 16 des Places, against most interpreters). The third god is the demiurge proper insofar as it is occupied with Matter; indeed it is a sort of conjunction between the second god and Matter, and is the Mind which intends or plans (dianooumenos) the world. In this sense, the third god would correspond to something like the Logos or rational part of the World Soul in the systems of Philo of Alexandria or Plutarch of Cheironia.
As you see, the Dyad is not one of the three. It is something existing in opposition to the First God and worked on by at least the Third God.
.... :-) ... no, I don't see this ("the Dyad is not the 2nd God").
Turner: "Though not explicit in the system, this Monad seems to be opposed by an Indefinite Dyad, that is Matter, at first unbegotten, but then begotten by the Demiurge (i.e. by the second and third gods; cf. frg. 52 des Places)"
Though the term "indefinite Dyad" called "Matter" appears in the description of God 1, the Dyad isn't that, what makes the content of God 1."
"1" as a number contains the possibility to all other numbers (= "indefinite Dyad", so 2,3,4 etc), but naturally it's just "one" and not "two".
"Matter" in this system has more connection to "10, Malkuth" in the Sephiroth system than to "2", the first meaning "endless possibilities to create something" and the second meaning the first step out of the unity of 1.
In SY we have the 5 pairs, which start with beginning (= 1) and end (= 10, 100, 1000 etc till endless).
Naturally, in the concrete moment of development from "1" to "2", the 2 is the "end", but the quality "end" moves from 2 to 3 to 4 etc., not staying at the position 2 in the process of the development (= "time").
I remember, that we discussed Kaplan's opinion, that Sephira 2 in SY became 10 Malkuth. He had a similar idea
Turner: "The second god, called Good and Cultivator
, is a Mind in motion contemplating the first, in which act it is self-generated as an imitation of the first god. But this self-generation is also the generation of the world; that is, the second god is dyadic
, alternating between contemplation of the first god above and demiurgical activity directed below."
Well, God 2 is called "Good", as in SY the second of the 5 pairs was called "Good and Bad". This one is called "dyadic"
with some right, as it is God 2 (dyadic) and not God 3 (triadic) and not God 1 (unity). It comes to reality in a sort of "mirror process" involving the first god (by contemplation). On the other side it had opened the creative process of "world" (the "demiurgical activity directed below"), because it's God 2 and not God 1, the first step in time. An action has taken place.
Here the dyad
is given and it is realized, that world is a matter of opposites (or mirroring processes). Opposites maybe closed, when united ... and that's the idea of "wisdom" (back to unity and to "1"). They are not closed, when opposites get children (in this case the Demiurge) and take the step to "3".
This mirroring process has a lot of that, what we learned in school about "Zellteilung" (cell division) ... .-)
Turner: "The third god is the demiurge proper insofar as it is occupied with Matter;
indeed it is a sort of conjunction between the second god and Matter, and is the Mind which intends or plans the world. In this sense, the third god would correspond to something like the Logos or rational part of the World Soul in the systems of Philo of Alexandria or Plutarch of Cheironia."
Well, it's the "3". The I-Ching lives with a marriage of 2 and 3 ... in a practical manner, as 2x3 = 6 and the I-Ching operates with six lines, which means, that it is not an endless binary system, but limited to 2^6. In the I-Ching this 3 is seen as Yang and the 2 as Yin, following the idea, that odd numbers are male and even numbers are female. A similar evaluation appears in the system of Valentinus. In the Parzufim system it's exchanged (3 is female, 2 is male) and it's question, when Binah became female. Numenios has 3 kings or 3 gods, all male.
For a true parallel to the Sefirot, you have to go to Neopythagoreanism, which presents the Dyad as a second god or principle, female, sometimes matter, sometimes Wisdom, implicit in the Monad but which separates itself. This system was presented in its fullest form in the Theologumena Arithmeticae, a 4th or 5th century work but is a comilation of material much earlier, probably first century or earlier. Bessarion made it available starting in the 1460s; parts of the system are also in Macrobius and Martinus Capella, well known since they were in Latin and preserved as such in the West. I have discussed this material on THF a couple of times at least, once in relation to the SB pips, where I see its influence, and also in relation to Decker's book. Decker makes much of it, correctly in my view, although he doesn't seem aware of the Theologumena and doesn't connect it to Kabbalah. Neopythagoreanism is not really distinct from Middle Platonism. It is simply a different method of presentation, in terms of numbers, and with 10 basic principles, each one developing out of the one before it.
Numenios of Apamea (dated mid 2nd century BC) is inside the gnostic time (though not counted between that, what should be counted as heresy). He is seen as part of Neopythagoreanism. Somehow he opened a door between Philosophy and Religion and especially the Eastern religion: "Numenius called Plato the "Atticizing Moses," i.e., that Plato was the Hellenic Moses." .. so wiki at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numenius_of_Apamea
Well, I don't think, that he's the first with his ideas about 1, and 3, nonetheless in the concrete theme of 2nd-4th century he might be an important man.
It's said, that the Christian's were interested cause of the Trinity ideas.
I don't know the Theologumena Arithmeticae. If there is a " Neopythagoreanism, which presents the Dyad as a second god or principle, female, sometimes matter, sometimes Wisdom, implicit in the Monad" it should be interesting.
I am glad you called attention to the 2nd Letter. This would have been quite influential in the middle years of the 15th century. I have not mentioned it before, but Leonardo Bruni translated these in the 1420s at Cosimo's urging, dedicating them to him in 1427, the publication date (Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance, 1, p. 74).
Bruni did not include what he thought wasn't Plato. Bruni considered Letter XIII not to be by Plato, and one part of the 2nd letter, too, from 314A-315A line 5, which he omits without explanation (Hankins p. 79).
In this omitted part, "Plato" emphasizes the importance of not putting your most important thoughts in writing, because when cited by people with no understanding of the whole, they will be laughed at by some, distorted by others into their opposites. Oral transmission is the only way, because there is no way that writing can be kept secret. He even tells his reader to burn the letter after thoroughly understanding it. That Plato would put this part in writing seems to me to be self-contradictory. He surely would have known that it would not be burned, and that all sorts of people after him would then claim to be representing Plato's secret teachings. However it is probably good advice all the same, and advice probably taken quite seriously during the Renaissance. [/quote]
Thanks for the info and link.
This is a letter to a reigning ruler, so Plato's idea might have been serious, that specific parts of the communication shouldn't been read by others.
But the part about the 3 kings was indeed translated by Bruni. Here it is:
As to the globe, there is something wrong with it; and Archedemus will point it out to you when he arrives.
Would be really interesting to know, what he means with "globe".
If Platon and connected mathematicians had reached the idea, that the binary code (which they surely knew) developed a globe by natural conclusions ....
... might ave had some relevance, possibly for some time treated as a secret doctrine
development of the idea of a a spherical earth
(c 310-230 BC)
... knew, that the sun was at the center, not the earth
Added later: but upon reflection I think this interpretation is wrong. It gives the second King nothing to do. I'll deal with that later.
In the Sethian system, it goes: Father of All, then Barbelo (the feminine principle), then the Demiurge.
It also corresponds to the Gnostic system of Basilides as described by Hippolytus (it must be online). Basilides has another god above the three, who cannot be described in concepts at all, even above existence and non-existence. Then he has three "sonships", which sort correspond to the three of the 2nd letter, each of which has a demiurge.
Well, if there's a One, there has to be a Two. But if there is also a Three, the only thing binary about it is that there is also a 2. That can be said of any system of numbers.
The binary system is fundamentally involved in Father-Mother-Child, in other words in genealogy. From the child-perspective it's a binary system with 2 (parents) - 4 (grand-parents) - 8-16-32-64 ... and so on. It was also used for volumes and for weight, very primitive other activities.
The "32 ways of wisdom" (part of the binary system) are later given to Chochmah, Sephira No. 2.
How did Chochmah get all 32? Also, there is the question of whether Chochmah is male or female. When did that get determined? Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible is feminine, but I think some people made Chochmah masculine.
Binah got a 50 (gates of understanding), based on a "3" with "7 left" and "7 right" and "one in the middle" (50 = 7x7+1).
I don't know, when the "32 ways in Chochmah" were mentioned for the first time. Generally 2 was to connected to "opposition" and opposition needs "2". And it was connected to "Mind". 3 was connected to "development" and to "soul". Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis (3 elements). Opposition in contrast is calm, no movement.
I am not much interested in Luria, since he is later and due to his creativity not much can be deduced about the earlier from him. But I will read what you find of interest.
Added later: Earlier I gave an interpretation of the 3 kings based on Plato. I added a comment that it was probably wrong, because it gave the 2nd king nothing to do. There are two possibilities. The 2nd king makes souls, the 3rd king makes bodies. 2nd possibility: The first king doesn't use concepts, which are limitations. He's beyond concepts. The second king, looking up at the first king, constructs archetypes and separates them from the non-archetypes, matter. The third king uses the archetypes to make the world. I am not sure when souls are created. I guess at the same time as the third king is created. emitted by the second king.
As I said, usually "soul" is given to 3. The 2 is "first differentiation" after 1 "unity". The association is "mind" or "thinking".
The Valentinians applied the "three kings" idea by having three types of persons: hylic, who are focused on material things and the physical universe; psychic, who are the ordinary Christians, who mistake the creator-god for the highest god, and the pneumatics, who worship the God of All.
That likely addresses some sort of Sephiroth tree structure.
hylic are focussed on 10, Malkuth.
psychic are in 4-9 and assume, that 3, Binah, has created them.
pneumatic see all.
Added: Actually I wonder, if the "3 kings" contributed to the "holy 3 kings" idea. Tough, at first it were "3 Magi", as it seems.