Numenius

#31
Turner, the specialist on the Nag-Hammadi texts, writes about Numenios.

Turner
http://jdt.unl.edu/triadaft.htm
also wiki ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numenius_of_Apamea

From Turner
Before we pass on to an analysis of the Aeon of Barbelo which is the equivalent to the Neoplatonic intellectual level in these Sethian texts, it will first be useful to outline certain features of the doctrine of Numenius and of the Chaldaean Oracles for purposes of comparison, especially since these systems were in all likelihood formulated in the second half of the second century, and may have been known to the author of Allogenes, whose work may have been produced around the end of this period.
Numenius exhibits a very complicated system of three gods, which has been interpreted in various ways, owing to apparent contradictions between fragments of his work On the Good contained in Eusebius' Preparation for the Gospel and various testimonia to his philosophy from such later authors as Proclus, Chalcidius, Porphyry, Macrobius, Iamblichus and others. As Dodds and others have suggested,[6] Numenius' system of three gods seems to be inspired by the three kings of Plato's Second Letter 312E and the distinction between the contemplative (kathorôn) and planning (dienoêthê; in Numenius dianooumenos) activities of the demiurge according to Timaeus 39E which Plotinus also discussed in Ennead II,9.1 & 9.6; also III,9.1. Following the admirable reconstruction of M. Baltes,[7] Numenius seems to exhibit the following system of three gods. 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. Presumably the fourth level of Numenius' system would be occupied by the World Soul proper as a conjunction of the third god with Matter. For this reason, the third god is the rational part of the World Soul (anima beneficientissima, frg. 52 des Places), while the passive, hylic component of the World Soul actually constitutes a lower, evil soul. Finally, the last ontological level is the physical world.
This sounds like Kabbala Tree ...

1. Monad ... Sephira 1
2. Dyad ... Sephira 2
3. Demiurg ... Sephira 3
4. World Soul ... = Sephiroth 4-9
5. physical level ... Sephira 10

There are likely variants to the later Kabbala model (Binah is seen as female), but nonetheless there's some schematic similarity.

Platon's Second Letter I didn't find. Somewhere I've read, that it is only a Pseudo-Platonic letter.

The Terminus "Dyad" actually says nothing else than "binary system" ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyad_(Greek_philosophy)
The "32 ways of wisdom" (part of the binary system) are later given to Chochmah, Sephira No. 2.

It's naturally not clear from this, how far Numenius had developed "his binary system", perhaps he goes only so far, that he identifies odd and even numbers.
wiki:
Numenius [estimated to c. 150] was a Neopythagorean, but his object was to trace the doctrines of Plato up to Pythagoras, and at the same time to show that they were not at variance with the dogmas and mysteries of the Brahmins, Jews, Magi and Egyptians.
This sounds, as if there was somebody, who realized, that the different religious attempts to explain the world, had also some philosophical relevance.
Numenius was valued by the church, which preferred the "trinitary model".
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Numenius

#32
Huck wrote: This sounds like Kabbala Tree ...

1. Monad ... Sephira 1
2. Dyad ... Sephira 2
3. Demiurg ... Sephira 3
4. World Soul ... = Sephiroth 4-9
5. physical level ... Sephira 10

There are likely variants to the later Kabbala model (Binah is seen as female), but nonetheless there's some schematic similarity.
Rethinking this in the context of the Luria system with its 5 Parzufim after the breaking of the vessels ...

... it looks like ...

1. Monad ... long face or Macropososopus ... Sephira 1
2. Dyad ... Father Abba ... Sephira 2
(3.) Worldsoul (?) ... Mother Imma ... Sephira 3, Binah (female)
(4.) Demiurg ... short face or Mikroprosopus (male) ... Sephira 4-9
5. physical level (or World-soul ?) .... the bride of the Mikroprosopos (female)

I captured for better understanding from ...
Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry: From the Golden Age of Spain to Modern Times
Zion Zohar (2005)
https://books.google.de/books?id=H6K1Ic ... navlinks_s

Image


Image


I don't know: Since when Binah started to seen as female in the Kabbala development?
Scholem, Origin of Kabbala ...
https://books.google.de/books?id=TmOPcT ... na&f=false
... the English text hasn't these pages.

Scholem declares, that the mother idea for Binah only occasionally appeared, but that the female connotation was strong for Bahir and its follow-up.

Added later:
Scholem notes about the terminus "Schekhina" (which naturally wasn't connected to Kabbala in the early time):
A Roman emperor asked Gamaliel, that, when 10 Jews would be together and the Schekhina would be in such a case between them (according Jewish believe), how much of these Schekhinas would exist ? Scholem takes this story as irony about the misunderstanding of the emperor. Jewish texts didn't use this terminus usually in texts (.. ? ... which possibly doesn't, that it didn't exist. But somehow the story tells, that the Schekhina was connected to the number 10.
Scholem notes, that the terminus is more frequent in Mandaeism (which knows myriads of worlds, "treasure houses" and many Schekhinas without clear definition; Scholem takes them as locations of light) and in Manichaeism the king of the paradise of lights has 5 members, called Schekhina (I try to translate Scholem here).

Jewish Encyclopedia says more to it ...
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic ... 7-shekinah
Possibly I totally misinterpret, what Scholem wanted to say.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#33
Huck wrote, commenting on Turner's account of Numenius:
This sounds like Kabbala Tree ...

1. Monad ... Sephira 1
2. Dyad ... Sephira 2
3. Demiurg ... Sephira 3
4. World Soul ... = Sephiroth 4-9
5. physical level ... Sephira 10

There are likely variants to the later Kabbala model (Binah is seen as female), but nonetheless there's some schematic similarity.
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.

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.

Huck wrote
Platon's Second Letter I didn't find. Somewhere I've read, that it is only a Pseudo-Platonic letter.
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.

But the part about the 3 kings was indeed translated by Bruni. Here it is:
As to the globe,13 there is something wrong with it; and Archedemus will point it out to you when he arrives. There is also another matter—much more valuable and divine than the globe—which he most certainly must explain, as you were puzzled about it when you sent him. For, according to his report, you say that you have not had a sufficient demonstration of the doctrine concerning the nature of “the First.”14 Now I must expound it to you in a riddling way in order that, should the tablet come to any harm “in folds of ocean or of earth,” he that readeth may not understand.

The matter stands thus: Related to [312e] the King of All are all things, and for his sake they are, and of all things fair He is the cause. And related to the Second are the second things and related to the Third the third. About these, then, the human soul strives to learn, looking to the things that are akin to itself, [313a] whereof none is fully perfect. But as to the King and the objects I have mentioned, they are of quite different quality. In the next place the soul inquires— “Well then, what quality have they?” But the cause of all the mischief, O son of Dionysius and Doris, lies in this very question, or rather in the travail which this question creates in the soul; and unless a man delivers himself from this he will never really attain the truth.
Well, that's one translation (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... 4:letter=2)
Here's another, of the most important part (from Plato, Collected Dialogues, ed. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns):
It is in relation to the King of All and on his account that everything exists, and that fact is the cause of all that is beautiful. In relation to a second, the second class of things exists, and in relation to a third, the third class.
He then goes on to say that the soul seeks to learn by looking to the things that are akin to itself. That's his method in the Republic, too. The soul has three parts, the appetitive part (unruly horse of the Phaedrus), the spirited part (noble horse), and the rational part (Charioteer). So I would guess that each of the Kings creates each of the parts of the soul throughout the universe. The first creates the archetypes, the second that which looks at the archetypes for guidance--i.e. something that corresponds to the "first horse" in the Charioteer myth, and the third the the principles of the physical universe, much closer to matter. That does correspond in some way to Numenius.

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.

Huck wrote,
The Terminus "Dyad" actually says nothing else than "binary system" ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyad_(Greek_philosophy)
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.

Huck wrote,
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.

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

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.

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#34
mikeh wrote: 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,"[8] 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 ....

Image


... might ave had some relevance, possibly for some time treated as a secret doctrine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_Earth
development of the idea of a a spherical earth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristarchus_of_Samos (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.

Huck wrote,
The Terminus "Dyad" actually says nothing else than "binary system" ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyad_(Greek_philosophy)
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.
Huck wrote,
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.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Origines and the Valentianer

#35
Huck wrote, quoting and then commenting on me
Huck wrote:
mikeh wrote: 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").
I admit that Turner does not say explicitly that the Dyad is not the 2nd God. But it is implied. Matter plays a role in relation to all three gods and so is not identified with any of them. If you don't accept my reading of this passage, here is another version of the same thing, in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/numenius/)
Numenius maintains that the first or highest God, or first intellect, brings about a second one (frs. 13, 21.7), in fact the divine demiurge, and uses this second intellect as an instrument of its thinking (fr. 22.1–2). It is not clear what this instrumental use (proschrêsis fr. 22.2) amounts to, but we find similar vocabulary in the Timaeus (28a7) for the use of the Forms by the demiurge. It is clearer however that the second intellect thinks of the Forms and creates by imposing them on matter (fr. 18.10).
Against me, you quote Turner again:
"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)"
And you comment:
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."
This quotation from Turneris not the easiest to understand, although it still doesn't imply that matter is the 2nd god. What is unfortunate here is Turner's foisting of "Indefinite Dyad" onto Numenius. The Stanford Encyclopedia has a needed correction to Turner's language here:
Numenius' dualism is different from that of most contemporary Pythagoreans we know of, like those referred to by Alexander Polyhistor (in Diogenes Laertius VIII.25), by Sextus Empiricus (Against the Mathematicians X.261–2), by Nicomachus of Gerasa (Theologia Arithmêtikê in Photius, Bibliotheca cod. 187, 143a24), by Eudorus (Simplicius, In Physica 181.10–30) and by Moderatus (Porphyry, On Matter in Simplicius, In Physica 231.6–24). Those Pythagoreans postulated God or One, on the one hand, and matter or the indefinite dyad, on the other, but they maintained that God or One is the ultimate principle of everything (Simplicius, In Physica. 7.1–30); from this matter came into existence through the total privation of form (ibid. 231.7–9). Numenius appears to be reacting against this view, which is associated specifically with Moderatus (fr. 52.15–23; see Kahn 2001, 133).
This is the beginning of a long explanation. But for the second principle as the Indefinite Dyad, you need to refer to one of the sources in the long parenthesis, of which the most accessible is the Theologumena Arithmetica.

One important way in which Numenius--and all the Pythagoreans and Neopythagoreans--is like the Kabbalists is in granting an ontological status to numbers. Here is the Encyclopedia again:
His interest in numbers (he wrote a work on numbers), to which he assigns an ontological role (fr. 2.20-24) may well be for him another Pythagorean doctrine that Plato had taken over (see Staab 2002, 99–100).
The word "sefirot" means "enumeration", according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sephirot):
The "Sefirot" (סְפִירוֹת), singular "Sefirah" (סְפִירָה), literally means "counting"/"enumeration", ...

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