Beauty & Love

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Beauty & Love are two concepts that are frequently tied together in the dialogues as the basis of much of Platonism. They serve as important, driving theological and theurgic factors. Beauty and Love are ultimately a gateway & key respectively, which when combined leads us on the path of achieving union with the divine.

 

Beauty

The Greek word usually translated as “beautiful” is kalon, but they don’t mean precisely the same thing. While there are times in the dialogues where there’s congruence between the words, it’s not a constant. Plato is more likely to describe a work of art or the beauty of a face as kalon than the stuff found in nature. There are many possible translations of kalon, from “fine,” to “delightful,” to “loveliest,” etc.

Generally, broadly translating kalon as “beautiful” is problematic. Sometimes kalon has the translation of “commendable” or “noble.” In Plato’s Symposium, wisdom is described as kalon, (Plato Symposium, 204b) which gives the word a meaning beyond mere conceptions of material beauty by assigning it to a virtue.

 

The Form of Beauty – An Abstract

In the dialogue, the Greater Hippias (Also appropriately referred to as “What is Beauty?”), the divine Plato puts forward the idea of Beauty being an Intelligible Form.

The Forms are an integral part of metaphysics, representing elements of idealized, archetypal, or divine reality. For instance, there is a Form of Virtue, Wisdom, and Justice, and these Forms are these things in their truest form. Human virtue, wisdom, and justice as seen in our material realm are but mere shadows of the Forms, instead participating in them to varying degrees. For example, if someone is Just, it is because they participate in the Form of Justice; when someone is Wise, it is because they participate in the form of Wisdom, etc. The Forms, while ultimately originating from the Intelligible Realm, are only realized and found by the Celestial Demiurge in the Intellective Realm, who as the Divine Mind (Nous) realizes the Forms and brings them to life. The Forms are, in short, truly real and existent things, (Plato Greater Hippias, 287d) rather than merely metaphorical or psychological constructs.

As a Form, Beauty is understood as having an existence outside of any beautiful thing. Instead, everything that has beauty (which is to say everything to some degree) participates the Form of Beauty, and it is this way we know what things are ugly and which things are beautiful. (Plato Greater Hippias, 286d) However, the Form of Beauty holds a unique position. Plato’s Symposium describes wisdom, which is itself the product of a Form, as beautiful. This explicitly implies that Beauty is somehow greater than, or ontological prior to, Wisdom; otherwise, Wisdom would have no need to participate in Beauty as it apparently does; it would be a distinctly separate thing.

The reason Beauty is superior is due to its connection to the Good. This connection is found in the nature of beautiful things also being beneficial or good (Plato Greater Hippias, 286d):

Socrates: So we reach the conclusion that beautiful bodies and beautiful rules of life, and wisdom, and all the things we mentioned just now, are beautiful because they are beneficial?

Hippias: Evidently.

Socrates: Then it looks as if beauty is the beneficial, Hippias.

Hippias: Undoubtedly.

In essence, would the powerful and the useful be beautiful? Sort of. While they certainly hold that potential, in and of themselves they aren’t beautiful. Only when they are also beneficial or good are they beautiful. Because Beauty is connected to the Good, which in its lowest extreme is located at the height of the Intelligible Realm as Aion, Beauty is superior to all other Forms.

 

Symmetry’s connection to the Form of Beauty

Although beauty’s cause is the Form of Beauty, Plato provides another, though unusual, definition of beauty, in his dialogue the Philebus:

“The beauty of figures which I am now trying to indicate is not what most people would understand as such, not the beauty of a living creature or a picture; what I mean, what the argument points to, is something straight, or round, and the surfaces and solids which a lathe, or a carpenter’s rule and square, produces from the straight and the round. . . . Things like that, I maintain, are beautiful not, like most things, in a relative sense; they are always beautiful in their very nature, and they carry pleasures peculiar to themselves which are quite unlike the pleasures of scratching. And there are colors too which have this characteristic.” (Plato Philebus, 51c-d)

 

From this, Socrates’ examples of beautiful things include (Plato Philebus, 51c-d):

  • Plane figures, which have high levels of symmetry.
  • The Platonic solids (the elements fire, air, water, earth, and aether), which have high levels of symmetry.
  • The round object a lathe produces, which implies cylindrical symmetry.

 

This is all reflected in Plato’s Greater Hippias, where beauty is described to be that which is “appropriate.” (Plato Greater Hippias, 290c-d) Appropriateness’ relation to symmetry is an element that’s common to Hellenic aesthetics, and is itself inherent with the Greek language:

  • The most common word used for describing the world or universe is kosmos, which holds a meaning of organization or arrangement. This indicates that the universe has a particular arrangement to it.
  • Furthermore, the kosmos are ordered by the Celestial Demiurge through logoi. Logos has several meanings, including “word,” “reason,” “intelligence,” and “proportion.”  These words, especially the last, suggest a kind of symmetry or harmony (harmonia).
  • Harmonia comes from a root word that means “to join,” which suggests an intelligent and proportional joining of parts into an appropriately arranged whole; the kosmos. The use of proportion and harmony are also found, in detail, in the Demiurge’s creative powers through the logoi. Ultimately, we receive an idea of beauty as appropriate from Plato’s Greater Hippias. (Plato Greater Hippias, 290c-d)

 

This view on Beauty being a Form also being symmetry or proportion might initially seem contradictory to Beauty being a Form; based on these two assertions:

  1. A Form has no dependency on anything physical for its existence. Whether or not a physical window is made, the Form of Windows would exist regardless. After all, a window is merely an imperfect image of the Form of Window.
  2. Proportion or symmetry, however, typically requires physical things.

This seeming issue is quickly addressed, however, once Platonism’s inherent ties to Pythagoreanism are realized. Pythagoreanism is notable for its use of numbers to understand reality, most notably the decads. As already noted, Plato’s application of geometric figures relates to the five Platonic solids. However, by using geometric figures, Plato connects the ideas of harmony and symmetry inherent in the Platonic solids to numbers, the basis of geometry. (O’Meara 1990, 46) In addition, according to Iamblichus, there are several kinds of numbers, one of which are “idea numbers,” which explicitly means the decads are the Forms. (O’Meara 1990, 78)

While symmetry and proportion are properties of physical things, their bases, where they ultimately originate from, are in the world of Forms. The essence of what is beautiful, which is proportion and harmony, trace their source in the Form of Beauty.

 

Beauty in the Sensible Realm

It’s now been established that beauty ultimately has its origins from the Form of Beauty, and that which is beautiful is that which has harmony, proportion, and symmetry. However, this doesn’t give us an understanding on beauty in the material world. Things such as wealth, health, fame, to reach old age, etc., is of the physical beauty that will now be discussed. It is important to note that these are not Beauty itself, as that is the Form of Beauty, but they are, however, beautiful; for they participate in Beauty, as do all things.

 

In Plato’s Symposium, a discussion is had where Diotima discusses a “hierarchy of beauty” regarding the beauty of bodies (Plato Symposium, 210a-b), in relation to the role of poets and artists in their search for beauty:

  • First is the beauty of a particular body
  • Further up is the beauty within all bodies.
  • This cultivates when the love of the beauty in all bodies becomes expressed as a beautiful verse. (Plato Symposium, 209b-c)

However, although poetry and art are related to beauty in Plato’s Greater Hippias, it isn’t noted as such in the divine Plato’s other writings. Instead, it’s near-fully reversed. In Plato’s Republic, poetry and all mimetic (imitative) art are outright banned from Kalliopolis, the ideal city thought of by Plato. The reasoning is because mimetic art is deceptive, appearing to be something that it’s not. Such creations not only fall beneath the Form employed by the Demiurge, but they also fall beneath an object based on the Form created by a craftsman. They are shadows of a shadow; or an image of an image. For example:

  • A drawing of a cat is not a real cat; it simply looks like a real cat, which is itself based on the Form of Cat. (Plato Republic, 597d-598d)
  • Likewise, tragedies and comedies don’t honestly present the actual people involved,  but rather “surface versions” of them, taken out of context and with their natures blown up, acting contrary to reason (Take the horrible Troy movie from 2004, for example). Worst of all is when these performances present themselves as being the actual activities and words of real people in such a way that they may be emulated, bringing their irrationality, (Plato Republic, 603e-605e) which opposes philosophy and wisdom, into an individual’s daily life.

Appealing to the Irrational Soul and so far removed from the truth, these things don’t carry any real beauty… Right? Wrong. It’s outright impossible for these things, or anything really, to be absolutely ugly. While mimetic art may be further removed from the beautiful and good work of the benevolent Celestial Demiurge, (Plato Timaeus, 29e) it’s still something based on a Form. It’s clear from people’s reaction to various beautiful artworks, such as songs, poems, films, sculptures, and paintings, that Beauty is present in these things (When I saw the 1997 adaption of Homer’s Odyssey, I saw beauty). Plato can, at most, just point out ways where there’s a greater privation of Beauty in mimetic art.

 

We can, at the very least, make a provisional statement as to what is beautiful: The Forms, which participate the Form of Beauty, are beautiful, and as such anything and everything posterior to (after) the Forms also contains some amount of beauty.

Plato’s Timaeus gives us a clue as to what is the most beautiful: In describing the creation of the physical world, the Timaeus says the Demiurge, intending “to make this world like the fairest and most perfect of intelligible beings,” (Plato Timaeus, 30d) creates the “Essential Living Being,” (Iamblichus In Timaeus, fr. 43) or the Whole Soul, in the likeness of the beings of the Intelligible Realm. The Whole Soul, as an image of the beauty of the Intelligible Realm, and as a direct creation of the Demiurge, is the most beautiful of things, as well as everything contained within it, which is “all the other living beings.” (Iamblichus In Timaeus, fragment 43) This means that the most beautiful of all things in creation are us, living beings.

 

Art is Beautiful and Good

Returning to the topic of art and beauty, Plato provides plenty of examples where he thinks mimetic art does harm:

  • Poems cause emotional outbursts, with their strings over your heart,
  • Plays cause people to imitate irrational activities, as people present themselves repeating the words and actions of heroes,
  • Songs encourage one’s emotions to take control from their rationality,
  • Paintings pretend to be what they aren’t,

Etcetera. In essence, Plato describes imitative art as bad because he believes no good can come from it. This is because it pretends to be something other than what it is, and because of this deception it capitalizes on and strengthens the Irrational Soul while weakening and suspending the Rational Soul.

 

This might be problematic since we find examples of imitation that don’t have derision heaped upon them. For example:

  • The carpenter fails to reproduce the Form of Chair in the creation of their particular chair. A particular chair is merely an imitation, or an image of the Form of Chair. (Plato Republic, 596b) It isn’t the Chair we’re looking for, although it may pretend to be so.

 

However, there is a difference. The carpenter, in this case, is an imitator of the forms, while someone merely engaging in the mimetic art is an imitator of an imitator. Understand the difference:

  • Imitator of the Forms: The carpenter in the previous example is an imitator of the Forms. They have their eyes “fixed” on the Form, (Plato Republic, 596a) and through producing imitations on the Form, can be said to have a more intimate knowledge or relation with the Form from which the chair is derived. Their practice is anagogic; as in ascends us upwards, because it is based on something universal and eternal.
  • Imitator of the Imitator: None of this is true of the imitator of the imitator, however, who only knows the surface of a particular imitation and never the universal Form. (Plato Republic, 601e-602b) This form of imitation allows for no knowledge or experience of the Forms, instead affecting the irrational souls of its audience, because it is based solely on the material realm. These are images of an image; and while these things contain a beauty, their beauty is greatly hindered by the accretions of the irrational. Corrupted by irrationality, this sensible beauty has a negative effect. While outwardly alluring, the attraction is katagogic, meaning it binds us down to generation because it’s solely based on the sensible realm.

 

However, certain kinds of poetry, such as hymns to the Gods or praise poems to heroes, are allowed by Plato. (Plato Republic, 607a) (Plato Ion, 533d-534e) Why these forms of poetry differ from the other prohibited types lie beyond Plato:

  • Philostratusm a Sophist, provides an reasoning that fine art is not the product of mimesis (imitation), but rather of phantasia (imagination). (Finberg 1926, 150)
  • Plotinus expands on this, explaining that phantasia, in its intelligible aspect, connects the artist to the Forms instead of the material realm, and thus allows art to make a connection to the Forms. He also provides a few more reasons why we shouldn’t condemn art when referring to fine art:
    • Firstly, fine art works with the Forms or logoi, and is thus beautiful, and therefore by extension, good. (Plotinus The Enneads, V.8, 410-11)
    • Secondly, Plotinus says we shouldn’t condemn mimetic (imitative) art for all that art imitates is itself an imitation of the Forms.

It is with this reasoning that imaginative art, even if it engages in imitation, becomes the basis for saving art; though not entirely. Art such as pseudo-historical media can still be considered distasteful (I’m still looking at you, Troy 2004), unless it is engaged in praise or hymnody, which has an inspired and imaginative nature (Such as 2000’s Gladiator, which praises virtue). (Kupperman, 75)

 

The emphasis on divinely located imagination and imaginative art becomes highly influential in theurgy. By engaging with the Forms and their logoi, fine art and poetry become a kind of token or symbol (symbolon) of the divine realm. Examples are:

  • Eikons, which aren’t merely pieces of art; a participating essence of a deity is understood to be within the image they represent. They are Forms in matter, literal manifestations of the logoi of the Forms. It is because of this eikons are said to be “written” rather than painted, as they’re seen as forms of divine scripture. They are also unsigned by the artist, as the writer is understood to merely transmit the holy reality that is at the heart of the eikon. (Stern-Gillet 2008, 44)
  • Talismancy (the creation of talismans), which not only use astrological timing to empower the talismans they describe, but also fantastic imagery representing the powers of the planetary powers and stars. When all taken together, such talismans become microcosmic tokens or material signatures of the divine realm. (Kupperman 2014, 76)

 

Conclusion on Beauty

Beauty is, overall, of obvious great importance. After all, it’s directly connected to the Good, and therefore can be understood to be connected to achieving the highest goal: henosis. Reaching the Form of Beauty ultimately means reaching the divine realm where the virtues originate, or at least as far as we can. However, individually, beauty is disconnected from us, and without a way to obtain it beauty, ultimately, serves no function. How, then, does one obtain it? The answer is eros, or love. Only when kalon is connected to eros, which binds everything together, can beauty be obtained, and only when beauty is obtained through love are we lead us upwards to divine realm where the virtues lie.

 

 

Love

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Love, or “eros,” (called “philia” by the divine Julian) is discussed in Plato’s Symposium, and is the key to Beauty. There are no distinct “types” of Eros. Eros is one thing with many degrees. Love is always just love, but comes in a variety of degrees. According to Diotima there are three degrees of love (Kupperman 2014, 78):

  • The love of a particular person
  • Further up, the love of all people
  • Even further up, the love of the Intelligible Realm.

 

Plato dismisses romantic ideas of Eros. Diotima even denies that Eros is a God, and says that Eros is neither beautiful nor good (though later Platonists assert that Eros is a God). Instead Eros, as the offspring of Penia (Resource) and Poros (Need), is a Daimon, holding a median position between the realms of the divine and materiality. (Plato Symposium, 203b-204a) The Erotic urge is always provocative; with two roles:

  • Procreative/Generative: Eros has a procreative function; a longing “for the conception and generation that the beautiful effects.” (Plato Symposium, 206e-207a) This is the type of Eros that is tied with romantic ideas and has an urge for sex, which Plato rejects. He rejects it because it is katagogic; meaning it binds us towards generation, and thus a lesser degree of Eros.
  • Intelligible/Theurgic: Eros has a secondary function: its desire for beauty and goodness, which in turn leads people to them. This desire implies that Eros lacks beauty and good to some extent. This is because nothing desires what it already has, only that which it lacks. Eros desires, and thus lacks. This means that when Eros is centered on the spirit, it thus has a love of beauty (As said before, living things, which have souls, are the most beautiful things), and with that the soul will be directed towards the virtues, (Plato Symposium, 207d-209d) the highest forms of beauty, and thus rise upwards to a vision of the Form of Beauty itself. (Plato Symposium, 211c-d) (Kupperman 2014, 79)
    • This allows us to achieve henosis. To understand this, we must understand that Eros is love, and naturally, we want to hold on to the object of our love for as long we can. To grasp the Good (as in, to achieve henosis), which is beyond time itself, is to render the soul immortal. (Plato Symposium, 206e-207a) Intelligible Eros, as the love of spirit, is ultimately anagogic, meaning it lifts us up towards the divine.

(Again, it’s important to remind that these roles are just that; roles, not distinct types of Eros. There are no “types.” Eros is one thing with many degrees. Love is love; this is merely based on orientation.)

Some might object to this being the nature of love on the false assumption that it is “selfish,” with an egocentric treatment of people that merely uses them as a means to an end. It isn’t to love a beautiful person”, one may mistakenly complain, “but rather to love the beauty in a person as a means of an end; to just get a better understanding of beauty and the Form of Beauty and leave the person behind when a new level of beauty is attained.” (Kupperman 2014, 79)

However, this is simply false. Ultimately, through Love, what one ultimately desires is virtue, which is of the higher aspect of beauty. Most importantly, among the virtues is the virtue of Justice, the most important of them. Its importance lies in its nature: It’s a synthesis of the other virtues that are based around bringing the Good to others. After all, only people who cultivate virtue (Wisdom, Courage, Temperance) and self-control can bring positive change to others. It doesn’t merely bring benefit to you, but rather benefits everyone. At its highest levels, love is incapable of being selfish. Love adores both its immediate inspiration (the beautiful thing) and the ultimate source of beauty, the Form of Beauty. (Kupperman 2014, 79)

 

Love & Theurgy

The spiritual & anagogic aspects of Eros are to be highly valued, especially in relation to theurgy. Comparing what the Chaldean Oracles and Plato’s Timaeus both say on love reveals a lot:

  • In the Chaldean Oracles, Eros as a primordial power and the first creation of the Celestial Demiurge. The Celestial Demiurge then the part of the soul that is immortal, the Rational Soul, (Chaldean Oracles, fragment 39) and fills each soul with a “deep eros” to bring them back to the Gods. (Chaldean Oracles, fragment 43) This means that what part of the soul the Demiurge creates is, ultimately, filled with Love.
  • Plato’s Timaeus tells us that the Gods under the Demiurge have the task of creating all that is mortal in the human soul, the Irrational Soul.

This means that Eros, as a product of the Celestial Demiurge, is part of the Rational Soul. Eros is, when ultimately realized in its fullest, a kind of Intelligible reason that draws us towards the Intelligible Realm. It is Intelligible Love, which is poured into the soul itself, that is the key to the Form of Beauty (and ultimately henosis) through theurgic practice. In short:

  • In Generative Love, the source of inspiration is the beloved person.
  • In Intelligible Love the sources of inspiration are things of theurgic importance; divine tokens, symbols, the Gods and Celestial Demiurge, placed in the material to raise us to their source. (Chaldean Oracles, frag. 125)

 

In short, Eros, specifically Intelligible Eros, is the so-called “key to start up the car of theurgy on the road to henosis,” to say it rather oddly. Theurgic religious rites do so by ritualizing the cosmos, (Shaw 2014, 124) which allows the theurgist to ascend to the divine through Intelligible/Theurgic Love. When theurgic rites are performed correctly they transform the theurgist, who is operating the junction of the two manifolds (the material realm and the divine realm), into the likeness of the object of the sacrifices by transposing the necessity of the sacrifice from the sacrifice to the sacrificer, and thus raises the theurgist (the sacrificer) up and towards the Gods through their Intelligible Love. (Iamblichus De Mysteriis, V.9-10, 241) This higher kind of love, which attaches us to the divine tokens and Forms, is the source of inspired beauty and imaginative art, and, ultimately, theurgy.

 

Why does Eros appear so ontologically late?

One might ask why Eros appears so ontologically late, in the Intellective Realm, as opposed to being an immediate product of the One, or at the very least appearing in the Intelligible Realm. For this there are two primary answers:

  • Firstly, the nature of the One is totally above everything. It’s incorrect to say that the One/Good itself loves, has love or is love because it is the ultimate source of love, and the source of something always transcends what it produces.
  • Secondly, we can’t say that love appears in the Intelligible Realm, because the Gods of the Intelligible Realm (the henads) have absolutely no need for to strive upwards. The Intelligible Gods already lay the very peak of existence one can go and wholly participate the Good.

And thus Eros, with its anagogic and katagogic powers, are only necessary at lower levels.

 

Love & Frenzy

Ecstatic Love

Iamblichus’ writings on Eros are further expanded on in the works of Proclus, who, concerning what he terms “pronoetic love” in Plato’s Cratylus, writes in his commentary on Alcibiades that “Eros descends from above from the intelligible sphere down to the cosmic, and turns all things toward the divine beauty.” (Alcibiades Commentary, ed. Cousin II 141) Proclus makes use of the two forms of Aphrodite found in Plato as a means of connecting the higher Intelligible Love and the lower Generative Love (Plato Symposium, 180e):

  • Aphrodite Ourania (Aphrodite of the Heavens): The Intellective or Godly Aphrodite born of sea foam. Eros is Aphrodite’s eternal companion, and this form of Aphrodite is the source of Eros in its fully Godly aspect, rather than Daimonic. This is the “Intelligible Love.”
  • Aphrodite Pandemos (Aphrodite of all the people): The Daimonic or Encosmic Aphrodite. She is the source of beauty and harmony, causing the union of opposites, and strengthening the weaker or lower of the two in its union with the upper. She is the Godess who harmonizes the universe. She descends to the material level to overseeing the beautiful embodiment of the Forms in matter because Eros is only necessary in these lower levels. This is “Generative Love.”

Here we see the anagogic power of Love (Eros) and its connection to Beauty (in the form of Aphrodite) made abundantly clear and apparent.

Thanks to the high placement of Aphrodite and Eros, we find both:

  • The anagogic Intelligible Love: Which expresses ascent through henosis, the return of the soul to its source.
  • The katagogic Generative Love: Which leads those below in generation up to anagogic Intelligible Love, which ultimately sets them towards henosis. Generative Love expresses descent, in the form of divine providence, a prominent theme of Iamblichus’ De Mysteriis.

In short, Proclus’ writing on Eros can be described as ecstatic love, meaning it is ecstatic in nature; bringing union and thus harmony. Its harmonizing nature both ascends (Anagogic/Intelligible Love) and descends (Katagogic/Generative Love) and, like Aphrodite, becomes a harmonizing force in the cosmos. (Rist 1966, 236)

 

Divine Inspiration

There is an obvious connection between intellect/reason and love. While intellect/reason, which ultimately stems from the Divine Mind (Nous/The Celestial Demiurge), is of an obvious extreme importance, there’s a high importance in mania, or divine inspiration as well. In the Phaedrus, Socrates describes four kinds of divine inspiration (Plato Phaedrus, 265a):

  1. Prophetic Frenzy: The divine inspiration brought by the divine Apollo, it is what the Pythia of Delphi and other sacred temples experience. It is when the prophet is completely possessed by a God, and Iamblichus considers this the truest form of divination, since everything else is up to human interpretation and therefore fallible.
  2. Telestic Frenzy: Called the “mystic madness,” this form of divine inspiration comes from Dionysos and has to do with the performance of sacred rites and sacrifices for the purposes of healing. Marsilio Ficino, a 15th century Platonist, writes it as “a powerful stirring of the soul, in perfecting what relates to the worship of the Gods, religious observance, purification and sacred ceremonies.” (Ficino 1457, “On Divine Frenzy”)
  3. Poetic Frenzy: This inspiration is brought by the Muses, and is the madness which allows one to produce true poetry. According to Plato only poetry inspired by the Muses makes a person a good poet, and those without their blessings will be “with no success.” (Plato Phaedrus, 245a)
  4. Erotic Frenzy: The form of Eros brought by Aphrodite and Eros that has already been discussed: the eros which causes one to be left in a state of awe with the Form of Beauty and develop a desire to reach it.

 

Each of the frenzies has at least two things in common:

  • First: The frenzies are anagogic and ecstatic, lifting the soul upwards and outwards towards participating ontologically prior realities. Iamblichus, especially, sees divine inspiration as a kind of total possession by the God. (Sheppard 1993, 140)
  • Second: These frenzies all come from outside the soul; caused by the divine.

As we have seen from Iamblichus and Proclus, all the frenzies are elements of theurgic love. For a Platonist, this degree of eros, which allows one to engage in demiurgy, is the highest degree of love. It’s an eros that transcends the individual so completely that it raises them to divine levels and activities above. (Kupperman 2014, 84)

 

Conclusion on Love

The force behind the drive upwards towards henosis is Eros. Behind Eros is the harmonizing activity of Aphrodite, who Herself imitates the unifying activity of the One by filling those below Her with harmony. The strive for henosis, which is ultimately pointing towards the Good/the One (or at least as far as possible), is only accomplished through Eros and the highest Intelligible Love, Aphrodite, thanks to Eros’ necessity in theurgy. (Kupperman 2014, 84-85)

Like the virtue of Justice, which is itself a synthesis of the virtues, Aphrodite is Herself a synthesis of the Gods; and while Athene fills the Gods with wisdom, it is Aphrodite who fills the divine with harmony. And with the Gods being harmonized by Love, it is obvious that Love exists within all the virtues, and furthermore, Love, like wisdom, fills all things. (Kupperman 2014, 84-85)

 

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