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Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus

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Author Topic: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus  (Read 1550 times)
Major Weatherly
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« on: February 06, 2009, 01:15:56 pm »

does not subsist at once, but according to a part. If, therefore, any thing is in tine, though it should be extended to an infinite time, it has indeed an existence at a certain time. But it is generated, or becoming to be, to infinity, and is always passing froth an existence at one time * to an existence at another. And it was at a certain time, and is at a certain time, and will be at a certain time. † This existence too, at a certain time, is always different. The world, however, when it exists at a certain time, has a no less [continued] existence. Hence that which has its hypostasis in a part of time, at a certain time is becoming to be, and at a certain time is, and at a certain time will be. But that which exists in every time [or for ever] is

p. 7

indeed at a certain time, but is always generated, or becoming to be; and in perpetually becoming to be, imitates that which always is.

This, therefore, alone ought to be considered, whether it is necessary to denominate a celestial body, and in a similar manner the whole world, a thing of a generated nature. But how is it possible not to assert this from the very arguments which Aristotle himself affords us? For he says that no finite body has an infinite power; and this he demonstrates in the eighth book of his Physics. If, therefore, the world is finite (for this he demonstrates), it is necessary that it should not possess an infinite power. But in the former part of this treatise we have shewn that eternity is infinite power. The world, therefore, has not an eternal subsistence, since it does not possess infinite power. If, however, it has not an eternal hypostasis, (for a thing of this kind participates of eternity, but that which participates of eternity participates of infinite power,) it is necessary that the world should not always be. * For to exist always, is, according to Aristotle himself, the peculiarity of eternity, since, as he says, eternity

p. 8

from this derives its appellation. For that which is true of eternal being, is not true of that which is always generated [or becoming to be], viz. the possession of infinite power, through being perpetually generated, but this pertains to the maker of it. Hence, too, it is always generated, acquiring perpetuity of existence through that which, according to essence, is eternally being; but it does not possess perpetuity, so far as pertains to itself. So that the definition of that which is generated may also be adapted to the world. Every thing, therefore, which is generated, is indeed itself essentially entirely destructible; but being bound by true being, it remains in becoming to be, and the whole of it is a generated nature. Hence [though naturally destructible] it is not destroyed, in consequence of the participation of existence which it derives from true being. For, since the universe is finite, but that which is finite has not an infinite power, as Aristotle demonstrates; and as that which moves with an infinite motion moves with an infinite power, it is evident that the immovable cause of infinite motion to the universe, possesses itself an infinite power; so that, if you conceive the universe to be separated from its immovable cause, it will not be moved to infinity, nor will it possess an infinite power, but will have a cessation of its motion. It; however,

p. 9

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