Proclo: Teologia de Platão I-XXVII

After this, it follows in the next place, that we should consider the uniform, the indissoluble, and that which has an invariable sameness of subsistence, from the same causes, and these are the precursors of, and pervading through all the divine orders. For the uniform, indeed, has the highest subsistence, is present with the divine monad, and appears to be especially adapted to that which is primarily being, and in which also every participable genus of unities ends. For the one is prior to these, as will be evident as we proceed. But the indissoluble is the second. For it comprehends and binds the extremes according to divine union; since the dissoluble is such as it is through the want of connection and of a power which collects multitude into one.

And that which has an invariable sameness of subsistence is eternal, and is full of the perpetuity of the Gods; from which also the participation of immortality and eternal sameness is derived to other things. The uniform, therefore pertains to the same thing as the divine; but the indissoluble to the same thing as the immortal; and that which has an invariable sameness of subsistence we must refer to the intelligible.

And do you not see how these are severally after a manner co-adapted to each other? For the first of these, through the first unity which is participated by being is, as it is fit it should be, uniform. For if a God subsists according to the one, that which is divine will doubtless be uniform.

But that which through one cause of life is immortal, is also similarly indissoluble. For life is the bond of dissoluble natures; which also Timaeus indicating to us, opposes the dissoluble to the immortal: “for you are not immortal, says the demiurgus, yet you shall never be dissolved, nor be subject to the fatality of death.” Everything mortal, therefore, is dissoluble; but the immortal is indissoluble.

That, however, which has a renovated immortality is for the same reason neither indissoluble, nor mortal. For being in the middle of both it is neither of the extremes, according to each opposition. But the third of these being established according to the plenitude of whole intelligibles subsists at once and is invariably the same.

For the intelligible is the cause of sameness and of eternal permanency; and intellect through this is entirely eternal. These triads, therefore, proceed from the first and most principal causes, in the same manner as we demonstrated of the before-mentioned triads. But these things, indeed, we shall consider hereafter.

These things, therefore, being discussed, let us direct our attention to the unbegotten in divine natures, and unfold what we assert it to be. For we say that all [true] being is without generation, and Socrates demonstrates in the Phaedrus, that souls are unbegotten.

Prior to these, also, the Gods themselves are established above generations and a subsistence according to time. How, therefore, shall we define the unbegotten when applied to a divine nature, and according to what reason? Is it because divinity is exempt from all generation, not only from that which subsists in the parts of time, such as we assert the generation of material natures to be, nor from that only which is extended into the whole of time, such as Timeaus demonstrates the generation of the celestial bodies to be, but also from the psychical generation?

Since Timaeus denominates this to be unbegotten according to time, but to be the best of generated natures. And in short, a divine nature is exempt from all division and essential separation. For the progression of the Gods is always according to a union of secondary natures, which are uniformly established in the natures prior to them, the things producing containing in themselves the things produced. The indivisible, therefore, the unseparated and the united are in reality unbegotten. So that if certain generations of the Gods are spoken of by Plato in fabulous figments, as in the fable of Diotima, the generation of Venus is celebrated, and of Love at the birth of Venus, it is necessary not to be ignorant after what manner things of this kind are asserted, and that they are composed for the sake of symbolical indication; and that fables for the sake of concealment call the ineffable unfolding into light through causes, generation.

For in the Orphic writings, indeed, the first cause is on this account denominated Time; since again, for another reason, it is thus denominated, in order that a subsistence according to cause may be the same as a subsistence according to time. And the progression of the Gods from the best of causes is properly denominated generation according to time.

To Plato, therefore, mythologizing, it is adapted to devise things of this kind conformably to theologists; but when he is discoursing dialectically, and investigating and unfolding divine natures intellectually and not mystically, it is then adapted to him to celebrate the unbegotten essence of the Gods. For the Gods primarily establish in themselves the paradigm of nongeneration. But an intellectual nature is in a secondary degree unbegotten, and after this the psychical essence. And in bodies there is an ultimate resemblance of unbegotten power; which some posterior to Plato perceiving, have indefinitely shown that the whole heaven is unbegotten.

The Gods, therefore, are unbegotten. But there is an order in them of first, middle, and last progressions, and a transcendency and subjection of powers. There are also in them uniform comprehensions of causes; but multiform progenies of things caused. And all things, indeed, are consubsistent in each other; but the mode of subsistence is various. For some things as replenishing subsist prior to secondary natures; but others, as being filled aspire after more perfect natures, and participating of their power become generative of things posterior to themselves, and perfective of their hyparxis.

PROCLUS. On the Theology of Plato (complete electronic text). (Martin Euser, Ed.), [s.d.]. Disponível em: <>