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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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9. This Poros, Possession, then, is the Reason-Principle of all that exists in the Intellectual Realm and in the supreme Intellect; but being more diffused, kneaded out as it were, it must touch Soul, be in Soul, [as the next lower principle].

For, all that lies gathered in the Intellect is native to it: nothing enters from without; but “Poros intoxicated” is some Power deriving satisfaction outside itself: what, then, can we understand by this member of the Supreme filled with Nectar but a Reason-Principle falling from a loftier essence to a lower? This means that the Reason-Principle upon “the birth of Aphrodite” left the Intellectual for the Soul, breaking into the garden of Zeus.

A garden is a place of beauty and a glory of wealth: all the loveliness that Zeus maintains takes its splendour from the Reason-Principle within him; for all this beauty is the radiation of the Divine Intellect upon the Divine Soul, which it has penetrated. What could the Garden of Zeus indicate but the images of his Being and the splendours of his glory? And what could these divine splendours and beauties be but the Ideas streaming from him?

These Reason-Principles — this Poros who is the lavishness, the abundance of Beauty — are at one and are made manifest; this is the Nectar-drunkenness. For the Nectar of the gods can be no other than what the god-nature essentially demands; and this is the Reason pouring down from the divine Mind.

The Intellectual Principle possesses Itself to satiety, but there is no “drunken” abandonment in this possession which brings nothing alien to it. But the Reason-Principle — as its offspring, a later hypostasis — is already a separate Being and established in another Realm, and so is said to lie in the garden of this Zeus who is divine Mind; and this lying in the garden takes place at the moment when, in our way of speaking, Aphrodite enters the realm of Being.

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