January 14, 2024
From his Exhortation to Philosophy translated by Thomas M. Johnson an American Platonist of 19th century.
Of Pythagoras and the life in accordance with his doctrines, and of the Pythagoreans, we treated sufficiently in our first book* we will now explain the remaining part of his system, beginning with the common preparatory training prescribed by his school in reference to all education and learning and virtue; a training which is not partial, only perfecting one in some particular good of all these but which, to speak simply, incites his cognitive powers to the acquirement of all disciplines, all sciences, all beautiful and noble actions in life, all species of culture – and, in a phrase, every thing which participates of the Beautiful. For neither without an awakening, caused by exhortation, from the natural lethargy, is it possible for one to apply himself suddenly to beautiful and noble studies; nor immediately to proceed to the apprehension of the highest and most perfect good, before his soul has been duly prepared by exhortation [which arouses his impulses to higher things, purifies his thoughts, and directs his actions].
* Iamblichus is referring to his Life of Pythagoras, to be found in the Prometheus Trust’s Iamblichus on the Mysteries and Life of Pythagoras, TTS vol. XVII.
From The Collected Works of Thomas Moore Johnson, Prometheus Trust 2015.
Nicholas Weeks 11/01/2024
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