Fragments that Remain of the Lost Writings of Proclus, by Thomas Taylor, , at sacred-texts.com
The paradigm of the world is celebrated [by Plato] * by these three names, viz. only-begotten, eternal, all-perfect. And the last of these names pertains also to the universe, but to no other generated nature; for no other generated nature is all-perfect. With respect to the only-begotten, this is not present with all mundane natures, though it is with all the celestial orbs: for each of these is only-begotten. A perpetual existence, however, is common to all forms; for if this is not, we shall not find any thing of which all forms participate in common. But if it is necessary that every form should possess perpetuity, for this is an image of the eternal, it is requisite to consider what is the meaning of the ever. Whether, therefore, does it signify that which exists for an infinite time, both with reference to the past
and the future, or that which, with respect to the past, has indeed a beginning, but, with reference to the future, has no end? * For if this is the meaning of the ever, what will that he which is similar to the eternal? For the eternal has in no respect whatever a subsistence at a certain time only, nor any extension of existence, nor the prior and posterior, but is infinite according to both these. But the infinite is not simultaneously present with the universe, † but subsists in becoming to be [or in perpetually rising into existence]. ‡ If, however, the eternal is that [which we have above said it is], either nothing is similar to it, or, prior to all things the world, resembles it. But it is absurd, since the Demiurgus is most excellent, and wishes to make, and does make, things similar to the paradigm of the universe, [that the world should be
in no respect similar to its eternal paradigm]. * The world, therefore, being in the greatest possible degree similar to its paradigm, possesses perpetuity both with reference to the past and the future, and not according to one of these only. For if this is denied, that which is without arrangement will be similar to the paradigm of the universe, through being unbegotten; and that which possesses arrangement will be similar to it, through its incorruptibility. If these things, therefore, are impossible, every thing which is unbegotten is incorruptible, and every thing incorruptible is unbegotten; in order that both may be similar to the eternal [paradigm], and not infinite only, according to one of these. And on this account, that which is arranged is no more infinite than that which is without arrangement. That which was generated, therefore, conformably to the paradigm, ought, according to both these, to be similar to the paradigm. But that which was generated conformably to the paradigm, was
the world. Hence the world, not having [a temporal] generation, is incorruptible, nor, being unbegotten, will it ever be corrupted. For a thing of this kind [viz. a thing which may be corrupted,] is only infinite with reference to the time past. But the world is unbegotten, and at the same time incorruptible. It also possesses infinity according to both these, in order that, as Plato says, it may be in every respect similar to its eternal paradigm.
69:* This is asserted by Plato of the paradigm of the world in the Timæus, which, as we have before observed, is there denominated by him αυτοζωον, or animal itself.
70:* The original is here defective, for it is κατα θατερα δε τελευτην. But it is obviously necessary to read, κατα θατερα δε ου μην τελευτην. Mahotius also, in his version, has as "ex altere autem finem non habet."
70:† In the original of this sentence there is nothing more than ουχ αμα δε το απειρον; and, conformably to this, the version of Mahotius has "infinitum autem non simul constat.'' But it appears to me to be necessary to read ουχ αμα δε το απειρον τω παντι παρεστιν, agreeably to my translation.
70:‡ Conformably to this, Proclus says of the universe (in Tim. lib. ii.) "that, always rising into existence, it is always perfect".
71:* The words within the brackets are omitted in the original, and are supplied from the version of Mahotius. For in the Greek there is nothing more than αλλ᾽ ατοπον, το μηδενα τροπον του δημιουργου αριστου οντος, και βουλομενου ομοια ποιειν τῳ παραδειγματι και ποιουντος. It is requisite, therefore, immediately after το μηδενα τροπον, to add, τον κοσμον ομοιον ειναι τῳ παραδειγματι αιωνιῳ.