Failed Note about Proclus Diadochus


A reccurent meme on Facebook says: „I like weird people… the black sheep, the odd ducks, the rejects, the eccentrics, the loners, the lost and forgotten. More often than not, these people have the most beautiful souls.“ – Schopenhauer called Proclus Diadochus „a shallow, wide, boring windbag“, and I have sympathy for the underdog, So I went to the library, borrowed the only book they have by Proclus in my language, „About Providence, Fate and Free Will, to Theodorus, the Engineer“ and intented to write a note, as a hommage and a tribute to this largely lost and forgotten individual, to make him shine on Facebook.

Unfortunately, „About Providence, Fate and Free Will, to Theodorus, the Engineer“ is actually quite boring and this has made my originally innocent and well-intentioned plan to write a glorious and triumphant note about Proclus Diadochus go sour. In one of his later works Nietzsche said that Schopenhauer was „wrong on every account“ (contrary to what he said in his earlier days and „Schopenhauer as Educator“, the third Untimely Medidation, is a key work to the understanding of Nietzsche at all) but at least in this respect he might have been right. However, I admire intelligence in others but I value highest goodness of character and, according to legend, Proclus was virtuous, hard working, disciplined, engaged in political debates and educational affairs and was prosperous and generous to his friends and a vegetarian. I think if all people had the characteristics of Proclus the world would be a better place, and this shall serve as a monument.

Proclus was a Neoplatonist and the most dominant figure among the Neoplatonists was Plotinus. I recommend getting familiar with his philosophy, for it carries beauty and shall enhance your sense for harmony in the universe. His „Enneads“ are nevertheless badly written, a disaster, so I recommend, at least for introductory means, not reading literature written by Plotinus but literature written about Plotinus.