Divine Poiēsis (an encouragement to virtue)

Early in book III of his Parmenides Commentary, Proclus distinguishes two kinds of creative activity (poiēsis): that which comes about from the very being of the cause, and that which results from some deliberate choice.

Beings in the middle of the metaphysical hierarchy do both. Our soul, for example, gives life to the body by its very being (provided that the material substratum is serviceable), while it does other things by choice. Lower down the hierarchy, though, we find fire heating by its very being, but not doing anything by deliberate choice. And so, in keeping with one of the basic principles of Platonic metaphysics, if creative activity by being alone extends farther down, it must also extend farther up.

Furthermore, creative activity that results from being alone is effortless, and is more suited to the Gods:

The creative activity of those beings that make what they do by their very being is effortless, and we must conclude that effortlessness belongs primarily to the divine, since we also live most easily and with least effort when our life and Godlike and in the path of virtue.

Proclus, in Parm. 787 Cousin; trans. Morrow & Dillon, p. 159.

And this seems to me an excellent, yet gentle, encouragement to virtue.

Wisdom for the Day

Then we must suppose that the same is true of a just person who falls into poverty or disease or some other apparent evil, namely, that this will end well for him, either during his lifetime or afterwards, for the Gods never neglect anyone who eagerly wishes to become just, and who makes himself as much like a God as a human can by adopting a virtuous way of life.

Plato, Republic X, 613a.

Proclus: Likeness and Reversion

Πᾶσα ἐπιστροφὴ δι’ ὁμοιότητος ἀποτελεῖται τῶν ἐπιστρεφομένων πρὸς ὃ ἐπιστρέφεται.

All reversion is accomplished through a likeness of the reverting terms to the goal of reversion.

Proclus, Elements of Theology, prop. 32

This is why the philosopher’s goal is to become like the Gods, insofar as possible.