As a result, being, life and intellect each constituted separate series. Each had an unparticipated monad at its head (Unparticipated Being, Unparticipated Life, Unparticipated Intellect), which caused the existence ofparticipable terms of the series (participable beings, participable lives, participable intellects), some of which subsisted on the same ontological level as the monad, others of which subsisted at lower ontological levels. Thus for example, a participable being could be self-complete and subsist at the level of being; or it could be an irradiation that only subsisted in the lower level of soul, so that it only subsisted at the ontological level of soul.

c. Henads and the One For the Iamblichean tradition, the fact that each being was one being meant that each beingparticipated in unity, which is to say, that each being participated in the u^ocTacis of the One. Therefore, according to the Iamblichean tradition's understanding of participation, one had to distinguish here between to amethekton, ta metechomena and ta metechonta. Each being, insofar as it is one being, is a metechon that participates in a metechomenon that is caused to exist by to amethekton. This amethekton stands as the monad at the head of the series of metechomena. The One is then identified as the unparticipated cause of the participable 'ones' (henades),77 each of which is participated in by one being, making it to be one being. Furthermore, in line with the Iamblichean tradition's understanding of a series, there must be distinguished self-complete henads from henads that have subsistence only as irradiations in lower levels of being. Thus, for example, the henad by which a subsistent human soul is one soul in an irradiation which subsists only in the human soul, and so subsists at the ontological level of soul - a far lower subsistential level than that of a self-complete henad subsisting above the level of being.

d. The One and the Ineffable The only significant divergence of opinion within the Iamblichean tradition concerned whether the One was in fact the Supreme Principle. Iamblichus himself, and later Damascius, held that it was not, that beyond the One lay a higher principle, which could be identified only as ^avT^ app^TOS ('entirely unlimited').78 This was on the grounds that unity has meaning only relative to plurality, and therefore cannot be an absolute principle beyond relativity, so that there must be an absolute principle beyond the One from which the One comes forth as One.79 For Syrianus and Proclus, however, the postulation of a principle beyond the One was unnecessary, since

78 Iamblichus, ap. Damascius, Deprinc. i.86.

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