level of the ontological hierarchy in another level. This was affected through a re-interpretation of the traditional Platonic language of'participation'.

For Plato, the participation of many entities in one Form signified the undivided and ontologically constitutive presence of the one Form in the many entities. On such a scheme, that which is participated-in (to metechomenon), in virtue of the fact that it belongs to the realm of ouaia not yEVECis, has existence in itself (kath' auto). Yet, because it is immediately present undividedly in its participant (metechon), it is also present in another (eis allo) which subsists on the level of genesis not ousia. Thus, in a participatory relationship, to metechon has directly present to it, in ontologically constitutive fashion, a being of higher ontological level.

In opposition to such an understanding, the Iamblichean tradition understood participation as a threefold relationship between the participant (to metechon), the participated (to metechomenon) and the unparticipated (to amethek-ton).63 Now, what exists kath' auto is to amethekton, which now causes to metechomenon, which in its turn exists only eis allo, in to metechon. In concrete situations of participation, there is one amethekton that causes several mete-chomena each of which exists with a metechon.64 The unparticipated cause is a 'monad' that causes a 'series' (seira, taxis) of metechomena, in which metechonta participate. 65

A fortiori, within the series of metechomena, there are distinguished two sorts of causal effects of to amethekton, one consisting of internally complete metechomena (auTOTsAwv u^octtActewv), and the other consisting of irradiations which have their substantiality in something other than themselves (iAAa^yswv iv ETEpois t^v uTCoaTaciv kekt^^evwv).66 This distinction pertains to the level of subsistence (hypostasis) rather than of content. All metechomena belong in content to the ontological level that is the ontological level of the monad from which they proceed. But metechomena which are irradiations do not subsist at that ontological level. Rather, they subsist at the ontological level of ta metechonta of which they are ta metechomena. Conversely, internally complete metechomena cause ta metechonta that participate in them to subsist at their own level. This in turn means that it is possible for a being to subsist at a higher level than that of its content.

Two consequences follow from this. On the one hand, no being of a higher level of subsistence than that of a particular being is directly present within that

63 On what follows cf.Proclus, El. theol. 23-4. Cf. also El. theol. 67-9; Proclus, In Tim. i.426.3ff.

64 Cf. Proclus, In Tim. Ii.252.21if.; 312.30ft; Proclus, InAlc. 65.16ft.

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