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of all creatures - lying in unity with the One - also entails coming into unity with the gods who are already united in this unity.94 As such, the fulfilment of human beings lies in their achievement of union with the One and the other gods.95

However, since human beings do not subsist on the henadic level they do not possess within themselves the ontological resources to ascend to the henadic level on their own. Instead, they can only achieve such an ascent by the aid of superior powers. That the gods give such aid follows directly, for the Iamblicheans, from their being gods. For every god - in virtue of its proximity to the One which is the Good itself - is superessentially good,96 and as good exercises providence (pronoia) and love (philia) over the members of the series of which it is head.97 That is to say, as the heads of different series, the gods act 'to unify what participates in [them]'.98 Similarly, the daemonic order, in that it is overall subordinate to the divine, mediates this to the sub-daemonic levels of being. This providence, however, is nothing less than the very overflowing of power (dynamis) that constitutes the being of the sub-divine creature in the first place (since this being is a triadic circuit consisting not merely of remaining but also of proceeding and reverting).99

However, since (a) no effect is equal in power to its cause;100 (b) the later terms of a series are less perfect than the earlier terms;101 and (c) dynamis is automatically diminished as it is divided between a plurality of beings,102 it follows that the dynamis present in the lower levels of a series is less powerful than that present in the higher levels. As such, the dynamis enabling reversion to the highest levels of reality is, in the lowest levels of reality, diminished and diffused among a multitude of beings. At such levels, where it is present most strongly is in the 'characters' (idiotai) ofthe composite members ofthe series by which such members are members of the series of which they are members.103 Since these beings only possess revertive dynamis to the extent that they possess the character by which they are members of the series of which they are members, the dynamis is pre-eminently identified with such 'characters'.104

95 Iamblichus, Myst. 10.1.

96 Proclus, El. theol. 119.

104 Cf. Iamblichus, Myst. 3.17.

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