Evolution, Jung, and Theurgy:
IV. Some Implications for Neoplatonism

B. The Primal Nous and the Noetic Order

We have seen that the archetypal Ideas are the psychical correlates of the perceptual-behavioral structures common to all human beings and so the archetypal Ideas are implicit in the human genome. 

They are encoded in the genome, but not in an explicit form, for if we look at the characters “GATCAA…” we will not see any of the archetypes.  That is, there is no reason to suppose any simple correspondence between the individual archetypes and particular genes: “Almost all capacities are prescribed by combinations of genes at many sites on the chromosomes” (Wilson 1975, 198).   Further, each gene may have a large number of effects (Wilson 1975, 198). Thus the archetypes are implicit in the genome, and become explicit only when expressed in the psyche of a living organism.  That is, in the genome the archetypal Ideas are “all in all, but each in its own way” (πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν, οἰκείως δὲ ἐν ἑκάστῳ), which is how Proclus described the Henads (e.g., El. Th. pr. 118), which exist in an undifferentiated unity in the One.  We may compare them to the spectrum of colors hidden in white light.

The genome corresponds to the unified archetypal Form or Idea from which all other archetypal Ideas derive, the εἶδος εἰδων (Form of Forms), in Proclus’ terms, the παράδειγμα (model) of the archetypal world (Pl. Th.III.15; Siovanes 1996, 164).  In many respects, therefore, the genome can be seen as the abstract form corresponding to the hypostasis known as the Primal Nous, the Pure Nous, the First God, and so forth.  This is the Noetic or Intelligible order where, according to Syrianus, the essential numbers exist undivided in the tetrad, not separated into a series as in the lower orders (O’Meara 1989, 136).  Significantly, Syrianus also says that the νοητά (“intelligibles”) exist in τὸ αὐτοζῷον, the “abstract animal” or “animal itself” (O’Meara 1989, 136), surely a good term for the genome.

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