Consider the arrival of Parmenides' thought of Unique Being as a moment of completion that is simultaneously the initiation of dispersion: Parmenides culminates, through the discovery of logic, a feeling for the sacred that is evinced in the temple architecture of Egypt and Greece: sacred geometry, proportion, and number prefigure the strictures of Parmenidean justice and logic. With the three generations that follow Parmenides (Zeno, Socrates, Plato), the worship, intellect, and constitution of the polis focused in Eleatic vision fall asunder. It is the Parmenidean sparagmos—the body of the law ravaged—the light, too hot . . . *** The Parmenidean demand was that nothing except "Being itself" be said "to be." The discipline that might have followed from this demand would have been: • that thinkers refrain from asserting being of anything other than Being itself; • that "the things that appear" in every case be understood as reporting Being, but, in themselves, failing of Being; • that the impulse to assert that the appearances "are," (an impulse arising from the unique "it is" to which all such appearances refer) be inhibited. Such a discipline would have been motivated by an experience of the sacred that felt the accumulation of the divine epiphanies of prior ages now to reside and be fulfilled in an act of mind that had achieved an abstraction adequate precisely to such an experience: for Parmenides, intelligence is sacred praxis. The quest for universal form in Plato has already been accomplished with Parmenides, but the Eleatic insight is lost in Plato's assertion of a kind of quasi- being for the appearances through the concept of "becoming." For Plato the appearances both are and are not—one of the "paths of thought" interdicted by Parmenides. *** For Parmenides, only the most universal concept and its object can perfectly coincide. A thought that admits a diversity of objects is itself diverse from at least some of its objects. But to think Parmenidean Being is to achieve unification with that Being. As diversity as such is denied, certainly there can be no diversity between thinker, thought, and object. To think that some particular thing IS, is to lose access to unique Being altogether. If each and every thing that appears might plausibly have Being (rather than that each thing appear as a sign that Unique Being has taken on, in particular, this appearance)—then Being becomes grounded in the experience of appearance, the contradictions of experience become the conditions of Being, and the sacral character of Being is rendered absurd or enigmatic as the universal vision becomes impossible. If, however, nothing that can be experienced explicitly is anything other than an occasion for the appearance of unique Being itself, then the mind that lifts itself to this conception, upon each occasion wherein it acknowledges an appearance as an appearance of Being, gains access at such a moment to its own condition as one with Being as well. *** The mind's epiphanies are its moments of cognition. When there is no cognition, there is no access to mind. But the mind as such does not have an appearance: the occurrence of appearance, nevertheless, evinces an occasion of mind. If that which appears, in such an occasion, is said to Be, (if I say of the stone I recognize as a stone that it truly IS a stone) the mind will appear not to exist, since the criterion for the being of something is now that something appear—but the mind does not appear. What it means for the appearance to implicate the being of the thing that appears becomes an enigma. The sense impression must be supplemented by the “form” or "class" to which the thing is assigned; the existence of a realm of forms independent of sense and diverse from the materiality of the object seems indicated. The mind as the hypothetical ground for the forms arises. But mind here is no longer linked to the actual occurrences of its own cognition. It is posited inferentially, rather than known on its own ground. In the Parmenidean vision, knower and known coalesce at the intimate center of the moment of cognition. The mind that thinks Platonic forms is, therefore, decidedly not the thinker of Parmenidean Being. *** That the things do not exist but that they appear, is not to challenge the dignity of the things. Rather, all appearances—all particular things—are situated as occasions of the unique value. Liberated from conflicting claims of being, from assertions of identity, from competition for existence, survival, status or worth, the intimacy that every apparent thing shares with unique Being becomes accessible as its value. Each thing, in its appearance, communes from its nothingness with Being. Each thing rests in its concreteness, its individual character, precisely to the degree that it abrogates the claim of being and allows its own apparency to settle into a transparency to Being. Whereas Platonic thought denigrates the specificity of each transitory existent before the ideality of the form it instantiates, Parmenidean Being allows each appearance to participate in the sacredness of Being by pointing through itself, towards it. Here no hierarchy is possible. For each appearance provides an access to Being itself. To recognize that something appears is to access Being as that to which, through its instigation of the claim of being, it truly refers. The sacred reeks of the violence that severs the sacred thing from the profanity in contrast to which it shines. But where Unique Being is recognized as the sacred, no such violence arises, for Being is at once rejoined to its other—the appearances—since every thing that seems must seem to Be. *** Sacred art prior to the Parmenidean moment embodied abstract principles insufficiently general for the mind to discern its own event or for Being as such to articulate itself as the unique subject/object of sacred concern. But the feeling of the sacred embodied in such art nevertheless points toward the Parmenidean moment. Sacred art experiences the development of geometric and proportional abstraction in a sacred context and for sacred ends. The embodiment of geometrical techniques controlled by arithmetical proportion orients spiritual attention in an ascent toward an experience of the universal that need not deride the values of the particulars. In the intellectual contemplation achieved at the Parmenidean moment, axiomatic geometry and the generalization of the logical character of that geometry (the demand of Parmenides that thought be judged by proof), an aspiration implicit in previous sacred art is realized. In the development of "philosophy" thereafter—a project which Plato saw could not be prosecuted without abandoning the Parmenidean strictures on the provenience of Being—we seen the progressive desacralization of the intellectual life.