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Excerpts from "The Six Enneads" by Plotinus (vegetarian) – Happiness and Time, Part 2 of 2

2022-11-05
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Section 7 “But if we are to consider only the present and may not call in the past to make the total, why do we not reckon so in the case of time itself, where, in fact, we do not hesitate to add the past to the present and call the total greater? Why not suppose a quantity of happiness equivalent to a quantity of time? This would be no more than taking it lap by lap to correspond with time-laps instead of choosing to consider it as an indivisible, measurable only by the content of a given instant.” “If happiness demands the possession of the good of life, it clearly has to do with the life of Authentic-Existence, for that life is the best. Now the life of Authentic-Existence is measurable not by time but by eternity; and eternity is not a more or a less or a thing of any magnitude but is the unchangeable, the indivisible, is timeless being.”

Section 8 “Memory either of formerly attained wisdom and virtue - in which case we have a better person and the argument from memory is given up - or memory of past pleasures, as if the person that has arrived at felicity must roam far and wide in search of gratifications and is not contented by the bliss actually within them.”

Section 9 “But is there not something to be said for the memory of the various forms of beauty? That is the resource of a person whose life is without beauty in the present, so that, for lack of it now, they grasp at the memory of what has been.”

Section 10 “The contentment of the Sage does not hang upon such actions and events: it is their own inner habit that creates at once their felicity and whatever pleasure may accompany it. To put happiness in actions is to put it in things that are outside virtue and outside the Soul; for the soul’s expression is not in action but in wisdom, in a contemplative operation within itself; and this, this alone, is happiness.”
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