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Excerpts from “The Six Enneads” by Plotinus (vegetarian) – The Soul and Virtue, Part 1 of 2

2023-08-23
Език:English
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The issue of happiness is one of Plotinus’ greatest imprints on Western thought, as he was one of the first to introduce the idea that happiness is attainable only within consciousness. Plotinus' final words were: “Try to raise the Divine in yourselves to the Divine in the all.”

Today, we are pleased to present excerpts from “The Sixth Tractate of The First Ennead” regarding the various facets that make up the Soul.

“[…] The true man is the other, going pure of the body, natively endowed with the virtues which belong to the Intellectual-Activity, virtues whose seat is the Separate Soul, the Soul which even in its dwelling here may be kept apart.”

“‘[…] If we mean to discern the nature of the Soul we must strip it free of all that has gathered about it, must see into the philosophy of it, examine with what Existences it has touch[ed] and by kinship to what Existences it is what it is.’” “And the Soul is said to go down, to decline, only in that the object it illuminates lives by its life. And it lets the image fall only if there be nothing near to take it up; and it lets it fall, not as a thing cut off, but as a thing that ceases to be: the image has no further being when the whole Soul is looking toward the Supreme.”

“The poet, too, in the story of Hercules, seems to give this image separate existence; he puts the shade of Hercules in the lower world and Hercules himself among the gods: treating the hero as existing in the two realms at once, he gives us a twofold Hercules. It is not difficult to explain this distinction. Hercules was a hero of practical virtue. By his noble serviceableness he was worthy to be a God. On the other hand, his merit was action and not the Contemplation which would place him unreservedly in the higher realm. Therefore, while he has place above, something of him remains below.”
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