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Having slogged through this Essential Plotinus, though, I think that what I got from the TC lecturers was really all the Plotinus I needed, and that Plato, without Plotinus's added mysticism, would have be adequate preparation for Augustine. I guess I'll know more about that second point after I get to Augustine. Which Won't be for a couple books because my brain is Utterly worn out now. Plotinus is tough enough, but Elmer O'Brien, the commentator, seemed to go out of his way to beat Plotinus in writing utterly incomprehensible sentences.

For instance, on pg , in his introduction to the "Post Primals," he says "The reader should find not unprofitable the solving of one sole objection, which takes up the final two-thirds of the treatise. By such indirections often are the directions of this author's thought best discovered. The chapters that he recommended highly were invariably the ones I found most impossible to make sense of, and the ones he wasn't so crazy about were the ones I liked best. So when he gushed, I braced myself. The Post Primals "a small bright gem" and Contemplation "the best single instance of the mature thought and method of Plotinus" were particularly unclear to me.

Still there Were good bits! What I was looking forward to learning about, before I started, was Plato's Idea of the Good, and Plotinus's discussion of the One his version of the Good was very interesting. If, however, they were to turn toward their conductor, they would sing as they should and would really be with him.

We are always around The One. If we were not, we would dissolve and cease to exist. Yet our gaze does not remain fixed upon The One. When we look at it, we then attain the end of our desires and find rest. Then it is that, all discord past, we dance an inspired dance around it It is because of The One that we breathe and have our being: it does not bestow its gifts at one moment only to leave us again; its giving is without cessation so long as it remains what it is.

As we turn towards The One, we exist to a higher degree, while to withdraw from it is to fall. Our soul is delivered from evil by rising to that place which is free of all evils. There it knows. There it is immune. There it truly lives. Life not united with the divinity is shadow and mimicry of authentic life The others were, honestly, excruciating to varying degrees.

You can definitely see places where Augustine's theology was probably influenced by Plotinus Plotinus's description of his trinity, on pg 98, is clearer than the one our priest presented for the Christian Trinity last Sunday, but that isn't really a fair comparison since Plotinus's trinity isn't Really three-in-one , but there are more places where the differences are vast.

Augustine's theology certainly isn't neo-Platonism, but I do think that having struggled through Plotinus Will give me a leg up when I get to Augustine.

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And I Do like the image of all the souls dancing their "inspired dance. Jun 07, Ci rated it it was amazing Shelves: re-read-books. The dividing line between Plato and Aristotle seems to be whether virtue is both necessary and sufficient for attaining eudaemonia. That is why Aristotle is more congenial to modern age, including the modern religious life. Alternative to eudaemonia as the center theme, there is the hedonism anchoring in the sensory world of pain and pleasure. From Epicurus to utilitarianism of Bentham and John Stuart Mill, this central theme has triumphed over the modern world in politics and popular culture.

For Epicureans, virtue is an instrumental mean to the aim of pleasure, while for the eudaemonia-centered philosophers virtue is intrinsic part of soul. It is the Stoic who gives a hierarchical structure of pleasure and pain at the lower level of sensation, the virtue and vice at the higher level of life. However the overlapping themes are significant in the virtues of justice, simplicity, self-discipline, etc..

One can see how Stoic is conducive toward a Christian life while Epicurean only marginally. It is an entirely different dimensional thought. What does Plotinus bring to the map of philosophic idea? An infinite, The One, that is vertical from the realm of the world of sense but higher than the pantheistic gods. The World Soul has higher and lower part, with the higher one associated with the Intellect, the lower associated with Nature.


Where does Human stand in this scheme? Human soul resides at the border of the higher and lower realms, but it can move up or down depends on how we live our lives. We can weigh down by the world below to live at the sense-world of animals, or we can lighten our souls to return to the higher realms. For each of us is uno intelligible cosmos. By what is intellective, we are permanently in the higher realm; by our lower part, we are prisoners of sense.

The soul knows God, not by external observations, but by a return to its proper center, through the willed separation from external, sensory distractions. How do we know our soul knows God?

25) Plotinus & Neo-Platonism

From beauty we can move on to appreciate virtue. But virtue itself is not the goal, nor is pleasure. What hurdles we have to overcome? The distraction of senses in the realm of multiplicity, the seduction of images. But the structural sketch of a trinity One, Intellect, Soul and the Creator-Creature relationships emanating top-down from One to human is already outlined. It requires a reclamation of the bodily reality in human life to find the meeting point of Neoplatonism and Christianity. Otherwise the Manichaeism seems to be more reasonably agreeable to Plotinus.

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It is from St. It is unto the church fathers such as St. Augustine to argue that be a human is to be a composite of soul and body, any theology has to give some account on both. Apr 16, Charles Cavanaugh rated it really liked it. A real challenge to read.


The Essential Plotinus: Representative Treatises from the Enneads - Plotinus - Google книги

One of the last major philosophers of antiquity, he gets a lot of his ideas from Plato. He stipulates the existence of "The One" which is the supreme essence of all things, and from which all things emanate, including Intelligence and the Soul. The writing is quite dense and difficult, and you often find yourself lost in a maze of words and ideas that seem totally speculative. Despite that, the challenge of this work is refreshing and stimulating. Jul 10, Joshua Laferriere rated it really liked it.

Kind of a short hand version of the main text.

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Good for that. A truncated paraphrased copy if you will.

Oct 08, Trey Kennedy rated it it was amazing Shelves: st-johns-great-books-program. I feel absolutely in love with Plotinus with the bro-Platonic form of The One. Absolutely stunningly beautiful! Jul 29, Erick rated it really liked it Shelves: neoplatonism , philosophy , platonism.

The Heart of Plotinus: The Essential Enneads (The Perennial Philosophy)

Definitely a good book and it was high time I read Plotinus. Obviously, while there are some things in Platonism and Neoplatonism that parallel Christian theology, there are definitely things that are NOT compatible within a Christian framework. Plotinus espouses reincarnation and a division between "Being" and "the One"; in Christianity the former is rejected, while the latter is held to be one and the same; albeit possibly distinct in a Trinitarian framework.

Plotinus' notion that the One is t Definitely a good book and it was high time I read Plotinus. Plotinus' notion that the One is transcendent, while Psuche Soul and Nous intelligence is not, seems very problematic, given that numerics must stand for something, not nothing. Also, Platonism and Neoplatonism both espouse theurgy, and that, in a pagan and pantheistic framework.

Other than the preceding, there are many things in here that support certain aspects of Christian theology. One can also see much here that influenced later philosophical movements, especially German idealism. A very good read. I will probably pick up his complete works at some point in the future.

Dec 22, Phoenix Rises rated it it was amazing Shelves: ancient-literature. A terrific read and a bold philosophical vision.

The Essential Plotinus: Representative Treatises from the Enneads

Plotinus, with his philosophy, reduces the world to contemplation, where the act of thinking penetrates all being. The ultimate goal is to escape all earthly entanglements, desires, troubles, etc. He talks about his concept of The One, which for Plotinus seems to be Truth and goodness, which can be apprehended via contemplation. The One is non-discursive. Apr 15, David A.

Beardsley rated it it was amazing.