Infomotions, Inc.The philosophy of Plotinos. / Guthrie, Kenneth Sylvan, 1871-1940

Author: Guthrie, Kenneth Sylvan, 1871-1940
Title: The philosophy of Plotinos.
Publisher: New York: D'Theosophical Pub. Co., c1896.
Tag(s): plotinus; plotinos; nous; ammonius sakkas; soul; realm; philosophy; god; divine; souls
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
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Identifier: philosophyofplot00guthrich
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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1896, by the 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C. 




Chapter I. PLATONISM ..." i 

1. Plato's Three Realms i 

2. The Archetypal World of Ideas 2 

3. The World of Matter 3 

4. The Universe 3 

5. The Rank of Ideas 3 

6. The Human Soul 4 


1. Plato and Aristotle 6 

2. The Deity 7 

3. The Psychology .- 7 

4. The Ethics 8 

Chapter III. STOICISM 9 

1. Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics 9 

2. The Aristotelian Dialectic 9 

3. Cosmology 10 

4. Ethics : ii 


1. The Date of Hermes 12 

2. Relation to Christianity 12 

3. Difference from Platonism 14 

4. Hermetic Conceptions 14 

5. Cosmology 14 

6. Ethics 15 

7. Spiritual Destiny 15 



1. Ammonius Sakkas 17 

2. Plotinos 17 

3. Relation to Christianity 18 

4. The Recognition of the Authority of Plato 20 

5. Relation to Greek Philosophy 20 


1. The Contemplative Life r . y. . . _ v . 22 

2. Mikrokosm . r / v1 r.'. . . 22 

3. Psychology ttS&f^ftttW-JiiU M ' 23 

4. Cosmological Import of Psychology 24 





1. The One and the Many 26 

2. The God Above Cognisability 26 

3. The Nomenclative Symbol for the Divinity 27 

4. The God is the First Cause 27 

5. The God's Necessity to Love 27 

6. Manner of Begetting 28 

7. Relation of Cause and World 28 


MIND 30 

1. Saturn, the Cognisable Deity 30 

2. Identity of Being and Thought 30 


1. The Trinity : Over-God, Saturn, and Zeus-Rhea 32 

2. Co-equality of Souls 33 

3. The World-Soul 33 

4. The Transcendent Over-Soul 34 

5. Inter-relation of Over-Soul and Souls 34 


1. Individual Mind 36 

2. Other World-Souls 36 


1. The Senses of the Over-Soul 37 

2. Unity of Souls in the Fifth Realm 37 

3. Human Sense-Realm 37 

4. Celestial and Physical Senses 38 

5. Senses of Animals 39 


1. The Sixth ivealm 39 

2. The Sixth Realm of the Over-Soul 39 

3. The Doctrine of Sympathy 39 

4. The Beautiful 40 

5. Astrology and Vaticination 40 

6. Free Will 4i - 

7. The Daemon 4 2 


1. Evil 43 

2. Uncognisability of Matter 44 

3. Intelligibility of Matter 44 




1. Need for Reincarnation 46 

2. Justice 46 

3. The Three Factors 46 

4. Objection from Oblivion 47 

5. Objection from Suicide 47 

Chapter XV. ETHICS 48 

1. Virtue and Vice 48 

2. Philosophy of Sin 49 

3. The Path of Enlightenment : 49 

4. The Daemon of Conscience 50 

5. Ecstasy 51 

6. Happiness 52 


1. The God, the Over-Beautiful 54 

2. Human Beauty 54 


1. Pagan Deities 56 

2. Monotheism 56 

3. Augustine's Debt to Plotinos : 56 

4. The Last Light ot Greece 56 


i. Plato's Three Realms. Plato united in his system that which 
was valuable in the systems of philosophy which preceded his. 
We may therefore begin immediately with Plato in our prelimi- 
nary sketch of Greek philosophy. 

Plato divides existence into two great realms : that which can 
be felt by the senses, the "sensible" "to aistheton," and that 
which can be understood, the " knowable," " to noeton." The 
most cursory examination of the sense-world reveals the prob- 
lem of the One and the Many : for every object is one, inasmuch 
as it is an object, yet manifold in its qualities. Which of these 
is the most fundamental distinction? Earlier Greek philosophy 
had given various answers to this question ; but none of their 
conclusions satisfied Plato wholly. Being, " ousia, " as such, 
could not, thought he, be attributed to any finite thing ; on the 
contrary, "becoming," "genesis," was a fitting description of the 
phenomenal world. He proceeded further to reduce this dis- 
tinction to its Pythagorean terms, the Limited and the Unlimited. 
As both of these conceptions are united in that of a definite 
number, so the truth of both the categories of the One and the 
Many is their unity, their mixture, which fittingly represented 
the eternal process of Becoming which may be witnessed in the 
phenomenal world. 

Unity will apply fittingly to the intelligible world, which alone 
has true Being, being " existing being, " " reason, " and " ex- 
istence," " Ontos on, Logos, Ousia." 

The Manifold, on the contrary, must apply to the formless, 
odorless, chaotic matter, " hule," of which the world was form- 
ed. We thus reach a third realm of existence, which, however, 
can only be distinguished as having existed before the creation 
or formation of the phenomenal world. 

Plato thus recognizes three realms of existence : " that which 
becomes (the sense- world), that in which it becomes (matter), 
and that from which it is copied (the intelligible world). " God, 
is the~Father, the reason, the " whence it grows," the " hothen 
phuetai," of the world ; matter is the mother and nurse, the con- 
comitant cause, the " En ho gignetai to gignomenon," of the 
world ; and thus, the world is the offspring of God and Matter. 

But we must not fail to analyze this intelligible world, this 
" knowable " " to noeton." The phrase given above, "that from 

The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

which it is copied " implies that somebody copies something : 
that the Deity copies the Ideas or archetypes. There is then, 
above the intelligible world proper a still higher realm of ex- 
istence, the Deity : which, in the Pythagorean terminology ad- 
duced above would be the Mind, the " Nous," the principle or 
" cause " " aition," of the phenomenal world. 

We have thus four realms of existence : the Deity, the world 
' of Ideas, the world of Sense, and Matter. But as the latter 
realm has ceased to exist since the creation of the phenomenal 
world as such, there remain three realms of existence, which 
are sometimes referred to as the Platonic Trinity : " Nous" or 
the Deity, the intelligible world of Ideas, and the Sense-world 
the " sensible," " to aisthetikon." How loose and inaccurate 
such an appellation is, is clear from the fact that Plato himself did 
not recognize it. The Sense-world, the supposititious third 
member of the Trinity, is the only-begotten Son, "Huios mono- 
genes " of the Deity, the " Eikon tou Theou," "Zoon aidion 
kai noeton," it is a " second " God, " future " before its genesis. 
and " created " after it ; a " blessed deity." 

As the world of Ideas is a " Zoon aidion kai noeton,". an 
" eternal and intelligible organism," so the world of Sense is a 
" Zoon ennoun," an " intelligible organism," a reasonable living 
being, the creating principle of "Nous," Reason, having reduced 
the chaotic, necessary, and " alogos," irrational Matter to an 
image of the world of Ideas. 

Thus the problem of the One and the Many was apparently 
solved : every object being One, in view of its similarity to the 
Idea according to which, as a pattern, it has been created ; and 
Manifold, in view of the formless matter which had been the 
condition of its origination. 

2. The Archetypal World of Ideas. In explaining what Plato 
meant by his World of Ideas, we must notice the fact that he 
accepts the identification of Being and Thought of Parmenides. 
As a consequence, his " intelligible world " is the world of true 
existence, and everything exists only inasmuch as it participates 
in this existence. An Idea is that which makes a horse a horse, 
and a tree a tree ; in short it is a general notion, an universal, a 
species or genus, which abides unchanged amidst all the changes 
of the individuals to which it applies. Hence the world of Ideas 
is " in the supercelestial place," " En topo huperouranio," be- 
yond all change, far beyond this world, separate from the ob- 
jects participating in it. The Ideas are archetypes, "paradigms" 
" Paradeigmata," of every quality and every thing, many Ideas 
at times being present in one and the same thing, as "just" and 
" tall " in a " man." These Ideas are co-ordinate, being distinct 
entities, although they also rank hierarchically from the highest 
genus to the lowest species, as they are the existence, being, aim 
and end of everything subsumed under them. Yet they are 
passive thoughts, and are without energy ; they are only objects 
of contemplation, far from the world. 


3. The World of Matter. It the Intelligible world, the " One " 
is real existence, it follows that Matter, the " Many," is nonex- 
istence. It is therefore absurd to call Plato's philosophical sys- 
tem a dualism. Matter, " Hule," the indeterminate, has only neg- 
ative predicates, it lacks form and quality, and cannot be appre- 
hended by the senses. It can only be space, the form of out- 
wardness, that is, coexistence and unordered sequence. It is an 
empty form waiting for a content to be impressed upon it. It 
is nothing, an abstraction from reality ; yet it is absolute neces- 
sity, and though not able to oppose the divine power, yet able to 
mar its works. 

4. The Universe. The Sense- world is the most beautiful world * 
possible, being framed according to the most perfect of patterns, 5 
by the best cause. " He was good ; and in a good being no 
envy in relation to anything ever resides, but being without this 
he wished everything to become as like himself as possible." We 
saw that the Sense-world was an " intelligible organism," "Zoon 
ennoun." It is consequently able to think: and this is the char- 
acteristic of mind, and mind exists in a soul, and a soul in a 
body. As the younger should not rule the elder, and mind rules 
the body, the mind of the world was older than the body of the 
world. The Universe is therefore a living being, with a rational 
soul interpenetrating its body. It regulates and harmonizes the 
world ; for as human bodies partake of the physical Universe, 
so do human souls proceed from the souls of the Universe. 

The Universe thus created is formed in two circles with a 
common centre, in different planes ; the inner circle is subdivid- 
ed into seven circles moving in directions opposite to that of the 
outer one. Here we have the fixed stars and the seven planets 
with their orbits. 

5. The Rank of Ideas. Having explained the nature of Ideas it 
remains for us to describe the rank and dignity they occupy. All 
together they form an "intelligible world." an "intelligible place" 
an "intelligible organism," "Kosmos noetos," a "Topos noetos," 
a Zoon noeton." The cause of a thing is not the condition of 
its existence, but its purpose ; and the ultimate purpose of pur- 
poses is the ruler of all other Ideas, " basileus," the king of 
heaven, " Dophia, Zeus." Plato combined here the Mind of 
Anaxagoras, and the Good " /-vgathon," of the Megareans and 
Sokrates into an " Epekeina tes Ousias," a " somewhat beyond 
existence" an existence beyond all Being, the Ideas partaking of 
Being, " ousia." This Being is both Mind and Good : a con- ) 
scious good Being, the Idea, the absolute Unity excluding all, 
Manifoldness, a glorious fulfilment of the Eleatic dreams. Such : 
a conception of the Deity lifts him in a separate realm of exis- 
tence, above all other Ideas soever. 

That this was Plato's conception has been much doubted. He, 
the Creator, has been identified with the Idea of the Good, as 
both are called by Plato " the best of the intelligible and eter- 
nally existing beings." He is himself the pattern he copies in 

The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

the creation, since he is said to copy an eternal pattern. The 
world is therefore called a " sensible God," an " image of the in- 
telligible," and an " image of the eternal gods." Zeller thinks 
the ideas cannot depend on God without affecting their self-exis- 
tence ; God cannot be dependent on the ideas, for the same rea- 
son, and both cannot be co-ordinate without creating a dualism 
Plato knows nothing of. Consequently, God and the Idea of 
the Good are identical. This view of Zeller's creates more diffi- 
culties than it explains ; for it does not account for the language 
quoted above, and it permits us to ask, why was it the Idea of 
the Good and not some other Idea which took upon itself the 
office of a Creator ? Why do not several Ideas create separate 

And besides, a Creator such as we have described is absolute- 
ly needed by Plato in his Physics. The Ideas are true existence, 
and Matter is non-existence ; and both are separate. How shall 
the rational principle infuse itself into matter to make it a ration- 
al organism, unless the God who contemplates the Idea, gen- 
erates them as a poet in himself, and thus, so to speak, incar- 
nates them ? For Plato has no principle of Emanationism to 
assist him, as had Aristotle. 

6. The Human Soul. We have seen that the Soul of the Uni- 
verse began the human souls. Yet we have other accounts 
of their creation, which set forth that the Creator compounded 
human souls in the same vessel in which he had compounded 
the Soul of the Universe, the difference being that the elements 
used were less pure ; and after creating them, the Creator as- 
signed to each Soul its appropriate star. Thus the World-Soul 
and each human soul are sisters, and not related to each other 
as mother and daughter. 

Each soul is composed of three parts. The first is reason, " ten 
logistikon," which has its seat in the head, and is the organ of 
knowledge. Its moderate regulation is the virtue called wisdom,) 
the opposite of this virtue is the vice, foolishness. The second 
part of the soul attends to all bodily wants, and its name is the 
" Epithumetikon." It is the organ of perception, and has its 
seat in the abdomen (the solar plexus). To this part of the soul 
God has added, in the liver, an organ of intuitive and presen- 
timentative knowledge. The moderate exercise of this part of 
the soul is the virtue " Sophrosune," self-control, and its op- 
'posite habits is the vice " Akolasia," intemperance. Lastly, we\ 
have the third part of the soul, "to Thumoeides" the courageous \ 
part of the soul, prepared by the secondary deities, presumably 
the World-Soul, and this is the organ of whose moderate exer- 
cise is the virtue " Andria," courage, as opposed to the vice 
" Deilia," cowardice. The fourth virtue, " Dikaiosune," justice, 
is the right relation between the above three virtues, and when it 
is exercised towards God, it becomes " Hosiotes," holiness or 
piety, since it is man's end to resemble God, who is absolutely 
good. This is happiness. Virtue is the health and order and 
harmony of the soul, and should therefore be followed irrespec- 


tive of consequences or sanctions ; for to do injustice is worse 
than to suffer it from another. This philosophy demands the 
rationality of the entire man. 

Yet, in a single life on earth, injustice to souls is patent. God 
is just : consequently this life cannot be all. The soul exists 
both before and after this life; it transmigrates through all forms 
according to inexorable justice. If the soul of a wise man erred, 
his next incarnation would be in the body of a woman ; if the 
soul persisted in its evil ways, the next incarnation would be 
that of an animal. If howeyer a soul for several incarnations 
chose the study of philosophy, it would soon become perma- 
nently freed from the necessity of reincarnating. 

Pleasure is not necessarily good : it may indeed be evil ; mod- 
eration and health of the soul are pleasurable in themselves. 
Pleasure is in itself antithetically opposed to all true insight. 



i. Plato and Aristotle. In order to understand Aristotle it 
will be advantageous to notice his points of contact with and dif- 
ference from his great Master. 

Both were agreed that Matter was indeterminate, the ground 
of all Plurality, the concomitant cause, the feminine principle, 
the mother and the nurse of the world. Here they separate. 
With Plato, Matter is non-existence, emptiness, vo'id, "in which" 
" En ho. w With Aristotle Matter is incomplete, undeveloped 
" dunamis " or power and possibility, " Ex hou," "out of which." 
Matter, according to Aristotle, is much moie real than according 
to Plato ; the latter's system may be described as a monism ; 
even though the former's may be interpreted as a dualism. 

With Plato, the Ideas were transcendent above the World that 
participated in them. They were self-existent, objectively real. 
With Aristotle, all objective existence apart from immanence in 
the things which participated in them was denied them. They 
are only the essence of the species, energy, " energeia," form. 
These universals realise themselves in the matter, and particu- 
larize themselves into things. 

Matter, or potentiality, and Form, or energy, are so closely 
united that Reality results from both as a third principle. This 
their invariable union is " perceptible substance," as the statue 
which results from the union of the bronze and the shape. In 
all reality, therefore, we may distinguish the mover and the 
moved, the active and the passive. Thus all reality is teleologi- 
cal, having an end or aim to which it moves, as the magnet 
moves to the steel. A teleological aim is the very reason of mo- 
tion, and of every change of matter ; which is real existence. 
We now have a principle which is a satisfactory solution to 
Plato's unanswered question why the Ideas were impressed in 
Matter ; for we have here purposive activity, ranging through 
all the octaves of creation, the moving and the moved principles. 

This conception which is original to Aristotle is that of de- 
velopment, with which he finally solved the ever recurring prob- 
lem of the One and the Many, which Greek philosophy was 
haunted by, and which Plato only restated in new terms. 

Reality is thus the essence of the phenomena ; being, " ousia," 
becomes essence, the " what it might be to exist " " To ti en 
einai " ; and all appearance is the realisation of essence. The 

A ristotelianism. 

mere, inert. " becoming " of Plato has become the living " de- 
velopment " as soon as a teleological view of it is taken. This 
self-realization of essence in the Sense-world is called an en- 
telechy, " Entelechia," which takes place under four principles, 
Matter, Form, End and Cause. The first two of these principles 
refer tp things related to each other ; and the latter to individual 

2. The Deity. When we ask for the origin of the motion of 
the moving principles, it is answered that this must again be a 
moving principle. As, however, we cannot make a regress into 
the infinite, we musr come to some prime Mover, himself un- 
moved, that excludes all passivity and potentiality, and is pure 
activity and energy. This is without Matter, " aneu hules," 
purus actus, eternal in its motion, simple, continuous, without 
the limitation of space. Thus the source of movement is found 
outside of the substances moved. It cannot cause motion, be- 
cause every end aimed at is an instance of this process, and the 
prime Mover of the world is its final end, the best, the efficient 
cause. All reality lies between Matter and the prime Mover after 
which everything strives and which everything desires. The 
prime Mover is One, devoid of all multiplicity: therefore immortal, 
pure, desiring nothing, desired of all. On this account it is the 
end of scientific cognition ; and because eternal, and eternally 
desired of all, no unification between God and his world be- 
yond eternal desire is possible. The divine Mind thinks of itself 
eternally : in it thinker and thought are eternally one, and at 
rest ; ^f it thought of creation or of something else it would not 
be at rest. Human speculation or contemplation of pure thought 
is the most divine occupation possible to man, re-discovering 
God in blissful rest. Thus God is the end of human contem- 
plation, thought of thought. 

The Deity, according to Plato, was an Idea of Ideas ; accord- 
ing to Aristotle, it was a self-contained prime Mover of all real- 
ity, transcendent above his world. And this world lay between 
himself and Matter, opposed to him, because excluded from him. 

The name of the Deity of Aristotle is the same as that of 
Plato, The Good, and The Mind. Aristotle claims to take these 
names not from Plato but from Anaxagoras, from whose Deity 
Plato has also borrowed the name of his Idea of Ideas. Yet it 
is true that the Deity of Aristotle is nearer to that of Anaxagoras 
than that of Plato ; for the former one was the all-including end 
of all the "Logoi" of things, the principle of motion in all reality. 

3. The Psychology. The psychology of Aristotle is radically 
different from that of Plato. Man is a mikrokosm ; his soul 
unites all the faculties of other orders of living beings. Never- 
theless, the human soul may be divided into two parts: that which 
pre-exists and survives the body, and that which dies with it. The 
former is called " Nous," reason, in general. It is the faculty 
by which man excels all living beings. The latter is subdivided 
into five " souls " or planes of consciousness. Each organ ex- 
ists in view of some end, which is an activity : so the body ex- 

The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

ists for the soul. The two lowest " souls " man possesses in 
common with animals and plants : the " vegetable " and " as- 
similating " or " reproductive " souls. The difference between 
plants and animals is that the latter have a common centre or 
central organ, the heart ; which the former do not possess. With 
animals, men share the " sensitive," " appetitive," and " loco- 
motive " souls, which include memory, desire, and self-activity. 
The reason itself, the distinctively human faculty, may be divid- 
ed into two parts : the passive and active reason ; the passive 
" dunamis " is a " tabula rasa " and receives forms ; on the other 
hand the active " energeia " generates forms and this active rea- 
son alone has substantial eternal existence. The active " Nous " 
is represented as divine, although in Aristotle's cosmology we 
found no place for such a direct unification of soul and God ; 
since God, rapt up in himself transcended the Universe. In this 
its highest sphere we must consider Aristotle's psychology and 
cosmology inconsistent. 

So far, then, the human soul is composed of seven subordinate 
souls or planes of consciousness. If however we take the two 
lowest as only one, then man will be found to have only six con- 
stituent elements, or counting the body as one, in addition, we 
will have seven. 

4. The Ethics. As little as Aristotle's cosmology and psycho- 
logy agree, so little does his system of Ethics agree with either. 
Plato's Ethics we saw to be intimately connected with his psy- 
chology. Aristotle is however here the true empiricist ; he finds 
in Plato's account five virtues ; he adds to them other virtues he 
finds in other philosophies, without much regard to his psychol- 
ogy. Besides, he differs from Plato in making a virtue the mean 
between two extremes, whereas his Master had only known of 
a virtue and its contradictory vice. The. teleological end of 
action which Aristotle assumes is happiness, " eudaimonia," 
the mean habit of human activity. He pretends to deduce it 
from experience ; but finally assumes it as self-evident. He di- 
vides his virtues into dianoetic and natural ; but here he forgets 
to define what the dianoetic virtues are. He only points out 
various gradations of truth-conception, of which the " Nous," 
with its immediate grasp of intelligible principles reaches the 
highest. The good of every being is the rational development 
of its powers, and as man's characteristic quality is his reason, 
the dianoetic will be the highest. But we have already remarked 
that he neglect? to define these all-important virtues. 


1. Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics. What Aristotle was to Plato, 
that the Stoics were to Aristotle. Aristotle denied the trans- 
cendence of the Ideas beyond their immanence in things ; the 
Stoics denied the transcendence of Aristotle's Deity, and recog- 
nized it as only immanent in the world, so that while Aristotle 
called his Theology " Dialectics," the Stoics called theirs "Phy- 
sics." Yet the Stoics belong to a later age than either Plato or 
Aristotle, for with the latter's comprehensive glance all former 
constructive work was ended. It remained for the Peripate- 
tics and Academicians, the Stoics and Epicureans, to combine 
what was given before. Besides, the Stoics and Epicureans were 
more interested in Ethics, or the practical life, than in theoretic 
discussions. They preferred to borrow their Dialectic almost 
ready-made from Aristotle, and their Physics from Herakleitos. 
In this interest in Ethics they considered themselves followers of 
Sokrates, looking on him as the pattern of the virtuous wise man. 
and were the beginners of the movement in philosophy which 
lasted for several centuries, being characterized by this prefer- 
ence for Ethics over abstract reasoning. 

2. The Aristotelian Dialectic. Their Dialectic they borrow from 
Aristotle with the following changes. It is named Logic, be- 
cause its treats of " Logos," reason, which is already conceived 
as "implicit" "Endiathetos" and "explicit" "Prophorikos." Logic 
then is divided into Rhetoric and Dialectic proper ; its business 
is however only secondary to Ethics, teaching how to avoid 
errors. Doing away with all but the first four of Aristotle's 
categories, they reach a criterion of truth, " right reason," 
" orthos Logos " the quality of compelling assent, logical neces- 
sity. Knowledge originates from sensation, the mind being a 
"tabula rasa" at first. Thus, instead of Platonic Ideas or Aristo- 
telian essence we have reflection or abstraction from these men- 
tal images or impressions. This shows us that nothing is real 
except corporeal matter ; the best of reality is nothing but the 
quality of occupying space. Reality which with Aristotle was 
the product of four principles, Matter, Form, Efficient Cause and 
Final Cause, is now the product of only two principles, the active 
and passive ones, which are inseparable. They do not know 
anything of a pure " Energeia," or " Nous "; they only know of 

io The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

a conscious principle " Reason " or " Logos " connected insep- 
arably with the universe, just as the human soul or " Reason " 
or " Logos " is united to the human body. This cosmical force, 
moving, active, moulding, reasonable, is " Reason," " Logos," 
and is the Deity. This form-principle is called " Logos," Soul, 
ether, nature, Zeus, and fire not destructive, but constructive. 
Being constructive this divine fire is the womb and grave of all 
things, containing the rational germs " spermatic reasons," 
" logoi spermatikoi," of all things. The human soul is of like 
character with the World-Soul, and the breathing-in of the cool 
air of the atmosphere assists its generation and preservation. 

The human soul however, seems to be composed of different 
elements, the governing force, is " the logical powers," " to 
logistikon," seated in the breast, the generative function, speech 
and the five senses. This would make eight component parts, 
the crudeness of which classification is apparent at first sight. 

Although the Stoics recognised only two principles, the pass- 
ive " matter," " He. apoios ousia," and the active, " The God " 
" Ho Theos," " in which reason exists," yet on the other hand 
the divine soul is represented as being composed of Hexis, 
phusis, psuche," " habit," " nature," " soul," and finally " Nous." 
In this we may trace a faint resemblance to Aristotle's 

The formation of the world then took place by change of the 
divine fire into air and water ; which water separates into earth, 
water and fire. Earth and water are passive ; the finer air and 
fire are active. Finally at the end of a definite age, all things are 
resolved into the divine fire (conflagrative) after which the world 
will be once more created, the same things as before happening 
without variation into infinity, without any thing new. This of 
course brings into the finite spherical world absolute " destiny " 
" Heimarmene," and " providence," "Pronoia ". Destiny how- 
ever only related to auxiliary causes so that primary causes re- 
mained in our own free will and desire, whose actions were fore- 
seen but not predetermined by providence. As to the immor- 
tality of the soul, Stoic teachers differed. 

3. The Ethics. The Stoics introduced into the domain of 
Ethics several new conceptions. In the first place, man was 
considered only in relation to himself, not in relation to the 
State of Plato or Aristotle. To live according to nature is not 
to live according to the nature of others, but according to one's 
own nature ; the sage need only know himself. Thus the max- 
im to live harmoniously with reason becomes an exhortation to 
live harmoniously, in an absolute sense. In the second place, 
they introduced the conception of Duty, " ofncium ". This does 
not only regulate a natural impulse, as with Aristotle, but has the 
power to suppress it. It suppresses all "affective states," "Pathe." 
fear, trouble, desire and pleasure, as leading only to morbid 
states, pleasure and pain and therefore worthless. "Apathy " 
" Apatheia " is consequently the highest human state in con- 
tradistinction to the Epicurean freedom from pain. This state 

Stoicism. 1 1 

can be attained by making dominant in one's nature those ele- 
ments which do not depend on external circumstances, so that 
the sage is dependent on none but himself, and can be happy 
even in the bull of Phalaris. The sage is then equal to Zeus, 
except in the unimportant physical things. Pleasure may legiti- 
mately follow the activity of the sage, but should not precede it. 
The sage is perfectly virtuous for if he has one virtue he will 
have all the rest the usual Platonic virtues, the end of man 
being not contemplation but action. In this account of the four 
virtues the Stoics seem to have completely lost sight of the rela- 
tion between them and Plato's psychology, their own psychology 
being at best very crude. 

All men are either fools or advancing towards wisdom, which 
is to live according to nature, making human conduct agree 
with the all-controlling law of nature, or, as some prefer to 
put it, the Divine Will. Yet to live in associations is but the 
means of living for oneself, to attain the chief good ; for the 
sage is neither husband nor citizen. The wise will live in an 
ideal state embracing all men as such, dividing wealth and ad- 
vantages equally to all. Suicide was a legitimate means of end- 
ing suffering. 

The Ethics of the Stoics were in later times formulated into 
maxims by Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, which agree so 
closely with some of the teachings of the New Testament that 
they have been charged with plagiarism. Such a charge is only 
plausible to those who are ignorant of the writings of the earlier 
Stoics and the natural development of doctrine. The best evi- 
dence of this is that Marcus Aurelius detested Christianity. And 
this may have arisen from the fact that while its ethical maxims 
agreed with his, yet he could not make rational to himself the 

This sketch of Stoicism would not be complete without 
mention of their tendency to seek an allegorical meaning be- 
neath the exoteric sense of the words. Demokritos, Anaxagoras, 
Aristotle and the Cynics, had already explained the fables of the 
gods as beautiful allegories, symbolizing spiritual truths. To 
the Stoics, however, belongs the merit of having done this 
systematically in relation to all Pagan divinities, recklessly violat- 
ing the most evident rules of etymology. We will find this 
allegorical method of interpretation in Philo Judaeus, and after 
him in the mystics of all ages. 


1. The Date of Hermes. The time in which Hermes Trismeg- 
istus lived is lost in uncertainty. It is impossible to assume his 
identity with the traditional Hermes of Egyptian fame. Cas- 
aubon and L. Menard suppose the writer of the Hermetica to 
have been an Alexandrian living at the end of the first.and at 
the beginning of the second century, who may have assumed 
the name of Hermes for several reasons, either that he thought 
his doctrines agreed with those of Hermes, or because his dia- 
logues introduced Hermes as a speaker, just as Plato introduced 
Sokrates ; or, finally, to gain authority and fame for his works. 
He must have lived after Philo Judaeus, and Josephus, and have 
been thoroughly imbued with the writings of Plato. He must 
have been an early contemporary of Justin Martyr, who refers 
to his doctrine of the Unity of God, and one of whose writings 
contains a passage verbally identical with one in thePoemandres, 
the only complete extant Hermetic work. Besides, Tertullian. 
136-216, A. D., mentions him, so that the writer must have lived 
between the time of Josephus and that of Tertullian. 

That the Hermetic writings had influence over Ammonius 
Sakkas, 241 A. D., is rendered possible by mention of him in the 
works of Asklepios, the reputed grandson of Hermes. Besides, 
several Hermetic fragments are addressed to an Ammon, who 
might be Ammonius Sakkas, if these Hermetic fragments were 
of the times of a disciple of Hermes living in the time of Ask- 

2. Relation to Christianity. There is no good ground for call- 
ing Hermes a Christian. The Fathers O quote him whenever 
his doctrine agrees with theirs, or could be so misunderstood as 
to fit. their purpose. This fact however, should rather raise the 
opposite presumption ; for they were endeavouring to support 
their own opinions by quotations from well-known heathen 
writers, as for instance Plato and Homer, who were authorities 
among the heathen. That Lactantius ( 2 ) and Cyril of Alexan- 
dria ( 3 ) praised him means little or nothing ; for even the Chris- 
tian Justin held the Logos to be only a " second God," a doc- 
trine condemned at Nicaea. 

If Hermes was familiar with the writings of Philo, he must 
have also become familiar with the locutions of the Septuagint. 
which Philo considered inspired. On this ground, therefore, if 

Emanationism. 13 

Hermes is considered a Christian, we must do the like by Philo. 
The passages which are most often advanced as proofs of the 
Christianity of Hermes are as follows. " Thou, O Child, send 
an acceptable sacrifice to The God, Father of all things. But 
add also, O Child, through the Logos " Dia tou Logou (4)." 
These words are Philonic in every particular ; especially the 
name "The God." They cannot therefore constitute acquaint- 
ance with the Christian dogma of the Trinity. Again, " Tat. 
Who is the generator of the regeneration ? Hermes. The Son 
of the God, One Man, by the will of the God ( B )." Here we see 
Philonism again, especially in the expression " one man," 
which refers to the Logos, who must be a man since the human 
race is in the image of the Logos. -That the " one man " cannot 
refer to the human body of Jesus is plain because from the follow- 
ing passage we see that this " one man " existed before the cre- 
ation of the world, whereas the human body of Jesus only or- 
iginated several thousand years after it. " But the Father of all 
things, the Mind, being life and light, began a Man like unto 
himself, whom he loved as his own child, for he was very beau- 
tiful, having the image of the Father. For The God loved his 
own form, and to this delivered over all his own creations ( 8 )." 
" Of whom sowing, O Father ? Of the son of the God ( 7 )." 
Thus the Son is the Organism of all things ( 8 ) and the Tool of 
God's Will ( 9 ). 

It has also been asserted that the following words constitute a 
reference to the Holy Spirit : " But The Mind, The God, being 
masculine-feminine, originating life and light, begat by reason 
another Mind-Creator, who being God of the Fire and Spirit 
created seven administrators ( 10 )." This refers to the Logos, 
and as we shall see these seven administrators are not the seven 
names of the Spirit but the seven heavens of which the world 
is composed. It is therefore another name for the Logos, and 
nothing more. 

Again, " Immediately from the downborne elements springs 
forth the Word of The God, to the pure creation of all Nature, 
and was united to the creative Mind, for it was consubstantial, 
(Homo-ousios) with it (")." We thus see that what above 
appeared to be referred to the third person of the Trinity is here 
referred to what would be the second ; which is also called " the 
spiritual Word ( 12 )." Besides, the word "consubstantial," "Ho- 
mo-ousios " was not used by any Christian writer of repute for 
more than a century after this, in the days of Athanasius. Con- 
sequently, Hermes cannot have used this word in the distinc- 
tively theological meaning, whereas it agreed with his Philonism, 
that all things were in God, but not God in them. 

But besides showing negatively that Hermes was' not a Chris- 
tian, we may show this positively by noticing the fact that he 
held to doctrines never countenanced by Christian authorities 
The Deity is masculine-feminine ( 13 ), there is a metempsychosis 
of souls, regeneration is accomplished by silence, and divination 
is aporoved of ( 14 ). 

14 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

3. Difference from Platonism. Hermetic doctrine differs from 
Platonism in several important particulars. 

In the first place, we must notice the crude anthropomorphism, 
by which the first and second orders of existence are likened 
to the human figure. Plato's conception of the Deity was too 
exalted to call it anything but " Epekeina tes Ousias," " that 
which is beyond all Being," " Over-Existence." 
^ Plato's highest order oi being was alone Mind, " Nous." Here 
" Nous " is predicated of the two highest orders of being, with- 
out making it clear whether there is any difference of degree 
between them. 

Hermes limits the transmigration of souls to human bodies, 
and represents that God saves the souls from " this shame," of 
being sent into the bodies of animals. Plato in his figurative 
way seemed to countenance such animal transmigration. 

4. Hermetic Conceptions. In the Emanationism of the author 
of the Hermetic writings, the Universe is composed of a number 
of spheres of being, each the image of the other next above it 
( 1B ). The highest sphere of being is The God ( 16 ), the next is 
the Logos, the Son of God ( 17 ), and beyond him, there are seven 
successive spheres of Being of which all things in heaven and 
earth are composed ( 18 ). Thus, there are nine spheres of being, 
each proceeding from the other, in the image of its begettor ; 
Matter being the outermost ( 19 ). When God is considered apart 
from the world, the latter, including the Logos, is called the 
Ogdoad C 20 ). 

Psychology is analogical to cosmology. The soul is divided 
into four parts ( 21 ) : " But the soul of man is carried on in 
this way. The Mind in the reason, " Logos," the reason in the 
soul, the soul in the spirit, the spirit in the body." Death is 
only the retiring of the spirit from the physical body ( 22 ). 

5. Cosmology. Although the Hermetic writer speaks of an 
Ogdoad besides God, he usually sums up all existence in three 
orders of being, by comprehending the seven spheres proceed- 
ing from the Logos under the title Soul. Thus we find the so- 
called Platonic trinity: The God, the World, and the Soul ( 23 ). 
He says: " First The God, Second the World, third the Man ; 
the World because of the Man, but Man because of the God 
Of the entities some indeed are in bodies, some in ideas, but 
some energies ; but body is in ideas, but idea and energy in 
body ( 24 )." 

The first principle, The God, is the beginning and cause of 
all things ( 25 ) ; his name is Logos, the God, the beautiful, the 
good ( 28 ). In the Universe there is nothing which is not in 
the God; whence neither magnitude, nor place, nor quality, nor 
figure is about the God. He is the Universe and the Universe 
is around all things. 

The second principle is " God," as contrasted with " the God." 
He is the "first-begotten of God," and the "second God." ("). 
He is also called " the Logos (*)." 

The third principle is Soul, which may also be called " God," 

Emanationism. 15 

though in a sense lower than that in which it applied is the 
second principle ( 29 ). 

The Logos is the archetypal system of ideas C 30 ), and is the 
Creator, whom the first principle generates, because it is his na- 
ture to be good, and because he has a passion for good. " For 
just as a man cannot live apart from life, so neither can the God 
live without doing the good. For this is as it were Life, and as 
it were motion of the God, to move all things, and to vivify ( 81 )." 

" While the First Principle is the Creator in respect to the 
Second Principle, the Second Principle is the Creator proper 

C 2 )." 
The physical world is of course the body of the World-Soul 

C 33 )- 

6. Ethics. The human soul develops by the experiences it 
gathers in a series of reincarnations ( 34 ) which are limited to 
human bodies by the guardianship of good spirits. "For of 
The God is this law, to guard a human soul from this so great 
disgrace C 36 ) " of entering the body of an animal. 

Between the Soul and the Father is the Logos, or Second 
Principle, the mediating element, the organ of God's will ( 36 ). 
This is the " prize for souls ( 37 )." " And this is the administra- 
tion of the Universe, dependent from the nature of the One and 
pervading it through the Mind of the One. Than which nothing 
is more divine and energetic, or more unitive of men to the 
Gods, of Gods to the men. This is the Good Daemon. Blessed 
the soul which is fullest of this ; unfortunate the soul that is void 
of this C 38 )." 

Man must hate the body, in order to love himself, the Soul 
C"). Man is attracted to God by contemplation, as iron to the 
magnet C 40 ). Thus, contrariwise, impiety brings its own punish- 
ment in darkness and fire '( 41 ). The only evil is ignorance of 
the Deity C 42 ). And it is possible to discern him through all 
things by natural knowledge, since everything is his image, re- 
motely or directly ( 43 ). 

The manner by which the soul reaches its development is the 
regeneration of silent contemplation, the " silent prayer " of the 
later mystics. " Accept rational sacrifices pure from soul and 
heart intent upon thee, O Unspeakable, Ineffable, Invoked by 
silence C 44 )." Thus intellectual wisdom lies in silence ( 4B ). 
" Draw to thyself and it will come ; wish and it becomes. Lay 
to rest the senses of the body and it will be the generation of the 
Deity. Purify thyself from the rational avengers of the Matter 
C 46 )." The road to be travelled by every soul passes through the 
twelve signs of the Zodiac ( 4T ) " of the nature indeed, but of all 
shaped forms." 

Besides silence, the way to reach God is to wrong no man ( 48 ) ; 
" But the worship of God is one : not to be evil C 48 )." 

7. Spiritual Destiny. The end of life is to become divine. 
" For it is possible, O Child, that the soul be deified, placed in 
the body of man, having beheld the beauty of thy good ( M )." 
"Knowest thou not that thou hast been born The God, and Son of 

16 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

the One, which also am I? ( 51 )" " But the human soul, not every 
one but the pious, is a kind of daemonhood and divine; and such 
a soul, after the departure from the body, having striven the 
strife of this piety (but strife of piety is to have known the God, 
and to have wronged no man) becomes wholly Mind ( 62 )." Thus 
some men are Gods already, and their humanity is nigh to the 
Deity ( 53 ). 

Transmigration of souls is only the means by which such a 
deification can be accomplished. " And there, in order, they 
mount upwards to the Father, and they deliver themselves up to 
the powers, and becoming powers they become The God. This is 
the good ending of those who attain knowledge, to be made 
divine (")" Again, "Thou seest, O Child, how many bodies 
we must pass through, and how many choirs of daemons, and 
continuity and courses of the stars we must accomplish, that we 
may hasten to the One and Only God ( M )." 



1. Ammonius Sakkas. The founder of Neo-Platonism was 
Ammonius Sakkas, of Alexandria. According to Porphyry and 
Theodoret, he was the son of Christian parents of humble cir- 
cumstances, and became a labourer. Soon however he changed 
his occupation and devoted himself to philosophy. He aban- 
doned Christianity, as he could not approve of Christian hos- 
tility to science and speculations. Later in life, he taught phil- 
osophy with great success, teaching orally, and demanding a 
promise from his students to keep his doctrines secret. Among 
his students were the two Origens, Herennius and Plotinos. We 
only know of his doctrines that he discovered the agreement of 
Aristotle with Plato, a remark supported by a statement of his 
doctrines by his disciple Plotinos, who said that he felt himself 
no more bound by his promise after the heathen Origen and 
Herennius had broken theirs. 

2. Plotinos. Plotinos always remained silent about his birth- 
day and place of birth ; he was almost ashamed of having a 
body, and would not sit for a picture. Yet it is supposed on 
good authority that he must have been born in 204 or 205 A. D., 
in Lycopolis, in Egypt. In his twenty-eighth year he became 
the pupil of Ammonius Sakkas and was so carried away with the 
greatness of his teacher that he is reported to have said "Teuton 
Ezetoun," " this is the man for me!" From the time he first met 
him, he never left his side until the death of Ammonius Sakkas 
broke up their mutual intercourse, which had now lasted eleven 
years. Feeling that he had no other ties to bind him to Alex- 
andria, he determined to go to Persia and India, to learn the 
wisdom of the East. To accomplish this purpose he had at- 
tached himself to the army of Gordian which was destined to a 
campaign in the East ; but when the army broke up, he was 
forced to return with it to Rome, where he settled as a teacher 
of philosophy, holding consultations and successfully managing 
his school till in his sixty-sixth year he died (270 A. D.) 

As a teacher his success was great, instructing poor as well 
as rich. The Emperor Gallienus and the Empress Salonina, 
among others, attended his lectures. This success was due not 
only to his wisdom but also to his personal influence and power. 
Above all, he owed much of it to his genuineness and spiritual- 
ity. During the time that Porphyry lived with him he enjoyed 
four times the ecstasy which he had preached to others as being 
the height of human attainment. 

i8 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

According to his wish, Porphyry collected and edited his writ- 
ings. These consisted of twenty-one earlier, and thirty-three 
later short essays on various topics. Porphyry gathered these 
into groups of nine, which he called Enneads. The order in 
which he placed them was the chronological order of the times 
when they were written, so that they are not arranged according 
to the subjects discussed. The style of Plotinos is marred by 
continual repetitions and very many obscurities of thought and 
diction, so that a systematic representation of his doctrines is no 
easy task. 

As Plotinos considered himself a disciple of Ammonius Sak- 
kas, we may for practical purposes assume that his writings rep- 
resent the thought of his Master on all important points. 

3, Relation to Christianity. The system of Plotinos is so beauti- 
ful and so coherent that Christian writers have not been slow 
to ascribe all that is good in it to the early Christian training of 
Ammonius Sakkas. How little such a claim means can be under- 
stood when we recollect that Clement of Alexandria accused 
Homer and Plato of stealing their best thoughts from the Jew- 
ish prophets. Consequently such an explanation of the good 
elements of Neo-Platonism would not merit any answer if it 
were not that by such a claim (which is still made to-day) the 
value of non- Christian philosophy is seriously impaired, and 
Christianity is credited with more than it deserves. 

In the first place, Ammonius Sakkas was a mere child when 
Christian, and left Christianity as soon as he became able to 
think for himself. Besides, Eusebius ( 2 ) distinctly states that he 
left Christianity on account of its hostility to science and phil- 
osophy, the very subject of dispute ; and it is well known that 
converts become the bitterest enemies of their former beliefs. 
Would it be likely that Amirpnius Sakkas would permit himself 
to be influenced by Christianity in the very thing on account of 
which he left it? 

Not a single word or similarity of expression in the Enneads 
betrays any acquaintance with the Christian formulations, nor 
does Plotinos anywhere betray that his doctrines had arisen in 
opposition to or imitation of Christianity ; he utterly ignores it. 
And the reason of this is plain ; for the Christians usually be- 
longed to the lowest and most unphilosophic classes, with a 
few exceptions ; and it seems almost amusing to think that a 
man so deeply read in philosophy as Plotinos or Ammonius 
Sakkas were should borrow all their best doctrines from emin- 
ently unphilosophic sources. 

Further, if we examine the state of contemporary Christian 
philosophy we will see that it is almost without exception a ste- 
reotyped form of Philonism adapted to the New Testament. 
There are no original conceptions, and no learning ; Clement's 
quotations from Greek literature being mostly made up at 
second hand from cheap anthologies ( 8 ). How then could this 
barren source furnish the acknowledged rich results of Neo- 

Relation to Christianity. ig 

Besides, none can read the Enneads without seeing that Ploti- 
nos is thoroughly at home in all Greek philosophy, devoting 
whole books to the refutation of Aristotle's categories and other 
tenets, so that we are certain he took all his philosophic material 
at first hand from philosophy itself. 

All this, however, is only negative proof ; positive proof is 
also at hand. The doctrines of Plotinos do not in any case 
agree with the Christian doctrines, and show no derivation from 
them. The Christian conception of the Trinity, in its orthodox 
form, is that all three Persons are co-equal in rank, and all three 
are separate from the world, and as far from it the one as the 
other. The Triad of intelligible beings that may be found in 
Plotinos is God, the Mind, and individual Souls, each hierarchi- 
cally subordinated to the other, and including the world as phy- 
cal being in the latter term. Moreover, the whole system of 
Plotinos is founded on the thought of development of all things 
from God as emanations ; and anybody who has read the Po- 
lemic of Irenaeus against what he calls the " decay " of God will 
not be likely to say that the system of Plotinos had any con- 
nection at all with Christian dogma, especially since Athanasius 
insisted so strenuously on the difference between " made " and 
" begotten " which does not exist in the Plotinic Cosmology. 

Besides all this, we can account for almost every dogma of 
Plotinos in earlier Greek philosophy, as he himself acknow- 

Nor need the moral earnestness, which is found in Plotinos 
and which is found in Plato or Aristotle, point to a Christian 
origin any more than that of the Stoics, from which without a 
doubt, Plotinos and Ammonius Sakkas drew their inspiration. 

This brings us to the relation of Plotinos to Philo. That 
Plotinos had read the works of Philo, is entirely probable, al- 
though the chaotic eclecticism and syncretism of the latter must 
have rendered his works repulsive to any but Jews or Christians 
who were unacquainted with the sources from which Philo drew 
all that was valuable in his interpretation of the Scriptures. Yet 
it is very improbable that the relation between the two was more 
than that both of them drew their inspiration from the same 
source ; for it would have been a great deal easier for the phil- 
osophic and consistent Plotinos to draw his material from the 
original sources, Stoic and otherwise, than to go to a Jewish 
adaptation and a chaotic eclecticist for what could be 1 gotten 
otherwise with much less trouble. And as a matter of fact, that 
which separates Plotinos, (his emanational explanation of the 
derivation of Matter from God,) from Christianity, separates 
him also from Philo, who never explained that relation. Besides, 
the language and terminology of the two differ too much to sup- 
pose any close relation between them. The Logos of Philo is 
with Plotinos Nous ; and with the latter we cannot find the 
former's important distinction between the Spoken and Un- 
spoken Word. 

4. The Recognition of the Authority of Plato. We said above 
that we could account for all of Plotinos's great conceptions in 

20 + The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

earlier Greek philosophy. Before, however, making this state- 
ment good, we must notice that whether we think so or not, it 
is certain that Plotinos either thought so, or affected to think 
so in every work of his now extant. 

Plotinos relies upon the authority of Plato in every small de- 
tail (*). He refers to him as " the philosopher," or even with 
a mere " he says ( 5 ) ; " or even without any sign of quotation 
as in the famous paragraph on the transmigration of souls which 
we shall see later (). If his opinion clashes with that of Plato, 
he will resort to what to us seems a misinterpretation in order 
to save Plato from censure ( 7 ). He considers that he is re- 
establishing pure Platonism, and desires to be called a Platonist; 
if the issue is raised, he will refuse to depart from Plato's norm. 

Other philosophers are often referred to merely as " the 
ancients " or " the ancient and blessed philosophers " " Hoi 
archaioi " or " Hoi archaioi kai makarioi philosophoi ( 8 )." He 
believes that his teaching concerning the Good, the Mind, and 
the Soul is Platonic ( 9 ) ; but he finds it also in Parmenides, 
Herakleitos, Anaxagoras and Empedokles ; Anaxagoras is said 
to be he who through age attained accuracy. He believes ( 10 ) 
that some of the ancients must have known the truth ; the only 
question remains which of them knew it most, fully. Conse- 
quently, he feels at liberty to criticise them, as he does Emped- 
okles and Anaxagoras ( n ). 

Worthy of notice is the fact that he claims that the very mar- 
row of his system is the same as that of Sokrates and Plato : 
" know thyself " " Gnothi Seauton." He says : " Let us obey 
the command of the Deity, and learn to know ourselves ( u )." 
This fact might be used to prove that there existed such a thing 
as an esoteric Platonic doctrine in which the moral element 
was the prevailing one and which was handed down under oath 
of secrecy. Many of the Church Fathers look upon this maxim 
as sufficient guide to salvation and it is remarkable how it meets 
us everywhere under the same name of being Platonic. At any 
rate it is certain that the problems of Cosmology, Physics, Poli- 
tics, and Sociology which were the main topics of exoteric 
Greek philosophy, are to Plotinos important only inasmuch as 
they are deductions from his doctrine of the welfare of the soul. 

5. Relation to Greek Philosophy. To Aristotle Plotinos is in- 
debted partially for his conception of development and emana- 
tion ; for the transcendence of God, for his psychology, and out- 
lines or suggestions of cosmology. 

To Plato, Plotinos owes his Nous (with the Platonic name of 
God) his conception of the Earth-Soul, his categories, and al- 
most all his details, as well as the transmigration and destiny of 

To the Stoics Plotinos is indebted for his exclusive moral 
interest, and possibly some touches of his conception of the 
Earth-Soul, though this is very uncertain indeed, in spite of the 
opinion of Erdmann. 

To the Emanationist doctrines of writers such as the inditer of 

Relation to Christianity. ^ 21 

the " Hermetica," Plotlnos owes his conception of Emanation, 
which completed and inter-connected the various stages of the 
Aristotelian conception of development. To this source, per- 
haps, Plotinos owes his mysticism, and burning spirituality. 

Thus we see how much of his system Plotinos owes to former 
philosophy ; and we need not scruple to admit his claim that 
he is not an inventor of bold originality, but a high-souled phil- 
osopher who combined into one system whatever was of value 
in philosophy before his time. Thus, as Neo-Platonism is the 
last phase of Greek philosophy, we may look upon his system as 
that which represents the philosophy of Greece in its noblest 
and most perfect proportions. 


1. The Contemplative Life. To Plotinos there is no object 
worthy of consideration except the Soul. All other subjects are 
only interesting to him in the measure that they are efficient ac- 
cessories to this end. " Concerning what would it be worth to 
speak and think, rather than about the soul ? Let us therefore 
obey the command of the Deity who commands us to know 
ourselves ()." To this absorbing topic the first and last Ennead 
are devoted, and there is no Ennead between these two that does 
not in some manner, directly or indirectly, refer to the subject 

In order therefore to present the philosophy of Plotinos in its 
true aspect, we shall be forced to deal with all other matters 
very summarily, reserving all of our space to the discussion of 
the nature and destiny of the Soul. 

Most of those who have taken in hand an exposition of the 
views of Plotinos have devoted most of their time to his specu- 
lative considerations. The reason of this partiality may have 
arisen both from the fact that being professional philosophers, 
they have looked upon the system of Plotinos as a system of 
speculative philosophy ; and also from the fact that Plotinos 
places the " contemplative " or " theoretic " life as far above the 
practical life as the real Hercules in Olumpos was above his 
shadow in Hades ( 2 ). For Plotinos the practical life is only the 
means to attain the theoretic life, and the latter is the aim of 
the former ( 3 ). 

Yet we must not take this " contemplative " life in the Hegel- 
ian sense, which demands of the philosopher nothing more than 
acquaintance with the terms of philosophy, and a habit to think 
of metaphysical abstractions, which no logician would have dif- 
ficulty to attain. Besides, such a contemplative life is within 
the reach of all, whatever their private moral life has been, and 
is not limited to those who have lived all vices out of themselves. 
The fact that the contemplative life of Plotinos is exclusively 
based upon a perfection of the moral life proves it is something 
more than mere skill in logomachy. The contemplative life is 
that one in which the soul attains to knowledge of God, face to 
face, rapt in ecstasy. 

Such a contemplative life is it that Plotinos seeks. 

2. Mikrokosm. We have seen before that Aristotle was the 
originator in philosophy of the word " mikrokosm." His con- 

Mikrokosm and Makrokosm. 

ception was that man is a universe in miniature, just as the uni- 
verse is a man enlarged. The advantage of this observation is 
that if we know the constitution of one of these terms, we will 
be able to reason to the constitution of the other. Thus in order 
to know the Universe, we will only have to know ourselves : 
and if we seek our highest self, we will know God. If man and 
God be separate, how shall man ever hope for an at-one-ment 
with God ? 

Plotinos is not inclined to use the word " mikrokosm " al- 
though he has the full Aristotelian conception of it. It may be 
proved that in crediting him with it we are not reading into his 
system that of Aristotle ; for his Aristotelian psychology, and 
his continual ascription of psychological terms to the World-Soul 
assure us that he holds the mikrokosmic theory. 

We will therefore proceed to give a sketch of his psychology, 
in order that our investigations in cosmology and theology may 
become lucid. 

3. Psychology. Every human soul is the unity of the following 
seven elements : 

1. " Ho Theos," The God ( 4 ). 

2. '* Nous Koinos," Universal Mind 

3. "Nous Idios," Individual Mind ( 6 ) 
4^" Logos, Dianoia," Reason ( T ). 

5? " To Aisthetikon Meros," The psychophysical mechanism/ 
of sensation ( 8 ). Y 

6. " To Phutikon Meros," Vegetable life ( 9 ): 

7- " To Soma," The form, body, matter ( l ). 

In presenting this scheme of psychology we must remember 
that nowhere does Plotinos give us a complete exposition of it ; 
but it may be proved satisfactorily that he holds it, since he 
always speaks of these particular faculties in a consistent man- 

The first four of these psychological elements compose the 
" Psuche " or soul ; the later three compose the body, the 
"Eidolon Psuches " or image of the body ( n ). The body is 
furnished to us, as we shall see, by the World-Soul, called the 
" lunar gods ( 12 )." The Soul is alone ourselves ; it is created 
by God. It is divided into two parts : the ideal, and rational 
soul ( 18 ). The rational soul is composed of reason and indi- 
vidual mind which faculties are realized in almost every soul ; 
the ideal soul consists of the two highest faculties that are in 
many souls latent, or undeveloped. 

The -faculty of reason constitutes the individuality of the Soul, 
for it has the power of identifying itself with the highest facul- 
ties or of sinking into the lower. When the soul does sink into 
the flesh, the higher faculties quiesce, become latent, and may 
in extreme cases atrophy. Of course, the latent faculties may at 
some later date be revivified ( 14 ). 

While the soul is incarnate, all the seven faculties are indis- 
olubly bound together ; and the bond is broken only at death, 
when the soul abandons the body as an old dress. 

24 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

In this scheme of psychology are assured both the immanence 
of the Soul in every part of the body, as the body is " in thei 
Soul," and the transcendence of the higher faculties of the Soul[ 
above the body ( 15 ). 

We must remember that for Plotinos to know a thing, and to 
become one with it were identical terms ( 19 ). Therefore we canf 
become one with whatever we know : and as we have a God-' 
consciousness, the life of contemplation is the highest of all 
possible lives for it means that we shall come to know God ( 20 ). 

As a consequence of this we epitomize the universe, when in- 
carnate, by having organs by which we can come into com- 
munication with every one of the Seven Realms of which the 
world consists. Therefore man is " Panta," all ( 16 ) ; he is a 
" Kosmos noetos," an intelligible world ( 21 ). The soul is not an 
aggregate, like a house, but a unity revolving around a centre 
into which it can draw itself inwards ( 22 ). The soul ascends to 
its highest heights not by addition, or adding itself to God, but 
by immanent union with him ( 18 ). 

Once the soul has incarnated into the body furnished by the 
World-Soul, it is an indissoluble unity with it, using it as a tool 
( 22 ), not being affected by its pains more than the workman 
is affected by the injuries to his tools ( 29 ). Then the soul is like 
a man standing with his feet in a tub of water ( 30 ), reaching 
down to the very lowest form of being, matter, and being one 
with or having a faculty to become one with the cosmical Nous 
and even The God ( 2a ). For we know that the soul is kin to the 
Cosmical Nous and God, by faculties like them, though at times 
obscured by being fallen into the flesh ( 24 ). 

Plotinos does not always speak of the various faculties of the 
soul in detail. He usually assumes the practical distinction, soul 
and body. The soul is placed between God and the World, so 
that like an amphibian it lives now here, and then beyond ( 25 ) 
being able at its will to think without and against the will of 
the body ( 32 ). Often, again, he divides the soul into a double 
self : the inner or true self, that lives in the intelligible world, 
the " ideal " soul we saw above ( 2e ) ; and the external self that 
lives in the external world, the " rational " soul just mentioned 


How the incarnation into the body furnished by the Earth- 
Soul takes place is not quite clear : the soul is said to emit a 
kind of light or heat ( 28 ) which is probably the celestial spiritual 
body we shall see more about later on, in the Fifth Realm. This 
light or heat gives form to the body supplied by the World-Soul, 
and becomes united to the earthly spiritual body, or perhaps 
even forms it. 

4. Cosmological Import of Psychology. In order to show forth 
the relation of the small universe to the large one, we must 
premise that each separate faculty of man, while bound by an 
indissoluble tie to the other faculties, exists in a universe of its own. 
The physical body dwells in a realm of dead matter ; the vege- 
table soul in a realm of organiq life in which organic life is pos- 

Mikrokosm and Makrokosm. 25 

sible, and so on. Thus all human powers co-exist in the sepa- 
rate realms for which they are fitted so that in order to become 
universal we need only open ourselves to the universal ( 31 ). 
These different Realms interpenetrate each other much as 
the different universes of Messrs. Stewart and Tait, in their 
interesting book, " The Unseen Universe." 

The nature of the whole process of existence lies before us in 
miniature. The First Realm is The God who is above all thinkable 
perfection and being ; the Second Realm is the Divine Mind, or 
Nous, which is Divine being and essence, prope~. The third, 
including the other four, the Realm of soul, which cannot be said 
to have being, although it possesses existence. These universes 
interpenetrate each other. The Soul and the World, which is its 
image, are immanent in God ; and God, in his absolute being 
transcends all else. The Divine Mind is the image of God ; the 
individual mind is the image of the Divine Mind ; finally, pro- 
ceedng similarly through all the lower realms in their turn, the 
body is the form or image of the vegetable life ; this again is the 
image or form of the sensual life ; this again is the image of 
the individual mind. Thus matter is the lowest grade of being ; 
beyond is that abstraction we may call the darkness of nought, 
which does not. even exist. 

While in the mind of Plotinos the immanence and trans- 
cendence of these Realms is inseparably conjoined, we will be 
forced, for the sake of clearness in exposition, to consider first 
each Realm separately, and then to consider the transcendence 
of God as shown forth in his image, man. 


1. The One and the Many. In order to understand anything, 
it is necessary that the mind should receive through sensation 
and reflection ideas and representations. The more sharply de- 
fined these are, the more thoroughly understood are they ; and 
they will be clear in the degree that they are limited by and dis- 
tinct from other ideas and representations. Ratiocination there- 
fore necessarily implies a Manifold, which is subsumed under 
the Unity of the apprehending mind. Unity is therefore more 
fundamental than Manifoldness. 

If we should apply these considerations to the Divine Being, 
we see that Divine thought necessarily implies a Manifold, the 
duality of thinker and thought, of being and activity (*). As a 
consequence of this, the Divine activity called Divine Thought 
cannot be the highest plane of Divine Life. Above the realms 
of Divine thought must be the realm of the Divine Unity of 
Apperception, which is above all thought. God is then above 
all describable thought, above all Divine Thought, above all 
Divine Life, above all Divine Being ( 2 ). 

The highest cannot be Manifoldness ; it is Unity ; for Mani- 
foldness is after all only a Manifoldness of Unity ( 3 ), and every- 
thing is itself only because it thus is One ( 4 ). God is thus above 
all Divine Goodness, and even Divine Unity ( 5 ), and above 
Divine Being ( 6 ). If we say that God is Goodness, then the 
thought of this Divine Goodness has its subject and object ; it 
becomes good by partaking of the quality of goodness. And 
if it thus needs this quality, if it thus depends on this quality, 
then it cannot be independent and self-existent Goodness. The 
same may be said of the Divine Unity and Being. Therefore 
the simple must precede the compound ( 7 ), original being must 
be independent of derivative being : cause must be independent 
of effect, and Unity, of Manifoldness ( 8 ). God is above all cate- 
gories of Life, Being, Thought and Activity. The God is then 
Over-life, Over-being, Over-thought, and Over-activity. In 
this last point Aristotle was left behind by Plotinos, who could 
not on logical grounds see his way to call God even " actus 
purus," pure energy ; God is above even this. That there is a 
God at all we only know by seeking a first cause of all other 
causes. God is thus even above the Prime Mover of Aristotle^ 

2. The God Above Cognisability. God is therefore unknowable. 
He is above all description ( 9 ), he is incomprehensible and infin- 
ite ( 10 ). 

The First Realm, The God. 27 

The highest we know does not reach up to him ( u ). As he 
is unlimited (") he must be formless, (") and therefore be even 
above beauty ( 14 ). He is above good and honourable qualities 
( 15 ). Will as a psychological faculty does not exist in God ; for 
will is a desire of good, of which God has no need or lack, 
being its fulness ( 16 ). In God thinking and willing, that is, over- 
thinking and over-willing, are the same, as happens even in a 
form of God so much lower than he as the World-Soul ( 17 )- We 
have already seen that God is above all activity ( 18 ) ; therefore 
he is at rest while creating ( 19 ). Being above thought ( 20 ) he 
is above self-consciousness ( 21 ). Of him, therefore, we can only 
tell what he is not ; no name or conception of him is adequate 


3. The Nomenclative Symbol for the Divinity. Although we 
cannot describe or give a name to God, we are forced to refer 
to him in some manner ; by some designation. Plotinos there- 
fore follows Plato in calling God by his most characteristic 
quality of Goodness in moral relations, and Unity in metaphysi- 
cal reflections. God is therefore called "the Good" "Tagathon" 
( a ) and " the One " " To Hen " ( 24 ) ; he is often referred to as 
" the first," for the sake of briefness and technicality in the 
aetiological argument for his existence. 

* 4. The God is the First Cause. Working back from the World 
to God we find that he is the first cause. As such, he is activity, 
even is above activity, for he is often called "cause" ( 25 ) and "the 
first" C 26 ). He is above pure activity, without any outside him- 
self ( 2T ). He is the origin " Arche " of all things ; although he 
is really above origin ( 2S ) because the word " origin " denotes 
something which concerns us, not him ( 29 ). He may be called 
the centre of all things, with the same limitation as above ( 30 ). 

5. The God's Necessity to Love. If God is so perfect in his self- 
existence, what can induce him to beget anything at all ? 

The great argument of Irenaeus against the development or 
emanation of God into his world was that this was nothing more 
or less than decay of the Divine Being. This objection is how- 
ever founded on a gross misconception, induced perhaps by 
passionate antagonism. If God is perfect, he cannot decay ; if 
he generates worlds and souls he does it from any other cause 
than decay or degeneration of his Being ( n ). 

Why could not the perfect Being remain alone, without creat- 
ing or begetting other Beings? Because as every perfect Being 
on earth seeks to bring forth another, and the being on earth is 
in the image, faint indeed, of God, so the most perfect of all 
must beget, giving of himself without envy ( 32 ). The world was 
not made by a chance desire ; nor was it made because of 
ratiocinative reasons ( M ) : the nature of himself ( 34 ) for it is a 
physical (that is, a non-argumentative) necessity of his nature 
to beget. As God's nature is eternal, so are the offsprings of 
his nature also eternal ( M ). 

This necessity of God's nature follows from the fact that God 
is love, for the nature of Being, whatever its degree, is love. 

28 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

" The universal soul has an universal love ; each individual soul 
has its individual love ; and the love of the highest soul is God 
( 36 )." Apart from partaking of the Divine Good no things love 
or are loved (") and the soul by the very constitution of its na- 
ture loyes God and is ever forced to begin over and over to love 
him ( 38 ). 

6. Manner of Begetting. Love is a sufficient reason for all be- 
getting ; but the question remains, How does this disinterested 
love beget? 

This is a question the wisest have never been able to explain 
except by the use of illustrations drawn from the natural world. 
Plotinos likens God to a river which is so full that it overflows 
its banks ; and the water which has overflowed does the same, 
extending itself ever in wider circuits ( 39 ). This figure must 
however be taken with caution ; for it should not indicate either 
a temporal becoming ( 4 "), since creation always takes place from 
the inner or causal side ( 41 ) ; nor should it be understood to be 
an emanation such as would abstract from the power of the first 
cause ; the latter remains unmoved and undiminished, while the 
stream of being flows from him ( 42 ). 

That which proceeds from him ever remains in him ; but he 
is not in it as if contained by it ( 43 ). Plotinos advances the time- 
honoured illustration of the sun and the ray of light that pro- 
ceeds from it without diminishing its light or heat ( 44 ). 

These illustrations are to-day no longer intelligible, from the 
fact that the law of continuity demands that the sun's heat should 
grow less by just the amount that is substracted from it in the 
form of the light of the ray, even though the sun's heat be so 
enormous that the loss be not apparent. Unless therefore we 
find some other means of explaining the continued self-existence 
ot God, in spite of his eternal begetting, which is doubtless the 
case, the whole theory of Plotinos must be said to be yet un- 
proved. Nevertheless, Plotinos would not suffer alone ; the 
whole philosophy of Christianity would fall together with his. 

7. Relation' of Cause and World. The details of the process of 
begetting are as follows : God is the sun which enlightens the 
Universe ( 45 ) and rules all existence with his power ( 48 ). He is 
the centre around which everything revolves ( 47 ) ; every little 
part is organically related to the whole, so that from knowledge 
of its nature, the nature of the centre may be deduced ( 48 ). All 
creation has a natural longing for the first cause ( 49 ) and turns 
itself towards him as a sunflower to the sun, in the degree that 
its nature permits it to do so ; arrd'tne excellence of the nature 
is judged by the power it possesses of turning to the first cause 
( 80 ). This is the natural instinct of self-preservation ; for inas- 
much as the creature turns itself to its creator, does it turn itself 
to its highest good ( B1 )- 

The process of begetting may be likened to the natural de- 
velopment of a plant from a seed ( 52 ) and that which is begotten 
may be called the son of the begettor, the latter thus becoming 
the father of that which it has begotten ( M ). The first-begotten 
is the image of the Begettor, the second-begotten of the First, 

The First Realm, The God. 29 

and so on ( M ) Unity and Perfection decreasing simultaneously 
( M ). .Each thing is itself inasmuch as it is a Unity, and fulfils its 
function and nature ( 6<i ). The Divine Mind impresses its Ideas 
in matter as with a seal, so that things are living expressions of 
a divine Idea ( 5T ). That which is begotten is of course never of 
equal intensity of being with that which begot it ; at each be- 
getting of an image the light of perfection dims off into the 
darkness of non-existence, Manifoldness increasing, and Unity 

In matter, things are separated by space ; but in the Divine 
Mind, they are only separated by form ( ss ). Thus the soul is 
wholly in every single member of the body ; therefore we may 
say correctly the body is in the soul ( 5 "). Thus also God is 
wholly in every single part of the world, for the world, and all 
that is, is in him (**). The presence of the divine is always, for 
lower beings, mediated through the presence of the intermediate 
stages of Being. Thus in the physical World there are every- 
where three stages of being : God, the Nous, and the Earth- 

If the centre of the Universe be God, then the First Sphere 
is that of Nous, enlightened by God : the Second is that soul, 
enlightened by the Nous ; the Third is that of body, enlightened 
by that of soul ( Ol ). The body turns to the soul, the soul to the 
Nous, and through it to God C 52 ). Thus each sphere is a dif- 
ferent plenitude of divinity C 13 ), each depending on the next high- 
est sphere ( 64 )- 

In this manner all the different Realms interpenetrate each 
other. Plotinos sought to make this conception clear by illus- 
trating it from the natural world : The soul is everywhere in the 
body, as light as in air ( 65 ) ; but the body is in the soul as air in 
light ; the light being rightly distinguished as the most ba'sic 
principle of the two ( 6 ). The intellect generates and governs 
the lower powers as splendour is in the ray. the ray in the light, 
the light in the sun (* 7 ). 

The question occured to Plotinos, how does each soul get an 
undivided unit or quality of life from the World-Soul? This dif- 
ficulty was settled by referring to the fact that many ears can 
hear the same voice, the sound being in each case undivided ( OT ). 
Thus, wherever we are, a r e the three presences, God, the Mind, 
and the World-Soul, which are known by the goodness, beauty, 
and life which we find inherent in all things on earth ( ). 

What is space in the physical world, is excess of power, in- 
tensity, in all higher spheres ( 70 ) ; in the physical world the cat- 
egories of space and time represent nothing in the intelligible 
World, form alone differentiating beings there ( n ). Thus, on dif- 
ferent planes, each faculty of man is conscious of itself in its own 
way, and in its own kinds of limitation, connecting man with all 
the octaves of the universe ( 72 ). These major and minor Realms 
interpenetrating each other form a perfect harmony all together; 
and their activity produces that harmony of the spheres which 
haunted all Greek philosophy, and which was the great Te Deum 
of creation ( 7S ). 


1. Saturn, the Cognisable Deity. The first Realm was called 
God. The second,Plotinos calls Saturn, for shortness of ap- 
pellation 0). 

We saw, iji speaking of the First Realm, that ratiocination im- 
plies a Manifold, which shall be subsumed under the Unity of 
apperception, besides being limited by a Unity of same logical 
intension as itself. This Unity of apperception, which lies be- 
hind the Manifold and Unity of ratiocination, was when applied 
to the universe, God. This Manifold and Unity of ratiocina- 
tion itself then becomes, applied to the universe, the Divine 
Mind, Nous. It is therefore no more strict unity, but Unity 
with Manifold ( 2 ), thinker and thought, subject and object ( 3 ). 

What kind of thoughts does the Divine Mind think? It con- 
templates iself, and thus thinks of that of which it is the image, 
just as the human reason thinks of the higher unity of appercep- 
tion, which is conscious of more than itself. God was Over-beau- 
tiful; the Divine Mind is beautiful. God is Over-being, Over- 
good, Over-life, Over-thought ; the Divine Mind is being, good- 
ness, life, and thought. God is Over-activity ; the Divine Mind 
is primary activity complete in its self ( 4 ). As eternity is only 
intensity of the intelligible action of the Divine Mind ( 5 ), it may 
be said to live in eternity, not in time ( 6 ). Thus it comprehends 
all things that have existed, that exist, or that shall exist. 

The consequence of this determination is that the Divine Mind 
knows of no distinction between potentiality and actuality in 
thought ( 7 ), no progress from not-thinking to thinking ( 8 ), no 
inconcluded thinking ( 9 ), no unknown future ( 10 ) and no mem- 
ory for the past ( n ). As human powers of ratiocination cannot 
contemplate the actual Unity of apperception, but still can des- 
cribe it and grasp it, so the Nous can never behold the actual 
God ( 1Z ) but can describe him ( 13 ). Moreover, it cannot behoM 
what is below it, because itself is wholly thought ( 14 ). 

2. Identity of Being and' Thought. God was Over-being and 
the Divine Nous is full being. And as Being and Thought are 
identical, the system of Thoughts of the Divine Mind are reality 
( 18 ). It is on this account that Plotinos refutes the ten Aris- 
totelian and four Stoical Categories. These treated of the qual- 
ities of matter ; but if matter is only an image of mind, then if 
there are any Categories at all, they must be Categories of Mind, 

The Second Realm, Cosmic Mind. 31 

beginning with Thought and Being ("). The Divine Mind in- 
cludes ideas of all things and all numbers, so that it is a true in- 
telligible World, " Kosmos Noetos" ("). The Divine Mind is 
to its Ideas as the science of geometry is to the propositions 
contained in it ( 18 ) ; it thinks of all things ( 19 ) and thus its uni- 
versal has all forms ( 20 ). It contains as one power all powers, as 
one God all lower Gods ( a ). It possesses life in itself and has 
the original archetypes of all things C 22 ). Even small things (*) 
and human powers ( 24 ) are represented in it. The harmony and 
peace of this world is blessedness ( 2B ) inasmuch as it accounts 
for the beauty in all things, which is as it were the trace of its 
presence in any thing ; and this beauty proceeds from the still- 
ness of perfect motion. 


i. The Trinity : Over-God, Saturn and Zeus-Rhea. The so- 
called Platonic Trinity may be found, in a form much altered 
from the original, in the speculations of Plotinos. 

It is very true that Plotinos seems to be a little uncertain about 
it in some places. He speaks of three successive states of being, 
one lower than the other, "Gods, daemons, and men O." 
Again, he speaks as if there were four orders : the Good, the 
Nous, the World-Soul, and daemons, which are the human souls 
(*) Again, he speaks of souls of spheres and stars, spheres, 
and the space below the moon, corresponding to divine, human, 
and bestial men ( s ). 

Yet, as a rule, he does not hesitate in enunciating a three-fold 
order of existence : God, the Nous, and the Soul (*). 

Of course it is understood that they are hierarchically sub- 
ordinated the one to the other, and in no wise like the Christian 
Trinity. As the second was the image of the first plane of being, 
so is the third the image of the second, the reason of this further 
begetting being the same that led to the begetting of the second 
unargumentative love ( 5 ). The Soul is an Idea imaged, and is 
one of the circles of light which surround the inner light of God. 
The highest heaven is full of fire, and therefore of light of which 
all souls partake individually ( e ). So much is this the case that 
the world is said to have many lights, being adorned and en- 
lightened by many souls ( 7 ) who when thinking do not speak 
but simply glow, when not incarnated ( 14 ). The sphere of the 
Soul is therefore still intelligible light, although its sphere is the 
outermost of those which may be called spheres of light; and be- 
yond it begins illimitable darkness ( 8 ). 

In the Divine Mind, there is neither time or space ; in the 
Soul begins time ( 9 ) and in the body beneath it begins space. 
Thus the Soul is said " to bring forth time." 

The Soul is impassible ( 10 ) ; therefore nothing can harm her ; 
but she may sink into the Manifoldness of the body ( u ) and be 
stifled in the agonies and passions of the flesh. Yet she 
is not bound down to her body as to intellection : she reasons 
through herself, and may understand through the Divine Com- 
mon Mind or Nous, which to its individual reason is as form is 
to matter ( 12 ). 

It will explain the position of the soul if we remark that the 
process of begetting is always a proceeding into Manifoldness 

The Third Realm, The Soul 33 

from Unity. Consequently, the Good was the Unity of appercep- 
tion, Over-Unity. The Nous was Unity mingled with Mani- 
foldness, the Unity still predominating. In the Soul however, 
we see Unity mingled with Manifoldness, the Manifoldness pre- 
dominating so much as to have discerpted that idea from all 
others, so that all others are " other " to it( 13 ). Beneath the 
Soul, in Reason, Sense, Vitality and Matter, the Manifold en- 
croaches more and more on the Unity, until in matter, Unity 
is in its last degree of degradation into Manifoldness. 

2. Co-equality of Souls. All souls were originally equal ; they 
all came from the highest heaven ( 15 ). They were all original- 
ly parts of the same Divine Mind ( 16 ), and that they are alike 
as to idea and nature is proved from the fact that they can un- 
derstand one another, and in the intelligible world be at the 
same place at the same time, that is, that they can communicate 
(") with each other. 

Yet in spite of this community of origin, there is no possible 
doubt that there appears to reign much confusion injustice and 
dissimilarity in the dispensation of the world as we know it. Yet, 
in spite of this appearance of disorder, there reigns down below 
here just as absolute order as obtains in the intelligible world 
above ( w ). The Souls come from the same Nous and differ only 
in essential qualities or characteristics ( 10 ). Souls may differ be- 
cause of these original characteristic differences ( 20 ) then by the 
amount of experience gotten in former incarnations ( 21 ) the 
bodies given them differed, being celestial, ethereal, or of air ( 22 ), 
or their education or discipline may have differed ( 23 ) ; but 
through all this inequality runs the inexorable thread of Justice, 
which metes out happiness according to goodness, which is 
merit. " The good alone are happy ; on this account is it that 
the Gods are happy ( 23 )." The difference between men and 
Gods is only one of development ; men are incarnated in human 
bodies, the Gods have spheres or worlds as bodies, and are called 
" Gods " in respect to man because they give to their " sister- 
souls " the opportunity of incarnating. Men are also divine 
beings ( 24 ) and are the " sisters " and " brothers " of the souls 
of the Gods ( 25 ). Besides, Plotinos states explicitly that human 
souls will have the same powers and will hold the same dignity 
as the World-Soul, especially if they will turn into themselves 
without spot C 26 ). 15 ff 

3. The World-Soul. We must now treat of the World-Soul. 
Plotinos took his conception of it, not from the Stoics as some 
authorities have thought, but from Plato. The latter seems to 
have been uncertain whether the souls of men proceeded from 
the World-^oul, whether they had all been created by God, in the 
same mould, but smaller .in size. Plotinos solves the difficulty ) 
by saying that the souls of man were born of the World-Soul in 
respect to their bodies ; but that their impassible self, the rea- '' 
son and mind had been created or begotten by the same Nous, 
the World-Soul only offering her sister-souls opportunities for^ 
development. We would thus explain the fact that we saw above 

34 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

that everywhere on earth there were three presences, God, the 
Nous, and the World-Soul, and that yet human souls and the 
World-Soul, also called Jupiter for short C 27 ), were brethren, and 
equal as to origin. 

Plato never defined accurately whether his World-Soul was 
the Soul of the whole physical universe, or only of the earth. 
The Stoics distinctly looked to the Soul of the Universe when 
speaking of a World-Soul, from which all other souls were be- 
gotten. Plotinos was the first philosopher to limit this World- 
Soul to the earth, assuming that each star soul possessed its own 
soul. He says : " One single life inheres in the one sphere, and 
each sphere is located in one living being. Thus all creatures 
which are on the sphere return to the same one life, and thus all 
souls on one sphere are to a certain extent one ( 28 )." 

We must now enquire more particularly concerning the nature 
of this World-Soul. The argument by which we rise to the 
certainty of its existence is the Stoical one : just as in pur body 
is a soul, which keeps the body together, so every physical body 
is kept together by a soul in which the body is ( 29 ). For bodies 
are in the souls, which pervade them ( 30 ). The form of its body 
is spherical, because it is perfect; for when unincarnate, the form 
of the spiritual bodies of human souls are also spherical ( 81 ). 

4. The Transcendent Over-Soul. In the Third Realm, that of in- 
dividual mind, as we have seen, human souls and the World-Soul 
are different as to individuality, and coequal as to origin ( 82 ). 
Nevertheless, the intellectual powers of the World-Soul are so 
much more developed than ours that she is called " pure intel- 
lect C 33 )," knowing things not through organs of sense but by 
direct intuition ( 84 ). She is outside of the world-body, and bears 
all that is bodily within herself ( 35 ). Her self-consciousness (**) 
is so much higher than ours that she neither has nor needs any 
memory ( 8T ). Since she has all knowledge present to her mind, 
which to Plotinos seems to be the characteristic of the memory 
of stable souls, that is, the higher faculties of the soul, which are 
impassible and which are not left behind at death ( M ). Nor does 
the World-Soul possess reason, that is, reflection, of the Fourth 
Realm ( 89 ), " Logizesthai," since an equal and perfect thought 
has as little need of ratiocination as for a search after facts which 
were known in the past. She has no receptivity for sensual 
things, having no organs of sense ( w ) the sky serving her as an 
eye. She creates, like God, above ratiocination or conscious 
choice, impelled by the same divine necessity of love (**). She 
never enters into connection with matter, her time being spent 
in undisturbed meditation. There is also a lower World-Soul, 
belonging to the Sixth Realm, called Rhea (**), which is related 
to the human race in its lower realms much like the soul of a 
tree is related to the fruits born by the tree (**). It is begotten 
by the higher one, Zeus, as its image ; and is intimately connect- 
ed with the matter of the world's body. 

5. Interrelation of Over-Soul and Souls. We have already seen 
that the World-Soul is to men a God, affording them oppor- 

The Third Realm, The Soul. 35 

tunities for incarnation. That men are incarnated in the body 
of the World-Soul does not necessitate that the World-Soul 
should conflict with the higher independent faculties of human 
souls ; they are not as intimately connected with it as our mem- 
bers are part of our bodies ("). The relation of the human soul 
to the World-Soul may aptly if unelegantly be compared to the 
relation existing between the human soul, and the soul of the 
maggot which feasts on an amputated leg C 46 ). 

The World-Soul rules and guides men (*), besides ruling her 
body which obeys her better than our bodies do us, since every- 
thing is well-disposed ( 4T ). Our bodies are made for us " by a 
good soul," the World-Soul, our sister (*). The World-Soul 
pities us in our sorrows, and during the intervals between the 
incarnations the human souls are protected by her, rising to the 
height that is appropriate to their development in goodness (* 8 ). 
While incarnate human souls can attain to be as blessed and 
powerful as the World-Soul, averting or minimizing the 
blows of fortune, and becoming the World-Soul's colleague in 
ruling her body (*). Thus the World-Soul and all human souls 
are equal, inasmuch as they are only different manners of work- 
ing of the Universal Mind ; different revelations of the same 
life just as one light streams in many directions ( 51 ). 


1. Individual Mind. This Realm of reason is lacking in the 
World-Soul C). Although the " individual Mind " of the Third 
Realm is the essential characteristic of what makes a soul a soul, 
yet this lower faculty of reason conjoined to it is the individual 
faculty by which man may identify himself with his higher or 
lower powers. Thus the soul is represented as choosing be- 
tween its two loves, its two daemons : the higher and lower ( 2 ). 
The ''individual Mind" of the Third Realm may be looked upon 
as double : containing intellect and imagination. Therefore, 
when the reason identifies itself with the " individual Mind " it 
occurs that intellect and imagination appear doubly changed, as 
discursive and permanent reason ( 3 ). Consequently we may 
distinguish in every " rational " soul, as contrasted with the 
" ideal soul," three parts : mind (individual Nous) rational soul 
(reason) and irrational soul (sense vitality and matter) ( 4 ). 
Besides, the human reason is called " rational " reason, " Logos 
Logikon," to preclude the possibility of its ever incarnating in 
the body of animals ( 5 ). 

In this realm of reason man is responsible for his destiny. 
When, however, man identifies his reason with his individual 
Nous, it is plain that the reason ceases to exist as separate facul- 
ty. This then happens in the case of World-Souls, called Gods, 
who have become so good that, as it were, the possibility of 
falling has disappeared ( 6 ). 

This realm is the essentially human one, and is also called 
" Dianoia." It is the lowest part of the eternal impassible soul ; 
but it may become so buried in the flesh as to lose its individu- 
ality, and becoming useless atrophy. 

2. Other World-Souls. As the World-Soul called Zeus is 
only the Soul of the Earth, there must be similar souls of "Gods" 
in the other stars. They, like Zeus, are the most perfect souls 
O, and consequently are, as to their body, the visible Gods, the 
image of the invisible Gods ( 8 ). Like Zeus, the Earth-Soul, they 
contemplate the cosmic Nous steadily from far ( 9 ) and live quiet- 
ly, peacefully, harmoniously, producing as we have seen the 
music of the spheres ( 10 ). Again, like Zeus, the Earth-Soul, they 
have neither reason, nor memory nor ratiocinative powers, for 
the same reason the Earth-Soul lacks them ( u ). 


1. The Senses of the Over-Soul. This Fifth Realm is also ap- 
parently lacking in the World-Souls, as well as to all higher souls 
of Gods. The Earth-Soul has no sense organs; yet in allegorical 
fashion Plotinos makes the sky its eyes, and the races of animals 
its veins ('). The highest Earth-Soul, called Zeus, has no need 
to gather information through sensation. 

It might at first sight seem that if these realms are lacking to 
the Earth-Soul, it is impossible that each lower one should he 
begotten in the image of the next higher one, as is the rule in 
the system of Plotinos. It will however be seen on reflection, 
that this objection overlooks the great factor of development. 
Since the reason becomes merged into the individual Mind dur- 
ing process of development, it is plain that it must have existed 
at some time oi the Earth-Soul's career. Besides, nothing pre- 
vents that though merged into the individual Nous the reason 
and the sense man may still subsist in perfect order, and be able 
beget their image as well as when existing separately. 

2. Unity of Souls in the Fifth Realm. It is in this realm of 
sense that human souls and the Earth-Souls are for the first time 
organically united ; for it will be remembered that the kind 
Earth-Soul affords her sister souls opportunities for education by 
incarnating in her body, furnishing to every incarnate soul her 
three lowest faculties of sense, vitality, and matter (*). Plotinos 
insists on this fact continually. 

3. Human Sense-Realm. This Realm of Sense furnishes to our 
psychical life its sensations and passions ( 3 ). Yet, it is much \ 
more than this. It is here that we meet the spiritual body of 1 
which the physical body is so perfect an image. This spiritual \ 
body is again two-fold. The higher part belongs to the im- 
passible, eternal soul itself, the lower belongs to the order and 
dispensation of the Earth-Soul. They are identical in form; but 
they are separable at death. The earthy spiritual body lasts 
longer than the physical body, though both are by nature cor- 
ruptible. The life which association with the rational soul 
has given the earthly spiritual body recedes with the departure 
of the Soul, as the light follows the withdrawal of a lighted can- 
dle. The separation between the earthly and celestial spiritual 
bodies takes place when all vitality has left the former. We may 
suppose that Plotinos would have explained the appearance of 

38 The Philosophy of Phtinos. 

ghosts shortly after the death of the person, as being appear- 
ances of the earthly spiritual body before its utter extinction. 

4. Celestial and Physical Senses. What have these two spiritual 
bodies to do with sensations? Much, every way. On the sup- 
position of Plotinos, man has two sets of senses, corresponding 
to the two spiritual bodies ; a celestial, and an earthly set of 
senses. In this fact Plotinos sees the long-sought connection 
between cerebral modifications and the psychical perception of 
them. During the time of incarnation, both spiritual bodies 
are closely united, each reacting on the other. Consequently, 
physical excitations will be opportunities of celestial vision ; 
while at times, as in dreams, the celestial set of senses is alone 
active. A case in point would be that of the somnambulistic 
subject who relishes the ideal apple suggested to her by the 

It is thus that Plotinos explains the fact that the Earth-Soul has 
perfect knowledge of all things without any sensation or organs 
of sense. The Earth-Soul possesses a celestial set of senses in 
her spiritual body, (celestial spiritual body), the earthly spirit- 
ual body having become useless. 

5. Senses of Animals. We here have an opportunity of en- 
quiring concerning the nature of animals. The earthly spiritual 
body of animals is present to them equally and of like nature 
with that of men, so that upon the quiescence of the higher hu- 
man faculties, a low human soul might if degraded enough, 
although this would be a most extreme case incarnate in the 
body of an animal. The souls of animals and vegetables are of 
one nature with human souls, although infinitely less developed. 
Plotinos even asserts that they have a developed Reason (Fourth 
Realm) ( 4 ). Nothing would oppose that as in the case of bad 
men, so in animals the higher faculties would be present, but 
only in an dormant or quiescent state. 


1. The Sixth Realm. The Sixth Realm in the human being is 
the vegetable life of the body ; the vitality present in every pro- 
toplasmic cell, and which makes all the difference between a 
living and a dead body, when considered apart from conscious- 

2. The Sixth Realm of the Over-Soul. The Earth-Soul has also 
a Sixth Realm ; a lower soul, which we have already spoken of, 
and which is called Rhea,to distinguish it from the higher Earth- 
Soul called Zeus (*). At times this lower soul, is in some of 
its lower phases also called Aphrodite ( 2 ), as the representant of 
the reproductive functions of all vitality. This lower Earth-Soul 
is tfce begotten image of the higher, through the two original 
mediators, which are probably indicated by the word " other," 
" allo " ( 3 ). The lower Earth-Soul is connected with the earth - 
body as human life is connected with the human body (*). This 
lower soul is the substrate of sensible appearance, its name is 
Nature ( 8 ). It cannot meditate as the highest soul can ; it is 
thought, but not self-conscious ; but is simple, and purposeless 
(*). It may be said to have sensation just as a body sleeping 
has sensation ; it differs therefore very much from the sensation 
of the body in its full psychical state ( 7 ). Her products are "the 
materials that dreams are made of ; " its quiet working proceeds 
with the certainty of instinct, without interruption of ratiocina- 
tion. It begets the matter of the earth-body as its image, from 
the same inner necessity of love which led to the begetting of the 
Cosmic Nous; only in a much lower degree; it cannot avoid shin- 
ing with its light upon that which is below it, and which does not 
yet exist ( 8 ). This necessity of love was from everlasting ; and 
as on this account the Cosmical Nous was eternal, therefore the 
Cosmical Nous begat all its images eternally. The consequence 
is that the world is eternal ('). Yet there are cyles in the history 
of the world, just as in that of man ; but they are not Stoic or 
Platonic in rigid fatalistic repetition. They only furnish the 
various circumstances necessary for the development of souls 
( 10 ). 

3. The Doctrine of Sympathy. In certain senses Nature may 
be said to be imperfect : but if we look we may see in her the 
impress of the perfect divine nature. She is its offspring and 
image. On it she depends for being. She only has existence 

40 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

inasmuch as the Divine exists in her ( u ). She is not built up 
of foreign elements, as an aggregate, as a house is built of sep- 
arate bricks. She is, in her body and souls, an organic whole, 
an organism, whose elements are all united in the highest Earth- 
Soul ( 12 ). As in a human body the members are in mutual har- 
mony, there is a unity although it be composed of sounds low 
and high ( 14 ). As in a human body, so in the human organ- 
ism every member is interdependent. All things act and react 
on each other, by all means physical and psychical. This is the 
doctrine of " sympathy," which the modern doctrine of resul- 
tance of forces has re-established, and which was used by Lotze 
as his supposititiously original proof of Causation. 

4. The Beautiful. There is nothing which is nearer to the 
heart of Plotinos than the belief that the world is beautiful ; the 
most beautiful world possible. Plotinos had to enforce his view 
against heathen Gnostics and also Christian Gnostics, whom he 
mentions in this polemic as being those who say that the world- 
creator and the world are evil ( 1B ). Plotinos thinks ( 16 ) that 
the world should be composed of matter if it was to be the 
image of God (of course he assumes that matter is the image of 
God) ; and within this sphere of matter which is the image of 
God, we could not imagine a more beautiful world than ours. 
It was made so beautiful in order that the higher spirits should 
not be forced to pollute their glance by looking out into the 
night of non-existence ; and especially to remind man oj the 
goodness of God, whose image it is, and who can therefore be 
known by contemplating the world, his image. Again, (") How 
can man be said to honour the invisible Gods, if he despises 
their visible images? How can the guidance of Providence be 
admitted in the direction of minor matters if it be not admit- 
ted in that of major ones? How can a man be called immortal, 
if you deny immortality to the beautiful stars, and that these 
have souls like men have? 

5. Astrology and Vaticination. The above explained doctrine 
of " sympathy " or the coherence of things, or law of resul- 
tance of forces ( 18 ) explains all the truth there is both in Astrol- 
ogy and Vaticination. Plotinos cannot see his way to accepting 
a crude Astrology ( 19 ) which supposes that the daily position of 
the stars influences our daily life in a supernatural way. If the 
Star-Souls are Gods they are good ; why then should their dif- 
ferent position alter their influence? What have we little men 
done to the stars that they should wish us evil? The influence 
of the stars can be little more than that of their natural influence, 
as of the moon on the tides, the sun on the life and spirits of 
men ( 21 ). The deeds of men which as responsible creatures they 
commit are just as important, if not more so ( 21 ). Of course the 
life-giving influence of the sun is part of the physical influence 
which the soul finds in her incarnation into the body of the 
Rarth-Soul ; for evidently the sun exerts much influence on the 
growth of nature, and the powers of men ( 25 ). Thus the Realm 
of Sense and Vitality of man are affected by the state of the 

The Sixth Realm, Vitality. 41 

physical influences of the sun and moon ; but the higher im- 
passible soul escapes them, except in a reflex manner through 
the body (*'). 

As to Vaticination, Plotinos does not go beyond the scientific 
vaticination which from consideration of a single tooth or bone 
can reconstruct the nature, age, and powers of a long extinct 
race. Therefore, granting the law of coherence or sympathy, if 
we are skilful enough, we can conclude from the condition of 
one part of the cosmical organism to the conditions of the other 
parts, as easily as the dancer judges of the position of the foot 
from that of the hand ; 4 ). Both are consequences of the same 
cause; therefore they will tell of each other ( 26 ). The heavens are 
a celestial writing in which the skilful can read what will happen, 
because all things are interdependent ( i!6 ). "The entrance of souls 
into the world, and the general course of their actions is part of 
the universal order of nature ( 27 ). A good analogy of inter- 
dependence of the phenomena of this world may be found in 
the fact that two eyes are not the same yet follow each other's 
motions, so that from the position of one, one may tell the po- 
sition of the other ( 28 ). 

In connection with Astrology and Vaticination, we should 
speak of the state of the dead. They can still harm us, or do 
us good ; they can, by showing themselves, prove that souls 
exist after death ; finally, they can inspire the Oracles, as they 
see clearer than we do, not being fettered by the flesh ( 29 ). 

6. Free-Will. We are now led to the question of the relation 
of this world-order to the free individuality of the soul. His po- 
sition on the subject is almost exactly that of Kant. Virtue and 
the motion of tlie soul in the intelligible realm are free ; but the 
soul's deeds in the world are part of the law of continuity, psy- 
chical as well as physical ( 30 ). Plotinos has no taste ( 81 ) for 
the crude predestination of fatalism, and like immoral doctrines. 

The design of all the world and what should happen in it was 
part of the Providence of the divine Mind, not anteceding in 
time, but in causality, for the world is the image of the Divine 
Nous dwelling within it, so that it cannot be said to degenerate 
or go wrong ( 32 ). Therefore the soul is, in respect to her three 
lowest faculties, which belong to the World Order, rigidly con- 
ditioned ; for this lower soul had been given it by the Earth- 
Soul. Yet, in its higher impassible self it is free as self-existence 
can make it ; "and the soul will therefore be free exactly accord- 
ing to whether she identifies herself with her higher or lower fa- 
culties ( 33 ). Man is therefore a slave of body, (when his reason 
has identified itself with his vitality and matter) ( 34 ) ; a slave of 
fortune, (when his reason has identified itself with his sense- 
world ( 35 ). But man is free (when his reason has identified itself 
with his individual Nous,) turning all things to intellect ( 36 ) ; 
and man is free (when his reason has identified itself with the 
Cosmic Nous,) when the soul lives in contemplation neglecting 
all else ( 37 )- Freedom is serving one's own good, rather than ser- 
ving that of another, that is, of the lower faculties contributed to 

42 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

it by the Earth-Soul C 38 ). While therefore many actions depend 
entirely on circumstances ( 39 ), the highest God is freedom, rather 
than even master of his nature C 40 ) which would introduce Plur- 
ality into his utter Unity. 

7. The Daemon. We have seen that there were men and dae- 
mons and Gods. This word daemon must be carefully guarded 
from its later evil meaning which was given it by Christianity. 
In the days of Homer, it was interchangeable with God, " Dai- 
mon," and probably remained quite as high in all classical lit- 
erature, with which Plotinos was so thoroughly acquainted. 
They are souls who are at a stage of development intermediate 
between men and Gods. Like the latter they are eternal (*), 
and can see in the intelligible realm by their spiritual celestial 
senses ( 42 ), implying the possession of a celestial spiritual body 
( 43 ) hearing their prayers. They have no physical language ( 44 ) ; 
but of course none is needed as we have seen that souls in the 
intelligible world communicate thoughts to each other _by an 
increased glow of their inherent light. 


i. Evil. If God is Unity, without any Manifoldness, then 
matter is the greatest possible Manifoldness, with just enough 
Unity admixed to it to make it recognizable as such. Utter 
Manifoldness without Unity could not exist at all C). Therefore 
since proximity to God is Goodness, the furthest distance from 
him compatible with any kind of existence is evil ( 2 ). On this 
account matter is " Proton Kakon," the greatest evil possible, 
Evil itself. Absolute Evil, if it existed, would have no existence. 
It is nothing but deprivation, emptiness, absence of good ( 3 ). 
Evil can therefore only exist in something else, in Being, either 
in that intensity of Being called soul, or matter ( 4 ). Matter it- 
self, for itself, is perfect. But when we look at Matter from a 
higher intensity of good, say Vitality or Sense, then we call it 
evil, because it is absence of a certain amount of good. There- 
fore nothing is evil in itself ; a thing is only evil if you consider 
it from a higher stand-point ( 5 ). But as Matter is the lowest 
form of being, it is evil when considered from any stand-point 
except itself ( fl ). Good and Evil are not therefore opposed in 
a contrary manner ; there is no such thing as a dualism in na- 
ture. The utmost opposition of evil to good is a sub-contrary 
one, a logical contrary ( 7 ). Evil therefore does not exist 
in what exists really ; only in that which declines to non-exis- 
tence ( 8 ). There are as many grades of evil as there are grades 
of Being ( 9 ). Matter is therefore not evil because it has any 
evil qualities, but just because it has no qualities at all ; for qual- 
ity is an intelligible limitation or form ; and God is pure form 
or rather above it. Matter is almost formless, without quality 
( 10 ). As a consequence of this, evils are not sent by God, but 
are only degeneration or declinations of qualities already pos- 
sessed ( n ). There is nowhere unmixed evil; everywhere the 
good and evil are mixed ( 12 ). But the saddest side of this view 
of matter and evil is that if it be true, then it is hopeless to look 
forward to a time when evil will have disappeared from the 
world as at present constituted, for evil is only a low form of 
good ( 18 ). And it will always be necessary that there should 
exist different grades or forms of good ; they are all necessary 
to the perfection of the world : as the painter who must use 
more than one colour or shade of colour in his picture ; or the 
poet who would have none but heroes in his tragedy ("). In 
one single part therefore we should not require the perfection of 

44 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

the whole, nor in one part should we require the characteristic 
that belongs to another part ( 15 ). Besides if there is one source 
of good, it is only reasonable that there should be a gradual 
diminution of it into annihilation, pure privation, emptiness ( 18 ). 

The soul can never be called evil : at the utmost, it is the 
fourth reduction of evil, or only a declension or disposition to 
lower forms of being ( 17 ). 

Matter itself is formless stuff ( 18 ) and without quality ( ltt ). It 
is not size, but that which size makes (space) ; it is not measure, 
but measure assumes it unto itself ( 20 ). It is' not bodily ; it is 
"Asomatos" ( 21 ). It is not Being; it is only possibility of Being 
( 22 ). It is a weak image, shadow and declension of the spiritual 
C 23 ). It is unsatisfied yearning after Being C' 4 ). It is the thought 
of nothing ( 25 ). 

2. Uncognisability of Matter. So little is known of the Sixth 
Realm of Being, that it is only natural that its process of be- 
getting its image, matter, should also be dark. To be sure, we 
have the general principle that generation takes from the in- 
telligible side of the world, and is like the germination of a seed; 
and these two principles we shall have to apply here. 

The things of sense are formed by their spermatic forms, or the 
Ideas active in the seed. This idea Plotinos owed to the Stoics. 
Each act of begetting has an idea in the cosmic Nous corres- 
ponding to it, as well as a suitable number. Thus we may say 
that seed is an active idea, the form of the future form, and 
dwelling in the seed. 

, 3. Intelligibility of Matter. Since Being and Thought are identi- 
cal, the lowest form of being is also the lowest form of what 
is intelligible. Therefore, matter is still being, and is still in- 
telligible in its nature. This is the marrow of the contention of 
the Idealists, that matter is in itself intelligible. Plotinos of 
course never pushed the questions of epistemology far enough 
to be driven to this result, to which he comes by another road. 
He thinks that matter is intelligible, and that there must be some 
sort of unity between us and matter ( 23 ), as his cosmology shows 
at length. 


1. Need for Reincarnation. Before asking ourselves why we 
should reincarnate, it will be worth while asking why it is at 
all necessary to incarnate. 

The aim of life is an ethical one. The end of life is vision of 
God. This happiness, like all happiness, can only be gotten by 
meriting it; for even Gods are only happy because they have 
merited it. It is necessary therefore to have an opportunity of gain- 
ing merit, to let our reason decide of its own will whether it will 
identify itself with its lower or higher faculties Therefore it is 
necessary for souls to be in the world that they may learn to 
seek the good stedfastly, and work off all lower attractions (*). 
Experience is after all a better teacher than mere knowledge ( 2 ) ; 
and experience can only be had in a body. The reason for in- 
carnation is on the part of the soul a desire for procreation ( 3 ), 
a lower form of divine love, evidently. " Unless she have a 
body, the soul will never progress, for there is another place 
where the soul may propagate itself naturally. And if the soul 
will progress, then it will build itself a place of habitation, and 
will therefore generate a body (*)." Thus the soul collaborates 
with the Divine Will in working out the World-Drama ( 5 ). 

The purpose of incarnation is therefore a moral one ; and for 
a man as serious as Plotinos, this moral purpose seemed worthy 
of the creation of heaven and earth for this especial end (*). 

2. Justice. We have already seen why one single life is not 
long enough for this development of soul. The Divine Justice 
cannot be vindicated if souls have not other lives in which the 
present inequalities are satisfactorily accounted for. 

But here is another purpose in reincarnation. Retribution ( T ) ; 
and the souls are led or enticed to come of their own free will 
into such circumstances furnished by the Earth-Soul ( 8 ) as 
will purify the souls by retribution ( 9 ), these circumstances be- 
coming indissoluble parts of her as soon as she has incarnated 

In order to make this retribution clear, Plotinos quotes the 
famous passage of Plato (") which sets forth, for instance*, that 
foolish kings will be reincarnated as eagles, quiet citizens as 
bees, etc. (). 

Superficial readers have seized upon this passage to prove that 
Plotinos taught a theory of reincarnation which made no dif- 
ference between human and animal bodies. There can not, how- 

46 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

ever, be the slightest doubt that Plotinos held no such theory ; 
and as a matter of fact, many commentators have been led into 
this blunder because Plotinos, in quoting this passage from 
Plato, does not state that it is not his own, as is his custom, 
when quoting Plato, who was " the philosopher." 

In the first place, we have already seen that Plotinos took the 
trouble to say that the human reason was " rational " so that 
it should not be likely to desire to incarnate in the body of an 
animal ( 13 ). Besides, in the Cosmical Nous the Idea of a cow or 
dog are as natural as those of men, and therefore it would be 
unnatural for a human mind to' enter into an animal body ("). 

Such a scheme of haphazard interchange would interfere with 
strict retribution among men. 

Plotinos's own scheme of reincarnation ( 15 ) will be found very 
rational : bad masters become slaves, rich people who have used 
their wealth badly, poor ; murderers are murdered, and rapers 
are raped. 

During the intervals between incarnations souls (which are in 
this condition often confused with daemons) go to that part of 
the World-Soul which is appropriate to their merits and their 
condition, the good souls being at rest, and the evil ones suf- 
fering in the meanwhile ( 16 ). 

The idea of a physical resurrection was most repugnant to 
Plotinos ; as the body is no more than the tool or prison of the 
soul, it. would be cruel to enclose the soul in it and all its im- 
perfections forever ( 1T )- After death, the soul goes whither its 
inclination leads it, so that true friends will meet once more : 
when the soul reincarnates it reincarnates in the body most suit- 
able for it ( 18 ). When the soul has left its body, it becomes that 
towards which it had directed its activity (") 

Thus it may indeed happen, that on account of utter and re- 
peated wickedness a soul may sink into matter and die in bes- 
tial circumstances (*) so that it will reincarnate in an animal or 
vegetable body ( 21 ) ; for if the soul has become bestial, it is not 
able to form for itself anything more than a bestial body. 

The souls that need no more reincarnations on earth are 
placed on the stars, whence they may see the universe, and be 
in such circumstances as are most fitted to develop them. The 
purest souls turn themselves towards the Cosmical Nous, and re- 
turn for ever to their intelligible home. 

3. The Three Factors. There are three factors in each reincar- 

There is in all Being the yearning of love ; to communicate 
of itself to that which is below. For such a reason, The God begat 
the Nous in his own image. Likewise souls seek to beget their 
image, and to give of themselves or the things below them. 
From such a divine mission the soul returns better than she was 
when she incarnated ; for she has been, as Methodius says, to a 
certain extent a Christ. She must become individualized, and 
self-determined to seek the good, till there be no more possi- 
bility of falling ( M ) although in another place Plotinos says that 

Reincarnation. 47 

even unto the highest development a soul can reach on earth, 
there is always for her the possibility of falling C 28 ). Her first 
desire is to care for and to enlighten the world of the senses; but 
if she forgets herself in this occupation, and becomes anxious 
for the welfare of the body and for its lusts, she is held down by 
it ("). 

In the second place, it is from her own inclination, and de- 
sire that she incarnates in any particular body ( M ). 

Yet, lastly, this very desire of hers was foreseen, foredeter- 
mined her destiny (*") ; in the fulness of time, with magical 
powers she enters the body the Earth-Soul has prepared for her; 
for she was not strong enough to remain in the intelligible 
world C 27 ). 

4. Objection from Oblivion. The usual objection to the theory of 
Reincarnation is the contention that in the present life human 
souls do not remember their former incarnations. 

Plotinos meets this objection in the following way. The lower 
faculties of the soul, including Sense, Vitality, and Body wliich 
include also the passions and the physical memory, are furnished 
by the Earth-Soul new to every soul which incarnates. We have 
already seen that at death the soul leaves behind the earthy 
spiritual body, with its passions and memories ( M ). This earthly 
spiritual body lasts longer than the physical body, but begins to 
decay at death, having in itself all that was learnt on earth, with 
all the remembrance of the petty things of the life ( 29 ). As we 
have seen, there is a higher memory in the eternal impassible 
soul which also has the records of the life : and when the in- 
carnate soul will have developed far enough, it will come into 
the consciousness of a)l its past lives. Thus Plotinos says that 
in the interval between incarnations much would be forgotten, 
anyway, and consequently the Platonic recollection is put aside 
for the lower faculties of the soul ("). 

In order to make the point of Potinos clear, we may make use 
of an illustration. A College graduate, in middle life, has prob- 
ably forgotten most if not all the definite facts he learnt at Col- 
lege, and yet he uses that mental training which that learning 
gave him, to the end of his years. 

5. Objection from Suicide. There is still another objection to 
reincarnation. If reincarnation be true, then suicide is not only 
safe, but a very efficient means to free oneself from circum- 
stances that have become unendurable for the time being. 

On the contrary, the theory of reincarnation is the only theory 
that will yield an adequate argument against suicide. It is fool- 
ishness to waste opportunities of development ; and it is foolish 
to leave the world until the soul is ready to abandon the cir- 
cumstances surrounding it, and has learnt all possible lessons 
from them ( w ). 


As we. have already pointed out, the main import of tne phil- 
osophy of Plotinos is ethical, or practical. The end of his sys- 
tem is the highest attainment possible to man ; and that is the 
contemplative or theoretic life. But we have also seen how sup- 
remely important to this life is morality (- 1 ). 

i. Virtue and Vice. All virtues are purifications, by which the 
scful may disentangle itself from the lusts of the flesh. These 
purifications cannot change the soul, since it is impassible and 
eternal ; but they alter its relation to the body, giving it the 
upper hand ( 2 ) and freeing it from the lusts and disturbances of 
the flesh ( 3 ). It then appears in its original purity ( 4 ), in which 
state its likeness to God appears patent to all ( 5 ). Purity of soul 
consists in the reason seeking to identify itself with the individ- 
ual Nous, or Mind ( 6 ). As long as it keeps its purity, the soul 
finds nothing evil ; let purity be lost, and life is an evil ; for life 
is good only inasmuch as evil is repelled ( 7 ). The soul itself is 
not evil, as long as it does not descend from the good ( 8 ). 

What are the impediments of the soul? Anger, cupidity, lust, 
pain, fear, gluttony, intemperance, avarice ( 9 ). What are the 
goods we must attain? Just habits, pure temperance, fortitude, 
modesty, calmness, divinity of mind ( 10 ). 

What are virtues? "The energy of the soul, that which is 
good for her according to her nature (")." Virtue is the most 
effective means of development, being more effective than even 
prayer ( 12 ). What beauty is to the body, that is virtue to the 
soul ( 13 ). 

The four Platonic Cardinal Virtues are Temperance, Courage, 
Magnanimity, and Prudence. Those who are unpurged by vir- 
tue lie in Hades. Temperance is the fleeing of bodily lusts, sen- 
sual gratification, and pleasure the attainment of utter purity. 
Courage is but the overcoming of the fear of death, that is, fear 
of the soul of being outside of the body. This implies indiffer- 
ence to all earthly advantages, or anything which cannot be 
taken away wth the soul at the time of death. Magnanimity is 
the contempt of all advantages on earth. Prudence is wisdom 
in turning away from lower things, and turning to the things 
above ( 14 ). 

It. would be hard to find a more searching rule of life than 
this, or a discipline that leads to a higher end than this : the end 
of our life is not to avoid evil or copy the examples of good 
men, but to become God ( 15 ). 

Ethics. 49 

2. Philosophy of Sin. We must now enquire concerning the 
nature of sin. It is the agreement of the higher with the lower 
faculties, instead of compelling them to obedience ( 16 ). The 
rational soul itself can never sin, but the lower soul may cease 
to be its image, and break loose from its control and influence 
( 1T ). The death of the soul occurs when it is merged into the 
body, and thus dies along with it, when buried in the ground. 
This externalization of the soul is what is meant by Hades ( 18 ). 
The weakness of the body which leads to sin is laziness, whereby 
the soul becomes overweighted with matter in generating off- 
spring ( 19 ). The natural appetites of the body are in themselves 
good, so long as they are not misused C 20 ) ; likewise, the world 
is beautiful by nature, so that souls may be recalled to God. 
Pain and sorrow are the first perceptions of some dissolution 
( 21 ). The causes of sin are " rashness," primary " otherness," 
and a desire to belong to oneself C 22 ). But above all, the first 
cause of sin is " falling into generation ( 23 )." The meaning of 
temperance is turning into oneself from the flesh and its lusts (") 

Yet the definite reason for turning away from the flesh, its 
lusts, and the body, has not yet been assigned. The reason of 
it is as follows : we have seen that all actions of the body in the 
dispensation of the world-order have been strictly predeter- 
mined, and that liberty exists only in the intelligible world. It 
is plain, therefore, that if the reason identifies itself with the 
body, it becomes absolutely the slave of the determinism of 
external causality. If however it identifies itself with its " ideal " 
soul, or with its individual Nous, then it has identified itself with 
that part of itself which is free, and outside of the sphere of de- 
terminism. The lusts of the flesh lead to slavery ; purity leads 
to freedom and self-determination. We are not to be a live 
body, but an embodied spirit ( 25 ). Inside the body, the soul is 
preordained, along with all things ; outside of it she is free. 
Therefore the aim of her struggles is to separate herself from 
the body ( M ). 

3. The Path of Enlightenment. This part of the Soul's develop- 
ment is called " enlightenment C 27 )," for she is herself a light. 
This development may be divided into three C 28 ) or seven ( 29 ) de- 
grees: I. Purification by virtues; II. Prayer; III. The adorning 
and purification of the soul; IV. Beginning to be conscious of 
the intelligible world^V. Perseverance in this course ; VI. Full 
fruition in it ; becoming like God, and unable to fall back ; VII. 
Becoming God ( 30 ). Thus the development of every successive 
faculty, assisted by knowledge of the right doctrine. 

Although this path of development is the same for all souls, 
yet as there are different kinds of souls, or souls with differing 
characteristics, it is plain that the course of development must 
be changed for each, although probably the same stages, or like 
stages will occur. 

This Plotinos calls " the threefold return of the soul to God 
( 31 ) ." Each soul must progress in its own manner, since the 
perfect life is, in each degree, to live according to nature ( w ). 

50 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

There are three kinds of Souls : the Musician, who learns by 
experience ; the Philosopher, who seeks knowledge, and the 
Lover, whose characteristic power it is to love ( 33 ). Active and 
sensual men are exiles from their true home ; the Active re- 
turn to their fatherland easier than the Sensual men, who are 
like beasts laden down with prey Plotinos then says that the 
Musician is led upward from harmonious sounds to harmony in 
general, and from this to ideality whence the path to the in- 
telligible world is plain ( 34 ). The Lover is at first entangled in 
the beauty of the flesh, but rises by his utter unselfishness to the 
beauty of morals, and thence to science and the Nous ( 35 ). 
Lastly, the Philosopher, who seeks knowledge, is so near to 
perfection that he only needs a guide to free him from the weak- 
ness of the body ( 3e ). 

4. The Daemon of Conscience. But who shall this necessary 
guide be? Conscience, the Daemon. Plotinos's explanation of 
the phenomena of conscience is singularly clear and interesting. 
The Daemon is not, as might be supposed, a supernatural guide. 
It is only a natural phenomenon of psychology. It is not an 
intelligence external to ourselves ; it is only our own higher self. 
We have seen that man epitomizes in himself many principles. 
His reason, as a rule, has identified itself with some one particu- 
lar principle of his nature, either his individual Nous, or his 
senses. The Daemon that leads him and warns him is that facul- 
ty of his which is next above the one with which his reason has 
identified itself. Let us suppose, for instance, that the reason of 
a man has identified itself with his senses, and their lusts. Tne 
next higher principle will then guide him and warn him of the 
consequences of his self-indulgence. In this case the Daemon 
would be his own individual Nous. Again, suppose his reason 
has identified itself with his individual Nous : the Daemon in 
this case will be the Cosmic Nous or Mind. Once more, if his 
reason should further identify itself with his Cosmic Nous, then 
the Daemon could be God himself. 

The question arises,why could not God himself lead him in the 
very first instance. Plotinos is not very clear on this point ; it 
would seem he doubts the lower man could hear the Voice of 
God. Thus man chooses his own Daemon, according to the 
choice of principle on which he will act ( 3T ). Thus no man is 
left to flounder in the dark, by God ; if man will but listen to 
his inner voice, which will change with his own change for 
better or worse C 38 ), he will be led into the full glory of Divinity. 

The inner voice is heard by prayer ; and the value of prayer 
is great. Mere intellectual will and desire will certainly get an 
appropriate answer through the law of the coherence of things 
( 3U ) ; but true prayer is adoration, not command of the Divinity 


We thus come to the full meaning of the maxim, know thy- 
self ( 41 ). The highest self of every man is God. This divinity 
of every man is quiescent in him until he have developed it. To 
become God, we have only to know ourselves. The human 

Ethics. Si 

soul is not an aggregate ; it is an organic unity of which God 
is the highest phase. We develop by simplification of soul (**). 
To enter into oneself, is to enter into God (**). Only with the 
presupposition of such a psychology can the true meaning of the 
famous maxim appear (**). Plotinos claimed to have received 
the conception from tradition that was secret (**) ; Philo Judaeus 
claimed the same origin for many of his dogmas. Thus, by the 
purification of virtue, we rise, and are delivered from the bond- 
age of the flesh and the world and ascend to 'the life of godlike 
men and Gods, when in beatific vision we shall see God, " Phuge 
monou pros monon," the flight of the Single to the Single, face 
to face. 

5. Ecstasy. Plotinos had attained to ecstaic union with the 
Deity four times during the years that Porphyry lived with him. 
Hence, he described it as an objective fact (**) : " Often having 
been awakened to myself outside of the body, and having come 
to be outside of all other things, but within myself, I saw a 
marvellous light and beauty ; then there came over me an ab- 
solute certainty that my destiny was a great one ; for when I 
lived my highest life, and co-operated with the Deity in it, and 
when I arrived, in it, to its activity, then I established myself 
above all intellectual things." 

We must now explain the process of ecstasy. Ratiocination 
is a mediate process which is subsumed under the Unity of ap- 
perception. It is therefore not the highest mental activity ( 4T ). 
We must proceed beyond it, and yield ourselves to the higher 
being ( 48 ). We must prepare ourselves for absolute receptivity, 
by being disturbed by no ratiocination ( 49 ). Thus can we be 
suddenly filled with the higher light that streams from Deity 
( M ) just as the soul emits the light to form the celestial spirit- 
ual body, and to join it to the earthly one. Now we have Deity 
without being able to describe it ( 51 ) because the healthiest states 
of the body are often unconscious ones ( M ). Being united to 
that which is above thought, the soul is no more soul or self, 
but pure rest in God ; and it is in " ekstasis," (standing out 
above), " Haplosis," (simplification), and is in a state to be 
compared only with intoxication or love-madness ( M ). The in- 
telligible light cannot be sought ; it must be awaited like the 
rising sun ; suddenly it appears in the soul it is there, it has 
not come ( M ). It fills with joy and gladness, ( M ) which however 
cannot last long ( M ). The soul abandons the Deity not out of 
fear, but out of natural restlessness and weakness, so that it 
must fall from the Divine hypostatic union ( 5T ) as long as it is in- 
carnate, for it has not yet completely severed the ties that bind 
it to earth ( M ). Yet, as long as life will last, there will be an un- 
quenchable desire to behold the Divine Light once more ( 59 ). 

Yet, we must reoeat, it is not every soul that can behold God. 
If the eye is unclean, it cannot see. " The eye can never hope 
to see the sun, unless it have become fit to see it ; nor can any 
soul hope to see that which is Beautiful, unless it be beautiful it- 
self. Let everyone who would behold God and the Beautiful 

52 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

become godlike and beautiful himself ( 60 )." The soul must re- 
turn to herself, and if she does not find herself beautiful, she 
must polish herself as the sculptor polishes his statue. 

In the act of ecstasy there are three stages : expectation of 
the Divine, absoluts trust in it, and final self-immolation, which 
is above conscious thought in silence and peace. Nor can we 
then see God : for if we could, God would be outside of our- 
selves, whereas God rises into us from within ( 82 ). Thus God 
is the Light which is seen, but which is lost in the very vision of 
it : for " Ta duo hen gignetai," both become one ( 81 ). Eternal 
felicity comes from eternal proximity to God ( 82 ), the eternally 
beautiful, so that the soul loves God and is ever forced to begin 
again to love him ( 63 ). 

"Since God admits no Diversity into himself, he is always pre- 
sent; and we become present to him whenever we put away Di- 
versity from us. He does not seek us, as though he were forced 
to live for us; but we seek him and live for him. Although indeed 
we are ever revolving around him, we do not see him contin- 
uallv : but as a choir of singers which turns around the supreme 
Master may for a short while be distracted from contemplation 
of the Master, and blunder in the harmony, yet when they turn 
to him then everything is perfect once again, thus do we always 
revolve around God, even when we forget about it. But when 
we look towards him again, then is our utmost wish crowned, 
and we sing to him a Divine song, ever revolving around him. 
( 4 )." Every S oul in its natural state loves God, desiring to be 
united to him, affecting the honest love of a pure virginity ( M )." 
" Such is the life of Gods, of divine and blessed men, turning 
away from the desolate life here below, flying alone to meet 
God alone, face to face C 66 )." 

6. Happiness. Such are the delights of ecstasy. These are 
however not given to .all. Happiness is the most that many are 
able to reach ; and intelligible happiness all can have, although 
they cannot all be free from pain ( 6T ). As the intelligible world 
is outside of time, so there can be no addition of pleasure by re- 
petition of ecstasy ("*) ; the only possible increase is a sound- 
ing of deeper depths within ( 89 ). The famous Aristotelian quib- 
ble about the happiness of life being only known when life is 
over and at an end is nothing but a very transparent sophism ( T0 ) 
since happiness, after all, does not depend on deeds ( 71 ). 

The wise man will have both joy and sorrow ( 72 ), for nothing 
can be added to him or taken from him. If they are equally 
wise, the rich and the poor man will be equally happy ; for if 
external goods cannot add anything to intelligible things, how 
can they add aught to intelligible happiness ( T ). Happiness is 
of the soul so that even the change of death has no power to dis- 
turb it ( 74 ). Death is after all nothing more terrible than a 
change of dress on the stage ( 7B ). It is only terrible to children, 
not to men ( 78 ). The soul should use the body as a tool, and not 
be more affected by its injuries than a workman is affected by 
the injury to his tool ( 7T ). Even in the bull of Phalaris. the wise 

Ethics. 53 

man is happy ( 7 *). Plotinos is not always so Stoical ; he has 
usually more common sense, as when he says the end of virtue' 
is to separate soul from body ; but that until that time its pains 
and sorrows must be borne as well as possible ( 79 ). Misfortune 
is nothing to the good, and to the evil it is a means of educa- 
tion. While we have bodies, they are certain to be sick at one 
time or another and we must bear the inextirpablc evil as well 
as possible. After all, the purpose of life is to give souls an op- 
portunity to become happy, and it is our own fault and weakness 
if we are not. " What is the wonder if souls do not enjoy a 
divine life if they do not seek to become godlike ( 80 )?" The 
wise man enjoys the highest happiness of the world, the unsel- 
fish intuitions ( 81 ). For the fleshly, this happiness therefore can- 
not exist ( 82 ), and though the wise man may not enjoy all the 
different pleasures of life, he sounds its deepest depths O 53 ). 
Circumstances can only affect the external consciousness of the 
happy man ; so that when the soul awakens into itself it forgets 
its earthly nightmare of misery, and its real waking hours are 
continually with God ( 84 ). 


1. God, the Over-Beautiful. Plotinos is so passionately fond of 
Beauty, that a review of his philosophy could not be complete, 
if it did not set forth his opinion on the subject. 

As God is Over-Good, so is he Over-Beautiful. The Cosmic 
Nous is beautiful, because it is the image of God (') ; the World 
is beautiful, because it is the image of the Nous (*}. There are 
therefore three most beautiful things : the Cosmic Nous, the 
World-Soul, and the World-Body. Men who are slaves to 
Venus do not understand that what seems beautiful to them is 
only beautiful because it is in some faint way the image of one 
of these three things ( 3 ). When we behold beautiful things, we 
become beautiful ; when we ignore them, we are ugly ( 4 ). Any- 
thing is beautiful, therefore, only inasmuch as it is an image, 
however, faint, of one of these three things ( 5 ). Beauty therefore 
lies in form ( 6 ). In as far then as any begotten image of the 
Cosmic Nous resembles its Idea in the Nous (its Unity) is it 
beautiful ( 7 ). Thus again, Unity is beautiful, the Manifold is 
ugliness. The Divine Nous is the " Protos kalon, mega kallos, 
noeton kalon" ; and beauty is in Soul as begotten of the Nous 
( 8 ). Beauty is form vanquishing matter, the Divine Idea ex- 
pressing itself through matter ; therefore matter is the last beau- 
tiful (") the beauty of matter being more fully revealed in the 
Realm of nature ( 10 ). 

2. Human Beauty. The soul, being itself an image of the 
Nous, possesses in itself an innate formula or reason (since the 
inner self is The God, the Over-Good), by which she recognizes 
instinctively the beautiful. This formula is a Divine Idea ("). 
Beauty is both sensutffand incorporeal ( 12 ). Sensual beauty is 
especially that of the eye or ear. Incorporeal beauty is the beauty 
of virtue, or the beauty of the soul, which is the Divine Light 
itself. ; A 

As nobody can speak of physical beauty until he have seen 
it himself, so nobody should dare to judge of incorporeal beauty 
until he have perceived it himself by the faculties of his own 
mind. Corporeal beauty is outside of the man ; incorporeal 
within ; consequently, a man cannot judge of incorporeal beauty 
until he have returned to himself, or rather become perfect 

As our physical sight or hearing must be perfect before we can 
judge of the beaiJty of a statue, or of a song, just so must we be 
normally beautiful ourselves before we dare give a judgement on 

Aesthetics. 55 

incorporeal beauty. We must return to ourselves, and if we find 
we are not beaut.iful, we must polish and cut until the inner 
statue be perfect. 

The good and beautiful is that after which every soul strives : 
" Hou oregetai pasa psuche," ( 13 ). " Those who penetrate into 
the holy of -holies must first be purified by taking off their gar- 
ments, and enter naked into that which they seek ; and there 
they exist, and live, and understand Whoever therefore sees 
this, with what a love does he burn, with what a desire does he 
yearn to be at one with the beloved ;" for the beauty of the 
vision of God is the end of all souls, whose sorrows and trials 
keep them from forgetting the desire for eternal bliss. " There" 
(") " is the fatherland whence we came ; and there is our 
Father." To fly to God we need no fleet or ships ; " we must 
throw away all things, neither strive to see any more ; but hav- 
ing closed the eye of the body, we must assume and resurrect 
another vision, which all indeed possess, but which very few in- 
deed develop." 


1. Pagan Deities. It has been supposed that in framing his 
system of philosophy, Plotinos was seeking to rehabilitate Pa- 
ganism as a religion, by furnishing it with a dogmatical basis 
such as it had not had before. Such a conception is totally mis- 
taken. His references to the Gods are merely illustrative, for the 
sake of cutting his explanations short ; and he does not act 
differently from Plato in the matter. Besides, if we glance over 
the full list of references we find many duplications of nomen- 
clature, such as the Earth-Soul, which is sometimes called Zeus, 
Aphrodite, Rhea, and Hermes ; we find many totally incompa- 
tible conceptions, as for instance, that Uranus and Kronos are 
still ruling deities, which still give Zeus all the power he wields, 
and that Zeus and human souls are " sister-souls." Then we 
find a total lack of order in the nomenclature, many of the most 
important names being left out entirely, with no possibility of 
finding cosmic realities to which to apply them. 

2. Monotheism. If the pagan names of Deities used by Plotinos 
indicated a dogmatical system, then the Pagan religions would 
have to be changed ; for the system of Plotinos is a rigid mono- 
theism ; and his whole conception of the One only source of 
life and light seems incompatible with the Pagan Olympic Re- 

3. Augustine's Debt to Plotinos. Proof of this may be found in 
the fact that Augustine of Hippo took the whole conception of 
monotheism in its cosmic relations as it stood in Plotinos's 
works into his De Civitate Dei, without any material alterations. 
Besides, when Herennius divided each of the three Plotinic 
orders of existence into other three, this conception was almost 
literally transcribed into Christian monotheism by merely al- 
tering the nomenclature, is it not certain that it could not be 
the basis of Pagan dogma, unless we are willing to admit that 
Pagan dogma and Christian dogma were at bottom the same ? 

4. The Last Light of Greece. Plotinos is the last great light of 
the Greek world. He summed up in himself almost all that was 
worth preserving in the labours of his predecessors, and proving 
that it was possible, outside of Christianity, to conceive of God 
as absolutely just, as absolute Love, and absolute beauty. 
Augustinian Christianity could not do as much. The absolute 
justice of God is supposed to have demanded the damnation of 

Plotinos and Paganism. 57 

the whole race he had made, unbaptised infants and all else, in- 
discriminately. The absolute love of God could only be vindi- 
cated by a super-natural mediation to tide over the emergency of 
the ruin of his creatures. And we need not scruple to say Au- 
gustine had no conception of God as the absolute Beauty. 

Plotinos looked forward to the salvation of all, after salutary 
education ; Augustine still speaks of eternal fire and of the worm 
that dieth not. ,- 

The difficulty of Plotinos to explain his conception of the way 
in which God begets his creatures, affects Christianity equally : 
and Christianity has the additional difficulty of providing an ex- 
planation for the other mode of origination called " creating." 

Both Plotinos and Christianity preach lofty morality ; but the 
guidance of human life of Plotinos is God himself ; whereas 
Augustine hesitates to say as much, lest the glory of the Son 
be surpassed. 

Christianity preaches the physical resurrection ot the flesh ; 
Plotinos cannot away with it ; he does not look forward with 
any degree of comfort at being enclosed for all eternity in the 
limitations of the old body, even when glorified. He guards the 
truth implied in it by the fact that souls when reincarnating 
reassume flesh, without condemning them to it for all eternity. 

Last of all, Plotinos explains every little injustice in the world, 
every sorrow, every tear ; for reincarnation furnishes a scheme 
of absolute justice. Christianity closes its eyes to the injustice, 
and inequality of this world in its sublime faith that somehow 
God is just ; but the Christian priest is mute before the cry for 
justice in this world from the sorrowful and oppressed. 

Plotinos is long since dead ; his philosophy, as his own, is 
long dead ; but it has never died : for it has strutted about in 
borrowed plumes since his day till now. Yet, the world cannot 
look back, it has too much in the future to crown it with suc- 
cess : few will have the time or leisure to look at the page of 
ancient history on which we read the name of Plotinos. 
will be a satisfaction for us to know that even. in those gloomy 
days, God was in his world, and revealed himself as ever through 
his prophets and his saints. 




Where no name is given " Poemandres " is understood. 
ill Justin Martyr, Apol. 1 : 21, 22 ; 2 : 6. Tertullian. c. Val. 15. de 
Aniinsi. 2. 33. Cyprian, de Idol. Van. Euseb. Pamph. Hist. Lib. 5: 8. 
Clem. Al.. Strom., 1: 21; 6: 4. Firm Lact. Div. Inst. 1: 6, 11; 2: 9. Bpit. 
c. 4. Div. Inst. 2: 11, 13, 15, 16; 4: 8, 9, 6. 5: 65. 6: 25. 7: 4, 9, 13, 18. 
Arimbius Adv. Gent. 2: 13. Aug. de Civ. Dei, 8: 23, 26. Cyril Al. c. 
Jul. 1: 30a, 31b, 33c; 2: 52a, 56b, 57b, 63e, 64c; 8: 274c; 5:176b. Quoted. 
(2) Lact. Div. Inst. 4: 9. (3) Cyril Al. c. Jul. 33c. (4) 13: 21. (5) 13: 4. 
(6) 1: 12. (7) 13: 2. (8) 5: 4. (9) 9: 6. (10) 1: 9. (11) 1: 4. (12) 1: 5. (13) 
1: 9; 5: 7. (14) 12: 19. (15) 1: 12, 31; 4: 11; 5: 8; 8: 25; 9: 5; 12: 16. 
(16) 1: 26. (17) 1: 26. (18) 1: 9-11; 3: 3; 11-7. (19) 12: 22. (20) 13: 15. (21) 
10: 13. (22) 10: 13; 12: 16. (23) 1: 8; 5: 11; 8: 2, 5; 9: 8; 10: 12, 14; 11: 
4. (24) Of Hermes of Thai, to Tat. Ex 'Stobaeus Phys. 699 Meinecke, 
1: 190. Patritius, p. 4. (25) 10: 1-3. (26) 1: 10; 2: 16; 7: 5; 14: 9. (27) 12: 
8. (28) 1: 10. (29) 12: 1. (30) 1: 8. (31) 11: 17. (32) 1: 8, 9, 13, 14; 8: 2. 
(33) 2: 1-4; 8: 5. (34) 2: 17; 4: 8. (35) 10: 19, 20. (36) 9: 6; 10: 23. (37) 
4: 3, 6. (38) 10: 23. (39) 4: 6. (40) 4: 11. (41) 10: 20. (42) 11: 21. (43) 11: 
22. (44) 1: 31. (45) 13: 2. (46) 13: 7. (47) 13: 12. (48) 10: 19. (49) 12: 23. 
(50) 10: 0. (51) 13: 14. (52) 10: 19. (53) 12: 1. (54) 1: 26; 10: 6. (55) 4: 8. 


Where no name is given "Ennead " is understood. 

(It Vita. Plotini. Porphyry, c. 3. (2) Eusebius, H. E. 6: 19, 7. (3) Bigg. 
Christian Platonists of Alex. p. 46. Note 2. (4) 3: 9: 2. (5) 1: 1: 12; 1: 
2: 1 Beg. 1: 3: 1 Beg. 3: 91: 1 Beg. 6: 6: 17, p. 690 D. (6) 3: 4: 2. (7) 
4: 4: 22. (8) 3: 7, proem 325, C. (9) 5: 1: 8. (10) 3: 7, proem 325, C. (11) 
2: 4: 7. (12) 4: 3: 1. "Let us be persuaded by the commandment of 
the God to know ourselves" "Peithouinetha de an t6 tou Theou parkel- 
cusmati hautous gignoskein." 


(1) Knn. 4: 3: 1. (2) 1: 1: 12. (3) 3: 8: 4, 5 seqq. (4) 6: 9: 11; 4: 7: 12: 
1: 1: 8. See in general 1: 4: 9, 16; 4: 7: 12, 1: 7: 2. (5) 4: 7: 12; 1: 1: 

8. (6) 1: 1: 8; 4: 7: 12; 5: 3: 3. (7) 1: 6: 5; 3: 5: 4; 6: 7: 4. (8) 1: 4: 

9. (9) 1: 4: 9, 6: 4: 15. (10) 1: 4: 9, 10; 6: 4: 15. (11) 6: 4: 15. (12) 2: 
3: 12; 2: 1: 5. See 1: 4: 9; 2: 1: 5; 2: 3: 12, 13; 2: 9: 17. (13) 6: 7: 6. 
(14) 4: 4: 4. See 6: 7: 15; 5: 2: 1; 5: 3: 3; 6: 5: 12; 6: 7: 6; 3: 5: 4; 1; 
4: 9, 10. (15) 1: 1: 12; 4: 3: 23; 6: 4: 16. (16) 6: 7: 6. (17) 6: 7: 14; 3: 2: 
7; 4: 4: 36. (18) 6: 7: 30. (19) 3: 8: 5, 6. (20) 3: 8. Int. (21) 2: 1: 5, 3: 4: 
3. (22) 4: 3: 20-24; 4: 7: 1; 6: 4: 16. (23) 6: 7: 5; 3: 4: 3; 4: 3: 12; 4: 7: 
13: 4: 8: 8. (24) 4: 7: 12. (25) 1: 1: 9; 4: 8: 4; 6: 3: 1; 6: 4: 14. (26) 1: 

62 The Philosophy of Plotinos. 

1: 7; 2: 10; 5: 1: 10. (27) 1: 1: 10; 1: 4: 16; 1: 7: 4; 6: 7: 5. (28) 1: 1: 
7; 1: 8: 5; 5: 7: 5; 6: 4: 15. (29) 1: 1: 3, 4. (30) 6: 9: 8. (31) 6: 5: 11. (32) 
5: 1: 10. 


(1) 3: 8: 7, 8; 5: 1: 4; 5: 3: 10; 5: 6: 2; 6: 7: 39; 6: 9: 6, 7. (2) 5: 3: 
10-13; 6: 7: 37. (3) 5: 3: 12; 5: 6: 3; 6: 6: 13. (4) 6: 9: 1. (5) 3: 8: 10; 5: 
3: 17. (6) 6: 2: 17. (7) 5: 4: 1. (8) 5: 3: 11; 6: 7: 17; 6: 9: 6. (9) 3: 8: 9. 
(10) 6: 8: 11. (11) 1: 7: 1; 1: 8: 2; 6: 8: 16 End. (12) 4: 3: 8; 6: 7: 17; 
6: 9: 6. (13) 6: 7: 17, 32, 33; 6: 8: 11; 6: 9: 3. (14) 1: 6: 6, 9; 5: 8: 8. 
(15) 5: 5: 12. (16) 6: 8: 12; 6: 9: 6. (17) 4: 4: 9, 10. (18) 1: 7: 1; 6: 7: 17; 
6: 8: 12; (19) 5: 3: 12. (20) 3: 8: 10; 3: 9: 3; 5: 3: 11, 12; 5: 6: 2. (21) 
6: 7: 41; 5: 3: 13. (22) 5: 3: 13; 14; 5: 5: 6, 10; 6: 7: 32; 6: U: :>,. (23) r>: 
5: 13 Beg.; 6: 2: 12, 17; 6; 7: 38 Beg. (24) 5: 5: 6; 6: 2: 9; 6: 9: 5. <2o) 
1: 8: 2; 3: 8: 8; 5: 5: 9; 6: 9: 6. (26) 3: 8: 9; 4; 8: 6; 5: 3: 16; 5: X 4: 1; 
6: 9: 5. (27) 6: 8: 12, J6, 20; 5: 4: 2. (28) 6: 8: 8. (29) 6: 9: 3 Bud. (30) 
6: 9: 8. (31) 2: 9: 4, 8; 3: 2: 1, 2. (32) 3: 2; 2; 3: 3: 7 Beg; 5: 3: 12 Beg; 
5: 4: 1; 4: 8: 6; 6: 7: 1, 3; 6: 8: 18 End. (33) 6: 7; 3. (34) 2: 9: 3. (35) 
2: 1: 2; 2: 9: 3. (36) 3: 5: 4. (37) 6: 7: 22. (38) 6: 7: 31. (39) 5: 1: 6; 5: 
2: 1. (40) 5: 1: 6. (41) 2: 3: 12. (42) 3: 8: 9; 5: 1: 3; 6: 5: 3 Beg; 6: 9: 
5; 5: 1: 6. (43) 5: 5: 9. (44) 1: 6: 3; 3: 8: 9; 5: 1: 6; 5: 3: 12, 15. (45) 
5: 5: 7; 6: 4: 9; 6: 8: 18. (46) 1: 7: 1; 6: 5: 5; 6: 8: 18. (47) 1: 7: 1; 1: 8: 
2. (48) 3: 2: 3: (49) 6: 7: 16. (50) 1: 7: 1; 1: 8: 2; 5: 1: 6; 5: 5: 12; 6: 
4: 8; 6: 5: 10. (51) 6: 5: 1. (52) 3: 2: 16. (53) 3: 8: 10; 5: 8: 12. (54) 1: 7: 
1; 3: 3: 7; 6: 2: 11; 6: 4: 9. (55) 6: 2: 11; 6: 5: 1. (56) 5: 5: 5; 6: 2: 11; 
6: 9: 1. (57) 4: 4: 13. (58) 4: 4: 16. (59) 6: 5: 6. (60) 5: 5: 9; 6: 5: 3, 4, 6: 
6: 2: 3; 6: 4: 3, 2; 6: 5: 1. (61) 4: 3: 12; 5: 5: 9; 6: 5: 4. (62) 1: 7: 
(63) 3: 2: 16. (64) 5: 1: 7. (65) 6: 4: 7. (66) 4: 3: 22; 5: 1: 3. (67) 5: 2: 2. 
(68) 6: 4: 13, 14. (69) 6: 4: 2, 3. (70) 6: 4: 13. (71) 6: 5: 2. (72) 5: 3: 1. 
(73) 2: 3: 18. 


(1) 5: 1: 7; 5: 9: 1-13. (2) 5: 1: 5; 5: 3: 15; 5: 9: 6; 6: 9: 5. (3) 5: 6: 2. 
(4) 1: 8: 2. (5) 3: 7: 5. (6) 5: 1: 4. (7) 2: 9: 1; 5: 3: 7. (8) 5: 1: 4; 5: 35. 
(9) 1: 8: 2; 5: 3: 9; 5: 5: 1; 5; 9: 7; 6: 2: 21. (10) 6: 2: 8. (11) 4: 3: 25; 
r>: 5: 1. (12) 5: 3: 7, 11. (13) 5: 6: 2. (14) 5: 3: 6. (15) 1: 8: 2; 3: 6: 6; 
5; 3: 6; 6: 2: 21. (16) 6: 1-3. (17) 6: 2: 2. (18) 6: 2: 20. (19) 6: 7: 8. (20) 
6: 7: 13. (21) 3: 2: 1; 5: 8: 3, 4; 6: 7: 15. (22) 6: 7: 8. (23) 6: 7: 9. (24) 
5: !>: 11. (25) 5: 1: 4; 5: 8: 4; 6: 2: 21. 


fl) 1: 8: 2. (2) 2: 9: 2. (3) 2: 9: 9. (4) 2: 9: 13; 4: 3: 10; 6: 5: 10; 6: 
7: 42. (5) 5: 1: 7; 5: 2: 1; 5: 8: 12. (6) 2: 1: 7. (7) 4: 3: 14. (8) 4: 3: 17. 
(9) 4: 4: 25; 5: 8: 12; 3: 7: 10, 12. (10) 4: 7: 13. (11) 3: 9: 1; 4: 1: 1; 4: 
2: 1. (12) 1: 1: 13. (13) 1: 9: 1. (14) 4: 3: 18. (15) 4: 3: 17. (16) 4: 9: 4. 
(17) 4: 9: 5. (18) 4: 3: 16. (19) 4: 3: 5; 4: 8; 3; 5: 7: 1. (20) 4: 3: 5. (21) 
3: 2: 18; 4: 3: 6. (22) 3: 2: 18; 4: 3: 6, 15. (23) 3: 2: 4. (24) 4: 7: 13. (25) 
4: 7: 12. (26) 5: 1: 2. (27) 4: 4: 9, 10 etc. (28) 6: 5: 9. (29) 4: 9: 1; 2: 9: 
7. (30) 4: 3: 20, 21. (31) 2: 2: 2. (32) 4: 3: 2. (33) 5: 1: 3. (34) 4: 4: 1, 2, 
5. (35) 3: 4: 4; 3: 9: 2. (36) 4: 4: 24. (37) 4: 4: 6. (38) 4: 3: 25-27, 29-32. 
4: 4: 6. (39) 4: 4: 10, 12. (40) 4: 4: 24. (41) 4: 3: 10; 4: 4: 10. (42) 5: 1: 7. 
(48). 3: 1: 4; 4: 3: 4. (44) 4: 3: 2, 3. (45) 4: 3: 6. (46) 3: 2: 17. (47) 2: 9: 7. 
(48) 2: 9: 17. (49) 4: 3: 12. (50) 2: 9: 17. (51) 3: 5: 4; 4: 3: 4; 4: 9: 3. 

Notes. 63 


(1) 4: 4: 12. (2) 3: 5: 4. (3) 5: 3: 2. (4) 5: 3: 3. (5) 6: 7: 4. (6) 2: 9: 5, 
18; 4: 4: 6. (7) 2: 9: 5, 18. (8) 2: 9: 8; 3: 5: 6; 4: 3: 11; 5: 1: 2, 4; 5: 
8: 3. (9). 5: 8: 3. (10) 4: 4: 8. (11) 2: 2: 2 End. 4: 4: 6-8, 42, 30. 


(1) 4: 4: 41. (2) 1: 1: 7; 2: 1: 5; 2: 3: 12, 13, 15, 9. 2: 9: 17. 4: 3: 27. 6: 
4: r,. 6, 12, 15, 16. (3) 1: 1: 7. (4) 6: 5: 12. 


ill 5: 1: 7. (2) 3: 5: 2, 8; 5: 8: 13; 6: 8: 6. (3) 3: 8: 4. (4) 2: 1: 5; 2: 
:.: :. 17, 18; 3: 5: 2, 3, 6; 4: 9: 4; 3: 4. (5) 2: 3: 17; 3: 8: 3; 4: 4: 13. (6) 
:'.: x: 2, 3. 4: 4: 13. (7) 3: 8: 3. (8) 2: 9: 2; 3: 2: 2; 3: 3: 3; 4: 3: 10; 4: 
4: 10: 6: 7: 1, 3. (9) 2: 1: 1-4; 3: 2: 1; 4: 3: 9. (10) 4: 3: 12; 5: 7: 1. (11) 
'_': !>: 17; 5: 1: 2; 5: 9: 5; Beg; 6: 4: 2; 6: 3: 15. (12) 3: 2: 7; 4: 4: 36. 
(IX) 4: 4: 45. (14) 3: 2: 16. (15) 2: 9. (16) 2: 9: 4, 8, 13, Beg 17. (17) 2: 
'.: r>. 6, 18. (18) 2: 3: 7; 3: 3: 7; 3: 4: 1; 4: 4: 22, 23, 26, 30. (19) 2: 3: 
1 U, 8. 13, 16, 26; 3: 1: 6; 4: 4: 31, 34. See 2: 3: 12, 15. (20) 3: 1: 6. (21) 
2: .">: 14; 3: 1: 16. (22) 4: 4: 35. (23) 2: 3: 9: 11. (24) 4: 4: 33, 35, 39; 2: 
:<: 7; 3: 1: 6; 4: 3: 12. (25) 4:4: 34, 39. (26) 2: 3: 7; 3: 1: 6. (27) 4: 3: 12. 
CJXi 3: 3: 6. (29) 4: 7: 15. (30 4: 4: 6, 39. (31) 3: 1. (32) 3: 2: 1. (33) 2: 
:!: !>: 3: 1: 9. (34) 6: 8: 2. (35) 6: 8: 2. (36) 6: 8: 3. (37) 6: 8: 3. (38) 6: 
x: 4. (39) 6: 8: 5. (40) 6: 8: 12. (41) 3: 5: 6. (42) 5: 8: 10 Beg. (43) 3: 5: 6. 
i44 4: 4: 43. (45) 4: 3: 18. 


il) 6: 9: 3. (2) 1: 8: 5. (3) 1: 8: 11. 2: 4: 13, 14, 16. (4) 1: 8: 11. (5) 1: 
X: 10. (6) 1: 8: 11; 6: .7: 23; 1: 8: 3. 10-13: 2: 4: 16. (7) 1: 8: 6. (8) 1: 
X: ;{. (9) 1: 8: 4, 8. (10) 1: 8: 10, 12. (11) 2: 3: 11. (12) 3: 2: 4. (13) 3: 
J: r>: (14) 3: 2: 11. (15) 3: 2: 14. (16) 1: 8: 7; 2: 3: 18; 3: 2: 5; 4: 3: 9. 
(17) 1: 8: 4. (18) 2: 7: 3. (19) 2: 4: 8. (20) 2: 4: 7, 11; 3: 6: 16-18. (21) 
2: 4: 8; 3: 6: 7. (22) 2: 5: 5. (23) 3: 8: 10. 


(1) 4: 7: 14. (2) 4: 8: 7. (3) 4: 8: 7. (4) _4lj^JL_ (5) 4: 7: 13. (6) 2: 1: 2. 
(7) 3: 2: 4, 13. (8) 2: 3: 15. (9) 4: 3: 24. (10) 2: 3: 16. (11) Phaedo 82 
A. Tim. 91. de Rep. 10: 6: 20. (12) 3: 4: 2. (13) 6: 7: 4. (14) 6: 7: 7. (15) 
3: 2: 13. (16) 3: 4: 6, 4: 8: 5. (17) 3: 6: 6. (18) 4: 3: 13, 15. (19) 3: 4: 2. 
iL'( 1: 8: 13 (21; 3: 4: 2. (22) 4: 8: 5, 7. (23) 4: 4: 5. (24) 4: 3 17; 4: 7: 
18: 4: 8: 4. (25) 3: 2: 12; 4: 8: 5; 5: 1: 1. (26) 4: 3: 13. (27) 4: 8: 5, 6. 
ii'Xi 1: 1: 10, 12; 1: 10: 6. (29) 4: 7: 14; 4: 18: 5. (30) 4: 3: 25, 27, o2; 4: 
I: 1-5. (31) 1: 9: 1; 2: 3: 10; 2: 9: 17. 


(1) (>: 7: 15. (2) 3: 6: 5; 1; 2: 5. (3) 1: 2: 3; 1: 6: 6. (4) 1: 2: 3. (5) 1: 
2: 1. (6) 1: 2: 4. (7) 1: 7: 3. (8) 1: 8: 5. (9) 1: 2: 5; 1: 6: 5. (10) 1: 6: 
r>. (11) 1: 7: 1. (12)JJ:Jh 15. (13) 2: 9: 16. (14) 1:_6: 6. (15) 1: 2: 6, 7 
See 1: 6: 6 etc. (16) 1: 1:~9. (17) 1: 1: 12. (18) 1: 8: 13; 2: 3: 17. (19) 1: 
8: 14. (20) 1: 8: 15. (21) 4:4: 19. (22) 5: 1: 1. (23) 3: 5: 1, 5: 1: 1. (24) 

64 The Philosophy of P latinos. 

1: 2: 7; 1: 6: 5. (25) 2: 3: 9, 15. (26) 3: 1: 8. (27) 3: 9: *. (28) 5: 8: 11. 
(29) 6: 7: 36. (30) 6: 7: 36; 6: 9: 4. (31) 1: 3 Title. (32) 1: 4. 3. (33) 5: 9: 
1: (34) 1: 3: 1: (35) 1: 3: 2. (36) 1: 3: 3. (37) 3: 4: 5, 6. (88) 3: 4: 6. 
(39) 4: 4: 26, 38. (40) 2: 9: 14. (41) 1: 4: 3, 4. (42) 1: 2: 7; 6: 9: 11. (43) 
5: 8: 11; 6: 7: 34; 6: 9: 11; 4: 8: 1; 5: 5: 7; 5: 3: 17; 6: 9: 7, 11; 4: 
7: 10; 5: 3: 3. (44) 4: 3: 1. (45) 6: 9: 11. (46) 4: 8: 1; 6: 9: 4, 9. (47) 
1: 4: 9; 3: 9: 3; 4: 4: 4. (48) 6: 7: 35. (49) 6: 7: 34. (50) 5: 3: 17, 6: 
9: 4. (51) 5: 3: 14. (52) 5: 8: 11, See 6: 9: 8. (53) 5: 3: 1; 5: 5: 8; 5: 
8: 10, 11; 6: 7: 35; 6: 9: 10, 11. (54) 5: 3: 17; 5: 5: 7, 8; 6: 7: 36. (55) 
6: 7: 34. (56) 5: 5: 8. (57) 6: 9:3. (58) 6: 9: 9, 10. (59) 6: 9: 11. (60) 
1: 6: 9. (61) 6: 7: 35. (62) 6: 7: 32. (63) 6: 7: 31. See 1: 4: 6. (64) 6: 9: 
8. (65) 6: 9: 9. (66) 6: 9: 11. (67) 1: 4: 6. (68) 1: 5: Quest 2. (69) 1: 
5: Quest 3. (70) 1: 5: Quest 5. (71) 1: 5: Quest 10. (72) 1: 4: 16. (73) 1: 
4: 15. (74) 1: 4: 14. (75) 3: 2: 15. (76) 1: 4: 8. (77) 1: 1: 3. (78) 1: 4: 
13. (79) 1: 2: 5. (80) 3: 2: 5. (81) 1: 4: 12. (82) 1: 4: 11. (83) 1: 4: 10. 
(84) 4: 8: 1. 


(1) 1: 6: 9; 5: 8: 3, 8, 13; ,6: 2: 21. (2) 5: 8: 13. (3) 5: 8: 8. (4) 5: 8: 
13. (5) 5: 8: 8. (6) 1: 6: 8; 5: 8: 2. (7) 1: 6: 3; 5: 8: 13. (8) 1: 6: 4; 
5: 8: 3. (9) It 6: 2, 6. (10) 5: 8: 2. (11) 1: 6: 3.(12) 1: 6: 4. (13) 1: 6: 
7. (14) 1: 6: 8. 

Note from Zeller, with additions. 

The Father of all Gods Uranus is God; Kronos, who devours his 
children is the Nous who retains within itself all its active ideas. 
Xeus, when escaping from him, is the begetting of the Soul beyond 
the Nous. 5: 8: 12; 5: 1: 4, 7. The tale of Lynkeus describes the trans- 
parence of the intelligible world, 5: 8: 4. The World-Soul is called 
Zeus, 5: 5: 3; 6: 4: 6; 2: 3: 31; 5: 8: 10. It is also called Aphrodite, and 
the double soul is explained as the double Aphroditg, 3: 5: 2, 8; 6: 8: 
6; 5: T 13. Again, Hgre, Dgmeter and Hestia are explained by the 
World-Soul, as well as Zeus, 4: 4: 27. Apollo is Unity as denying 
Manifoldness, 5: 5: 6. Hermes is the Logos, 3: 6: 19, which can rise or 
8iuk. The sinking of the soul into the entangling flesh is shown by 
Narcissus, and its flight, by the myth of Ulysses fleeing Circe and 
Calypso, 1: 6: 8. The story of Prometheus and Pandora explains the 
world adorned with gifts, 4: 3: 4. As image of the intelligible world 
the physical world is called the mirror of Dionysios, 4: 3: 12. Minos 
becoming guest of Zeus is the soul beholding Unity, 6: 9: 7. TheLower 
Earth-Soul is also called Rhea, 5: 1: 7. 




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