“Our task, then, is to work for our liberation from this sphere, severing ourselves from all that has gathered about us; the total man is to be something better than a body ensouled… There is another life, emancipated, whose quality is progression towards the higher realm, toward the good and divine, towards the Principle which no one possesses except by deliberate usage but so may appropriate, becoming, each personally the higher, the beautiful, the Godlike, and living, remote, in and by It…” (II, 3, 9)8
“A man’s one task is to strive towards making himself perfect- though not in the idea- really fatal to perfection – that to be perfect is possible to himself alone.” (II, 9, 9)9
“In sum, evil belongs to the sequence of things, but it comes from necessity. It originates in ourselves; it has its causes no doubt, but we are not, therefore, forced to it by Providence: some of these causes we adapt to the operation of Providence and of it subordinates, but with others we fail to make the connection; the act instead of being ranged under the will of Providence consults the desire of the agent alone or of some other element in the Universe, something which is either itself at variance with Providence or has set up some state of variance in ourselves.” (III, 3, 5)10
“Wrong-doing from man to man is wrong in the doer and must be imputed, but, as belonging to the established order of the universe is not a wrong even as regards the innocent sufferer; it is a thing that had to be, and, if the sufferer is good, the issues is to his gain. For we cannot think that this ordered combination proceeds without God and justice; we must take it to be precise in the distribution of due, while, yet, the reasons of things elude us, and to our ignorance the scheme presents matter of censure.” (IV, 3, 16)11
“It is sound, I think, to find the primal source of Love in a tendency of the Soul towards pure beauty, in a recognition, in a kinship, in an unreasoned consciousness of friendly relation.” (III, 5, 1)12
As the All-Soul contains the Universal Love, so must the single Soul be allowed its own single Love: and as closely as the single Soul holds to the All-Soul, never cut off but embraced within it, the two together constituting one principle of life, so the single separate Love holds the All-Love. Similarly the individual love keeps with the individual Soul as that other, the great Love, goes with the All-Soul; and the Love with the All permeates it throughout so that the one Love becomes many, showing itself where it chooses at any moment of the Universe, taking definite shape in these its partial phases and revealing itself at its will.” (III, 5, 4)13
(final continuation next post)
8Hutchins, Robert Maynard (editor), Plotinus. Encyclopaedia Britanica, 1952. The Great Books, Volume 17, page 44.
9Ibid., page 71.
10Ibid., page 96.
11Ibid., page 150.
12Ibid., page 100.
13Ibid., page 102.