“This vision achieved, the acting instinct pauses; the mind is satisfied and seeks nothing further; the contemplation, in one so conditioned, remains absorbed within as having acquired certainty to rest upon. The brighter the certainty, the more tranquil is the contemplation as having acquired the more perfect unity…” (III, 8, 6)14


“The space open to the soul’s resort is vast and diverse; the difference will come by the double force of the individual condition and of the justice reigning in things. No one can ever escape the suffering entailed by ill deeds done: the divine law is ineluctable, carrying bound up, as one with it, the fore-ordained execution of its doom. The sufferer, all unaware, is swept upwards towards his due, hurried always by the restless driving of his errors, until at last wearied out by that against which he struggled, he falls into his fit place and, by self-chosen movement is brought to the lot he never chose. And the law decrees, also, the intensity and duration of the suffering while it carries with it, too, the lifting of chastisement and the faculty of rising from those places of pain – all by power of the harmony that maintains the universal scheme.” (IV, 3, 24)15

“…in all his pain he [the Sage] asks no pity; there is always the radiance in the inner soul of the man, untroubled like the light in a lantern when fierce gusts beat about it in a wild turmoil of wind and tempest.” (I, 4, 8)16



“[It] is simply a human error which assumes wisdom to be what in fact is unwisdom, taking the search for wisdom to be wisdom itself. For what can reasoning be but a struggle, the effort to discover the wise course, to attain the principle which is true and derives from real-being? …What reasoners seek, the wise hold; wisdom in a word, is a condition in a being that possesses repose. Think what happens when one has accomplished a reasoning process: as soon as we have discovered the right course, we cease to reason; we rest because we have come to wisdom.” ( IV, 4, 12)17


“That the soul is of the family of the diviner nature, the eternal, is clear from our demonstration that it is not material…but there are other proofs…Let us consider a soul, not one that has appropriated the unreasoned desires and impulses of the  bodily life, or any other such emotion and experience, but one that has cast all this aside and as far as possible has no commerce with the bodily. Such a soul demonstrates that all evil is accretion, alien, and that in the purged soul the noble things are immanent, wisdom and all else that is good…any one of us that exhibits these qualities will differ but little as far as soul is concerned from the Supernals…This is so true that, if every human being were at that stage, or if a great number lived by a soul of that degree no one would be so incredulous as to doubt that the soul in man is immortal, It is because we see everywhere the spoiled souls of the great mass that it becomes difficult to recognize their divinity and immortality” (IV, 7, 10)18


“…to those that approach the Holy Celebrations of the Mysteries, there are appointed purifications and the laying aside of the garments worn before, and the entry in nakedness  – until, passing, on the upward way, all that is other than the God, each in the solitude of himself shall behold that solitary-dwelling Existence, the Apart, the Unmingled, the Pure, that from Which all things depend for Which all look and live and act and know, the Source of Life and of Intellection and of Being.”(I, 6, 7)19

Of course there is so much more, but I have already treaded on the reader’s patience, so I propose to move on – next to Spinoza.


14Hutchins, Robert Maynard (editor), Plotinus. Encyclopaedia Britanica, 1952. The Great Books, Volume 17, pages 131-132.

15Ibid., page 154.

16Ibid., page 16.

17Ibid., page 164.

18Ibid., pages 198-199.

19Ibid., page 24.

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