Front Page Titles (by Subject) 3.: THE ALL-SOUL - The Ethical Treatises, being the Treatises of the First Ennead
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3.: THE ALL-SOUL - Plotinus, The Ethical Treatises, being the Treatises of the First Ennead [253 AD]
The Ethical Treatises, being the Treatises of the First Ennead, with Porphry’s Life of Plotinus, and the Preller-Ritter Extracts forming a Conspectus of the Plotinian System, translated from Greek by Stephen Mackenna (Boston: Charles T. Branford, 1918).
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The Third Hypostasis of the Divine-Triad is, then, the All-Soul, or Universal Soul or Soul of the All: it is the eternal emanation and image of the Second Hypostasis, the Intellectual-Principle.
As the Divine-Intellectual-Principle has, to our view, two Acts—that of upward contemplation of The One and that of “generation” towards the lower—so the All-Soul has two Acts: it at once contemplates the Intellectual-Principle and “generates” in the bounty of its own perfection the lower possible. Thus we have often in the Enneads a verbal partition of the All-Soul; we hear of the Leading-Principle of the Soul, or the Celestial Soul, concentrated in contemplation of its superior, and the Lower Soul, called also the Nature-Looking and Generative Soul, whose operation it is to generate or fashion the lower, the material Universe upon the model of the Divine-Thoughts, the “Ideas” laid up within the Divine-Mind: this lower principle in the Soul is sometimes called the Logos of the Universe, or the “Reason-Principle” of the Universe. The All-Soul is the mobile cause of movement as well as of Form: more directly than the two superior or “earlier” Hypostases of the Divine-Triad it is the eternal cause of the existence, eternal existence, of the Kosmos, or “World,” or material, or sense-grasped Universe, which is the Soul’s Act and emanation, image and “shadow.” It is the Creator, therefore, and the Vital-Principle of all that is lower, or “later” than the Divine-Triad. In a sense that need not be here minutely elaborated the All-Soul includes, and is, All-the-Souls: for the first rough practical purposes of the average reader, it may be conveniently indicated in a stanza, by Richard Watson Dixon:—