Front Page Titles (by Subject) Evil - The Ethical Treatises, being the Treatises of the First Ennead
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Evil - 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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In so far as Evil exists, the root of evil is in Matter; but Evil does not exist; all that exists, in a half-existence, is the last effort of The Good, the point at which The Good ceases because, so to speak, endlessness has all but faded out to an end. If this seem too violent a paradox to be even mentioned amongst us, we must remember that it is to some degree merely metaphorical, like so much in Plotinus: it is the almost desperate effort to express a combined idea that seems to be instinctive in the mind of mind, the idea that Good is all-reaching and yet that it has degrees, that an Infinitely powerful Wisdom exists and operates and casts an infinite splendour on all its works while we ourselves can see, or think we see, its failures or the last and feeblest rays of its light.