Front Page Titles (by Subject) XIII: Likeness to God - The Ethical Treatises, being the Treatises of the First Ennead
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XIII: Likeness to God - 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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Likeness to God
I. 2, 3. Page 44 of this volume.
V. 3, 9. One that seeks to penetrate the nature of the Divine Mind must see deeply into the nature of his own Soul, into the Divinest part of himself. He must first make abstraction of the body, then of the lower soul which built up that body, then of all the faculties of sense, of all desires and emotions and every such triviality, of all that leans towards the mortal. What is left after this abstraction is the part which we describe as the image of the Divine Mind, an emanation preserving some of that Divine Light.
All the virtues are referred to the “Purification” which consists in separating the Reasonable or Intellectual Soul from the body-soul and from the body: cf. I. 6, 6, page 84 of this volume.
It is an error to seek the perfect happiness in action or in the moral (or civic) virtues, since all action belongs to the outer, to the mixed life, not to the pure Act of the prior Soul: see I. 1, 10 and the reference to Hercules in I. 1, 12, pages 38, 40, of this volume.
Our task is not merely to expel evil but to become good, not to be without fault but to be God. Still if we expel evil, the Good comes of itself:—
V. 3, 6. “The Soul, brought to its purity, welcomes the indwelling imprint of the Intellectual-Principle.”
V. 3, 6. “When we were in the Divine we rested content in the nature of the Intellectual-Principle; we had Intellection and saw all things in The One; for the Intellectual-Principle had the Intellection and spoke to the Soul of what it saw, and the Soul rested in tranquil co-operation with the activities of its prior.”
V. 3, 8. “Light is visible by light: the Intellectual-Principle sees Itself; and this Light shining upon the Soul enlightens it, that is makes it a member of the Intellective order.”