Jun 17 2012

The Enneads by Plotinus

This work deserves more discussion than space allows, even though much of it was unintelligible to me. It represents Plotinus’ quest to know and understand God, which for him consists of a trinity: the One, the Intellectual-Principle, and the All-Soul. Part of his problem is that he is trying to describe in words something that for him is clearly ineffable. Some of his problems are familiar to all thinkers who have tackled this subject: how unity coexists with particularism, how perfection can give rise to imperfection, how evil can exist in a world created by a good God, how free will can be reconciled with necessity. Plotinus’ concept of the One is of a pure, impersonal, perfect Being; it is truly a philosopher’s idea of God: a God who exists in a state of abstract perfection, does nothing, and for all practical purposes is totally useless. His philosophy of life, inasmuch as he has one, is also not terribly practical. All in all a somewhat stimulating but not very inspiring work.

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