Plotinus (circa 204 – 270) was a philosopher who lived in the Roman province of Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Around the age of twenty-seven, Plotinus travelled to Alexandria to study philosophy, eventually finding a teacher there. He settled in Rome at the age of forty, where he soon had a following of students himself. He is often regarded as the founder of Neoplatonism. His collection of essays, known as the Enneads, have had an inspirational and influential effect throughout various traditions.
Quotes by Plotinus…
What desire there may be can never be for the vile; even the food and drink necessary for restoration will lie outside the soul’s attention, and not less the sexual appetite; if such desire there must be, it will turn upon the actual needs of nature and be entirely under control.
I applaud your devotion to philosophy, I rejoice to hear that your spirit has set sail, like the returning Ulysses, for its native land — that glorious, that only real country — the world of unseen truth.
We are not cast away, not separate.
The wise man recognizes the idea of the Good within him.
Truth is the agreement of the mind with itself.
He who does not understand how the soul contains the Beautiful within itself, seeks to realize beauty without, by laborious production.
His aim should be to concentrate and simplify, and so to expand his being… and so to float upwards towards the divine fountain of being whose stream flows within him.
The most positive men are the most credulous, since they most believe themselves, and advise most with their falsest flatterer and worst enemy: their own self-love.
When you thus cease to be finite, you become one with the Infinite. In the reduction of your soul to its simplest self, its divine essence, you realize this Union, this Identity.
You ask, “How can we know the Infinite?” I answer, not by reason. It is the office of reason to distinguish and define. The Infinite, therefore, cannot be ranked among its objects. You can only apprehend the Infinite by a faculty superior to reason, by entering into a state in which you are your finite self no longer, in which the Divine Essence is communicated to you. This is Ecstasy. It is the liberation of your mind from its finite consciousness.