By A. H. Armstrong, Plotinus
Plotinus (204/5-270 CE) was once the 1st and maximum of Neoplatonic philosophers. His writings have been edited through his disciple Porphyry, who released them a long time after his master's dying in six units of 9 treatises each one (the Enneads).
Plotinus appeared Plato as his grasp, and his personal philosophy is a profoundly unique improvement of the Platonism of the 1st centuries of the Christian period and the heavily similar considered the Neopythagoreans, with a few affects from Aristotle and his fans and the Stoics, whose writings he knew good yet used seriously. he's a special mixture of mystic and Hellenic rationalist. His proposal ruled later Greek philosophy and stimulated either Christians and Moslems, and continues to be alive this day as a result of its union of rationality and severe spiritual adventure.
In his acclaimed version of Plotinus, Armstrong presents very good introductions to every treatise. His important notes clarify imprecise passages and provides connection with parallels in Plotinus and others.
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Extra info for Ennead III (Loeb Classical Library, Volume 442)
Love in Christianity became rhetorical, conventional and hypocritical. 14 In speaking of this kind of love as an ‘‘exercise useful for the salvation of one’s soul,’’ Berdyaev reminds us that transactionality is not so easy to avoid. Even when it inspires acts that are apparently selfless, the motive of buying favor with God (or avoiding punishment from him) may be hiding under the surface. The love of would-be saints often has a whiff of hypocrisy; they seem to be obeying Christ’s injunction to lay up treasures in heaven as if they were making deposits in a bank.
Why should a woman using the Rules have to be so remote and disdainful? The conclusion is obvious: behind these techniques lies a principle everyone else is using, for the most part unconsciously and therefore badly. The idiot in the Technicolor shirt is peacocking, the vulgarian bragging about his real estate holdings is demonstrating value, and the catlike indifference that women sometimes affect even toward men they adore is simply an application of the Rules. Indeed, Fein and Schneider make no claim to originality.
Hence the journey to conscious love could be seen as central to human experience. If I were to stop here, I would be in full agreement with the mainstream Christian tradition, which almost unanimously proclaims the superiority of agape to love in its coarser varieties. And yet like most truths, this is only a partial truth. To see why, it’s useful to turn to the meaning of the Greek word agape. ’’19 And indeed the usage of this word in the Greek of all periods generally suggests something slightly remote and disinterested.
Ennead III (Loeb Classical Library, Volume 442) by A. H. Armstrong, Plotinus