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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE FIRST ENNEAD Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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2. This first enquiry obliges us to consider at the outset the nature of the Soul — that is whether a distinction is to be made between Soul and Essential Soul [between an individual Soul and the Soul-Kind in itself]. [1]

If such a distinction holds, then the Soul [in man] is some sort of a composite and at once we may agree that it is a recipient and — if only reason allows — that all the affections and experiences really have their seat in the Soul, and with the affections every state and mood, good and bad alike.

But if Soul [in man] and Essential Soul are one and the same, then the Soul will be an Ideal-Form unreceptive of all those activities which it imparts to another Kind but possessing within itself that native Act of its own which Reason manifests.

If this be so, then, indeed, we may think of the Soul as an immortal — if the immortal, the imperishable, must be impassive, giving out something of itself but itself taking nothing from without except for what it receives from the Existents prior to itself from which Existents, in that they are the nobler, it cannot be sundered.

Now what could bring fear to a nature thus unreceptive of all the outer? Fear demands feeling. Nor is there place for courage: courage implies the presence of danger. And such desires as are satisfied by the filling or voiding of the body, must be proper to something very different from the Soul, to that only which admits of replenishment and voidance.

[1] All matter shown in brackets is added by the translator for clearness’ sake and, therefore, is not canonical. S.M.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus/enneads-1.asp?pg=2