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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE FIRST ENNEAD Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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106 pages - You are on Page 59

FIFTH TRACTATE.

HAPPINESS AND EXTENSION OF TIME.

1. Is it possible to think that Happiness increases with Time, Happiness which is always taken as a present thing?

The memory of former felicity may surely be ruled out of count, for Happiness is not a thing of words, but a definite condition which must be actually present like the very fact and act of life.

2. It may be objected that our will towards living and towards expressive activity is constant, and that each attainment of such expression is an increase in Happiness.

But in the first place, by this reckoning every to-morrow’s well-being will be greater than to-day’s, every later instalment successively larger that an earlier; at once time supplants moral excellence as the measure of felicity.

Then again the Gods to-day must be happier than of old: and their bliss, too, is not perfect, will never be perfect. Further, when the will attains what it was seeking, it attains something present: the quest is always for something to be actually present until a standing felicity is definitely achieved. The will to life which is will to Existence aims at something present, since Existence must be a stably present thing. Even when the act of the will is directed towards the future, and the furthest future, its object is an actually present having and being: there is no concern about what is passed or to come: the future state a man seeks is to be a now to him; he does not care about the forever: he asks that an actual present be actually present.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus/enneads-1.asp?pg=59