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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE SECOND ENNEAD Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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FOURTH TRACTATE.

MATTER IN ITS TWO KINDS.

1. By common agreement of all that have arrived at the conception of such a Kind, what is known as Matter is understood to be a certain base, a recipient of Form-Ideas. Thus far all go the same way. But departure begins with the attempt to establish what this basic Kind is in itself, and how it is a recipient and of what.

To a certain school, body-forms exclusively are the Real Beings; existence is limited to bodies; there is one only Matter, the stuff underlying the primal-constituents of the Universe: existence is nothing but this Matter: everything is some modification of this; the elements of the Universe are simply this Matter in a certain condition.

The school has even the audacity to foist Matter upon the divine beings so that, finally, God himself becomes a mode of Matter — and this though they make it corporeal, describing it as a body void of quality, but a magnitude.

Another school makes it incorporeal: among these, not all hold the theory of one only Matter; some of them while they maintain the one Matter, in which the first school believes, the foundation of bodily forms, admit another, a prior, existing in the divine-sphere, the base of the Ideas there and of the unembodied Beings.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus/enneads-2.asp?pg=43