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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE SECOND ENNEAD Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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But on this reasoning must not Matter owe its evil to having in some degree participated in good?

No: its evil is in its first lack: it was not a possessor (of some specific character).

To lack one thing and to possess another, in something like equal proportions, is to hold a middle state of good and evil: but whatsoever possesses nothing and so is in destitution — and especially what is essentially destitution — must be evil in its own Kind.

For in Matter we have no mere absence of means or of strength; it is utter destitution — of sense, of virtue, of beauty, of pattern, of Ideal principle, of quality. This is surely ugliness, utter disgracefulness, unredeemed evil.

The Matter in the Intellectual Realm is an Existent, for there is nothing previous to it except the Beyond-Existence; but what precedes the Matter of this sphere is Existence; by its alienism in regard to the beauty and good of Existence, Matter is therefore a non-existent.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus/enneads-2.asp?pg=65