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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE THIRD ENNEAD Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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But here some further precision is needed.

Emancipated Souls, for the whole period of their sojourn there above, have transcended the Spirit-nature and the entire fatality of birth and all that belongs to this visible world, for they have taken up with them that Hypostasis of the Soul in which the desire of earthly life is vested. This Hypostasis may be described as the distributable Soul, for it is what enters bodily forms and multiplies itself by this division among them. But its distribution is not a matter of magnitudes; wherever it is present, there is the same thing present entire; its unity can always be reconstructed: when living things — animal or vegetal — produce their constant succession of new forms, they do so in virtue of the self-distribution of this phase of the Soul, for it must be as much distributed among the new forms as the propagating originals are. In some cases it communicates its force by permanent presence the life principle in plants for instance — in other cases it withdraws after imparting its virtue — for instance where from the putridity of dead animal or vegetable matter a multitudinous birth is produced from one organism.

A power corresponding to this in the All must reach down and co-operate in the life of our world — in fact the very same power.

If the Soul returns to this Sphere it finds itself under the same Spirit or a new, according to the life it is to live. With this Spirit it embarks in the skiff of the universe: the “spindle of Necessity” then takes control and appoints the seat for the voyage, the seat of the lot in life.

The Universal circuit is like a breeze, and the voyager, still or stirring, is carried forward by it. He has a hundred varied experiences, fresh sights, changing circumstances, all sorts of events. The vessel itself furnishes incident, tossing as it drives on. And the voyager also acts of himself in virtue of that individuality which he retains because he is on the vessel in his own person and character. Under identical circumstances individuals answer very differently in their movements and acts: hence it comes about that, be the occurrences and conditions of life similar or dissimilar, the result may differ from man to man, as on the other hand a similar result may be produced by dissimilar conditions: this (personal answer to incident) it is that constitutes destiny.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus/enneads-3.asp?pg=60