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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE FOURTH ENNEAD Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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THIRD TRACTATE.

PROBLEMS OF THE SOUL (1).

1. The soul: what dubious questions concerning it admit of solution, or where we must abide our doubt — with, at least, the gain of recognizing the problem that confronts us — this is matter well worth attention. On what subject can we more reasonably expend the time required by minute discussion and investigation? Apart from much else, it is enough that such an enquiry illuminates two grave questions: of what sphere the soul is the principle, and whence the soul itself springs. Moreover, we will be only obeying the ordinance of the God who bade us know ourselves.

Our general instinct to seek and learn, our longing to possess ourselves of whatsoever is lovely in the vision will, in all reason, set us enquiring into the nature of the instrument with which we search.

Now even in the universal Intellect [Divine Mind] there was duality, so that we would expect differences of condition in things of part: how some things rather than others come to be receptacles of the divine beings will need to be examined; but all this we may leave aside until we are considering the mode in which soul comes to occupy body. For the moment we return to our argument against those who maintain our souls to be offshoots from the soul of the universe [parts and an identity modally parted].

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus/enneads-4.asp?pg=10