Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Plotinus ENNEADS - THE FOURTH ENNEAD, Part II, Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

Plotinus Resources OnLine and in Print


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Ennead

II: 69 pages - You are on Page 63



1. That the Soul of every individual is one thing we deduce from the fact that it is present entire at every point of the body — the sign of veritable unity — not some part of it here and another part there. In all sensitive beings the sensitive soul is an omnipresent unity, and so in the forms of vegetal life the vegetal soul is entire at each several point throughout the organism.

Now are we to hold similarly that your soul and mine and all are one, and that the same thing is true of the universe, the soul in all the several forms of life being one soul, not parcelled out in separate items, but an omnipresent identity?

If the soul in me is a unity, why need that in the universe be otherwise seeing that there is no longer any question of bulk or body? And if that, too, is one soul and yours, and mine, belongs to it, then yours and mine must also be one: and if, again, the soul of the universe and mine depend from one soul, once more all must be one.

What then in itself is this one soul?

First we must assure ourselves of the possibility of all souls being one as that of any given individual is.

It must, no doubt, seem strange that my soul and that of any and everybody else should be one thing only: it might mean my feelings being felt by someone else, my goodness another’s too, my desire, his desire, all our experience shared with each other and with the (one-souled) universe, so that the very universe itself would feel whatever I felt.

Besides how are we to reconcile this unity with the distinction of reasoning soul and unreasoning, animal soul and vegetal?

Yet if we reject that unity, the universe itself ceases to be one thing and souls can no longer be included under any one principle.

Previous Page / First / Next Page of Plotinus - FOURTH ENNEAD

Plotinus Home Page / Enneads Contents

Plato Home Page ||| Elpenor's Free Greek Lessons
Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Greek Literature - Ancient, Medieval, Modern

  Plotinus Home Page
Plotinus in Print

Elpenor's Greek Forum : Post a question / Start a discussion

Learned Freeware

Reference address :