Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.
» Contents of this Ennead118 pages - You are on Page 105
THE INTELLECTUAL PRINCIPLE, THE IDEAS, AND THE AUTHENTIC EXISTENCE.
1. All human beings from birth onward live to the realm of sense more than to the Intellectual.
Forced of necessity to attend first to the material, some of them elect to abide by that order and, their life throughout, make its concerns their first and their last; the sweet and the bitter of sense are their good and evil; they feel they have done all if they live along pursuing the one and barring the doors to the other. And those of them that pretend to reasoning have adopted this as their philosophy; they are like the heavier birds which have incorporated much from the earth and are so weighted down that they cannot fly high for all the wings Nature has given them.
Others do indeed lift themselves a little above the earth; the better in their soul urges them from the pleasant to the nobler, but they are not of power to see the highest and so, in despair of any surer ground, they fall back in virtue’s name, upon those actions and options of the lower from which they sought to escape.
But there is a third order — those godlike men who, in their mightier power, in the keenness of their sight, have clear vision of the splendour above and rise to it from among the cloud and fog of earth and hold firmly to that other world, looking beyond all here, delighted in the place of reality, their native land, like a man returning after long wanderings to the pleasant ways of his own country.
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