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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE FIFTH ENNEAD Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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2. What is this other place and how it is accessible?

It is to be reached by those who, born with the nature of the lover, are also authentically philosophic by inherent temper; in pain of love towards beauty but not held by material loveliness, taking refuge from that in things whose beauty is of the soul — such things as virtue, knowledge, institutions, law and custom — and thence, rising still a step, reach to the source of this loveliness of the Soul, thence to whatever be above that again, until the uttermost is reached. The First, the Principle whose beauty is self-springing: this attained, there is an end to the pain inassuageable before.

But how is the ascent to be begun? Whence comes the power? In what thought is this love to find its guide?

The guiding thought is this: that the beauty perceived on material things is borrowed.

The pattern giving beauty to the corporeal rests upon it as Idea to its Matter and the substrate may change and from being pleasant become distasteful, a sign, in all reason, that the beauty comes by participation.

Now, what is this that gives grace to the corporeal?

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus/enneads-5.asp?pg=106