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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE SIXTH ENNEAD, Part II, Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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THE SIXTH ENNEAD:   1) ON THE KINDS OF BEING,   2) ON THE KINDS OF BEING ΙΙ,   3) ON THE KINDS OF BEING ΙΙΙ,   4) ON THE INTEGRAL OMNIPRESENCE OF THE AUTHENTIC EXISTENT,   5) ON THE INTEGRAL OMNIPRESENCE OF THE AUTHENTIC EXISTENT ΙΙ,   6) ON NUMBERS,   7) HOW THE MULTIPLICITY OF THE IDEAL-FORMS CAME INTO BEING: AND UPON THE GOOD,   8) ON FREE-WILL AND THE WILL OF THE ONE,   9) ON THE GOOD, OR THE ONE

This Part: 128 Pages


23. The Motion which acts upon Sensible objects enters from without, and so shakes, drives, rouses and thrusts its participants that they may neither rest nor preserve their identity — and all to the end that they may be caught into that restlessness, that flustering excitability which is but an image of Life.

We must avoid identifying Motion with the objects moved: by walking we do not mean the feet but the activity springing from a potentiality in the feet. Since the potentiality is invisible, we see of necessity only the active feet — that is to say, not feet simply, as would be the case if they were at rest, but something besides feet, something invisible but indirectly seen as an accompaniment by the fact that we observe the feet to be in ever-changing positions and no longer at rest. We infer alteration, on the other hand, from the qualitative change in the thing altered.

Where, then, does Motion reside, when there is one thing that moves and another that passes from an inherent potentiality to actuality? In the mover? How then will the moved, the patient, participate in the motion? In the moved? Then why does not Motion remain in it, once having come? It would seem that Motion must neither be separated from the active principle nor allowed to reside in it; it must proceed from agent to patient without so inhering in the latter as to be severed from the former, passing from one to the other like a breath of wind.

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