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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Plotinus ENNEADS - THE SIXTH ENNEAD, Part II, Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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Page 32



1. The integral omnipresence of a unity numerically identical is in fact universally received; for all men instinctively affirm the god in each of us to be one, the same in all. It would be taken as certain if no one asked How or sought to bring the conviction to the test of reasoning; with this effective in their thought, men would be at rest, finding their stay in that oneness and identity, so that nothing would wrench them from this unity. This principle, indeed, is the most solidly established of all, proclaimed by our very souls; we do not piece it up item by item, but find it within beforehand; it precedes even the principle by which we affirm unquestionably that all things seek their good; for this universal quest of good depends on the fact that all aim at unity and possess unity and that universally effort is towards unity.

Now this unity in going forth, so far as it may, towards the Other Order must become manifest as multiplicity and in some sense become multiple; but the primal nature and the appetition of the good, which is appetition of unity, lead back to what is authentically one; to this every form of Being is urged in a movement towards its own reality. For the good to every nature possessing unity is to be self-belonging, to be itself, and that means to be a unity.

In virtue of that unity the Good may be regarded as truly inherent. Hence the Good is not to be sought outside; it could not have fallen outside of what is; it cannot possibly be found in non-Being; within Being the Good must lie, since it is never a non-Being.

If that Good has Being and is within the realm of Being, then it is present, self-contained, in everything: we, therefore, need not look outside of Being; we are in it; yet that Good is not exclusively ours: therefore all beings are one.

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