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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE SIXTH ENNEAD, Part II, Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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Page 33

2. Now the reasoning faculty which undertakes this problem is not a unity but a thing of parts; it brings the bodily nature into the enquiry, borrowing its principles from the corporeal: thus it thinks of the Essential Existence as corporeal and as a thing of parts; it baulks at the unity because it does not start from the appropriate principles. We, however, must be careful to bring the appropriately convincing principles to the discussion of the Unity, of perfect Being: we must hold to the Intellectual principles which alone apply to the Intellectual Order and to Real Being.

On the one hand there is the unstable, exposed to all sorts of change, distributed in place, not so much Being as Becoming: on the other, there is that which exists eternally, not divided, subject to no change of state, neither coming into being nor falling from it, set in no region or place or support, emerging from nowhere, entering into nothing, fast within itself.

In dealing with that lower order we would reason from its own nature and the characteristics it exhibits; thus, on a plausible foundation, we achieve plausible results by a plausible system of deduction: similarly, in dealing with the Intellectual, the only way is to grasp the nature of the essence concerned and so lay the sure foundations of the argument, not forgetfully straying over into that other order but basing our treatment on what is essential to the Nature with which we deal.

In every entity the essential nature is the governing principle and, as we are told, a sound definition brings to light many even of the concomitants: where the essential nature is the entire being, we must be all the more careful to keep to that, to look to that, to refer all to that.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus/enneads-6b.asp?pg=33