Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.
» Contents of this Ennead
This Part: 128 Pages
12. To return: How is that Power present to the universe?
As a One Life.
Consider the life in any living thing; it does not reach only to some fixed point, unable to permeate the entire being; it is omnipresent. If on this again we are asked How, we appeal to the character of this power, not subject to quantity but such that though you divide it mentally for ever you still have the same power, infinite to the core; in it there is no Matter to make it grow less and less according to the measured mass.
Conceive it as a power of an ever-fresh infinity, a principle unfailing, inexhaustible, at no point giving out, brimming over with its own vitality. If you look to some definite spot and seek to fasten on some definite thing, you will not find it. The contrary is your only way; you cannot pass on to where it is not; you will never halt at a dwindling point where it fails at last and can no longer give; you will always be able to move with it — better, to be in its entirety — and so seek no further; denying it, you have strayed away to something of another order and you fall; looking elsewhere you do not see what stands there before you.
But supposing you do thus “seek no further,” how do you experience it?
In that you have entered into the All, no longer content with the part; you cease to think of yourself as under limit but, laying all such determination aside, you become an All. No doubt you were always that, but there has been an addition and by that addition you are diminished; for the addition was not from the realm of Being — you can add nothing to Being — but from non-Being. It is not by some admixture of non-Being that one becomes an entire, but by putting non-Being away. By the lessening of the alien in you, you increase. Cast it aside and there is the All within you; engaged in the alien, you will not find the All. Not that it has to come and so be present to you; it is you that have turned from it. And turn though you may, you have not severed yourself; it is there; you are not in some far region: still there before it, you have faced to its contrary.
It is so with the lesser gods; of many standing in their presence it is often one alone that sees them; that one alone was alone in the power to see. These are the gods who “in many guises seek our cities”; but there is That Other whom the cities seek, and all the earth and heaven, everywhere with God and in Him, possessing through Him their Being and the Real Beings about them, down to soul and life, all bound to Him and so moving to that unity which by its very lack of extension is infinite.
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