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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


from Plotinus' Sixth Ennead, * Tractate 9, 7-11, Translated by Stephen Mackenna and B. S. Page
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In sum, we must withdraw from all the extern, pointed wholly inwards; no leaning to the outer; the total of things ignored, first in their relation to us and later in the very idea; the self put out of mind in the contemplation of the Supreme; all the commerce so closely There that, if report were possible, one might become to others reporter of that communion.

Such converse, we may suppose, was that of Minos, thence known as the Familiar of Zeus; and in that memory he established the laws which report it, enlarged to that task by his vision There. Some, on the other hand, there will be to disdain such citizen service, choosing to remain in the higher: these will be those that have seen much.

Εἰ δὲ τοῦτο͵ πάντων τῶν ἔξω ἀφεμένην δεῖ ἐπιστραφῆναι πρὸς τὸ εἴσω πάντη͵ μὴ πρός τι τῶν ἔξω κεκλίσθαι͵ ἀλλὰ ἀγνοήσαντα τὰ πάντα καὶ πρὸ τοῦ μὲν τῇ διαθέσει͵ τότε δὲ καὶ τοῖς εἴδεσιν͵ ἀγνοήσαντα δὲ καὶ αὑτὸν ἐν τῇ θέᾳ ἐκείνου γενέσθαι͵ κἀκείνῳ συγγενόμενον καὶ ἱκανῶς οἷον ὁμιλήσαντα ἥκειν ἀγγέλλοντα͵ εἰ δύναιτο͵ καὶ ἄλλῳ τὴν ἐκεῖ συνουσίαν·

οἵαν ἴσως καὶ Μίνως ποιούμενος ὀαριστὴς τοῦ Διὸς ἐφημίσθη εἶναι͵ ἧς μεμνημένος εἴδωλα αὐτῆς τοὺς νόμους ἐτίθει τῇ τοῦ θείου ἐπαφῇ εἰς νόμων πληρούμενος θέσιν. ῍Η καὶ τὰ πολιτικὰ οὐκ ἄξια αὐτοῦ νομίσας ἀεὶ ἐθέλει μένειν ἄνω͵ ὅπερ καὶ τῷ πολὺ ἰδόντι γένοιτο ἂν πάθημα.

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