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James

40 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2008 :  16:15:17  

 

"If you read Plato through Plotinus, the "journey of the alone to the alone" takes work, is a matter of continuous purification, disembodied experience etc. and one you can make alone"

Yes, this was also a defining theme with the Gnostics and Plotinus was greatly influenced by many of their doctrines.

It often seems when reading Plotinus that the material world was build in order to purify the soul, yet we are let asking why the soul needed to be purified in the first instant? Was there a kind epistemological or creative impasse in the divine Godhead that need a fall to occur in order for it to creatively experience and renew itself once more?

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gentleexit

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 17 Mar 2009 :  13:10:11  

 

"(If you read Plato through Plotinus, ...) Yes, this was also a defining theme with the Gnostics and Plotinus was greatly influenced by many of their doctrines."
Well I think that's a little unfair to him. You don't need to jump outside Platonism to get to Plotinus. He wrote against the gnostics remember - they were "perverting the doctrines of the Greeks" (sic).

"It often seems when reading Plotinus that the material world was build in order to purify the soul, yet we are let asking why the soul needed to be purified in the first instant? Was there a kind epistemological or creative impasse in the divine Godhead that need a fall to occur in order for it to creatively experience and renew itself once more?"
Plato and successors avoid the question by making creation/destruction, strife/love continuous. There is no "moment", no "end times". The Jewish tradition can't escape the difficulty though. Why make in a moment, why destroy "eventually". End-times contradicts a Supreme, constant being, a "just is". Hence one of Porphyry et al's critiques. The Jewish God (Jealous, capricious, time-bound) cannot be "the One".

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James

40 Posts

Posted - 01 Apr 2009 :  17:41:29  

 

Plato and successors avoid the question by making creation/destruction, strife/love continuous.

Yes precisely, they all still manage to avoid "that question”, the answer to which cannot be stated, because it's not within the powers of created things (namely language bound creatures like us) to know, in the sense making meaningful, verifiable statements that could possibly be made by "us" about the one (God) who created us. We cannot, cross that gulf and expect to be able to return unscathed to the everyday world, with statements that neatly "explain the ways of God to man". This is impossible, unless one concurs, that wisdom and knowing Him, perhaps invite the prospect of exclusion, derision, prosecution, worldly failure and/or perceived mental illness by the healthy, normal majority that make but will never know this or His world?

Why make in a moment, why destroy "eventually". End-times contradicts a Supreme, constant being, a "just is".

But a "just is" is a finite state too, the problem is knowing what "it" is referring to, there's no reason to suppose that a particular time-bound aspect (like our world) of creation should not be ended at a given point? This wouldn't contradict any sense of God's constant being, which would be ceaselessly creating and destroying, based upon the perfection of the all by the all, across realms we can't imagine due to our limited state.


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