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"Apamea, one of the major cities in the Roman Province of Syria, also a centre for pre-Christian Neoplatonism" by Charles Roffey

Neoplatonism is the philosophical system of Plotinus (205-70 CE), extending into the 7th century, that synthesizes Platonic, Aristotelian and Pythagorean ideas.

Essentially, Plotinus proposes a series of increasingly specific emanations from a single metaphysical Source. The first emanation from the Source is a ‘World Soul,’ regarded as a metaphysical repository of intelligence and knowledge, something like a Platonic Form.

From the Word Soul emanate individual souls.

Plotinus’ works were edited and put into six groups of nine, called the “Enneads,” by his disciple Porphyry.

Perhaps his most important contribution to the history of ideas is his notion of the One. For Plotinus the One is Goodness and Beauty existing before, and the ultimate source of all observable differentiations found in, our world of becoming. Our world emanates from the One, this process setting up a complicated and hierarchical series of arrangements, or dyads, all leading back up to the One.

Psycho-spiritual liberation, then, is best found in personal union with the One, described as an ephemeral experience of pure, insurmountable delight. According to Porphyry, Plotinus had four of these ecstatic experiences during the period in which these two men associated with one another.¹


Search Think Free » Aristotle, Plato, Platonism, Pythagoras, Republic

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