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Words of Wisdom

Excerpts from “The Six Enneads” by Plotinus (vegetarian) – Beauty, Part 2 of 2

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Let us continue with the Sixth Tractate of The First Ennead, which further expounds on how our soul addresses our beauty and where to find the ideal form within.

Section 3 “And the soul includes a faculty peculiarly addressed to beauty – one incomparably sure in the appreciation of its own, never in doubt whenever any lovely thing presents itself for judgment. Or perhaps the soul itself acts immediately, affirming the beauty where it finds something accordant with the ideal form within itself, using this idea as a canon of accuracy in its decision.”

“And harmonies unheard in sound create the harmonies we hear, and wake the soul to the consciousness of beauty, showing it the one essence in another kind: for the measures of our sensible music are not arbitrary but are determined by the principle whose labor is to dominate matter and bring pattern into being.

Thus far of the beauties of the realm of sense, images, and shadow-pictures, fugitives that have entered into matter – to adorn, and to ravish, where they are seen.”

Section 4 “But there are earlier and loftier beauties than these. In the sense-bound life, we are no longer granted to know them, but the soul, taking no help from the organs, sees and proclaims them. To the vision of these, we must mount, leaving sense to its own low place.”

“Such vision is for those only who see with the Soul’s sight- and at the vision, they will rejoice, and awe will fall upon them and a trouble deeper than all the rest could ever stir, for now, they are moving in the realm of truth.”

Section 5 “No shape, no color, no grandeur of mass: all is for a Soul, something whose beauty rests upon no color, for the moral wisdom the Soul enshrines and all the other hueless splendor of the virtues. It is that you find in yourself, or admire in another, loftiness of spirit; righteousness of life; disciplined purity; courage of the majestic face; gravity; modesty that goes fearless and tranquil and passionless; and, shining down upon all, the light of god-like intellection.”
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