The Six Enneads, by Plotinus

Ninth Tractate.

“The Reasoned Dismissal”.

“You will not dismiss your Soul lest it go forth . . . ” [taking something with it].

For wheresoever it go, it will be in some definite condition, and its going forth is to some new place. The Soul will wait for the body to be completely severed from it; then it makes no departure; it simply finds itself free.

But how does the body come to be separated?

The separation takes place when nothing of Soul remains bound up with it: the harmony within the body, by virtue of which the Soul was retained, is broken and it can no longer hold its guest.

But when a man contrives the dissolution of the body, it is he that has used violence and torn himself away, not the body that has let the Soul slip from it. And in loosing the bond he has not been without passion; there has been revolt or grief or anger, movements which it is unlawful to indulge.

But if a man feel himself to be losing his reason?

That is not likely in the Sage, but if it should occur, it must be classed with the inevitable, to be welcome at the bidding of the fact though not for its own sake. To call upon drugs to the release of the Soul seems a strange way of assisting its purposes.

And if there be a period allotted to all by fate, to anticipate the hour could not be a happy act, unless, as we have indicated, under stern necessity.

If everyone is to hold in the other world a standing determined by the state in which he quitted this, there must be no withdrawal as long as there is any hope of progress.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/p/plotinus/p72e/part1.9.html

Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 16:24