Quotes from The Enneads

Plotinus ·  768 pages

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“It is in virtue of unity that beings are beings.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“The soul in its nature loves God and longs to be at one with Him in the noble love of a daughter for a noble father; but coming to human birth and lured by the courtships of this sphere, she takes up with another love, a mortal, leaves her father and falls.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“Wherever it lies, under earth or over earth, the body will always rot. ”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“When we look outside of that on which we depend we ignore our unity; looking outward we see many faces; look inward and all is one head. If a man could but be turned about, he would see at once God and himself and the All.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“To make the existence and coherent structure of this Universe depend upon automatic activity and upon chance is against all good sense.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads



“The First, then, should be compared to light, the next [Spirit or Intellect] to the sun, and the third [soul] to the celestial body of the moon, which gets its light from the sun. (V-6-4)”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“Before we had our becoming here, we existed There, men other than now; we were pure souls. Intelligence inbound with the entire of reality, not fenced off, integral to that All. [...] Then it was as if One voice sounded. One word was uttered and from every side an ear attended and received and there was an effective hearing; now we are become a dual thing, no longer that which we were at first, dormant, and in a sense no longer present.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“Bad men rule by the feebleness of the ruled; and this is just; the triumph of weaklings would not be just.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“The purification of the Soul is simply to allow it to be alone; it is pure when it keeps no company.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“A gang of lads, morally neglected, and in that respect inferior to the intermediate class, but in good physical training, attack and throw another set, trained neither physically nor morally, and make off with their food and their dainty clothes. What more is called for than a laugh?”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads



“The proof of the mightiest power is to be able to use the ignoble nobly, and given formlessness, to make it the material of unknown forms.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“The sphere of sense, the Soul in its slumber; for all of the Soul that is in body is asleep and the true getting-up is not bodily but from the body: in any movement that takes the body with it there is no more than passage from sleep to sleep, from bed to bed.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“(…) la partie irrationnelle de l’âme sera comme un homme qui vit près d’un sage ; il profite de ce voisinage, et ou bien il devient semblable à lui, ou bien il aurait honte d’oser faire ce que l’homme de bien ne veut pas qu’il fasse. Donc pas de conflit ; il suffit que la raison soit là ; la partie inférieure de l’âme la respecte et, si elle est agitée d’un mouvement violent, c’est elle-même qui s’irrite de ne pas rester en repos quand son maître est là, et qui se reproche sa faiblesse.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“Those incapable of thinking gravely read gravity into frivolties which correspond to their own frivolous nature.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“True satisfaction is only for what has its plentitude in its own being; where craving is due to an inborn deficiency, there may be satisfaction at some given moment but it does not last.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads



“Thus, with the good we have the bad: we have the opposed movements of a dancer guided by one artistic plan; we recognize in his steps the good as against the bad, and see that in the opposition lies the merit of the design.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


“Not even a God would have the right to deal a blow for the unwarlike: the law decrees that to come safe out of battle is for fighting men, not for those that pray. The harvest comes home not for praying but for tilling...we have no right to complain of the ignoble getting the richer harvest if they are the only workers in the fields, or the best.”
― Plotinus, quote from The Enneads


About the author

Plotinus
Born place: in Lycopolis, Egypt
Born date January 1, 0204
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