chapter  3
11 Pages

A KIND OF REST

Distilled in the alembic of the Enneads are many strands of Greco-Roman philosophy and theology. But the quintessence of Plotinian thought is the doctrine of the divine One and its interior presence to the contemplative soul. In the Enneads Plotinus describes how the soul achieves an inner realization of its intimacy with the One. There is a vatic vastness to the classical cosmos, with its ranks of daemons, gods, and powers in the foreground, and its remote but hidden source behind. Contemplation in the Enneads serves as a counter-balance to this sense of religious remoteness. It is as an act of spiritual magnification, disclosing the soul’s underlying relation to the One. Contemplation is not a transformation of the self, merely its sudden grasp at how deep – as it were – the self goes. In contemplation the Plotinian soul discovers that it is rooted in the One, and that it has never really departed from it.