chapter
47 Pages

NON-SELF

With regard to identification with non-Self this is what Plotinus says:

'. . . Come, let him who dares enter and follow Its footsteps into the depths; not without having first left outside the vision of his mortal eyes and taking care not to look back at those bodies which were once splendid . . . Even if he once desired them, let him no longer pursue these lovely bodies, and let him know, rather, that they are but images, traces, shadows . . . Let him take refuge in It, the model of those images. Whosoever pounces on these, as if to touch real things, is like him who trying to embrace his image upon the waves - this is, I believe, what the fable [of Narcissus] means - fell into the deep current, and disappeared. Similarly, whosoever is a prisoner of beauti­ ful bodies and does not free himself, falls not with the body but with the soul into the abyss dark and sad for the spirit where, blind, he shall remain, in Hades, and down there too, as here, remain in the company of shadows . . .'.