Many / One

A database of 11,000+ illuminated guiding quotations in 40 categories from 600+ inspired books by our most brilliant and influential authors.
Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Essential Plotinus
Translated by Elmer O'Brien, S.J.

1 "No intelligible entity ever passes away. All it contains exists in an eternal present." Plotinus, 'The Three Primal Hypostases'

2 "The imagination is a power that is, as it were, intellectual. Appetite and impulse are obedient to imagination and to reason." Plotinus, 'The Soul'

3 "The One…is present to those who are prepared for it and are able to receive it, to enter into harmony with it, to grasp and to touch it by virtue of their likeness to it, by virtue of that inner power similar to and stemming from The One when it is in that state in which it was when it originated from The One. Thus will The One be 'seen' as far as it can become an object of contemplation." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

4 "Within this world-in-little, man, the cyclic rhythm perceptible throughout the universe-at-large, the macrocosm, is recurrently portrayed." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

5 "Self-knowledge reveals to the soul that its natural motion is not, if uninterrupted, in a straight line, but circular, as around some inner object, about a center, the point to which it owes its origin. If the soul knows this, it will move around this center from which it came, will cling to it and commune with it as indeed all souls should….for divinity consists in being attached to the center." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

6 "The Soul makes each being one by looking upon The One." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

7 "True knowledge of self and true knowledge of God are so intimately linked within the soul that, if the soul is purified of all that is not itself, it knows at one and the same time itself, and in itself, God." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

8 "To The One the soul must return: it is the law embedded in its ontological structure." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

9 "By contemplation the mystic constructs his real self, achieves his authentic existence, quite as the contemplation of The Intelligence IS The Intelligence and the contemplation of The Soul IS The Soul." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

10 "The soul is of the same nature as The Soul to which must be ascribed all that is vital and beautiful in the cosmos." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

11 "There is at the core of every existing thing an ontic desire for what is lacking to its perfectness, and this perfectness it can find in its fullness solely within that which initially engendered it." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

12 "We are always around The One. If we were not, we would dissolve and cease to exist. Yet our gaze does not remain fixed upon The One. When we look at it, we then attain the end of our desires and find rest. Then it is that, all discord past, we dance an inspired dance around it." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

13 "What could exist were it not one?" Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

14 "Health is contingent upon the body's being coordinated in unity; beauty, upon the mastery of parts by The One; the soul's virtue, upon unification into one sole coherence." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

15 "The One, transcendent to all differentiation and form, is the source of all." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

16 "The divine is beauty, wisdom, goodness, and the like; and by these the wing of the soul is nourished, and grows apace." Plato, 'Phaedrus'

17 "The One is the foundation of all other things and gives them, at one and the same time, existence and location." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

18 "It is by The One that all beings are beings." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

19 "The cosmos is ensouled….It is in The Soul, which bears it up, and shares in it wholly." Plotinus, 'The Soul'

20 "As we turn towards The One, we exist to a higher degree, while to withdraw from it is to fall." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

21 "The Good is the cause of life, of thought, of being." Plotinus, 'Beauty'

22 "Every particular thing is linked to that divine being in whose likeness it is made." Plotinus, 'The Soul'

23 "So divine and precious is The Soul, be confident that, by its power, you can attain to divinity." Plotinus, 'The Three Primal Hypostases'

24 "God is a living being, eternal, and infinitely good." Aristotle, 'Metaphysics'

25 "Souls are responsive one to another because they all come from the same soul – The Soul." Plotinus, 'The Soul'

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite