Plotinus, Enneads

LCL 443: 136-137

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Plotinus: Ennead IV. 4.


1. τί οὖν ἐρεῖ; καὶ τίνων τὴν μνήμην ἕξει ψυχὴ ἐν τῷ νοητῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς οὐσίας ἐκείνης γενομένη; ἢ ἀκόλουθον εἰπεῖν ἐκεῖνα θεωρεῖν καὶ περὶ ἐκεῖνα ἐνεργεῖν, ἐν οἷς ἔστιν, ἢ μηδὲ ἐκεῖ εἶναι. τῶν 5οὖν ἐνταῦθα οὐδέν, οἷον ὅτι ἐφιλοσόφησε, καὶ δὴ καὶ ὅτι ἐνταῦθα οὖσα ἐθεᾶτο τὰ ἐκεῖ; ἀλλ᾿ εἰμὴ ἔστιν, ὅτε τις ἐπιβάλλει τινὶ τῇ νοήσει, ἄλλο τι ποιεῖν ἢ νοεῖν κἀκεῖνο θεωρεῖν—καὶ ἐν τῇ νοήσει οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμπεριεχόμενον τὸ “ἐνενοήκειν”, ἀλλ᾿ ὕστερον ἄν τις τοῦτ᾿, εἰ ἔτυχεν, εἴποι, τοῦτο δὲ 10ἤδη μεταβάλλοντος—οὐκ ἂν εἴη ἐν τῷ νοητῷ καθαρῶς ὄντα μνήμην ἔχειν τῶν τῇδέ ποτε αὐτῷ τινι γεγενημένων.1 εἰ δὲ καί, ὥσπερ δοκεῖ, ἄχρονος πᾶσα νόησις, ἐν αἰῶνι, ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ ἐν χρόνῳ ὄντων τῶν ἐκεῖ, ἀδύνατον μνήμην εἶναι ἐκεῖ οὐχ ὅτι τῶν ἐνταῦθα, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὅλως ὁτουοῦν. ἀλλὰ 15ἔστιν ἕκαστον παρόν· ἐπεὶ οὐδὲ διέξοδος οὐδὲ μετάβασις ἀφ᾿ ἑτέρου ἐπ᾿ ἄλλο. τί οὖν; οὐκ


On Difficulties About The Soul II

IV. 4. On Difficulties About the Soul II

1.—What will he say? And what will the soul remember when it has come to be in the intelligible world, and with that higher reality? It is consistent to say that it will contemplate those things among which it is, and its mental activity will be concerned with them, or else it will not be there at all. Will it not, then, remember any of its experiences here below, for instance that it engaged in philosophy, and even that while it was here it contemplated the things in that other world? But if it is not possible, when one has one’s thought directed on something, to do anything else but think and contemplate that object—and the statement “I had thought [it before]” is not included in the thinking, but one would say it afterwards, if one said it at all, that is when an alteration in one’s thinking has already taken place; it would not then be possible, when one is purely in the intelligible world, to remember the things which happened to one at any time when one was here. But if, as we believe, every act of intelligence is timeless, since the realities there are in eternity and not in time, it is impossible that there should be a memory there, not only of the things here below, but of anything at all. But each and every thing is present there; so there is no discursive thought or transition from one to the other. Well,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plotinus-enneas.1969