Plotinus, Enneads

LCL 443: 20-21

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Plotinus: Ennead IV. 2.


Ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ τῷ νοητῷ ἡ ἀληθινὴ οὐσία· νοῦς τὸ ἄριστον αὐτοῦ· ψυχαὶ δὲ κἀκεῖ· ἐκεῖθεν γὰρ καὶ ἐνταῦθα. κἀκεῖνος ὁ κόσμος ψυχὰς ἄνευ σωμάτων ἔχει, οὗτος δὲ τὰς ἐν σώμασι γινομένας καὶ 5μερισθείσας τοῖς σώμασιν. ἐκεῖ δὲ ὁμοῦ μὲν νοῦς πᾶς καὶ οὐ διακεκριμένον οὐδὲ μεμερισμένον, ὁμοῦ δὲ πᾶσαι ψυχαὶ ἐν αἰῶνι τῷ κόσμῳ, οὐκ ἐν διαστάσει τοπικῇ. νοῦς μὲν οὖν ἀεὶ ἀδιάκριτος καὶ οὐ μεριστός, ψυχὴ δὲ ἐκεῖ ἀδιάκριτος καὶ ἀμέριστος· ἔχει δὲ φύσιν μερίζεσθαι. καὶ γὰρ ὁ μερισμὸς αὐτῆς τὸ 10ἀποστῆναι καὶ ἐν σώματι γενέσθαι. μεριστὴ οὖν εἰκότως περὶ τὰ σώματα λέγεται εἶναι, ὅτι οὕτως ἀφίσταται καὶ μεμέρισται. πῶς οὖν καὶ ἀμέριστος; οὐ γὰρ ὅλη ἀπέστη, ἀλλ᾿ ἔστι τι αὐτῆς οὐκ ἐληλυθός, ὃ οὐ πέφυκε μερίζεσθαι. τὸ οὖν ἐκ τῆς ἀμερίστου καὶ τῆς περὶ τὰ σώματα 15μεριστῆς ταὐτὸν τῷ ἐκ τῆς ἄνω [καὶ κάτω]1 οὔσης2 καὶ τῆς ἐκεῖθεν ἐξημμένης, ῥυείσης δὲ μέχρι τῶνδε, οἷον γραμμῆς ἐκ κέντρου. ἐλθοῦσα δὲ ἐνθάδε τούτῳ τῳ μέρει ὅρα,34 καὶ αὐτῷ τῷ

  • 1del. Bréhier.
  • 2Enn.a: ἰούσης Enn.b, H–S1–2.
  • 3Igal: ὁρᾷ Enn.
  • 4Enn.a, H—S1–2: ὡς Enn.b, Igal.

On The Essence Of The Soul II

IV. 2 [1]. On the Essence of the Soul II

In the intelligible world is true being; Intellect is the best part of it; but souls are There too; for it is because they have come Thence that they are here too. That world has souls without bodies, but this world has the souls which have come to be in bodies and are divided by bodies. There the whole of Intellect is all together and not separated or divided, and all souls are together in the world which is eternity, not in spatial separation. Intellect, then, is always inseparable and indivisible, but soul is inseparable and indivisible There, but it is in its nature to be divided. For its division is departing from Intellect and coming to be in a body. It is therefore properly said to be “divisible in the sphere of bodies” because it departs and is divided in this way. Then how is it also “indivisible”? Because the whole of it did not depart, but there is something of it which did not come [down here] which is not naturally divisible. So then “from the indivisible and that which is divisible in the sphere of bodies” is equivalent to saying that soul is composed of the part which is above and that which is attached to that higher world but has flowed out as far as these parts, like a line from a centre. But when it has come here in this part, see how in this way it preserves in this very part the nature of the whole.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plotinus-enneas.1969