The Doctrine of the Mind, the Soul and the bodily cosmos. Neoplatonic...

Doctrine of the Mind, the Soul and the bodily cosmos. Neoplatonic interpretation of matter.

The first divergent From the One, the beginning is the Mind, which is both the first Logos and the first Energy of the One. The mind, on the one hand, is treated by Plotinus in the Aristotelian spirit - as thinking, thinking of itself, as a form of forms, containing in itself all intelligible content (ie, ideal being). However, in addition to similarities, there are significant differences. The mind of Plotinus is no longer the highest authority, he receives his content not as a result of "self-thought", but from the One, to the contemplation of which the mind is directed, so far as the One can be contemplated at all. The mind is not one, but it is one-plural; the presence of much is related to the principle of Other (remember the Platonic notion of the categories of identity and other). The crushing process unity, which began at the level of the Mind, will only increase in the future, and the cause of this Plotinus calls "matter." In the Mind Other is an intelligible matter, i.e. the principle of difference and multiplicity, which can be found, for example, under the simplest definition, for any definition already implies a duality: species (private) and generic (general), for example: "Socrates is a man". True, in the Mind Other is gathered into a harmonious whole, since the Mind is completely self-conscious, i. is open to itself in its entirety, devoid of the "oblivion zones" or dark spots & quot ;.

However, Otherness is strengthened when the Soul deviates from the Mind, the principle that creates and animates the physical space. First, it is associated with the time , which appears along with the sensory cosmos. And although the "Whole Soul" (as Plotinus calls the second after the Mind the beginning of the created One) is eternal and preserves itself in all cosmic changes, the private souls that come from it already depend on time and vary in time.

The soul needs an Other to create a sensual reality. The soul itself is incorporeal, therefore, it is necessary to have the matter of bodies , which becomes the inevitable condition of our reality. The matter of bodies is the lowest, which Plotinus can only point out. It is an eternal thirst and longing that can never be satisfied. She is "almost nothing", since she can not accept or retain any form. And although it is necessary for the existence of bodily reality as an object of the Soul's care, Plotinus calls it a genuine evil, because because of this "infernal" the level of matter and physical destruction (as well as suffering) and moral temptation. The latter threatens us when the private soul perceives the body not as a dungeon, but as a natural environment of its dwelling and even as the only reality. In such a case, instead of striving for the higher, the soul is at the mercy of the worst and the lowest.

However, infernality matter does not mean that Plotinus adheres to dualistic views. Matter is evil, but only in the sense that evil is the absence of the existence of good. If we use the dam metaphor, then matter is the place where the creative rays of the One fall out, and its being is the mere absence of anything. Matter confronts the One only in the sense of deprivation of qualities, the One, as we already know, surpasses all attributes.

Curiously, as Plotinus describes the nature of the demiurgic activity of the Soul. Since the Soul itself is incorporeal, it creates everything by its contemplation. In the formless and gloomy mass of matter, as if eidos-in-matter which, due to the addition of beauty, proportionality and order to it, allow the bodies to appear. Here Plotinus resorts to the metaphor of light, describing how the activity of the Soul illumines the abyss of matter, manifesting the beauty of the natural world.

The whole Soul acts constantly, equally, forever, adding nothing to the laws of the corporeal universe. Thus, in contrast to Christian thinkers, Plotinus was far from the idea of ​​the historicity of being and from any eschatological ideas. His soteriology and eschatology concerned exclusively the individual soul.

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