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trinitarian and triadicRe: [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the Nous for you?

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  • robert_tkoch
    ... Thanks, Ebrahim. I have been reading more of Tabatabayi, and so far, his idea seems to resonate with my own experience; yet I have not read enough, or
    Message 1 of 88 , Sep 19, 2012
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      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Ebrahim Mousavi <brhmmsv@...> wrote:

      > Seyed Hossein Tabatabayi has an appropriate view point which unfortunately
      > has not been saved in one volume but is scattered in his different writings.
      > Upon truthfuls' argument, all things and multiplicity,
      > which are concerned to the rabbit and of course the rabbit itself, has their
      > life and existence only in one real being.

      Thanks, Ebrahim. I have been reading more of Tabatabayi, and so far, his idea seems to resonate with my own experience; yet I have not read enough, or thought enough, to be sure.

      > Upon Tabatabayi's world view, there is only One and
      > nothing else can exist except the One. The other things have no real being but face value.

      Lately, I have been thinking that I see this a little; that, when I remember to be one myself, I have little need of other, and do not create energetic entanglements with the other; so relatively, in my own little life, I sit quietly, knowing as much as I know.

      This can even be demonstrated socially; if man is relatively quiet and remains unaggravated by various things, he comes to see the illusory nature of sex. So choosing to devalue it to an unnecessity, he does not beget so many children; and thus he does not overpopulate, and therefore he does not frighten or alarm his neighbors with his uncontrolled encroachment on their territory, and thus provokes no war. Everybody stays at home and minds his own business.

      All of this is obvious to me, that oneness and simplicity are the answer to man's problems, which cannot be answered otherwise. This oneness of manner is practiced by knowing oneness in the first place. And this visible knowing of oneness must somehow be the conscious part of an otherwise-unconscious direct perception of the One. And this latter idea --- the search for the heretofore-unconscious perception of the One --- which is being demonstrated by my actual display of little-oneness-knowings in my conscious experience --- is my goal right now. Unless I find some way to refute it, I have full faith that these little displays of oneness are an actual proof that I, and everyone, actually, here and now, must be seeing God. Yet we are too distracted, or too drunk on the wine of the world, to notice.

      And that this state --- of all sentient beings seeing God at all times --- must be the actual, eternal truth. In which case, the seeming divide between Oneness and manyness would not exist. And this world, where, in our relative experience, we do not see God, would be a mere illusion, not even the foam on a wave, just a dream, already disappearing.

      Robert
      >
      > Hi Robert
      > In regarding to references; Ibn Sina is important
      > for his starting a special argument by the name of truthfuls' argument (or
      > Burhani Siddiqin) but what can help our debates is the later versions of this
      > argument in theosophy. I don't know if Henry Corbin can help but Seyed Hossein Tabatabayihas an appropriate view point which unfortunately
      > has not been saved in one volume but is scattered in his different writings.
      > Upon truthfuls' argument, all things and multiplicity,
      > which are concerned to the rabbit and of course the rabbit itself, has their
      > life and existence only in one real being. From our, or rabbit's, side of view all
      > things are contingent thus multiple and separate from each other which they
      > come in being and perish. (Thus they are in need of a Necessary being.)But from
      > the One's side of view point nothing can exist without being necessity which it
      > means it is not separated from One, hence not multiple.
      > Upon Tabatabayi's world view, there is only One and
      > nothing else can exist except the One. The other things have no real being but face
      > value (or something as shadowy) being. Like Plato, the others are not non-being
      > but not the real being. Unlike Plato, the others are not beings at all but are
      > face value or nominal beings, like a bubble in a wave of the sea. The rabbit
      > thinks him/herself as a real being that was not, came in the world, enjoys
      > running around, communicates about multiple things, and fears hawks, but it is
      > like that bubble of the wave. Tabatabayi doesn't want to say we are nothing,
      > because the bubble of the sea is the real bubble but it may not know that it is
      > not separate from the sea, and regard itself as a real in opposite to the
      > others. If we and the rabbit do not forget ourselves as bubbles then we can
      > continue our thinking about all the beings and have our relations without any
      > problem. What is important is regarding ourselves as absolutely independent and
      > face to face to others.
      >  
      > Best regards
      > Moosavi
      >
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: robert_tkoch <linyuuuu@...>
      > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:19 AM
      > Subject: trinitarian and triadicRe: [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the Nous for you?
      >
      >
      >  
      >
      >
      > Greetings to Ebrahim Mousavi,
      >
      > Thanks for these references. I am presently reading some of the writings of Ibn Sina, Henry Corbin, and Tabatabayi, as you recommended. And even though my initial readings suggest that these men are also speaking multiplicities about the multiplicity in entanglements away from the One, I will continue searching for that subtle thread, connecting the One to the many, that absolutely, I believe, must be there.
      >
      > But if you, or anyone else reading this thread, would care to answer more about my question, I would be obliged. And my question remains the same --- how, in some quiet, hardly-noticed way, does the One become the many? I do not want to think about more complex pluralities and their interconnections with each other, but only about the extremely quiet One somehow becoming a little whisper, prior to manifestation, and then becoming the full-blown manifestation that we call the All.
      >
      > As if we were imagining being the all-potential ultimate Silence itself --- like a very quiet little germ of a baby rabbit --- prior to its birth into its real-rabbit "boiling life" --- whereupon it runs around over hill and field, concerned with and communicating about multiplicities without end --- until its external life is rudely terminated by the sudden swoop of a hawk. Back to the One, then, it might ask, "Of what use were all the multiplicities, after all?" For the multiplicities were only for a little while, and all depended on the One --- while the One was forever, and determined all else.
      >
      > With this in mind, is it not odd, then, that we who seek philosophy should know so much about the unimportant multiplicities, while knowing very little of the all-important One?
      >
      > Robert Tkoch
      >
      > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Ebrahim Mousavi <brhmmsv@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Robert
      > > It's important and interesting what you have said.
      > > I don't have suitable answer for it, unless probably two positions among Islamic
      > > thinkers may help us.
      > > One is on the truthful argument of God. This argument
      > > has risen from Ibn Sina's writings and has continued and changed till now, especially
      > > has become one of the important debates for theosophists and theoretical
      > > mysticism. This argument simply wants to prove that there is only one really existence
      > > which is necessary in itself. In later versions of this argument the existence
      > > of God (really One) propose as the only reality which we cannot find any other
      > > being as the really existence.
      > > The other is the nominal or face value state of all
      > > things except the Being (or God). Tabatabayi, a recent thinker who had some
      > > meetings with Henry Corbin, believes in this system of world. Multiplicity comes
      > > from us, while reality has no multiplicity. Plurality can be divided upon our
      > > relation to the only one reality of being, then we live in a figurative world
      > > which we have made upon our needs by our understanding and our distance or
      > > nearness to the real One or Being.
      > > Yours sincerely
      > > Moosavi.
      > >
      > >
      > > ________________________________
      > > From: robert_tkoch <linyuuuu@>
      > > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 6:38 AM
      > > Subject: trinitarian and triadicRe: [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the Nous for you?
      > >
      > >
      > >  
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Ebrahim Mousavi <brhmmsv@> wrote:
      > >
      > > > "The spiritual discovery of truth, which is
      > > > obtained from manifestations of the names of the omniscient, is appearing of
      > > > secret meanings and objective truths....................
      > >
      > > (the remainder of the words are quoted below)................
      > >
      > > > Is this kind of viewing can solve the problem of "to "see both worlds"?
      > >
      > > No, not to my mind. For all of this is a division and hierarchy about the obvious Many, not about the transition from the One to the Many, which is my only question in these talks.
      > >
      > > It always seems like a sort of sleight-of-hand, when we briefly mention the One, and then quickly pass over to a detailed analysis of everything under the Sun except the Sun itself.
      > >
      > > As in this --- I too have had major insights and beautiful visions in my life. While I am having them, fine. But the day after, I have none of them any more. Did they exist, and were they true? My feeling says, "yes," but I am honestly not sure.
      > >
      > > So I am weary of brilliant visions of higher heavens, or ultimate positivistic declarations of divine love, or clever spiritual anagrams wherein the seeker becomes the sought and vice versa. In all of these, there is no continuance, and I awaken the next day as a "beggar rolling in the dust before the door of the Queen."
      > >
      > > I am always extremely wary about trusting men who allow themselves to become famous for their wisdom, for it seems to me that God hides, and so does wisdom. With that in mind, then, who, seeking God, would have aught to do with fame?
      > >
      > > Again, I do not mean to be difficult, but wish to be honest with my question, for somehow, right or wrong, I believe that there is a hidden gem in an Islamist Neoplatonism of which I am ignorant.
      > >
      > > Somehow, whether imagined or remembered, I get the feeling that mankind is like me, a simple boyish person, who is too enamored of great things, or spectacular visions, or astonishing mysteries, or intelligent scientific explanations, or secret esoteric attitudes, when all of these are mere dramatic constructs, and are all completely unnecessary. I get the feeling that, after all the visions and greatnesses and smart words have been seen and discounted, there will remain only something simple, something like God is the friend, and here he is, and let's have a talk.
      > >
      > > Somehow, whether right or wrong, I think that there is a very ordinary simplicity beyond all the profundity. And here, I am not looking for any explanation or counter-thought of this, but only for a truth that says it is, or it isn't, and here is the way to simply see.
      > >
      > > Robert
      > >
      > > >
      > > > Qaysari in his Introduction has chapter about
      > > > discovery or unveiling and intuition. He tells us: "the meaning of the discovery
      > > > of truth is unveiling and knowing what is not appear to us or what is secret or
      > > > hidden". What is secret or hidden can be in different levels; at least two
      > > > levels of it can be formal and spiritual. The highest level of spiritual is to
      > > > see everything in the one truth, which everything fades or is obliterated in
      > > > One.  
      > > > "The spiritual discovery of truth, which is
      > > > obtained from manifestations of the names of the omniscient, is appearing of
      > > > secret meanings and objective truths. This one has also levels. The first is
      > > > appearing of secrets for intellect without using premise and composing
      > > > syllogism, but transferring of mind from questions to the initiations [arche],
      > > > and this is called guess. Then (the second) is appearing of secrets in logos by
      > > > using the intellect which is higher than body and is called the holy light … it
      > > > is the lowest of unveiling. It has been said that opening is of two kinds: of
      > > > psych (that brings knowledge out of intellect and narration) and of spirit
      > > > (that brings knowledge out of existence, not intellect or
      > > > narration). Then (the third) is appearing of secrets in heart which is called
      > > > inspiration, if it is outward of the secrets, but is called seeing by heart, if
      > > > it is from higher spirits or objects of the fixed truths. …"
      > > >  This piece
      > > > of quotation (which I translated) reminds us of ecstasy in Plotinus. This
      > > > debate is lengthy and it comes to the special problem of the (complete) human being.
      > > > Is this kind of viewing can solve the problem of "to "see both worlds"
      > > > "? 
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ________________________________
      > > > From: robert_tkoch <linyuuuu@>
      > > > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      > > > Sent: Friday, August 24, 2012 8:34 AM
      > > > Subject: trinitarian and triadicRe: [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the Nous for you?
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >  
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Ebrahim Mousavi <brhmmsv@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Parmenides seems denying all things except the One.
      > > > > DonÃÆ'¢â‚¬â„¢t you think, not regarding his physical world, it can be the best example
      > > > > for neopltonism albeit without any movement? There is not any not-being and the
      > > > > many in his One, the only being. If we see ourselves in the One, who think and hallucinate
      > > > > as something, would it be a better world for your approach? I think,
      > > > > theoretical mystics try to get this kind of world. Qaysari, one of prominent commentators
      > > > > of Ibn Arabi, says in his introduction that "being in itself, is something
      > > > > not external and not internal.
      > > >
      > > > Yes, this is the closest, to what I think is the One, that I have seen. When Parmenides denies all not-being, this denial resonates with me, as if it is a necessary counterbalance to the Maya here. Then I become quiet and regain my sense of Infinity.
      > > >
      > > > And many thanks for the mention of Qaysari and others. I will extend my reading there.
      > > >
      > > > > God the One is the external being and human is the internal being: > One is Ontologically the truth and human being is the same truth > but epistemological. In this approach, the first being
      > > > > emanated from One is not the intellect or simple being (as in
      > > > > theosophists), but the (complete) human being.
      > > >
      > > > If I manage to forget myself a little, I hear the quiet sound permeating everything. As I forget more, I realize again that it is not just a sound, it is all senses, colors, lights, feelings. Then all these dissolve, as they are seen to be mere conventional constructs in my mind; and the sound becomes the flow of living waters. At some point, I call this flow, "Being," for that is how it seems to be, with an unproven feeling of certainty far greater than with anything else.
      > > >
      > > > So I come to my own experience of Being, or at least of what seems to be a sheer undifferentiation of phenomena, the essence behind phenomena, although it is far simpler than that. And, myself somewhat ceasing, I, or my self-forgetful awareness without much to say, might remain witnessing this for a very long time.
      > > >
      > > > And then I am awake again, a simple man, doing something of this or that, and I know nothing about Being, except to describe the imagined memory as I have just done here.
      > > >
      > > > So I, myself, have an unsolved gap between what I perceive as a man and what I think I know of Being. I have the feeling, almost the certainty, that this is due to my imperfections, that I am truly not yet ready to "see both worlds." But I want to learn to be ready, and so I wonder if you know anyone in the East who has addressed this particular situation.
      > > >
      > > > Robert
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > In mystical tradition three kinds of mystics has
      > > > > been separated from each other: Poet, practical, and theoretical mystics.ÃÆ'‚  Rumi, or Hafiz are poets, Hallaj, Abol-Khayr,
      > > > > and many others, as well as Sufis, are practical mystics, and Ibn Arabi is
      > > > > counted as the founder of theoretical mysticism. Theoretical ones, who tried to
      > > > > establish cosmological thinking about world, had a great influence on
      > > > > theosophists which have been counted as philosophers. As I know, William C.
      > > > > Chittick on theoretical mysticism and Seyyed Hossein Nasr on theosophism are probably
      > > > > the most familiar with in United States.
      > > > > ÃÆ'‚ 
      > > > > >I think that Parmenides and
      > > > > Plotinus are similar, although Parmenides focused more simply on the One
      > > > > itself, all alone; also almost suggesting that it was unlawful to believe in
      > > > > the not-being, or the many. But the equation between not-being and the many was
      > > > > only implied, and this can be debated.
      > > > >
      > > > > Parmenides seems denying all things except the One.
      > > > > DonÃÆ'¢â‚¬â„¢t you think, not regarding his physical world, it can be the best example
      > > > > for neopltonism albeit without any movement? There is not any not-being and the
      > > > > many in his One, the only being. If we see ourselves in the One, who think and hallucinate
      > > > > as something, would it be a better world for your approach? I think,
      > > > > theoretical mystics try to get this kind of world. Qaysari, one of prominent commentators
      > > > > of Ibn Arabi, says in his introduction that "being in itself, is something
      > > > > not external and not internal. Because they can be different kind of it and it
      > > > > is without any conditioning [from our limited minds] is non of them; not whole
      > > > > and not part, not general and not particular, not one and not many, and so
      > > > > on."
      > > > > In theosophical approach, being is the prominent or
      > > > > primary and anything else, which can be gathered under quiddity, is nominal or
      > > > > conventional. Anything before being anything has a being and this is simple.
      > > > >
      > > > > >But how do we find the bridge between God and
      > > > > man, the true bridge that makes this world into a divine or semi-divine
      > > > > playground? How, starting right where we are?
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > In mystical tradition, we always speak about
      > > > > theoretical mystics, quiddity and difference is in mind and outside of our mind
      > > > > are God and his attributes which is the whole being. Here multiplicity is
      > > > > wrapped in Oneness.
      > > > > I think mystics have a beautiful answer to your
      > > > > question on "How, Starting right where we are?" In mystical approach,
      > > > > we as human being are different from all others in the world; human is the most
      > > > > grate manifestation of God (the One). Because only we human are aware and can
      > > > > separate the being according to attributes of God. God the One is the external
      > > > > being and human is the internal being: One is Ontologically the truth and human
      > > > > being is the same truth but epistemological. In this approach, the first being
      > > > > emanated from One is not the intellect or simple being (as in theosophists),
      > > > > but the (complete) human being.
      > > > > Theosophists believe in a hierarchical world which
      > > > > has a cause-effect relation, although the beings are weakend as relational
      > > > > being.ÃÆ'‚ 
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > ________________________________
      > > > > From: robert_tkoch <linyuuuu@>
      > > > > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > Sent: Friday, August 17, 2012 2:58 AM
      > > > > Subject: trinitarian and triadicRe: [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the Nous for you?
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > ÃÆ'‚ 
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Ebrahim Mousavi <brhmmsv@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Hi,
      > > > > > Thank you Robert
      > > > > > It seems you have a good sense towards this
      > > > > > approach, and I am glad for that. First I should say that I am only reporting
      > > > > > these beliefs, as I have understood, and second it is the theosophists who I
      > > > > > have focused on them but mystics have said more on this direction which I think
      > > > > > it is closer to what you are seeking for.
      > > > >
      > > > > I think so too. Yet reading Rumi, or Hafiz, or Shankara, even though the all-in-one dancing integrity of the All is clearly communicated beyond any doubt, yet there is still no explanation about going from the utter simplicity and quietude of the One to the "boiling life" of the All.
      > > > >
      > > > > I might listen to the silence for hours, unaware of passing thoughts, for I have decided to ignore these in favor of the silence. Yet sooner or later, I find myself munching a chocolate chip cookie. Try as I might, I cannot find the link between these two states, except to assemble cause-effect chains within the multiplicity side of it. In the ensuing unfair argument, the One has no voice, and the cookie-eater explains everything, in cookie-eater terms, about the cookie-eating world.
      > > > >
      > > > > So where is the One? Back where the many are forgotten. And where are the many? Right here in the world, where the One is forgotten.
      > > > >
      > > > > Thus, my interest in Plotinus. More than others in my experience, he does not let go of the quest for the One, and he does his best to describe, without mythology, how the One might naturally, just in its own way of original Being, emanate lesser things, which lesser things, being merely incident to itself, do not need to be rigorously explained with a strict causal hierarchy, for they are sort of nonexistent anyway. Yet he too, cannot, using words, say what he saw beyond words. And I am simply looking for a stepladder that will help me to see what he saw.
      > > > >
      > > > > > Two things should be presupposed:
      > > > > > world (the created beings) cannot be neglected in a theistic thought (as in
      > > > > > realists approach) because God is the creator, and God is over and above,
      > > > > > almost all reality, in a monotheistic religion (like Islamic one). Standing in
      > > > > > middle and putting both of these suppositions together is desirable for all
      > > > > > theist thinkers but each have been criticized from other different parties
      > > > > > within these religions. Neoplatonism, I think, have given the best way
      > > > > > approaching the transcendental part which is demanded in monotheistic religions
      > > > > > but keeping the distinction between the Garden of Eden and earthly life is also
      > > > > > very important in these religions.
      > > > > > Now, your question:
      > > > > > ÃÆ'Æ'‚ÃÆ'‚ 
      > > > > > >Because, if I say, "a
      > > > > > necessary product of the One," I am right back in a contradiction that I
      > > > > > cannot explain, as in, "How can the One be only One and yet have a
      > > > > > product?".
      > > > > > ÃÆ'Æ'‚ÃÆ'‚ 
      > > > > > Philosophical view has centered
      > > > > > on the oneness of God and weakening, as much as possible, the multiplicity of the
      > > > > > rest. But from mystical part, the entire world becomes one reality, that is
      > > > > > Being (as if, Parmenides presents himself), within which the others can be
      > > > > > seen.
      > > > >
      > > > > I think that Parmenides and Plotinus are similar, although Parmenides focused more simply on the One itself, all alone; also almost suggesting that it was unlawful to believe in the not-being, or the many. But the equation between not-being and the many was only implied, and this can be debated.
      > > > >
      > > > > My guess is that, if Parmenides could talk with us, he might say that seeing the many, itself, is like like seeing the face of Medusa, an instantaneous, automatic seduction into a state of non-divine paralysis.
      > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > On your question about
      > > > > > >How can there be any
      > > > > > contingency whatsoever related in any possible way to the One?
      > > > > > ÃÆ'Æ'‚ÃÆ'‚ 
      > > > > > Theosophists speak of the reality
      > > > > > as a hierarchical system and have formed a differential analogy. They say separation
      > > > > > between two things is not only by accidents, essence, or difference, but it can
      > > > > > be also by intensity and weakness. The reality is one and it is Being, that is, it has one kind of essence and nature but at the same time it has intensity and
      > > > > > weakness which makes differences meaningful. Differential analogy is a kind of
      > > > > > separation that has a unity, in their words "their privilege is the same
      > > > > > as their participate".
      > > > > > Mystics believe that there is only
      > > > > > one reality, and nothing is in the being except the One. Difference comes from
      > > > > > our fallibility.
      > > > >
      > > > > Even though this statement about the mystics always leaves everyone feeling incomplete, I think it is essentially true. "Difference comes from our fallibility." We are the ones who imagine that the rope is a snake.
      > > > >
      > > > > But how do we find the bridge between God and man, the true bridge that makes this world into a divine or semi-divine playground? How, starting right where we are?
      > > > >
      > > > > Robert
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I have many questions and problems with these approaches
      > > > > > of thinking.
      > > > > >
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    • robert_tkoch
      ... All that you have said above, I think, is an accurate statement of our current worldview that accepts the necessarily-uncomfortable and confusing interplay
      Message 88 of 88 , Sep 30, 2012
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        --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "norebo_601" <a.aboumrad@...> wrote:
        >
        > I agree, it is often mind-boggling how someone might be able to reconcile the seeming dissonance in the moral polarity of the cosmos. There may be some slight but crucial nuances in the definition of "good" as it pertains to the One, and the definition of "good" as it pertains to human action on Earth. That is, the two might not always be in congruence, and evil actions on Earth might not necessarily conflict with a One that is Good.

        All that you have said above, I think, is an accurate statement of our current worldview that accepts the necessarily-uncomfortable and confusing interplay of the mixture of good and evil --- in which we find ourselves living --- as an established and necessary thing.

        But Plotinus was strict and definite about good and evil. He stated, very clearly, that the One is the Good, and that the One emanates lesser beings on lesser levels, all as good as they can possibly be, considering their limitations, each lower level of beings getting less good than its prior, until finally we come to the least-good --- matter itself, the epitome of formlessness itself; and that, at this level, the Good has been exhausted, there is no good in matter, and that this matter is the end of emanation, it is the evil itself.

        There is no mention whatsoever of good and evil coexisting, only that good is the true, evil is the false, and that the liveliest life is the good.

        Nor, when I analyze his train of thought, can I see anywhere that the good and bad must or should coexist. But the bad is entirely bad, it is the ugly itself, there is no good in it, and it only has apparent reality to those who are low and bad enough to be with it.

        When you said,

        > ...and evil actions on Earth might not necessarily conflict with a One that is Good.

        I think that this is entirely untrue, as all evil is contrary to the good, and will, if given the chance, conflict absolutely with the good.

        My guess is that, in the original order of Nature, there is no problem; every emanation, lower and more evil than its prior, remains on its own lower level, and does not intermingle with its prior. So the existence of evil, there by necessary design, in no way interferes with the good.

        Continuing my guess --- the problem arises when man gets it in his head to go against the natural order, and to instead invent his own scheme of things. For instance, if man invents the idea of democracy, then he must position all things, side-by-side, as being equal, including the equality of evil and good. When this forced admixture is confined in man's head, the natural tendency --- of the natural opposites to separate and live on different levels --- produces an explosive, captive mixture that we call conflict.
        >
        > There's the longstanding wisdom that good can come from evil, and so the playing field from the perspective of the One may come out favorable in the end (independent of whether you believe there to be an end). But of course, this is all mere speculation. The answer to this problem may not be readily accessible with logic.

        I do not think that anyone's wisdom ever came from evil, nor could this ever be. If we are discussing Neoplatonic thought, we must certainly respect the thought of Plotinus himself, as outlined above. In no way, throughout eternity, can wisdom come from the bad, since the bad only seems to exist when the wisdom is gone. When the man is dead, you cannot get life from his corpse; although you might say that new life comes when old life dies, these are two different things. But I understand what you mean, that the colloquial thought suggests that good can come from evil, and that people live by these ideas. But I hold that these ideas are dead wrong, and are responsible for much of mankind's misery.
        >
        > One hypothesis I'm fond of, however, is that the actions of humans on Earth is like the actions of microorganisms in the body. At one perspective, it can be seen as a violent conflict between blood cells and pathogens and amoebic entities destroying and consuming each other with no remorse! But we zoom out and come to the perspective that it's all part of the greater construct of keeping our body healthy and in harmony.

        But this is just another statement of the same rationalizing a-philosophy --- that somehow, we must find a way to justify the contradiction, so we seek any manner of theory to avoid seeing the truth --- that we should be good, and we should be living in a good Commonwealth, and everyone should be talking about good ideas all of the time. And as for the evil beings who are lower than our good, we should leave them alone in the lower place that they have chosen.

        I do not think that we can find a human or above-human truth through the analysis of microorganisms on lower levels, since our perception of those creatures is still conditioned by our current philosophy, even though the current course of human devolution does indeed suggest that man is learning from the ants how to become an efficient anthill-ian megalopolis. I believe that man's fate is governed by his actual thinking, and the art of thinking is being forgotten, replaced by dogmatic concepts which are never examined.
        >
        > But, this is all just speculation. I don't completely see it this way myself, but it's an interesting attempt at reconciliation.

        I agree. I do not see it that way either, and I have considered all of these speculations at length. I keep coming back to the fact that I really know very little at all, but I should begin to learn.

        Robert
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "robert_tkoch" <linyuuuu@> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "norebo_601" <a.aboumrad@> wrote:
        > >
        > > > You presume in one statement that we do not 'see' the One, and I believe that depends. We cannot see the One absolutely, but can we see it vicariously in the world around and within us? (Pantheism aside, this is an applicable question for Neoplatonists too)
        > >
        > > Hello,
        > >
        > > I understand what you have said; and I am quite happy with my little appreciation of the One and its works. With this, I have no problem or regret.
        > >
        > > No, outside of what you addressed in the quotation above and in your full answer below, I am wondering about something completely other than all this. You mentioned that it might be an ethical issue, and so it is; yet to me, ethics and metaphysics, and even statesmanship, are inseparable.
        > >
        > > To me, synthesizing known mystical vision with the rock-bottom conclusions of reason, I see the most perfect proof that the One is, that it is all-good, that it and its productions are all that is, and that this source of the universe, being absolutely wonderful, must be always producing only something wonderful --- or, as Plotinus suggested, as wonderful as can be in the circumstances.
        > >
        > > On the other hand, my senses, the reports of other men, and the words of history tell me that mankind is fundamentally insane, alternating acts of mild goodness with acts of the most deranged evil, then shrugging it all off with the most astonishing and irresponsible mediocrity and complacency.
        > >
        > > Or, to put it more mildly, that the evidence of the senses in no way argues for an absolutely good source for all of this. The evidence of the senses indicates something pretty ignorant and bad.
        > >
        > > And my guess is this --- that the truth of this matter has been lost for some time. That some major part of the knowledge of the One has been lost, and thus this knowledge's creation and result out here has not happened; and this loss reflects as the absolute absurdity of a mankind that gives lip-service to God while he shakes hands with the Devil.
        > >
        > > Either my reason is correct --- that God is, the Good is, and that his creation is good...
        > >
        > > Or my senses are correct --- that evil is alive and well, and wins many rounds in the contest out here.
        > >
        > > But I hold that both cannot be true. And since I already know that my senses sometimes lie, and that secular mankind often lies, and my own everyday thinking is often incorrect --- I must put my full faith in reason, and in the reports of the mystics.
        > >
        > > So I hold that the One is, and there is no else. The good is, and there is no evil.
        > >
        > > That leaves me to explain this world in which we speak, where evil cannot be denied. But my only guess, so far, is that all of the evil here might be explained as an artifact of ignorance; that we who accept the evil as a necessary part of the world are, perhaps, the most ignorant people in history; and that there is a way out, which must be essentially a way to wake up.
        > >
        > > This is what I am wondering.
        > >
        > > Robert
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > >
        > > > Robert,
        > > >
        > > > That second paragraph of yours is quite poetic. I hope that you do not bear an undue weight of frustration in not being able to grasp the One in its purity, because that is a type of digging that can go on without end. How much more might we understand the One if we had not five senses, but ten or twenty? How much more beautiful might a sunset appear if our eyes could discern not 10 million colors, but 100 million? These are harmless questions on their own, but if taken too heavily, they can bring one closer to dissatisfaction than to wisdom.
        > > >
        > > > Luckily, the practical world is much more sympathetic. A person who is completely colorblind may receive the beauty of a sunset just as readily as someone with stronger vision. It is a matter of personal demeanor whether one chooses (nuanced as this term is) to lament the limitations of his or her perception, or view the matter positively and rejoice that he or she is able to taste even the smallest droplet from the sweetest river of gnosis. (I think this may be why traditionally religious folk so dearly love their prophets, they who provided a sip of this river to their respective communities).
        > > >
        > > > It may not be that we have a "false" view, but rather one that is a little smudged and dusty. We can cultivate our spiritual vision and clean off some of what has dirtied that window, but at the end of the day even the greatest philosopher will be separated from the pure vision by a pane of glass.
        > > >
        > > > You presume in one statement that we do not 'see' the One, and I believe that depends. We cannot see the One absolutely, but can we see it vicariously in the world around and within us? (Pantheism aside, this is an applicable question for Neoplatonists too)
        > > >
        > > > As for contemporary woes in civilization, you raise a very important concern. It's a thing of Ethics, but then how are Ethics and Metaphysics connected? It is often (though not always) the case that those who act compassionately have some metaphysical ideology based on the Oneness of Being, while those who act dispassionately often lack it. Do you think this is innate? (I've observed on a personal level that Monism and Philanthropy came mutually into my life, but maybe others have experienced differently.) I'd love to hear your thoughts on this bridge between the two fields of thought.
        > > >
        > > > Regards,
        > > > Norebo
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "robert_tkoch" <linyuuuu@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "norebo_601" <a.aboumrad@> wrote:
        > > > > .......>
        > > > > > Coming all the way back to your question of how the light first became all the colors, I would argue that it does so only in perception. I don't believe there was a "beginning" or single event in creation, but rather that every moment is a renewed emanation of the One. The One Light does not 'actually' become Colors, but since knowledge can only be accessed by division, any gnosis reached in our human lives with our human brains will be limited to what Plotinus calls the Nous. My personal opinion is that many, many people mistake the Nous for the One, since they are convinced that they can access it directly with thought (and yes, even prayer or meditation is thought).
        > > > >
        > > > > Greetings to Norebo,
        > > > >
        > > > > Thanks for these ideas. And I, too, seem to stop at the lower side of what I vaguely think is Nous, already forced to theorize and mythologize about that which I dimly think I see; admitting that I must content myself with the upper limits of my mind, and that I have no access whatsoever to the Simplicity above that.
        > > > >
        > > > > And then again, to sometimes enjoy the vision of my supposed Nous, wherein are all manner of timeless archetypes and symbols, all manner of visionary dreams, well proven by history and literature to be something universal, existing outside of myself. Whether this be actually a touch of a touch of Nous, or something lower, I do not know. But I will not call it Nous or near-Nous until I am capable of truly knowing.
        > > > >
        > > > > Yet on the day after, all these are only suppositions and memories, perhaps true, perhaps not. I, the complex one, have noticed many complexities, but so what? I am doing the same thing that the birds do when they suddenly fly together as a huge flock, putting on a spectacle for the ephemeral fun of it.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > All discourse on the hierarchy of emanations is, put simply, a big dance around the INdirect understanding of the One.
        > > > >
        > > > > Thanks for this great sentence, which I believe to be useful and true. Yet I cannot get it out of my head that, believing this to be the truth --- that our lives and all of our particulars are "a big dance around the INdirect understanding of the One" --- that there is something otherwise crazily wrong with our perception --- that, with all the centrality of the One, we cannot even see it. This is tantamount to the planets, circling the Sun, never acknowledging that there is a Sun --- or like a child, fully supported by his mother and father, never acknowledging this fact, instead vainly imagining that he came into being, and is maintained, by himself --- or like a shipful of pirates, momentarily distanced from the law, thinking that their momentary anarchistic success is a guarantee for their plundering without end.
        > > > >
        > > > > And that we have evolved an entire worldview, an entire apologetic philosophy that carefully explains, in a million different ways, why it is natural and necessary to never see the most obvious thing in town, the One itself --- while a thousand pundits on a thousand keyboards convince everyone, using thousands of perspectives and consensuses, that all of this is natural indeed.
        > > > >
        > > > > If the One is, and if the One is really the only one here, and if the One is the true and only precedent and source of everything, including ourselves, then it must be so that we can see it, for if there is a seeing, how could you not see the only thing that is? And since we don't, we must be out on some limb where the truth is forgotten.
        > > > >
        > > > > And this craziness, I think, must be the mark of the current human condition, and must indicate the true cause of every world problem. For we are seeing falsely from the beginning to the end, if we do not see the One, All, and Everything.
        > > > >
        > > > > This is the dilemma which I am considering, wondering if you, or anyone, have any light on exactly this line of thought --- or if you can show me some error in my thinking that will eliminate the seeming paradox.
        > > > >
        > > > > Robert Tkoch
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > >There is a wonderful series of videos by Pierre Grimes on Youtube regarding Plotinus and his methods. If you seek it out and watch it, I'm sure that you'll agree that Plotinus knew quite well what he was doing :)
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Hi Robert,
        > > > > >
        > > > > > I'd like to make an attempt to reconcile a few things about what I've observed in other philosophical traditions about the One, and in doing so perhaps shed some light on this issue of, well.. light :P
        > > > > >
        > > > > > The epistemology described by Alan Watts in his "Wisdom of Insecurity" comes closer than any other work I've read in describing the limitations of the intellect to access truths of the One (generally referred to by Watts as either the Tao or the Absolute). Knowledge is what we are after in these dialogues, and yet knowledge is dependent on dual qualities which always reach a kind of mutual exclusion at some fundamental level. If the One is large, then it is not small. If it is light, it is not dark.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > If there is any intellectual quality which does not belong to the One (such as small or dark), then is it really the Absolute? In this sense, the Tao Te Ching wastes no time in claiming that "The Tao that can spoken is not the Tao," meaning that anything which has describable qualities cannot be the Absolute.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > To describe is to divide, and yet as human beings in a material world we must accept an imperfect grasp of the absolute because an imperfect image is still more useful to us than no image. By useful, I mean that holding some kind of view of the Absolute adds meaning and beauty to our lives (this is confirmed in countless psychological studies of human happiness).
        > > > > >
        > > > > > I have studied the Tao and Zen Buddhism for a modest number of years, but could not bring myself to be a devotee because both schools of thought respond to the "imperfect concept" problem by shrugging their shoulders and saying "Well, we can't have a 100% inconsistent image of the Absolute, so best not bother with it!" This is much more defeatist than the metaphysics described by Plotinus, but it's a view worth exposure.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Coming all the way back to your question of how the light first became all the colors, I would argue that it does so only in perception. I don't believe there was a "beginning" or single event in creation, but rather that every moment is a renewed emanation of the One. The One Light does not 'actually' become Colors, but since knowledge can only be accessed by division, any gnosis reached in our human lives with our human brains will be limited to what Plotinus calls the Nous. My personal opinion is that many, many people mistake the Nous for the One, since they are convinced that they can access it directly with thought (and yes, even prayer or meditation is thought).
        > > > > >
        > > > > > All discourse on the hierarchy of emanations is, put simply, a big dance around the INdirect understanding of the One. There is a wonderful series of videos by Pierre Grimes on Youtube regarding Plotinus and his methods. If you seek it out and watch it, I'm sure that you'll agree that Plotinus knew quite well what he was doing :)
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > -Norebo
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "robert_tkoch" <linyuuuu@> wrote:
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
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        > > > > > > Greetings to Monte,
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > I appreciate your suggestions. And yes, I see the analogy between existence and light, how the white light degenerates into the many self-involved and self-produced colors. Or how the Clear Light of the First Bardo becomes the hallucinatory, ideational realm of the Second Bardo, which becomes the living, existential realm of the third Bardo of creatures and worldly existence.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > But in all of these, I am still saying, "Whoa! Wait a minute. Stop right there. We just skipped over the most important thing."
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > And the most important thing is --- HOW did the light begin to fragment into the many colors? At what point did the clear white light become red and blue and yellow? Was there a gradual transition, or did it happen all at once? How did the colorless clearness seemingly lose itself in the process of becoming green? Who, now, is this green partisan who wants the greens to win over the magentas?
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Otherwise, we are just one of many colors ourselves, dancing and winding around and interweaving in colorful swirls. And while this might be interesting and agreeable in itself, it does not answer the original question at all.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > My suspicion is that the dilemma is an artifact of the illusoriness of the whole view. That all human problems, including this difficulty of the One-many transition, can only be solved by dropping the erroneous paradigm that led to the impossible standoff, and discovering something truer in its place. And that the first step of this process is to stop ignoring the original impossibility --- the One-many unaswerableness --- and admit that something is really and fundamentally wrong with our worldview.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Yet I do not understand what is wrong, only that Western reasoning always leads to this cliff-edge, which it then forgets as it dances around near the edge, building entire civilizations on a most unstable foundation. And I do this too.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > And I especially appreciated your comment:
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Human beings who are intelligent absorb a higher quantity of
        > > > > > > > intelligence from the One.  Those who are beautiful, absorb
        > > > > > > > more of that trait from the One's emanations. 
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > A physicist might say that the seen color is the one that is reflected, not absorbed. An artist might say that, to radiate, you must first absorb the to-be-radiated. You seem to say the latter, with which I agree, i.e., you can only reflect a lesser part of what you are, which, if derived from without, must first be brought within, to first become a part of yourself.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Robert
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Michael Plaisance <kiriosmuseos1313@> wrote:
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Geia sas Robert,
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > I am coming into this discussion a bit late, and I am afraid that I am not completely up to par on the entire discussion, but when I saw your question regarding how the One becomes the Many, I feel that I may be able to offer some assistance.  I am a philosopher by choice, not profession and I teach students, much in the same way that the ancient philosophers did, in my back yard under the gazebo.  Philosophy is not a life study for me, it is a way of living.  So maybe I can help you understand this without the need to refer to texts, but by an analogy.  The way that I teach my students to begin the comprehension of the emanations of the One is by the analogy of light.  The One could be compared to sunlight.  The One become Two, when the sun emanates it's light.  The sun is the source of light, but the light it gives off is a result of it.  Thus, the physical world is simply a result of the One's emanative power.  Now, if you take the idea of
        > > > > > > > color and apply it, you can quickly see how the One becomes the Many.  We see sunlight as white light, or actually clear light.  It has no specific color.  However, when you pass sunlight through a prism you realize that it is comprised of an infinite number of colors.  The spectrum which our eyes can see is the seven color spectrum of the rainbow, but we also have ultra-violet and infra-red light as well.  So from this seemingly unified (one-color) light we have all the myriads of color existing within it.  So if you carry that analogy to its ultimate extreme you  have your answer.  All that exists in the world, is simply the degradation of the One's power shining out and dividing itself.  If you want to take it to a religious area, you can say that spirits, gods, daemons, etc. are made up of the "invisible" matter existing in the ultra-violet and infra-red spectrum of manifestation.  They are real, but not visible to our eyes except under
        > > > > > > > very special circumstances. 
        > > > > > > > I often take this farther, with my students, and use the analogy of pigmentation as well.  When light hits an object, depending on its molecular make up, it will absorb a certain spectrum of color from the white light and reflect that color back to our eyes.  Thus a red couch is red because it absorbs more of the red spectrum than any other color.  The same applies to all things in the universe.  Human beings who are intelligent absorb a higher quantity of intelligence from the One.  Those who are beautiful, absorb more of that trait from the One's emanations.  This explains the multiplicity of life and diversity of existence in a way that is simple and direct.  Because the Universe is a fractal, we know that patterns repeat themselves over and over in larger or smaller, yet identical, scales.  I do hope this helps you and if you have any further questions, feel free to ask.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > In Light,
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Monte Plaisance
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > http://echoesfromthetemple.wordpress.com/
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > --- On Mon, 9/17/12, robert_tkoch <linyuuuu@> wrote:
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > From: robert_tkoch <linyuuuu@>
        > > > > > > > Subject: trinitarian and triadicRe: [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the Nous for you?
        > > > > > > > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > > > Date: Monday, September 17, 2012, 6:24 PM
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        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "Goya" <goya@> wrote:
        > > > > > > >
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        > > > > > > > > M.C. Sems like a pretty tall order. Why should it be possible to solve one
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > of the deepest mysteries of the universe in a simple sentence or so?
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Yes, I agree. To attempt this would be insane. But I was not attempting this, only asking a simple question: "How does the One become the many?" I did not expect to hear the secret of the universe, but, perhaps, only a very little bit of knowledge --- the kind that I can understand --- from someone who has a very little insight into how this might actually occur.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Because the truth is, I haven't the slightest idea. But I believe that Plotinus was actually talking about this subtle process, but he is not here for me to question. So I question you and others, but you only tell me more about the manifold thoughts within the many, citing various consensuses in support. And I cannot find this amiss either, for this is what I do myself. But I really wish that I could get an insight into how the One-many process actually works.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Someone might say, "Then, Robert, you should not question a group; you should begin with the most one-like thing, which, for yourself, is your own alone self." And yes, I think this is true. But I have already followed this advice, and, as you can see, I still do not know. So my next reasoning is that perhaps I can see the one-like part better if I seek it in the group, even as Socrates sought justice in the manifold State, the better to see it in an individual man. Perhaps, since this group is a plurality based upon the unity of the unity-teaching ideas of Plotinus, then this group might contain minds more individuated than my own, and thus might inform me about oneness, better than I know.
        > > > > > > >
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        > > > > > > > Robert
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        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > or a precise example of
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > such on a more reflective, lesser level, such as, "how does sleep become
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > waking?" I was saying that your answer did not answer my exact question,
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > but was relevant on the level of Plato's Timaeusian words that I call
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > myth, which I already believe.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > When I used the word, "random," I meant that your juxtaposition of
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > jealousy opposite the One was a random choice of exclusions, for each and
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > every thing in the All, when compared with the One, is something that the
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > One is not. So to say that "the One cannot be jealous" is a random
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > statement. The word, "jealousy," was chosen at random, for there were an
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > infinite number of other words that would have served just as well.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > M.C. No, the word "jealousy" is not chosen at random, it's Plato's
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > explanation, subsequently taken up by pretty well all Christian and Pagan
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > exegetes. If God or the One creates, it's primarily because the only
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > reason he could have *not* to do so would be that he was jealous of
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > sharing his goodness. But he's not jealous, so he creates. The axiom
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > underlying this way of thinking is "bonum est diffusivum sui": the good is
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > that which diffuses or distributes itself
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > I do not mean to be hair-splitting in the above paragraph, but only to
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > answer your question about the "random." I see that you have used the word
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > in a different context than mine, and I wanted to clarify my own usage.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > With all this, I am still extremely curious about my major question: how
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > does the One become the many? Do you, or does anyone, clearly and
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > fundamentally see how the most One-like something actually becomes
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > many-like? Is there a simple example of such down here, on this plane?
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > M.C. WE should distinguish two questions here:
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > 1. Why does the One become many?
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > 2. How does the One become many?
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > As far as (1) is concerned, Plotinus provides a variety of answers that
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > may or may not be ulitimately reconcilable. His main proof is the axiom
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > referred to above : the beds argument ("bonum est diffusivum sui"). But he
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > also argues by analogy: in this world, all that achieves its maximum
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > perfection and maturity produces offspring. The One is eternally maximally
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > perfect. Therefore it eternally produces offspring.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > There is also a more logical argument: Everything that can exist will
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > exist. The world can exist, therefore it does exist. If it exists, it can
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > have either several ultimate principles as its existence or one single
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > principle. But the former alterbative is unpalatable for a number of
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > philosophical reasons, therefore the world has the One as the ultimate
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > principle of its existence.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > What's perhaps most interesting is what Plotinus does *not* say: he does
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > *not* say the One had to produce the world in order to achieve
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > self-consciousness (in fact he expressly denies this in Enn. III.9.9.).
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > His disciple Porphyry did go on to make this claim, and he was followed,
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > for instance,by Ibn Arabi and by the Hegel of the Phenomenology.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Question 2, the how of the process, is open to even more speculation:
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Plotinus uses a multitude of images such as the diffusion of light from a
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > source, the reflections from a mirror, or even the way a body of knowledge
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "gives rise to" its individual theorems. You ask for an obvious example
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > from the world of the senses: I can't think of one that's better than
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Plotinus, but the best analogy may be the various varieties of big bang
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > cosmologies, in which a vast universe arises from a point of infinite
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > density and spatial curvature. More speciifcally, one may think of the
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > way, according to San Carroll (From Eternity to here, Penguin 2010, p.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > 356ff.) "baby universes" can be created via the quantum fluctuations of a
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > false-vacuum bubble. For an illustration of this process, see, for
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > instance,
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > http://www.google.ca/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&biw=1166&bih=706&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnsb&tbnid=iB72tI71EQrgVM:&imgrefurl=http://www.zamandayolculuk.com/cetinbal/htmldosya1/relativityGen.htm&docid=gPQENP_u3ZqntM&imgurl=http://www.zamandayolculuk.com/cetinbal/PU/p_91501.jpg&w=358&h=901&ei=jEVXUMe0CIiyiQLAzYGQBA&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=2&sig=102974195044222846476&page=1&tbnh=150&tbnw=60&start=0&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:5,s:0,i:89&tx=28&ty=83
        > > > > > > >
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        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Bset, Mike
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        > > > > > > > > Michael Chase
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        > > > > > > > > CNRS UPR 76
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        > > > > > > > > Paris-Villejuif
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        > > > > > > > > France
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        > > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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