An Overview of Plotinus’ Thought

“To the degree the soul goes toward the formless, being completely unable to comprehend it because it is not defined or stamped, so to speak, by a richly coloured stamp, she slides off and is frightened that she may have nothing.” Plotinus – Ennead VI-9-3

Plotinus – Overview – Part 4

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The Roots of Platonic Thought

Providing a little background to better understand our western roots in Platonism [Spirituality] and our soul’s longing to know its true self through the ground of being.

(Understanding the ideas that have shaped our world view)
The Evolution of the Greek Mind from Homer to Plato.
The Mythic Vision – By Richard Tarnas
Adapted & narrated by Jason Youngman

Click here to watch the video on YouTube.





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The Practice of Dying Well

“And we must consider that humans have forgotten That which from the beginning, and now still, they want and long for. For everything reaches out to That and longs for It by necessity of nature, as if divining by instinct that it cannot exist without It.” – Plotinus

The urge for dissolution which exists in each one of us – a yearning to return to that original state of unity – may one day press upon us with such intensity that nothing else will matter. Even matter itself may seem to act as nothing more than a drag to keep us entombed.

Now the truth of the matter is that most of us will seriously consider dying. So how do we prepare for that dreaded day or do we just wait for it to happen and throw ourselves into the raging waters of despair and yet why does the framing of this question imply that death is a terrible ordeal…

“Ordinary people seem not to realize that those who really apply themselves in the right way to philosophy are directly and of their own accord preparing themselves for dying and death.” – Socrates

Socrates is not the only philosopher to give serious thought to death. He even went so far to say that the unexamined life is not worth living. In other words the maverick is suggesting that to live a fulfilling life we need to engage some kind of spiritual psychology.

Deep within each of us is a desire for non-self (En Sof) and there is also a desire to develop our ego-self. Both of these positions reside at opposite ends of the scale so to speak and if we tip too far in any direction we naturally lose balance and equilibrium.

Our non-ego self is without parameters. It does not abide by the same means as the ego, as in its passion to get ahead in life, to become wealthy, influential or popular. In truth the inner-self or the locus of the soul gives no mind to the things of this outer world.

There are ways to give expression to our inner-self. Such as learning to become more mindful of our dreams, meditation practice and creative art. In particular both poetry & creative writing are excellent modes of remaining connected to the non-self or that aspect of the soul which is interconnected with all individuated souls, as well as That which is without division, multiplicity or tangible form.

Love & light,


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Evolution of the Western Mind


An Introduction to The Passion of the Western Mind
(Understanding the ideas that have shaped our world view)

The Passion presents a concise narrative history of the Western world view beginning with the ancient Greeks. The aim of this book is to provide a coherent account of the evolution of the Western mind and its changing perception of the world at large.

Click here to view an introductory video through YouTube.



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Tomorrow’s Dawn


This fictional piece is somewhat of a break away from my usual. It came together through a deep meditative absorption of music created by Altus. ‘Take the highest mountain to the deepest sea, that’s the definition of Altus to me.’ Mike Carss is a fellow Canadian who is expanding soul through creative art by producing a unique ambient sound with cinematic overtones. I’ve literally searched high and low for this kind of instrumental and strongly believe it will enhance and energise my productions in a profound way. Often it is that wordless ingredient that makes the heart glow, the wonder above revealed in the beauty below. The song that opened my mind to the flow of creativity in this particular narration is called Release. It is but a sparkle of good things to come. Please be the judge and discern for yourself whether or not this expression of soul compliments our unique capacity for metaphysical reflection.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube.


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For Plotinus our prior life as soul was in spirit but not in the way that we now perceive ourselves with flesh and blood, but as a oneness of sorts with spirit itself. So why would soul in its right mind want to leave the beauty and purity of spirit?

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The Individual Soul

For hundreds of years both philosophers and religious alike have discussed the validity of the soul and its purpose. Many have come to articulate and express its beauty and essence through various mediums such as literature, creative art and ritual. Each of us has the capacity to feel and encounter the soul through our relationships. Just as hatred or vice can be fostered in the heart of a child, so can we awaken the seed soul through various contemplative acts of goodness. Just like people who spend money on material things can be oblivious to the ins and outs of economics, so do many of us avail of the soul without knowing what it is. The associated video is designed to reveal the various aspects of the human soul from a platonic perspective and so it is meant to be an educational experience and a means to reflect upon the metaphysical wonders of this place we call home.

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For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Plotinus Draft 2 - Copy

Whether our values line up with natural law or principles such as fairness, respect, kindness, integrity and honesty, we nevertheless find ourselves at odds with one another and the world at large. Do we change our core values to adapt with the shifting culture and popular opinion? Our decision to do so rests on our goals, meeting our needs and obtaining what we want. So where do we draw the line between what we value and what we are willing to allow others to dictate for us? What is the base of our personal authority? Have we taken the cumbersome journey of discovering ourselves through an honest & dialectical interchange with another human being? Do we grow hot under the collar when someone points out our shortcomings? How frail is our sense of self if we fall apart over the exchange of a few words?

In my view, to remove the debris from our soul is to lessen the intensity of those psychological fibers that bind us into an artificial or egotistic sense of self. Our attachment or addiction to the notion of a ‘me’ is a powerful force, one in which keeps the world churning and out of sorts. However, I believe there is something happening at a much deeper level that is causing the individualistic ‘me’ to become dismantled and free from its strictures of confinement. The ‘me’ is becoming a ‘we’. But who are ‘we’?

“Who are ‘we’? … As pure souls, we were Spirit…. We were a part of the spiritual world, neither circumscribed nor cut off from it. Even now, we are still not cut off from it. Now, however, another person, who wanted to exist and who has found us … has added himself on to the original person…. Then we became both: now we are no longer only the one we were, and at times, when the spiritual person is idle and in a certain sense stops being present, we are only the person we have added on to ourselves.” – Plotinus, Ennead VI-4-14

Regardless of how alien we have become or unnatural or to what degree of a stranger or personality we have accrued, if ‘we’ are on some conscious level being brought back into a spiritual alignment of sorts, then it would make good sense that our identity ought to be challenged and shaken to its very ground of being. In this view the question comes down to this: Do we consciously participate in the process of letting go of our hold over this earthly life, which in essence is to lose our way of life, or do we continue to define our lives by building sand castles along the beach oblivious to the tide; what good is it to gain the whole world and lose your own soul for the lust of dust which speedily turns to rust…

“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh; for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do. And if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.…” A letter to the Romans by Paul


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Based on Richard Tarnas’ essay:
Video adaptation & narration by Jason Youngman



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Plotinus – Life and Writings

PLOTINUS TELLS us nothing about his life in his own writings, and all our information about him comes from the biography which his disciple and editor Porphyry wrote as an introduction to the Enneads? Fortunately this is a reliable source. Porphyry seems to have taken care to be accurate, and his account of the six years at the end of Plotinus’s life when he was with him at Rome is based on close personal knowledge…

PLOTINUS – By A. H. Armstrong
Plotinus – Life & Writings (1 of 2)
Adapted for video & narrated by Jason Youngman
Background music: Cello concerto RV 416 – Antonio Vivaldi

Click here to watch the video on YouTube.


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