Many / One

A database of 11,000+ illuminated guiding quotations in 40 categories from 600+ inspired books by our most brilliant and influential authors.
Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Essential Plotinus
Translated by Elmer O'Brien, S.J.

1 "The One, transcendent to all differentiation and form, is the source of all." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

2 "It is because of The One that we breathe and have our being." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

3 "Awareness of The One comes to us…by a presence transcending knowledge." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

4 "The Good is the cause of life, of thought, of being." Plotinus, 'Beauty'

5 "Every particular thing is linked to that divine being in whose likeness it is made." Plotinus, 'The Soul'

6 "What, then is The One? It is what makes all things possible. Without it nothing would exist." Plotinus, 'Contemplation'

7 "True knowledge of self and true knowledge of God are so intimately linked within the soul that, if the soul is purified of all that is not itself, it knows at one and the same time itself, and in itself, God." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

8 "Souls are responsive one to another because they all come from the same soul – The Soul." Plotinus, 'The Soul'

9 "The soul is of the same nature as The Soul to which must be ascribed all that is vital and beautiful in the cosmos." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

10 "By contemplation the mystic constructs his real self, achieves his authentic existence, quite as the contemplation of The Intelligence IS The Intelligence and the contemplation of The Soul IS The Soul." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

11 "Things all contain a part of everything." Anaxagoras (ca. 460bce), 'Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers'

12 "The One…is present to those who are prepared for it and are able to receive it, to enter into harmony with it, to grasp and to touch it by virtue of their likeness to it, by virtue of that inner power similar to and stemming from The One when it is in that state in which it was when it originated from The One. Thus will The One be 'seen' as far as it can become an object of contemplation." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

13 "To The One the soul must return: it is the law embedded in its ontological structure." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

14 "What could exist were it not one?" Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

15 "Within this world-in-little, man, the cyclic rhythm perceptible throughout the universe-at-large, the macrocosm, is recurrently portrayed." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

16 "The cosmos is ensouled….It is in The Soul, which bears it up, and shares in it wholly." Plotinus, 'The Soul'

17 "It is by The One that all beings are beings." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

18 "We are always around The One. If we were not, we would dissolve and cease to exist. Yet our gaze does not remain fixed upon The One. When we look at it, we then attain the end of our desires and find rest. Then it is that, all discord past, we dance an inspired dance around it." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

19 "The world became a living creature truly endowed with soul and intelligence by the providence of God." Plato, 'Timaeus'

20 "No intelligible entity ever passes away. All it contains exists in an eternal present." Plotinus, 'The Three Primal Hypostases'

21 "The imagination is a power that is, as it were, intellectual. Appetite and impulse are obedient to imagination and to reason." Plotinus, 'The Soul'

22 "Plotinus sees bright shoots of everlastingness in all creation." Elmer O'Brien, S.J.

23 "So divine and precious is The Soul, be confident that, by its power, you can attain to divinity." Plotinus, 'The Three Primal Hypostases'

24 "The cosmos is a living organism." Plotinus, 'The Intelligence, The Ideas, and Being'

25 "The One is the foundation of all other things and gives them, at one and the same time, existence and location." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite