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 "God is a living being, eternal, and infinitely good." Aristotle, 'Metaphysics'

2 "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

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

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

5 "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'

6 "Health is contingent upon the body's being coordinated in unity; beauty, upon the mastery of parts by The One; the soul's virtue, upon unification into one sole coherence." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

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

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

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

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

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

12 "As we turn towards The One, we exist to a higher degree, while to withdraw from it is to fall." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

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

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

15 "The Soul makes each being one by looking upon The One." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

16 "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'

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

18 "As the genus contains all the species or as the whole contains all the parts, The Intelligence contains all beings." Plotinus, 'The Intelligence, The Ideas, and Being'

19 "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

20 "Nothing hinders anything from sharing in the Good to the extent it is able." Plotinus, 'The Descent of the Soul'

21 "For Plotinus as for the Pythagoreans The One is, statically, the unity by which all number is intelligible, and, dynamically, the unity whence and whither all multiplicity moves." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

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

23 "The divine is beauty, wisdom, goodness, and the like; and by these the wing of the soul is nourished, and grows apace." Plato, 'Phaedrus'

24 "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

25 "Self-knowledge reveals to the soul that its natural motion is not, if uninterrupted, in a straight line, but circular, as around some inner object, about a center, the point to which it owes its origin. If the soul knows this, it will move around this center from which it came, will cling to it and commune with it as indeed all souls should….for divinity consists in being attached to the center." Plotinus, 'The Good or The One'

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite