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

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

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

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

6 "There is at the core of every existing thing an ontic desire for what is lacking to its perfectness, and this perfectness it can find in its fullness solely within that which initially engendered it." Elmer O'Brien, S.J., translator

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

8 "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'

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

10 "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

11 "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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

22 "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'

23 "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

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

25 "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

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite