Plotinus

Rational discussions on metaphysical and abstract topics.
Tubalo
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Plotinus

Postby Tubalo » Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:49 pm

anyone here is interested in the works of Plotinus?
I started reading Enneads. and I am finding the good idea compatible with the whole philosophy of the Star of Azazel.
Sothoth
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Re: Plotinus

Postby Sothoth » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:05 pm

Not really that familiar with his work, but I think overall neoplatonic philosophy has a lot of similarities to the SoA philosophy. At least based on what I know about it. There is this transcendental "One" which is like the absolute oneness in SoA's way of though. Also the emanation doctrine is common among occult though in general and among SoA as well.
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Jiva
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Re: Plotinus

Postby Jiva » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:35 am

I think Plotinus is compatible with a large majority of modern religious/spiritual/etc. belief. The entire point of his philosophy was to combine Plato and Aristotle, i.e. to keep the Platonic chain of being while also securing the One against Aristotelian logic by limiting the latter’s possibilities. In other words, to ensure that the One is entirely outside of physical being. For this reason, Plotinus was extremely acceptable to many early Christians who wanted some sort of Platonism in their philosophies. Thus, from their perspective, the One is the unchanging Yahweh, but is completely outside of – and thus safe from – the physical world and Aristotelian logic.

Plotinus is probably one of the most interesting classical philosophers, but I personally find the idea of an unchanging One problematic. From my perspective, any relationship is inherently productive.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Nefastos
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Re: Plotinus

Postby Nefastos » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:57 am

Jiva wrote:Plotinus is probably one of the most interesting classical philosophers, but I personally find the idea of an unchanging One problematic. From my perspective, any relationship is inherently productive.


This is perhaps the most problematic point of the Right Hand Path theosophy and Neoplatonism, because it is both in the very core of their essential metaphysics and rises to affect even the most everyday practices.

It was a bit of a surprise to notice how the fundamental dualism – only said to be absolutism, but actually being its opposite – of Blavatsky were taken straight from writers like Plotinus. Back when I was doing my bachelor's thesis on Blavatsky's Esoteric Instructions I had thought that her more fanatical ideas would be her own, but instead they clearly were derived straight from the sources she gives us, like Neoplatonism & Vajrayana Buddhism. Many holistic doctrines are only seemingly so, and I'd say the line goes where the practice is no longer seen as based on ethics but on some outer form of ritual purity. Granted, even Plato taught the latter, actually dualistic form of unity, so it is understandable that Plotinus rolled with it. Perhaps one reason why I like Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine so much is because it derives its doctrines of unity more from the Advaita-Vedantic and tantric philosophies of oneness, which seem to be a lot less dualistic forms of absolutism. Not to say there can't be found emphasis on formal purity in the S.D. also.

To conclude, that "inherently productive relationship" (between the Self and Otherness) is one of the most meaningful inner doctrines of the Left Hand Path, even though it often seems to be almost like a paradox there. Perhaps the easiest way to see this importance is to think about man's relationship to his Shadow, or the gatekeeper (Satan) of the subconscious.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
Alfalfa

Re: Plotinus

Postby Alfalfa » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:39 am

Nefastos wrote:
Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:57 am

This is perhaps the most problematic point of the Right Hand Path theosophy and Neoplatonism, because it is both in the very core of their essential metaphysics and rises to affect even the most everyday practices.

It was a bit of a surprise to notice how the fundamental dualism – only said to be absolutism, but actually being its opposite – of Blavatsky were taken straight from writers like Plotinus. Back when I was doing my bachelor's thesis on Blavatsky's Esoteric Instructions I had thought that her more fanatical ideas would be her own, but instead they clearly were derived straight from the sources she gives us, like Neoplatonism & Vajrayana Buddhism. Many holistic doctrines are only seemingly so, and I'd say the line goes where the practice is no longer seen as based on ethics but on some outer form of ritual purity. Granted, even Plato taught the latter, actually dualistic form of unity, so it is understandable that Plotinus rolled with it. Perhaps one reason why I like Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine so much is because it derives its doctrines of unity more from the Advaita-Vedantic and tantric philosophies of oneness, which seem to be a lot less dualistic forms of absolutism. Not to say there can't be found emphasis on formal purity in the S.D. also.

To conclude, that "inherently productive relationship" (between the Self and Otherness) is one of the most meaningful inner doctrines of the Left Hand Path, even though it often seems to be almost like a paradox there. Perhaps the easiest way to see this importance is to think about man's relationship to his Shadow, or the gatekeeper (Satan) of the subconscious.
For Jung Shadow means the feminine in man as also the masculine in woman, i.e. the missing part of the “chymical wedding” or “coniunctio oppositorum”. Even so, Jung's thoughts about perfection and totality are hard to grasp in their difference. At least according to some writings of Jung, the man wants perfection (Volkommenheit) and woman tends towards totality (Vollständigkeit). Usually people talk about perfection and totality as the same thing, but for Jung they're different. Perfection is not relative, even though man might be relative — understanding his Shadow, man stands under his un-readiness, e.g. as a part of a government. With woman it's otherwise, since woman is the un-ready (unvollkommen) and a complement — as the complement she's relative and understanding her Shadow, she stands under un-complementing character, e.g. not so much as a wife supporting her husband, than living a life of her own. The feminine and masculine Shadows are necessary counterparts (Gegenstück), because a mere final (Endzustand) is hopelessly sterile. This of course touches the “productive relationship”, i.e. “Ex perfecto nihil fit”, since only the un-perfect (Imperfektum) carries the seeds of futural betterment: a mere perfection leads only in a dead-end, since perfectly ended is merely dead.
                In Blavatsky's writing you mention, there's talk about ÂTMAN as the “essential or supreme Spiritual-Divine Monad”, which “is our ultimate source or root”. Maybe you're referring her “fanatical ideas” as rather dualistic and non-holistic here, since ÂTMAN is presented as a divine monad, not as a “dual Monad”, I suppose? Blavatsky also talks about the “mathematical Point” as “Cosmic seed”, which is also a sort of Monad containing the whole Universe as the acorn the oak, i.e. as possibility. This is like Jung's “Ex perfecto nihil fit”, although there's also question about “boundless homogeneous Substance, or Space” before differentation, i.e. as a space without the point. Blavatsky's ÂTMAN is a “principle”, but principles supposedly flow from “One Cosmic Life-Consciousness”. Though esoterically speaking ÂTMAN is not the seventh principle, nor a “single“ principle at all, but then it sounds like JÎVA, since it's supposed to surround everything. Your âtma is also only “so-called [...] principle” and as such an “abstract point in metaphysical space”. Blavatsky's space sounds much like JÎVA, but as principle ÂTMAN is the bubble of differentation? Also for you âtma is not a “principle” in itself, but as a principle it's always “together” with Buddhi and then they are “monad”, i.e. “unity at the same time when it is a duad”. This leaves still open the meaning you have for a principle, e.g. Blavatsky's PRÂNA is not strictly principle, since it's like JÎVA's application, but jîva is monad proper “Monad (jiva)“, i.e. an ocean surrounding the sponge PRÂNA, which is a principle only as emanation of JÎVA. I'd suppose any principle, i.e. an emanation isn't the Neoplatonic One, hence I'm quite interested in your sense for a more “holistic” form of unity and how this differs from Blavatsky's fanaticism, i.e. is the “Monad (Atman)“ a dual monad merely as a principle?
                Though this following question is not as important, what do you mean by Plato's “actually dualistic form of unity”? Plato certainly is though to interpret and maybe even Aristotle didn't completely understand him. Even so, in some of the more important dialogues Plato's Socrates says, that the form (eidos) of unity is the definite measure, i.e. a limit (peras) in contrast to an unlimited (apeiros). Though the contrast is itself something one, it's the unlimited which has by itself relation to something other. I don't think the “original unity (kat archas hen)” of Plato's Socrates “monad” is in itself mixed with anything dual, though e.g. one-and-two is not infinite and hence has share in unity from the original unity as the reason-for (aitia).

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