Plotinus on the One (or, the Supreme) as translated by Stephen MacKenna

Thus the Supreme as containing no otherness is ever present with us; we with it when we put otherness away.  It is not that the Supreme reaches out to us seeking our communion:  we reach towards the Supreme; it is we that become present.  We are always before it:  but we do not always look:  thus a choir, singing set in due order about the conductor, may turn away from that centre to which all should attend; let it but face aright and it sings with beauty, present effectively.  We are ever before the Supreme–cut off is utter dissolution; we can no longer be–but we do not always attend:  when we look, our Term is attained; this is rest; this is the end of singing ill; effectively before Him, we lift a choral song full of God.

5 responses

  1. Do you a suggestion for purchasing an unabridged version of The Enneads? All I can find cost more than $45. RBD’s got a nice hardcover copy of the MacKenna translation, but not sure where to snag one.

    • In the past, Penguin had a paperback edition of the unabridged MacKenna translation. That’s a good way to go if you can find a copy. O’Brien’s lovable *The Essential Plotinus* is a good selection with good editorial material. The Faber and Faber editon of MacKenna is a beautiful thing, but if you can find one for sell, you will likely pay a small fortune.

      • Thank you for the recommendations. Think RBD’s got a copy of the Faber and Faber. Afraid I’ve left too long a digital trail to resort to larceny now. Gonna shoot for the unabridged Penguin.

      • I fear I was mistaken: I didn’t have my copy of the Penguin on my shelf but I thought I remembered it as unabridged. I now think it is abridged. Still, its MacKenna doing Plotinus–and affordable–so its worth getting. Sorry for the false scent.

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