Plotinus - The Enneads - How lies the course
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
Plotinus – The Enneads
Surely, as we read, those that have already seen all or most things, those who at their birth have entered into the life germ from which is to spring a metaphysician, a musician, or a born lover, the metaphysician taking to the path by instinct, the musician and the nature peculiarly susceptible to love needing outside guidance.
But how lies the course? Is it alike for all, or is there a distinct method for each class of temperament?
[He then goes on to say it is different for each person and give the example of the lover]
The born lover ...has a certain memory of beauty but, severed from it now, he no longer comprehends it. Spellbound by visible loveliness he clings amazed about that. His lesson must be to fall down no longer in bewildered delight before some one embodied form; he must be led, under a system of mental discipline, to beauty everywhere and made to discern the One Principle underlying all, a Principle apart from the material forms, springing from another source and elsewhere more truly present. The beauty for example, in a noble course of life and in an admirably ordered social system.... a first training this in the loveliness of the immaterial. He must learn to recognise the beauty in the arts, sciences, virtues, then these severed forms must be brought under the one principle by the explanation of their origin. From the virtues he is to be led to the Intellectual Principle, to the Authentic Existent, thence onward, he treads the upward way