Meditations we post here are excerpts from classical text linked to Western Tradition.
It is good to meditate on these texts as this wisdom is really eternal!
We hope you will share with us your thoughts.
“There are men [the gnostics], bound to human bodies and subject to desire, grief, anger, who think so generously of their own faculty that they declare themselves in contact with the Intelligible World, but deny that the sun possesses a similar faculty less subject to influence, to disorder, to change; they deny that it is any wiser than we, the late born, hindered by so many cheats on the way towards truth.
Their own soul, the soul of the least of mankind, they declare deathless, divine; but the entire heavens and the stars within the heavens have had no communion with the Immortal Principle, though these are far purer and lovelier than their own souls- yet they are not blind to the order, the shapely pattern, the discipline prevailing in the heavens, since they are the loudest in complaint of the disorder that troubles our earth. We are to imagine the deathless Soul choosing of design the less worthy place, and preferring to abandon the nobler to the Soul that is to die.
Equally unreasonable is their introduction of that other Soul which they piece together from the elements.
How could any form or degree of life come about by a blend of the elements? Their conjunction could produce only a warm or cold or an intermediate substance, something dry or wet or intermediate.
Besides, how could such a soul be a bond holding the four elements together when it is a later thing and rises from them? And this element- soul is described as possessing consciousness and will and the rest- what can we think?
Furthermore, these teachers, in their contempt for this creation and this earth, proclaim that another earth has been made for them into which they are to enter when they depart. Now this new earth is the Reason-Form [the Logos] of our world. Why should they desire to live in the archetype of a world abhorrent to them?
Then again, what is the origin of that pattern world? It would appear, from the theory, that the Maker had already declined towards the things of this sphere before that pattern came into being.
Now let us suppose the Maker craving to construct such an Intermediate World- though what motive could He have?- in addition to the Intellectual world which He eternally possesses. If He made the mid-world first, what end was it to serve?
To be a dwelling-place for Souls?
How then did they ever fall from it? It exists in vain.
If He made it later than this world- abstracting the formal-idea of this world and leaving the Matter out- the Souls that have come to know that intermediate sphere would have experienced enough to keep them from entering this. If the meaning is simply that Souls exhibit the Ideal-Form of the Universe, what is there distinctive in the teaching?”
Plotinus, Ennead II, Book 9, part 5.