Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Aimless Reading: The P's, Part 35 (Plotinus)

The Enneads
The Enneads

Another purchase from the late, lamented discount bookstore in Niagara Falls. $3.50. Unread.

This is one of those books that I am sure came home in a sack with ten others that cost me a total of $50. I used to just pluck the books I thought I might like to read some day off the Penguin Classics shelves and drop them into my bag. I'd often run from the mall after that to make sure I didn't spend any more money on clothes or something else.

I rarely visit that mall now. No bookstore, and the strength of the Canadian dollar has meant that all the clothing prices have risen to a level comfortable to bargain-hunting Canadians, but somewhat less so to middle class Americans in a recession. Sigh.

Funny how the classical authors seem to cluster together around certain letters of the alphabet, sometimes falling right next to each other. This week we've had Plato, Pliny, Plotinus and, tomorrow Plutarch. This also occurred in the "A's" (Aristotle, Aristophanes) and also in the "H's" (Herodotus, Hesiod, Homer).

from The Enneads

It is the virtue of unity that beings are beings.

This is equally true o things whose existence is primal and of all that are in any degree to be numbered among beings. What could exist at all except as one thing? Deprived of unity, a thing ceases to be what it is called: no army unless as a unity: a chorus, a flock, must be one thing. Even house and ship demand unity, one house, one ship; unity gone, neither remains: thus even continuous magnitudes could not exist without an inherent unity; break them apart ad their very being is altered in the measure of the breach of unity.

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