Knowing the Ecstasy of the Infinite
Until reading this post from Jamie at Sophia’s Children; I didn’t know about Plotinus. After I googled him and read her link to him, I thought some of his ideas reminded me of Eastern philosophy and religions. He sounds like a real mystic (and philosopher of course) who was influenced by both the East and the West. Here’s a quote by him, “External objects present us only with appearances. Concerning them, therefore, we may be said to possess opinion rather than knowledge. The distinctions in the actual world of appearance are of import only to ordinary and practical men. Our question lies with the ideal reality that exists behind appearance.”
His words remind me of the poem below that I wrote years ago.
Form blinds us to Reality.
Sensing its borders,
we believe its truth.
But that’s only the half of it.
which is not enough.
More is desired.
Many attempt satisfaction
with more half-truths.
A futile effort.
An infinite number of half-truths
can never equal the Truth.
The Truth is boundless.
Reality is beyond the boundaries of form.
Discovered by the senses,
form is known by the mind.
Reality is beyond the mental maps of our making.
The discovery of Truth
begins when we put down our maps of half-truths.
Image from Spitzer and Hubble. Courtesy of NASA, ESA, T. Megeath (University of Toledo) and M. Robberto (STScI).
“You ask, how can we know the Infinite? I answer, not by reason. It is the office of reason to distinguish and define. The Infinite, therefore, cannot be ranked among its objects.
You can only apprehend the Infinite by a faculty superior to reason, by entering into a state in which you are your finite self no longer—in which the divine essence is communicated to you.
This is ecstasy [Cosmic Consciousness]. It is the liberation of your mind from its finite consciousness. Like only can apprehend like; when you thus cease to be finite, you become one with the Infinite. In the reduction of your soul to its simplest self, its divine essence, you realize this union—this identity.
But this sublime condition is not of permanent duration. It is only now and…
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