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Return to the One — Plotinus and the Mystic Way
Jim Wilson, Philosopher and Many Rivers Manager
Original Date: Thursday, January 5, 2017



Download MP3 Audio File Here (15.2 MB)


In the late Roman Empire a Spiritual Teacher by the name of Plotinus (205 — 270 AD) formed a spiritual community in Rome. He taught a wide variety of people; men, women, children, Pagans, Christians, Jews, and Stoics. Late in his life he wrote a series of essays that were called 'The Enneads'. Plotinus taught that everything is an emanation of the nameless and formless One. Out of the One flows all that is Good and Beautiful in existence. His philosophy has had a pervasive influence on Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Plotinus established the vocabulary and foundations for mysticism as it is understood in the West. The breadth of his learning included the Platonic tradition as well as the Upanishadic teachings that were available in Alexandria at that time. Plotinus was able to distill this heritage in a way that people from many traditions and many walks of life find inspiring and accessible. We will spend an evening touching on a few of the ways that Plotinus offered to all of us so that we can 'Return to the One', the nameless, awesome, and formless source.

Jim Wilson is a former Buddhist Monastic, Abbot of a Buddhist Temple, Prison Chaplain, and a current Poet and Founder of Many Rivers. He has studied Plotinus for more than 30 years.

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