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Plotinus: Beauty, the Soul, and the Way of the Mystic
Jim Wilson, Poet, Philosopher, and Co-Founder of Many Rivers
Original Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015

Download MP3 Audio File Here (14.4 MB)

"Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence something helpless that wants our love."—Rainer M. Rilke

Plotinus, 205—270, was born in Egypt. He absorbed the teachings of his day through decades of study, eventually settling in Rome. There Plotinus lived a dedicated, spiritual, life; teaching to a close group of students that included people from all strata of society. Late in his life, the teachings of Plotinus were written down and collected by one of his students. The collection is called The Enneads, which means 'Nines', because they are grouped into six groups of nine essays.

Plotinus taught in a subtle, yet clear, manner. His view that ultimate reality was beyond name and form, yet accessible through contemplation, has exerted a lasting and pervasive influence on western culture. Though Plotinus himself was a Pagan, his approach was foundational for Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and many poets and artists down through the centuries. His views continue to be of significance for western mystics today. The evening's talk will be a general introduction to a few aspects of the teachings of Plotinus and how they remain a major inspiration for our time.

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