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Authors: Brian Hines

Return to the One

BOOK: Return to the One
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Return to the One


Copyright © 2004 by Brian Hines. All rights reserved.

Originally published 2004–2008 by Unlimited Publishing LLC
. Original book design by Charles King, used by permission of Unlimited Publishing LLC.

Second Edition, 2009

Adrasteia Publishing

Salem, Oregon

ISBN10: 0-9777352-1-4

ISBN13: 978-0-9777352-1-1
E-Book ISBN: 978-0-9777352-2-8



Title Page

Copyright Page




Plotinus, a Rational Mystic

Philosophy as a Way of Life

Making a Leap of Faith

Reading the Writings of Plotinus

I: T

God Is the Goal

One Is Overall

First Is Formless

Love Is Limitless

Plenitude Is Power

Infinity Is Ineffable

Beauty Is Beyond

Reality Is a Radiation

Universe Is a Unity


Spirit Is Substance

Above Is Astonishment

All Is Alive

Creation Is Contemplation

Truth Is Transparent

Form Is Foundation

Intelligence Is Intuitive

Time Is Temporary

World-Soul Is a Weaver

Providence Is Pervasive


Psyche Is a Pilgrim

Descent Is Debasement

Evil Is Emptiness

Matter Is Malignant

Body Is a Bother

Reincarnation Is Reality

Destiny Is Deserved

Choice Is Compulsion

Reason Is Restricted

Myself Is Multiple

Image Is Illusion

Suffering Is Separation


Soul Is the Self

Without Is Within

Detachment Is Delightful

Divesting Is Divine

Forgetting Is Favorable

Purification Is Presence

Simplicity Is Superior

Stillness Is Sublime

Happiness Is Here

Fear Is a Fiction

Return Is Reunion

Vision Is Veracity


From Forms to the Formless

Toward a Science of Spirituality

Neoplatonism and Christianity

The Legacy of Plotinus and Plato

Our Great Experiment with Truth


Stuck at Lake Partway

Suggestions for Further Reading



About the Author



to Gurinder Singh for suggesting that Plotinus would be a suitable subject for my next book, and stimulating my interest in this marvelous mystic philosopher. In the initial stages of my research, Michael Chase, a translator of the
, patiently answered many questions via email and pointed me in some fruitful directions. Faith Singh served as an able editorial advisor, helping guide this book through several early drafts.

As my inquiry into the teachings of Plotinus progressed, I relied heavily on the scholarly expertise of Donka Markus (Department of Classical Studies, University of Michigan).
Return to the One
never could have been completed without Donka’s help.

Other scholars contributed much to this book. I’m especially appreciative to Dan Dombrowski (Department of Philosophy, Seattle University) and Shimon Malin (Department of Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University) for their detailed reviews and specific suggestions. In addition, hearty appreciation goes to Michael Sells (Department of Religion, Haverford College), Sara Rappe (Department of Classical Studies, University of Michigan), and John Bussanich (Department of Philosophy, University of New Mexico) for their cogent comments.

Jane Humphries copy-edited a pre-publication draft and corrected many typographical/grammatical errors.

After searching long and hard for a suitable publisher, it was a joy to become involved with Dan Snow of Unlimited Publishing and Charles King of Cox-King Multimedia. Their professionalism and dedication to producing quality books made the process of publishing
Return to the One
flow smoothly.

Many people read and commented on the book’s various drafts. Kudos to these dedicated reviewers (listed in alphabetical order) for the time and effort they put into making this a better book:

Chris Ashton, Luther Askeland, Frances Chapple, Jane Clarke, Nirmal Singh Dhesi, Mike Dorr, E.M. Easterly, Keith Ecklund, Steve Evans, Richard Geldard, Johann Grove, Molly Hoffer, Linda Loranger, Michael Loranger, Peter Loranger, Maggie McManus, Rita Morey, Ron Morey, Antoine Nohra, Rob Norman, Marjorie Panditji, Iannis Pangakis, Dafni Samara, Scott Sanders, Donald Sargeant, Sue Sargeant, Vince Savarese, Randy Smith, Frank Vogel, Mary Wallace, Stan White.

If I have neglected to thank anyone who helped with this book, please forgive me. Your contribution is reflected in these pages, even if your name is missing from the acknowledgements. During the several years I put into researching and writing
Return to the One,
I benefited much from many informal dialogues about Plotinus’s philosophy with people—some cited above, and some not—who sharpened my thinking, challenged my assumptions, and led me to look more deeply into my self.

Laurel, my wife, supported me wonderfully through all the ups and downs of this challenging project. When I got frustrated, she soothed my concerns; when my mental health suffered, she restored my sanity; when I needed a shoulder to lean on, she was firmly beside me.

A big pat goes to Serena, our canine companion, who would enter my office and cajole me with what can only be called dogged determination to take a break from my writing, allowing fresh Plotinian insights to spring to mind during our walk in the countryside.

Lastly, grateful thanks to the following for permission to reprint passages from their books:

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of the Loeb Classical Library from
Plotinus, Volumes I-VII,
translated by A.H. Armstrong, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, Copyright © 1966, 1967, 1984, 1988 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. The Loeb Classical Library ® is a registered trademark of the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Reprinted by permission of The University of Chicago Press from
Plotinus or The Simplicity of Vision,
by Pierre Hadot (trans. Michael Chase), © 1993 by The University of Chicago.

Reprinted by permission of Harmony Books, a division of Random House, Inc. from
The Passion of the Western Mind,
by Richard Tarnas, copyright © 1991 by Richard Tarnas.

Reprinted by permission of Routledge from
by Lloyd P. Gerson, © 1994 Lloyd P. Gerson.

Reprinted with the permission of Cambridge University Press from
Plotinus: The Road to Reality,
by J.M. Rist, © 1967 Cambridge University Press.

Reprinted by permission of Oxford University Press from
Plotinus: An Introduction to the Enneads,
by Dominic J. O’Meara, © 1993 Dominic J. O’Meara.

BOOK: Return to the One
13.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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