Main CategoriesWestern Mysticism and PhilosophyNeoplatonism and Greek Philosophy Porphyry's Launching-Points to the Realm of Mind

Porphyry's Launching-Points to the Realm of Mind

Product no.: 0-933999-59-3
Porphyry sets forth a series of ideas of Plotinus relevant for those seeking to set out along the Neoplatonic path to the realization of one's true essence in the realm of Mind.

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Publisher's Synopsis
This book is a summary of the teachings of the great Neoplatonic philosopher Plotinus and deals with the nature of incorporeal principles in the realm of Mind or Spirit. Porphyry shows how the realm of Mind, because it is nowhere, not being limited by time or space, is present everywhere - as Michael Hornum notes in his introduction...

"Our higher self does not lie within us, as if an internal organ, or hover somewhere about the galaxy, but is present to each of us with an intimacy closer than any corporeal thing can have." Both Porphyry's text and Hornum's introduction invite the reader, in the words of Plotinus, "to wake to another mode of seeing, which every man has but which few men use."

Porphyry (late 3rd century AD) Sentences Leading to the Intelligibles, ed. E. Lamberz, Porphyrius Sententiae ad Intelligibilia, Leipzig: Teubner, 1975; trans. K. Guthrie, Launching-Points to the Realm of Mind, Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, 1988.

"The Sententiae ad intelligibilia ducentes of Porphyry are among the most difficult works transmitted to us by the Greek philosophical tradition. The 44 sentences cover a great number of the major metaphysical questions posed by Neo-Platonism in a condensed form. The text also presupposes the positions adopted by Plotinus, so much so that the work is almost an epitome of the teaching of the Enneads, but also containing new ideas. It can only be understood with reference to authors earlier and later, such as Iamblichus and Proclus."       ~Porphyry, Sententiae or Aphormai (2007)

  1. "All body is in space: no one of the things which in themselves are incorporeal, or anything of such nature, is in space. 
  2. The things which in themselves are incorporeal, from the fact that they are superior to all body and space, are everywhere; not in a sundered, but in an undivided condition. 
  3. The things which in themselves are incorporeal are not locally present in bodies, but are present in them when they wish, inclining to them in the manner in which it is their nature to incline. But though not locally present to them, they are present by relation. 
  4. The things which in themselves are incorporeal are not present in reality and essence; for they are not commingled with bodies; but by the existence consequent upon their inclination, they impart a certain power which is immediate to the bodies. For the inclination gives existence to a second power, which is immediate to bodies. 
  5. The soul is a somewhat mediate between the essence which is undivided, and, as regards bodies, divided. But the intellect is undivided essence only; bodies are divided only; qualities and material species are concerned with bodies as divided."

Author Porphyry
Translator Guthrie, Kenneth
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 98 pp.
Publisher Phanes Press 1988
Browse this category: Neoplatonism and Greek Philosophy

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