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The Origins of the Christian Mystical TraditionFrom Plato to Denys$
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Andrew Louth

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291403

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291403.001.0001

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(p.35) III Plotinus
The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition

Andrew Louth (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Plotinus is the supreme exponent of an abiding element in what may be called ‘mystical philosophy’. He represents man’s inherent desire to return to heaven at its purest and most ineffable. Plotinus’ philosophy or system can be approached in two ways. It can either be seen as a great hierarchical structure, a great chain of being, or it can be seen as an exercise in introspective understanding of the self. Plotinus’ hierarchy is expressed in terms of three principles, or hypostases, or gods. Beginning with the highest, these are the One or the Good; Intelligence,nous; and Soul,psyche.

Keywords:   mystical philosophy, Platonists, One, Intelligence, Soul, hierarchy

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