Plotinus, Porphyry, (Apollo)

The following (in part) are the words that the god Apollo declaimed when consulted at his Oracle about the merits and person of Plotinus, that exalted philosopher and mystic, only comparable to Plato himself (no to mention Socrates). This was related by his close associate Porphyry in his ‘Life of Plotinus’:

Oft-times, as you strove to rise above the bitter waves of this blood-drenched life, above the sickening whirl, toiling in the mid-most of the rushing flood and the unimaginable turmoil, oft-times, from the Ever-Blessed, there was shown to you the Term [experience of Union with the divine] still close at hand.

Oft-times, when your mind thrust out awry and was like to be rapt down unsanctioned paths, the Immortals themselves prevented, guiding you on the straight-going way to the celestial spheres, pouring down before you a dense shaft of light that your eyes might see from amid the mournful gloom.

Sleep never closed your eyes: high above the heavy murk of the mist you held them; tossed in the welter, you still had vision; still you saw lights many and fair not granted to all that labour in wisdom’s quest.

But now that you have cast the  screen aside, quitted the tomb that held your lofty soul, you enter at once the heavenly consort, where fragrant breezes play, where all is unison and winning tenderness and guileless joy, and the place is lavish of the nectar-streams the unfailing gods bestow, with the blandishments of the Loves, and delicious airs, and tranquil sky.


O Blessed One, you have fought your many fights; now, crowned with unfading life, your days are with the Ever-Holy.

Rejoicing Muses, let us stay our song and the subtle windings of our dance; thus much I could but tell, to my golden lyre, of Plotinus, the hallowed soul.


About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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