Plotinos: What is Mysticism?June 27, 2021
Ordinary virtues are not enough to achieve the goal of union with God.
Moderation of thrust is not enough; the soul purifies itself of all sensuality. He has to free himself from his union with the body. Besides, there is a higher phase than purification. This is a preparation for the theoretical design; theory is superior to practice because it brings us closer to the appearance of God. The highest stage is union with God. This cannot be accomplished even by the elevated type of thought; this happens only in a state of ecstasy. Here the soul transcends its own thought. He loses himself in the spirit of God, becomes one with God. It’s a mystical flashback to God.
This system is a combination of Greek philosophy and eastern religion. It is a religious structure within the doctrine of the transcendent God. It is pantheistic in perceiving everything. It descends to the lowest matter as a God-formation. Religious idealism, for the soul’s last end, resides in the mind of the rest of the god; and man must free himself from the chain of sensation in order to maintain his union with God beyond the gains in this world.
Plotinus does not reject polytheism; gods are also celestial manifestations. He also believes in the existence of good and superior demons in worldly religions. He thinks physical action at a distance is possible; The entire universe is a spiritual formation. Spirits are required to act sympathetically on others. Many of his successors exaggerated these superstitions and defended popular polytheism and attacked Christianity.