Plotinus: The Idea of God as the Source of All CreationJune 27, 2021
God is the source of all beings. All oppositions and differences stem from it.
However, it is not itself pluralistic or distinctive. He is absolutely one. It is One in its all-encompassing infinity: it is the first causeless cause that created everything. Everything has come from Him, pluralism will always require unity. Unity is prior to and beyond all formation. Anything we can say about its transcendence will be insufficient; because the beauty and goodness attributed to it can only have a limiting function. We cannot say what it is, we can only say what it is not. It is not possible to define it as a formation. It is above beauty, righteousness, goodness, consciousness, and the attributes associated with them. We cannot perceive it as a thought. Because it requires thought and thought.
Although the world came into being after God, God did not create it because creation requires consciousness and will, which means limitation.
God did not decide to create a world. The world was not formed by the evolution of God. The universe is a creation that emerged from God. It reveals his infinite power. Plotinus offers several metaphors for the meaning of this emergence. God is a source from which an inexhaustible stream comes from, or God is the sun of light, which the sun emits without loss. Plotinus uses his metaphors to demonstrate the independence and absolute power of the first principle. The cause does not pass over it or lose itself in it, the effect does not limit the cause, the effect is not a prerequisite for God’s perception. The world depends on God, but God does not depend on the world. Like parents in organic reproduction, God continues to exist after birth as before.
The further we move away from the sun, which is the source of light, the closer we get to the darkness (substance). Creation means the fall from perfection to imperfect. The further we go down the scale of formation, the less we reach the imperfect, pluralism, change and separation. Each subsequent phase is the necessary effect of the preceding one—its copy, shadow, and loop. But each subsequent phase is in an effort to reach a higher level, an effort to return to the source is experienced.