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Plotinus: The Contest Between Drugs, Magic and Reason

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rembrandt-aristotle

? ?? ????????? ??? ??? ???????? ??? ????????? ? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ?????????, ??? ??? ?? ?? ??????? ????? ?????, ???? ?? ????????????? ?? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ??????, ???? ????? ????? ??, ?????? ?? ????? ????? ??? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ????????, ????? ?? ???? ??????????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ????? ????????… ?? ??? ????? ??? ???? ???? ????? ? ????????? ?? ????? ???????, ???? ??? ??????, ??? ?????? ?????? ??? ????????? ???? ???? ???? ?? ???? ??????, ???? ??? ????? ????????.

???? ?? ???????? ? ?????? ?????????? ?????, ??? ?????? ???? ????? ???????????? ??? ??? ????, ??? ?? ??????????? ????? ????, ??? ? ????? ??? ??????????, ???? ? ??? ?????, ??? ??? ????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ?????. ???? ?? ?? ?? ?????, ??? ??? ? ????? ??? ?????, ???? ???? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ?????? ?????????… ????? ?? ?? ?? ??? ???? ? ???????? ?????? ????? ??? ??????????, ?? ????????? ???? ?????? ????? ?????? ?????? ????? ?????? ????? ????? ?? ?????? ?????, ???? ????? ? ????? ????? ??? ?????????? ???? ??????, ???? ????. ??? ?? ??? ??????? ???????.

But how can a man of reason be affected by magic and drugs? His soul will resist the enchantment, and his reason will not be affected, nor will it alter his opinions; but it will affect whatever elements of the irrational All that dwell within him; still any love he acquires will lack passion, for true love arises only when one soul forms the bonds of affection for another… He is drawn not by magic but by the arts of nature, which bring illusion and cause him to see the ties that connect one thing to another—not in the sense of spatial reality, but through the magic which they impart.

Contemplation alone remains incapable of enchantment because no one who is self-actuated may be put under a spell; for he is One, and that which he contemplates is himself, and his reason is not deluded, but he makes what he ought and makes his own life and work. Still in the practical life there is no self-possession, and reason does not produce impulse, so that the irrational grows out of the premises derived from affection… This man alone is free from enchantment who when his other parts attempt to lead him says “none of these things are good which they declare to be so,” and instead is guided only by what he knows himself, not deluded or pursuing, but possessing it. In this way he avoids distraction.

Plotinus (????????), Ennead (????????) bk iv, ch iv, secs 43-44 (ca. 260 CE) (transl. following A.H. Armstrong and E. Cassirer) in the Loeb Classical Library edition of the works of Plotinus, vol. iv, pp. 268-75.

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