“The conflict and destruction that reign among living beings are inevitable, since things here are derived, brought into existence because the Divine Reason which contains all of them in the upper Heavens—how could they come here unless they were there?—must outflow over the whole extent of matter.
“Similarly, the very wronging of man by man may be derived from an effort towards the Good; foiled, in their weakness, of their true desire, they turn against each other; still, when they do wrong, they pay the penalty—that of having hurt their Souls by their evil conduct and of degradation to a lower place—for nothing can ever escape what stands decreed in the law of the universe.” ~Plotinus
Sorry, Plotinus, but much of that is simply not true. First, conflict and destruction is not inevitable, but is the result of the Great Fall from the heavenly realms, or spiritual worlds, to the mud puddles of matter. Such things are not the result of Divine Reason, but of the fact that while we are the children of God, we are also, on the material level, children of Satan, or the fallen angels. Plotinus doesn’t believe in the Gnostic idea that the material universe was not created by the true God, but his beliefs don’t change the facts.
Then Plotinus asks how beings that live in conflict and are destructive could live if not sent here from heaven. The answer to that is simple, but unacceptable to many: we do it. We make the beasts what they are. Our thoughts are patterns and paths that they follow. They have little choice in this. We are the caretakers of the other living things on the planet in more ways than we realize. If an animal is violent, it is because it is picking up those patterns from our thoughts. If a plant is poisonous, it is because it has tapped into the poisonous thoughts of some humans. This is why the Bible, as well as other ancient scriptural writings, promise that in the end times “the lion will sleep with the lamb” and “swords will be beaten into plow shares.” When the thoughts of all of us become peaceful, loving, understanding and joyful, all the violence and destructiveness will leave those other beings.
I also can’t agree with Plotinus when he says that when men do evil things, it is only because they are trying to do good, but make mistakes. While that certainly accounts for some of it, I think a lot of people are well aware that what they are doing is wrong and evil, and they just don’t care. But just as a fish can’t swim in desert sands, such people will find it difficult, if not impossible, to exist is a world where the vast majority of us live in love, peace, and oneness. They will either change or die.
One thing Plotinus has completely correct is in stating that when men do evil things they harm their immortal Soul. It is like the Soul is a bright white light and it grows dimmer each time we do something that is wrong, which is to say, something that violates God’s Law, not man’s. And if we do something completely evil like murder, our soul may leave our body completely and return to Heaven without us leaving us as a spiritual zombie. Sadly, such zombies are quite common these days.
The good news is that we are in the end times (meaning the end of time and matter, not the end of existence) and this is starting to change. The Sun of Righteousness now shines down upon us and people are beginning to awaken spiritually. While our numbers may be few, they are growing in both number and influence and the positive thoughts and vibrations of an awakened spiritual person can cancel out the negative, violent, and destructive thoughts of twenty materialists. Soon, we will be in charge and the New Golden Age will be a reality. Conflict and destruction is not inevitable, except in a world of matter.