“We have to examine the question whether there exists an ideal archetype of individuals, in other words whether I and every other human human being go back to the Intellectual, every (living) thing having origin and principle there.
“If Socrates, Socrates’ soul, is external then the Authentic Socrates—to adapt the term—must be there; that is to say, the individual soul has an existence in the Supreme as well as in this world. If there is no such permanent endurance and what Socrates may with change of time become another soul and be Pythagoras or someone else—then the individual Socrates has not that existence in the divine.
“But if the soul of the individual contains the Reason-Principle of all that it transverses, once more all men have their (archetypic) existence there; and it is our doctrine that every soul contains all the Reason-Principle exist in the Cosmos: since then the Cosmos contains the Reason-Principles that exist in the Cosmos: since then the Cosmos contain the Reason-Principles not merely of man, but also of all living things, so must the soul. Its content of Reason-Principles, then, must be limitless, unless there be a periodical renovation bounding the boundless by the return of a former series.” ~Plotinus
For most spiritual people and in most spiritual schools there is no question that there is indeed an ideal archetype Man (which include women). This archetype is what we were originally, that is, before the Great Fall. It is what we desire to be again. Becoming that archetype Man is possible if we are willing to work at it and develop ourselves. Michelangelo didn’t create David or any of his other great statues by just wishing and hoping for it. He formed the idea in his mind, then worked to make it reality. And he didn’t expect to get his projects done overnight. He knew it took time to get good results.
Intellect and Consciousness
One difficulty with trying to understand the philosophy of Plotinus is that he doesn’t distinguish between intellect and consciousness. As a result, he relates both mind and soul to intellect. In reality, intellect is purely a mind thing and the soul deals with consciousness, which is not the same. The intellect deals only with the physical world. It can speculate on things beyond the physical, but can’t really know them. The soul, on the other hand, connects to universal consciousness that exists in all dimensions, spiritual as well as physical. And the principle of everything living comes from consciousness. Only the physical body is a product of intellect. The realization of the ideal archetype means fully developing both intellect and consciousness, with the emphasis on consciousness. Continue reading “Archetype of Man: Ideal and Not Ideal”