“This universe is a living thing capable of including every form of life; but its Being and its modes are derived from elsewhere; that source is traced back to the Intellectual-Principle: it follows that an all-embracing archetype is in the Intellectual-Principle, which therefore must be an intellectual cosmos, that indicated by Plato in the phrase ‘The living existent’.
“Given the reason-principle (the outgoing divine idea) of a certain living thing and the matter to harbor this seed-principle, the living thing must come into being: in the same way that once there exists—an intellectual Nature, all powerful, and with nothing to check it—since nothing intervenes between it and that which is of a nature to receive it—inevitable the higher imprints form and the lower accepts it. The recipient holds the idea in division, here man, there sun, while in the giver all remains in unity.
“All that is present in the sense realm as Idea comes from the Supreme. But what is not present as Idea, does not. Thus of things conflicting with nature … is not in the seed; for a lame leg is either inborn through some thwarting of the Reason-principle or a marring of the achieved form by accident. …
“This suggests the question whether the intellective cosmos contains the forms only of the things of sense or of other existents as well.” ~Plotinus
A Living Universe
Some find it difficult to accept that the entire universe is a living thing. Many can’t even accept that the planet Earth is a living thing and that the sun is a living thing. Their disbelieve doesn’t change the reality of it, but it does hide the truth from them.
When Plotinus writes about the universe, it is often not clear if he means the physical universe of matter, the spiritual universe of energy, or a combination of both. In this case, it doesn’t really matter. The spiritual universe is alive, and so is the physical one. The proof of this is actually simple, though many will not accept it. It is this: the dead cannot generate the living. Yes, life forms can grow from the bodies of the dead, but the dead are not generating those lives. Something living must generate living beings, and it is reasonable to assume a hierarchy of generation is responsible. The Universe generates galaxies, the galaxies generate, stars and planets, the stars and planets generate life forms such as plants and animals. This is not saying that God is not the creator of those beings, but only explaining the process by which that creation takes place. It is a sort of universal assembly line where each level generates one or two levels below it. They may not even be aware that they do it, but it happens nonetheless. Continue reading “Intellectual-Principle and Consciousness”