Three Levels of Humans
“All human beings from birth onward live to the realm of sense more than to the intellectual. Forced of necessity to attend first to the material, some of them elect to abide by that order and, their life through it, make its concerns their first and their last; the sweet and the bitter of sense are their good and evil; they feel they have done all if they live along pursuing the one and barring the doors to the other. …
“Others do indeed lift themselves a little above the earth; the better in their soul urges them from the pleasant to the nobler, but they are not of power to see the highest, and so .. they fall back upon the actions and options of the lower.
“But there is a third order—those godlike men who, in their mightier power. In the keenness of their sight, have clear vision of the splendor above and rise to it from among the cloud and for of earth and hold firmly to that other world, looking beyond all here, delighted in the place of reality, their native land, like a man returning after long wanderings to the pleasant ways of his own country.” ~Plotinus
Levels of Humans
It isn’t clear from what Plotinus says, but I believe he is saying that humanity exists at three levels: material, mental or intellectual, and spiritual. None of these levels are completely separate from the others, and we all have some of each within us. It is just a matter of what we choose to develop and emphasize and what we choose to ignore.
Realm of Sense
The world of matter is what Plotinus calls the “realm of Sense”. In other words, it is the realm where the physical senses are used. People who live almost exclusively at this level, using their mind only to negotiate around the realm of matter, are the lowest of the three levels of humanity described (somewhat) by Plotinus. He points out that when we are first born into the realm of matter, it is only natural that we must first attend to the material. We must eat, find shelter and clothing, etc. In most cases, our parents will be helping with much of that, but it doesn’t change the fact that the mind of a newborn is all about satisfying its material needs. Continue reading “Levels of Humans: Physical, Mental, and Spiritual”