9. Nesta dança, vê-se a fonte da vida, a fonte do intelecto , o princípio disto que é, a causa do bem, a raiz da alma , sem que estas coisas se escoam dele em o diminuindo; pois não é uma massa , ou então as coisas que engendra seriam corruptíveis. De fato, elas são eternas, porque seu princípio permanece no mesmo estado sem se dividir entre as coisas que engendra, mas em conservando sua integralidade. Eis porque estas coisas permanecem no mesmo estado. Por exemplo, se o sol permanece no mesmo estado, a luz também permanece a mesma. Pois não estamos nem apartados nem separados do Uno, mesmo se o corpo, em se insinuando em nós, nos atraia para ele; no entanto, respiramos para permanecer em vida não porque ele nos deu isso e que, em seguida, se retirou, mas porque ele nos fornece sempre isso, tanto tempo quanto será o que é. No entanto, somos mais quando nos inclinamos para ele, e eis aí que está nosso bem-estar. Ao contrário, o fato de estar longe dele implica que estamos sós e que estamos diminuídos. Eis aí também que a alma encontra seu repouso e que ela escapa aos males, pois ela subiu até o lugar que é puro de todo mal. É ainda lá que ela pensa, é aí que ela é impassível e é aí que ela vive verdadeiramente. Pois nossa vida atual, que é uma vida sem deus , não é senão um traço que imita a vida verdadeira, enquanto a vida de lá, é a atividade do intelecto; e esta atividade , em um contato imóvel com ele, engendra os deuses; ela engendra a beleza, ela engendra a justiça, ela engendra a virtude. Com efeito, a alma fecundada pela divindade as concebe, e aí estão seu «princípio» e seu «fim»: o princípio, porque ela vem de lá, o fim porque o bem está lá. E quando ela alcançou lá, ela se torna o que ela é e o que ela era; pois, quando ela é entre as coisas daqui de baixo, é a «queda, a fuga e a perda das asas». O que demonstra que o bem se encontra lá, é o amor que está na natureza da alma. É a razão pela qual Eros é unido às Psyches assim nas pinturas como nos mitos. Pois, cada alma é diferente da divindade mas que ela dele provém, ela o ama necessariamente. E quando ela lá está, ela possui o Eros celeste, enquanto aqui em baixo Eros se torna vulgar ; com efeito, lá Afrodite é celeste, enquanto aqui em baixo ela se torna vulgar, como se ela se prostituísse. Toda alma é Afrodite. Sim. é o que ilustra implicitamente a história do nascimento simultâneo de Afrodite e de Eros. Assim, a alma que está em sua disposição natural ama a divindade , a quem ela quer se unir, como um virgem ama de um belo amor um bom pai . Mas quando ela chegou no devir, ela é como enganada por vãs promessas de casamento , e, tendo trocado seu amor contra um outro, mortal este, ela é violentada longe de seu pai. Mas se ela execra de novo as violências daqui de baixo e que delas se purifica em se voltando de novo para seu pai, ela «se enche de alegria ». E que aqueles que disto não fizeram a experiência compreendem segundo os amores daqui de baixo o que quer dizer encontrar aquele que se ama no mais alto ponto, e que se deram conta que as coisas que se ama aqui são mortais e incômodas, que são amores de simulacros, e que elas são cambiantes, porque não se trata daquilo que se ama realmente, nem de nosso bem, nem daquilo que buscamos. Em revanche, aquilo que se ama verdadeiramente está lá, e se pode unir a ele, em participando a ele e em o possuindo verdadeiramente, e não em favor de um abraço carnal e exterior. «Quem quer que tenha visto isto que digo», a saber que a alma recebe então uma outra vida, quando se aproxima dele, quando ela aí chega e dele participa; de sorte que, nesta disposição , ela sabe que aquele que procura a vida verdadeira está presente , e que ela não tem mais necessidade de nada. É preciso em revanche abandonar todo o resto, se manter nele somente, em cortando todas as outras coisas que nos cercam, a ponto de nos esforçar de sair daqui de baixo e de não mais suportar estar apegados a qualquer de outro, para a abraçar com a totalidade de nós mesmos, sem que reste nenhuma parte de nós que nos ponha em contato com a divindade. É verdade que desde aqui em baixo pode-se ver o Uno e se ver a si mesmo , na medida que é lícito de ver; a gente se vê a si mesmo iluminado e preenchido de luz inteligível, ou melhor, a gente se vê como a luz ela mesma, pura, sem peso, leve , pois a gente se torna deus, ou melhor, se é deus; a gente é então inflamada, mas se a gente se torna pesada de novo, é como se a gente se apagasse.
9. In this choiring, the soul looks upon the wellspring of Life, wellspring also of Intellect, beginning of Being, fount of Good, root of Soul. It is not that these are poured out from the Supreme lessening it as if it were a thing of mass. At that the emanants would be perishable; but they are eternal; they spring from an eternal principle, which produces them not by its fragmentation but in virtue of its intact identity: therefore they too hold firm; so long as the sun shines, so long there will be light.
We have not been cut away; we are not separate, what though the body-nature has closed about us to press us to itself; we breathe and hold our ground because the Supreme does not give and pass but gives on for ever, so long as it remains what it is.
Our being is the fuller for our turning Thither; this is our prosperity; to hold aloof is loneliness and lessening. Here is the soul’s peace, outside of evil, refuge taken in the place clean of wrong; here it has its Act, its true knowing; here it is immune. Here is living, the true; that of to-day, all living apart from Him, is but a shadow, a mimicry. Life in the Supreme is the native activity of Intellect; in virtue of that converse it brings forth gods, brings forth beauty, brings forth righteousness, brings forth all moral good; for of all these the soul is pregnant when it has been filled with God. This state is its first and its final, because from God it comes, its good lies There, and, once turned to God again, it is what it was. Life here, with the things of earth, is a sinking, a defeat, a failing of the wing.
That our good is There is shown by the very love inborn with the soul; hence the constant linking of the Love-God with the Psyches in story and picture; the soul, other than God but sprung of Him, must needs love. So long as it is There, it holds the heavenly love; here its love is the baser; There the soul is Aphrodite of the heavens; here, turned harlot, Aphrodite of the public ways: yet the soul is always an Aphrodite. This is the intention of the myth which tells of Aphrodite’s birth and Eros born with her.
The soul in its nature loves God and longs to be at one with Him in the noble love of a daughter for a noble father; but coming to human birth and lured by the courtships of this sphere, she takes up with another love, a mortal, leaves her father and falls.
But one day coming to hate her shame, she puts away the evil of earth, once more seeks the father, and finds her peace.
Those to whom all this experience is strange may understand by way of our earthly longings and the joy we have in winning to what we most desire - remembering always that here what we love is perishable, hurtful, that our loving is of mimicries and turns awry because all was a mistake, our good was not here, this was not what we sought; There only is our veritable love and There we may hold it and be with it, possess it in its verity no longer submerged in alien flesh . Any that have seen know what I have in mind : the soul takes another life as it approaches God; thus restored it feels that the dispenser of true life is There to see, that now we have nothing to look for but, far otherwise, that we must put aside all else and rest in This alone, This become, This alone, all the earthly environment done away, in haste to be free, impatient of any bond holding us to the baser, so that with our being entire we may cling about This, no part in us remaining but through it we have touch with God.
Thus we have all the vision that may be of Him and of ourselves; but it is of a self-wrought to splendour, brimmed with the Intellectual light, become that very light, pure, buoyant, unburdened, raised to Godhood or, better, knowing its Godhood, all aflame then - but crushed out once more if it should take up the discarded burden.
 Dans ce chœur, l’âme voit la source de la Vie, la source de l’Intelligence, le principe de l’Être, la cause du Bien, la racine de l’Âme. Toutes ces choses découlent de l’Un sans le diminuer. Il n’est point en effet une masse corporelle; sinon, les choses qui naissent de lui seraient périssables. Or elles sont éternelles, parce que leur principe reste toujours le même, qu’il ne se partage pas pour leur donner naissance, mais qu’il demeure tout entier (42). Elles durent, comme la lumière dure tant que le soleil dure lui-même (43). Quant à nous, nous ne sommes point séparés de l’Un, nous n’en sommes point distants, quoique la nature corporelle, en s’approchant de nous, nous ait attirés à elle (44). Mais c’est en l’Un que nous respirons, c’est en lui que nous subsistons (45) : car il ne nous a pas donné une fois 558 pour s’éloigner ensuite de nous ; mais il nous donne toujours, tant qu’il demeure ce qu’il est, ou plutôt tant que nous nous tournons vers lui; c’est là que nous trouvons le bonheur ; nous éloigner de lui, c’est déchoir. C’est en lui que notre âme se repose : c’est en s’élevant à ce lieu pur de tout mal qu’elle est délivrée des maux ; c’est là qu’elle pense, là qu’elle est impassible, là qu’elle vit véritablement. La vie actuelle, où l’on n’est pas avec Dieu, n’est qu’un vestige, une ombre de la vie véritable. La vie véritable [où l’on est avec Dieu] est l’actualité de l’Intelligence. C’est cette actualité de l’Intelligence qui engendre les dieux en touchant l’Un par une sorte de tact silencieux (ἐν ἡσύχῳ τῇ πρὸς ἐκεῖ να ἐπαφῇ); c’est elle qui engendre la beauté, et la justice, et la vertu. Voilà ce que porte dans son sein l’âme remplie de Dieu ; c’est en lui qu’est son principe et sa fin : son principe, parce que c’est de là qu’elle procède; sa Un, parce que c’est là qu’est le bien où elle tend, et qu’en retournant là, elle redevient ce qu’elle était. La vie d’ici-bas, au milieu des choses sensibles, c’est pour l’âme une chute, un exil, la perte de ses ailes (46).
Ce qui démontre encore que notre bien est là-haut, c’est l’amour qui est inné dans notre âme, comme renseignent les descriptions et les mythes qui font de l’Amour l’époux de l’âme (47). En effet, puisque l’âme, qui est autre que Dieu, procède de lui, il faut nécessairement qu’elle l’aime: mais, quand elle est là-haut (48), elle a un amour céleste ; ici-bas, elle n’a plus qu’un amour vulgaire : car c’est là-haut 559 qu’habite Vénus Uranie; ici-bas, il n’y a que la Vénus populaire et adultère (49). Or toute âme est une Vénus, comme l’indique le mythe de la naissance de Vénus et de l’Amour, qu’on fait naître en même temps qu’elle (50).Tant qu’elle reste fidèle à sa nature, l’âme aime donc Dieu et veut s’unir à lui, comme une vierge qui est issue d’un noble père et qui est éprise pour un bel Amour (51). Mais quand, étant descendue dans la génération, l’âme, trompée par les fausses promesses d’un amant adultère, a échangé son amour divin contre un amour mortel, alors, éloignée de son père, elle se livre à toute sorte d’excès ; mais enfin, elle a honte de ces désordres ; elle se purifie, elle retourne à son père, et elle trouve auprès de lui le vrai bonheur. Quelle félicité est alors la sienne, c’est ce dont ceux qui ne l’ont pas goûtée peuvent juger jusqu’à un certain point parles amours terrestres, en voyant la joie qu’éprouvé celui qui aime et qui obtient ce qu’il aime. Mais ces amours mortelles et trompeuses ne s’adressent qu’à des fantômes; elles ne tardent pas à disparaître parce que ce ne sont pas Ces apparences sensibles que nous aimons véritablement, qui sont notre bien et que nous cherchons. Là-haut seulement est l’objet véritable de l’amour, le seul auquel nous puissions nous unir et nous identifier, que nous puissions posséder intimement, parce qu’il n’est point séparé de notre âme par l’enveloppe de la chair. Quiconque le connaît connaît ce que je dis (52) : il sait que l’âme vit alors d’une autre vie, qu’elle s’avance vers Dieu, qu’elle l’atteint, le possède, et, dans cet état, reconnaît la présence du dispensateur de la véritable vie (53).
Alors elle n’a besoin de rien de plus : au contraire, elle doit renoncera toute autre chose pour se fixer en Dieu seul, s’identifier avec lui, retrancher tout ce qui l’entoure. Il faut donc nous hâter de sortir d’ici-bas, nous détacher autant que nous le pouvons du corps auquel nous avons le chagrin d’être encore enchaînés, faire nos efforts pour embrasser Dieu par tout notre être, sans laisser en nous aucune partie qui ne soit en contact avec lui. Alors, l’âme peut voir Dieu et se voir elle-même, autant que le comporte sa nature; elle se voit brillante de clarté, remplie de la lumière intelligible, ou plutôt elle se voit comme une lumière pure, subtile, légère; elle devient Dieu, ou plutôt elle est Dieu. Dans cet état, l’âme est donc comme un feu resplendissant. Si elle retombe ensuite dans le monde sensible , elle est plongée dans l’obscurité.
FOLLOWING NUMENIUS, PLOTINOS DESCRIBES THE SUPREME AS GIVER.
9. In this choric ballet, the soul sees the source of life, the source of intelligence, the principle of being, the cause of the good, and the root of love. All these entities are derived from the One without diminishing Him. He is indeed no corporeal mass; otherwise the things that are born of Him would be perishable. However, they are eternal, because their principle ever remains the same, because He does not divide Himself to produce them, but remains entire. They persist, just as the light persists so long as the sun remains. Nor are we separated from the One; we are not distant from Him, though corporeal nature, by approaching us, has attracted us to it (thus drawing us away from the One). But it is in the One that we breathe and have our being. He gave us life not merely at a given moment, only to leave us later; but His giving is perpetual, so long as He remains what He is, or rather, so long as we turn towards Him. There it is that we find happiness, while to withdraw from Him is to fall. It is in Him that our soul rests; it is by rising to that place free from all evil that she is delivered from evils; there she really thinks, there she is impassible, there she really lives. Our present life, in which we are not united with the divinity, is only a trace or adumbration of real life. Real life (which is presence with the divinity) is the actualization of intelligence. It is this actualization of intelligence which begets the divinities by a sort of silent intercourse with the One; thereby begetting beauty, justice and virtue. These are begotten by the soul that is filled with divinity. In Him is her principle and goal; her principle, because it is from there that she proceeds; her goal, because there is the good to which she aspires, so that by returning thither she again becomes what she was. Life here below, in the midst of sense-objects, is for the soul a degradation, an exile, a loss of her wings.
THE PARABLE OF CUPID AND PSYCHE, LEADING UP TO DIVINIZATION.
Another proof that our welfare resides up there is the love that is innate in our souls, as is taught in the descriptions and myths which represent love as the husband of the soul. In fact, since the soul, which is different from the divinity, proceeds from Him, she must necessarily love Him; but when she is on high her love is celestial; here below, her love is only commonplace; for it is on high that dwells the celestial Venus (Urania); while here below resides the vulgar and adulterous Venus. Now every soul is a Venus, as is indicated by the myth of the birth of Venus and Cupid, who is supposed to be born simultaneously with her. So long as she remains faithful to her nature, the soul therefore loves the divinity, and desires to unite herself to Him, who seems like the noble father of a bride who has fallen in love with some handsome lover. When however the soul has descended into generation, deceived by the false promises of an adulterous lover, she has exchanged her divine love for a mortal one. Then, at a distance from her father, she yields to all kinds of excesses. Ultimately, however, she grows ashamed of these disorders; she purifies herself, she returns to her father, and finds true happiness with Him. How great her bliss then is can be conceived by such as have not tasted it only by comparing it somewhat to earthly love-unions, observing the joy felt by the lover who succeeds in obtaining her whom he loves. But such mortal and deceptive love is directed only to phantoms; it soon disappears because the real object of our love is not these sense-presentations, which are not the good we are really seeking. On high only is the real object of our love; the only one with which we could unite or identify ourselves, which we could intimately possess, because it is not separated from our soul by the covering of our flesh. This that I say will be acknowledged by any one who has experienced it; he will know that the soul then lives another life, that she advances towards the Divinity, that she reaches Him, possesses Him, and in his condition recognizes the presence of the Dispenser of the true life. Then she needs nothing more. On the contrary, she has to renounce everything else to fix herself in the Divinity alone, to identify herself with Him, and to cut off all that surrounds Him. We must therefore hasten to issue from here below, detaching ourselves so far as possible from the body to which we still have the regret of being chained, making the effort to embrace the Divinity by our whole being, without leaving in us any part that is not in contact with Him. Then the soul can see the Divinity and herself, so far as is possible to her nature. She sees herself shining brilliantly, filled with intelligible light; or rather, she sees herself as a pure light, that is subtle and weightless. She becomes divinity, or, rather, she is divinity. In this condition, the soul is a shining light. If later she falls back into the sense-world, she is plunged into darkness.
IX. In this dance, however, the soul- beholds the foun»j tain of life, the fountain of intellect, the principle of being, the cause of good, and the root of soul. And these are not poured forth from this fountain, so as to produce in it any diminution. For it is not a corporeal mass ; since if it were, its progeny would be corruptible. But now they are perpetual, because the principle of them abides with invariable sameness; not being distributed into them, but remaining whole and entire. Hence, they likewise remain, just as if the sun being permanent, light also should be permanent. For we are not cut off from this fountain, nor are we separated from it, though the nature of body intervening, draws us to itself. But we are animated and preserved by an infusion from thence, this principle not imparting, and afterwards withdrawing itself from us since it always supplies us with being, and always will as long as it continues to be that which it is. Or rather, we are what we are by verging to it. Our well-being also consists in this tendency. And to be distant from it nothing else than a diminution of existence. Here, liked wise, the soul rests, and becomes out of the reach of evil running back to that place which is free from ill. Am here also, she energizes intellectually, is liberated from perturbations, and lives in reality. For the present life and which is without God, is a vestige of life, and an imitation of that life which is real. But the life in the intelligible world consists in the energy of intellect. Energy also generates Gods, through a tranquil and quiet contact with the principle of all things. It likewise generates beauty, justice, and virtue. For the soul being filled with deity, brings forth these. And this is both the beginning and end to the soul. It is the beginning indeed, because she originates from thence; but it is the end, because the good is there, and because when the soul is situated there, she becomes what she was before. For the good which is here, and in sensible concerns, is a lapse, a flight, and a defluxion of the wings of the soul. But that the good is there, is indicated by the love which is connascent with the soul; conformably to which Love is conjoined in marriage with souls, both in writings and in fables.  For since the soul is different from God, but is derived from him, she necessarily loves him, and when she is there she has a celestial love; but the love which she here possesses is common and vulgar. For in the intelligible world the celestial Venus reigns; but here the popular Venus,  who is as it were meretricious.  Every soul also is a Venus. And this the nativity of Venus, and Love who was born at the same time with her, obscurely signify.  The soul, therefore, when in a condition conformable to nature, loves God, wishing to be united to him, being as it were the desire of a beautiful virgin to be conjoined with a beautiful Love. When, however, the soul descends into generation, then being as it were deceived by [spurious] nuptials, and associating herself with another and a mortal Love, she becomes petulant and insolent through, being absent from her father. But when she again hates terrene wantonness and injustice, and becomes purified from the defilements which are here, and again returns to her father, then she is affected in the most felicitous manner. And those indeed who are ignorant of this affection, may from terrene love form some conjecture of divine love, by considering how great a felicity the possession of a most beloved object is conceived to be; and also by considering that these earthly objects of love are mortal and noxious, that the love of them is nothing more than the love of images, and that they lose their attractive power because they are not truly desirable, nor our real good, nor that which we investigate. In the intelligible world, however, the true object of love is to be found, with which we may be conjoined, which we may participate, and truly possess, and which is not externally enveloped with flesh. He however who knows this, will know what I say, and will be convinced that the soul has then another life. The soul also proceeding to, and having now arrived at the desired end, and participating of deity, will know that the supplier of true life is then present. She will likewise then require nothing farther; for on the contrary, it will be requisite to lay aside other things, to stop in this alone, and to become this alone, amputating every thing else with which she is surrounded. Hence, it is necessary to hasten our departure from hence, and to be indignant that we are bound in one part of our nature, in order that with the whole of our [true] selves, we may fold ourselves about divinity, and have no part void of contact with him. When this takes place therefore, the soul will both see divinity and herself, as far as it is lawful for her to see him. And she will see herself indeed illuminated, and full of intelligible light; or rather, she will perceive herself to be a pure light, unburthened, agile, and becoming to be a God, or rather being a God, and then shining forth as such to the view.  But if she again becomes heavy, she then as it were wastes away.