Talk:Plotinus/Archive 1

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Plotinus is categorized as an astrologer, while he was opposed to astrology. (Later neoplatonists were much more in favor of it.) See http://www.iep.utm.edu/n/neoplato.htm#SSH3a.i

The Enneads

This might be unnecessary information for the article, but I believe that it might be helpful to many if an explanation of the word Enneads is given. I am not confident enough to actually edit the article, so if anyone believes it is a good idea, he or she can edit it. Porphyry organized the writings of Plotinus in six books, and in each book there are nine treatises, and because of this number (nine) Porphyry decided to name the writings accordingly. That the name in itself is of some significance as to the organization of Plotinus' writings can not be understood by someone who does not know what this word means. So just to mention something about the emphasis on the number nine would be helpful. Also that the six books are devided by subjects can be helpful (with the exception of books 2 and 3 which deal with one subject).

Good point. Some of the information is already in the article on the Enneads, but not all of it. I think that the significance of the number nine would be a valuable edition to the article on the Enneads. --Jjhake 22:23, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Plotinus and the gnostics

I've noticed that someone removed the section on the identification of Plotinus' opponents. I've reinserted it with more referential info, and I've made the phrasing more tentative so as to adhere more to NPOV - I've also added a reference to the gnosticism article, which has a much more extensive discussion of the issue. If anyone has a problem with it as it stands, please discuss it here before simply reverting it. Visual Error 00:40, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Plotinus and the gnostics

I've noticed that you have tried to minimize what Plonitus has stated about the Gnostics. I provided sources to my comments made on this entry. I have extended the biblo with the books of those sources. Each source stating that Plonitus attacked the Gnostics. You have instead made an unverifiable allegation that his works where not harsh nor his stance. You have instead went against another of your own sources, Michael Allen Williams even validates that Plonitus attacked the Gnostics. Please provide a list of scholars who are Neoplatonic and who I can verify that state clearly that it is a misconception that Plotinus was not a vociferous opponent of Gnosticism (if not then you are reverting to POV). Please provide sources that he agreed with their depiction of the demiurge. That he agreed with them on anything. The very statement is POV. You claim speculation and conjecture validate a complete rewriting of a historically held interruption. I have given a list and have re-added it to this entry. Please respect the idea that scholars like Pagels and Morton Smith are not considered unbiased sources. http://www.christian-apologetics.org/html/Manuscripts%20and%20linencloths.htm

//It is a popular misconception (one then held by scholars Stephen McKenna, Robert T Wallis, N. Joseph Torchia, Dr Christos Evangeliou [1], Francisco Garcia Bazan [2]) that Plotinus was a vociferous opponent of Gnosticism, and the ninth tractate in his second Ennead "Against Those that Affirm the Creator of the Kosmos and the Kosmos Itself to Be Evil" is typically presented as "Against the Gnostics" (title taken from Stephen McKenna's translations). Even though the word γνωσθήσετσι ("the Gnostics") only occurs once in the entire tract. //

I also find it odd that the tract from Plotinus is directly referring to the "gnostic" Kosmology and yet you appear to not understand the text. It starts by clarifing the original of the source or one and then clarifing the source or the one as the origin of the Demiurge. This is clearly against the idea of a fallen or stupid demiurge, ignorant of its origin in the source or one. Since with Plotinus the two are in "harmony" not in conflict.

Here is a Plotinus critism on the concept Sophia/Wisdom as separate from the source/primordial/supreme mind -"it would be absurd to imagine any such unconsciousness in the Authentic Intelligence; the knowing principle must be one and the selfsame with that which knows of the knowing. The contrary supposition would give us two beings, one that merely knows, and another separate being that knows of the act of knowing."

The answer Plotinus gives " No: The Divine Mind in its mentation thinks itself" and again "To increase the Primals by making the Supreme Mind engender the Reason-Principle, and this again engender in the Soul a distinct power to act as mediator between Soul and the Supreme Mind, this is to deny intellection to the Soul,"

If you mean the editing of the article that you [on the first of February] then it seems only fair that your edit drastically reduced the content concerning Plotinus and the Gnostics. Though this in itself is not a bad thing, it is suspect when that reduction happens at the same time as a complete alteration of the meaning of the section - from providing information referring to a textual source concerning the difficulty of identifying Plotinus' opponents in this debate, to simply stating their identity. I've noticed that you made several edits changing and adapting the meaning of the text prior to this.
In any case, I've revisited the article and, as far as I could, removed all trace of bias in the relevant section. I've also added a great deal of content, whch hopefully gives more detailed account: the central point of this section is no longer that Plotinus' opponents weren't gnostic, but that it is difficult to identify them as much more than 'early Christian'. Hopefully this will improve matters. However, perhaps this section of the article is getting too long and overbearing - I'll make a note below re: possible separation.
I will finally note that though such sources as Smith, Pagels, Layton and their ilk might be biased (though I think this unlikely) they remain respected sources concerning ancient Christianity and its historical milieu, and as such are better sources than the older text, which features none at all. You are also, of course, aware that Sophia makes an appearance in a lot of non-gnostic texts, including Clement of Alexandria and the Wisdom songs - as such, mention of it by Plotinus doesn't direlty point to gnosticism.Visual Error 13:01, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

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Edit, yes because Plotinus and NeoPlatonicism are more then simply a refutation of, or a force, in the era of Gnosticism. You seem to not understand Plotinus. Please confirm that you have read the sources you mention including Plotinus' section mention here..As for me yes I have. I also have Lawrences work as well as MacKenna's. I also have the other books I listed in the reference or biblo section. Where are you sources? And yes I can get down to edition, number and page. If you feel uncomfortable email any of the these people I mentioned above like Dr Christos Evangeliou [1], Francisco Garcia Bazan. They are still alive and available online. Even better involve them here.

There is a passage at the beginning of Rethinking Gnosticisms (since you picked up on this source) that states that people have taken liberties with the term gnostic so much that now everything and everyone is gnostic. Plotinus and Neoplatonics where as much a force that caused the decline of Gnosticism as early christianity was. The tract is a testimonal to that.

As for your edits they have been misleading and biased stating MANY scholars had such a misconception, that Plotinus was not critizing gnostics like the Valentians or the common held Demiurge kosmologies of the Gnostic groups of Plotinus' era but was instead directing this tract to early christianity. Or that the title contributed to Plotinus' works is dubious. POV based on conspiracy theories have no place here. If you want to engage in debate there are plenty of places other then here.

Here what you are doing is revisitionist and it flies in the face of scholars I have already added in the biblo/references. This of course means that you need to add sources for the "great deal of content" you have added. I have yet to see any such information from you. Post what scholars stated that because Plotinus did not state "gnostics" that he was referring to early christians. Include the books so I can track down where the drastic rewrite of history was disclosed. Post what scholars stated that McKenna or Porphyry "added" the //title against the Gnostics// to Plotinus' work against Plotinus or against the message of the tract.

I find it hard to accept the scholars you mention because they have been accused by other scholars of not being scholarly. Smith has been accused of fabrication (as most Gnostics where in ancient history). And as for Sophia. Clement NEVER stated that Sophia was an entity separate from the source/primordial/supreme mind. Once again please provide a source where he stated that. Since only Gnostic instead of Greeks can now use Greek words. I guess they should rename Hagia Sophia since Greeks can't say gnostic and mean knowledge or Sophia and mean wisdom. Instead the words now only mean what these small sophist sects said they mean exclusively. 00:13 3 February 2006

However, the supposition made in such a claim, that orthodox christianity and gnosticism were completely separate and distinct traditions in the 3rd century, is open to challenge. The Council of Nicaea, which both established the legal status of orthodox Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire and formalised the scriptural canon which was its basis, was held by Emperor Constantine in 325, over half a century after Plotinus' death.

Also this is a web based Encyclopedia. If you continue to post completely inaccurate history I would hope that someone here would consider not allowing you to post.

To start the Biblical Canon of the New Testament was accepted at the 3rd Synod of Carthage 397 by then Constantine long dead and the empire redivided. Not the council of Nicaea where the creed or declaration of faith was created and accepted. Second Constantine was the founder of the Eastern Roman Empire- Byzantium not the Western Empire both he controlled as the Pagan Emperor of both not christian. Constantine founded Byzantium to unify the two empires after a civil war with Licinius the emporer of the east. Emperor Constantine did not become a christian until the day of his death. Constantine legalize christianity but never made it the the official religion of the Roman Empire. Paganism remained the official religion of the Eastern Roman Empire of Byzantium until Theodosius I. In the case of making Christianity the state religion over paganism you can thank Arbogast and Valentinian II for that. The Western Empire AKA Europe remained pagan and christian under Valentinian I and his sons and so on and so forth (Arius/Arianism or otherwise) until Charlemagne c800 AD. Roman Emperors and List of Roman Emperors.

I've updated the information that you provided concerning the 3rd Synod - thanks for clarifying me on that - it improves the article. Obliquely, it also raises the point I focussed upon: my intention was not to demonstrate that Gnostic sects were not the target of Plotinus' arguments, but rather that any identification of them as being more than 'early Christian' in a modern sense was fraught with difficulty. Not least of these difficulties is the fact of the formalisation of orthodox Christianity itself long after Plotinus' death. Given that Christianity prior to this - as the Layton quote explains - was a fluid entity of composed of disparate sects and groups, how may we so confidently ascribe an identity - itself formulating almost entirely from a modern perspectiv - to Plotinus opponents, particularly when it is remembered that he viewed Christianity from the exterior, as a Platonist?
I don't have time to go into a full, in-depth discussions (tis the weekend, after all) - but I still think that the text I have provided is supplies more information than the previous, abbreviated paragraph vaguely identifying Plotinus' intentions without even a discussion of the text's formation, contents or difficulties concerning translation. I'll be back to put up a more extended argument when I can. And if there's a problem with POV, by all means put a tag up, and if that perception is upheld by a greater consensus then I'll be more than happy to remove the text in question myself. Visual Error 14:32, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Feb 05 06 01:11 198.254.16.201

"I've updated the information that you provided concerning the 3rd Synod - thanks for clarifying me on that - it improves the article." Unobliquely it shows that you don't know what you are talking about and that you should not be on this website reverting other peoples' contributions. It also shows you to be intellectually lazy and dishonest. That you are insisting that other people do your work for you and your research before you will remove your sophisms.

On one hand you say "my intention was not to demonstrate that Gnostic sects were not the target of Plotinus' arguments, but rather that any identification of them as being more than 'early Christian' in a modern sense was fraught with difficulty."

but then say in the posted article that surfaces under Plotinus' name...

"It is a popular view that Plotinus was an opponent of Gnosticism- Despite this, it remains that there is little evidence from the text that definitively identifies Plotinus' intended opponents during the formation of this tract:

So you once again state that his opponents where not the Gnostics that we just can't tell from the actual text who they are, specifically- (I will address the text towards the end of my post).

Hey you seem like a fan of speculation. Since your contribution to Plotinus is to make his work ambigious and confusing even at the expense of stating that his Pagan/Neoplatonic student Porphyry's label is the only thing that identifies his work as being anti gnostic (which is to ASSUME that such a thing is wrong, inaccruate, inappropriate). If not why mention it? Well what if because Plotinus was not specific enough in his writing by attaching a modern label to a group of "Valentinians" or "Barbelos" that Porphyry added the label for clarification. Note Porphyry knew who the christians were and critised them he's famous for it. Plotinus and Porshyry knew the difference. Your POV that you are stating as a fact about Plotinus on this encyclopedia webpage is that Plotinus and Porshyry did not know who they where critizing or they where being ambigious when they produced the Enneads.

Once again almost your entire contribution is POV. You are ignoring the valid points I have made. Including that you made several mistakes about someone as well known about as Emperor Constantine. Nothing you stated in the above can be confirmed by any documentation from Plotinus's, Porphyrys', Proclus, Iamblichus' writings or from other writing from that period. So any sources passed that are second hand and you have yet to name any second hand sources either. The text as we have it has the label "Against the Gnostics" this contribution is supposed to be by Porphyry but no one has ever remarked that any part of the Enneads was suspicious, any of the remaining Neoplatonics even down to George Gemistos Plethon. None stated that the label was inaccruate in being labelled by Plotinus or Porphyry as being incorrect or misleading. None stated that Plotinus' target was early christianity instead of "gnostics".

Rather you find the label inadequate, suspect or a fallacy, it is not something to be debated on this website under the entry of Plotinus and his life. The overwelhming philosophical scholars and the traditions of Greece have established this as it is. You have yet to post sources. You have yet to do anything but make POV like "the TEXT does not support that Plotinus was referring to Gnostics , specifically".

The text is very clear..Your entire argument is a sophism and does not belong here under the bio of Plotinus. I think this entire fiasco is a really good example of just how a couple of people on the web can post any speculation they can fabricate to undermind a historical fact they don't like and then force it to be accepted as fact or ignore when people point out how dubious what they state is. Or try to obfuscate someone like Plotinus' work. Of course this is the biggest complaint from most people about wikipedia. You post on here that Plotinus was no critic or advisery to "gnostics", but was an a critic of early christianity and has been misunderstood for all these past almost 2ooo years.

Now here's an example of POV based on I can only guess, is ignorance.

"The matter becomes still more complicated when it is recognised that much of Plotinus' objections are as pertinent to early 'orthodox' Christian theoretics as to 'gnostic' ones. For example, Plotinus’ specific objection to his opponents' conception of matter (from which the tract's title derives) lies not in their negative assessment of it, but in their expectation of a material universe superior to the existent one:"

From the Enneads on the Plato's demiurge.....

  "They are in fact quite outside of the truth in their

identification of the Creator."

and

"In every way they misrepresent Plato's theory as to the method of creation as in many other respects they dishonour his teaching: they, we are to understand, have penetrated the Intellectual Nature, while Plato and all those other illustrious teachers have failed."

So how does Plotinus clarify who they are? These people wrong about Plato's creator. Well.....

"This All that has emerged into life is no amorphous structure- like those lesser forms within it which are born night and day out of the lavishness of its vitality- the Universe is a life organized, effective, complex, all-comprehensive, displaying an unfathomable wisdom. How, then, can anyone deny that it is a clear image, beautifully formed, of the Intellectual Divinities?"

Knowledge (gnosis), too; in their unbroken peace, what hinders them from the intellectual grasp of the God-Head and the Intellectual Gods? What can be imagined to give us a wisdom higher than belongs to the Supernals? Could anyone, not fallen to utter folly, bear with such an idea?

Admitting that human Souls have descended under constraint of the All-Soul, are we to think the constrained the nobler? Among Souls, what commands must be higher than what obeys. And if the coming was unconstrained, why find fault with a world you have chosen and can quit if you dislike it?

Not one only kind of being is bent upon this quest, which brings bliss to whatsoever achieves, and earns for the others a future destiny in accord with their power. No man, therefore, may flatter himself that he alone is competent; a pretension is not a possession; many boast though fully conscious of their lack and many imagine themselves to possess what was never theirs and even to be alone in possessing what they alone of men never had.

And now finally......

10. Under detailed investigation, many other tenets of this school- indeed we might say all- could be corrected with an abundance of proof. But I am withheld by regard for some of our own friends who fell in with this doctrine before joining our circle and, strangely, still cling to it. The school, no doubt, is free-spoken enough- whether in the set purpose of giving its opinions a plausible colour of verity or in honest belief- but we are addressing here our own acquaintances, not those people with whom we could make no way. We have spoken in the hope of preventing our friends from being perturbed by a party which brings, not proof- how could it?- but arbitrary, tyrannical assertion; another style of address would be applicable to such as have the audacity to flout the noble and true doctrines of the august teachers of antiquity. That method we will not apply; anyone that has fully grasped the preceding discussion will know how to meet every point in the system. Only one other tenet of theirs will be mentioned before passing the matter; it is one which surpasses all the rest in sheer folly, if that is the word. They first maintain that

 the Soul and a certain "Wisdom" Sophia declined and entered this lower sphere though
 they leave us in doubt of whether the movement originated in Soul or in this Sophia of theirs, 

or whether the two are the same to them- then they tell us that the other Souls came down in the descent and that these members of Sophia took to themselves bodies, human bodies, for example.

Yet in the same breath, that very Soul which was the occasion of descent to the others is declared not to have descended. "It knew no decline,"

 but merely illuminated the darkness in such a way that an image of it was formed upon the Matter.

Then, they shape an image of that image somewhere below- through the medium of Matter or ofMateriality or whatever else of many names they choose to give it in their frequent change of terms, invented to darken their doctrine- and

 so they bring into being what they call the Creator or Demiurge,
 then this lower is severed from his Mother [Sophia]and
 becomes the author of the Kosmos 

down to the latest of the succession of images constituting it.

   Such is the blasphemy of one of their writers.

"Plotinus' arguments, but rather that any identification of them as being more than 'early Christian' in a modern sense was fraught with difficulty. Not least of these difficulties is the fact of the formalisation of orthodox Christianity itself long after Plotinus' death. Given that Christianity prior to this - as the Layton quote explains - was a fluid entity of composed of disparate sects and groups, how may we so confidently ascribe an identity - itself formulating almost entirely from a modern perspectiv - to Plotinus opponents, particularly when it is remembered that he viewed Christianity from the exterior, as a Platonist? "

Now what early flux group of christians attacked Plato's demirge? Clearly naming it and calling it by Plato's name for it (from Timaeus)? 1.What orthodox christian group taught about Sophia as a deity making the demiurge? Please clarify. 2.What group individual parties, groups, sect or denominations other then Gnostics could Plotinus be referring to? 3.Please explain how from what Plotinus stated clearly in the text posted above that you think it justified to interject a false history of Constantine? 4.Of revert postings? 5.Explain please please please explain how you having had to read at least this section of the Enneads feel justified in posting what you have about Plotinus? 6.How did you miss the part about Sophia? and the Plato's demiurge? 7.Why did you remain insistent? 8.How could you have read Plotinus and feel justified to make other people that have read him have to then track down and post what should be obvious to you here. 9.There is no theology in St Ignatius of Antioch that speaks of Plato's demiurge nor the deity Sophia creating Plato's demiurge. NONE. Nor in any other early christianity other then the Gnosistics. 10.Gnosticism owns this perversion exclusively. It is the identity it owns. 11. So Gnostics that professed the belief in Sophia her creation of the demiurge now represent the "Greek orthodox church"? Really how so? and what does that have to do with Plotinus?

Tell me if someone for whatever reason decided to attack your religion and try to undermind it by fabricating documents and engaging in false teachings- What would you do to correct the problem? Plotinus here wrote this section of the Enneads. To address the liberties and fabrications and distortions that the Gnostics did to Plato. Hey maybe we can then argue over Ennead V iii. You know, you Plotinus scribe you- On the Gnostic Hypostasis and Beyond.

When Irenaeus wrote his text he spoke of people with "false teachings"

he designated some of them by how they justified these false teachings. The group referred to by Irenaeus as Gnostic is this same group. Meaning they had secret knowledge that justified them engaging in "false teachings". Plotinus is writing about a group of so designated "Gnostics" because of the groups perversion of Plato's demiurge and Plato's Kosmology. Two very different reasons to refer to these teachings and those that espouse them as "Gnostics". But they are the same group of people just the same. This group was disowned by the philosophers and the christians. Christians who unfortunately had to then defend themselves against fabricated and false documents that did not ailgn with what they had been taught for centuries via the traditions of the church. But that is the subject of somewhere else other then a encyclopedia BIO of Plotinus.

Now for a modern example of treachoory.....

http://users.erols.com/solequis/secret_societies/phoneymasonry.htm

Nice job working to undermind Plotinus on defending Plato's demiurge and Plato's kosmology from the cultists. Nice what homage to him in his own Bio none the less.

So how do I contest this to a higher level? Who is it that I need to get in touch with over there at wikipedia?

Since this constitutes what appears to be the wikipedia way? You know fabricate and speculate about how people can't tell the difference between christians and gnostics when they are ridliculing them for lying and misrepresenting their philosophy or religion? Even when they explicately clarify what group they are talking about. Call them by name (which then means there was an unfounded conspiracy by students to give that name) and then when that wasn't enough. To actually attach the names and terms that the slanders used to try and undermind the acedemy. But then deny the entire time that such a distinctions were ever made. WOW.

I say let me rewrite the Plotinus post. I promise I will make sure to include what Plotinus said specifically. I promise I will address WHY he was attacking the gnostics.

Oh wait here maybe....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents

end of posting 198.254.16.201 Feb 05 06 05:00am

I went ahead and sent a copy of your entry as well as pdfs of the pages I quote to your professors there at Durham..

Maybe they can explain where you get this idea that it is OK to completely misrepresent Plotinus and McKenna and A. H. Lawrence.

Feb 06 06 21:33 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.61.117.164 (talkcontribs)

Reported revert war to sysop karmafist. Requested peer review. LoveMonkey 17:47, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for an informative and lengthy post. First, I must note that I am extremely displeased about having my opinions forwarded to members of the department at Durham (I've removed their email addresses for reasons of their privacy). I find this highly intrusive, purile and, just so you know, I'm going to be seeing as to whether wikipedia has any policy on such invasions of my privacy, not least the wasting of other people's time in my name - for which I am going to send apologies to the relevant parites. I also think its very cowardly to do so from a position of anonymity, as you have done. If you are incapable of conducting an argument in a clear, level-headed fashion, you're not going to improve the chances of reaching a consensus, which is what Wikipedia is about. I was perfectly happy to engage in a debate concerning the page, as I noted above, and I acknowledged potential difficulties concerning my POV - I'd hoped things could go on smoothly from here.
As to the emails themselves, I had several discussions with one of the professors you mentioned (I see no reason to impede on his privacy as you did), concerning the identity of Plotinus' opponents. The theory as to their early Christian identity was something raised by him, and not by myself, and he expressed it as his own opinion on the matter; he suggested I explore the subject in an essay towards my masters degree, which I did - my degree was received partly on the basis of this paper. I'd like to note that I don't like this sort of academic one-upmanship, as I think it's totally against the grain of academic inquiry; I offer this here as a basis for my entry in the article, which I am now seriously regretting ever having edited (I'm tempted to revert the edits I made, though this would be purile in itself). As before, if this text is found to be flawed, I'm perfectly happy to have it changed by group consensus.
Now excuse me until I've sorted out these emails you've sent. Visual Error 18:04, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, I don't see how sending professors at Durham emails about your rewrite of A H Armstrong or MacKenna and requesting a clarification from them as a privacy violation. Their email addresses are posted on the web they are not private same as your resume'. If it is an issue with them and they express that to me, I will apologize for wasting their time. Now that I have your attention let me clarify, posting your theory and POV(which you just stated you did towards getting your masters)under Plotinus' bio after being showed that you wrote contradictory theories against scholars' opinions (you even tried to use A H Armstrong to try and prop up your POV which directly contradicts his work). This entire conflict is unfounded and is but a excuse in in either outright lies (like you read A H Armstrong then how did you miss the comments that directly fly in the face of your ENTIRE POV posts) or are unethical at the least. Either way this is wrong and you and your POV post is wrong. If you want to challenge Stephen MacKenna or A H Armstrong's work or conclusions do that at DURHAM not here.

LoveMonkey 18:40, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Interesting Professor Louth just responded...

LoveMonkey 19:09, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Separate article?

I've just added a load of content concerning the plotinus vs. gnosticism debate, in response to a reversion and some criticism. However, though I think the section content is okay now, I think it dominates the article too much. Perhaps a separate article under 'Ennead 2.9'? or 'Against the Gnostics' would work better, which could be linked from the Plotinus page? Anyone think so? Visual Error 13:01, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I say leave it here. If the article gets too big, it can be moved. — goethean 22:41, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Keep here. The article isn't too long, and is probably still in its early stages of development. It has improved quite a lot in the last few months, and will attract others as it expands. Eventually, I'm sure a lot of the philosophical content will be hived off to separate articles, but for the time being it's a good idea to keep Plotinus/Neo-Platonism/Gnosticism going on one page.--shtove 11:20, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Makes sense - I'll remove the split tag. Visual Error 14:21, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Protected

Please work out your differences here. · Katefan0(scribble)/poll 20:53, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

The situation, as I see it, is that Visualerror (talk · contribs) wrote some encyclopedic text describing recent issues in Plotinus scholarship, specifically that one passage, traditionally titled "Attack on the Gnostics" may not be directed at the Gnostics at all. This enraged 198.254.16.201 (talk · contribs), who has now signed up as LoveMonkey (talk · contribs), who pasted a several page, unreadable, mostly non-sensical screed to this discussion page. He then redid the "Plotinus and the Gnostics" section of the article, which is now totally ungrammatical and contains a huge quotation from the outdated Loeb edition. In an arguably psycho move, he then emailed User:VisualError's professors, presumably ranting incoherently. For my part I reverted to VisualError's version because LoveMonkey's version is incoherent and inappropriate. But I think that a more neutral discussion of the issue than was in VisualError's text is possible. It's clear to me that User:LoveMonkey is not interested in a calm, rational discussion of the issue, nor is s/he capable of writing text suitable for this article. Please see Neoplatonism and Gnosticism for more of his/her nonsense. — goethean

Well thats your opinion. One, you make no contribution to this exchange except to start a revert war. Say whatever you like other then complaining you have contributed nothing. You and your pals on here have done nothing but ignore or now try to browbeat, neither is any valid kind of proof. In the case of debate rather the text is outdated or not it CLEARLY shows that the POV that you are protecting is not supported by A H Armstrong. Armstrong a scholar, you guys NOT. http://www.britac.ac.uk/fellowship/archive.asp?fellowsID=12 Please prove or provide where A H Armstrong's opinion has changed. If you don't like his work I am more then positive that he does not care. Since other then the first sentence the entire rest of the post is word for word A H Armstrong's. I made the pages for the books into pdf scans that I then emailed to Visualerrors professors I am not just drawing wide conclusions and posting theories on what I think about the subject at hand. The words are, as even Visual error stated from the most pre-eminent and respected of plotinus scholars A H Armstrong. But its really good to see you guys show your heads and make your little swipes. Its nice that your buddy visualerror claims to have read plotinus and A H Armstrong but missed this section of comments and text from Armstrong that has obviously enraged your little group of sophists on here. Sorry I did not miss it and that is what has driven my actions. What part of visualerror and your conduct is not unethical? So what was I to do? Ignore the lies here let it slide let wikipedia look like a joke ceated by charlatans? No too many people have become dependent on it. So provide text to back up your opinion. Start cracking the books. The posted text like I said is not mine, but it does allot republishing based on review and critique so the posting of it is in fair use- to bad Armstrong died in 1997. I am sure he would have choice words for your side in this debate. But you guys are really up on this so you read all this incuding Plotinus and even though as far as I know Armstrong never change the opinion expressed in what I posted you guys know more then him and MacKenna about Plotinus and feel with hearts on your sleeves that your buddy Visualerrors POV overrides the opinions of MacKenna the work of Porchyry and the refutation of Visualerrors opinion by A H Armstrong. Excuse me while I take this above your unethical and obstinate heads. Now start quoting SCHOLARS and their works. Not quacks and charlatans who got publishing deals. But in your case even that would be a start. But open your mind to the fact that a) I have already come across this argment before, if you knew about this subject you where posting on, you would have noticed I even mentioned it indirectly. b) I have since contacted that person directly and asked them to come here and addressed this issue and post "their" side. And no this person is not Visualerror or any of his professors. c) Rather then act like ignorant children throwing temper tantrums and then accusing me of the same. I have put up now, you do the same or stop wasting space and time. While I've taken time out to build a large biblo of what I have read which is why I have done what I have done. You post that A H Armstrong makes no sense. Remember like I said word for word. As well again, as taking the time to type out AH Arnmstrong word for word. Contribute, contribute scholars. But remember none thus far trump MacKenna and Armstrong. Now if the edition is dated provide a more current one where he changes his mind. If you can not then stop wasting people time. Since it changes nothing. LoveMonkey 16:40, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

22:24, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I had a look at Neoplatonism and Gnosticism - it contains a contents list of a single book: I suppose it should be speedily deleted, to free up a useful WP title. I'm surprised that the Plotinus article is the only place in WP describing the conflict between Neoplatonism and Gnosticism - or am I overlooking something?--shtove 23:40, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Shtove: There's no need to delete the article. Go right ahead and edit it into encyclopedic form, deleting any nonsensical ravings that you might find there. — goethean 16:49, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I think freeing up the title Neoplatonism and Gnosticism requires admin intervention, or some vote. I'm pitching in on this subject as a reader, rather than contributor. Is LoveMonkey a chip off the User:EffK block - difficult rambling? Why does someone keep putting in these repeated forward slashes to divide topics on the talk-page? When Van Morrison sings "to the One" in "Have I told you lately that I love you?" is he being Platonic or Christian?--shtove 22:48, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Well if you are going to come in this discussion and suggest that deleting a books entry on this very discussion and the different sides of the debate that it represents. Then I know I was right to request this page be locked. My opinion comes from MacKenna's works and words it comes from this book you wish to delete and once again Armstrong.I know if it was a book you'd burn it. Remember I am not on here posting my opinion. And for the record regardless of who is deleting work to try and address this debate regardless of what their opinion is, POV is. To delete any any attempt at addressing this is akin to censorship, and I disagree with censorship completely. Contribute scholarly works or stop wasting space and time. You appear beyond bias and enraged. Tell me (if you dare address this point at all) what would someone who agreed with A H Armstrong think of your comments here? LoveMonkey 16:40, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

To me Goethean's account seems a fairly accurate summary of events; thankfully it seems my profs found the whole thing more amusing than anything. I'd like to point out that LoveMonkey has made a few more changes to other pages, including Pleroma (where s/he has inserted an empty reference section) and Demiurge (where s/he has added content detailing the rebuke of the Gnostics by Plotinus and the platonists, in much the same vein as here). I would revert/update both of these edits, as I think they reduce the quality of the text, but I don't want to get caught up in any more revert wars, which I have little doubt they would result in.
I have no trouble acknowledging Goethean's note that the text I inserted in the article wasn't as neutral as it could have been - this neutrality is of course something I'd like to work towards. However, the points raised re: the identity of Plotinus' gnostics are valid points, and wherever I could I did not leave potentially opinionated text without textual backup (hence the citations both from Layton and from the theoretic of Clement of Alexandria. In addition to the points I made in the article, the figure of Sophia that LoveMonkey mentions above is not exclusive to the the gnostic tradition - for example, in the On First Principles of Origen, an early non-gnostic Church Father, Sophia is an appelation for the second component of the divine trinity.
I'd like to underline again that I only intended to show that the identification of Plotinus' opponents as anything more than early Christian is highly problematic; thus my intention wasn't to 'acquit' gnosticism, but merely to demonstrate the growing scholarly awareness that the case is not as solid as might be felt. My language possibly didn't always follow this aim; this was a failure on my part, but I was unable to correct it before the article was radically changed. I understand that, as a relatively recent development, this more cautionary view hasn't the exposure in scholarly fields that the more usual interpretation has, but nonetheless the identification of gnosticism (even per se) is currently recognised as being fraught with difficulty, and I hoped that the Plotinus article could reflect this.
This said, I'm willing to recognise that the purpose of an encyclopedia is not to provide the most recent data on a subject, but to provide an extensive overview; of course, my statements should be subsumed into a more general discussion of Plotinus, the Enneads and tractate 2.9 and its interpretation, but this is a task I'm currently not up to (which is in part why I suggested moving the content in question to its own article). Certainly, I don't think the changes LoveMonkey made to the text moved towards this goal. His/her assertions that any sources invoked contra his/her own viewpoint are potentially flawed or biased (cf. his/her remarks on Morton Smith and Elaine Pagels, above), and that a conspiracy exists to mis-represent Plotinus on Wikipedia are simply not conducive to this aim (I particularly resent being called a book-burner); while I would normally be perfectly willing to work with someone towards an NPOV text, I just don't feel that's likely to happen in this case. Visual Error 12:29, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

First what you express here shows that your bias toward ignoring points that you can't either answer or explained make you appear to be engaged in unethical and dishonest conduct. Once again you referenced A H Armstrong as a source to your opinion that Plotinus was directing his text not toward Gnosticism but was instead pointing it toward early christianity. You have yet to address - a) Why you thought it was OK to use A H Armstrong and yet he clearly (as the entry shows) completely disagreed with your conclusion. And in his works more then 15 years ago addressed key points of your argument and clearly debunked them. Can you address A H Armstrong and why you did this. b) Why you ignored my points and continued to allow POV to remain up even though I clearly posted objections. c) How what A H Armstrong's words that I posted are not valid. In specific the validity of the points he makes regardless of yours. d) From the way you stated that you would handle my other contributions I wonder how you expect me to react any differently? e) Because of you and your buddies obvious distaint for the fact that Plotinus did in fact rebuke Gnosticism your revert war and statements stating you would change the messages you don't like, how can you not believe that people would percieve your conduct as unethical? f) If you have read any of the sources I pointed out? Including Armstrongs' Enneads? I don't care if you think it obvious because I have yet to find a modern edition where Armstrong does not state otherwise where his intro posted here is missing. I could be wrong please provide. g) Why would you make a comment about my other posts contributions and imply that you had not ALREADY doctored them at least once and radically changed my orginal postings' meanings and message. You have already removed large amounts of them and edited them at least once. So won't it be obvious that their message bothers you and you wish to unmind that message by way of obfuscation. LoveMonkey 16:52, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Now all I can say is that it is obvious that you don't like that Plotinus wrote a treatise called "Against the Gnostics". You don't like that people would read it and see in it that Plotinus called this group that he critizes "negative" things. You don't like that people would see "Gnosticism" in a negative light due to the works and words of Plotinus. Every point in your sophisms that you make to undermind the fact that Plotinus attacked a group you like for what he called "blasphemous" treatment of Plato's works and Plato's demiurge/teachings. This website is not the place to defame Plotinus. Let me be clear by what you are posting you are depicting Plotinus as ignorant, in his "attack of the gnostics" you are stating that he did not know what "Gnosticism" was to the extent that he could not disern between it and early christianity. Therefore in light of this he really should not have wrote the tract in question at all. REALLY. Now by Plotinus' own ethics this would make him a hypocrite. Because before he expressed an opinion about the Anti-Demiurge, anti nature ideas of "Gnosticism" he better have known what and who he was talking about. You are stating that he is misunderstood by his and his student Porphyry's own words and works. I expect you to once again ignore this point and plow away at how you disagree but yet provide no "proof" of what you say other then "conjecture". Conjecture like the quote from Clement which does not express sophia/wisdom was a deity. Now your comment on Origen is more conjecture. You either know or are completely misguiding in making a comment that in order for it to ailgn with your implied meaning states that Origen stated that one of the holy trinity was the feminine diety of "Gnosticism" named Sophia. Now all this finagling and double speak and logical fallacy and misrepresenting people's works, words via opinions of yours and your buddies will not validate your POV being accepted as historical fact. In the case of your supposed sources none the less. The content I posted is a direct quote from A H Armstrong. I have not used a set of logical fallacies from the works I quoted to arrive at a conclusion as ambiguous as yours. I have yet to see if any of your sources have stated the content you put here as their conclusions as well. In light of modern scholarship or not. Of the sources you provided only YOU arrive at YOUR conclusion. Instead it appears that you think a little slight of hand is all that is needed to show Plotinus as incompetent on who his target of his treatise was. This would also include Porphyry. Also please clarifiy what you mean by appelation? If by this word you mean oppelation, well then oppelation is not the same as deity. You are now doing nothing but arguing over the meaning of words and there by obfuscating Plotinus' life and works. And his meaning and intention of those works. You appear to not care about this byproduct of your comments and posting. This is why I keep stating you are unethical. This is the very heart of my motivation. So you and buddies snipe and swipe away in the end none of it validates your POV or theory should be allow into Plotinus' works. I particularly resent that you don't have enough cognative faculties to notice I was referring to another poster as being called a book-burner - shtove. Please clarify why you consistently keep misrepresenting not only A H Armstrong and Plotinus and Porphyry but my statements as well. LoveMonkey 16:40, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Please remain civil

I would encourage participating editors to conduct these discussions in a civil manner.

Please read WP:CIVIL:

Civility is a rule for the conduct of edits, comments, and talk page discussions on all Wikipedias. Whereas incivility is roughly defined as personally targeted behavior that causes an atmosphere of greater conflict and stress, our rule of civility states plainly that people must act with civility toward one another.

And WP:No personal attacks

Do not make personal attacks anywhere in Wikipedia. Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks will never help you make a point; they hurt the Wikipedia community and deter users from helping create a good encyclopedia.

Any further uncivility by a participant may be followed up by that participant's temporary block of editing privileges ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 18:39, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

neutral, cited text

User:Visualerror, can you re-do your text, citing references? — goethean 19:02, 8 February 2006 (UTC) Nevermind; reviewing the text, I see that you did already. — goethean 19:06, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

No worries - like you said, I still think a more neutral form could be found. If possible, I think some more citations and examples might help, as currently it seems as if a case is being made on the basis of little evidence. I have a few further citations/analyses, but I'd rather get some more background information on the Ennead in question, and at least some content on the widely-held interpretation that LoveMonkey is advocating. That way, all options will be available to an interested audience, and the article will present the matter with some regard to historical development.
We could, for example, initially present Armstrong's analysis of the text, and the reasons for that analysis. For example, one might discuss the conception of gnosticism, prevalent at that time, according to the reports of heresiological theologians and early Church fathers, which leads to a too-great emphasis on reports of anticosmism, antinomianism, libertinism and so on. These views were not challenged (or, indeed, could not be challenged) until the publication of the Nag Hammadi library, which occurred in 1977, years after, for example, Armstrong's edition of The Enneads. Indeed, the heresiological conception of (which had become the categorical foundation for) 'gnosticism' wasn't properly called into qustion until 1999, when Williams published Rethinking Gnosticism: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category. Thus, Armstrong and his colleagues did not suffer at all from a weakness of insight or scholarly laziness (as some might think I'm implying); they simply did not have the gnostic texts available for an unmediated understanding of gnosticism, and thus could not properly compare it to Plotinus' objections.
Dear god the amount of errors in the above statement is UNBELIEVABLE. What you have posted shows just how little ACTUAL research you have done. I am no scholar and yet the amount of errors here are. Since you have again shown you are completely unwilling to actually listen or read any works related to neoplatonism and plotinus I will here address some of this. What I have posted then, I will do so for the admins. In the book Neoplatonism and Gnosticism there is documented a difference of opinion between Christos Evangeliou and A.H. Armstrong. If you had read the book you would know that Dr Christos Evangeliou took the position that the Gnostics in "Against the gnostics" were "earlier christians" christian gnostic who because the enneads passage was "unclear" believed that the early group mentioned by Plotinus were early christian gnostics. Armstrong's response to this was the introduction I have posted here.
By far the best discussion of what the particular group of Gnostics Plotinus knew believed is M. Puech's admirable contribution to Entretiens Hardt V (Les Sourcesde Plotin).
M Puech stated the sect Plotinus attacked was Sethian gnostic, to which Armstrong agreed. The introduction from Armstrong was published in the 1989 Enneads editions after Armstrong had written many a work on the Nag Hammadi library. The book Neoplatonism and Gnosticism was the publishing of different opinions of Neoplatonism in the light of Nag Hammadi. It was published in 1984. Not in absences of the library, in light of the library. In 1984. As for Michael Williams:
  1. He confirmes in Rethinking Gnosticism that Plotinus was attacking and or critizing "gnosticism".
  2. Michael Williams never makes any of your assertions in his book. But he does make a grave error that caused the book to be discarded as gravely failed.
M Puech's work is what Armstrong sites as being definitely authorative and the last word on the matter of "who" the gnostics where that Plotinus was attacking. M Puech's work is based on the Nag Hammid as the article I published here states. The article that you and your buddies keep trying to remove. Once again Armstrong's text that I have posted here came from 1989 AFTER the 1984 conference in Oklahoma on neoplatonism and gnosticism both in light of the nag hammidi library. M Puch's work from the nag hammidi Armstrong referred to as "admirable". Note if you read what I posted in the here and the actual article how could you miss the very last line of in the article and then make the above assertions?
LoveMonkey 23:56, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
This could be followed by a more detailed summary of 'extra-textual' problems, such as:
  • the new availability of original gnostic texts forcing a reinterpretation of 'gnosticism' itself, as opposed to relying on the reports of heresiologists to cement our understanding of the movement (the gnosticism article presents a good history of the term, and the problems with heresiological bias - however, in the interests of openness, it should be noted that I wrote most of the bulk of the article);
Note if you read what I posted in the here and the actual article how could you miss the very last line of the article and then make the above assertions?
LoveMonkey 23:56, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  • the reminder that Plotinus would understand 'gnostic' in a Platonist rather than Christian context (in antiquity, the term originated with Plato's Politicus), thus bringing doubts about the assumed correspondence between Plotinus/Porphyry's usage of 'gnostic', the heresiological usage and (which is related to the latter) our own modern one. For example, there is the issue of Clement, who in his Stromateis argues for the status of the 'knowledge' as an essential part of Christianity:

    [In his Stromateis, Clement] shows how faith is related to knowledge, and emphasizes the superiority of revelation to philosophy. God's truth is to be found in revelation, another portion of it in philosophy. It is the duty of the Christian to neglect neither. Religious science, drawn from his twofold source, is even an element of perfection, the instructed Christian -- "the true Gnostic" is the perfect Christian. He who has risen to this height is far from the disturbance of passion; he is united to God, and in a mysterious sense is one with Him.
    (from The Catholic Encyclopedia[[1]]; emphasis added)

    Clement, of course, is not a gnostic according to modern standards, but is one according to himself; though, as I said, I do not wish to identify Clement as the true focus of Plotinus' attack (which, in any case, is directed at corrupted intimates of his own, not directly at a separate theologician or theoretic) these competing usages, coupled with the paucity of intances of 'gnostic' in Ennead 2.9 itself, necessarily raises doubts;
One day I would hope that people would embrace the high standard of learning were they are taught not only ideas and words but the cultural pedagree of such things. Gnosticism is a perversion of the greek word for knowledge-ism. People who are proponents of higher knowledge could make themselve "gnostic" but that does not make them proponents of the sect of people who were part of Gnosticism. Since this sect of people hi-jacked the word and then attached to it to a rather negative set of beliefs, does not mean the greeks stopped using their word for knowledge. The term later become analogious with the word "cult" over these sects perversion of it". Plotinus as well was attacking this sect and was doing so because 9f how confusing they had made the greeks terms they perverted.
LoveMonkey
  • a new recognition of the fluidity of early Christianity, leading to doubts as to whether a 'gnostic' tradition might be easily distinguished from an orthodox tradition at the time of Plotinus:

    In fact, the lack of uniformity in ancient Christian scripture during the early period is very striking, and it points to a substantial diversity within the early Christian religon. Although it is historically correct to speak of early Christianity as one religion, it can also be described as a complex network of individual parties, groups, sect or denominations.
    (Bentley Layton, The Gnostic Scriptures, SCM Press, London, 1987, xviii).

Here is but one example of why this is incorrect. This is the tradition of the coptic church.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coptic_Christianity
Their bishops go right back to christ. Note that a "gnostic vandal defaced the page for Theophilus look at its history.
The only difference between then and now was dogma. And dogma was forced on the church in order to clarify things
LoveMonkey 23:56, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
This could be followed or supplemented by an exact analysis of several of Plotinus' criticisms supplied by a close reading of the text, and their relation to early Christian movements in general:
  • For example, the assertion that Plotinus accused his opponents of being 'world-haters' is inaccurate: he actually criticised their expectation of a better material world, still less perfect than the Intelligible one:

    [W]hat earth could be better than this, after the intelligible earth? And what sphere could be more exact or better ordered in its circuit [than the sphere of the universe] after the … intelligible universe?
    (The Enneads, Ennead II, tractate 9, iv)

    To Plotinus the Intelligible universe cannot but be better than the sensible; it is his opponent’s expectation of an intermediate earth, still inferior to the Intelligible, but superior to the current one, that causes his exasperation. This theological belief (as to the universe awaiting eventual perfection or improvement) has little specifically gnostic about it.
  • So too with Plotinus' criticisms of magic. Though there is no reason to believe that Plotinus himself practised magic, there is no reason to believe either that he abhored its usage at all. Indeed, it is reported that Plotinus effectively fought off a magical attack by one Olympius of Alexandria; though this was through no magical rites of his own, but rather by an innate quality of his superior soul, it attests that Plotinus himself believed in at least the occasional efficacy of magic.
    • Elsewhere in the Enneads Plotinus details his theory of magic. He rejects the notion that the magician exerts force upon the operations of the universe, as if from the ‘outside’ (Ennead IV.4.xl). Instead, the magician 'makes his influence felt' by using the correct utterances, timing and posture, thereby creating points of attraction to which the sympathetic powers tend. This theory of the operation of magic is dependent on a passage from Plato's Timaeus, that ‘the universe is a single living being embracing all living things within it’ (Timaeus, 30d 3-31a 1.) Thus, when Plotinus angrily notes the practice of magic by his opponents, he cannot have intended to chastise the use of it in itself, but must have in mind their specific magical practices and beliefs that run contra to his own conceptions. Specifically, he criticises their ineffectual practise, but more important is their aim, which is to address the higher Intellect, rather than the irrational soul that is the proper site of magical effects (Ennead II.9.xiv.)
    • One may compare Clement’s Stromateis:

      Prayer then, to speak somewhat boldly, is converse with God. Even if we address Him in a whisper, without opening our lips, or uttering a sound, still we cry to him in our heart. For God never ceases to listen the inward converse of the heart.
      For this reason also we raise the head and lift the hands towards heaven, and stand on tiptoe as we join in the closing outburst of prayer, following the eager flight of the spirit to the intelligible world.
      (Clement, Stromateis, VII.xxxix-xl.; emphasis added)

      The ascent of the soul to the intelligible realm would not, of course, find fault with Plotinus. However, Clement’s notion that converse with the divine may occur in absence of utterances would. So too would his characterization of bodily movement as a spontaneous expression of sympathy for the spirit’s ascent, rather than a carefully controlled ritual designed to awaken sympathetic powers. It could be argued that Plotinus would not actually find fault here, because Clement does not describe any response from the divine: he describes an act of worship, rather than an improper petition to the Intelligible. However Clement asserts that ‘as God is able to do everything He wills, so the gnostic receives every thing that he may ask’ (Clement, Stromateis, VII.xli; trans. Fenton John Antony Hort and Joseph B. Mayor; emphasis editors' own). Prayer is thus a reciprocal activity, intended not only to worship, but to submit requests before the almighty. Plotinus would find such a notion of an ‘answering deliberate will’ to be misguided in the extreme. With the involvement of petition, so too do Clement’s ideas of dance and silence become unacceptable, as these things are properly directed at the Lower Soul, not the Intelligible wherein God resides. One again, this is not to identify Clement as Plotinus' opponent, but to demonstrate the wider applicabilty of Plotinus' criticisms outside an exclusively gnostic 'movement'.
  • Concerning the criticism of Sophia (Gr. 'Wisdom') it might be noted that, as well as being a gnostic mytheme, she is also present in the writing of Origen (who lived and taught in Alexandria from his youth until circa 231), and in the Jewish tradition. In the former, Sophia is co-existent with God, and the means through with he engages in intellectual activity.
I don't know why you keep misusing and misquoting origen on the word wisdom. He never stated that wisdom was a god or diety.
Origen stated that Jesus Christ was God's wisdom.
a. The Trinity
Origen begins his treatise On First Principles by establishing, in typical Platonic fashion, a divine hierarchical triad; but instead of calling these principles by typical Platonic terms like monad, dyad, and world-soul, he calls them "Father," "Christ," and "Holy Spirit," though he does describe these principles using Platonic language. The first of these principles, the Father, is a perfect unity, complete unto Himself, and without body - a purely spiritual mind. Since God the Father is, for Origen, "personal and active," it follows that there existed with Him, always, an entity upon which to exercise His intellectual activity. This entity is Christ the Son, the Logos, or Wisdom (Sophia), of God, the first emanation of the Father, corresponding to Numenius' "second god," as we have seen above (section 2). The third and last principle of the divine triad is the Holy Spirit, who "proceeds from the Son and is related to Him as the Son is related to the Father" (A. Tripolitis 1978, p. 94). Here is Origen explaining the status of the Holy Spirit, in a passage preserved in the original Greek:
http://www.iep.utm.edu/o/origen.htm
LoveMonkey 23:56, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Plotinus did not characterise Sophia as a deity or God either, but merely as an aspect of 'Soul' that, according to his opponents, declined to materiality (though the root cause of this decline is unknown), and took up residence in human bodies. There is such an extent tradition in the Wisdom Songs, as noted directly below, and in the thought of Origen (in which 'Sophia-Christ' is the creative agency of God), which may cast doubt on it being an exclusively gnostic trait. Visual Error 13:32, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
This in itself s comparable to other criticisms of Plotinus, where he notes that the intellectual conception of the creative agent should be sufficient to impel creation itself, without requiring an intermediary (cf. old edit [2]).

Plotinus notes of his opponents' belief that ‘members of Wisdom put on bodies, human bodies for instance’; in the case of the Jewish tradition, this might refer to the Song of Solomon ‘O God … who hast made all things with thy word; and ordained man by thy wisdom’ (Solomon, 9:1-2); I believe that there is also a Jewish tradition that the 'Wisdom' of God wandered the earth, being rarely recognised by its inhabitants (Wisdom 7:7-30 [3]; Sirach 24:1-8 [4]); this has been noted by Christoph Markschies in Gnosis: An Introduction, trans. John Bowden, T & T Clark, London, 2003, page 76.

Finally, one might even compare the words of Solomon Ibn Gabirol in The Kingly Crown, IX:

Thou art wise, and from Thy wisdom Thou didst send forth a predestined Will,
And made it as an artisan and a craftsman,
To draw the stream of being from the void
As the light is drawn that comes from the eye.

Thus the presence of Sophia in Plotinus' crticism, again, does not necessitate a gnostic opponent, as Sophia's presence in gnosticism is far from exclusive.
Thus we would end up with a subsection laid out like this:
  • early interpretations of Ennead 2.9; early modern conceptions of gnosticism; the alteration of the latter with the growing availability of original texts;
  • extra-textual problems:
    • changing conception of gnosticism per se;
    • the platonist versus the christian usage of 'gnostic' in antiquity; the issue, for example, of Clement and his self-appelation as 'knower';
    • the recent re-assessment of early Christianity as essentially fluid; the difficulty in identifying distinct gnostic traditions from distinct orthodox ones;
  • an analysis of several of Plotinus' objections:
    • world-haters: too strong a summary of Plotinus' actual position (compare to Armstrong edition, which is mainly reliant on heresiological data); the actual critique of an intermediate material world as applicable to a broad Christian spectrum, not simply gnosticism;
    • magic: Plotinus' belief in and theory of magic; comparison with Clement of Alexandria;
    • Sophia: though typical gnostic mytheme, she is present outside gnostic tradition, as in the examples provided (Origen, Jewish tradition); thus her inclusion does not necessarily entail a gnostic identity of Plotinus' opponents.
Anyway, what do people think? Hopefully, this layout would provide a suitable framework for editors to supply further content, while being self-contained enough to warrant future movement to a separate article. Visual Error 11:01, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Sounds fabulous. If it gets too big, it can be moved to its own article. Unfortunately, I won't be able to help as I'm taking a break until March. Good luck! — goethean 15:03, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Glad you like it goethean! Anyone else have any thoughts? I would like to get a group consensus on any potential text, as I don't think it'll solve anything if one isn't achieved. Visual Error 15:41, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
It would be better to have the truth then concensus. You are posting completely inaccurate information and then trying to justify it by making it compliant with wikipedia NPOV posting rules. Stop kowtowing. Only the truth is the proper starting point. An encyclopedia should first be about accuracy not consensus. I have ran out of time on the above. I will return later. I do not see why you remain so obstinate on forcing your opinion and misconceptions on this article. How many mistakes are you given before people finally either give up or deny you?
I wonder if you and your buddies would be so tolerant with me.
From the amount mistakes you have refused to address and your buddies denial of the things I have tried to contribute by reverts I just find it hard to see what value you add.
LoveMonkey
Before you make comments about what this encyclopedia is about, I would suggest that you take the time to read our content policies of WP:NPOV and in particular the content policy of Verifiability which reads:
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. This means that we only publish material that is verifiable with reference to reliable, published sources.\
New editors tend to need to have to take some time exploring and understanding this policy. I would suggest you do so, otherwise you will end up escalating these discussions unnecessarily and wasting yours and everybody else's time in the pursuit of "truth". ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:10, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes jossi I had just yesterday went and reread the NPOV. I hope that the sources I have added would be acknowledged. As a matter of fact that is probably my biggest gripe. My contributions were sourced and then where reverted out. Or edits made that themselves could not be verified by sources. And contradicted or obfuscated the sources points. Now that you have chidded in...What kind of peer review is available? How can I submit page scans?
LoveMonkey

Further suggestions

Alright - after reviewing everything above and considering for awhile, I think the best thing to do to resolve this would be offer the Armstrong opinion as the majority view (in the interests of which, I think it would be good idea to offer as much detailed, organised information concerning this reading as possible), coupled with the development/enhancement of this reading throughout the effects of the Nag Hammadi find. However, I think that a caveat should be added at the end of this initial discussion, followed by the presentation of the objections raised above, esp. the re-assessments of 'gnosticism', the difficulties of modern phrases versus their ancient usage, the effects of editorial emendations of the text, and so on, culminating in a presentation of the related 'early Christian' hypothesis.

A great deal of the argumentation for the latter, given that it is a minority view (albeit significant), need not be presented, unless the section would be moved to its own article (I'm uncomfortably aware that the Plotinus article is rapidly and unfortunately becoming limited to an 'Ennead 2.9' debating ground...).

This would give a layout somewhat like this:
  • Historical background to Enn 2.9 - composition by Plotinus, edited by Porphyry, (all of which is covered in the main article body and might only be recapped here, if at all);
  • Discussion of majority reading of Ennead 2.9, as presented by Armstrong et al.
    • citation of articles in Neoplatonism and Gnosticism; citation of M Puech's contribution to Entretiens Hardt V (Les Sourcesde Plotin)
    • Gnostic 'indicators' present in Enn 2.9: the identification of Sophia as an aspect of God that 'tended away'; the identification of the demiurge as world-creator; resemblance to Sethian and Valentinian gnostic systems; and so on.
I know this seems bare, but I'm certain a great deal of content could be found. I would hope that LoveMonkey would be able to give some help here, by providing well-written, objective text on this reading; I'd be more than happy to help with proofreading and layout. I feel the most important thing is to demonstrate the widely-held nature of the above reading, while not characterising this either as the end of the matter, or as a necessarily unassailable position.
There would follow the objections to this reading, culminating in the minority 'early Christian' view which apparently was advanced by Christos Evangeliou - what might be called the 'cautionary approach'. This would be much the same as above; the overall intention would be to demonstrate that:
  1. Though the evidence irrefutably exists to support a 'anti-gnostic' reading of Plotinus, this is at the expense of emphasising certain parts of the tract while ignoring others. For example, Plotinus' objections to his opponents expectaton of an 'intermediate earth' is often incorrectly characterised as 'world-hatred'. The expectation of a future perfection of materiality is a typical Christian belief; however, given that the apparent gnostic endeavour was an escape from the material world, whose completion might be symbolised in a passing away of materiality and its governors (or, in the case of Valentinianism, it is arguably the removal of the 'error of perception' that misperceives materiality as separate and distinct to the divine being), it is difficult to see how one might square Plotinus' descriptions with a gnostic sect, without assuming greater fluidity to early Christian beliefs than was previously held. And, if this is the case, might a formal and self-contained gnostic tradition be identified at all (cf. Layton, above) for Plotinus to attack?
  2. Plotinus' intentions have occasionally been mis-represented, arguably even by Porphyry in his title to the tract (as noted above, Plotinus didn't specifically criticize his opponent's negative view of matter, but their expectation of an intermediate material universe), leading to an assumption of greater cohesion between Enn 2.9 and the typical traits of gnosticism than in fact might be said to exist.
  3. In connection with the above, several assumptions are made concerning the interchangability of the term 'gnostic' in antiquity and in its modern usage; whereas the latter exists in a broadly Christian context (we cannot but define gnosticism in comparison with the prevalent orthodox which it is set against), the former (in the case of Plotinus) exists in a Platonist context, and has a great deal of precedent usage as such (we might observe Plotinus' objection that his opponents derive all that is correct in their philosophy from Plato). This being the case, the assumption of a direct correspondence between Plotinus 'gnostics' and our own conception of 'gnosticism' is worthy of attention; especially when it is considered that Plotinus only used the phrase 'knowers' once in the tract, and that the appelation 'gnostic' was rarely, if ever, self-applied in antiquity by groups we would today categorise as 'gnosticism'. Indeed, (half-seriously) the description of Plotinus' opponents as 'gnostic' as much gives cause to doubt their gnostic status as to maintain it.
Thus this would take the form of the second part of the layout I recommended above (I reproduce this for the ease of those scanning through):
  • extra-textual problems:
    • changing conception of gnosticism per se;
    • the platonist versus the christian usage of 'gnostic' in antiquity: the issue, for example, of Clement and his self-appelation as 'gnostic' (this appellative is extended to Christians in general by him), compared to his consideration as definitively non-gnostic by scholars today;
    • the recent re-assessment of early Christianity as essentially fluid; the difficulty in identifying distinct gnostic traditions from distinct orthodox ones, which would be a requirement of identifying Plotinus' opponents as gnostic in a modern sense;
  • an analysis of several of Plotinus' objections:
    • world-haters: too strong a summary of Plotinus' actual position (compare to Armstrong edition, which is mainly reliant on heresiological data); the actual critique of an intermediate material world as applicable to a broad Christian spectrum, not simply gnosticism;
    • magic: Plotinus' belief in and theory of magic; comparison with Clement of Alexandria;
    • Sophia: though typical gnostic mytheme, she is present outside gnostic tradition, as in the examples provided (Origen, Jewish tradition); thus her inclusion does not necessarily entail a gnostic identity of Plotinus' opponents.
I hope that this layout - which draws a distinction between the majority view and the objections raised by a significant minority - would be suitable for everyone. As before, please note any objections.
Since this dispute has been going on for some time, and both positions might potentially become entrenched, I'm going to post a request for a third opinion if things don't show signs of making headway towards a resolution comfortable for all. For this reason, I've run through the preceding debate and tidied up its presentation, without removing or altering content, thus making the course of the argument hopefully more easy to follow. Visual Error 13:32, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Note - I've moved Lovemonkey's response into a separate strand, below, and inserted the relevant quotes from my edit; agan, this is to make the argument easier to follow Visual Error 19:09, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
"related 'early Christian' hypothesis" Why? I have posted here that the A H Armstrong and M Puech clarified with the Nag Hammadi library that the gnostics in Plotinus' circle and the ones he was referring to in his "Against the Gnostics" were Sethian and Barbelognostics. Neither group where christian. But you posting here on wikiepdia about "Gnosticism" and Plotinus should know that. So in a section labeled Plotinus and Gnosticism why would you post anything about christianity when they were not the targets of the source of the article?
The original posted messaged that Plotinus was quiet about christians but spoke out against the gnostics in his academy seemed to me to be just fine. People can pick up the Enneads and read them for themselves.
There would follow the objections to this reading, culminating in the minority 'early Christian' view which apparently was advanced by Christos Evangeliou - what might be called the 'cautionary approach'.
Well for starters that would mean at the end of the exchange between Evangeliou and Armstrong that Dr Evangeliou's opinion remained unchanged as for Armstrong (post conference) I posted his. Since I have contacted Dr Evangeliou and he very kindly declined to contribute.. I really don't see why anyone should speculate. He is yet another in a long list of scholars that I have contacted who though they responded to me, humbly declined to come on wikipedia (well considering how you are still not listening and other "factors" on here, conduct wise I really no longer wonder). Man this is like trying to force feed somebody what they should already know before approaching the subject. But please, excuse my frustration.
"Re: Plotinus true intention wasn't to criticise world-hatred, but the expectation of an interemediate" By the above standard buddhists could be the target of Plotinus. Why engage in the embellishments that would be rather unethical, wouldn't it. Embellishments that appear to be based on taking an single argument and removing parts out of the arguement out of context to try and derive alternate conclusions.
Plotinus' objections to his opponents expectaton of an 'intermediate earth' is often incorrectly characterised as 'world-hatred'. The expectation of a future perfection of materiality is a typical Christian belief; however, given that the apparent gnostic endeavour was an escape from the material world, whose completion might be symbolised in a passing away of materiality and its governors (or, in the case of Valentinianism, it is arguably the removal of the 'error of perception' that misperceives materiality as separate and distinct to the divine being), it is difficult to see how one might square Plotinus' descriptions with a gnostic sect, without assuming greater fluidity to early Christian beliefs than was previously held.
This appears to you kinda still trying to prop up Michael Allen's argument. The problem is that Armstrong and M Puech stated that the Gnostics shared a library of secret text. The library they shared and then reinterrupted was the Sethian and Barbelo gnostic library.
Plotinus' intentions have occasionally been mis-represented, arguably even by Porphyry in his title to the tract (as noted above, Plotinus didn't specifically criticize his opponent's negative view of matter, but their expectation of an intermediate material universe), leading to an assumption of greater cohesion between Enn 2.9 and the typical traits of gnosticism than in fact might be said to exist.
This would once again imply that Porphyry was engaging in misconduct. I don't believe that Porphyry did any such thing. Once again Porphyry was very clear in the Life of Plotinus that the messages of Plotinus were built upon concepts. Just because you can apply the concept somewhere else does not mean that you have changed his over all intentions or message. I really don't understand why you need to break down the components of his message unless you are trying to change it in some way
several assumptions are made concerning the interchangability of the term 'gnostic' in antiquity and in its modern usage; whereas the latter exists in a broadly Christian context (we cannot but define gnosticism in comparison with the prevalent orthodox which it is set against), the former (in the case of Plotinus) exists in a Platonist context, and has a great deal of precedent usage as such (we might observe Plotinus' objection that his opponents derive all that is correct in their philosophy from Plato). This being the case, the assumption of a direct correspondence between Plotinus 'gnostics' and our own conception of 'gnosticism' is worthy of attention; especially when it is considered that Plotinus only used the phrase 'knowers' once in the tract, and that the appelation 'gnostic' was rarely, if ever, self-applied in antiquity by groups we would today categorise as 'gnosticism'. Indeed, (half-seriously) the description of Plotinus' opponents as 'gnostic' as much gives cause to doubt their gnostic status as to maintain it.'
The only example you have of this is Michael Williams' book Rethinking Gnosticism.
The problem is your conclusion and his are not the same. You conclusion is that the differences where miniscule and over time in light of current discoveries in essence meaningless. Allen's argument (which you should know and therefore stop misrepresenting it- is that because the followers of Gnosticism got labeled gnostics people get confused about who are "real" gnostics and what real Gnosticism is. So..............It would be better to label these people by that fact that they vilified Plato's Demiurge. Making them various sects of Demiurgical mythos followers.
I will try to return later and continue.. LoveMonkey 18:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Wow. If nothing else, it's nice to see people passionate about this material. --DanielCD 03:00, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Ha! That would include you DanielCD forgive me for lossing my socratian ethics/cool. LoveMonkey 02:17, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Further further suggestions

Again, moved and reorganised arguments for clarity - quotes in italics. Visual Error 10:26, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Plotinus did not characterise Sophia as a deity or God either, but merely as an aspect of 'Soul' that, according to his opponents, declined to materiality (though the root cause of this decline is unknown), and took up residence in human bodies. There is such an extent tradition in the Wisdom Songs, as noted directly below, and in the thought of Origen (in which 'Sophia-Christ' is the creative agency of God), which may cast doubt on it being an exclusively gnostic trait. Visual Error 13:32, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Can you not see the circular logic in your statement?
The lynchpin in the text "Against the Gnostics" by Plotinus that clearly identifies that the target was indeed "gnosticism" was that the "gnostics" made a diety of Sophia who then created the demiurge. I never stated nor implied that Plotinus characterised Sophia as a diety- no where. I stated that the "gnostics" most certainly did. So why the statement above? Origen never stated Jesus as the diety Sophia nor that such a diety "created" Plato's artist/craftsmen= demiurge. So why are you doing this?
Nor did Plotinus claim that soul's where trapped in alien bodies as prisoners of an ignorant creator of the material world. Plotinus and christianity most definitely have some familiar ground but not to the extreme of vilifing nature and the creator of nature as ignorant or evil. Now Valentinius is but one sect of gnosticism so his softer approach is but one in a group of very extreme vilification. LoveMonkey 02:45, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

You seem to misunderstand me. My point was precisely that which you are making: Plotinus characterised Sophia as a deity nowhere - including Ennead 2.9. The only mention of Sophia in that text runs thus:

They first maintain that the Soul and a certain "Wisdom" [Sophia] declined and entered this lower sphere though they leave us in doubt of whether the movement originated in Soul or in this Sophia of theirs, or whether the two are the same to them - then they tell us that the other Souls came down in the descent and that these members of Sophia took to themselves bodies, human bodies, for example (from the MacKenna/Page trans)

On the other hand, as you state, the gnostics (or, at least, several groups of them) venerated Sophia. Therefore, how does the isolated description of Sophia in the Ennead specify a gnostic tradition over, for example, Origen, or a Hebraic Wisdom tradition, in which (as I have said) Sophia is seen as a mediator for the divine creation and leaves the divine sphere to enter human bodies? (I've commented more fully on this above.) Furthermore, it is difficult to argue that this extract points to a tradition of 'gnosticism' when the fundamental establishments of such a religious category have been brought into question (see below).

As to your other points, I'll treat them separately:

Plotinus and christianity most definitely have some familiar ground but not to the extreme of vilifing nature and the creator of nature as ignorant or evil LoveMonkey

This is one of the central points I raised before: I'll do so again. By they way, I assume by 'nature' that you refer to the kosmos, and thus to Porphyry's title 'Against those who affirm the creator of the kosmos and the kosmos itself to be evil'. I'm also assuming that, by this point, you are arguing that Plotinus' central focus in the tract was to refute the notion of the world/creator as evil; since Christianity never possessed or argued for such a worldview, the target of Plotinus' assertions cannot be Christianity; however, since gnostics did, all of Plotinus' arguments must be against them. This, however, flies in the face of Armstrong's remark that much of what Plotinus says ‘is as sharply opposed to orthodox Christianity as to Gnosticism’ (Introductory Note to ‘Against the Gnostics’ in Plotinus, Enneads, trans. A.H. Armstrong, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966, 221). If, as you say, 'Plotinus and christianity most definitely have some familiar ground', whence this opposition?

The problem with the line of reasoning above is that Plotinus' criticism of his opponents wasn't due to their hatred or distaste for materiality, but rather for their philosophical inconsistency, in expecting an intermediate material world, better than this one and yet still not as good as the Intelligible world. Indeed, Plotinus himself arguably exhibited such matter-distaste elsewhere in the Enneads, and also in his personal behaviour as reported to us by Porphpry:

[Matter] is the substrate which underlies figures, forms, shapes, measures and limits, submitting itself to extraneous ordering, possessing no good of itself, a mere shadow in relation to Being, the very essence of Evil, if such is possible. (Ennead I.8.iii.)

As Williams has remarked ‘Who was in fact more optimistic about how much could actually be done to transform somatic experience, Plotinus or his “gnostic” opponents?’ (Michael Allen Williams, Rethinking “Gnosticism, 137).

However, it should be noted that Plotinus' dislike for matter was mainly an expression of a feeling of alienation within the world, rather than an active hatred (‘Man in the Cosmos’, Armstrong, A.H. (ed.), Plotinian and Christian Studies, London: Variorum, 1979, 7); one might note the caveat added to the excerpt from the Enneads above ('if such is possible'). In any case whatever his assessments of it, given that the material world was, to Plotinus, as good as possible within the limits of its constituent, to posit an intermediate world was, to him, completely invalid.

[W]hat earth could be better than this, after the intelligible earth? And what sphere could be more exact or better ordered in its circuit [than the sphere of the universe] after the … intelligible universe? (Ennead II.9.iv.)

Thus the summarisation of Plotinus' interest as being 'against world-vilifing' is to over-simplify his agenda to the point of incoherence, and to identify his opponents by simpistically referring to gnostic 'world-hatred' is both to ignore this fact and to impute to the gnostics a far less ambiguous relationship with reality than in fact they had.

As already mentioned, Armstrong himself noted that much of what Plotinus says is as opposed to orthodoxy as to gnosticism. Whereas previously this was seen as a matter of coincidence, modern scholars have come to consider the possibility that strictly identifying Plotinus' opponents as anything more than 'early Christian' is dangerous. This position was, you mentioned, held by such scholars as Christos Evangeliou, in which case I would suggest (as I suggested above) that it certainly bears mentioning in the article.

Well for starters that would mean at the end of the exchange between Evangeliou and Armstrong that Dr Evangeliou's opinion remained unchanged as for Armstrong (post conference) I posted his. Since I have contacted Dr Evangeliou and he very kindly declined to contribute. I really don't see why anyone should speculate. He is yet another in a long list of scholars that I have contacted who though they responded to me, humbly declined to come on wikipedia (well considering how you are still not listening and other "factors" on here, conduct wise I really no longer wonder). LoveMonkey

Firstly, if you have a problem with my conduct, then by all means report it. I don't think my conduct has been exemplary, but nor do I think it's been terrible. But if you honestly think I'm at serious fault, then don't bait me by hinting at it - have the courage of your convictions and act upon it.

Secondly, the fact that Dr Evangeliou did not contribute to Wikipedia, despite your invitation, is no reason whatsoever to consider that his considered opinion has altered, or to consider that Amrstrong's views become superior; this is not speculation, but just common sense. I would also venture to suggest that, if scholars would like to contribute to Wikipedia then it is their decision, and contacting them as you have done (especially given the precedent you demonstrated) is not necessarily the best way to invite their participation; some might say it's intrusive.

several assumptions are made concerning the interchangability of the term 'gnostic' in antiquity and in its modern usage; whereas the latter exists in a broadly Christian context (we cannot but define gnosticism in comparison with the prevalent orthodox which it is set against), the former (in the case of Plotinus) exists in a Platonist context, and has a great deal of precedent usage as such (we might observe Plotinus' objection that his opponents derive all that is correct in their philosophy from Plato). This being the case, the assumption of a direct correspondence between Plotinus 'gnostics' and our own conception of 'gnosticism' is worthy of attention; especially when it is considered that Plotinus only used the phrase 'knowers' once in the tract, and that the appelation 'gnostic' was rarely, if ever, self-applied in antiquity by groups we would today categorise as 'gnosticism'.VisualError
The only example you have of this is Michael Williams' book Rethinking Gnosticism. LoveMonkey

Incorrect. Though Williams certainly does argue for the status of 'gnosticism' as a flawed, modern typological construct bearing little resemblance to that which it denotes, he was not my sole source. Other main sources for this speculation were:

  • Morton Smith, ‘The History of the Term Gnostikos’ in The Rediscovery of Gnosticism (E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1981, 798-800); in which Smith describes the usage of 'gnostikos' within a Platonic tradition long before its usage by Christian heresiologists.
  • Christoph Markschies, Gnosis: An Introduction (trans. John Bowden, T & T Clark, London, 2001); in which Markschies both describes the term 'gnosis' as being extent within a Platonist tradition, and having little meaning outside it; and where Markschies also comments on the lack of correspondence between 'gnosticism' and ancient systems of 'gnosis': 'something was being called "gnosticism" that the ancient theologians had called "gnosis" ... [A] concept of gnosis had been created by Messina that was almost unusable in a historical sense (Markschies, Gnosis: An Introduction, 14-15)

I might also note that Williams' conclusion was not that 'because the followers of Gnosticism got labeled gnostics people get confused about who are "real" gnostics and what real Gnosticism is.' Rather, he investigates the traditions commonly referred to as 'gnostic' by modern scholars, by examining original 'gnostic' texts. He concludes that the construct "gnosticism" is not corroborated by any ancient self-definition by a 'gnostic' group (remember Clement), and many of the most commonly cited religious features that supposedly define 'gnosticism' phenomenologically turn out to be questionable. Thus he recommends that a new category, the 'Biblical demiurgical tradition', be instigated. He does not contend that there is confusion as what gnosticism is - he argues that 'gnosticism' itself is a barrier to understanding. Visual Error 10:26, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Yet even further down the spiral

  • As pertaining to Sophia- The word wisdom in Greek.

This is the words of A H Armstrong in the posting I made...

The Mother, Sophia-Achamoth, produced as a result of the complicated sequence of events which followed the fall of the higher Sophia, and her offspring the Demiurge, the inferier and ignorant maker of the material universe, are Valentinian figures.

I would note that the mother of the Demiurge is not the same use of the word wisdom that Plato, Plotinus, Clement, Origen used. Sophia-Achamoth. Note that Armstrong addresses your argument in the Synopsis...He states..

The absurdities of the Gnostic doctrine of the fall of "Wisdom" (Sophia) and of the generation and activities of the Demiurge, maker of the visible universe (chs. 10-12).

SO once again where in any of the writings of these mentioned individuals does it state that Origen was referring to Christ the wisdom of God as

The Mother, Sophia-Achamoth, produced as a result of the complicated sequence of events which followed the fall of the higher Sophia, and her offspring the Demiurge, the inferier and ignorant maker of the material universe,

Or Clement referred to Sophia and was stating

The Mother, Sophia-Achamoth, produced as a result of the complicated sequence of events which followed the fall of the higher Sophia, and her offspring the Demiurge, the inferier and ignorant maker of the material universe,

Or Plotinus and his restating of the oral tradition of Plato that the sophia that Plato spoke of was....

The Mother, Sophia-Achamoth, produced as a result of the complicated sequence of events which followed the fall of the higher Sophia, and her offspring the Demiurge, the inferier and ignorant maker of the material universe.

So as A H Armstrong clarified this is how Plotinus addressed the issue. No where but in these gnostic sects that Plotinus is addressing does any of the people you mention refer to Sophia as

The Mother, Sophia-Achamoth, produced as a result of the complicated sequence of events which followed the fall of the higher Sophia, and her offspring the Demiurge, the inferier and ignorant maker of the material universe.

Note Sophia in the Gnostic sects is not just a "Sophia is seen as a mediator for the divine creation and leaves the divine sphere to enter human bodies?" But also the creator of the Demiurge. Also if "Sophia is seen as a mediator for the divine creation and leaves the divine sphere to enter human bodies?" This would be in direct contradition to what Origen stated by Christ being God's wisdom. Plato, Plotinus, Clement and Origen used the word Sophia or Wisdom to mean different things but none of them used it to mean what the Gnostics did. Your arguing over the meaning of words and you are arguing in circular logic. You keep returning to the same points that have already been address and refuted.

Yet further still

No this is what Armstrong stated about Plotinus. This is the entire comment not just a part out of text...

"At this point in his attack Plotinus comes very close in some ways to the orthodox Christian opponents of Gnosticism, who also insist that this world is the good work of God in his goodness. But, here as on the question of salvation, the doctrine which Plotinus is defending is as sharply opposed on other ways to orthodox christianity as to Gnosticism: for he maintains not only the goodness of the material universe but also its eternity and its divinty.

The idea that the universe could have a beginning and end is inseparably connected in his mind with the idea that the divine action in making it is arbitrary and irrational. And to deny the divinity (though a subordinate and dependent divinity) of the World-Soul, and of those noblest of embodied living beings the heavenly bodies, seems to him both blasphemous and unreasonable."

No where does Plotinus imply that saying that the Kosmos ends is equal to saying that the kosmos and the creator of the kosmos are evil.

yep you guess it even further

Now as for Dr Evangeliou as I suggested from the very beginning go ahead and contact him. He is a very kind and wonderful person. Even if he disagrees with me, he will not engage in the type of conduct you have. As for if he agrees still with his conclusion from the Neoplatonic conference from what he stated it did not follow that he did, but then I could have misunderstood him. He is very kind and I wish him well. He would be able to give a great amount of input to wiki.

yes now just running full on into the blackness

You have a problem when you try to include Morton Smith and Michael Allen Williams together as validating sources. One Morton Smith has been accused of fabricating documents to further his belief that early christianity was libertine. Michael Allen Willaim's biggest complaint against the modern interp of Gnosticism is that it was unfairly mischaracterized as "libertine". You know the Gnostics in the Secret Gospel of Mark or the Apo of John accused the Christ of being a pedophile. Morton Smith believes this to be true and has banked his entire scholarship on it. http://www.christian-apologetics.org/html/Manuscripts%20and%20linencloths.htm

Michael Allen Willaims states that nothing in the Nag Hammadi text states that the Gnostics where liberatine. Only one christian apologist (not Irenius) is at fault really for the mischaracterization according to Michael Allen Williams.

Finally Yes

It would be real nice if we stuck to Philosophy or at least Plotinus sources when posting to Plotinus' bio. I have listed sources of Neoplatonic philosophy. You keep listing modern authors of books about Gnosticism who have yet to share and articulate the same option and point of view you wish to post here.

So we are here....

Plotinus (via A H Armstrong and many others) Stated in his "Against the Gnostics" In a whole and complete argument (though parts could be reinterrupted to apply to Buddhist, Hebrews, Taoist, Christians, and most tribal religions) But the argument as a whole is that he thought it needed to address the gnostics because. As A H Armstrong put it.

Short statement of the doctrine of the three hypostases, the One, Intellect and Soul; there cannot be more of fewer than these three. Criticism of the attempts to multiply the hypostases, and especially of the idea of two intellects, one which thinks and that other which thinks that it thinks. (ch. 1). The true doctrine of Soul (ch. 2). The law of necessary procession and the eternity of the universe (ch.3). Attack on the Gnostic doctrine of the making of the universe by a fallen soul, and on their despising of the universe and the heavenly bodies (chs. 4-5). The sense-less jargon of the Gnostics, their plagiarism from and perversion of Plato, and their insolent arrogance (ch. 6). The true doctrine about Universal Soul and the goodness of the universe which it forms and rules (chs. 7-8). Refutation of objections from the inequalities and injustices of human life (ch. 9). Ridiculous arrogance of the Gnostics who refuse to acknowledge the hierarchy of created gods and spirits and say that they alone are sons of God and superior to the heavens (ch. 9). The absurdities of the Gnostic doctrine of the fall of "Wisdom" (Sophia) and of the generation and activities of the Demiurge, maker of the visible universe (chs. 10-12). False and melodramatic Gnostic teaching about the cosmic spheres and their influence (ch. 13). The blasphemous falsity of the Gnostic claim to control the higher powers by magic and the absurdity of their claim to cure diseases by casting out demons (ch. 14). The false other-worldiness of the Gnostics leads to immorality (ch. 15). The true Platonic other-worldliness, which love and venerates the material universe in all its goodness and beauty as the most perfect possible image of the intelligible, contracted at length with the false, Gnostic, other-worldliness which hates and despises the material universe and its beauties (chs. 16-18).

Protect

I am currently asking about the status of the protect on this article. I'm giving a heads-up now so people will be prepared. What is the status of the issue here (and please, be concise: no page-long explainations)? Keep in mind it can always be re-protected once unprotected, so no one make plans to go to town. --DanielCD 17:43, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Well the status is in my opinion that Visualerror still refuses to accept what A H Armstrong has stated as well as Michael Puech. Visualerror has not posted another scholar (I had to tell him of one who has since, it would appear to me in correspondence with me, changed their mind and or moved on to other topics).

Smith does not question who the target of Plotinus' text is. Neither does Allen. Armstrong clarified who the target was and refuted every point that visualerror has tried to make. So at this point the choice is wikipedia's. It would also be nice if Visualerror stuck to Plato and Neoplatonic sources when speaking of Plotinus and not Gnostic ones. LoveMonkey 17:52, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

A fairly succinct explanation as to events was given by Goethean above DanielCD: see #Protected. Any chance you could offer a third opinion on all this, please? Visual Error 18:28, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, with her blessing, I think I am going to take over from Kate and dig into it, but I need some time to read the material here so I'll be up to speed with you guys. Perhaps by this evening I can remove the block, give me some time (lot's o' stuff to read!@). --DanielCD 19:07, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

PS in the name of sanity email me...Or post an email address that can take 4megs worth of content. I can send you scans...made into PDFs. The Armstrong I posted from the Enneads is mild compared to what he states in the Life of Plotinus and History of Greek philosophy. Armstrong VERY specifically addressed if Plotinus was talking about orthodox christianity in "History". PSSSS also I might just have Pythagoris, Proclus and IAMBLICHUS. LoveMonkey 04:22, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Iamblichus is my child, be gentle with him. I'm afraid if I remove the tag too soon ya'll will start the whoopla and make me look silly. Can ya'll behave? --DanielCD 04:26, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Hey dig on this groove... http://www.attan.com/didaskalikos.html Watchout though this is a very buddhist site (www.attan.com)and they don't dig on sectarian or cults... Are you looking for theurgy? Remove please anyone on the inside who has been clowned by the speculative cults. The kats in the know, know they don't know nothing hey baby thats how they got the name...;>) LoveMonkey 04:37, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

As for Iamblichus he was very righteous and VERY syncratic. You should become a Mason (hey you might already be one if so good for you). You know they really are nothing more then Neoplatonic Iamblichus Theurgy. Their good people. Pagan- but good people (ignore the deist front they ditch it at the higher levels). Me well I'm a greek nut.LoveMonkey 04:46, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

We're going to have to establish a dialogue here with more than just LoveMonkey and I before I'm going to venture a removal of the protection. --DanielCD 04:57, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Well thats your show. Oh wizard of Oz. All I can say is wikipedia is not the playground of the intellectual stars. It gets called the encyclopedia of retards unfortunately. I was here trying to prove that wrong when I get entangled by Mr Hitjob and his lucky trolls. You know yank on their chain and they call your work nonsense (ha Armstrong is nonsense). I really don't see a resolve. And in the end this is a perfect example to all who might wonder what is fatally flawed with wiki as a design. You see even if I am right it really does not matter. Because in order to cut down on revert wars -the obstinate party wins. Right or Wrong. LoveMonkey 05:17, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Oh and he (visualerror) started it. LoveMonkey 05:18, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

No worries, DanielCD - if you remove the protection, I don't think I'll be making any edits to the main article at all until this dispute has been resolved. Visual Error 09:31, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Temporary terms of Protection removal

All I want to do is tinker with the article. But I'm seeing someone pacing with steak knives and licking their chops. If I unprotect the article, and questionable material is added or slashed, I am going to consider my protect removal the first edit, whereby making any flood of new material technically the first revert. In this way, if drastic/compicated/controversial edits are made three times without advanced (reasonable/consensus) discussion, and I have to revert it three times, I'm going to place the 3RR on the hands of the said "adder" of material and block him/her on those grounds. As I'm giving advance notice, I think this is entirely fair. All major or potentially controversial additions/revisions at this time are to be discussed beforehand, and a consensus reached. When I'm confident things have settled, we'll nullify all this and revert to normal community rules.

In this interim period there should be little editing. Let's let issues rearise and try not to resurrect the old ones for the moment. I would like to see a balance/equilibrium be reached before any more controversy.

As we are all civil adults here, I think we can all agree that anyone in violation of these grounds is being disruptive and it would be better to block the said person than the article. Why should we all have to suffer for one person? Besides, none of us are that person, so we have no worries.

If there's a problem with this reasoning, LMK. --DanielCD 15:49, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

This section is a mess: Plotinus and the gnostics. It's got way too much garbage in it and needs to be wittled down. --DanielCD 20:46, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Reversion

As I don't want to see this article languish in an unacceptable state, I've reverted the P and Gnosticism section to one before LoveMonkey came.

NOW this is not saying LoveMonkey's concerns are off, nor is it a hands down endorsement of the version there. I'm just saying I'd rather have something somewhat readable there to start off fresh. If there is controversy over whom Plotinus was referring to somewhere, there's no reason we can't all work together and add the appropriate notations to that regard. Let's make this article a piece that will shine.

And please be civil and don't start the edit war again. That will just put us right back in the same spot in a week. Please voice concerns with it as it is. --DanielCD 01:11, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

No, you reverted the section back to the nonsense it was before the rebutes I offered via the text I read. NEOPLATONIC text. Let me be very clear YOU DanielCD an administrator for wikipedia remove A H Armstrong's introduction to Against the Gnostics. The administrator for wikipedia has spoken. I have taken enough @#$% over this- you win I'm done. Wikipedia has an occult bias, I was hoping I was wrong. I wasn't. LoveMonkey 07:04, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

What? Good grief. I thought I had pre-addressed the issues you are bringing up, but perhaps I wasn't clear enough (despite my best attempts).
  • NOW this is not saying LoveMonkey's concerns are off, nor is it a hands down endorsement of the version there.
  • I'm just saying ... [let's] start off fresh.
  • If there is controversy ... there's no reason we can't all work together...
  • Please voice concerns with it as it is.
Is this stuff so cryptic as that?
The administrator for wikipedia has spoken.
I'm not here in the guise of an "administrator" other than not to let the article get torn to shreds by anyone, it's not specific to you, and by that all I can do is protect it. Other than having more experience editing, there's nothing that gives me any advantage over normal editors. I laid some clear groundrules, and gave room for any comments/ctiricism, but since things have been quiet, I thought we could re-start and step the debate back up a notch. You could have asked for me to resore some of the material; why didn't you try that? I'm no "article policeman", you're free to refute anything I say, and I have tried to bend over to make this clear. --DanielCD 15:28, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Plotinus and the gnostics #2

It is a popular view that Plotinus was an opponent of Gnosticism, and the ninth tractate in his second Ennead "Against Those that Affirm the Creator of the Kosmos and the Kosmos Itself to Be Evil" is typically presented with the abbreviated title "Against the Gnostics" or variations thereof. Despite this, it remains that there is little evidence from the text that definitively identifies Plotinus' intended opponents during the formation of this tract: indeed, the word γνωσθήσετσι ('the gnostics') only occurs once in the original Greek text, a fact not always accurately reflected in translation. For example, though in A.H. Armstrong's translation 'gnostic' occurs eleven times in this tractate, most of these instances are editorial emendations for neutral phrases such as 'they' (αύτούς) or 'the others' (των αλων).

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Plotinus very clearly stated that he did not want to discuss the matter at length. He stated that he would be very specific in addressing the issues and move on. 1. The above statement implies that Plotinus and Porphyry did not know the difference between "Gnosticism" and "christianity". They did! Very clearly, so much so that Porphyry know the difference, well enough to write "Against the Christians". Porphyry never accuses the christians of misrepresenting the Demiurge (like the Gnostics did). 2. Now Plotinus critized not just the word "gnostic" because that word still has other meanings in the Koine Greek language. Meanings that are not related to "Gnosticism" not the sects or cults who claimed such a thing. This is another reason why Plotinus is worded the way it is. Because the "gnostics" he is referring to are a group of people who have perverted Platonic teachings. In specific Platos teaching of the Demiurge and Sophia. The Gnostics Plotinus is referring to claim as he points out that a so called "Sophia" created the Demiurge. No where but Gnosticism is such a destinction made. LoveMonkey 14:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC) ///////////////////////////////////////////////////

In the past, the identification of Plotinus' opponents as 'Gnostic' was primarily reliant on Porphyry's description of them as antagonistic to materiality in the tract's title, which was squared with the traditional assumption of gnostic systems as uniformly exhibiting such a trait. However, the supposition made in such a claim, that orthodox christianity and gnosticism were completely separate and distinct traditions in the 3rd century, is open to challenge. The Council of Nicaea, which both established the legal status of orthodox Christianity within the Roman Empire s held by Emperor Constantine in 325; the 3rd Synod of Carthage, which formalised the scriptural canon which was the basis of orthodoxy in 397, over half a century after Plotinus' death.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// This is completely untrue. No where in the writings of Plotinus' students Proclus, Porphyry, Iamblichus do they state that Plotinus was misrepresented. Nor in the writings of George Gemistos Plethon who could have really exploited such a thing to his advantage. Mr Gardnier/visualerror is confusing Celsius with Plotinus. As for orthodoxy, Armstrong addressed this in his life of Plotinus (which I need to add in the references but the page was locked). THERE IS NO CONNECTION. Also there is in each of the ancient churches a rich history that details the churches fights against heresies. These fights are documented and many existed before the legalization of christianity. It seems that even alittle bit of objectivity and fairness to the subject would show the absolute lunacy in this argument for obvious reasons. One really really really really big one would be Irenaeus since he lived and died long long long before christianity was legalized. Now up until the 1900s there was no definite "gnosticism" writings EXCEPT Irenaeus. So make up your mind!!!!!! Either Irenaeus is an example of orthodoxy which then at the very least put it at around 150 ad to 200 ad or he isn't. Orthodoxy obviously existed before the Councel at Niceae. LoveMonkey 14:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC) ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

In fact, the lack of uniformity in ancient Christian scripture during the early period is very striking, and it points to a substantial diversity within the early Christian religon. Although it is historically correct to speak of early Christianity as one religion, it can also be described as a complex network of individual parties, groups, sect or denominations. (Bentley Layton, The Gnostic Scriptures, SCM Press, London, 1987, xviii)

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Your dogma ran over my karma. Dogma was something that happened over time to clarify what made someone's teachings correct or incorrect. It is amazing on how organized religion gets nailed for having dogma and then also ridiculed for not having dogma. Talk about failed logic. There is zero in the the above statement that is fact. At best it is pure speculation, at worst blatant bias. Just because there was no dogma does not make dogma absences indicative of non uniformativity in the early church. Thats speculation that can not be backed up with archeology. The early church did not state that nature was a prison and that Yahweh and the Demiurge where fallen gods and that the serpent in the graden of eden was really trying to save adam and eve. Gnosticism is a pagan and Hebrew set of sects that spilled over into some early christianity. It has a history which is to incorporate other religions into it and its kosmology. This is one of the things Plotinus attacked because the "gnostics" origin of Platos demiurge being an ignorant fallen god and (being from Sophia a diety) was wrong. LoveMonkey 14:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC) //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

The matter becomes still more complicated when it is recognised that much of Plotinus' objections are as pertinent to early 'orthodox' Christian theoretics as to 'gnostic' ones. For example, Plotinus’ specific objection to his opponents' conception of matter (from which the tract's title derives) lies not in their negative assessment of it, but in their expectation of a material universe superior to the existent one:

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Not so. The physical world was rejected by "Gnosticism" as evil, wrong, a trap, a bad place made by a false and or lesser god. As well as the "gnostics" hatred of their own bodies. Plotinus and christianity did not claim that their bodies where evil. Only that their bodies and nature had pitfalls and one must learn to displine ones self as a part of their "salvation". Orthodoxy never stated Yahweh or the demiurge where evil, fallen, wrong. Let alone as some "gnostic" sects that Yahweh and the demiurge where the devil. LoveMonkey 14:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC) ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

[W]hat earth could be better than this, after the intelligible earth? And what sphere could be more exact or better ordered in its circuit [than the sphere of the universe] after the … intelligible universe?' (The Enneads, Ennead II, tractate 9, iv)
To Plotinus, the Intelligible universe cannot but be better than the material one that is apparent to the senses; it is his opponent’s expectation of an intermediate material earth, still inferior to the Intelligible but superior to the current one, that causes his exasperation. Thus Porphyry's title appears to oversimplify the point of his master's contention.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////// It again appears that this statement is made in either outright ignorants or bias. To keep it simple "Against the Gnostics" isn't the only place in the writings of Plotinus where the "gnostics" are discussed. Albeit not allot is covered about them at all in contrast to the rest of Plotinus' writings but this was addressed directly by the Armstrong I posted. LoveMonkey 14:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC) ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

One may take another example, in which Plotinus criticises his opponent's conception of creation. In itself Plotinus finds the notion of creation ex nihilo objectionable since, inspired by Plato's philosophy, he conceives of an eternal universe in which the process of creation ex deo (see above) occurs constantly. However, his commentary exhibits other, more subtle contentions:
But if it was by forming a rational conception of the universe that [Soul] was able to illumine [create] as a result of its rational conception, why did it not make the universe at the same time as it illumined, instead of waiting for the production of the images? (The Enneads, Ennead II, tractate 9, xi)

////////////////////////////////////////// This above is of course out of context because as the greek's would have stated it. "Chaos begot Eros and Eros begot the gods." To swipe away this with nonsense like Plotinus did not believe in ex nihilo is ridiculious. This is an argument detached from an understanding of Plato and Plato's source or energy. What would be better to understand is that consciousness in Plotinus and Plato's world is not a loop. It is not to be reduced to Birth, school, work, death. Rinse repeat. Man has in Plotinus a higher purpose if he chooses to follow it. To find that purpose man must fullfill his work and tasks. No man is given such higher purpose "just cause". Man must be challenged and he must do the "right" things. Man is not given infinite chances to reconcile. Yes to be with the heros of old. Anyone needed it spelled out should read Phaedo. LoveMonkey 14:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC) /////////////////////////////////////////

The particular problem here is not specifically that of the rational conception of the universe prior to its creation; it is simply that the rational conception of the universe should be sufficient to immediately impel the process of creation. His opponents describe the universe’s rational conception in the mind of its creator as a separate, preparatory stage in its creation, not as directly concordant with creation itself; to Plotinus, this is absurd.

////////////////////////////////////// What? And you talk about full of incomprehisible garbage. What would you call this?Separate Gnostics yes but Hebrews and christians NO. LoveMonkey 14:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC) //////////////////////////////////////

Such a 'staggered' mode of creation occurs in the theoretic of Clement of Alexandria, an orthodox Church Father, in which the Logos (of which Clement posits three phases: first antemundane, second antemundane and mundane) fashions the material universe by rationally comprehending itself: ‘[t]he power of comprehension is the agency of the formative power of the Logos’ (Robert M. Berchman, From Philo to Origen: Middle Platonism in Transition, 59). Though this is not to suggest that Clement is the target of Plotinus' accusations, the example serves to demonstrate that the identification of Plotinus' opponents as being anything more than 'early Christians' is not without several points of contention. (For more on this subject, refer to the article on Gnosticism.)

//////////////////////////////////////////// Staggered mode? This is worse blah blah blah then my blah blah blah..What the !@#$. To compare the logos of God from Philo and the early church and the vilification of Platos demiruge by the Gnostics seems to contradict itself. The logos was the concept in the mind of God for which God created this existence. It seems that Mr Gradnier/visualerror wants to add to Plotinus allot of undue luggage. Comparative religious studies are fine and whatever. But why are they being engaged in on a bio page for Plotinus? This above is a long shot and theory based on speculation at best. I understand that Plotinus and Plato separated the ideas of existences experienced by consciousness and time (well Aristotle more on that) but this does not take away that the WHOLE treatise with all of its parts added up to a sum total- directed at the Gnostics of Plotinus' time. The above does not do anything but fill space. LoveMonkey 14:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC) /////////////////////////////////////////////

Here, I just took it all out. I really am not over-particular about what's there at this point as long as it is readable and reasonable.

However, if LoveMonkey or no one else shows interest, I'll just edit this as I see fit, sans any criticism I may miss, and put it back in a day or two. The cards are on the table now, and once the window closes, the burden of proof will be squarly on any opposition's shoulders. I think I'm being fair, but please point it out if I'm missing anything.

And note: just because I take charge doesn't by any means mean I am in charge. --DanielCD 15:36, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

@#$% what I am supposed to think? Let me clarify. Every point in this above article was refuted BY A H Armstrong. The refutation to the above speculation was addressed and refuted. Did you read his introduction before you removed it? Those are not my words they are the words of Armstrong. Why did you state they "where full of allot of garbage"? But for fun I will make notes again but please read through the above as best as possible. I am getting tire of all this work and having to repeat. Let also state if you had not done such an excellent job on Phaedo I would not have returned. Although I have some problems with it. Old Socrates was done with a great deal of respect (which warms my heart) I love that old man so very much. As for Plotinus have you no love for the Hellenius for A Lee Ness?LoveMonkey 14:47, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

And now why is the Neoplatonism and Gnosticism article being deleted? I am trying to expand it to include what we have covered. Not just the book. Although the book is definitive. @#$% LoveMonkey 16:43, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

I suggest that visualerrors point and or points be addressed under the link Neoplatonism and Gnosticism. I suggest they be added to the section on Brother Christos. I suggest that it be also mention that A H Armstrong addressed not only Dr Evengilos but also a like argument made by none other then Richard Wallis himself in his book on Philosophy from 1971. (If only these guys would research and read). I suggest that Plotinus be reverted back to pre visualerror new age lunacy. Where it stated Plotinus while attacking the Gnostics did not attack the christians of his time ; he left that to Porphyry. Then a link to the whole bloody mess added underneath to the subject of Neoplatonism and Gnosticism. LoveMonkey 14:45, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Maybe you could look at the Stanford ONline Pilosphy encyclopedia to get a really rough idea about how much attention to pay to all this stuff. How much attention do they pay to it? The whole thing chould be digested to a few lines. Not many people who read this are going to want to dive into the material so deeply. Most are simply going to want a strong overview. Perhaps make a side page from your user page and draft a new section, much briefer if possible, and then suggest it here as a compromise. I expect it's difficult for anyone not extremely versed in the material to be much help in sorting out such things, so perhaps a short, concise addition just giving the highlights would be of use ...?? --Shadow Puppet 14:56, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Brilliantly stated. I completely agree. But I hope that I could get some help. You see this stuff isn't real surface like material. In order to do it justice it ends up sometimes getting wordy. But I really wish I had the ablitity to articulate it so it was short and sweet. LoveMonkey 13:09, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Good lord who cares but a bunch of nerds?

Actually, I entirely agree with you Shadow Puppet - I think this entire issue has become inflated beyond all reasonable need. I think a single paragraph summary of the competing scholarly positions would be more than adequate, given that the issue itself doesn't directly elucidate Plotinus' thought or philosophy, but relates to it only obliquely, and wouldn't be of interest save to the most avid student of Neoplatonism or Gnosticism. Perhaps, if a separate article were present (as it might be eventually) the extent of the commentary wouldn't be amiss, but in the context of the current article it seems totally excessive. Visual Error 23:16, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
See Neoplatonism and Gnosticism, where LoveMonkey has been monking his love. This is the title at which the controversial text should be posted.--shtove 00:05, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree on most of what you submit structure of the article, wise. It would be nice to clarify what is going on here though. WOULDN'T IT! You would be missing the point. Plotinus REALLY was attacking Gnosticism. Plotinus was doing so because he considered it a bad thing. Without clarifing, people begin to make the whole thing ambigious. If you feel better about picking up the arguement where it was in the 1960s and 1970s then good for you. I think it best you do YOUR homework and stop expecting it from me. Plotinus and the whole Neoplatonic movement wanted to restore Hellenistic Paganism as the prime philosophy and religion of the empire. Plotnius also wanted to show how Gnosticism had hi jacked everything Greek and made the Greek God of creation out to be dumb or evil. Nor is this existence your person or body- a prison. If it was then how come you can leave whenever you choose by killing yourself and then just going on up to paradise if Gnosticism is right. If you really believe it why sweat it you can end it all whenever you choose (plotinus). If you can't figure that out from reading his "Against the Gnostics" sorry. Oh and also the Hebrews DO NOT WORSHIP THE DEVIL. But that's for another Gnosticism thread. LoveMonkey 13:09, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Think the "nerds" idea is a little misled. Saying we need to be concise and economical in our language doesn't by any means mean we are belitting the subject at hand.
Now let's not get off into a snapping session here. We're making some progress (Good grief I wish I had more time to help). Let's not second guess each other's intentions, as we are all plainly here in good faith. Our methods and ideas differ, but we should be able to work that out. Hebrews don't worship the devil, but research didn't stop with Loeb. I promise to try to read this today. --DanielCD 15:07, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Well that really @#$%ed me off at the Gnostics when I read it. I mean next you'll have people posting about nihilism as a religion. LoveMonkey 17:10, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

PS DanielCD -Hey uh we are going to run into alittle problem soon. A energy problem. It looks like the article on phaedo is missing the discussion on WASPS. I understand if you feel alittle apprehensive about the whole Aristophanes thing but... The argument is going to go to hypostasis and energy and I could use it for reference.. LoveMonkey 17:19, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Panjade 02:44, 4 November 2006 (UTC)−==Neoplatonism and gnosticism== The following passage sounds like it was lifted from a book:

The particular problem here is not specifically that of the rational conception of the universe prior to its creation; it is simply that the rational conception of the universe should be sufficient to immediately impel the process of creation. His opponents describe the universe's rational conception in the mind of its creator as a separate, preparatory stage in its creation, not as directly concordant with creation itself; to Plotinus, this is absurd. Such a criticism could also be leveled against the Judaism of Plotinus' time, however.

Even if the source is referenced, the article needs to say if this is a direct quotation. — goethean 22:22, 11 April 2006 (UTC)


It certainly does. I thought Armstrong was the likely victim, but I did not find this passage where I suspected. The writing style sounds like J. Dillon. That's a compliment if it was not plagarized. I did find that the content list in this section (1 to 10) is directly copied word for word from Armstrong's introduction to Against the Gnostics, in Ennead II of the Harvard edition, p. 222 (copywrite 1966). Zeusnoos 03:25, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to comment the section out. — goethean 14:44, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

User:LoveMonkey reverted my change. LoveMonkey, as you know, I commented out the paragraph because the consensus on the talk page is that you probably didn't write it. Who wrote it? — goethean 19:15, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Hey I went back and looked and can't find where it came from. So Zeusnoos is the comment valid or not. Also my edition of enneads is from the late eights. LoveMonkey 21:12, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Quotations must be indicated as such. You did not indicate that it was quoted from the book. Please read Wikipedia:Copyrights. Your recent edits will have to be cleaned up by someone who has familiarized themselves with the Wikipedia Manual of Style. Please have a little bit of respect for your fellow editors by properly documenting your edits. Wikipedia is not about cutting-and-pasting text from various websites. — goethean 21:17, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Once again anybody want scans? LoveMonkey 21:13, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Since User:LoveMonkey seems unable to tell us which parts of his text are quotations from books and which are his own writing, or the page numbers of the books that he is quoting, I suggest that his entire section be removed and re-written. — goethean 21:20, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Well no suprise there. I can source ever word. I suggest that Goethan stop asking for a standard that no entry on wiki can live up to for one. And second I POSTED AS THIS ENTIRE SECTION AH Armsrong and you Goethan removed it as incoherent. LoveMonkey 21:27, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

And second I POSTED AS THIS ENTIRE SECTION AH Armsrong
That doesn't make any sense. Is the entire section that you sourced to Armstrong a quotation? — goethean 21:38, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Armstrong's introduction to Plotinus' Enneads tract "Against the gnostics". Look Goeth I know your a mason/gnostic. I respect that. Believe what you want. Fact is Plotinus' circle went on and was just as vicious to christians. Chillout alittle bit. Your looking obviously bias. All you need to do now is threaten me and everything everyone ever said about your frat will be true. You know conspiracies & abuses of power. My friends and relatives are mason/gnostics so what? EVERYBODY KNOWS Goeth. Pick your battles and stop with the hotheaded browbeating. Please now Goeth "mr new age" decides on what is and is not on wiki? Not even. I don't hate you hey who noos you and zeusnoos might be frat brothers? ;) LoveMonkey 23:19, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Come on now this is getting out hand. Watch out now or I'll have to call in Sephiram XI. <cough> seraphim xi <cough> Please..(I'm kidding Goethan) LoveMonkey 23:19, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Please stop the personal attacks and discuss the content of the article. I will ask you again. Is the entire section entitled "Plotinus and the gnostics" quoted from Armstrong's book and Turner's article, or did you write any of it? If you wrote some of it, we need to know which sections are quoted and which you wrote. If someone else wrote parts of it, we need to know which sections and who wrote them. If you cannot or will not give us this information, the section must be deleted. — goethean 14:56, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Template:User/panjadewhat of the Roman Emporer Julian Augustus who is buried in constantinople previously Byzantine and the influence plotinus had on him or is this subject taboo to the galileans and hidden in shame 4nov 06

plotinus2

Stop with the revert wars, personal attacks, deletion requests of my content. I have yet to alter your content I have yet to request that it be deleted. I have yet to go on your content talk pages and threaten to delete content that is not word for word sourced. "We need to know which sections are quoted and which you wrote". We who? LoveMonkey 18:18, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


I have yet to go on your content talk pages and threaten to delete content that is not word for word sourced.
I suggest that you read Wikistalking#Wikistalking before you do so.
LoveMonkey, are you going to tell us which sections of the text are quoted or not? — goethean 18:24, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I have went to visualerrors personal page and posted an apology. As for what I have contributed it is sourced in neoplatonicism and gnosticism the book, A H Armstrong's Enneads and John D Turner. Zeusnoos can validate it. LoveMonkey 21:44, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Now again. Stop with the revert wars, personal attacks, deletion requests of my content ALL OF WHICH IS DISRUPTIVE. I have yet to alter your content/articles. I have yet to request that any be deleted. I have yet to go on your content talk pages and threaten to delete content that is not word for word sourced. "We need to know which sections are quoted and which you wrote". We who?LoveMonkey 21:48, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

PS Zeusnoos my Enneads editions are from 1989 thats the revision date on the edition page. LoveMonkey 02:18, 14 April 2006 (UTC) [[panjade}} thankyou for mentioning Plotinuus ie revival of the Hellinest Julian Augustas Caesar

Protection

I've protected the page because of the reverting. All parties need to provide reputable sources for their edits, and write the material up in an encyclopedic tone, sticking very closely to what the sources say. Doing that tends to solve most editing conflicts, though not all, of course. :-) Please let me know when you're ready to start editing again, or you can request unprotection on WP:RfPP. Cheers, SlimVirgin (talk) 22:35, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Plotinus and the Gnostics sourcing

Section 1 It is a popular view that Plotinus was an opponent of Gnosticism, and the ninth tractate in his second Ennead "Against Those that Affirm the Creator of the Kosmos and the Kosmos Itself to Be Evil" is typically presented with the abbreviated title "Against the Gnostics" or variations thereof. Despite this, it remains that there is little use of the word gnostics from the text that identifies Plotinus' intended opponents during the formation of this tract. Indeed, the word γνωσθήσετσι ('the Gnostics') only occurs once in the original Greek text, a fact not always accurately reflected in translation. For example, though in A.H. Armstrong's translation 'gnostic' occurs eleven times in this tractate, most of these instances are editorial emendations for neutral phrases such as 'they' (αύτούς) or 'the others' (των αλων). End of Section 1

Section 1 comment This above part was written by Visualerror. I have no source material to back up this original research. Since you Goethean keep reverting back to it I was trying to address it with the work of the most pre eminent scholar in the field A H Armstrongs own words to compromise and try to work with not against. End of section 1 comment.

Section 2 Though A. H. Armstrong addresses this concern in his translation of the Enneads in his version of the tract's introduction. End of section 2

Section 2 comment "This above is mine I then reference word for word AH Armstrong's introduction to the the Tract "Against Those That Affirm the Creator of the Kosmos and the Kosmos Itself to be Evil" [generally quoted as "Against the Gnostics"]" End of section 2 comment

Section 3 [[- # Attack on the Gnostic doctrine of the making of the universe by a fallen soul, and on their despising of the universe and the heavenly bodies (chs. 4-5). - # The senseless jargon of the Gnostics, their plagiarism from and perversion of Plato, and their insolent arrogance (ch. 6). - # The true doctrine about Universal Soul and the goodness of the universe which it forms and rules (chs. 7-8). - # Refutation of objections from the inequalities and injustices of human life (ch. 9). - # Ridiculous arrogance of the Gnostics who refuse to acknowledge the hierarchy of created gods and spirits and say that they alone are sons of God and superior to the heavens (ch. 9). - # The absurdities of the Gnostic doctrine of the fall of "Wisdom" (Sophia) and of the generation and activities of the Demiurge, maker of the visible universe (chs. 10-12). - # False and melodramatic Gnostic teaching about the cosmic spheres and their influence (ch. 13). - # The blasphemous falsity of the Gnostic claim to control the higher powers by magic and the absurdity of their claim to cure diseases by casting out demons (ch. 14). - # The false other-worldiness of the Gnostics leads to immorality (ch. 15). - # The true Platonic other-worldliness, which love and venerates the material universe in all its goodness and beauty as the most perfect possible image of the intelligible, contracted at length with the false, Gnostic, other-worldliness which hates and despises the material universe and its beauties (chs. 16-18). ]] End of section 3

Section 3 comment This section above is word for word from "A H Armstrong's introduction to the the Tract "Against Those That Affirm the Creator of the Kosmos and the Kosmos Itself to be Evil" [generally quoted as "Against the Gnostics"]" These are A H Armstrong's points not mine. The point identify the target of plotinus to be various sectarians of gnostics End of Section 3 comment

Section 4 These points are specific to the Gnostics as sectarians who had a shared theology based in the Gnostic Sethian library and confirmed by the work of M Puech-Valentinian treatise: ep. Puech, Le pp. 162-163 and 179-180. End of Section 4

Section 4 comment "This is the footnote from A H Armstrong. I have abreviated nothing. If you would like to know about M Puech's research ask Zeusnoos. This work is what A H Armstrong noted in his translation of the Enneads as the work that he based his identification of the shared library of the gnostics being sethian gnostic." End of section 4 comment.

Section 5 [[The matter can become more complicated if it is recognised that some of Plotinus' objections are as pertinent to early Christian theologies as to 'Gnostic' ones. For example, Plotinus' specific objection to his opponents' conception of matter (from which the tract's title derives) lies not just in their negative assessment of it, but also in their expectation of a material universe superior to the existent one: ]] [[- - : [W]hat earth could be better than this, after the intelligible earth? And what sphere could be more exact or better ordered in its circuit [than the sphere of the universe] after the...intelligible universe?' (The Enneads, Ennead II, tractate 9, iv - - To Plotinus, the Intelligible universe cannot but be better than the material one that is apparent to the senses; it is his opponent’s expectation of an intermediate material earth, still inferior to the Intelligible but superior to the current one, that causes his exasperation. Thus Porphyry's title appears to oversimplify the point of his master's contention.]] End of Section 5

Section 5 comment More of the text Goethean kepts reverting back to. I have no source to validate the above. This is why I have been fighting. I tried to compromise and use the comments made by A H Armstrong in his introduction of his translation of the Enneads "A H Armstrong's introduction to the the Tract "Against Those That Affirm the Creator of the Kosmos and the Kosmos Itself to be Evil" [generally quoted as "Against the Gnostics"] to address the original research posted by Visual Error since Goethean and shtove would not allow my contributions I tried to compromise and address visualerrors posted concerns not from my own opinion but from the words of scholar and translator of the Enneads A H Armstrong. End of section 5 comment.

Section 6 - This is also addressed in A. H. Armstrong's translation of the Enneads and Armstrong's introduction to the tract. - - : Plotinus comes very close in some ways to the orthodox Christian opponents of Gnosticism, who also insist that this world is the good work of God in his goodness. But, here as on the question of salvation, the doctrine which Plotinus is defending is as sharply opposed on other ways to orthodox christianity as to Gnosticism: for he maintains not only the goodness of the material universe but also its eternity and its divinty. - End of section 6

Section 6 comment This is word for word A H Armstrong in his introduction to the Enneads as I have been quoting already. End of section 6 comment

Section 7 - In another example, Plotinus criticises his opponent's conception of creation. Plotinus finds the notion of creation ex nihilo objectionable in itself since, inspired by Plato's philosophy, he conceives of an eternal universe in which the process of creation ex deo (see above) occurs constantly. However, his commentary exhibits other, more subtle contentions: - - :But if it was by forming a rational conception of the universe that [Soul] was able to illumine [create] as a result of its rational conception, why did it not make the universe at the same time as it illumined, instead of waiting for the production of the images? (The Enneads, Ennead II, tractate 9, xi) - - End of Section 7

Section 7 comment Again the above was contributed by visualerror. I have no way to validate his conclusions. I can only address them which is what I did from the edition of Plotinus' Enneads that I have as translated by A H Armstrong. End of section 7 comment.

Section 8 Such a criticism could also be leveled against the Judaism of Plotinus' time, however. End of section 8

Section 8 comment So tell me that this comment is invalid? How does one source the obvious? End of Section 8 comment.

Section 9 - A.H. Armstrong also made this footnote. - - This is what the scholar A. H. Lawrence wrote as a footnote in his translation of Plotinus' Enneads in the tract named against the Gnostics. - - - Footnote from - Page 264 - 1. From this point to the end of ch.12 Plotinus is attacking a Gnostic myth known to us best - at present in the form it took in the system of Valentinus. The Mother, Sophia-Achamoth, - produced as a result of the complicated sequence of events which followed the fall of the - higher Sophia, and her offspring the Demiurge, the inferier and ignorant maker of the - material universe, are Valentinian figures: cp. Irenaues adv. Haer 1.4 and 5. Valentinius - had been in Rome, and there is nothing improbable in the presence of Valentinians there in - the time of Plotinus. But the evidence in the Life ch.16 suggests that the Gnostics in - Plotinus's circle belonged rather to the other group called Sethians on Archonties, related - to the Ophites or Barbelognostics: they probably called themselves simply "Gnostics." - Gnostic sects borrowed freely from each other, and it is likely that Valentinius took some - of his ideas about Sophia from older Gnostic sources, and that his ideas in turn influenced - other Gnostics. The probably Sethian Gnostic library discovered at Nag Hammadi included - Valentinian treatise: ep. Puech, Le pp. 162-163 and 179-180. End of Section 9

Section 9 comments This is word for word a footnote to Plotinus' as translated by - A.H. Armstrong's introduction to the Enneads gives more evidence to identify Plotinus' target as Gnostics[1]

As for the John D Turner's comments they are from his website as I showed. John D Turner very specifically shows that Plotinus with his Enneads as well as his disciple Porphyry and Amelius attacked the sethian gnostics. John D Turner's comments speak for themselves. I used the most pre eminent of scholars on Plotinus' words and works A H Armstrong and Armstrongs points to validate that the original research that visualerror was posting was not valid. Maybe Zeusnoos can help here, in that I know of no current scholar purposing any of the points visualerror made. I then also used a pre eminent scholar of the Nag Hammadi's text and whos' current to also validate that the target of Plotinus' Against the Gnostics where indeed Gnostics and not as visualerror was posting "early christianity". You can disagree goethean but you should at least provide sources that validate you removing the words of A H Armstrong and John D Turner. Your justification for removing Armstrongs was they where incoherent. Like I have stated I respect your opinion. I also apologize if I have offended you. Your group where ignoring my points I knew of no other way. But please at least acknowledge the words and the works of these 2 Esteemed scholars in the field of neoplatonism. I believe in volunteerism I want Wikipedia to work. I am putting my time and work up to do that. But this is becoming impossible. LoveMonkey 13:58, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Fairuse///////// Text Brief, attributed quotations of copyrighted text used to illustrate a point, establish context, or attribute a point of view or idea may be used under fair use. Text must be used verbatim: any alterations must be clearly marked as an elipsis ([...]) or insertion ([added text]) or change of emphasis (emphasis added). All copyrighted text must be attributed.

In general, extensive quotation of copyrighted news materials (such as newspapers and wire services), movie scripts, or any other copyrighted text is not fair use and is prohibited by Wikipedia policy. ////

I would like to know what I need to do to put the quotes I used inline with this. Since I have repeated stated before the text.. I then reference word for word AH Armstrong's introduction to the the Tract "Against Those That Affirm the Creator of the Kosmos and the Kosmos Itself to be Evil" [generally quoted as "Against the Gnostics"]" If this is the improper way could someone show how to properly post under fairuse? LoveMonkey 14:29, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Plotinus and Neoplatonicism and Gnosticism

I would like to suggest that DanielCD was right to remove the part of the article that all this bickering is about. Because people should be referred to the Neoplatonism and Gnosticism article to further the complexity of the discussion. Thanks LoveMonkey 15:21, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Protection

I was wondering whether this page was ready to be unprotected? SlimVirgin (talk) 16:43, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I believe it is. I say we defer the discussion plotinus and the gnostics to the Neoplatonism and Gnosticism article. Zeusnoos has reviewed and contributed as well as others to the article. The orginal "concerns" of visualerror are addressed in the article as well. The parts of the article that I have contributed I have sourced. LoveMonkey 04:22, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, LM. Any other views? SlimVirgin (talk) 04:39, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
User:LoveMonkey has got a lot of nerve to claim that User:VisualError's "concerns" are "addressed" in LoveMonkey's text. VisualError hasn't been back since he was harrassed by LoveMonkey.
Zeusnoos has reviewed and contributed as well as others to the article.
Zeusnoos made a single edit, and no one else but you has touched the article since it — and you — unfortunately survived the AfD. It remains your unsupervised playground.
The edits I made were an emergency effort to make the existing content make sense. I did not know at first that most of it was a series of quotes. I have no problem scrapping the entire section.
The problem from the beginning is that Plotinus on the gnostics is a very specialized topic only covered in 2 or 3 of Plotinus' lectures/essays. The prominence it was given in this article (after the One) overshadowed other concepts. I suggest that synopsis of a number of the topics he covers in the Enneads be fleshed out. Only then does it make sense to mention (in a brief paragraph) his treatise against the gnostics. Zeusnoos 18:36, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I would like to see anything that User:LoveMonkey would like to add to this article discussed on this talk page before being added to the article. It is not clear that he understands the difference between quoting a source and referring to a source. It is not clear, for that matter, that he understands or is willing to read or abide by any Wikipedia policy or style guideline. It is also not clear that he understands how to use a quotation mark.
By successfully driving away from this article a productive user of Wikipedia, LoveMonkey has done more damage to Wikipedia than his extremely feeble efforts can ever compensate for. The best thing that he can do at this point would be to leave Wikipedia completely. Maybe then the user that he drove away would come back and contribute again. — goethean 15:25, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree that LoveMonkey's virtual takeover of the article has been very disruptive and driven away other editors. I hope he has learned that revert warring and not cooperating with other editors does not lead to better articles. If his modus operandi continues after unprotection, administrative action would be warranted. --Blainster 11:27, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to unprotect. LoveMonkey, please discuss your edits on talk rather than reinserting them. If there's any further disruption to editing, I'll consider blocking. SlimVirgin (talk) 13:05, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Edits by user:4.131.54.150

user:4.131.54.150 (contribs) has made a few recent edits to the page. As far as I can tell, most of them are relevant and helpful (if you happen to be this user, you have my thanks). But he/she seems to be adding a link to their own personal website, and repeatedly relinking it once it has been removed. Someone may wish to look over the other changes (I have little knowledge of the particular subject), but the link in particular concerns me. Luna Santin 06:56, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Oneing

I hope 'Oneing' is not an accepted term - it's in quotes, so I left it there. 'Comprehensor' is too much. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Shtove (talkcontribs) .

Oneing, while an unusual and obtuse term, is used by A.H. Armstrong, Rist, and several other Neoplatonist commentators. Certainly so its a highly specialist philosophical term to refer to Assimilation (Epistrophe), but a word none the less. - User Attasarana, Neoplatonist devotee, author, translator.

Neoplatonist.com webmaster additions, Attasarana

If the link is decided to be removed, so be it. However I vastly improved the picture of Plotinus which was very poor and grainy, and not sufficient enough.

Also I made the required addition and citations to the effect that Plotinus was adamant to the effect that the One is not a "thinking, self-knowing, self-sentient 'Being'" of any of the Judeo-Christian sort. A very much necessary point to make in Neoplatonism and certainly of Plotinus. I notice also others are translating Deus as "God", rather than "Divine" or "Unific" as it should be. Plotinus did not accept the complexity of Being in the simplex Absolute/One, numberless passages point this out. - Attasarana is an ancient Pali term, meaning "Thy Soul as thy refuge".

?????

Please provide and post on here -out of all of these supposed numberless passages EVEN ONE where Plotinus mentions Judeo-Christian anything by name. If you can not you are speculating. Unlike gnosticism, Plotinus never mentions any of the Hebrew or Christian creator deity. PERIOD. Also I have let go the completely incorrect slam of Plotinus against any christian idea, in this article (aka ex nihilo). I regret that now. This statement is pure nonsense. Plotinus knew what the void was, as much as he knew what ether was. I should have fought to remove it because it is in direct contridiction to timaeus. Plotinus does not contradict Plato. Plotinus NEVER attacked christianity EVER. EVER. Although I have to admit your website is absolutely AWESOME! Copyright violations and all. LoveMonkey 19:52, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Son, I never claimed Plotinus mentioned Christians, but he was very familiar with them. In case you forgot! Porphery wrote "against the Christians", only fragments survive due to Christians hunting down copies of it and burning it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.131.49.75 (talkcontribs)

Son? Are you goofy? Do you know how old I am? As for Porpheraious (I never said Saint) what happened to that lovely tale? Did old Porpheraious not burn it? Let me guees it was someone else. What about Porpheraious' love for Origen or did you forget? Or did you ever really know? Let me guess though the Greeks are liars cause you read it in a book. Or cause you say so. Hey maybe you can talk sense to this guy [| Zeusnoos] on here. I am more then positive (as usual with him) he will be less then impressed. Since you are a scholar (like Zeusnoos) are you a member of the neoplatonic society? Hey since your so impressive go sign up if you aren't. http://www.isns.us/ If you are a member have ol Zeusnoos validate ya. Maybe you can be a rascal to me like he was. LoveMonkey 13:20, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I said Plotinus DENIED outright a Knowing Self-sentient Absolute, i.e. a Creator God (Creationism, get it?), or that the Absolute (Hen) was a Being. There are countless passages evidencing same in the Enneads. All of [V.VI] is devoted to denying knowledge in the Absolute, in professor J.M. Rist’s book “Plotinus”, there is also a very well cited article about the denial of knowledge in the Absolute by Plotinus and his Emanationism, you might want to read same. You are wrong, however, about Plotinus mentioning "creator deities", he named none by name as I recall, but that was never his intent, he mentions them at length in general as pertains the concept of Creationism, or that there is a Knowing One (Agathon), of which he time and time again denies is both illogical and doesnt fit the Platonic model of the Cosmos. Also you might be confusing the Greek word Deus for "God", rather than the "Devine". –user Attasarana, author, Pali translator, Neoplatonist.

What? So Plotinus according to your statement denies the demiurge and runs counter to Timaeus? So be clear does he not speak of the demiurge or not. He mentions none but then mentions them at length? Also you are kidding about Deus? Alittle folie a deux ah? But then who is your double? First of all I did not put that !@#$% in this article. I have been trying to work on this article but another "contributor" has effectively kept me from doing edits. Second Deus is LATIN not GREEK. GREEK for god would be Theos. If you are a scholar then why are you not able to tell the difference between GREEK and LATIN common terms? I am not a scholar. My greek is modern and is very limited to conversational greek at best. Man I really wish I could motive the greeks to interact with the west but this site and these encounters completely validate the reason they give me when I ask them to contribute and or even engage people outside the greek community. LoveMonkey 13:20, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

LM, your passion for all things Platonic is admirable. But I'm not thrilled of being thrown as weight in this discussion for being involved in neoplatonic scholarship. You are of course right that "Greek word Deus" was a silly comment. 'Theos' is used frequently in the Enneads. 'Divine' is the typical translation of 'theios'. Trying to translate theos as anything but god doesn't make much sense since it would be clearly understood in the philosophy of that time and contexts in which the word is used that theos is not refering to the Christian God who became man. Oh, if you want the Greek spelling it's Porphurios rather than Porpheraious. No 'a' and the 'e' is rather upsilon (though maybe your transliterating from modern Greek since u, i, and eta sound like long 'e'?)
Philosophy topics on wiki are treacherous since writing about philosophy crosses the border of doing philosophy. Interpretations will always vary, and that's one think that keeps these ancients alive for us. These discussions are dangerously close to original research which is against wikipolicy. The argument about the meaning of demiurge as fashioner out of existing 'stuff' or creator ex nihilo will continue, as it did in antiquity, throughout the ages. Zeusnoos 16:23, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

translation issues

So user Attasarana, author, Pali translator, Neoplatonist. You claim to be a translator. And you don't even know the difference between latin and greek. For the audience the enneads were not in coptic or LATIN but were written in greek. http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus_soul-source.asp. LoveMonkey 13:50, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

LoveMonkey, I have removed some of your comments. Do you think that you could speak in a more civil manner? Why does every issue on this page become an excuse for you to abuse Wikipedia editors? — goethean 15:10, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Well good to see you back on the talk page. Hey maybe you should go clean up your own house rather then pop in here and post an opinion that you yourself don't live by. I am more then positive that User:MONGO can validate that. LoveMonkey 15:17, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Hey at least I am not using my personal page to post personal attacks and then decrying how bad other people are. And doing it so bad my personal page was deleted by an administrator here on wiki. Talk about disruptive. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Miscellany_for_deletion/User:Goethean/Examples LoveMonkey 15:22, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I said nothing uncivil to MONGO. Additionally, your comments are a textbook case of the tu quoque fallacy. — goethean 15:24, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks to Goethean for the tu quoque link. Bananas to Love Monkey.--Shtove 22:50, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

So you did nothing wrong. So much so that your personal page was removed and here you are as a bastion of conduct that you are giving me advise. LoveMonkey 15:26, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Tu quoque (Latin for "You, too" or "You, also") is a line of one's defensive argument based on the concept that the adversary party also engages (or has engaged in the past) in the act for which one is accused by that party. This argumentative move works by showing that a criticism or objection applies equally to the person making it. It can be considered an ad hominem argument, since it focuses on the opposite party itself, rather than its positions.
An example of its use in court was in the Nuremberg Trials, where the defendants attempted to introduce a tu quoque argument, in claiming that the Allies too had committed crimes similar to those of which the Nazi regime was accused. (This line of defense was eventually not allowed by the court's judges.)goethean 15:29, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Anger management look into it. LoveMonkey 15:49, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

AH Armstrong

By the way user Attasarana, author, Pali translator, Neoplatonist, Mr Goethan has referred to AH Armstrong's introduction (that you have posted on your website) to the against the gnostics as nonsense and trash. LoveMonkey 16:25, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

It seems "lovemonkey" has some mental health problems, and seems upset at the fact that Plotinus denied a knowing-Creator, a sentient God. His countless detractors and his own comments seem to indicate hes an instable chap incapable of dialectical discussion. His illogical presumption that Plotinus denied the Demiurge is also a baseless conjecture without substantiation.
As for the Demiurge, you seem to know nothing about same, the Demiurge, or indefinite-dyad is the extrinsic attribute of the Absolute. The logos of emanation is the artifice (Demiurge) for any and all things created. Plato nor Plotinus differ in this basis. The self-attributive nature of the Absolute, or the Good, is that its very nature and attribute are one and the same, i.e. that light shines, water pours, and the Absolute emanates. The concept of Being = Demiurge is absurd, illogical and contrary to Platonism as a whole. - User Attasarana.
Please observe Wikipedia:Civility. — goethean 20:21, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

It seems that Goethan is up to the same old disruptive tactics. PERSONAL ATTACKS. You have compared me to Nazis and now Attanasana is stating that I have mental health problems. Why not practice some civility yourself Goethan. As for Attana please you have no crediblity after that fallacy of yours. If it is by detractors that ones mental health is gauged then considering the constant editting away of your vandalism you have no mental functionality at all. LoveMonkey 22:33, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Um, no. I quoted the Wikipedia article on tu quoque, which noted that Nazis used the fallacy. — goethean 16:18, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Um, yeah in which you compare me to Nazis. Your words, stop shirking responsiblity and hypocritically pointing such things out in others. Your choice and poor it was. Take responsiblity for your words in your post. Wikipedia did not make the comment above. You did. You are deflecting responsiblity. You are also projecting your fallacies upon me. I have apoligized for my actions. You have yet to do the same. Psychological projection. So therefore I do not see how your comparision would apply to me, but rather how it is sanctimonious of you. It applies to you Goethan. By the way apropos.LoveMonkey 13:28, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

As for the comments on Timaeus. It is you who stated that the demiurge is non-sentient not me. By your misguided and misinformed position you make the hands of the agent without purpose or guidance. LoveMonkey 22:46, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Son, I never mentioned the demiurge, you did. I spoke only of the Absolute (Hen), the One. As for "purpose / guidance" in either the Absolute or the Noetic 2nd Hypostasis, be it the Nous or the Demiurge, this implies precognitive design/purpose,...and again, there is no sentience or Being in the Absolute, Republic 509d-511 speaks of the Emanative logos of the Absolute (in this case Phi). Complexity in nature is NOT in question by anyone, be it Atheist, Nihilist, Christian or Platonist, only the SOURCE/NEXUS of said complexity. The Fractal Paradigm and Phi refutes the necessity for purposefull precognitive design, i.e. a Senteint Creator-Demiurge which is Being that has something "in mind" before creation occurs. Emanationism, the cornerstone of Plotinus and Plato deny same. Complexity from simplex self-replication as modeled in Fractals and Phi (Golden section) utterly refute the notion of the necessity of BEING as the 1st. Plotinus time and time and time again denies that the "Utmost Simplex (the One)" can have either "thinking" or otherwise, for to have same would deny its very nature as the One, as the "Simplex"- Plotinus - User Attasarana.

One, quit referring to me as son its goofy. You should be grown up enough to not directly or indirectly belittle people. Two address why you are speaking (completely incorrectly) about greek philosophy and can't even tell the difference between the greek and latin word for god. Why you made a point of showing your ignorance. Three the demiurge was the agent of the absolute or one. The demiurge was obviously with sensory perception. You know eyes that see. Now tell me if the demiurge was not the will of the one. Also sentient means-experiencing sensation or feeling ,experiencing of hot, cold, light, dark, etc. Thinking being in greek would be noesis. LoveMonkey 02:49, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Now that which is created must, as we affirm, of necessity be created by a cause. But the father and maker of all this universe is past finding out; and even if we found him, to tell of him to all men would be impossible. The demiurge had direct access to the one for it was the eternal that the demiurge used as a model to craft the finite. LoveMonkey 15:52, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

plotinus was critical of christianity

Well goethean give me the passage where Plotinus mentions christians. Post it here on the talkpage. LoveMonkey 16:54, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

You are referring to this edit; your text should have been accompanied by a reference to a secondary work on Plotinus. See Wikipedia:Original research, rather than complaining to admins. — goethean 15:12, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Secondary works are not needed if the actual text of Plontius' "Enneads" nor his Bio "Life of Plontius" by Porphyry do not address christians and or christianity. No where does it state that I need a secondary source to make such a edit. There is no original research in stating the obvious. Also you are still engaging hypocracy since it is your contact to the admin slimvirgin that on this article, as well as your revert war that marked this beginning of this conflict. You are being disruptive and using reverts (as well as comparing people you disagree with to Nazis) as personal attacks. LoveMonkey 17:14, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

As I explained above, I did not compare you to a Nazi. The Columbia Encyclopedia is under the impression that Plotinus opposed Christianity. Forgive me if I assume that one must refer, however obliquely, to something in order to oppose it. Therefore, your argument that Plotinus never referred to Christianity is not obviously true, if it is true at all. — goethean 17:20, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Still refusing to take responsibilty for your actions and comments while asking others to behave. As for columbia were does Plotinus make the comment or comments that they base such an observation on? Since you are now editor and know Plotinus so well. Please tell me post it here. Also I would like to see what Zeusnoos might contribute. Since I have no such indication in the writing of Plotinus to validate such an observation. LoveMonkey 23:24, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

As for a consensus I will go with my aquintence Professor Edward Moore- orthodox christian theology professor and his much more thorough Plotinus article. Maybe you can edit out his comments since in the several pages he dedicated to Plotinus instead of 4 paragraphs NO WHERE DOES HE MENTION PLOTINUS AGAINST AND OR MENTIONING CHRISTIANTY. http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/plotinus.htm I guess he is wrong once again. Gee no consensus. According to you and Columbia online. I am so glad that out of over 500,000 finds off of google you seem to have found one that agreed with you. So again in Plotinus' writing tell me where he specifically mentions christianity. LoveMonkey 23:50, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Just dropping in to see how this page is going: getting better, always two steps forward, one step back. goethean, I think you're keeping it on track, but Love Monkey's rantings confuse me. Has there been some arbitration?--Shtove 00:43, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Look what am I supposed to do lie to myself? I don't want a conflict with anyone.I would prefer to post in peace. Having said that I have a responsibilty to defend myself. I regret this has gotten out hand so often. Hopefully Zeusnoos can iron this out. LoveMonkey 23:20, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

LM is correct in this case. Plotinus never mentions Christians or Christianity. It's unfortunate that the author of the Columbia article is anonymous, because the claim that Plotinus opposed Christianity is atypical and would require some convincing original research arguments. That said, it does not mean that Plotinus didn't oppose Christianity but there is little evidence to say either way or in what manner he would have argued against it. I think it's logical to assume that he would have generally opposed it and would have used the same argument against the Gnostics - that it was un-Greek. He might have thought it very strange for a god to descend into matter, and might have criticized material-based rituals such as baptism (though some scholars have recently been drawing out theurgic aspects in Plotinus). Either way, this sentence should be removed since it is controversial and the Columbia encycl. author is presenting an unsupported original research thesis. Perhaps the author was confusing Plotinus with Porphyry or was thinking of the later Neoplatonists who opposed Christianity. If so, he/she was not qualified to write that short entry on Plotinus. Zeusnoos 19:48, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

LM, may I suggest that before you post any edits, paste the text in Word or some other software and run a grammar and spell check. It will save time and prevent confusion in the long run. Zeusnoos 19:48, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I have been trying to make more concise edits but my life (as well as yours I imagine) is busy and most of the time I am posting in the mist of pure insanity. I will definitely run a checker in the future. My new edit was done to correct the previous mistake I made in a previous edit AND GOETHAN REVERTED AS ORIGINAL RESEARCH. About your response I am alittle confused, though. The edit in question is the line I inserted "Though Plotinus never mentions christianity in his works". So are you saying that the line should be removed? And also thanks again for posting! LoveMonkey 12:32, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I thought someone inserted a line about Plotinus opposing Christianity. Your line is fine. Best to refrain from editing while taken by insanity. Zeusnoos 12:58, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Amen. LoveMonkey 13:35, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Rather pathetic comments here, have some of of you sons forgotton that Plotinus' first, Porphery, wrote the Magnum Opus "against the Christians"? Regardless of Plotinus' non-comments upon Christ, etc., his view of Creationism (God as Absolute) is very well known via the Enneads, of which he denied a Knowing-One (i.e. that the Absolute was a Being of divine nature). Plotinus had no need to insult Christianity, he refuted all of Creationism in one fell swoop. - User Attasarana.

So now you are trying to belittle everyone on here as your sons. One you are really creeping me out with all this pop up and don't sign your entries, and two look up the word create. You as a translator should note the subtleties of words like create (which the demiurge did as an agent of the one) as well as words like amalgamate and originate.
In your case you seem to lack the ability to note that you are stating that the One via the demiurge did not "bring into being" the universe. You should really studied up on this stuff before claiming yourself a expert or scholar. And finally what is pathetic about Zeusnoos? I am not perfect but what did Zeusnoos do? That was really uncalled for man!

LoveMonkey 19:46, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I have made no reference to Zeusnoos, nor do I know him. Creation is NOT in question by anyone, son.

That very complex things exist in nature, both biological and otherwise, is NOT in question by either Atheist, Creationist, Platonist, Monist, Agnostic or otheriwse. Even the profane Nihilist does not deny the obvious fact of complex things as create in nature.

The entire cotention lies in the SOURCE of said complex things in nature. The Creationist view that the Absolute is form of Sentient Superbeing (God) is denied entirely by Plotinus' system; as well as what we know from fractal paradigms and of Phi. Simplex self-replication in Emanation explains all complexity in nature. "Love-Monkey", your desire to write Creationism into Neoplatonism is both doctrinally unfounded and illogical at best. From the consensus of your comments its most likely your a Christian teenager. However Christian mystics from times beginning have attempted to steal the mass of Plotinus' thoughts to support their Creationist and heretical philosophy. User Attasarana. Pali translator and author, owner neoplatonist.com

Once again stop with the goofiness and read Timaeus

From Plato's Timaeus.. TIMAEUS: Why did the Creator make the world?...He was good, and therefore not jealous, and being free from jealousy he desired that all things should be like himself. Wherefore he set in order the visible world, which he found in disorder. Now he who is the best could only create the fairest; and reflecting that of visible things the intelligent is superior to the unintelligent, he put intelligence in soul and soul in body, and framed the universe to be the best and fairest work in the order of nature, and the world became a living soul through the providence of God.

Tell me about the demiurge not belittle people and post nothing. Address what the demiurge is and back it with Plato and Plotinus. Not comments about fractals. Also "some of you" would be more then just me so own up to your insults. Was the demiurge an agent of the source or one or not? Pst by the way you are being blaspemous to Plato and Plotinus. By distorting the demiurge and his relation to the one.

Also about your comments about stealing? Have you gotten permission to post those books online and then continue to link to your copyright infringement from wikipedia? LoveMonkey 03:03, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Thought and the One

Can thought not be attributed to the one? If not why? LoveMonkey 18:07, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Plotinus says no, and the article cited him saying no quite plainly in several places. I can't imagine why you removed that part. Dan 21:54, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Hey Dan, good to see someone stepped to bat. Could you post this passage for me from the Enneads? [III.VIII.X]

Thanks LoveMonkey 19:58, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean. You can find a translation here (link taken from the end of the article). You'll find him saying this: Certainly this Absolute is none of the things of which it is the source- its nature is that nothing can be affirmed of it- not existence, not essence, not life- since it is That which transcends all these. You know how to use your browser to search within a page, right? Dan 20:48, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Well Dan that would kinda miss the point. Can the monad be something or can it be nothing? Was Plotinus telling people to merge with nothingness or is the monad something. I mean it does have a will called mind, nous or demiurge right? So is the monad something or is it nothing? Hint the TOC on the Enneads page is really to the TOC to Armstrong's translation even though Mackenna's is linked, posted. So Armstrong talks about this in the intro. The article wording is straight copied from there so since you have such a good understanding to reinstate the comments could you reword it for copyright protection, please? Since I have already gotten most of my Armstrong direct quotes removed from the article. Thanks LoveMonkey 19:17, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Plotinus would answer your first question, from what I can tell, by saying stop asking questions like that, anything more we say about the One will be false or nonsensical. The article quotes him saying as much. As for copyright, I gather you mean to say that part of the article comes from a copyrighted source and that standard practice would tell us to remove it. But I can't tell exactly what part of the article you mean, or specifically where you believe it came from, or what it has to do with "the TOC". Dan 04:54, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Ya I removed the word for word that came from A H Armstrong. You then re-stored them because I think it looked like I was against Armstrong's argument of the monad being-non sentience or non logosi, but I really think it would be nice to not get the article into this controversy but oh well. Also Plotinus was no such a person, look at his interaction with Origen. The article needs allot of work. It is a mess where people can start stating that it's a wholesale endorsement of agnosticism. So the part I removed came from Armstrong could you reword it so it is not as it is now a copy and paste? Thanks LoveMonkey 00:06, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

I can certainly change some of the wording. But when I restored that bit, I added a direct quote from Plotinus that, like the rest of the section where I found it, flatly contradicts what you appear to be saying. Dan 03:46, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

suicide

moved from the article: The importance of the soul’s reasoning capacity to a happy life for Plotinus is also seen in his consideration of suicide as understandable when the living body’s mental capacity is in question. “But if a man feel himself to be losing his reason?”, he inquires, and decides this is one possible necessary condition for just suicide. (Enneads I.9)

In checking the citation I discovered that while I.9 does indeed consist of a single chapter, it may not say what this passage claims. Plotinus answers the question as follows (in the MacKenna):

That is not likely in the Sage, but if it should occur, it must be classed with the inevitable, to be welcome at the bidding of the fact though not for its own sake. To call upon drugs to the release of the Soul seems a strange way of assisting its purposes.

And if there be a period allotted to all by fate, to anticipate the hour could not be a happy act, unless, as we have indicated, under stern necessity.

If everyone is to hold in the other world a standing determined by the state in which he quitted this, there must be no withdrawal as long as there is any hope of progress.

That seems ambiguous at best. What does Plotinus say when the translation says, "anticipate"? This version makes him appear to say that you don't even want to think about the existence of death, and only the need to face reality would force you to do so (looks like he just finished talking about the need for "evil"). The first paragraph seems to say, 'don't kill yourself'.The last part again seems vague and doesn't clearly endorse suicide in any circumstances whatsoever. On reflection, it seems like a contrast to the part about "a period allotted", an alternate situation -- if your separate existence ends with death then you don't want to kill yourself, and if an afterlife exists then you still don't. Dan 19:15, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Excellent editing! You see this war of Plotinus being understood as agnostic well that's another day (if you like I can email you a link on some of it). I mean agnostic as God is unknowable period hence Huxley's 'a'-gnostic. But here's something important, the word agent means one that does the will of another. So was the demiurge doing the will of the one? Or not? Your opinion from what you read? Also demiurge to Plato and the academy did not mean the demiurge as purely Zeus or creator being. It meant the connection to reality that man has or in plain english it means your mind. So to hate it is to lose it :>) hahahahahaha I can't seem to get people to come clean about this. These emanations can be seen as templates in the making up of being to support Plato's forms. Demiurge being template for brain or nous or the thing you think with and the demiurge being the highest and ultimate of this form. Good edits though. For the record in hindsight if you can grasp Plotinus you'll see that agnostic, theist don't really matter since nothing dies, it just becomes energy and gets recycled into something else. It's a closed system. Iamblichus was the one who gave Platonism objective religious characteristics giving it sacraments instead of it being constructed of purely contemplation and mediation. As for suicide it was an action that was blasphemy. Akin to condemning existence as evil. Of course in Christianity suicide and or condemnation of existence as evil is called blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, but that to is another topic for another day to clarifiy distorted pathos and mental illness, psychologically etc. etc. etc. LoveMonkey 17:59, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

2

The phrase "will of the One" appears once, in the heading for a tractate. It discusses the claim (I don't know who made it, but Plotinus certainly gives the subject more attention than I would if I didn't have to refute some existing argument) that the One and its divine emanations do not have free will. I think Plotinus says in effect that the question has no meaning. The One has no will as we understand the term. Please stop claiming that it does. If you want to include that position in the article, find relevant sources and cite them. Likewise, we do not know what Plato meant in the Timaeus (though your interpretation makes more sense than some) and the article will not claim that we do.
Plotinus on the One: how can This be brought under the freedom belonging to you and me, a conception applicable only by violence to Intellectual-Principle itself?...failing more suitable terms, we apply to it the lesser terms brought over from lesser things and so tell it as best we may: no words could ever be adequate or even applicable to that from which all else- the noble, the august- is derived. VI.8.7&8. Think of The One as Mind or as God, you think too meanly; use all the resources of understanding to conceive this Unity and, again, it is more authentically one than God, even though you reach for God's unity beyond the unity the most perfect you can conceive...Neither can it have will to anything; it is a Beyond-Good, not even to itself a good but to such beings only as may be of quality to have part with it. Nor has it Intellection; that would comport diversity: nor Movement; it is prior to Movement as to Intellection. VI.9.6. Dan 03:30, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

In the Mckenna translation.

It discusses the claim (I don't know who made it, but Plotinus certainly gives the subject more attention than I would if I didn't have to refute some existing argument) that the One and its divine emanations do not have free will.


No one stated anything about freewill. The connection was an ontological. Sad you missed it. LoveMonkey 13:18, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I think Plotinus says in effect that the question has no meaning.


You are entitled to your opinion. LoveMonkey 13:18, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

The One has no will as we understand the term. Please stop claiming that it does.


The only stop needed here, is you making demands. No one has make any of you, so please reciprocate.
If it is in the text at all it needs to be addressed. Also the Mckenna version handled this entire section poorly and this is where the A. H. Armstrong version proves itself most indespensible. LoveMonkey 13:18, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

If you want to include that position in the article, find relevant sources and cite them.


Already had (look in the article history as to who added what to the reference biblo section). But then even you admit what was there that you restored was inaccurate. Or was it not? Needing clarity and not needing clarity well that's two different things. You could have reworded it as not a copy paste. Or did you not take liberty with it. LoveMonkey 13:18, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Likewise, we do not know what Plato meant in the Timaeus (though your interpretation makes more sense than some) and the article will not claim that we do.


Now this is completely against the very essence of Plato. Your statement here is the very sophistry (power is the only truth) that evolved into Gnosticism. No Plato expressed that the demiurge was also the nous, was Plotinus rejecting his ontology here or not. I am stand on the postion that he was not. Nor was he radically altering the idea as your post implies. The creation of the nous was by the will of the one. That which does another's will is it's agent. Are you saying now that the demiurge or common sense is not the will of the one VIA the demiurge? Tell me what is so ambigious about what Plato meant? Can you do that without speculation? LoveMonkey 13:18, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Plotinus on the One: how can This be brought under the freedom belonging to you and me, a conception applicable only by violence to Intellectual-Principle itself?...failing more suitable terms, we apply to it the lesser terms brought over from lesser things and so tell it as best we may: no words could ever be adequate or even applicable to that from which all else- the noble, the august- is derived. VI.8.7&8. Think of The One as Mind or as God, you think too meanly; use all the resources of understanding to conceive this Unity and, again, it is more authentically one than God, even though you reach for God's unity beyond the unity the most perfect you can conceive...Neither can it have will to anything; it is a Beyond-Good, not even to itself a good but to such beings only as may be of quality to have part with it. Nor has it Intellection; that would comport diversity: nor Movement; it is prior to Movement as to Intellection. VI.9.6. Dan 03:30, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Ah it is so nice to see the quoting of Plotinus. So tell me does will mean freewill? Does it mean desire? And did the one have a will at all?[5] LoveMonkey 13:28, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Look, you claim that Plotinus said X. (If you meant to make a different claim, please read WP:CITE.) I pointed out that Plotinus never says X, and that he contradicts X in V1.9.6 (assuming we take X literally). The only time he uses a phrase similar to X, he's talking about something else -- namely, free will -- and what he says there in VI.8 does not seem to support X. The position you call sophistry reflects my understanding of WP:CITE, WP:NPOV and WP:NOR. And again, if you want to read my quotes from the Enneads in context to see what they mean, every browser I know of allows you to go to the online translation, paste the quote into a certain box and see where those words appear on the page in a matter of seconds. If you use Firefox you can get the box in question by going to "Edit" at the top of the browser window and selecting "Find in This Page". (Other browsers work in similar ways.) I also gave you the ennead.tractate.chapter numbers if you want to find the quotes in a paper version. Dan 19:04, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Now you look it states that the Monad has as will Enneads VI, 8. You decided to attached to it freewill not me. As for x,y and z that's your problem, find an alegbra teacher and leave me out of it. LoveMonkey 13:10, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

I like this article on Plotinus allot better [6] it does not chop off the Platonic ontology of the One and the Nous or Demiurge. Professor Moore does indeed handle the ontology better then trying to make an argument of Plotinus' ontology that there is not a relationship between the one and the demiurge. LoveMonkey 14:34, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Ontology

So again was Plotinus rejecting Plato's ontology as in Timaeus or was he not? I say he was not rejecting it at all and that this nonsense of will not being and being in contrast to non-finite being is modern mumbo jumbo. So come on Dan, I answered now you clarify. Was Plotinus stating that the nous was the will of the one? Or was the nous just some accidental (hint, hint) emanation? LoveMonkey 17:21, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

1. Plato in the Timaeus shows a character by the name of Timaeus telling a story, in which a "demiurge" creates the world. We seem to agree that Plotinus did not believe in a literal interpretation of the demiurge and that Plato likely didn't mean us to interpret it literally. Edit: you can see my original unbroken response here.

No I think that the demiurge as nous in consistent in the general Platonic schools of thought. The divine mind, common sense, creativity, whatever you wish to call it. Plato and Plotinus are not in conflict. LoveMonkey 13:09, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

The article already mentions "nous (thought), identified metaphorically with the demiurge in Plato's Timaeus," although on reflection we should probably say more about the relationship between Plotinus and Plato.

Nous is not thought, logismoi is thought. Nous is the faculity to your aptitude to comprehend and to do so clearly. LoveMonkey 13:12, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Specifically, we should say that Plotinus gave a disputed interpretation of Plato. His view of the older philosopher makes a lot of sense to me, but the article should not assert my view or LoveMonkey's view or even Plotinus' view as fact.

No Plotinus really gave nothing new. He only documented that which was at the academy was not documented. His objective was to show how the undocumented traditions of the academy kept the philosopher from arriving at the same conclusions as say the Gnostics (and speculativily the christians). He did not consider himself an innovator. LoveMonkey 13:16, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

For example, the character Timaeus describes the work of the demiurge as the work of Nous or Intellect at one point. On the surface, the character seems to mean simply that the demiurge has a mind and that intellect motivated him.

For the sake of time and sanity-OK on this one. It is really missing the point though. LoveMonkey 13:24, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Plotinus that Plato likely means something more -- I even think the Neoplatonist makes a good case for reading his own theory into the text -- but according to Wikipedia rules, the article cannot say that Plato definitely agreed with Plotinus.

Nonsense look at the Plotinus article by Professor Moore I was going to revamp this article per him to be like his but I got bogged down in a fight with at least two other editors over them inserting OR= WP: NO OR into the article. So I am still going to revamp the article. But I am taking my time. I had to create a perpheral article or two... i.e. theoria, henosis, metaxy, Demiurge and one more. Once I do that I will revamp this chopped up mess to be inline with an article that is current and hopefully along the line of what Professor Moore would say it should be. This would put it inline with the International Society of Neoplatonic studies [7]. LoveMonkey 13:24, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Nor should we confuse the reader by suggesting that Plotinus believed in a literal demiurge-Creator.
2. As I've quoted Plotinus saying before, the One has no will towards anything.

Plotinus can not be so specific as he himself points out due to the limits of the human mind or nous. LoveMonkey 13:34, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

And according to Plotinus, it does not know the Nous exists.

OK so we can move past the closed system thingy. LoveMonkey 14:03, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

The following comes soon after the last passage I quoted, "neither can it have will to anything": but in the Solitary there is neither knowing nor anything unknown. Unity, self-present, it has no need of self-intellection: indeed this "self-presence" were better left out, the more surely to preserve the unity; we must eliminate all knowing and all association, all intellection whether internal or external. VI.9.6, probably lines 55-59.

This is a misdirect. Plotinus compares the divine mind to the sun. The connection is of great importants because there is a connection. You are really doing the whole point and destinction of Plato and Christianity to gnosis, a giant and great disservice. Especially intellectual contemplation as most definitely defined by Plato and Plotinus. To see the play or view the life. This is very disrespectful to what the Hellenic and Bzyantine nous is all about. This is the point of all this fanagling (hint: Dean Inge). The previous poster and you by proxy are completely misrepresenting what is important to the understanding of Neoplatonism and Plato's ontology. LoveMonkey 14:03, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

This next bit comes from V.1.6, where he discusses the origin of the Nous from the Supreme: Given this immobility in the Supreme, it can neither have yielded assent nor uttered decree nor stirred in any way towards the existence of a secondary. After this he uses the metaphor of the Sun unknowingly giving off light. So no, the Nous is not literally the will of the One in The Enneads. More importantly, Wikipedia rules forbid us to say that it is when the author does not. I frankly don't understand why all these quotes haven't settled the matter. If you want to add some specific interpretation of Plotinus, please just add it to the "Influence" section of the article with an appropriate citation instead of asking questions I've already answered. Dan 21:08, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

No one is stating WP:OR this topic is current and there is quite allot written on it but it is treated as lunacy in this article. The problem is people are not really discussing the connection between the Alexandrian schools of thought i.e. Origin, Clement of Alexandria, Evagrius and Plotinus, Saccus, Porphyry and Proclus and Iamblichus. One of the previous editors on here would even edit out any attempts at such a dialog. But there is of course the issue of Saccus. Here, like Armstrong did in his -Two Views of Freedom: A Christian Objection in Plotinus, Enneads VI, 8 A. H. Armstrong.

References to Neoplatonists who explicitily state that the demiurge was created by the will of the one.-Cf. Iamblichus Egyptian Mysteriies 3,28 Proclus Timaeon Commentary E. Diehl 1.362, 1.371, 4.

Volition as will only speaks of freewill to then connotate choice. Neither really speak of will as nature. AKA good or bad. Good is a poperty of the One. The one is by will (or in will) Good. The one does not choose good the one is good.

Not decides but it's will is by being what it is and it's creation is Good -simply because the one is good. It means that out of nessity the good created the cosmos (lower levels of the material realm). Good being the one and it's emanation the nous both good. Good being the cosmos. Good being closed system hardwired by it's very existence it is Good because it is an emanation of the ultimate Good the source or the one but the demiurge is dependent on the one for origin or emanation. If all is in the one. Then just because it is beyond something does not mean that it is not part of it's make up or construct. VI- 9- 5, 30 this is the aesthetic. It's ontology as is the ontology of the nous or demiurge to the human person is intellectual contemplation. LoveMonkey 14:30, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

You removed some of my comment chopped it up so nobody can follow what I said. Fix it now. Put my comment together so other people can respond if they choose, and do not treat this like a personal user talk page again. Dan 20:05, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Once again no one is making demands of you, this looks like silly headgames. Also since this is something I have done several times before why complain now? LoveMonkey 23:09, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

I said that because I thought you removed some of my words, and when I realized you probably didn't, I thought people would have trouble following the chopped up version. More generally, you keep accusing me of ulterior motives or thinking that "power is the only truth". I'm going to assume you react this way because you think somebody else abused the rules to distort the truth during your argument about Gnosticism. (You say, The previous poster and you by proxy are completely misrepresenting what is important...) Well, I didn't come here to fight you. I'm trying to enforce NPOV and the other rules as I see them. Go ahead and mention Iamblichus and any relevant Christian writers in the "Influence" section. I don't know who you think would stop you, if you give an appropriate citation. Dan 17:26, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Although in fact I can't find the passage you mention in Chapter 3 of The Egyptian Mysteries by Iamblichus. Can you give us a quote? Dan 20:10, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

[8] The commentary at the bottom of page 130 is the source of the comments. Take it up with Tzamalikos. LoveMonkey 20:26, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

As with all your references to Plato and Plotinus that I've seen, this new source just doesn't say what you claim it says.

Sure it does read page 129 now your implying that there is no connection between the Monad and the demiurge that Plotinus is not a Platoist and is cutting the connection between the One and Demiurge. You are doing this by deny the Good which is the connection between both. You are making a rhetorical requirement that if the wording is not explicit enough to your specifications that it does not say what it says. Once again either Plotinus was simple clarifing Plato's ontology or he was breaking away and was not Platonists. LoveMonkey 15:21, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I assume you refer to the note at the bottom of p130, which says, Later Platonists also attributed a notion of 'will' to the Demiurge's creative act. It gives what seem like the exact same references that you listed in support of a different claim, namely your metaphorical claim that the demiurge is the will of the One or follows the will of the One. In the main text of the page we find: Thus, although notions of will are found in the Enneads, (here the author lists greek words in a parenthesis), they are mainly used in order to dismiss the idea that secondary beings exist through the will of the One.

Why assume if it is verbatum? And yes again the Will of the One is Good and the Demiurge is the will of the One in that the demiurge is Good. This is because there is a Platonic ontology between the One and it's emunation the Demiurge the connection is that they are Good. If you can find abetter way to express it and remain inline with Plotinus and Plato have at it. Good luck with that. Really. LoveMonkey 15:21, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

A footnote to this sentence names one of the many sections in Plotinus that I've named in order to disprove your assertions. Strangely, from what I can tell you don't disagree with me much about what Plotinus says; we mainly disagree about whether the article should use Christianized language that does not appear in the work of Plotinus.

Very important-Note : Christianized language there is no such of a thing. This issue is reverse. Koine Greek is not a Christianized language. You seem to be at odds with the term presupposition. LoveMonkey 15:21, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

If you want to use a different writer's language, it probably belongs in a Wikipedia article on that other writer.

This means nothing the article is about Plotinus no one need create multiple articles on Plotinus because multiple writers wrote multiple books in multiple languages from multiple perspectives on the man and his philosophy. LoveMonkey 15:21, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

But maybe you could briefly mention their interpretation in the "Influence" section here and link to the appropriate article. Dan 20:51, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Why thank you for giving me permission. It is so nice to see that you are open to only some contributions and only under very specific conditions. Good to know that you added the new filter to editor contributions. And again since you have such a firm grip on Plotinus why is there no section by you explaining the Platoic and Neoplatonic ontology? Other then a out of context quote from a scholar that you have now reworded? Thanks LoveMonkey 15:21, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Let's define ontology

Here is the definition I am expressing in using the word ontology. Ontology- That department of the science of metaphysics which investigates and explains the nature and essential properties and relations of all beings, as such, or the principles and causes of being. http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/cgi-bin/omd?query=ontology&action=Search+OMD

Now what connection or relationship does the divine mind, nous or demiurge have with the Monad or One? According to you. Other then emanation the demiurge has no connection. I am stating that Plotinus was not deviating from Plato's ontology of his Timaeus dialog his Demiurge ontology. That Plotinus was clarifying it, therefore via presupposition Plotinus did not need to be clear or explicit in the manner you are requesting. The one and all things are emanations of the one. It is by good that we identify the one in all things. LoveMonkey 16:49, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

One last comment: can you give us a quote from the Timaeus stating this "ontology"? So far every Greek citation you've given me here says the opposite of what you claim. But see my last two edits to the article. Dan 19:38, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Nonsense the sources I gave were exactly as I stated. Post them as they are misquoted or incorrect. As for Timaeus post specifically if you are asking for. Do you wish for the word Monad are you looking for the connection of the good? Be specific. LoveMonkey 01:45, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

As for your last comment you like asking questions but you did nothing to answer mine. Let's recap-Does Plotinus say that the one or monad is good? Does he state that by emanation the demiurge is good? Does Plotinus state that cosmos as a creation of demiurge was good? If so why? Is it ontology? Now what connection or relationship does the divine mind, nous or demiurge have with the Monad or One? According to you. Again the Will of the One is Good and the Demiurge is the will of the One in that the demiurge is Good. This is because there is a Platonic ontology between the One and it's emunation the Demiurge the connection is that they are Good. If you can find abetter way to express it and remain inline with Plotinus and Plato have at it. Good luck with that. Really. LoveMonkey 01:59, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Any mention of the One or Monad in Timaeus would be good (for other reasons) but I was asking where you got the notion that the demiurge is the will of the One or exists by the will of the One, despite Plotinus and your latest source saying the opposite. The article already includes every part of your claims that actually fits the text. Dan 02:20, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

So again why are these articles [9], [10] saying that there is an ontology and that ontology states the connection as the cosmos and the demiurge being good because the monad is good? Here I'll help VI 9 "Thus we have all the vision that may be of him and of ourselves:but it is of a self-wrought to splendor, brimmed with the Intellectual light, become that very light, pure, buoyant, unburdened, raised to the Godhead or, better, knowing its Godhead, all aflame then- but crushed out once more if it should take up the discarded burden." LoveMonkey 02:31, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

You cut off your own comment while trying to edit it. And again, the article includes that bit about good. Dan 03:02, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
ah, you fixed it without saying so I see. Dan 03:03, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

What is this godhead thing that ol Plotinus is talkin about? Is the demiurge part of that godhead thing? Hey how about the monad? If that monad thing is beyond everything apophatic then uh how does it get cataphatic titles like one, monad, good? If it is beyond all then wouldn't one of those beyonds be also experience? And hey since it can't think or therefore created then what is emanate? How can it be experience as part of a Godhead with others parts it doesn't know exist while we experience the other parts that exist? Oh hey it's that word "exist" what does it got to do with the word ontology? Or wait Plato never talked about that stuff or maybe created, hatched, emanated is all under the study of the discipline of ontology? Hey were did that come from? LoveMonkey 03:07, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes, where did those new questions come from when I clicked "edit"? Anyway, see my direct quotes at Talk:Plotinus#2. Dan 03:14, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

But if we can't think then how do we contemplate dan? How can we contemplate that which is beyond contemplation dan? Does he not say don't think and that the one is beyond well then how does he arrive at ?

"Thus we have all the vision that may be of him and of ourselves:but it is of a self-wrought to splendor, brimmed with the Intellectual light, become that very light, pure, buoyant, unburdened, raised to the Godhead or, better, knowing its Godhead, all aflame then- but crushed out once more if it should take up the discarded burden."

Again dan- What is this godhead thing that ol Plotinus is talkin about? Is the demiurge part of that godhead thing? Hey how about the monad? If that monad thing is beyond everything apophatic then uh how does it get cataphatic titles like one, monad, good? If it is beyond all then wouldn't one of those beyonds be also experience? And hey since it can't think or therefore created then what is emanate? How can it be experience as part of a Godhead with others parts it doesn't know exist while we experience the other parts that exist? Oh hey it's that word "exist" what does it got to do with the word ontology? Or wait Plato never talked about that stuff or maybe created, hatched, emanated is all under the study of the discipline of ontology? Hey were did that come from? LoveMonkey 03:17, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Nous

The article Nous, which is obviously closely related to some of the topics that are being actively discussed here, has gone through a major expansion recently. Check it out and see if you can use your Plotinian expertise to improve the article! (I worked pretty extensively on clean-up, removing purely irrelevant additions, but I haven't been able to give the actual remaining content of the article much attention.) Wareh 12:56, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

new/restored gnostic section

Lovemonkey, in light of this, why have you added a section that duplicates material elsewhere (along with more than a full screen of copyrighted material in note form)? I don't see anyone moving to delete Neoplatonism and Gnosticism now that it has more content than a book review alone. Dan 05:50, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

If anyone wants to restore the section without the abundant copyrighted material, go ahead. Dan 01:10, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Edit warring again over what Plotinus is in print having stated

Dan your edits on this article and then the complete deletion of Plotinus' negative comments as stated by AH Armstrong from this article and the Neoplatonism and Gnosticism article do not show good faith. How am I to interpret your edits as ones of good faith when you remove sourcing under the guise of copyright infringement? Please provide what specific wikipedia standard you used to justify your edits. Also your edits deny what is actually in print and circulation. The quotes come from the 1980s edition of Armstrong's Enneads. And so what to the small section being somewhat redundant and this. It does a small overview in balance with the other content of the article about an entire tract of the Enneads that Plotinus wrote. As I stated for things more complex go read the other article that you also removed sourced comments from. These edits are poorly done and are not cultivating good faith they are suppressing what is in print and therefore under minding the integrity of the article. Wikipedia should contain the information about the philosopher. LoveMonkey 02:58, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Hey are you going to remove this section next?
"The first emanation is nous (thought), identified metaphorically with the demiurge in Plato's Timaeus. It is the first will towards Good. From nous proceeds the world soul, which Plotinus subdivides into upper and lower, identifying the lower aspect of Soul with nature. From the world soul proceeds individual human souls, and finally, matter, at the lowest level of being and thus the least perfected level of the cosmos. Despite this relatively pedestrian assessment of the material world, Plotinus asserted the ultimately divine nature of material creation since it ultimately derives from the One, through the mediums of nous and the world soul. It is by the Good or through beauty that we recognize the One, in material things and then in the Forms." LoveMonkey 03:30, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if the extensive quotes in the footnotes are a copyright problem, exactly, but they're definitely bad form. If the quotes are relevant to the article, they should be in the main text (and explained with the aid of secondary sources); otherwise, they shouldn't be there at all. Footnotes shouldn't be quote farms. --Akhilleus (talk) 04:13, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Please ellaborate. Since Dan removed the quotes I added from the main text and then also removed the sourcing notes I put in Wikipedia:Citing sources. Footnotes?? Wikipedia:Footnotes Since when is sourcing references footnotes? Where have I added "footnotes"? So if you could help me clean this up that would be great since no matter how many times I quote AH Armstrong and his introduction what is being said keeps getting deleted. Either as him not having said it (hence the "footnotes") and or if you want to make some suggestions as an admin please tell how to stop people from editing out the comments that Plotinus made in Against the Gnostics. LoveMonkey 12:19, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Have you considered that maybe people have reason to remove it? As you can see in the previous talk section, I asked you about this three full months ago and got no response until my edit brought a near-instant revert. Other people mentioned the main issue before I did, though it doesn't look like they saw this specific screen of quotes. You've got a lot of nerve to claim in your edit summary that I acted "without discussion". Even now you impugn my motives instead of addressing the question: why do you need more than a full screen of copyrighted quotes without quotation marks, dwarfing the actual section that cites them? It gets in the way of editing. I want to see the whole section easily while typing, and in this case Preview would require finding my place again in the sea of pointless, legally dubious footnotes. I don't even know what I'd want to change, because I can't read the section while typing. (Also, three months passed with no response from you.) I also notice that you still edit your comments repeatedly instead of pressing the "Show preview" button or posting a separate clarification with a new timestamp. Oh yes, and you accuse me of removing or wanting to remove my own edits. Dan 17:08, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

So the above is your excuse for blanket deleting content. Also please repost here the comments you made three months ago that you needed to remove large chunks of the article. LoveMonkey 17:17, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Sourced information no longer standard

So Akhilleus could you please stop the edit warring since you have decided to intervene? Please I can email scanned copies of AH Armstrongs text that I am doing nothing but quoting from. If this is the wikipedia standard then what's the problem? Why have you not posted a comment or two to Dan about blanket deleting and removing sourced information rather then actually being an editor and fixing the sourcing. As for that matter again Akhilleus please help if you could edit to footnotes or rather the sourced quotes that I have sourced please do. But this is rather sad that I have already one article deleted and both this article and the article Neoplatonism and Gnosticism both censured and or comments from them repressed. And yet Dan who is being disruptive while appearing to not be informed and has decided against wiki directions to remove (just like previous editors) from this and the Neoplatonism and Gnosticism article comments that they don't like. If the reason is something else then lets post it here and talk about. LoveMonkey 13:06, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Also this section [11] was the edits that Zeusnoos did. Why is his stuff being removed by Dan now too? LoveMonkey 13:08, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Confusing and overstating the matter of Plotinus' Egyptianness

The most important issue here is still, in my opinion, a misunderstanding of the purpose of the lead. This is not uncontroversial consensus. The only reference from the past two generations Jagged 85 is adding (O'Meara), if you check it, says:

O'Meara could not make it plainer if he tried that the evidence admits of multiple interpretations, and "not unlikely" is a significant qualification. So, do I want this removed from the article? Of course not. It is a matter of interpretation of disputable evidence, and as such it belongs where it is already treated fully: in the biography section below. Moreover, Ancient Egypt is not an informative article for the reader who reads one sentence into Plotinus and wants to know more about the context. That article doesn't breathe a breath about Plotinus' world, Greek-speaking, Hellenistic, informed by the disputes and doctrines of the philosophical schools, etc. Wareh 14:18, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

P.S. I'm not sure how needed as external links the 2 encyclopedia articles just added by Selfworm are. But it's worth observing that both encyclopedias (published in the last decade) say "perhaps/probably of Roman descent." I really don't have an opinion, but Egyptian consensus is clearly not the case. Plotinus is the subject of scholarly conferences every year; granted that most of the discussants are regrettably indifferent to his historical context, but still, for a figure this major we should not need to grasp for support from 70-year-old publications. That's a sign of tendentious editing. Wareh 18:13, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
  1. ^ A H Armstrong's Introduction to "Against those THAT AFFIRM THE CREATOR of the Kosmos AND THE KOSMOS ITSELF to be Evil: [Generally Quoted as "Against the Gnostics"]. From the Enneads End of Section 9 comments