‘The Sun And The Mirror’

I find Plotinus’ writings on the nature of God and the universe to be most intriguing. He taught that the universe emanated from a transcendent God (the One) unaffected or undiminished by Creation. Plotinus used the analogy of the rays of the sun or a reflection in a mirror to describe this relationship.

This Neo-Platonist concept of the universe emanating from God is reminiscent of the contemporary scientific theory of the ‘Big Bang’ with the universe exploding outwards from a single point. Where Plotinus differs is that current scientific theory suggests creation ex nihilo- a point of view that Plotinus disagreed with.

It is striking that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá uses similar Neo-Platonist arguments and imagery in ‘Some Answered Questions’ saying that

..there is the world of God, the world of the Kingdom, and the world of Creation: three things. The first emanation from God is the bounty of the Kingdom, which emanates and is reflected in the reality of the creatures, like the light which emanates from the sun..


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