“Since Evil is here, “haunting this world by necessary law,” and it is the Soul’s design to escape from Evil, we must escape hence. But what is this escape? “In attaining Likeness to God,” we read. And this is explained as “becoming just and holy, living by wisdom,” the entire nature grounded in Virtue. But does not Likeness by way of Virtue imply Likeness to some being that has Virtue? To what Divine Being, then, would our Likeness be? To the Being- must we not think?- in Which, above all, such excellence seems to inhere, that is to the Soul of the Kosmos and to the Principle ruling within it, the Principle endowed with a wisdom most wonderful. What could be more fitting than that we, living in this world, should become Like to its ruler”?
~ Plotinus The First Ennead: Second Tractate (McKenna Translation)
‘To say that The Good exists by chance must be false; chance belongs to the later, to the multiple; since the First has never come to be, we cannot speak of it either as coming by chance into being or as not master of its being’.
‘…we have to recognize that beauty is that which irradiates symmetry rather than symmetry itself and is that which truly calls out our love. Why else is there more of the glory of beauty upon the living and only some faint trace of it upon the dead though the face yet retains all its fullness and symmetry? Why are the most living portraits the most beautiful, even though the other happen to be more symmetric? Why is the living ugly more attractive than the sculptured handsome? It is that the one is more nearly what we are looking for, and this because there is soul there, because there is more of the Idea of The Good, because there is some glow of the light of The Good and this illumination awakens and lifts the soul and all that goes with it, so that the whole man is won over to goodness and in the fullest measure stirred to life’.
Plotinus, (2005-06-30). The Enneads (Classics) (p. 492). Penguin Classics. Kindle Edition.
“The Good is gentle and kindly and gracious and present to anyone when he wishes. Beauty brings wonder and shock and pleasure mingled with pain, and even draws those who do not know what is happening away from the Good, as the beloved draws a child away from its father: for Beauty is younger. But the Good is older, not in time but in truth, and has the prior power; for It has all power”.
From ‘Plotinus: A Volume of Selections in a New English Translation’ by A. H. Armstrong