Introduction

Introduction

         This treatise takes shape through far reaching ideas that have marked important milestones in the advance of human thought, and hopefully lead us to logically consistent views behind the meaning and purpose that appears to hold our reality together. Any system considered metaphysical, that is, any belief system that emphasizes spirit, soul, mind, divinity, or God, goes back to Platonic philosophy for its ideological support. Astrological thought also falls into this category, although it is not an empirical science as such, nor is it simply unstructured mysticism. Astrological precepts operate essentially as an interface mediating between the mental, physical, and spiritual realms.

         The system of Plotinus is not often clearly understood by people with little knowledge of philosophical expositions describing so-called reality. Even the term reality is vague and confusing depending on who is using it for what purpose. For the scientist, a hypothesis that can be proven, or the deductive logic of mathematics best describes reality. For many philosophers, reality is defined through mental constructs explaining our world of experience based on an apprehension of what we have come to learn about life, nature, and only recently, the universe. These thinkers hold that creation presupposes the Idea that ultimately gives rise to it, and at the same time recognizing what is already known and proven.

         Plotinus seems to have understood the mental structure of reality better than the physical. In describing his metaphysical system he alludes intuitively to the physical system that modern science is slowly beginning to understand. The problem with Plotinus’ beliefs, is that they do not conform to what we know about the universe today, such as the existence of solar systems and galaxies. Plotinus lived way before the advent of the telescope, and people would still be debating whether the world was round or flat for another thousand years.

         Whether we accept or reject Plotinus’ views, he does give us the opportunity to look into his inner revelations, or mystical experiences, and through them see inwardly what appears to be a reflection or image of outer reality. It is as though in being able to apprehend his Soul, or the ground of his being, as a logically well organized structure, he at once recognizes the outer form within a much greater Spiritual source, and has little choice but to humbly identify it as the model of all creation.

         The Exegesis that follows, while based on unfolding information and questionable theories, will give the reader a comprehensive overview to the Sentient Universe, and maybe satisfy whatever reasons they might have for taking an interest in this subject. Other readers with little patience for learning about old philosophies may save time and effort wading through the tedium of understanding Plotinus’ ideas as they are framed in his metaphysical teachings. They tend to be difficult in some cases, and many commentators dispute the actual meaning of many translations and interpretations taken from the original manuscripts. Making things more difficult, this writer has taken Plotinus out of his classical concepts, and attempted to understand his thought from the perspective of modern scientific knowledge.

         It has been said that the loftiest pursuit of the human species is the quest for knowledge; without it progress falters and civilizations fall or wither away. The mystic comes to understand that within the Cosmos infinite wisdom gleaned from the ages, backed by powers that drive engines of creation, come to us appearing as tiny points of light in the heavens. If stars generate life, and Spirit the source, then it may be true to say that Wisdom Powers the Universe.

         This treatise is for everyone, but directed to the astrological community in their search for the truth in what they believe by providing a conceptual foundation based on respected sources in many fields of study. In doing so, it provides a ground for understanding this ancient art by presenting a new look at old ideas, and linking them with modern theories. This effort represents a beginning and is far from over. As ideas become more refined, hopefully so will the finished product.

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