Practicing Virtue Engenders Gentleness
The practice of virtues assures a connection between the ecstatic and the everyday. Virtue expresses itself in a particular style of life and in a relationship with others that consists of mildness or gentleness. The secret of gentleness is to be found in a transformation of one’s whole being, a practice of virtue and contemplation that makes one present to Spirit while not excluding presence to other people, the world, and even the body.
Some Important Virtues:
Plotinus or the Simplicity of Vision
This lively philosophical portrait of Plotinus remains the preeminent introduction to him and his thought.
Born in Egypt, Plotinus later moved to Rome, where he lectured and wrote. He is regarded as the founder of Neoplatonism (a term invented by historians of the 19th century ). In his philosophy there are three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. Much of the biographical information about Plotinus comes from Porphyry, a student of Plotinus. In addition, Porphory edited the Enneads, the complete treatises of Plotinus.
Pierre Hadot was a French philosopher and historian of philosophy specializing in ancient philosophy, particularly Neoplatonism. Hadot is best known for his conception of ancient philosophy as a bios (Greek), or way of life. His work has been widely influential in classical studies and on thinkers, including Michel Foucault.
Books written by Pierre Hadot include:
- Plotinus or the Simplicity of Vision
- The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (Meditations of Marcus Aurelius)
- The Present Alone is Our Happiness, Second Edition: Conversations with Jeannie Carlier and Arnold I. Davidson (Cultural Memory in the Present)
- The Veil of Isis: An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature
- What Is Ancient Philosophy?