Plotinus 3.1.4 – 10, Universal Determination

Yesterday, I went to a half marathon race. I was aware as my car turned out of my street that I was making myself go to the race. I became aware of how I make myself do everything. Getting out of bed each and every day is something I make myself do.

Who are these people who love getting up in the morning?

But I need to frame my life in spirituality. The material world, American society and past times, no longer hold interest and haven\’t for many years. Pondering of ideas is what I do.

Plotinus\’ third Ennead starts off providing several theories of self and direction of the universe. Of course, human seekers are mainly concerned with their own self determination. Plotinus arrives at the individual Soul and the Principle. \”But when our Soul holds to its Reason-Principle, to the guide, pure and detached and native to itself, only then can we speak of personal operation, of voluntary act.\”

He has already explained what could be voluntary in terms of noble souls and poorer souls. The poorer soul defers to bodily temperament in unreflective acceptance of stimulus. The nobler soul holds good against its surroundings.

In this life, my soul has been remarkably resistant to the less noble, has sought the noble and attempted to carry it out. Along the line, reflection occurred and determination to abstain formed in place.

This doesn\’t bring dopamine rewards or the temporary ecstasy found in candy, thrills and copulation. I believe American society seeks greater and greater material world thrills because it doesn\’t have the capacity to reflect or to look beyond. There is only the rushing forward for more and more, with no degree of noble action carried out. Noble actions don\’t pay off usually.

Somehow, Universal Determination gets me out of bed. I resist numerous daily onslaughts of food and entertainment. I just stand determined in my behavior. Some lack of wisdom is suffered, but the overall pattern holds and increases in it determination.

Just now I realize: I don\’t want to transcend this self. This self is evidence of my Soul and its connection to Spirit.

Train for marathons or eat cookies. What is your choice to be? I\’ll take the marathon. The idea of marathon is noble compared to obesity. I am determined and plan to stay that way. I will reflect and deny the stimulus. Mindfulness? Fuck yeah!

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