The Misticism of the Self in the Philosophy of Plotinus

Main Article Content

Mateusz Stróżyński


The subject of the article is analysis of mystical experience in Plotinus’ philosophy from the perspective of the experience of the self. The author point to two distinct levels of contemplation present in Plotinu: the noetic and the hypernoetic one. The first is an intellectual intuition of the true being, while the latter is a union with the One above being through unknowing. Hypernoetic experience is discusses in terms of an experience of the core of the human self, which is inseparably united to the One in such a way that the ultimate experience of the self is, at the same time, the experience of the One as indistinct from the self. Plotinus, however, does not interpret this experience as a testimony to the objective identity of the One and the soul, but in terms of a subjective state which is, in a way, contradictory to the metaphysical state of affairs. The One is distinct from the soul, but in the ultimate experience become indistinguishable from it. The mysticism of the self within philosophy brings about an inevitable tension which is overcome by Plotinus through the use of distinction between the experience of reality and reality in itself. 


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Stróżyński, M. (2016). The Misticism of the Self in the Philosophy of Plotinus. Filozofia Chrześcijańska, 13, 97-120.
Dział główny


  1. Armstrong A.H., The apprehension of divinity in the self and cosmos in Plotinus, w: The Significance of Neoplatonism, red. B. Harris, Albany–New York 1976, s. 187-197.
  2. Armstrong A.H., The Architecture of the Intelligible Universe in the Philosophy of Plotinus: An Analytical and Historical Study, Cambridge 1940.
  3. Arnou R. Le désir de Dieu dans la philosophie de Plotin, Rome 1967.
  4. Arp R., Plotinus, Mysticism, and Mediation, „Religious Studies”, 40, 2004, s. 145-163.
  5. Arraj J., God, Zen, and the Intuition of Being, Cheloquin 1988.
  6. Arraj J., Mysticism, Metaphysics and Maritain, Cheloquin 1993.
  7. Baladi N., La pensée de Plotin, Paris 1970.
  8. Bussanich J., Mystical elements in the Thought of Plotinus, „Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt” 36, 7 (1997), s. 5300-5330.
  9. Bussanich J., Non-discursive thought in Plotinus and Proclus, “Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale”, R. 8, 1997, s. 191-210.
  10. Bussanich J., Plotinus’s metaphysics of the One, w: The Cambridge Companion to Plotinus, red. L.P. Gerson, Cambridge 1996, s. 38-65.
  11. Bussanich J., The One and Its Relation to Intellect in Plotinus, Leiden–New York 1988.
  12. Cary P., Augustine’s Invention of the Inner Self. The Legacy of a Christian Platonist, Oxford 2000.
  13. Charrue J.-M., Note sur Plotin et la mystique, „Kernos”, R. 16, 2003, s. 197-204.
  14. Corrigan K., Essence and existence in the Enneads, w: The Cambridge Companion to Plotinus, red. L.P. Gerson, Cambridge 1996, s. 105-129.
  15. Corrigan K., „Solitary” Mysticism in Plotinus, Proclus, Gregory of Nyssa, and Pseudo-Dionysius, „Journal of Religion”, R. 76, 1996, nr 1, s. 28-42.
  16. Crystal I., Plotinus on the Structure of Self-Intellection, „Phronesis”, R. 43, 1998, nr 3, s. 264-286.
  17. Deck J.N., Nature, Contemplation, and the One. A Study in the Philosophy of Plotinus, Toronto 1967.
  18. Dodds E.R., Tradition and Personal Achievement in the Philosophy of Plotinus, „The Journal of Roman Studies”, R. 50, 1960, nr 1, s. 1-7.
  19. Emilsson E.K. Plotinus on Intellect, Oxford 2007.
  20. Gerson L.P., Plotinus, London–New York 1994.
  21. Gerson L.P., Plotinus’s Metaphysics: Emanation or Creation?, “Review of Metaphysics” 46, 3 (1993), 559-574.
  22. Hadot P., L’union de l’âme avec l’intellect divin dans l’experience mystique plotinienne, w: Proclus et son influence: actes du colloque de Neuchâtel, juin 1985, red. G. Boss, G. Seel, Zürich 1987, s. 3-27.
  23. Hadot P., Plotyn albo prostota spojrzenia, tłum. P. Domański, Kęty 2004.
  24. Jan od Krzyża, Droga na górę Karmel, w: św. Jan od Krzyża, Dzieła, tłum. B. Smyrak, Kraków 1998.
  25. Jan od Krzyża, Noc ciemna, w: św. Jan od Krzyża, Dzieła, tłum. B. Smyrak, Kraków 1998.
  26. Kelessidou-Galanou A., L’extase plotinienne et la problématique de la personne humaine, „Revue des Études Grecques”, R. 84, 1971, s. 384-396.
  27. Kenney J.P., The Mysticism of Saint Augustine. Rereading the “Confessions”, New York–London 2005.
  28. Leroux G., Human freedom in the thought of Plotinus, w: The Cambridge Companion to Plotinus, red. L.P. Gerson, Cambridge 1996.
  29. Maritain J., Pisma filozoficzne, tłum. J. Fenrychowa, Kraków 1988.
  30. Meijer P.A., Plotinus on the Good or the One (Enneads VI.9). An Analytical Commentary, Amsterdam 1992.
  31. Michaelides C.P., Plotinus and Jaspers, „Diotima”, R.4, 1976, s. 37-46.
  32. O’Daly G.J.P., Plotinus’ Philosophy of the Self, Shannon 1973.
  33. O’Meara D., Plotinus: An Introduction to the Enneads, Oxford 1993.
  34. Oosthout H., Modes of Knowledge and the Transcendental: An Introduction to Plotinus Ennead 5.3 (49) with a Commentary and Translation, Amsterdam–Philadelphia 1991.
  35. Plotinus, Enneads, t. 1-7, tłum. A.H. Armstrong, Cambridge 2000-2003.
  36. Rist J.M., Back to the Mysticism of Plotinus: Some More Specifics, „Journal of the History of Philosophy” vol. 27, nr 2, 1989, s. 183-197.
  37. Rist J.M., Plotinus. The Road to Reality, Cambridge 1967.
  38. Ross D.L., Thomizing Plotinus: A Critique of Professor Gerson, “Phronesis” 41, 2(1996), s. 197-204.
  39. Schroeder F.M., Conversion and Consciousness in Plotinus, Enneads 5, 1 [10],7, „Hermes”, R. 114, 1986, s. 186-195.
  40. Sells M.A., Apophasis in Plotinus. A Critical Approach, „Harvard Theological Review”, R. 78, 1985, t. 1, nr 2, s. 47-65.
  41. Sinnige T.G., Plotinus on the Human Person and Its Cosmic Identity, „Vigiliae Christianae”, R. 56, 2002, nr 3, s. 292-295.
  42. Smith A., Unconsciousness and quasiconsciousness in Plotinus, „Phronesis”, R. 23, 1978, nr 3, s. 292-301.
  43. Sorabji R., Time, Mysticism, and Creation, w: Augustine’s “Confessions”. Critical Essays, red. W.E. Mann, Oxford 2006, s. 209-236.
  44. Stróżyński M., Intelekt, kontemplacja i szczęście w Enneadach Plotyna, „Studia Antyczne i Mediewistyczne” 11[46] (2013), s. 57-80.
  45. Stróżyński M., Kontemplacja a filozofia u Jacquesa Maritain i Plotyna, „Kwartalnik Filozoficzny” 41, 3(2013), s. 19-41.
  46. Stróżyński M., Kontemplacja a poznanie w filozofii Plotyna, „Logos i Ethos” 35, 2(2013), s. 259-295.
  47. Stróżyński M., Możność i akt w Plotyńskiej koncepcji kontemplacji, „U Schyłku Starożytności” 13(2014), s. 33-54.
  48. Teresa od Jezusa, Twierdza wewnętrzna, w: Dzieła, tłum. H.P. Kossowski, Kraków 1987.
  49. Torchia J., Plotinus, Tolma, and the Descent of Being: An Exposition and Analysis, New York 1993.
  50. Trouillard J., La purification plotinienne, Paris 1955.
  51. Trouillard J., Plotin et le moi, w: , Horizons de la personne, red. A. Jagu, Paris 1965, s. 59-75.
  52. Wallis R.T., ΝΟΥΣ as Experience, w: The Significance of Neoplatonism, red. B. Harris, Albany–New York 1976, s. 121-154.
  53. Westra L., Plotinus and Freedom, New York 1990.
  54. Woszczyk A., Problem hen i aoristos dyas w Enneadach Plotyna, Katowice 2007.
  55. Zaehner R.C., Mysticism, sacred and profane; an inquiry into some varieties of praeter-natural experience, Oxford 1957.