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Plotinus is often accredited as the founder
of Neo-Platonism. In an attempt to revive Platonic
thought, this third century philosopher and mystic wrote
about issues such as virtue, happiness, reason, body, and
soul, with Plato's philosophy as his guide. Like Plato,
Plotinus had much disdain for material things and instead
embraced the idea of a higher realm of immaterial
intelligibility. Plotinus located the source of creation
in a supreme "One." Plotinus believed this "One"
transcended being, nonbeing, multiplicity, and division.
The Enneads were compiled by Plotinus' student, Porphyry,
who gathered together his teacher's essays and arranged
and edited them himself. These writings had a significant
impact on the religious metaphysicians and mystics from
the ancient world. Plotinus has also influenced many
thinkers of Islam, Indian Monism, and the Eastern Orthodox
CCEL Staff Writer