Turning to the historical forms of the theory we may class Plotinus as a mystical monist: he attains to the One which is the All by an act of mystic union raising him above the phenomenal sphere.
Bishop Berkeley's scheme for the Bermuda islands), but the opposition of Gallienus's counsellors and the death of Plotinus prevented the plan from being carried out.
He insists throughout on the unity and the indivisibility of God, whereas Plotinus and Porphyry had admitted not only a Trinity, but even an Ennead (nine-fold personality).
What Plotinus understands by the nous is the highest sphere accessible to the human mind (KOauor vonros), and, along with that, pure thought itself.
It should be observed that Plotinus himself is still too Platonic to hold that the absolute mortification of natural bodily appetites is required for purifying the soul; but this ascetic inference was drawn to the fullest extent by his disciple Porphyry.
This was shortly followed by the translation of Plotinus into Latin, and by a voluminous commentary, the former finished in 1486, the latter in 1491, and both published at the cost of Lorenzo de' Medici just one month after his death.
In support of image-worship he advanced ' Porphyry tells us that on four occasions during the six years of their intercourse Plotinus attained to this ecstatic union with God.
But if we search Plotinus for evidence of any actual influence of Jewish and Christian philosophy, we search in vain; and the existence of any such influence is all the more unlikely because it is only the later Neoplatonism that offers striking and deep-rooted parallels to Philo and the Gnostics.
A rigid monotheism appeared to Plotinus a miserable conception.
The systematic theosophy of Plotinus and his successors does not belong to the present article, except so far as it is the presupposition of their mysticism; but, inasmuch as the mysticism of the medieval Church is directly derived from Neoplatonism through the speculations of the pseudo-Dionysius, Neoplatonic mysticism fills an important section in any historical review of the subject.