At long last, my book about Plotinus, a third century mystic Greek philosopher, is available for purchase. At the moment a photo of the “Return to the One” cover is missing from some of the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and BookSense listings. You can mosey on over to this Unlimited Publishing “Return to the One” page if you want to read more about the book and have a vision of what the book looks like.
Why did I write this book? Hard to say. Like life itself, and consciousness itself, what we do in our lives with our consciousnesses is a mystery. We make up reasons for why we do something, but whether the reasons we weave bear any relation to rock-bottom reality is another question. What I do know is that I've come to love Plotinus, in the best Platonic sense.
On p. xvii of the book I say, “Up to a few years ago I knew next to nothing about his teachings. But I was strongly drawn to his mystic philosophy once I started to seriously study the Enneads. For most of my fifty-five years I’ve cast my intellectual net widely in the world’s ocean of philosophical, religious, mystical, and metaphysical literature. Yet I’ve never found a spiritual system so simultaneously appealing to the mind and the heart, to reason and intuition, to logic and passion.”
So here’s my Top Ten Reasons to read “Return to the One.” Half are serious, half are light-hearted. That fits with the style of this book, which one advance reviewer said is “written in a lively, accessible way.”
10. Plotinus espouses a universal non-religious metaphysics that is wonderfully refreshing in these times of “my God is better than your God!” pseudo-spirituality.
9. Most of the chapters are just 4-6 pages long. This is a book that begs for bathroom reading.
8. The philosophy of Plotinus and Plato was highly praised by St. Augustine, who incorporated many Platonic notions into his metaphysics. So Christians will find in Plotinus strong echoes of their own faith.
7. With the Athens Olympics slated for August, no coffee table will be trendily complete without a Greek-related book on it (so buy two, one for the bathroom and one for the living room).
6. Plotinus doesn’t ask you to leave your rationality at the church/ temple/ mosque/ wherever door. His spiritual philosophy makes tremendous sense, and also is tremendously inspiring.
5. You’ll be able to casually throw “Well, as Plotinus says…” into your conversations, thereby simultaneously perplexing and impressing those with whom you speak.
4. The spiritual truths Plotinus points us toward are to be found within our own selves, not without. So there’s no need to run around looking for wisdom and well-being in all the wrong places. Meaning, anywhere outside of your own self.
3. You won’t be able to write and get a response from Bill Clinton after you read “My Life.” But if you let me know what you think of “Return to the One,” we’ll have a real interchange.
2. This book can be read again and again (I’ve done so dozens of times), and you’ll never fully plumb the depths of Plotinus’ meaning. Colloquially speaking, this dude is deep, man.
1. Plotinus’ philosophy is called Neoplatonism. Its central feature is the One (or what many call “God”). In the Matrix, Keanu Reeves’ character is named “Neo,” and Morpheus believes that Neo is the One. So is Plotinus cool, or what?
In honor of my book’s release, I have added a “Plotinus” category to HinesSight. Here I will place Plotinus-related postings, which hopefully will include laudatory reviews. Or, maybe not. As much as I like praise, I try to remember than with writing it’s the from-the-heart saying that is important, not how others respond to what I’ve said.