I don't often plug my book about Plotinus, the 3nd century Greek Neoplatonist philosopher and mystic. Return to the One continues to have slow but steady sales, with good reader reviews on Amazon.
Recently, though, my book got a pleasing recommendation from Christine McGinley, who founded a small book publishing company called Gleam of Light Press. Here's the email message I got from her.
We want to let you know that the launch of Gleam of Light’s “Other Great Finds” is now up on the website: https://www.gleamoflightpress.com/ and we are pleased and proud to have Return to the One among our first offerings.
One of the many things Emerson and the Transcendentalists have concretized for us is the recognition of intrinsic rewards as the greatest of riches. Please know that among the great rewards this project has yielded is the response from the authors and publishers involved – people who also appreciate intrinsic rewards.
We look forward to sharing many more great finds as we move forward slowly and thoughtfully.
Thank you so much for your graciousness and support.
Very best regards,
Christine Mary McGinley
Gleam of Light Press has a web page called "Other Great Finds." Return to the One is in some excellent company there.
I enjoyed seeing my book's cover one row down from Emerson's Essays and Walden. Not that I in any way compare myself to Emerson and Thoreau. I'm just pleased to be on the same web page as them.
This is how Gleam of Light Press describes Return to the One.
Plotinus, the third-century Greek philosopher and mystic, considered himself a devoted follower of Plato. He has since been recognized as the ultimate Platonist and the embodiment of hundreds of years of Greek thought.
As scholars have pointed out, Plotinus shed new light on Plato’s philosophy minus the political and social elements. In other words, Plotinus dealt with the inner life, the life of the soul, and gave little attention to the worldly. This in itself is most telling of Plotinus’s philosophy, which many have described as an expansion of Plato’s mysticism.
As Brian Hines describes it, “Plotinus taught that no matter what we’re doing with our lives, it’s all pretty much worthless if we’re not yet in touch with our genuine beings.” And being in touch with our genuine beings has nothing to do with our outward identities or even the knowledge we accumulate over our lifetime. It has to do with the attention we give to the attainment of inner wisdom.
Plotinus believed that all of the urges we experience as human beings – to love, to create, to be moral – even to find our way as spiritual beings – are manifestations of the same primal yearning to “return to the One” – to be reunited with our true source, the source of all.
As Hines makes clear, Plotinus’s philosophy, which was a germinating force in major world religions, was in perfect alignment with the original root meaning of “religion”– religare – “to bind back to God.”
For those who wish to understand the spiritual teachings of Plotinus, Brian Hines’s Return to the One makes the “mystic Plato” thoroughly accessible. He explains Plotinus’s ideas about the nature of spirit, about the soul as the essence of identity, about the power of a contemplative life.
He also sheds light on the enormous role Plotinus and Greek philosophy have played in the formation of religious and spiritual thought throughout the world. He even explains why The Enneads, the writings Plotinus left behind, are impenetrable for those of us who have not spent years in deep study.
Plotinus wrote solely for his inner circle of disciples who were already deeply versed in his philosophy. He did not anticipate that one of those students, Porphyry, would one day publish The Enneads in their raw, unedited form.
Return to the One is a complete and inspiring introduction to Plotinus. One comes away from it with a deep sense of Plotinus’s philosophy, his unique presence in the evolution of spiritual thought, and the great value of his ideas for every seeker of wisdom.
The Gleam of Light Team
Return to the One
2004, Adrasteia Publishing