“If we believe Porphyry when he tells us that his master was born in the thirteenth year of the reign of Severus, that he listened to Ammonius at Alexandria, that he came to Rome at the age of forty, that he died in the Campagna; if we believe him when he tells us of his rules of health and his way of living, his kindness towards orphans entrusted to his care, his way of teaching, of composing works, of pronouncing Greek, of arranging his spelling, and the rest, why should we not believe him when he tells us that the philosopher was inspired by a higher daemon who dwelt within him and who showed himself upon his death in sensible guise? ‘At that moment, a serpent glided under the bed upon which he was reclining and slid into a whole in the wall; and Plotinus gave up his soul.’ Indeed, it would be surprising if the metaphysical eros, wherever Christ does not dwell, did not call for some kind of collusion with superhuman intellectual natures, the rectores hujus mundi.”

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