Form of Platonism developed by Plotinus in the 3rd century AD and modified by his successors. It came to dominate the Greek philosophical schools and remained predominant until the teaching of philosophy by pagans ended in the late 6th century. It postulated an all-sufficient unity, the One, from which emanated the Divine Mind, or logos, and below that, the World Soul. Those transcendent realities were thought to support the visible world. All things emanated from the One, and individual souls could rise to mystical union with the One through contemplation. Though Plotinus's thought in some respects resembles Gnosticism, he was passionately opposed to that doctrine.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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