Plotinus finally refined this idea that time is the moving image of eternity, in this passage:

“If eternity, [aion], is life at rest, unchanging and identical and already unbounded, and time must exist as an image of eternity . . . then we must say that there is another lower life [corresponding to the higher life. The lower life has instead of aunity] without distance or separation, a . . . unity . . .by continuity; and instead of a complete unbounded whole, a continuous unbounded succession and instead of a whole all together, a whole which is and always will be going to come into being part by part.” ~9Enneads, III, 7, 11.

It is a psychologically profound notion that eternity, or aion, is an image of totality outside of time, whereas time is an image of that same totality spread out in a temporal sequence.

This corresponds exactly to Jung’s remark in Mysterium Coniunctionis:

“The one after-another is a bearable prelude to the deeper knowledge of the side-by-side.” ~Carl Jung, CW 14, par. 206.

Aion was thought of as an inner water and it was also thought that after the death of the individual, that inner water was left as a snake; the snake was imagined as the soul of the departed one, inhabiting the tomb perhaps.

All of these connections are included in figure 1, a cluster diagram showing the major references to Aion.

This psychic organism called aion has also appeared in many Biblical passages.

The Old Testament was translated into Greek in the third century B.C., and the word Aion shows up there.

Yahweh says to Abraham in Canaan, “All the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed, for an Aion.” (Gen. 13:15, ASV)

The usual translation is “forever.”

Yahweh says to Moses, concerning the celebration of the Passover, “You must keep these rules as an ordinance for an Aion for you and your children.” (Exod. 12:24, JB)

“For all time” is the way it is translated into English, but as you can see it does not mean exactly “for all time.”

This is what it means to late Western man, but not quite what it meant at the beginning. ~Edward F. Edinger, Aion Lectures, Pages 16-17

 

 

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