The wrong view of subordination
by Andrea Elizabeth
On pages 90-98 of God, History and Dialectic, Dr. Farrell describes Absolute Divine Simplicity. I’ll not summarize it here, but will pull a quote of the implications relating to subordinationism, which can lead to a misunderstanding of the Trinity.
This being said, the “Many” which are first produced in Plotinus’
system are, first, the Nous, or “Mind”, and secondly, the World-Soul.
The first production of the One must be Mind, since
Mind’s most basic operation is that of dialectical opposition: It knows itself.
And, in similar fashion, the World Soul is a further declension from the
“two-thirds simplicity” of the Mind precisely in that It is the knowledge of
the Mind knowing Itself. In effect, Plotinus is simply “demythologizing”
Gnosticism, with its various intermediary entities between God and
creation by dressing up the “hierarchy of beings” in chique and sleek
philosophical language. There are certain unique structures of Plotinus’
version of this chain of being:
(1). The Mind, or Nous, is subordinate to the One because it is
caused by It, while the One is Uncaused;
(2). The World-Soul, being the knowledge produced by the Mind
knowing itself, is therefore produced by the Mind, and is
therefore subordinate to It.
I suspect the problem is one of decreasing hierarchy, and not just origination. The Mind is an inferior emanation from the One, And the World Soul is a lesser, more diverse emanation from the Mind. By the time one gets to created matter, the deterioration is so complete that it become evil. An antithesis.