Self-culture is the key to this conversion, or rather reversion. It is the body that is the dungeon of the soul. How long can such a captivity be tolerated? The trumpet-call of Plotinus is, therefore, the same as that of the Sufi Master:

“Why wilt thou dwell in mouldy cell, a Captive, O My heart?

Speed, speed thy flight: a nursling bright of yonder world thou art.

He bids thee rest upon His breast; He flings the veil away.

Thy home wherefore make for evermore this mansion of decay?

O contemplate thy true estate, enlarge thyself, and rove

From this dark world, thy prison, whirled to that celestial grove.

O honoured guest in love’s high feast, O bird of the angel-sphere,

’Tis cause to weep, if thou wilt keep thy habitation here.

A voice at morn to thee is borne—God whispers to the soul—

‘If on the way the dust thou lay, thou soon wilt gain the goal.’

That road be thine toward the Shrine! and lo, in bush and briar.

The many slain by love and pain in flower of young desire,

Who on the track fell wounded back and saw not, ere the end,

A ray of bliss, a torch, a kiss, a token of the Friend?”

From sensuality, therefore, the soul must first be freed and led back to itself, and then to the nous. The practical advice is again the same as the Sufi’s:—

“Put wool within the ear of flesh, for that

Makes deaf the inner hearing, as with wool;

If that can hear, the Spirit’s ear is deaf.

Let sense make blind no more the spirit’s eye.

Be without ear, without a sense or thought;

Hark only to the Voice, “Home, wanderer, home!”