Today, through the use of advanced technology and mathematics we know that this is scientifically correct. This would suggest that Democritus had an experience no less important than the enlightenment of the Buddha, as it radically redefined humanity’s perception of reality and existence, and yet generally speaking, there are no temples containing statues of Democritus, or people applying a meditative method to replicate his mode of thought.
The natural ‘distance’ the net creates prevents an appreciation of beauty falling into ordinary lust and desire – which are absolutely fine within their proper context. Beauty has many levels of appreciation that can be obscured b the immediacy of sexual desire – which necessarily exists to perpetuate the species!
Whatever the case, I suspect Plotinus fully understood that the world of matter was primary for biological life, and that through this biological existence, the rarefied state of conscious awareness that Plotinus undoubtedly experienced, could only be realised if the physical body (and the mind it contains) was trained in the right way.
Therefore, it must be truthfully stated (as Plotinus does), that a continuously changing beauty exists beyond any concepts of ‘static’ beauty, and that such a beauty with regards to that which lives is ‘beautiful’, but that even that which is ‘dead’ is also ‘beautiful’ when viewed in a certain way. Although Plotinus advocates (for a time) a ruthlessly ‘looking within’, he does not permanently ‘reject’ the physical world he strives to ‘look beyond’.
Alan Watts, I suspect, is mixing Western notions of Japanese Zen with modern, Western concepts of science, and he does this very well, but the point he is missing is that from the perspective of Chinese Ch’an, there is a stage of development he does not know about and therefore is missing in his analysis.
However an individual arrives at Taijiquan mastery, the fact remains that the bones and joints are aligned (allowing the bodyweight to drop unhindered into the ground – creating an equal and opposite rebounding force), creating a rounded posture that deflects any incoming force – making the bones appear to have the density of concrete (thus damaging the opponent’s attacking limbs). This is internal iron vest.