“Similarly, as it seems to me, the wise of Egypt- whether in precise knowledge or by a prompting of nature- indicated the truth where, in their effort towards philosophical statement, they left aside the writing-forms that take in the detail of words and sentences- those characters that represent sounds and convey the propositions of reasoning- and drew pictures instead, engraving in the temple- inscriptions a separate image for every separate item: thus they exhibited the mode in which the Supreme goes forth.
For each manifestation of knowledge and wisdom is a distinct image, an object in itself, an immediate unity, not as aggregate of discursive reasoning and detailed willing. Later from this wisdom in unity there appears, in another form of being, an image, already less compact, which announces the original in an outward stage and seeks the causes by which things are such that the wonder rises how a generated world can be so excellent.
For, one who knows must declare his wonder that this Wisdom, while not itself containing the causes by which Being exists and takes such excellence, yet imparts them to the entities produced in Being's realm. This excellence whose necessity is scarcely or not at all manifest to search, exists, if we could but find it out, before all searching and reasoning.
What I say may be considered in one chief thing, and thence applied to all the particular entities:”
(Plotinus, 5th Ennead, Eighth Tractate, Section 6)