Neoplatonic thought states that the universe is structured with God at the top, and everything else leading up to God in a series of steps underneath him. "The philosophical tradition that Christianity found most compatible was the Platonic: its distinction between changing sense appearances and unchanging, immaterial "forms" known through the intellect complemented Christianity’s otherworldly orientation."[1] In other words, a person gradually moves away from the material to the spiritual. "Neoplatonists hold that being incorporated into the material realm—though not in itself evil—makes a person fall into a state of exile and forget existence’s true goal: reunion with the divine."[2]

Reunion with the divine comes with death if Neoplatonic thought underpins medieval philosophy, then theoretically death should be viewed as a glorious occasion, not a dreaded one.

 

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[1] Lillian Bisson, Chaucer and the Late Medieval World, (New York, 1998) p. 5.

[2] Bisson, p.7.