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Plotino - Tratado 2,9 (IV, 7, 9) — A alma é princípio de vida: ela tem o ser e a vida por ela mesma.

Enéada IV, 7, 9

sábado 14 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 9 a 12: A natureza da alma.

  • Cap. 9. A alma é princípio de vida: ela tem o ser e a vida por ela mesma.
  • Cap. 10. A alma é de natureza divina: ela goza eternamente de uma vida boa e refletida.
  • Cap. 11-12. A alma é imortal, indestrutível, indivisível e imutável.

Míguez

9. Pero existe otra naturaleza que, por sí misma, posee el ser y constituye el ser verdadero, que ni nace ni perece. Pues si pereciese, todas las cosas desaparecerían con ella y, finalmente, ya no podrían renacer. Porque es ese ser el que les procura su conservación, y no sólo a ellas sino también a este mundo, conservado y ordenado por un alma. Como principio del movimiento, que lo proporciona a las demás cosas, ha de moverse por sí misma. Y, si da la vida al cuerpo animado, la tendrá también por sí misma y no podrá perderla nunca, aunque (como decimos) la posea por sí misma. Pues no todos los seres vivos tienen una vida que les venga de fuera, ya que en ese caso prolongaríamos la serie hasta el infinito. Se hace necesaria, por tanto, una cierta naturaleza primera dotada de vida, que sea a la vez imperecedera y eterna, como tal principio de vida que es para todas las demás cosas. De ahí que debamos concederle todo elemento divino y bienaventurado que obtenga la vida y el ser de sí mismo, esto es, que sea el primer ser y el primer viviente, incapaz de cambio en su esencia y de todo posible nacimiento o destrucción. Porque, ¿de dónde iba a nacer y en qué iba a consumirse? Si queremos mostrar verdaderamente este atributo del ser, no hemos de concebirlo unas veces como ser y otras como no-ser, al igual que lo blanco, si es en sí mismo un color, no puede ser unas veces blanco y otras no-blanco. Si lo blanco fuese el ser, además de la cualidad de blanco tendría siempre la de constituir un ser. Pero sólo tiene la cualidad de blanco, siendo así que lo que posee el ser por sí mismo y de manera primitiva habrá de ser siempre un ser. Este ser, que es por tanto primitivo y eterno, no podrá estar muerto, como la piedra o el leño, sino que vivirá y gozará de una vida pura, en tanto subsista solo y por sí mismo. Si se mezcla a algo inferior, encuentra un obstáculo para lo mejor, pero no por ello ve destruida su naturaleza, ya que puede recobrar su antigua condición y remontar así hacia aquélla.

Bouillet

Il est absolument nécessaire qu’il y ait une nature différente des corps, possédant pleinement par elle-même l’être véritable, qui ne peut ni naître ni périr; autrement, toutes choses s’évanouiraient sans retour, si jamais venait à périr l’être qui conserve les individus et l’univers, qui en fait le salut comme la beauté. L’âme, en effet, est le principe du mouvement (76); c’est elle qui le communique au reste; quant à elle, elle se meut elle-même. Elle donne la vie au corps qu’elle anime ; mais seule elle possède la vie, sans être jamais sujette à la perdre, parce qu’elle la possède par elle-même. Tous les êtres, en effet, ne vivent pas d’une vie empruntée; sinon, il faudrait remontera l’infini de cause en cause. Il y a donc une nature premièrement vivante, nécessairement incorruptible et immortelle parce qu’elle est le principe de la vie pour tout le reste. C’est là qu’il faut édifier (77) tout ce qui est divin et bienheureux, qui vit et qui existe par soi-même, qui vit et qui existe au premier degré, qui est immuable dans son essence, qui ne peut ni naître ni périr. Comment, en effet, l’être naîtrait-il et périrait-il ? Si le nom d’être lui convient réellement, il faut qu’il existe toujours, comme la blancheur n’est pas tantôt blanche, tantôt noire. Si la blancheur était l’être même, elle posséderait avec son essence [qui est d’être la blancheur] une existence éternelle ; mais, dans la réalité, elle n’est que la blancheur. Donc, le principe qui possède l’être par lui-même et au premier degré existera toujours. Or, cet être premier, éternel, ne doit pas être une chose morte comme une pierre, un morceau de bois. Il doit vivre, et vivre d’une vie pure, tant qu’il demeure en lui-même. Si quelque chose de lui se mêle à ce qui est inférieur, cette partie rencontre dès obstacles dans son aspiration au bien, mais elle ne perd pas sa nature, et elle reprend son ancienne condition quand elle retourne à ce qui lui est propre (78).

Guthrie

THE PERSISTENCE OF THE CHANGEABLE IMPLIES THE ETERNAL IN THE BACKGROUND.

9. (14). It is absolutely necessary to postulate the existence of a nature different from bodies, by itself fully possessing genuine existence, which can neither be born nor perish. Otherwise, all other things would hopelessly disappear, as a result of the destruction of the existence which preserves both the individuals and the universe, as their beauty and salvation. The soul, indeed, is the principle of movement (as Plato   thought, in the Phraedrus); it is the soul that imparts movement to everything else; the soul moves herself. She! imparts life to the body she animates; but alone she possesses life, without ever being subject to losing it, because she possesses it by herself. All beings, indeed, live only by a borrowed life; otherwise, we would have to proceed from cause to cause unto infinity. There must, therefore, exist a nature that is primarily alive, necessarily incorruptible and immortal because it is the principle of life for everything else. It is thereon that must be founded all that is divine and blessed, that lives and exists by itself, that lives and exists supremely, which is immutable in its essence, and which can neither be born nor perish. How indeed could existence be born or perish? If the name of "existence" really suited it, it must exist forever, just as whiteness is not alternately black and white. If whiteness were existence itself, it would, with its "being" (or nature) (which is, to be whiteness), possess an eternal existence; but, in reality, it is no more than whiteness. Therefore, the principle that possesses existence in itself and in a supreme degree will always exist. Now this primary and eternal existence can not be anything dead like a stone, or a piece of wood. It must live, and live with a pure life, as long as it exists within itself. If something of it mingles with what is inferior, this part meets obstacles in its aspiration to the good; but it does not lose its nature, and resumes its former condition on returning to a suitable condition (as thought Plato  , in his Phaedo  ).

Taylor

IX. There must, therefore, be another nature which possesses existence from itself, and such is every thing which is truly being, and which is neither generated, nor destroyed. For without the subsistence of this, all things would vanish into non-entity, and this perishing, would not afterwards be generated; since this imparts safety to all other things, and also to the universe which through soul is preserved and adorned. For soul is the principle of motion, with which it supplies other things, itself moving itself, and imparting life to the animated body. But it possesses life from itself, which it will never lose, because it is derived from itself. For all things do not use an adventitious life, or there would be a progression of life to infinity. But it is necessary there should be a certain nature primarily vital, which is also necessarily indestructible and immortal, as being the principle of life to other things. Here, likewise, it is requisite that every thing divine and blessed should be established, living from itself, and existing primarily being, and primarily vital, void of essential mutation, and being neither generated nor destroyed. For whence could it be generated, or into what could it perish ? If, likewise, it is necessary that the appellation of being should truly belong to this nature, it is requisite that it should not at one time exist, and at another not; just as a colour which is of itself white, is not at one time white, and at another not white. If, however, whiteness was [real] being, together with being white, it would likewise always be. But now it possesses whiteness alone. That, however, to which being is present which is from itself, and is primarily being, will always have a subsistence. Hence, this which is primarily and perpetually being, ought not to be destitute of life, like a stone, or a piece of wood, but to be vital, and enjoy a pure life, in that part of itself which is alone permanent. But that part of it which is mingled with a subordinate nature is an impediment to its possession of the best of things, yet it does not through this lose its nature, but resumes its ancient condition, when it recurs to things which are [truly] its own.

MacKenna

9. (14) Over against that body, stands the principle which is self-caused, which is all that neither enters into being nor passes away, the principle whose dissolution would mean the end of all things never to be restored if once this had ceased to be, the sustaining principle of things individually, and of this kosmos, which owes its maintenance and its ordered system to the soul.

This is the starting point of motion and becomes the leader and provider of motion to all else: it moves by its own quality, and every living material form owes life to this principle, which of itself lives in a life that, being essentially innate, can never fail.

Not all things can have a life merely at second hand; this would give an infinite series: there must be some nature which, having life primally, shall be of necessity indestructible, immortal, as the source of life to all else that lives. This is the point at which all that is divine and blessed must be situated, living and having being of itself, possessing primal being and primal life, and in its own essence rejecting all change, neither coming to be nor passing away.

Whence could such a being arise or into what could it disappear: the very word, strictly used, means that the thing is perdurable. Similarly white, the colour, cannot be now white and now not white: if this "white" were a real being it would be eternal as well as being white: the colour is merely white but whatsoever possesses being, indwelling by nature and primal, will possess also eternal duration. In such an entity this primal and eternal Being cannot be dead like stone or plank: it must be alive, and that with a life unalloyed as long as it remains self-gathered: when the primal Being blends with an inferior principle, it is hampered in its relation to the highest, but without suffering the loss of its own nature since it can always recover its earliest state by turning its tendency back to its own.