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Plotino - Tratado 2,10 (IV, 7, 10) — A alma é de natureza divina

Enéada IV, 7, 10

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.

10. Que se tenha demonstrado que ela não é absolutamente um corpo torna evidente o fato que a alma é aparentada à natureza divina e eterna. Bem entendido, ela não tem nem forma, nem cor e ela não pode ser tocada. Que ela seja bem desprovida de tudo isso, pode-se ainda estabelecer da seguinte maneira. [...]

Igal

10 Ahora bien, que el alma está «emparentada» con la más divina y la eterna de las dos naturalezas, lo pone ya de manifiesto nuestra demostración de que no es un cuerpo; es más, tampoco tiene figura ni color ni es tangible. Sin embargo, también cabe mostrarlo por las consideraciones siguientes. Una vez que hemos convenido en que todo lo divino y todo ser real goza de una «vida buena y sabia», hay que estudiar lo siguiente a esto, partiendo de nuestra alma: cómo es por naturaleza. Tomemos el alma, no la que, encarnada en un cuerpo, ha asumido apetitos irracionales e iras y ha albergado otras afecciones, sino la que se ha restregado todo eso y no tiene, en lo posible, consorcio con el cuerpo. Esta alma pone de manifiesto que los males son para ella aditamentos y que vinieron de fuera, pero que, si se purifica, se hacen presentes en ella las cosas más eximias: «la sabiduría y las otras virtudes», que le son propias. Si, pues, el alma es de tal condición cuando retorna a sí misma ¿cómo negar que pertenezca a aquella naturaleza que decimos que es la propia de todo lo divino y eterno? Porque la sabiduría y la virtud verdadera, siendo cosas divinas, no pueden implantarse en una cosa vil y mortal, sino que necesariamente ha de ser divino un ser de tal calidad, puesto que participa en cosas divinas por su parentesco y consustancialidad con ellas. Y por eso, cualquiera de nosotros que sea de tal calidad, distará bien poco en su alma misma de los seres excelsos, desmereciendo tan sólo en esto: en que está en un cuerpo. Y por eso también, si todos los hombres fueran tales o hubiera un buen número de hombres dotados de semejantes almas, nadie sería tan incrédulo que no creyese que esta cosa suya que es el alma es totalmente inmortal. Pero de hecho, al ver el alma de la gran mayoría tan múltiplemente «estragada», no se dan cuenta ni de que se trata de un ser divino ni de que se trata de un ser inmortal.

Ahora bien, hay que examinar la naturaleza de cada cosa atendiendo a su estado de pureza, puesto que lo añadido siempre resulta un óbice para el conocimiento de la cosa a la que fue añadido. Mírala, pues, tras haberla depurado, o mejor, que se mire a sí mismo quien se haya depurado y creerá que es inmortal cuando se contemple a sí mismo situado en la región inteligible y en la región pura. Porque verá a su inteligencia absorta no en la visión de cosa alguna sensible ni de alguna de las cosas mortales de aquí abajo, sino en la intuición, con el eterno, de lo eterno, es decir, de todos los seres de la región inteligible, y se verá a sí mismo convertido en universo inteligible y luminoso iluminado por la verdad procedente del Bien, que irradia verdad sobre todos los seres inteligibles. Así que muchas veces le parecerá bien dicho aquello de «os saludo; mas yo, dios inmortal ante vosotros», cuando se eleve a lo divino y fije su mirada en su propia semejanza con ello. Y si la purificación nos pone en conocimiento de las cosas más eximias, también las ciencias, las que son realmente ciencias, aparecen presentes dentro del alma. Porque no es precisamente corriendo afuera como el alma «contempla la morigeración y la justicia», sino que las ve por sí misma dentro de sí misma en la intuición de sí misma y de lo que era anteriormente, viéndolas como estatuas erigidas dentro de ella tras haberlas dejado bien limpias, pues estaban llenas de herrumbre por el tiempo. Es como si un trozo de oro fuese un ser animado y, luego, tras sacudirse todo lo térreo que había en él, siendo antes desconocedor de sí mismo porque no veía oro, se maravillase ya entonces de su propia naturaleza al verse acendrado y pensara que, desde luego, no necesitaba ninguna belleza postiza, siendo preciosísimo por sí mismo con tal que se le permita estar en sí mismo.

Bouillet

L’âme a de l’affinité avec la nature divine et éternelle : 468 cela est évident, puisque, comme nous l’avons démontré, elle n’est pas un corps, elle n’a ni figure ni couleur, et qu’elle est impalpable. On en peut encore donner les preuves suivantes.

C’est une chose admise que tout ce qui est divin et qui possède l’existence véritable jouit d’une vie heureuse et sage : considérons d’après ce principe la nature de notre âme. Prenons une âme, non une âme qui soit dans un corps, qui éprouve les mouvements irrationnels de la Concupiscence et de la Colère et les autres affections nées du corps, mais une âme qui ait éloigné d’elle tout cela , qui n’ait, autant que possible, aucun commerce avec le corps : elle nous montre que les vices sont choses étrangères à l’essence de l’âme et lui viennent d’ailleurs, qu’étant purifiée elle possède en propre les plus éminentes qualités, la sagesse et les autres vertus (79). Si telle est l’âme quand elle rentre en elle-même, comment ne participerait-elle pas de cette nature que nous avons reconnue propre à tout ce qui est éternel 469 et divin? La sagesse et la véritable vertu, étant choses divines, ne sauraient résider dans une substance vile et mortelle (80) ; l’être qui les reçoit est nécessairement divin, puisqu’il participe des choses divines par l’affinité et la communauté d’essence qu’il a avec elles. Quiconque de nous possède ainsi la sagesse et la vertu diffère peu des êtres supérieurs par son âme ; il ne leur est inférieur qu’en ce qu’il a un corps. Si tous les hommes, ou du moins si beaucoup d’entre eux avaient leur âme dans cette disposition, nul ne serait assez sceptique pour refuser de croire que l’âme est immortelle. Mais, comme maintenant on considère l’âme avec les vices qui la souillent, on ne conçoit pas qu’elle ait une essence divine et immortelle.

Or, quand on examine la nature d’un être, il faut toujours la contempler dans sa pureté, puisque les choses qui lui sont ajoutées empêchent de la bien connaître. Que l’on considère donc l’âme abstraction faite des choses étrangères, ou plutôt, que celui qui fait cette abstraction se considère lui-même en cet état : il ne doutera pas qu’il ne soit immortel quand il se verra dans le monde pur de l’intelligence : il verra son intelligence occupée, non à regarder quelque objet sensible et mortel, mais à penser l’éternel par une faculté également éternelle (81) ; il verra tous les êtres 470 dans le monde intelligible et il se verra lui-même devenu intelligible, radieux, illuminé par la vérité émanée du Bien, qui répand sur tous les intelligibles la lumière de la vérité (82). Il aura alors le droit de dire ;

Adieu, je suis maintenant un dieu immortel (83).

Car il s’est élevé vers la divinité et il lui est devenu semblable. Comme la purification permet de connaître les choses qui sont les meilleures, alors s’éclaircissent les notions que nous avons en nous, et qui forment la véritable science (84)). En effet, ce n’est pas en parcourant les objets 471 extérieurs que l’âme a l’intuition de la sagesse et de la vertu, c’est en rentrant en elle-même, en se pensant elle- même dans sa condition primitive: alors elle éclaircit et elle reconnaît en elle-même des images divines, souillées par la rouille du temps. De même, si un morceau d’or était animé et se dégageait de la terre dont il est enveloppé, après s’être d’abord ignoré par ce qu’il ne voyait pas son éclat, il s’admirerait lui-même en se considérant dans sa pureté; il trouverait qu’il n’avait nul besoin d’une beauté empruntée, et il se regarderait comme heureux de rester isolé de tout le reste (85).

Guthrie

THE SOUL IS INCORPOREAL BECAUSE OF HER KINSHIP WITH THE DIVINE.

10. (15). The soul has affinities with the divine and eternal nature. This is evident, because, as we have demonstrated it, she is not a body, has neither figure nor color, and is impalpable. Consider the following demonstration. It is generally granted that everything that is divine and that possesses genuine existence enjoys a happy and wise life. Now let us consider the nature of our soul, in connection with that of the divine. Let us take a soul, not one inside of a body, which is undergoing the irrational motions of appetite and anger, and the other affections born of the body, but a soul that has eliminated all that, and which, so far as possible, had no intercourse with the body. Such a soul would show us that vices are something foreign to the nature of the soul, and come to her from elsewhere, and that, inasmuch as she is purified, she in her own right possesses the most eminent qualities, wisdom, and the other virtues (as thought Plato  Republica  -X). If the soul, when re-entering into herself, is such, how could she not participate in this nature that we have acknowledged to be suitable to every thing that is eternal and divine? As wisdom and real virtue are divine things, they could not dwell in a vile and mortal entity; the existence that receives them is necessarily divine, since it participates in divine things by their mutual affinity and community. Anyone who thus possesses wisdom and virtue in his soul differs little from the superior beings; he is inferior to them only by the fact of his having a body. If all men, or at least, if many of them held their soul in this disposition, no one would be sceptic enough to refuse to believe that the soul is immortal. But as we consider the soul in her present condition of being soiled by vices, no one imagines that her nature is divine and immortal.

THE SOUL, LIKE OTHER THINGS, SHOULD BE JUDGED IN HER PUREST CONDITION.

Now when we consider the nature of some being, it should be studied in its rarest condition, since extraneous additions hinder it from being rightly judged. The soul must be therefore considered only after abstraction of foreign things, or rather, he who makes this abstraction should observe himself in that condition. He then will not doubt that he is immortal, when he sees himself in the pure world of intelligence. He will see his intelligence occupied, not in the observation of some sense-object that is mortal, but in thinking the eternal by an equally eternal faculty. He will see all the entities in the intelligible world, and he will see himself become intelligible, radiant, and illuminated by the truth emanating from the Good, which sheds the light of truth on all intelligible entities. Then (like Empedocles  , in Diog. Laertes), he will have the right to say:

"Farewell, I am now an immortal divinity." For he has ascended to the divinity, and has become assimilated thereto. As purification permits one to know the better things, so the notions we have within us, and which constitute real science, are made clear. Indeed, it is not by an excursion among external objects that the soul attains the intuition of wisdom and virtue, but by re-entering into herself, in thinking herself in her primitive condition. Then she clears up and recognizes in herself the divine statues, soiled by the rust of time. Likewise, if a piece of gold were animated and released itself from the earth by which it was covered, after first having been ignorant of its real nature because it did not see its own splendor, it would admire itself when considering itself in its purity; it would find that it had no need of a borrowed beauty, and would consider itself happy to remain isolated from everything else.

Taylor

X. That soul, however, is allied to a more divine and eternal nature, is evident from its not being body as we have demonstrated, and also because it has neither figure, nor colour. Moreover, this likewise may be shown from the following considerations. It is acknowledged by all of us, that every divine nature, and which is truly being, enjoys an excellent and wise life. This, therefore, being admitted, it is necessary to consider in the next place, what the nature is of our soul. We must assume the soul, however, not receiving in the body irrational desires and angers, and other passions, but as abolishing all these, and as much as possible having no communication with the body. For such a soul as this will perspicuously show that evils are an addition to the soul, and are externally derived; and that the most excellent things are inherent in it when it is purified, viz. wisdom and every other virtue, which are its proper possessions. If, therefore, the soul is such when it returns to itself, how is it possible it should not belong to that nature which we say is possessed by every thing eternal and divine ? For wisdom and true virtue being divine, cannot be inherent in any vile and mortal thing ; but that which is of this kind is necessarily divine, as being full of divine goods, through an alliance and similitude of essence to a divine nature. Hence, whoever of us resembles a soul of this description, will in soul itself differ but little from superior beings; in this alone being inferior to them, that he is in body. On which account, also, if every man was such, or if the multitude employed souls of this kind, no one would be so incredulous as not to believe that our soul is entirely immortal Now, however, men perceiving that the soul of the greater part of the human race is denied with vice, they do not reason about it, either as a divine or an immortal thing. But it is necessary, in considering the nature of every thing, to direct our attention to the purity of it; since whatever is added, is always an impediment to the knowledge of that to which it is added. Consider the soul therefore, by taking away [that which is extraneous] ; or rather, let him who takes this away survey himself, and he will believe himself to be immortal, when he beholds himself in the intelligible world, and situated in a pure abode. For he will perceive intellect seeing not any thing sensible, nor any of these mortal objects, but by an eternal power contemplating that which is eternal; every thing in the intelligible world, and itself also being then luminous, in consequence of being enlightened by the truth proceeding from the good, which illuminates all intelligibles with reality. By such a soul as this, therefore, it may he properly said,

Farewell, a God immortal now am I,1  

having ascended to divinity, and earnestly striving to he-come similar to him. If, however, purification causes the soul to have a knowledge of the most excellent things, the sciences also which are inwardly latent will then shine forth, and which are truly sciences. For the soul does not by running to externals behold temperance and justice, but perceives them herself by herself, in the intellection of herself, and of that which she formerly was, and views them like statues established in herself, which through time have become covered with rust. These she then purifies, just as if gold were animated, and in consequence of being in-crusted with earth, and not perceiving itself to be gold, should be ignorant of itself; but afterwards shaking off the earth which adheres to it, should be filled with admiration on beholding itself pure and alone. Then, also, it would perceive that it has no need of adventitious beauty, and would consider with itself that it is then in the best condition when it is permitted to be wholly by itself.

MacKenna

10. (15) That the soul is of the family of the diviner nature, the eternal, is clear from our demonstration that it is not material: besides it has neither shape or colour nor is it tangible. But there are other proofs.

Assuming that the divine and the authentically existent possesses a life beneficent and wise, we take the next step and begin with working out the nature of our own soul.

Let us consider a soul, not one that has appropriated the unreasoned desires and impulses of the bodily life, or any other such emotion and experience, but one that has cast all this aside, and as far as possible has no commerce with the bodily. Such a soul demonstrates that all evil is accretion, alien, and that in the purged soul the noble things are immanent, wisdom and all else that is good, as its native store.

If this is the soul once it has returned to its self, how deny that it is the nature we have identified with all the divine and eternal? Wisdom and authentic virtue are divine, and could not be found in the chattel mean and mortal: what possesses these must be divine by its very capacity of the divine, the token of kinship and of identical substance.

Hence, too, any one of us that exhibits these qualities will differ but little as far as soul is concerned from the Supernals; he will be less than they only to the extent in which the soul is, in him, associated with body.

This is so true that, if every human being were at that stage, or if a great number lived by a soul of that degree, no one would be so incredulous as to doubt that the soul in man is immortal. It is because we see everywhere the spoiled souls of the great mass that it becomes difficult to recognize their divinity and immortality.

To know the nature of a thing we must observe it in its unalloyed state, since any addition obscures the reality. Clear, then look: or, rather, let a man first purify himself and then observe: he will not doubt his immortality when he sees himself thus entered into the pure, the Intellectual. For, what he sees is an Intellectual-Principle looking on nothing of sense, nothing of this mortality, but by its own eternity having intellection of the eternal: he will see all things in this Intellectual substance, himself having become an Intellectual Kosmos and all lightsome, illuminated by the truth streaming from The Good, which radiates truth upon all that stands within that realm of the divine.

Thus he will often feel the beauty of that word "Farewell: I am to you an immortal God," for he has ascended to the Supreme, and is all one strain to enter into likeness with it.

If the purification puts the human into knowledge of the highest, then, too, the science latent within becomes manifest, the only authentic knowing. For it is not by running hither and thither outside of itself that the soul understands morality and right conduct: it learns them of its own nature, in its contact with itself, in its intellectual grasp of itself, seeing deeply impressed upon it the images of its primal state; what was one mass of rust from long neglect it has restored to purity.

Imagine living gold: it files away all that is earthy about it, all that kept it in self-ignorance preventing it from knowing itself as gold; seen now unalloyed it is at once filled with admiration of its worth and knows that it has no need of any other glory than its own, triumphant if only it be allowed to remain purely to itself.