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Plotino - Tratado 39,12 (VI, 8, 12) — Experiência da liberdade em nós

Enéada VI, 8, 12

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Transição: Da experiência individual da liberdade à liberdade do Bem

Capítulo 12: Retomada da argumentação partindo da experiência da liberdade em nós.

  • 1-3: Protesto do interlocutor: ele "não está nada persuadido" pelo que acaba de ser dito
  • 3-17: Retomada da argumentação ao nível de nossa alma: podemos fazer a experiência de nossa própria liberdade
  • 17-31: Como desde então recusar a liberdade ao princípio que nos torna livres?
  • 31-37: Explicação: como se formou a noção de "mestre de si".

Míguez

12. Pero entonces, ¿no es acaso lo que es? ¿No es en verdad señor de lo que él mismo es y de lo que está más allá de todo? De nuevo cae el alma en la incertidumbre, como si nada le hubiesen dicho las razones precedentes. Digamos con respecto a esto que cada uno de nosotros tiene su cuerpo bien lejos de la esencia, aunque por su alma, y eso es lo que somos por encima de todo, participe de la esencia y sea una determinada esencia. O lo que es lo mismo, cada uno de nosotros resulta ser compuesto de una esencia y de una diferencia, y no es por tanto esencia verdadera o esencia en sí. De ahí que tampoco sea señor de su esencia. Porque como nosotros somos distintos de nuestra esencia, no somos realmente dueños de ella; y al contrario, nuestra esencia mantiene su soberanía sobre nosotros y es la que pone la diferencia. Ahora bien, como somos de algún modo esa esencia que es señora de nosotros, podríamos decir también que nos alcanza en este mundo en cierta manera el señorío de nosotros mismos. Cuando menos, el ser que es absolutamente lo que es y que no es distinto de su esencia no resulta otra cosa que lo que es; es dueño de sí y ya no se refiere a ningún otro ser, por cuanto que ya es y es de hecho una esencia. Mas, el ser que? el primero, se refiere a la esencia, pasa, por concesión especial, a ser señor de sí.

¿Qué debemos pensar, sin embargo, del ser que hace que la esencia sea libre, y que la hace así en virtud de su misma naturaleza? ¿Qué decir de un ser creador de la libertad? ¿A qué ciertamente podríamos encadenarlo, si nos es lícito expresarnos de este modo? Posiblemente a su propia esencia. Pero la esencia recibe de él su libertad, es además posterior a él y él, por otra parte, carece de esencia.

Si damos por bueno que haya en él un acto o que él mismo sea un acto, no queremos decir con esto que mantenga diferencia consigo mismo. No cabe afirmar que es dueño de sí mismo, sí su acto procede de él y él y su acto son en verdad una sola cosa. Otro caso sería si no concediésemos que hay en él un acto y refiriésemos éste a las cosas que actúan alrededor de él; en este caso, tendríamos que admitir con mayor razón la existencia de una parte dominadora y de una parte dominada, y no trataríamos con algo dueño de sí, no porque esa soberanía descanse en otro ser, sino porque la atribuimos lógicamente a la esencia y colocamos a aquél en un rango superior a ésta.

¿Qué revela esta superioridad sobre los seres dueños de sí mismos? Veamos; pues como quiera que en estos seres la esencia y el acto son dos cosas, sacamos del acto la noción de un ser soberano, que identificamos con la esencia. Esto es, por tomar separadamente la esencia, forjamos la idea de un ser al que juzgamos dueño de sí mismo. Claro está que cuando no se dan las dos cosas en una, sino una sola cosa (bien sea ésta un acto o no en absoluto un acto), no cabe afirmar con razón que esta cosa sea dueña de sí misma.

Bouillet

ΧII. Ne dirons-nous même pas que Dieu est ce qu’il est, et qu’il est maître de ce qu’il est, ou de ce qui est supérieur encore? L’âme soulève encore cette question, parce que ce que nous avons dit ne l’a pas encore pleinement convaincue. Voici les réflexions qu’il faut faire à ce sujet.

Par son corps, chacun de nous est éloigné de l’Essence ; mais par son âme, qui le constitue principalement, il participe à l’Essence, il est une certaine essence, c’est-à-dire il est quelque chose de composé de différence et d’essence. Nous ne sommes donc pas fondamentalement une essence, nous ne sommes pas l’Essence même; par suite, nous ne sommes pas maîtres de notre essence (43); l’Essence même est plutôt maîtresse de nous, puisqu’elle nous donne la différence [qui, jointe à l’essence, constitue notre être]. Cependant, comme nous sommes dans une certaine mesure l’Essence qui est maîtresse de nous, nous pouvons sous ce rapport, même ici-bas, être appelés maîtres de nous. Pour le principe qui est absolument ce qu’il est, qui est l’Essence même (44), de telle sorte que lui et son essence ne fassent qu’un, il est maître de lui, ne dépend de rien, soit dans son existence, soit dans son essence. Il n’a même pas besoin d’être maître de lui, puis[qu’il est l’Essence] et que c’est à l’Essence qu’est rapporté ce qui occupe le premier rang dans le monde intelligible.

Quant à Celui qui a fait libre l’Essence, Celui dont la nature est de faire les êtres libres et qu’on pourrait appeler l’auteur de la liberté (ἐλευθεροποιός), à qui pourrait-il être asservi (s’il est permis de se servir ici de ce terme) ? Il est libre par son essence, ou plutôt, c’est de lui que l’Essence tient d’être libre : car elle est après lui, et lui-même n’a pas d’essence. S’il y a donc en lui quelque acte, si nous le faisons consister dans l’acte, il ne renfermera cependant en lui-même aucune différence, il sera maître de lui-même qui produit l’acte, parce que lui-même et l’acte ne font qu’un. Mais si nous ne reconnaissons absolument point d’acte en Dieu, si nous n’attribuons d’acte qu’aux choses qui tendent vers lui et en tiennent leur existence, nous devrons encore bien moins reconnaître en lui quelque chose qui soit maître et qui maîtrise. Nous ne dirons même pas qu’il est maître de soi, non qu’il ait un maître, mais parce que nous avons déjà attribué à l’Essence ce qu’on nomme être maître de soi ; nous plaçons donc Dieu dans un rang encore plus élevé. — Mais comment y a-t-il un principe plus élevé que celui qui est maître de soi? — C’est que, dans le principe qui est maître de soi, l’essence et l’acte étant deux choses, l’acte donne la notion de ce qu’on appelle être maître de soi; or l’acte était identique à l’essence ; il a donc fallu qu’il se rendît distinct de l’essence pour être appelé maître de soi. Mais Celui qui n’est pas ainsi deux choses ramenées à l’unité, qui est absolument un (car il n’est qu’acte, ou plutôt il n’est pas du tout acte), ne saurait être appelé maître de soi.

Guthrie

EVEN WE MAY BE SAID TO BE MASTERS OF OURSELVES; HOW MUCH MORE THE SUPREME!

12. Shall we not even refuse to say that (the divinity) is what He is, and is the master of what He is, or of that which is still superior? Our soul still moots this problem, because she is not yet entirely convinced by what we have said. Our considerations thereof are as follows. By his body, each one of us is far separated from “being”; but by his soul, by which he is principally constituted, he participates in “being,” and is a certain being; that is, he is a combination of “difference” and “being.” Fundamentally, we are therefore not a “being”; we are not even “being”; consequently, we are not masters of our “being”; “being” itself rather is master of us, since it furnishes us with “difference” (which, joined with “being,” constitutes our nature). As, in a certain degree, we are nevertheless the “being” that is master of us, we may, in this respect, even here below, be called masters of ourselves. As to the Principle which absolutely is what He is, which is “Being” itself, so that He and His being fuse, He is master of Himself, and depends on nothing, either in His existence or “being.” He does not even need to be master of Himself since (He is being), and since all that occupies the first rank in the intelligible world is classified as “being.”

HOW THE SUPREME IS EVEN BEYOND HIS OWN MASTER.

As to Him who made “being” (equivalent to) freedom, whose nature it is to make free beings, and who (therefore) might be called the “author of liberty” — excuse the expression — to what could He be enslaved? It is His being (or, nature) to be free; or rather, it is from Him that being derives its freedom; for (we must not forget that) “being” is posterior to Him, who Himself (being beyond it), “has” none. If then there be any actualization in Him, if we were to consider that He was constituted by an actualization, He would nevertheless contain no difference, He will be master of His own self that produces the actualization, because He Himself and the actualization fuse (and are identical). But if we acknowledge no actualization whatever (in the Divinity), if we predicate actualization only of the things that tend towards Him, and from Him derive their hypostatic existence, we should still less recognize in Him any element that is master, or that masters. We should not even say that He was master of Himself, nor that He had a master, but because we have already predicated of “being” what is meant by being master of oneself. We therefore classify (the Divinity) in a rank higher still.

But how can there be a principle higher than the one that is master of Himself? In the Principle which is master of Himself, as being and actualization are two (separate) entities, it is actualization that furnishes the notion of being master of oneself. As however we saw that actualization was identical with “being,” in order to be called master of itself, actualization must have differentiated itself from being. Therefore (the Divinity), which is not constituted by two things fused into unity, but by absolute Unity, being either only actualization, or not even mere actualization, could not be called “master of Himself.”

MacKenna

12. Yet, is not God what He is? Can He, then, be master of being what He is or master to stand above Being? The mind utterly reluctant returns to its doubt: some further considerations, therefore, must be offered:

In us the individual, viewed as body, is far from reality; by soul which especially constitutes the being we participate in reality, are in some degree real. This is a compound state, a mingling of Reality and Difference, not, therefore reality in the strictest sense, not reality pure. Thus far we are not masters of our being; in some sense the reality in us is one thing and we another. We are not masters of our being; the real in us is the master, since that is the principle establishing our characteristic difference; yet we are again in some sense that which is sovereign in us and so even on this level might in spite of all be described as self-disposing.

But in That which is wholly what it is - self-existing reality, without distinction between the total thing and its essence - the being is a unit and is sovereign over itself; neither the being nor the essence is to be referred to any extern. Besides, the very question as to self. disposal falls in the case of what is First in reality; if it can be raised at all, we must declare that there can be no subjection whatever in That to which reality owes its freedom, That in whose nature the conferring of freedom must clearly be vested, preeminently to be known as the liberator.

Still, is not this Principle subject to its essential Being? On the contrary, it is the source of freedom to Being.

Even if there be Act in the Supreme - an Act with which it is to be identified - this is not enough to set up a duality within it and prevent it being entirely master of that self from which the Act springs; for the Act is not distinct from that self. If we utterly deny Act in it - holding that Act begins with others moving about it - we are all the less able to allow either self-mastery or subjection in it: even self-mastery is absent here, not that anything else is master over it but that self-mastery begins with Being while the Supreme is to be set in a higher order.

But what can there be higher than that which is its own master?

Where we speak of self-mastery there is a certain duality, Act against essence; from the exercise of the Act arises the conception of the mastering principle - though one identical with the essence - hence arises the separate idea of mastery, and the being concerned is said to possess self-mastery. Where there is no such duality joining to unity but solely a unity pure - either because the Act is the whole being or because there is no Act at all - then we cannot strictly say that the being has this mastery of self.