Página inicial > Antiguidade > Neoplatonismo (245-529 dC) > Plotino (204-270 dC) – Tratados Enéadas > Plotino - Tratado 39,20 (VI, 8, 20) — Duas aporias relativas à auto-produção (...)

ENÉADAS

Plotino - Tratado 39,20 (VI, 8, 20) — Duas aporias relativas à auto-produção do Bem

Enéada VI, 8, 20

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 20: Discussão das duas aporias relativas à auto-produção do Bem

  • 1-27: Discussão da aporia: se o Bem se produz ele mesmo, não se precede ele mesmo?
  • 28-39: Discussão do sentido da expressão: ele se "comanda a ele mesmo".

Míguez

20. ¿Pues qué? ¿No acontece así, diríamos, que ha existido ya antes de nacer? Porque si se produce a sí mismo, no existe en tanto ser producido, pero sí existe como ser productor. Si él mismo es su propio producto, parece que deberá existir antes de sí mismo. Habrá que responder a esto que no cabe tal consideración. La producción del Bien está libre de todo encadenamiento, dado que no apunta a ninguna obra determinada y es ya un acto completo que no cumple cometido alguno. No veamos aquí dos cosas, sino únicamente una sola cosa.

Y que no haya el temor de proponer un acto primero sin referirlo a un ser, ya que se trata aquí de un acto que es sujeto. Porque es claro que hablar de El como un sujeto sin acto sería mentar algo incompleto, incompatible con la noción de principio y de principio perfecto por encima de todas las cosas. Pero, por otra parte, si a ese sujeto se añade el acto, no se le preserva su unidad. Como el acto es ya más perfecto que la esencia y como el Primero de los seres es un ser perfectísimo, necesariamente ha de ser un acto. Al actuar es y no cabe decir que existía antes de nacer, pues cuando actúa está puesto todo él, sin posibilidad de que se dé un momento anterior.

Este acto de que hablamos no es en modo alguno esclavo de la esencia, sino pura libertad. El Uno, por tanto, es por sí mismo lo que es, ya que si hubiese algo que le conservase en el ser no sería el Primero en provenir de sí mismo. Dícese, y con razón, que se contiene a sí mismo, lo que quiere decir que se produce a sí mismo; porque lo que contiene algo según la naturaleza, hace que esto exista desde el principio. Caso de haber un tiempo en el que hubiese comenzado a ser, podría decirse con todo rigor que había tenido un comienzo. Pero ahora convenimos en que es lo que es desde toda la eternidad, con lo que quiere decirse que se hizo a sí mismo y que su acto y su ser son concurrentes. Mejor, su ser y su producción son una misma cosa, que concuerdan en cierto modo con su generación eterna.

Cuando hablamos de un mandarse a sí mismo, podríamos entender realmente dos cosas; jjero, puesto que se trata de un solo ser, se entiende aquí únicamente un ser que manda, prescindiendo de cualquier otra parte suya que obedezca. Mas ¿cómo concebiríamos un ser que manda y que no tiene otro ser que obedezca1? Hablamos en este caso de un ser que manda y que no tiene otro ser que le preceda; pero si no hay otro ser antes que El, es ciertamente el Primer ser, si no por una razón de primacía, sí atendiendo a su soberanía y a su potencia, que son verdaderamente independientes. Rigurosamente hablando, y bajo estos términos, nada resultaría ser dependiente. Este ser a que nos referimos es todo él y por entero independiente. Porque, ¿qué podría haber en él que no fuese él mismo? ¿Qué podríamos encontrar ahí que no estuviese en acto? ¿Hay algo en él que no sea su obra? Pues si así fuese, es claro que ya no sería en absoluto independiente y omnipotente. Ningún señorío ni poder le atribuiríamos y, ciertamente, no manifestaría su potencia sobre algo que no es capaz de producir.

Bouillet

XX. Mais, nous objectera4-on, il résulte de ce que vous dites que Dieu a existé avant d’avoir existé ; car, s’il s’est fait lui-même, d’un côté en tant que c’est lui-même qu’il a fait, il n’existait pas encore, et, d’un autre côté, en tant que c’est lui qui a fait, il existait déjà avant lui-même, puisque ce qui a été fait, c’est lui-même.

Nous répondrons à cette objection qu’il faut considérer Dieu, non en uni qu’étant fait (ποιούμενος). mais en tant que faisant (ποιῶν), et concevoir que l’acte par lequel il s’est créé est absolu (ἀπόλυτος ποίησις) : car l’acte de Dieu (ἐνέργεια αὐτοῦ) n’aboutit pas a la production d’un autre être; il ne produit rien que lui-même, il est lui tout entier; il n’y a pas là deux choses, mais une seule. Il ne faut pas craindre d’admettre que l’acte premier (ἐνεέργεια ἡ πρώτη) n’a point d’essence, mais il faut considérer l’acte de Dieu comme étant son existence même (ὑπόστασις). Si l’on séparait en lui l’existence d’avec l’acte, le Principe parfait par excellence serait incomplet et imparfait. Lui ajouter l’acte, ce serait détruire son unité. Ainsi, puisque l’acte est plus parfait que l’essence, et que ce qui est premier est ce qu’il y a de plus parfait, ce qui est premier est nécessairement acte. Dès que Dieu agit, il est ce qu’il est. On ne peut dire de lui qu’il était avant de s’être fait : il n’était pas avant de s’être fait, mais il était déjà tout entier [dès qu’il agissait]. Il est donc un acte qui n’est point dans la dépendance de l’essence, un acte absolument libre; ainsi il est Lui par lui-même. S’il était conservé dans son existence par un autre principe, il ne serait pas lui-même le Premier procédant de lui-même (πρῶτος αὐτὸς ἐξ αὑτοῦ). Si l’on a raison de dire qu’il se contient lui-même, c’est que c’est lui qui se produit lui-même (παράγων ἑαυτόν), puisque, ce qu’il contient naturellement, il l’a fait exister dès l’origine. S’il y avait un temps où il eût commencé d’être, on pourrait dire dans le sens propre qu’il s’est fait lui-même. Mais, puisqu’avant tous les temps il était ce qu’il est, il faut, lorsqu’on dit qu’il s’est fait lui-même, entendre par là qu’avoir fait et lui-même sont inséparables : car son être est identique à son acte créateur (τῇ ποιήσει), et, si je puis m’exprimer ainsi, à sa génération éternelle (γεννήσει αἰδίῳ) (69).

De même, quand on dit que Dieu se commande à lui-même (ἄρχον ἑαυτοῦ), s’il y a en lui deux choses [l’une qui commande, et l’autre qui obéit], il faut prendre cette expression au propre ; mais s’il n’y a en lui qu’une seule chose, il n’est que ce qui commande, parce qu’il n’a rien en lui qui obéisse (70). — Comment donc commande-t-il s’il n’a en lui aucune chose à laquelle il commande? — Si l’on dit qu’il se commande, c’est en ce sens qu’il n’a rien au-dessus de lui ; or, s’il n’a rien (au-dessus de lui, il est Premier, non par l’ordre, mais par son autorité et sa puissance parfaitement libre. S’il est parfaitement libre, on ne saurait concevoir en lui rien qui ne soit libre ; il est donc tout entier librement en lui-même. Quelle chose lui appartient qui ne soit lui-même? Qu’y a-t-il en lui qu’il ne fasse,? Qu’y a-t-il en lui qui ne soit son œuvre? S’il y avait en lui quelque chose qui ne fût pas son œuvre, il ne serait point parfaitement libre et tout-puissant: [il ne serait pas libre,] puisqu’une serait pas maître de cette chose; il ne serait pas tout-puissant, puisque la chose qu’il ne serait point maître de faire échapperait par là même à sa puissance.

Guthrie

HAVING MADE HIMSELF DOES NOT IMPLY ANY PRIORITY IN THE DIVINITY.

20. It will be objected that the above implies the existence (of the Divinity) before He existed; for, if He made Himself, on the one hand, He did not yet exist, if it was Himself that He made; and on the other, so far as it was He who made, He already existed before Himself, since what has been made was Himself. However, (the Divinity) should be considered not so much as “being made” but as “making,” and we should realize that the actualization by which He created Himself is absolute; for His actualization does not result in the production of any other “being.” He produces nothing but Himself, He is entirely Himself; we are not dealing here with two things, but with a single entity. Neither need we hesitate to admit that the primary actualization has no “being”; but that actualization should be considered as constituting His hypostatic form of existence. If within Him these two were to be distinguished, the superlatively perfect Principle would be incomplete and imperfect. To add actualization to Him would be to destroy His unity. Thus, since the actualization is more perfect than His being, and since that which is primary is the most perfect, that which is primary must necessarily be actualization. He is what He is as soon as He actualizes. He cannot be said to have existed before He made Himself; for before He made Himself He did not exist; but (from the first actualization) He already existed in entirety. He therefore is an actualization which does not depend on being, (an actualization) that is clearly free; and thus He (originates) from Himself. If, as to His essence, He were preserved by some other principle, He himself would not be the first proceeding from Himself. He is said to contain Himself because He produces (and parades) Himself; since it is from the very beginning that He caused the existence of what He naturally contains. Strictly, we might indeed say, that He made Himself, if there existed a time when He himself began to exist. But since He was what He is before all times, the statement that He made Himself means merely that “having made” and “himself” are inseparable; for His essence coincides with His creative act, and, if I may be permitted to speak thus, with his “eternal generation.”

HOW THE SUPREME MAY BE SAID TO COMMAND HIMSELF.

Likewise, the statement that the (divinity) commands Himself may be taken strictly, if in Him be two entities (the commander and the commanded); but if (we may not distinguish such a pair of entities) there is only one entity within Him, and He is only the commander, containing nothing that obeys. How then, if He contain nothing that was commanded, could He command Himself? The statement that He commands Himself means that, in this sense, there is nothing above Him; in which case He is the First, not on account of the numerical order, but by His authority and perfectly free power. If He be perfectly free, He cannot contain anything that is not free; He must therefore be entirely free within Himself. Does He contain anything that is not Himself, that He does not do, that is not His work? If indeed He contained anything that was not His work, He would be neither perfectly free nor omnipotent; He would not be free, because He would not dominate this thing; nor would He be omnipotent, because the thing whose making would not be in His power would even thereby evade His dominion.

MacKenna

20. The difficulty will be raised that God would seem to have existed before thus coming into existence; if He makes Himself, then in regard to the self which He makes He is not yet in being and as maker He exists before this Himself thus made.

The answer is that we utterly must not speak of Him as made but sheerly as maker; the making must be taken as absolved from all else; no new existence is established; the Act here is not directed to an achievement but is God Himself unalloyed: here is no duality but pure unity. Let no one suspect us of asserting that the first Activity is without Essence; on the contrary the Activity is the very reality. To suppose a reality without activity would be to make the Principle of all principles deficient; the supremely complete becomes incomplete. To make the Activity something superadded to the essence is to shatter the unity. If then Activity is a more perfect thing than essence and the First is all perfect, then the Activity is the First.

By having acted, He is what He is and there is no question of "existing before bringing Himself into existence"; when He acted He was not in some state that could be described as "before existing." He was already existent entirely.

Now assuredly an Activity not subjected essence is utterly free; God’s selfhood, then, is of his own Act. If his being has to be ensured by something else, He is no longer the self-existent First: if it be true to say that He is his own container, then He inducts Himself; for all that He contains is his own production from the beginning since from the beginning He caused the being of all that by nature He contains.

If there had been a moment from which He began to be, it would be possible assert his self-making in the literal sense; but, since what He is He is from before all time, his self-making is to be understood as simultaneous with Himself; the being is one and the same with the making and eternal "coming into existence."

This is the source also of his self-disposal - strictly applicable if there were a duality, but conveying, in the case of a unity, a disposing without a disposed, an abstract disposing. But how a disposer with nothing to dispose? In that there is here a disposer looking to a prior when there is none: since there is no prior, This is the First - but a First not in order but in sovereignty, in power purely self-controlled. Purely; then nothing can be There that is under any external disposition; all in God is self-willing. What then is there of his content that is not Himself, what that is not in Act, what not his work? Imagine in Him anything not of his Act and at once His existence ceases to be pure; He is not self-disposing, not all-powerful: in that at least of whose doing He is not master He would be impotent.