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Plotino - Tratado 40,3 (II, 1, 3) — Imortalidade: o corpo do mundo e do céu

Enéada II, 1, 3

terça-feira 31 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulos 3-5: A alma e o corpo participam da imortalidade do vivente.

  • Cap 3: O corpo do mundo e do céu
  • Cap 4: O poder da alma do mundo
  • Cap 5: Exegese do Timeu   41c, sobre o demiurgo, a alma do mundo e a alma intelectiva  

tradução

3. Como pois apesar de sua fluidez constante, cooperam à imortalidade do mundo a matéria e o corpo do universo? Porque o corpo (flui), diríamos, mas não para fora; permanece no universo e não sai de modo algum dele, não sofrendo igualmente nem aumento nem diminuição; portanto, tampouco envelhece. Convém advertir que a terra se conserva eternamente em sua forma e em sua massa, sem que seja abandonada jamais pelo ar ou a natureza da água, pois nem a transformação destes elementos é capaz de alterar a natureza do ser universal. E, embora estando em incessante mudança (pela penetração e a saída das distintas partes do corpo), cada um de nós permanece por longo tempo, enquanto no mundo, ao qual nada vem de fora, a natureza do corpo não mostra inconveniente em unir-se à alma e formar assim um ser idêntico a si mesmo e subsistente para sempre. Quanto ao fogo, é sutil e rápido porque não pode subsistir aqui; e igual ocorre com a terra, que não pode permanecer no alto. Mas não temos de pensar que, uma vez chegado o fogo ali onde deve deter-se e assentado: em seu lugar apropriado, não trate de buscar, como os demais elementos, sua própria estabilidade nos dois sentidos; não poderia no entanto, dirigir-se ao alto, porque isto é ilógico, e orientar-se até abaixo iria contra sua natureza. Só lhe resta mostrar-se dócil e adaptar-se naturalmente à atração que exerce a alma sobre ele; e assim, para alcançar a felicidade, terá de se mover em uma região formosa qual é a da alma. Convirá confiar em que não caia, pois o movimento circular da alma se antecipa a sua queda para a terra, retendo-o com toda sua força. E como, por outra parte, não tem por si mesmo nenhuma propensão a descer, permanece sem oferecer resistência. Por sua vez, as partes de nosso corpo que receberam a forma, não conservam a disposição adquirida, e o corpo, se quer subsistir, reclama outras partes que venham de fora; o céu, por outro lado, nada desprende de si e portanto não tem necessidade de alimento algum. Porque, se o fogo do céu se extinguisse, outro fogo teria de acender-se: e se o céu encerrasse algo, realmente fluente, outra coisa, sem dúvida, viria a substituí-lo. Mas, em ambos os casos, o ser animado universal não permaneceria já como idêntico e ai mesmo.

Míguez

3. ¿Cómo, pues, a pesar de su fluidez constante, cooperan a la inmortalidad del mundo la materia y el cuerpo del universo? Porque el cuerpo (fluye), diríamos, pero no hacia fuera; permanece en el universo y no sale en modo alguno de él, no sufriendo igualmente ni aumento ni disminución; por tanto, tampoco envejece. Conviene advertir que la tierra se conserva eternamente en su forma y en su masa, sin que sea abandonada jamás por el aire o la naturaleza del agua, pues ni la transformación de estos elementos es capaz de alterar la naturaleza del ser universal. Y, aun estando en incesante cambio (por la penetración y la salida de las distintas partes del cuerpo), cada uno de nosotros permanece por largo tiempo, en tanto que en él mundo, al que nada viene de fuera, la naturaleza del cuerpo no muestra inconveniente en unirse al alma y formar así un ser idéntico a sí mismo y subsistente para siempre. En cuanto al fuego, es sutil y rápido porque no puede subsistir aquí; e igual ocurre con la tierra, que no puede permanecer en lo alto. Pero no hemos de pensar que, una vez llegado el fuego allí donde deba detenerse y asentado: en su lugar apropiado, no trate de buscar, como los demás elementos, su propia estabilidad en los dos sentidos; no podría sin embargo, dirigirse a lo alto, porque esto es ilógico, y orientarse hacia abajo iría contra su naturaleza. Sólo le resta mostrarse dócil y adaptarse naturalmente a la atracción que ejerce el alma sobre él; y así, para alcanzar la felicidad, habrá de moverse en una región hermosa cual es la del alma. Convendrá confiar en que no caiga, pues el movimiento circular del alma se anticipa a su caída hacia la tierra, reteniéndole con toda su fuerza. Y como, por otra parte, no tiene por sí mismo ninguna propensión a descender, permanece sin ofrecer resistencia. A su vez, las partes de nuestro cuerpo que han recibido la forma, no conservan la disposición adquirida, y el cuerpo, si quiere subsistir, reclama otras partes que vengan de fuera; el cielo, en cambio, nada desprende de si y por tanto no tiene necesidad de alimento alguno. Porque, si el fuego del cielo se extinguiese, otro fuego habría de encenderse: y si el cielo encerrase algo, realmente fluyente, otra cosa, no cabe duda, vendría a reemplazarlo. Pero, en ambos casos, el ser animado universal no permanecería ya como idéntico a sí mismo.

Bouillet

[3] Mais comment la matière, comment le corps du monde peut-il concourir à l’immortalité du monde, puisque ce corps est lui-même dans un écoulement perpétuel ? C’est, pourrions-nous dire, parce que cet écoulement ne se fait pas hors du monde. L’écoulement ayant lieu dans le sein même du monde et sans que rien sorte de lui, le corps reste toujours le même ; il ne saurait donc augmenter ni diminuer (07), ni par conséquent vieillir. Voyez la terre : elle conserve constamment, de toute éternité, la même figure, la même masse; de même, l’air ne diminue jamais, non plus que l’eau. Ce qui change en eux n’altère en rien l’animal universel. Pour ce qui nous concerne, malgré le changement perpétuel des parties qui nous composent, et quoique ces parties sortent même de notre corps, chacun de nous subsiste encore longtemps ; à plus forte raison, la nature du corps du monde, duquel rien ne sort, doit-elle être assez en harmonie avec la nature de l’Âme universelle pour former avec elle un animal qui reste toujours le même et qui subsiste toujours.

Si en effet nous considérons le feu [qui est l’élément principal du ciel], nous voyons qu’il est vif, rapide, qu’il ne peut rester dans les régions inférieures, pas plus que la terre ne peut se tenir dans les régions supérieures. Lorsqu’il se trouve transporté dans ces régions, où il doit rester, il ne faut pas croire que, bien qu’établi dans le lieu qui lui est propre, il ne cherche pas encore, comme les autres corps, à s’étendre en tous sens (08). Mais il ne peut ni monter, puisqu’il n’y a pas de lieu plus élevé que celui qu’il occupe, ni descendre, puisque sa nature s’y oppose ; la seule chose qui lui reste donc, c’est de se laisser conduire, de se laisser entraîner naturellement par l’Âme Universelle qui lui donne la vie, c’est-à-dire de se mouvoir dans le lieu le plus beau, dans l’Âme universelle. Si l’on craignait de l’en voir tomber, qu’on se rassure en considérant que, par son mouvement circulaire, l’Âme universelle prévient sa chute, parce qu’elle le domine et le soutient. Comme d’ailleurs le feu n’est pas de lui-même porté à descendre, rien ne s’oppose à ce qu’il reste dans les régions supérieures. Les parties qui constituent notre corps et qui reçoivent la forme qui lui est propre, n’étant pas capables de conserver par elles-mêmes leur organisation, doivent, pour subsister, emprunter des parties aux autres objets ; il n’en est pas de même du feu du ciel : ne perdant rien, il n’a pas besoin d’aliments. S’il laissait quelque chose s’écouler de lui-même, il faudrait dire que, quand un feu s’éteint dans le ciel, Un autre doit s’y allumer. S’il entrait dans le feu quelque chose d’étranger qui pût découler du ciel, il faudrait que cela même fût remplacé par autre chose. Mais, s’il en était ainsi, l’animal universel ne resterait plus identique.

Guthrie

FLUCTUATION NEED NOT INTERFERE WITH CONTINUANCE.

3. (It might however be objected) that the body of the world could not contribute to the immortality of the world, since the body itself fluctuates perpetually. But this fluctuation does not take place in an outward direction, while the body (of the world) remains ever the same because this fluctuation occurs so entirely within the world that nothing issues therefrom. The world therefore could neither increase nor diminish, nor further grow old. (As proof of this we may) consider how, from all eternity, the earth constantly preserves the same shape and mass; similarly, the air never diminishes, any more than the water. The changes within them do not affect the universal living Organism. Even we human beings subsist a long while, in spite of the perpetual change of our constituent parts, and though some of these parts even issue from the body. So much the more will the world’s nature, from which nothing issues, sufficiently harmonize with the nature of the universal Soul to form along with her an organism which ever remains the same, and subsists for ever.

FIRE, THOUGH AN APPARENT EXCEPTION. STILL CONFORMS TO THIS PROCEDURE.

For example, fire (as the principal element of the heaven), is both lively and swift, and cannot remain in the inferior regions, any more than the earth can abide in the superior regions. When it has reached these regions where it is to remain, it becomes established in the most suitable place. But even so, like all other bodies, it still seeks to extend in all directions. However, it cannot ascend, since there is no place higher than the one it occupies; nor can it descend, because of the opposition of its own nature. The only thing left for it to do is to yield to the guidance and natural impulsion of the life-imparting universal Soul, that is, to move into the most beautiful place, in the universal Soul. Its falling from here is prevented by the universal Soul’s circular movement which dominates and supports it, as well as by its innate indisposition to descend, so that its continuance in the higher regions is unopposed. (The fire has no similarity with) the constitutive parts of our body which are forced to derive their suitable form from elsewhere. If unaided, they are not even capable of preserving their organization. Merely to subsist, they are forced to borrow parts from other objects. The case is entirely different m ith the fire of the heaven, which needs no food because it loses nothing. If indeed it allowed anything to escape, we might indeed be forced to state that when in the heaven a fire is extinguished, a substitute must be lit. But in such a case the universal living Organism would no more remain identical.

MacKenna

3. We have to ask, that is, how Matter, this entity of ceaseless flux constituting the physical mass of the universe, could serve towards the immortality of the Kosmos.

And our answer is "Because the flux is not outgoing": where there is motion within but not outwards and the total remains unchanged, there is neither growth nor decline, and thus the Kosmos never ages.

We have a parallel in our earth, constant from eternity to pattern and to mass; the air, too, never fails; and there is always water: all the changes of these elements leave unchanged the Principle of the total living thing, our world. In our own constitution, again, there is a ceaseless shifting of particles - and that with outgoing loss - and yet the individual persists for a long time: where there is no question of an outside region, the body-principle cannot clash with soul as against the identity and endless duration of the living thing.

Of these material elements - for example - fire, the keen and swift, cooperates by its upward tendency as earth by its lingering below; for we must not imagine that the fire, once it finds itself at the point where its ascent must stop, settles down as in its appropriate place, no longer seeking, like all the rest, to expand in both directions. No: but higher is not possible; lower is repugnant to its Kind; all that remains for it is to be tractable and, answering to a need of its nature, to be drawn by the Soul to the activity of life, and so to move to in a glorious place, in the Soul. Anyone that dreads its falling may take heart; the circuit of the Soul provides against any declination, embracing, sustaining; and since fire has of itself no downward tendency it accepts that guiding without resistance. The partial elements constituting our persons do not suffice for their own cohesion; once they are brought to human shape, they must borrow elsewhere if the organism is to be maintained: but in the upper spheres since there can be no loss by flux no such replenishment is needed.

Suppose such loss, suppose fire extinguished there, then a new fire must be kindled; so also if such loss by flux could occur in some of the superiors from which the celestial fire depends, that too must be replaced: but with such transmutations, while there might be something continuously similar, there would be, no longer, a Living All abidingly self-identical.