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Plotino - Tratado 40,8 (II, 1, 8) — O corpo do céu não se consome e não tem necessidade de nutrição

Enéada II, 1, 8

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

Capítulo 8: O corpo do céu não se consome e não tem necessidade de nutrição; os astros têm uma alma mais potente e um corpo melhor

Míguez

8. Siendo así que esta luz permanece en el cielo, en el lugar que le ha sido asignado, como luz pura que asienta en el lugar más puro, ¿cómo en realidad podría descender de ahí? Es claro que por su naturaleza no podría fluir hacia abajo, ni existe nada en el cielo que pueda forzarla a precipitarse hacia la tierra. Y, por otra parte, todo cuerpo que reúne en sí un alma ya es un cuerpo distinto, que no guarda relación con ese mismo cuerpo privado de ella; eso acontece con el cuerpo del cielo, que no puede compararse con el que sería de encontrarse solo. Admitido que en la vecindad del cielo puede hablarse únicamente del aire o del fuego, ¿qué cometido asignaríamos al aire? Porque, en lo que al fuego se refiere, ningún poder cabría concederle, y ni siquiera le alcanzaría para esta acción. Antes incluso de haber producido nada, se vería alterado por la gran velocidad del cielo, pues es fuego menor y menos vigoroso que el fuego de la tierra. Además, lo que el fuego hace es calentar; pero conviene que lo que se caliente no lo haga por sí mismo, por lo cual si algo es destruido por el fuego, necesariamente habrá de ser calentado de antemano, debiendo llegar a tal estado en contra de su propia naturaleza.

El cielo no tiene necesidad de ningún otro cuerpo para mantenerse tal cual es, ni para cumplir el movimiento circular que es conforme a su naturaleza; pues no se ha llegado a demostrar que el movimiento natural del cielo se realice en línea recta. Digamos, por el contrario, que los cuerpos celestes, en razón a su misma naturaleza, o bien permanecen inmóviles o bien se desarrollan en un movimiento de tipo circular; cualesquiera otros movimientos, son en ellos movimientos forzados.

Convendrá decir que esos cuerpos no tienen necesidad alguna de alimento. No guardan analogía con los cuerpos terrestres, ni encierran un alma como la nuestra, ni ocupan el mismo lugar. No se da en el cielo una causa para ese movimiento siempre continuo que hace que los cuerpos compuestos de la tierra necesiten de alimento. Los cambios de estos cuerpos los producen ellos mismos y hemos de atribuirlos a una naturaleza diferente del alma del cielo, que, por su debilidad, no sabe mantenerlos en su ser. Y esa naturaleza lo que procura es imitar a otra que está sobre ella, cuando trata de producir o de engendrar. Pero con todo, y como ya se ha dicho, las cosas del cielo no han de ser consideradas del mismo modo que las cosas inteligibles.

Bouillet

[8] Puisque cette lumière subsiste dans les régions élevées, où elle est naturellement placée parce qu’étant pure elle doit demeurer dans un lieu très pur, comment pourrait-elle être exposée à un écoulement? Une telle nature ne saurait laisser rien écouler ni en bas, ni en haut; elle ne saurait non plus rien rencontrer qui la forçât de descendre. Remarquons d’ailleurs qu’un corps est dans un état bien différent selon qu’il est uni à une âme, ou qu’il en est séparé ; or, le corps du ciel est partout uni à l’Âme [universelle].

En outre, ce qui approche du ciel est air ou feu. Si c’est de l’air, il ne saurait rien faire au ciel. Si c’est du feu, il ne peut avoir d’influence sur le ciel ni le toucher pour agir sur lui : car, avant d’agir sur le ciel, il prendrait sa nature ; d’ailleurs, il est moins grand et moins puissant. Enfin si nous examinons l’action du feu, nous voyons qu’elle consiste à chauffer : or, il faut que ce qui doit être chauffé ne soit pas chaud par soi-même, et que ce qui doit être dissous par le feu soit d’abord chauffé, pour qu’étant chauffé il change de nature. Le ciel n’a donc besoin de nul autre corps pour subsister, ni pour exécuter sa révolution naturelle [comme on le démontrera au livre suivant]. En effet, il ne se meut pas en ligne droite, parce qu’il est dans la nature des choses célestes de rester immobiles ou de se mouvoir circulairement, et qu’elles ne pourraient avoir un autre mouvement sans y être contraintes par une force supérieure.

Les astres n’ont donc pas besoin d’aliments (32), et nous ne devons pas les juger d’après nous. En effet, l’âme qui contient notre corps n’est pas la même que l’Âme qui contient le ciel ; elle n’habite pas le même lieu; enfin, ne perdant pas de parties comme nos corps, qui sont composés, les astres n’ont pas comme eux un besoin continuel d’aliments. Il faut écarter des corps célestes toute idée d’un changement qui puisse modifier leur constitution. Une autre nature anime les corps terrestres (33) : incapable à cause de sa faiblesse de leur assurer une existence durable, elle imite cependant la nature supérieure [l’Âme céleste] pour la naissance et la génération. Nous montrons ailleurs que cette Âme céleste elle-même ne saurait avoir l’immutabilité parfaite des choses intelligibles (34).

Guthrie

8. Since this light subsists in elevated regions, because the purity of its nature forces it to remain in pure regions, it cannot be subject to any wastage (or, leakage). Such a nature could not allow any escape either downwards or upwards, nor could it meet anything that would force it to descend. Moreover, it will be remembered that there is a great difference of condition in a body united to, or separated from a soul; and in this case the body of the heaven is everywhere united to the (universal) Soul.

THE HEAVEN DOES NOT NEED THE ACTION OF EITHER AIR OR FIRE.

Besides, all that approaches the heaven is either air or fire. What of it is air cannot affect the heaven. What of it is fire can neither influence the heaven, nor touch it, to act on it. Before acting on the heaven, it would have to assume its nature; besides, fire is less great or powerful than the heaven. Moreover, the action of fire consists in heating; whereas, 1, that which is to be heated cannot have been hot by itself; and as, 2, that which is to be dissolved by fire must first be heated, inasmuch as it is this heating which causes a change of nature. No other body is needed for either the subsistence of the heaven, or for the functioning of its natural revolutions. Moreover, the heaven does not move in a straight line, because it is in the nature of celestial things to remain immovable, or to move in a circular orbit, and not to assume any other kind of movement without compulsion by some superior force.

THE STARS ARE INEXHAUSTIBLE. AND NEED NO REFRESHMENT.

Stars, therefore, stand in need of no feeding, and we should not judge them according to our own circumstances. Indeed, our (human) soul, which contains our bodies, is not identical with the Soul that contains the heaven; our soul does not reside in the same place, while the world-Soul does not, like our composite bodies lose (excreta). Not as our bodies do the stars need continual metabolic replacing food. From our conception of celestial bodies we should remove all ideas of a change that could modify their constitution. Terrestrial bodies are animated by an entirely different nature; which though because of its weakness is incapable of insuring them a durable existence, nevertheless imitates the superior nature (of the celestial Soul) by birth and generation. Elsewhere we have shown that even this very celestial Soul cannot partake of the perfect immutability of intelligible things.

MacKenna

8. Now: given a light of this degree, remaining in the upper sphere at its appointed station, pure light in purest place, what mode of outflow from it can be conceived possible?

Such a Kind is not so constituted as to flow downwards of its own accord; and there exists in those regions no power to force it down. Again, body in contact with soul must always be very different from body left to itself; the bodily substance of the heavens has that contact and will show that difference.

Besides, the corporeal substance nearest to the heavens would be air or fire: air has no destructive quality; fire would be powerless there since it could not enter into effective contact: in its very rush it would change before its attack could be felt; and, apart from that, it is of the lesser order, no match for what it would be opposing in those higher regions.

Again, fire acts by imparting heat: now it cannot be the source of heat to what is already hot by nature; and anything it is to destroy must as a first condition be heated by it, must be brought to a pitch of heat fatal to the nature concerned.

In sum, then, no outside body is necessary to the heavens to ensure their permanence - or to produce their circular movement, for it has never been shown that their natural path would be the straight line; on the contrary the heavens, by their nature, will either be motionless or move by circle; all other movement indicates outside compulsion. We cannot think, therefore, that the heavenly bodies stand in need of replenishment; we must not argue from earthly frames to those of the celestial system whose sustaining soul is not the same, whose space is not the same, whose conditions are not those which make restoration necessary in this realm of composite bodies always in flux: we must recognise that the changes that take place in bodies here represent a slipping-away from the being [a phenomenon not incident to the celestial sphere] and take place at the dictate of a Principle not dwelling in the higher regions, one not powerful enough to ensure the permanence of the existences in which it is exhibited, one which in its coming into being and in its generative act is but an imitation of an antecedent Kind, and, as we have shown, cannot at every point possess the unchangeable identity of the Intellectual Realm.