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Plotino - Tratado 33,3 (II, 9, 3) — A sucessão eterna das realidades

Enéada II, 9, 3

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 3: A sucessão eterna das realidades.

  • 1-7. A alma do mundo transmite ao que a segue a luz que recebe do Intelecto.
  • 7-12. Cada realidade dá algo àquela que a segue.
  • 12-15. As realidades inteligíveis são eternas.
  • 15-21. A matéria também é eterna e não é separada dos inteligíveis.

Míguez

3. Está siempre, en efecto, iluminada, y disfruta sin interrupción de la luz, que proporciona a todo lo que le sigue; con esas cosas que ella retiene siempre y a las que reanima con su luz, haciéndolas gozar de la vida en la medida que les es posible. Como si se calentasen, también en cuanto les es posible, situadas alrededor de un fuego que está en medio; el fuego, sin embargo, se ve sujeto a limitación.

En tanto estas potencias ilimitadas no se ofrecen excluidas de los seres, ¿cómo pueden ellas existir, sin tener nada que ver las unas con las otras? Cada una dará necesariamente de lo suyo a otro ser, pues de otro modo ni el bien sería el bien, ni la inteligencia sería la inteligencia; tampoco el alma seria la misma si después de su primera vida no llegase a contar con una segunda que fuese tanto como la primera. Es necesario que todos los seres se sigan unos de otros, en una sucesión eterna; aquellos que son engendrados, ya está claro que proceden de otros. No se diga, ciertamente, que fueron engendrados, sino que lo fueron y lo serán por siempre. Al igual que sólo se verán destruidas las cosas que tienen partes en las cuales descomponerse; las que no las tienen, no conocerán la destrucción. Podría decirse que todo termina en la materia, pero, ¿por qué no decir también que la materia perece? Si se afirma esto, ¿por qué ha sido necesario que naciese? Argüiríase que es algo que se sigue de modo inmediato y necesario, y que ahora mismo resulta necesario. Si se la dejase sola, los seres divinos no se encontrarían ya en todas partes, sino que, cual seres divididos por un muro, aparecerían localizados en un cierto lugar; pero como esto no es posible, la materia deberá estar siempre iluminada.

Bouillet

[3] Ainsi l’Âme, étant toujours illuminée, illumine elle-même à son tour les choses inférieures, qui subsistent par elle, comme les plantes se nourrissent de la rosée, et qui participent à la vie, chacune selon sa capacité : de même, un feu échauffe les objets qui l’entourent, chacun proportionnellement à sa nature (19). Or, si tel est l’effet du feu qui n’a qu’une puissance limitée, tandis que les êtres intelligibles ont des puissances sans limites, comment serait-il possible que ces êtres existassent sans que rien participât à leur nature ? Il faut donc que chacun d’eux communique quelque degré de sa perfection aux autres êtres. Le Bien ne serait plus Bien, l’Intelligence ne serait plus Intelligence, l’Âme ne serait plus Âme, si, au-dessous de ce qui possède le premier degré de la vie, il n’y avait quelque autre chose qui possédât le second degré de la vie, et qui subsistât tant. que subsiste Celui qui occupe le premier rang (20). Il est donc nécessaire que toutes les choses [inférieures au Premier] existent toujours dans leur dépendance mutuelle, et qu’elles soient engendrées, parce qu’elles tiennent d’autrui leur existence. Elles n’ont pas été engendrées à un moment déterminé ; en affirmant qu’elles sont engendrées, il faut dire : elles étaient engendrées, elles seront engendrées. Elles ne seront pas non plus détruites, à moins qu’elles ne soient composées d’éléments dans lesquels elles puissent se dissoudre. Quant à celles qui sont indissolubles, elles ne périront pas (21). - Elles pourront, dira-t-on peut-être, se résoudre en matière. — Alors pourquoi la matière aussi ne serait-elle pas dissoluble ? Si on accorde qu’elle est dissoluble, quelle nécessité y avait-il qu’elle existât (22) ? — L’existence de la matière, dira-t-on, résulte nécessairement de l’existence des autres principes. - Dans ce cas, cette nécessité subsiste encore. Si on laisse la matière isolée [du monde intelligible], il s’en suivra que les principes divins, au lieu d’être partout (23), seront en quelque sorte murés dans un lieu déterminé (24). Si c’est impossible, la matière doit être illuminée [par le monde intelligible].

Guthrie

THE WORLD AS ETERNALLY BEGOTTEN — GOD’S NEED TO GIVE..

3. Thus the Soul, ever being illuminated, in turn herself illuminates lower things that subsist only through her, like plants that feed on dew, and which participate in life, each according to its capacity. Likewise a fire heats the objects that surround it, each in proportion to its nature. Now if such is the effect of fire whose power is limited, while intelligible beings exert unlimited powers, how would it be possible for these beings to exist without causing anything to participate in their nature ? Each of them must therefore communicate some degree of its perfection to other beings. The Good would no longer be the good, Intelligence would no longer be intelligence, the Soul would no longer be soul, if, beneath that which possesses the first degree of life, there was not some other thing which possessed the second degree of life, and which subsisted only so long as subsists He who occupies the first rank. It is therefore unavoidable that all things (inferior to the First) must always exist in mutual dependence, and that they be begotten, because they derive their existence from some other source. They were not begotten at a definite moment. When we affirm that they are begotten, we should say, they were begotten, or, they shall be begotten. Nor will they be destroyed, unless they are composed of elements in which they could be dissolved. Those that are indissoluble will not perish. It may be objected that they could be resolved into matter. But why should matter also not be liable to be destroyed? If it were granted that matter was liable to destruction, there was no necessity for its existence. It may be further objected that the existence of matter necessarily results from the existence of other principles. In this case, this necessity still subsists. If matter is to be considered as isolated (from the intelligible world), then the divine principles also, instead of being present everywhere, will, as it were, be walled up in a limited place. But if the latter be impossible, then must matter be illuminated (by the intelligible world).

Taylor

III. Hence it must not be admitted that there are more principles than these [in the intelligible world], nor must these superfluous conceptions be adopted, which have no place there; but it must be said that there is one intellect always subsisting with invariable sameness, and in every respect without fluctuation, which imitates as much as possible its father; and with respect to our soul, that one part of it always abides on high,2 that another part of it is conversant with sensibles, and that another has a subsistence in the middle of these. For as there is one nature in many powers, at one time the whole soul tends upward in conjunction with the most excellent part, of itself, and of the universe, but at another time, the worst part being drawn down, draws together with itself the middle part. For it is not lawful that the whole of it should be drawn downward. This passion also happens to the soul, because it did not abide in that which is most beautiful, where the soul which does not rank as a part [continually] abiding, and of which we are not a part, imparts to the whole body of the universe, as much as it is able to receive from it. At the same time also, this soul remains free from all solicitude, not governing the world by the discursive energy of reason, nor correcting any thing [in itself;] but by the vision of that which is prior to itself, adorning the universe with an admirable power. For the more it looks to itself, the more beautiful and powerful it becomes, and possessing these excellencies from the intelligible world, it imparts them to that which is posterior to itself, and as it is always illuminated, it always illuminates.

MacKenna

3. Ever illuminated, receiving light unfailing, the All-Soul imparts it to the entire series of later Being which by this light is sustained and fostered and endowed with the fullest measure of life that each can absorb. It may be compared with a central fire warming every receptive body within range.

Our fire, however, is a thing of limited scope: given powers that have no limitation and are never cut off from the Authentic Existences, how imagine anything existing and yet failing to receive from them?

It is of the essence of things that each gives of its being to another: without this communication, The Good would not be Good, nor the Intellectual-Principle an Intellective Principle, nor would Soul itself be what it is: the law is, "some life after the Primal Life, a second where there is a first; all linked in one unbroken chain; all eternal; divergent types being engendered only in the sense of being secondary."

In other words, things commonly described as generated have never known a beginning: all has been and will be. Nor can anything disappear unless where a later form is possible: without such a future there can be no dissolution.

If we are told that there is always Matter as a possible term, we ask why then should not Matter itself come to nothingness. If we are told it may, then we ask why it should ever have been generated. If the answer comes that it had its necessary place as the ultimate of the series, we return that the necessity still holds.

With Matter left aside as wholly isolated, the Divine Beings are not everywhere but in some bounded place, walled off, so to speak; if that is not possible, Matter itself must receive the Divine light [and so cannot be annihilated].