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Plotino - Tratado 33,4 (II, 9, 4) — Contra a doutrina gnóstica sobre a produção e a destruição do mundo

Enéada II, 9, 4

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Capítulo 4: Contra a doutrina   gnóstica sobre a produção e a destruição do mundo.

  • 1-12. Os gnósticos   creem equivocadamente que a alma   produz porque ela decaiu e se declinou.
  • 12-15. A alma também não produz para ser honrada.
  • 15-17. Se a alma usa da reflexão  , como pode ela produzir?
  • 17-22. A alma não destruirá o mundo sob pretexto de que ela se arrepende de havê-lo produzido.
  • 22-32. O mundo não é mau, pois é a melhor imagem possível do inteligível.
    

Míguez

4. Podrá decirse también que el alma   se ha hecho productora al perder sus alas; sin embargo, el alma del universo   no sufre esta pérdida. Y si se admitiese que el alma es productora luego de su caída, expóngase entonces la causa   de esta calda. ¿Cuándo se produjo realmente? Si ya permanece así desde la eternidad, sería según esta razón, un alma caída. Y si la caída tuvo un comienzo, ¿por qué no dio comienzo antes? Para nosotros no está la causa productora en que el alma se incline (hacia la materia), sino mejor en el hecho de que no se incline. Porque si el alma se inclina (hacia la materia) está claro que se olvida de los inteligibles; y si se olvida de ellos, ¿cómo modelar el mundo? ¿De dónde la fuerza productora del alma sino de los inteligibles que ha podido contemplar? Si el recuerdo persiste a través de su acción productora, es que el alma aún no se inclinó del todo — y no tiene, por tanto, una visión confusa — , si es que ya no se inclinó en mayor grado hacia los inteligibles, a fin de obtener así una visión más clara, Porque, manteniendo todavía el recuerdo, ¿cómo no iba a desear volver hacia él? ¿Qué es lo que pensará entonces sobre su acción productora del mundo? Seria ridículo creer que lo hace para obtener honores, confundiéndola en este caso con los escultores de que disponemos aquí. Por otra parte, si produjese el mundo validad e su pensamiento y no radicasen en su misma naturaleza el acto y el poder de la producción, ¿cómo se explicaría la formación del mundo? ¿Y cuándo lo destruirá? Porque si ha cambiado de opinión, ¿qué es lo que espera para destruirlo? Si ello no ocurre, es indudable que todavía no se ha arrepentido de su acción y que, con la costumbre y el tiempo, aquélla se le hará más querida. Supuesto que esperase a las almas individuales, parece lógico que éstas no deseasen un nuevo nacimiento, ya que, en el anterior  , han probado los males de este mundo; de manera que preferirían dejarlo.

No ha de admitirse, con todo, que este mundo encierra una producción mala por el hecho de que hay en él muchas cosas que nos desagradan. Porque le concedemos una dignidad mayor si creemos que es idéntico al mundo inteligible, y no le estimamos, como en realidad es, una imagen de él. ¿Y acaso sería posible una representación más bella? Porque, ¿qué otro fuego que el de aquí podría ofrecernos una imagen mejor del fuego inteligible? ¿Hay, además de la tierra inteligible, otra tierra que supere a la nuestra? ¿Y existe otra esfera   más perfecta o más ordenada en su movimiento que toda la extensión del universo inteligible? ¿Se concebiría, además del sol inteligible, otro sol que supere al sol visible?

Bouillet

[4] Mais, dira-t-on, si l’Âme a créé, c’est parce qu’elle a perdu ses ailes (πτερορρυήσασα) (25). — L’Âme universelle ne saurait être sujette à un pareil accident. Si l’on prétend qu’elle a failli, qu’on dise la cause de sa faute (σφάλμα) (26). Quand a-t-elle failli ? Si c’est de toute éternité, par la même raison, elle doit demeurer dans sa faute ; si c’est seulement après un temps déterminé, pourquoi n’a-te-elle pas failli plus tôt? Quant à nous, nous croyons que si l’Âme a créé le monde, ce n’est pas parce qu’elle a incliné [vers la mati  ère], mais plutôt parce qu’elle n’a pas incliné. Pour incliner ainsi, il aurait fallu que l’Âme eût oublié les intelligibles ; mais, si elle les avait oubliés, comment aurait-elle créé le monde? D’après quoi l’aurait-elle formé? Elle l’a formé sans doute d’après les intelligibles qu’elle avait contemplés là-haut. Si elle s’en est souvenue en formant le monde, elle n’avait pas incliné. Elle n’avait donc pas une notion obscure des intelligibles ; sinon, elle aurait incliné vers eux (27) pour en avoir une intuition   claire : car, pourquoi n’aurait-elle pas voulu rentrer dans le monde intelligible (ἐπανελθεῖν) (28), puisqu’elle en conservait quelque souvenir ?

En outre, quel avantage a-t-elle pu croire se procurer en créant le monde ? Il serait plaisant de s’imaginer qu’elle a créé le monde pour être honorée (ἵνα τιμῷτο) (29) : ce serait lui prêter les sentiments d’un statuaire. Si elle a créé en vertu d’une conception rationnelle (διανοίᾳ ἐποίει) (30) et si, quoiqu’il ne fût pas dans sa nature de créer, sa puissance s’est exercée par la création, comment a-t-elle fait le monde? Quand le détruira-t-elle ? Si elle s’est repentie (μετέγνω) (31), qu’attend-elle [pour anéantir son œuvre] ? Si elle ne s’est pas encore repentie, elle ne saurait se repentir quand le temps l’aura habituée à son oeuvre et l’aura rendue plus bienveillante pour elle. SI elle attend les âme individuelles (τὰς καθ’ ἕκαστον ψυχὰς ἀναμένει) (32) celles-ci auraient dû ne pas revenir dans la génération, puisque, dans la génération antérieure, elles ont déjà fait l’épreuve des maux d’ici-bas, et que, par conséquent, elles auraient de puis longtemps dû cesser de descendre sur la terre.

Il ne faut pas accorder que le monde est mal fait, parce qu’on y souffre mille peines : c’est exiger pour le monde sensible   une trop grande perfection et le confondre avec le monde intelligible dont il n’est que l’image (εἰκών) (33)? Mais pourrait-il en exister une plus belle image ? Pourrait-il y avoir, après le feu céleste  , un feu meilleur que notre feu ? Comment concevoir, après la terre intelligible, une autre terre que celle-ci ? après l’acte par lequel le monde intelligible s’embrasse lui-même, une sphère plus parfaite, plus admirable, mieux ordonnée dans ses mouvements (34) ? Enfin comment concevoir, après le soleil   intelligible, un autre soleil que celui qui frappe notre vue ?

Guthrie

BY A PUN ON INCLINATION, PLOTINOS   SHOWS THAT THE WORLD-SOUL COULD NOT HAVE GONE THROUGH THE DRAMA   OF CREATION ATTRIBUTED TO SOPHIA   AND ACHAMOTH.

4. But in that case, the Soul created only because she had lost her wings. The universal   Soul, however, could not have been subject to such an accident. Those (Gnostics) who claim that she committed a fault should explain the nature of that fault. Why did this fall occur? If she fell from all eternity, she must similarly remain in her fault; if only at a determinate time, why not earlier? We however believe that the Soul created the world not by inclining (towards matter), but rather because she did not incline towards it. Thus to incline towards matter the Soul would have forgotten the intelligible entities; but if she had forgotten them, she could not have created the world (using them as modefs). From what (models) would the soul have created the world ? She must have formed it according to the intelligible models she had contemplated above. If she remembered them while creating, she had not inclined (away from them towards matter). Neither did the Soul have an obscure notion of the intelligibles; otherwise she would have inclined herself towards them, to get a clear intuition of them. For if she kept some memory of the intelligible world, why would she not have wished to reascend therein?

MOST GENERALLY ASSIGNED MOTIVES OF CREATION ARE RIDICULOUS, OR WORSE.

Besides, what advantage could the (world-Soul) have imagined she was gaining by creating the world ? That she did so in order to be honored seems unworthy, for it would be attributing to her the desires of a sculptor. Another theory is that the (world-Soul) created the world by virtue of a rational conception, and she thus exercised her power, though creating did not inhere in her nature. If so, how did she make the world? When will she destroy it? If she repented, what is she waiting for (before she destroys her handiwork) ? If, however, she has not yet repented, she could not repent after time will have accustomed her to her work, and will have made her more kindly disposed thereto. If however she be awaiting individual souls, the latter should not have returned into generation, since, in the former generation, they have already experienced evils here below, and consequently, they should long since have ceased to descend upon this earth.

THE WORLD SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED EVIL BECAUSE OF OUR SUFFERINGS; NOTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL COULD BE IMAGINED.

Nor should the world be considered badly made, merely because we suffer so much therein. This idea   results from entertaining unjustifiable expectations of its perfections, and from confusing it with the intelligible world of which it is an image. Could a more beautiful image, indeed, be imagined? After the celestial fire could we imagine a better fire than our own? After the intelligible earth, could we imagine a better earth than ours? After the actualization by which the intelligible world embraces itself, could we imagine a sphere more perfect, more wonderful, or better ordered in its movements? After the intelligible sun, how could we imagine any sun different from the one that we see?

Taylor

IV. But if they say that soul suffering as it were a defluxion of its wings, made the world, we reply, that this does not befall the soul of the universe. If also they say this soul is deceived and in error, they should assign the cause of its deception and error. When likewise was it deceived ? For if from eternity, it will for the same reason remain in error. But if it began at a certain time to be deceived, why was it not deceived prior to that time ? We, however, do not say that the tendency of the soul downward produced the world, but rather the non-tendency of it. But if it tends downward, it is evident that this must arise from its forgetfulness of what the intelligible world contains. And if it is forgetful of these, how did it fabricate the world ? For whence can it make, except from the things which it saw there ? But if it fabricates recollecting the things that are there, it has not, in short, any tendency downward. For it does not possess nor see them obscurely, if it is without this tendency. And why, if it has any recollection of them, should it not wish to return thither ? For what can it suppose will happen   to itself from fabricating the world ? For it is ridiculous to assert that it made the world, in order that it might be honoured, and is an opinion derived from the makers of statues. If, likewise, soul fabricated by a reasoning process, and did not naturally possess a producing power, how did it make this world ? When also will it destroy the world? For if it repented having made it, why does it defer its destruction ? But if it does not yet repent, neither will it ever, as being now accustomed to it, and becoming through time more friendly towards it. If, also, it defers the destruction of the world on account of partial souls, waiting for their union with it, these souls ought not to have descended again into generation, having experienced in a former descent, the evils which are here; so that prior to the present time they would have ceased to descend. Nor must we grant them that this world was produced in an evil condition, because there are many molestations in it. For this arises from forming too exalted an opinion of this sensible world, and conceiving it to be the same with that which is intelligible, and not the image of it. For what more beautiful image of it could have been generated ? What other tire could be a better image of the fire which is there, than the fire which is here ? Or what other earth than this, of the earth which is there ? What sphere, also, could be more accurate and venerable, or more orderly in its motion [than that of this sensible universe], after the comprehension which is there of the intelligible world in itself ? And what other sun after the intelligible sun, can be prior to this which is the object of sight ?

MacKenna

4. To those who assert that creation is the work of the Soul after the failing of its wings, we answer that no such disgrace could overtake the Soul of the All. If they tell us of its falling, they must tell us also what caused the fall  . And when did it take place? If from eternity, then the Soul must be essentially a fallen thing: if at some one moment, why not before that?

We assert its creative act to be a proof not of decline but rather of its steadfast hold. Its decline could consist only in its forgetting the Divine: but if it forgot, how could it create? Whence does it create but from the things it knew in the Divine? If it creates from the memory of that vision, it never fell. Even supposing it to be in some dim intermediate state, it need not be supposed more likely to decline: any inclination would be towards its Prior, in an effort to the clearer vision. If any memory at all remained, what other desire could it have than to retrace the way?

What could it have been planning to gain by world-creating? Glory? That would be absurd - a motive borrowed from the sculptors of our earth.

Finally, if the Soul created by policy and not by sheer need of its nature, by being characteristically the creative power - how explain the making of this universe?

And when will it destroy the work? If it repents of its work, what is it waiting for? If it has not yet repented, then it will never repent: it must be already accustomed to the world, must be growing more tender towards it with the passing of time.

Can it be waiting for certain souls still here? Long since would these have ceased returning for such re-birth, having known in former life the evils of this sphere; long since would they have foreborne to come.

Nor may we grant that this world is of unhappy origin because there are many jarring things in it. Such a judgement would rate it too high, treating it as the same with the Intelligible Realm and not merely its reflection.

And yet - what reflection of that world could be conceived more beautiful than this of ours? What fire could be a nobler reflection of the fire there than the fire we know here? Or what other earth than this could have been modelled after that earth? And what globe more minutely perfect than this, or more admirably ordered in its course could have been conceived in the image of the self-centred circling of the World of Intelligibles? And for a sun figuring the Divine sphere, if it is to be more splendid than the sun visible to us, what a sun it must be.