Página inicial > Antiguidade > Neoplatonismo (245-529 dC) > Plotino (204-270 dC) – Tratados Enéadas > Plotino - Tratado 33,5 (II, 9, 5) — Contra o desprezo dos gnósticos a (...)

ENÉADAS

Plotino - Tratado 33,5 (II, 9, 5) — Contra o desprezo dos gnósticos a respeito dos astros e da terra daqui de baixo

Enéada II, 9, 5

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 5: Contra o desprezo dos gnósticos a respeito dos astros e da terra de aqui abaixo.

  • 1-8. Os gnósticos se creem superiores até mesmo aos astros.
  • 8-16. Dizem possuir uma alma imortal e divina, mas recusam este privilégio aos astros.
  • 16-23. É equivocadamente que eles introduzem uma alma constituída de elementos.
  • 23-26. Eles pretendem que uma "terra nova" foi criada para eles.
  • 26-37. É inútil admitir que o demiurgo produziu um modelo de nosso mundo.

Míguez

5. Absurdo resulta que estos mismos hombres, que tienen un cuerpo, un alma plena de deseos, de penas y de movimientos coléricos, no menosprecien su propio poder y se crean, en cambio, capaces de alcanzar lo inteligible; y más todavía que, en lo que concierne al sol, su mismo poder se les aparezca menos insensible, y no tan ordenado o alterado como el nuestro; ni siquiera aceptan para el sol la inteligencia, cuando este astro es mejor que nosotros, que acabamos de venir al mundo y nos vemos impedidos por tantas cosas engañosas de dirigimos hacia la verdad. Para los que así razonan, incluso los hombres más viles cuentan con un alma inmortal y divina, en tanto el cielo entero, y todos los astros que se dan en él, carecen de un alma inmortal. Ese cielo, sin embargo, participa de las cosas más hermosas y más puras; y ellos mismos admiran su orden, su buena apariencia y disposición, desdeñando más que nadie la confusión que reina en la tierra. Como si el alma inmortal hubiese escogido adrede el lugar peor y prefiriese ceder el mejor a un alma que es mortal.

Absurdo es también introducir aquí furtivamente esa otra alma compuesta de elementos. Porque, ¿cómo podría tener vida alguna una simple composición de elementos? Una mezcla de elementos produce tan sólo o el calor o el frío, o lo seco o lo húmedo, o una composición de todas estas cosas. ¿Cómo concebir, además, una cohesión de los cuatro elementos, que surge de ellos y a continuación de ellos? ¿Qué puede decirse ya, si otorgan a esta alma la acción de percibir, la voluntad y otras mil cosas por el estilo? Como no conceden valor a la creación y a esta tierra nuestra, invocan para ellos la existencia de una tierra nueva, a la que se dirigirán una vez salidos de este mundo; ahí se encuentra la razón del mundo. ¿Qué podría haber, sin embargo, en el modelo de un mundo que odian? ¿Y de dónde procede este modelo? Según ellos, este modelo es producido luego que su creador se ha inclinado a las cosas de aquí. Pero si el autor de él tiene tanto interés en producir otro mundo luego del mundo inteligible que ya posee — y qué necesidad tendría de él —, y si creó ese modelo antes del mundo sensible, ¿con qué fin lo hizo? ¿Querría tal vez preservar las almas? Más, si las almas no estaban guardadas, el modelo existía sin razón. Y si lo creó después del mundo sensible, tomando la forma del mundo pero desprovista de la materia, bastaba una sola prueba para esas almas que intentasen conservarse en el modelo. Si estiman, por otra parte, que las almas tomaron la forma del mundo, ¿a qué vienen las novedades de lenguaje?

Bouillet

[5] N’est-il pas absurde de voir ces gens [les Gnostiques], qui ont, comme tous les autres hommes, un corps, des passions, des craintes, des emportements, se faire de leur propre puissance une idée assez haute pour se croire capables d’atteindre l’intelligible (35), et refuser cependant au Soleil, quoiqu’il soit immuable et parfait (36), une puissance impassible, une sagesse supérieure à celle que nous possédons, nous, qui sommes nés d’hier et qui rencontrons tant d’obstacles pour arriver à la vérité ? Comment ne pas s’étonner de voir ces gens regarder leur âme ainsi que celle des hommes les plus vils comme immortelle et divine, et refuser l’immortalité au ciel entier, à tous les astres qu’il contient, quoiqu’ils soient composés d’éléments plus beaux et plus purs [que nous] (37), quoiqu’ils nous offrent un aspect et un ordre admirables, tandis que [les Gnostiques] eux mêmes se plaignent de trouver du désordre ici-bas ? Ainsi, dans leur système, l’âme immortelle aurait choisi la mauvaise région du monde pour céder la bonne à une âme mortelle (38) !

N’est-il pas absurde encore de les voir introduire dans le monde, après l’Âme universelle, une autre Âme qu’ils supposent composée des éléments (ἐκ τῶν στοιχείων) (39) ? Comment un composé d’éléments peut–il posséder la vie ? Un mélange d’éléments ne produit que le chaud ou le froid, l’humide ou le sec, ou quelqu’une de leurs combinaisons. Comment d’ailleurs cette Âme [inférieure à l’Âme universelle] pourrait-elle tenir les quatre éléments unis ensemble, si elle en était composée, si elle leur était postérieure ? Nous avons encore le droit de demander aux Gnostiques comment ils peuvent attribuer à cette Âme la perception, la réflexion et d’autres facultés.

Au reste, comme les Gnostiques n’ont aucune estime ni pour l’oeuvre du Démiurge, ni pour cette terre, ils prétendent que la divinité a créé pour eux la Terre nouvelle (καινὴ γῆ), qui est destinée à les recevoir quand ils s’en iront d’ici-bas, et qui est la Raison du monde (40). Mais quel besoin ont-ils d’habiter dans le Paradigme (παράδειγμα) de ce monde qu’ils haïssent? D’où provient d’ailleurs ce Paradigme? Selon eux, le Paradigme n’a été créé que lorsque son auteur a incliné vers les choses d’ici-bas. Si le créateur du Paradigme s’est beaucoup occupé du monde pour faire un monde inférieur au monde intelligible qu’il possédait, quel besoin en avait-il? Si c’est avant le monde [qu’a été créé le Paradigme], dans quel but l’a-t-il été ? Était -ce pour que les âmes fussent sauvées [restassent dans le Paradigme au lieu de descendre ici-bas]? Pourquoi donc n’ont-elles pas été sauvées [ne sont-elles pas restées dans le Paradigme] ? Dans cette hypothèse, [le Paradigme] a été créé inutilement. Si c’est après le monde [qu’a été créé le Paradigme], si son auteur l’a tiré du monde, en dépouillant la Forme de la Matière (41), l’expérience que les âmes avaient acquise dans leurs épreuves antérieures suffisait pour leur apprendre à faire leur salut [à rester dans le Paradigme au lieu de descendre ici-bas] (42). Enfin, si les Gnostiques prétendent avoir reçu dans leurs âmes la Forme du monde (τοῦ κόσμου τὸ εἶδος) (43), que signifie ce .nouveau langage ?

Guthrie

IT IS CONTRADICTORY TO CONSIDER ONESELF CAPABLE OF PERFECTION, BUT TO DENY IMPASSIBILITY TO THE BEAUTIFUL WORKS OF NATURE.

5. Is it not absurd to see those (Gnostics) who, like everybody else, possess a body, passions, fears, and excitements, holding an idea of their own powers high enough to make them believe themselves capable of attaining the intelligible, while to the sun, though it be immutable and perfect, and though it be impassible power, refusing a wisdom superior to ours, we who were born only yesterday, and who find so many obstacles in our search after truth? We certainly are surprised to see these (Gnostics) considering the souls of both themselves and of the vilest men immortal and divine, while refusing immortality to the entire heaven, to all the stars it contains, though they be composed of elements more beautiful and purer (than we), though they manifest a marvellous beauty and order, while (these Gnostics) themselves acknowledge that disorder is observed here below? According to their theories, however, the immortal Soul would have picked out the worst part of the world, while giving up the best to mortal souls.

AN INTERMEDIARY ELEMENTAL SOUL IS ALSO INADMISSIBLE.

It is also absurd to see them introduce into the world, after the universal Soul, another soul said to be composed of elements. How could a composition of elements possess life? A mixture of elements does not produce heat or cold, humidity or dryness, or any combination thereof. Besides, how could this soul (that is inferior to the universal Soul), hold in union together the four elements, if she herself were composed of them, and therefore were posterior to them ?

We may also rightfully demand of the (Gnostics) an explanation of their predicating perception, reflection, and other faculties to this (mythical) soul.

THE GNOSTICS’ NEW EARTH, THAT IS MODEL OF THE OLD IS UNREASONABLE.

Besides, as the (Gnostics) have no appreciation of the work of the demiurgic creator, nor for this earth, they insist that the divinity has created for them a new earth, which is destined to receive them when they shall have left here below, and which is the reason of the world. But what need do they have of inhabiting the model of this world that they pretend to hate? In any case, from where does this model come? According to them, the model was created only when its author inclined towards things here below. But what was the use of the model, if its creator busied himself considerably with the world to make a world inferior to the intelligible world which he possessed? If (the model were created) before the world, what could have been its use ? Was it for the saved souls ? Why therefore were those souls not saved (by remaining within the model) ? Under this hypothesis the creation of the model was useless. If (the model, however, was created) after this world, its author derived it from this world, stealing the form away from matter; the experience that the souls had acquired in their earlier trials sufficed to teach them to seek their salvation. Last, if the (Gnostics) pretend to have, in their souls, received the form of the world, we have a new incomprehensible language.

Taylor

V. It is however truly absurd, that they having a body like other men, together with desires, pains, and anger, should not despise the power of these, but assert that thty are able to come into contact with the intelligible, and yet that there is not in the sun a more impassive power, though it exists in a superior order, and has not as our bodies have, a predominant tendency to a change of quality, and that it has not likewise a wisdom more excellent than we have whose origin is recent, and who are prevented by so many impediments from arriving at truth. Nor again, is it fit to assert that the soul of the vilest men is immortal and divine, but that all heaven and the stars that are there, do not participate of immortality, though they consist of things far more beautiful and pure [than any thing terrestrial], and though it is evident that whatever is there is orderly and elegant; especially since they blame the disorder which is about the earth, as if an immortal soul would choose this inferior abode, and willingly though more excellent be subservient to a mortal soul. The introduction also of this other soul by them is absurd, which according to them derives its composition from the elements. For how can a composition from the elements possess any life? For the mixture of these produces either the hot or the cold, or that which is mingled from both, or the dry, or the moist, or a compound from these. How, likewise, is soul the connecting bond of the four elements, since it consists from and is posterior to them ? But when they also add animadversion and will, and ten thousand other things to this soul, it may be asked why they ascribe these to it. Farther still, they do not honour this sensible fabrication of things, nor this visible earth, but they say that there is a new1 earth produced for them, into which they are to ascend from hence ; and that this new earth is the productive principle of the world ; though why is it necessary that they should dwell in the paradigm of a world which they hate ? Whence likewise does this paradigm subsist ? For this, according to them, derived its subsistence from the maker of the world, verging to terrestrial natures. If, therefore, by the maker of the universe great attention is paid to the production of another world, after the intelligible world which he possesses, why is this attention requisite ? And if he was thus attentive prior to the world, was it in order that souls might be saved ? How is it, therefore, that they are not saved ? So that the world was made in vain. But if he was thus attentive posterior to the world, receiving his knowledge by a spoliation of form from matter, in this case, the skill which souls derive from experience, is sufficient to their salvation. But if they think that the form of the world should be assumed in souls, from whence is this novel doctrine derived ?

MacKenna

There are men, bound to human bodies and subject to desire, grief, anger, who think so generously of their own faculty that they declare themselves in contact with the Intelligible World, but deny that the sun possesses a similar faculty less subject to influence, to disorder, to change; they deny that it is any wiser than we, the late born, hindered by so many cheats on the way towards truth.

Their own soul, the soul of the least of mankind, they declare deathless, divine; but the entire heavens and the stars within the heavens have had no communion with the Immortal Principle, though these are far purer and lovelier than their own souls - yet they are not blind to the order, the shapely pattern, the discipline prevailing in the heavens, since they are the loudest in complaint of the disorder that troubles our earth. We are to imagine the deathless Soul choosing of design the less worthy place, and preferring to abandon the nobler to the Soul that is to die.

Equally unreasonable is their introduction of that other Soul which they piece together from the elements.

How could any form or degree of life come about by a blend of the elements? Their conjunction could produce only a warm or cold or an intermediate substance, something dry or wet or intermediate.

Besides, how could such a soul be a bond holding the four elements together when it is a later thing and rises from them? And this element - soul is described as possessing consciousness and will and the rest - what can we think?

Furthermore, these teachers, in their contempt for this creation and this earth, proclaim that another earth has been made for them into which they are to enter when they depart. Now this new earth is the Reason-Form [the Logos] of our world. Why should they desire to live in the archetype of a world abhorrent to them?

Then again, what is the origin of that pattern world? It would appear, from the theory, that the Maker had already declined towards the things of this sphere before that pattern came into being.

Now let us suppose the Maker craving to construct such an Intermediate World - though what motive could He have? - in addition to the Intellectual world which He eternally possesses. If He made the mid-world first, what end was it to serve?

To be a dwelling-place for Souls?

How then did they ever fall from it? It exists in vain.

If He made it later than this world - abstracting the formal-idea of this world and leaving the Matter out - the Souls that have come to know that intermediate sphere would have experienced enough to keep them from entering this. If the meaning is simply that Souls exhibit the Ideal-Form of the Universe, what is there distinctive in the teaching?