Página inicial > Antiguidade > Neoplatonismo (245-529 dC) > Plotino (204-270 dC) – Tratados Enéadas > Plotino - Tratado 33,6 (II, 9, 6) — Contra a arrogância dos gnósticos em (...)

ENÉADAS

Plotino - Tratado 33,6 (II, 9, 6) — Contra a arrogância dos gnósticos em relação a Platão e aos antigos

Enéada II, 9, 6

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Capítulo 6: Contra a arrogância dos gnósticos   para com Platão e os antigos.

  • 1-14. Eles se inventam um novo vocabulário, mesmo se eles se inspiram em parte de Platão.
  • 14-21. Sua má exegese   do Timeu   faz que eles multipliquem os Intelectos.
  • 21-28. Eles se enganam sobre a identidade   e sobre o papel do demiurgo   platônico.
  • 28-35. Eles multiplicam equivocadamente o número das realidades inteligíveis, em lugar de mantê-las em três.
  • 35-62. Os gnósticos são fraudadores que deformam a doutrina   dos antigos.
    

Míguez

6. ¿Y qué hemos de decir de las otras hipóstasis que ellos admiten, como las migraciones, las representaciones adecuadas y los cambios de opinión? Porque si consideran como cambios de opinión las afecciones del alma   y como representaciones adecuadas lo que se da en el alma cuando ésta contempla las imágenes de los seres, pero no los seres mismos, es claro que se trata de vaciedades para otorgar algún sentido a su propia doctrina. Todas estas cosas son maquinaciones de quienes no llegan a comprender las antiguas concepciones helénicas; porque los griegos tenían ideas claras y hablaban sin orgullo alguno de la subida que, desde la caverna   y poco a poco, lleva (al alma) a una contemplación cada vez más verdadera. En general, se ha tomado por ellos alguna cosa que recuerda a Platón  , pero todo cuanto inventan, al objeto de proponer una original filosofía, les lleva a apartarse de la verdad. Pues son de ver en ellos los castigos, los ríos del Hades   y las migraciones de un cuerpo a otro. Y, en relación con la pluralidad de inteligibles que postulan, el Ser  , la Inteligencia y el Demiurgo  , se diferencian realmente del alma, aunque pretenden tomarlos de lo que dice Platón en el Timeo: «Como la inteligencia ha visto las ideas que se dan en el animal   en sí, el creador de este mundo ha pensado que el universo   debiera contener otras tantas especies». Pero, ciertamente, no alcanzaron a comprender a Platón; consideraron de una parte, una inteligencia en reposo, que reúne en sí misma todas las cosas; de otra, una inteligencia que las contempla, e incluso una tercera inteligencia que reflexiona — con frecuencia, en vez de ésta hablan de un alma creadora — , juzgando que Platón se refería con ella al demiurgo; en lo cual demuestran estar lejos de saber lo que es el demiurgo.

En general, se equivocan en el modo de concebir la creación y en muchas otras cosas, y llevan por el lado peor las doctrinas de Platón, corno si ellos mismos hubiesen comprendido la naturaleza inteligible, cosa que aparecería vedada tanto a Platón como a los demás hombres divinos. Al enumerar una gran cantidad de inteligibles, piensan que podrá creerse que acaban de descubrir al fin la más rigurosa de las verdades. Sin embargo, con esta misma cantidad de inteligibles hacen que la naturaleza inteligible se parezca a la naturaleza sensible   e inferior  ; cuando lo que realmente conviene en el mundo inteligible es perseguir   el menor número   posible de seres. Todos ellos habrá que atribuirlos a la Inteligencia que se sitúa a continuación del Primero, para liberarse así del número; en ella se dan todos los seres, y ella es también la primera inteligencia, la esencia y todo lo que hay de hermoso luego de la primera naturaleza. En el tercer rango colocaremos al alma, cuidando de descubrir en sus pasiones y en su naturaleza las diferencias que las almas ofrecen. Es claro que no debemos ridiculizar a esos hombres divinos, sino recibir con benevolencia sus opiniones, como hombres antiguos que son. Habremos de aceptar entonces todo lo que ellos califican rectamente: la inmortalidad   del alma, el mundo inteligible, el primer Dios, la necesidad que siente el alma de huir de su trato con el cuerpo, la separación de una y de otro, que consiste en liberarse de la generación para dirigirse a la esencia. Hacen bien, desde luego, cuando emplean un lenguaje tan claro como el de Platón. No implica, sin embargo, malevolencia contra los que están en desacuerdo el decirles que no necesitan ridiculizar e injuriar a los griegos para lograr que arraiguen sus afirmaciones en el espíritu de sus oyentes; pues muy al contrario, tendrán que mostrar la rectitud de éstas en relación con las formuladas por los antiguos, y las opiniones de estos hombres, acogidas con solicitud y disposición filosófica, serán entonces expuestas en parangón con las opiniones propias, incluso, como es justo, si están en contradicción con ellas. Habrán de mirar a la verdad y no tratar de aumentar su honra   con la reprobación de unos hombres que ya desde la antigüedad han sido distinguidos, y considerados como superiores, por otros hombres que no son realmente despreciables. Porque las doctrinas formuladas por los antiguos sobre los seres inteligibles son muy superiores a las de éstos; se las reconocerá como doctrinas sabias por todos aquellos que no han sido víctimas del error, tan fácilmente extendido entre los hombres. De aquellos han tomado las más de las cosas todos los que han venido después, limitándose a adiciones nada convenientes, con las que quisieron contradecirles. Para ello introdujeron en la naturaleza inteligible generaciones y corrupciones de todas clases, llenando de reproches el universo sensible, censurando la relación del alma con el cuerpo y vituperando al ser que gobierna el universo. Llegan en este aspecto a identificar el demiurgo con el alma, atribuyéndole las mismas pasiones que se dan en las almas.

Bouillet

[6] Que dire des autres substances qu’ils introduisent dans l’univers, des exils (παροικήσεις) (44), des empreintes (ἀντιτύποι) (45), des repentirs (μετανοίαι) (46) ? Si par repentirs et par exils ils veulent désigner certains états de l’âme, tels que celui où elle s’abandonne au repentir, si par empreintes ils entendent les images des êtres intelligibles que l’âme contemple avant de contempler les êtres intelligibles eux-mêmes, ils emploient des mots vides de sens, inventés uniquement pour donner du corps à leur secte ; car c’est faute d’avoir compris l’antique sagesse des Grecs qu’ils imaginent de telles fictions. Les Grecs avaient parlé avant eux, avec clarté et simplicité, des ascensions (ἀναβάσεις) des âmes qui sortent de la caverne (47) et qui s’élèvent insensiblement à une contemplation plus vraie. Des dogmes qui composent la doctrine de ces hommes, les uns sont dérobés à Platon (48) ; les autres, qu’ils inventent afin d’avoir un système propre, sont des innovations contraires à la vérité. C’est à Platon qu’ils empruntent les jugements (δίκαι), les fleuves des enfers (ποταμοὶ οἱ ἐν ᾅδου), les métensomatoses (μετενσωματώσεις) (49). S’ils reconnaissent plusieurs principes intelligibles, l’Être, l’Intelligence, le second Démiurge ou l’Âme universelle, ils ont tiré cela du Timée   (50), où Platon dit : « De même que les idées comprises dans l’animal qui est sont vues par l’intelligence, de même le créateur de cet univers pensa que celui-ci devait comprendre des essences semblables et en même nombre. » Mais, comprenant mal Platon, les Gnostiques ont ici imaginé [trois principes], une Intelligence en repos qui contient en soi toutes les essences, une seconde Intelligence qui les contemple dans la précédente, et une troisième Intelligence qui pense discursivement (νοῦς   διανοσύμενος) (51). Souvent ils regardent cette Intelligence discursive comme l’Âme créatrice (ψυχὴ ἡ δημιουργοῦσα), et ils croient que c’est le Démiurge dont parle Platon, parce qu’ils ignorent complètement quelle est la nature du Démiurge. En général ils altèrent entièrement l’idée de la création, ainsi que beaucoup d’autres dogmes de Platon, et ils en donnent une interprétation tout à fait vicieuse. Ils s’imaginent qu’eux seuls ont bien conçu la nature intelligible, que Platon et tant d’autres esprits divins n’y sont pas parvenus. En nommant une multitude de principes intelligibles (πλῆθος νοητῶν ὀνομάζοντες) (52), ils croient paraître en posséder une connaissance exacte, tandis que, en les supposant si nombreux, ils les rabaissent et les rendent semblables aux êtres inférieurs et sensibles. Il faut réduire au plus petit nombre possible les principes qui existent là-haut ; il faut reconnaître que le principe inférieur au Premier contient toutes les essences, et ne pas admettre qu’il y ait des intelligibles hors de ce principe, puisqu’il comprend tous les êtres, qu’il est l’Essence première, l’Intelligence première, et tout ce qu’il y a de beau au-dessous du Premier ; il faut enfin assigner à l’Âme le troisième rang. On doit ensuite expliquer les différences qu’il y a entre les âmes, soit par leurs divers états, soit par leur nature (53).

Au lieu de dénigrer des hommes divins (54), les Gnostiques devraient interpréter avec bienveillance les dogmes des anciens sages, leur emprunter ceux qu’ils ont raison de professer, tels que l’immortalité de l’âme, l’existence du monde intelligible, celle du Premier Dieu   [du Bien] (55), la nécessité pour l’âme de fuir le commerce du corps, et la croyance que séparer l’âme du corps c’est retourner de la génération à l’essence (56). S’ils empruntent ces principes à Platon pour les développer avec clarté, ils font bien. S’ils s’en écartent, ils sont libres de dire ce que bon leur semble ; mais ce n’est pas par des injures et des sarcasmes dirigés contre les Grecs (57) qu’ils doivent établir leur propre doctrine dans l’esprit   de leurs auditeurs : c’est en démontrant la justesse des idées qui leur appartiennent, quand ces idées diffèrent de celles des anciens, et en les exposant avec une réserve et une bienveillance vraiment philosophiques. C’est encore pour eux un devoir, quand ils combattent un système, de ne considérer que la vérité, de ne pas chercher à se faire valoir, soit en attaquant des hommes dont les dogmes sont depuis longtemps approuvés par de grands esprits, soit en prétendant leur être supérieurs : car ce que les anciens ont enseigné sur le monde intelligible (58) sera toujours regardé comme ce qu’il y a de meilleur et de plus savant par ceux qui ne se laissent pas séduire par l’erreur qui séduit aujourd’hui tant de gens [la doctrine des Gnostiques].

Enfin, en considérant ce que les Gnostiques mit emprunté à la doctrine des anciens, on voit qu’ils y ont fait des additions malheureuses ; que, lorsqu’ils la combattent, ils se contentent d’introduire un grand nombre de générations (59) et de destructions (γενέσεις καὶ φθοραί), de blâmer le commerce de l’âme avec le corps (60), de se plaindre de l’univers et de critiquer la Puissance qui le gouverne, d’identifier le Démiurge [l’Intelligence] et l’Âme universelle, et d’attribuer à cette Âme les mêmes passions (61) qu’aux âmes individuelles.

Guthrie

EXILES, REPENTANCES, ANTITYPES, AND OTHER GNOSTIC INVENTIONS.

6. We hardly know what to say of the other new conceptions they have injected into the universe, such as exiles, antitypes, and repentances. If by «repentances» and «exiles» they mean certain states of the Soul (in the normal meaning of the word, where a soul) yields to repentance; and if by «antitypes» they mean the images of the intelligible beings that the Soul contemplates before contemplating the intelligible beings themselves, they are using meaningless words, invented merely as catchwords and terms for their individual sect; for they imagine such fictions merely because they have failed clearly to understand the ancient wisdom of the Greeks. Before them the Greeks, clearly and simply, had spoken of «ascensions» of souls that issued from the «cavern,» and which insensibly rise to a truer contemplation. The doctrines of these (Gnostics) are partly stolen from Plato, while the remainder, which were invented merely to form their own individual system, are innovations contrary to truth. It is from Plato that they borrowed their judgments, the rivers of Hades. They do speak of several intelligible principles, such as essence, intelligence, the second demiurgic creator or universal   Soul; but all that comes from Plato’s Timaeus, which says, ’Likewise as the ideas contained in the existing Organism were seen by Intelligence, so he [the creator of this universe] thought that the latter should contain similar and equally numerous (natures).«But, not clearly understanding Plato, the Gnostics here imagined (three principles), an intelligence at rest, which contains all (beings), a second intelligence that contemplates them (as they occur) in the first intelligence, and a third intelligence that thinks them discursively. They often consider this discursive intelligence as the creative soul, and they consider this to be the demiurgic creator mentioned by Plato, because they were entirely ignorant of the true nature of this demiurgic creator. In general, they alter entirely the idea   of creation, as well   as many other doctrines of Plato, and they give out an entirely erroneous interpretation thereof. They imagine that they alone have rightly conceived of intelligible nature, while Plato and many other divine intellects never attained thereto. By speaking of a multitude of intelligible principles, they think that they seem to possess an exact knowledge thereof, while really they degrade them, assimilating them to lower, and sensual beings, by increasing their number. The principles that exist on high must be reduced to the smallest number feasible; we must recognize that the principle below the First contains all (the essences), and so deny the existence of any intelligible (entities) outside of it, inasmuch as it contains all beings, by virtue of its being primary»Being," of primary Intelligence, and of all that is beautiful beneath the First Himself. The Soul must be assigned to the third rank. The differences obtaining between souls must further be explained by the difference of their conditions or nature.

THE GNOSTICS MAY WELL BORROW FROM THE GREEKS, BUT SHOULD NOT DEPRECIATE THEM.

Instead of besmirching the reputation of divine men, the (Gnostics) should interpret the doctrines of the ancient sages in a friendly way, borrowing from them such as they are right in professing, as, for instance, the immortality of the soul, the existence of the intelligible world, and of the first Divinity (who is the Good), the necessity for the soul to flee from intercourse with the body, and the belief that separation of the soul from body is equivalent to a return from generation to «being.» They do well indeed if they borrow these ideas from Plato, for the purpose of developing them. They are even at liberty to express any opinion they please in diverging from his views; but their own doctrine should not be established in the minds of their followers by insults and sarcasms against Greek sages. They could only do so by demonstrating the propriety of their distinctive tenets, whenever they differ from those of the ancient philosophers, and by expounding their own tenets with a really philosophic reserve and equanimity. Even when they controvert a system they are still bound to consider nothing but the truth, without any attempt at self-glorification, either by attacking men whose teachings have long since been approved by worthy philosophers, or by claims of superiority to the latter. For that which the ancients taught on the subject of the intelligible world will always be considered as the best and wisest by all who do not permit themselves to be misled by the errors that to-day mislead so many.

GNOSTIC ADDITIONS TO PLATONISM ARE THEIR POOREST DOCTRINES.

If from the doctrines of the (Gnostics) we remove what they have borrowed from the teachings of the ancients, their remaining additions will be discovered as very unfortunate. Their polemic against (Greek philosophy) consists of an introduction of a great number of genealogies, and destructions, blaming the intercourse of the soul with the body, complaining of the universe, criticising its administration, identifying the demiurgic creator (that is, Intelligence) with the universal souls.

Taylor

VI. And why is it requisite to speak of the other hypostases which they introduce, such as transmigrations, repercussions, and repentances ? [1] For if they say that these are the passions of soul when it repents, and repercussions, when it contemplates as it were the images of beings, and not beings themselves, — these are vain assertions, adduced for the purpose of establishing a peculiar sect. For as they do not adhere to the ancient wisdom of the Greeks, they fabricate such fictions as these. For the Greeks knew and asserted without any arrogance and pride, that there are methods of ascent from the cavern [of sense] and gradual progressions to a more and more true survey [of an intelligible essence.] And, in short, some things are assumed by the Gnostics from Plato, but others are innovations of their own, in order that they may establish a peculiar philosophy, and are deviations from the truth. For the punishments and rivers in Hades, and transmigrations into other bodies, are derived from Plato. The admission, likewise, of multitude in intelligibles, viz. of being and intellect; and another demiurgus, and soul, is assumed from what is said in the «Timaeus.» For Plato there says,«Intellect, therefore, perceiving ideas in which is animal itself, understood by the discursive energy of reason, that the universe should contain as many as are there.» But they not understanding Plato, introduce an intellect at rest, containing all things in itself: a second intellect besides this, contemplating what the first contains; and a third intellect energizing dianoetically. Frequently, likewise, the fabricating soul is assumed by them for the reasoning intellect. And they fancy that this soul is the Demiurgus, according to Plato; not knowing who the Demiurgus is. And, in short, they falsely ascribe to Plato the mode of fabrication which they introduce, and many other. things, and pervert the opinions of the man; as if they alone understood an intelligible nature, but he, and other blessed men were ignorant of it. Denominating, likewise, the intelligible multitude, they fancy that they have accurately discovered its nature; though at the same time, by the multitude which they introduce, they draw down the intelligible nature into a similitude with that which is sensible and subordinate. For it is necessary to consider intelligible multitude as subsisting according to the least possible number, and ascribing all things to that which is posterior   to the first, not to investigate any other intelligibles; that being all things, and the first-intellect and essence, and such other beautiful essences as exist after the first nature. But we should admit that the form of soul ranks in the third place.

Moreover, we should investigate the differences of souls, in passions, or in nature, so as not in any respect to reprehend divine men, but should benevolently receive their assertions, as being sanctioned by antiquity, adopting what has been well said by them, respecting the immortality of the soul, the intelligible world, and the first God; as also, that it is necessary the soul should fly from an association with the body, and that a separation from the body is a flight from generation to real essence. For if they were clearly to assert these things, which are admitted by Plato, they would do well. No one, however, will envy their wishing to dissent from these dogmas; nor their endeavours to establish their own opinions among their auditors, by defaming and insolently attacking the doctrines of the Greeks. But they ought to demonstrate that their own peculiar opinions, which are different from those of the Greeks, are right; and should benevolently and philosophically adduce the opinions of the ancients. Justly, also, looking to truth when they oppose the ancients, they ought not to aim at renown by censuring those who from a remote period have been celebrated by no contemptible men, nor assert that they are better than them. For what the ancients have said concerning intelligibles, is much better, and more replete with learning than what they say; and is easily known to be so by those who are not deceived by the fraud which at present invades mankind. Indeed, the additions which the Gnostics have made to what they received from the ancients, will be found to be by no means appropriate; and hence in their oppositions to them, they introduce manifold generations and corruptions. They likewise find fault with this universe, reprobate the communion of the soul with body, and blame the governor of the world. They also confound the demiurgus with soul, and ascribe the same passions to the soul of the world as to partial souls.

MacKenna

6. And, what are we to think of the new forms of being they introduce - their «Exiles» and «Impressions» and «Repentings»?

If all comes to states of the Soul - «Repentance» when it has undergone a change of purpose; «Impressions» when it contemplates not the Authentic Existences but their simulacra - there is nothing here but a jargon invented to make a case for their school: all this terminology is piled up only to conceal their debt to the ancient Greek philosophy which taught, clearly and without bombast, the ascent from the cave and the gradual advance of souls to a truer and truer vision.

For, in sum, a part of their doctrine comes from Plato; all the novelties through which they seek to establish a philosophy of their own have been picked up outside of the truth.

From Plato come their punishments, their rivers of the underworld and the changing from body to body; as for the plurality they assert in the Intellectual Realm - the Authentic Existent, the Intellectual-Principle, the Second Creator and the Soul - all this is taken over from the Timaeus, where we read:

«As many Ideal-Forms as the Divine Mind   beheld dwelling within the Veritably Living Being, so many the Maker resolved should be contained in this All.»

Misunderstanding their text, they conceived one Mind passively including within itself all that has being, another mind, a distinct existence, having vision, and a third planning the Universe - though often they substitute Soul for this planning Mind as the creating Principle - and they think that this third being is the Creator according to Plato.

They are in fact quite outside of the truth in their identification of the Creator.

In every way they misrepresent Plato’s theory as to the method of creation as in many other respects they dishonour his teaching: they, we are to understand, have penetrated the Intellectual Nature, while Plato and all those other illustrious teachers have failed.

They hope to get the credit of minute and exact identification by setting up a plurality of intellectual Essences; but in reality this multiplication lowers the Intellectual Nature to the level of the Sense-Kind: their true course is to seek to reduce number to the least possible in the Supreme, simply referring all things to the Second Hypostasis   - which is all that exists as it is Primal Intellect and Reality and is the only thing that is good except only for the first Nature - and to recognize Soul as the third Principle, accounting for the difference among souls merely by diversity of experience and character. Instead of insulting those venerable teachers they should receive their doctrine with the respect due to the older thought and honour all that noble system - an immortal soul, an Intellectual and Intelligible Realm, the Supreme God, the Soul’s need of emancipation from all intercourse with the body, the fact of separation from it, the escape from the world of process to the world of essential-being. These doctrines, all emphatically asserted by Plato, they do well to adopt: where they differ, they are at full liberty to speak their minds, but not to procure assent for their own theories by flaying and flouting the Greeks: where they have a divergent theory to maintain they must establish it by its own merits, declaring their own opinions with courtesy and with philosophical method and stating the controverted opinion fairly; they must point their minds towards the truth and not hunt fame by insult, reviling and seeking in their own persons to replace men honoured by the fine intelligences of ages past.

As a matter of fact the ancient doctrine of the Divine Essences was far the sounder and more instructed, and must be accepted by all not caught in the delusions that beset humanity: it is easy also to identify what has been conveyed in these later times from the ancients with incongruous novelties - how for example, where they must set up a contradictory doctrine, they introduce a medley of generation and destruction, how they cavil at the Universe, how they make the Soul blameable for the association with body, how they revile the Administrator of this All, how they ascribe to the Creator, identified with the Soul, the character and experiences appropriate to partial be beings.


[1Forms or ideas, according to the ancient wisdom of the Greeks, leap into matter, which is adapted by the exemplar of the universe to receive the images of them, and like a mirror gives back the influx of the ideas which it receives. Souls, therefore, falling from the intelligible world become deceived, by mistaking the resemblances of forms for forms themselves, till by repentance they return to their true country, from which they have been as it were banished, through their abode on the earth. The Gnostics perverting this doctrine, gave the names of essences to such like passions of the soul.