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Plotino - Tratado 33,7 (II, 9, 7) — As diferenças entre nossa alma e a alma do mundo

Enéada II, 9, 7

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 7: As diferenças entre nossa alma e a alma do mundo.

  • 1-4. Já se disse que o mundo é eterno e que a alma não está no melhor aqui em baixo.
  • 4-27. A alma do mundo é diferente de nossa alma, pois ela não está entravada pelo corpo.
  • 27-32. O corpo do universo é ele também diferente de nosso corpo, pois ele não se escoa.
  • 33-39. A fim de subsistir, as partes devem se conformar à ordem do universo.

Míguez

7. Se ha dicho de este mundo que no ha tenido comienzo ni tampoco tendrá fin; que existe y existirá siempre con la misma licitud que los seres inteligibles. En cuanto a la unión de nuestra alma con el cuerpo, se ha dicho también antes de ellos que esta unión no constituye lo mejor para el alma. Ahora bien, pasar de esta consideración a la consideración del universo, como si se tratase de la misma cosa, es igual que censurar totalmente una ciudad bien organizada partiendo de la condición de los alfareros o de la de los herreros. Pues conviene, claro está, aprehender las diferencias entre el alma del universo y la nuestra; aquélla no gobierna del mismo modo, ni se ve sujeta al cuerpo de igual manera. Sobre estas diferencias, y las mil ya nombradas en otro lugar, convendrá aguzar nuestra reflexión; porque nosotros estamos encadenados al cuerpo y esta ligadura es real, mientras en el alma universal es la propia naturaleza del cuerpo la que se halla encadenada, y el alma enlaza consigo todo lo que esta naturaleza abarca. Sin embargo, el alma misma del universo nunca llega a ser encadenada por aquellos cuerpos que ella encadena; porque priva sobre ellos. Por lo cual también sale indemne de su trato con éstos, en tanto nosotros no somos dueños de nuestros propios cuerpos. La parte de esa alma que mira hacia lo divino y superior permanece inalterada y no conoce ningún impedimento; la otra parte, que da la vida al cuerpo, nada recibe a cambio de él. Porque, en general, lo que sufre la acción de un objeto recibe necesariamente su carácter, sin que tenga que darle nada a cambio en el caso de que posea vida propia. Eso es lo que ocurre cuando se injerta una planta: la planta sufre la acción del injerto y éste se agosta al permitir que aquélla reciba su vida. Si se extingue el fuego que hay en ti, no por ello se extingue el fuego del universo; como tampoco influiría sobre el alma desligada del cuerpo la desaparición total del fuego; únicamente afectaría a la ordenación del cuerpo, hasta tal punto que, si el mundo pudiese existir con sólo los demás elementos, en nada preocuparía ya a esa alma.

Y es que no admite comparación la disposición propia del universo con la de un ser viviente individual. En aquel organismo hay un alma que, lo recorre y le exige permanecer en sí; en el otro, se produce una huida de sus partes que deberán ser llamadas al orden por una atadura de segundo rango. Nada de esto ocurrirá allí, pues las partes del organismo universal no tienen realmente a donde dirigirse. Ni es conveniente siquiera que el alma las contenga interiormente o que, empujándolas desde fuera, las haga lanzarse hacia dentro, sino que la naturaleza ha de permanecer donde el alma la quiso ya desde un principio. Si un cuerpo se mueve de conformidad con su naturaleza, hace sufrir a todos aquellos cuerpos que no pueden moverse de conformidad con su naturaleza; y estos mismos cuerpos son movidos ordenadamente como partes del universo que son. Algunos de ellos se ven destruidos si no pueden sobrellevar el orden del universo; cual si se tratase de una tortuga que fuese abandonada entre un gran coro que marcha con buena disposición. Es claro que la tortuga sería pisoteada, de no poder escapar al avance del coro; pues si pudiese ordenarse con él, no sufriría entonces el menor daño.

Bouillet

[7] Nous avons démontré ailleurs que ce monde n’a pas commencé et ne finira pas, qu’il doit durer toujours comme les intelligibles (62). Nous avons démontré aussi avant ces gens que le commerce dé notre âme avec le corps n’est pas avantageux pour elle (63). Mais juger l’Âme universelle d’après la nôtre, c’est ressembler à un homme qui blâmerait l’ensemble d’une cité bien gouvernée, en n’y examinant que les ouvriers occupés à travailler l’argile ou l’airain.

Il est important de considérer quelles différences il y a entre l’Âme universelle et notre âme. D’abord elle ne gouverne pas le monde de la même manière [que notre âme gouverne notre corps] ; ensuite elle gouverne le monde sans lui être liée (ἐνδεδεμένη). En effet, outre les mille différences qui ont été signalées ailleurs (64) entre l’Âme universelle et nôtre âme, il faut remarquer que nous avons été liés au corps quand il y avait déjà un premier lien (δεσμός) de formé (65). Dans l’Âme universelle, la Nature qui est liée au corps [du monde] lie ensemble tout ce qu’elle embrasse, mais l’Âme universelle elle-même n’est pas liée par les choses qu’elle lie. Comme elle les domine, elle est impassible à leur égard, tandis que nous-mêmes nous ne dominons pas les objets extérieurs. En outre, la partie de l’Âme universelle qui s’élève vers le monde intelligible reste pure et indépendante; celle même qui communique la vie au corps [du monde] n’en reçoit rien (66). En général, ce qui est dans un autre être participe nécessairement à l’état de cet être ; mais un principe qui a sa vie propre ne saurait rien recevoir d’autrui (67). C’est ainsi que, lorsqu’une chose est placée dans une autre, elle ressent ce que celle-ci éprouve, mais elle n’en conserve pas moins sa vie propre si la chose dans laquelle elle est vient à périr. Par exemple, si le feu qui se trouve en toi s’éteint, le feu universel ne s’éteint pas ; si celui-ci même s’éteignait, l’Âme universelle n’en ressentirait rien, et la constitution du corps [du monde] en serait seule affectée. S’il était possible qu’il existât un monde composé seulement des trois autres éléments, cela n’importerait en rien à l’Âme universelle, parce que le monde n’a pas une constitution semblable à celle de chacun des animaux qu’il contient (68). Là-haut, l’Âme universelle plane sur le monde en lui imposant la permanence; ici-bas, les parties, qui s’écoulent en quelque sorte, sont maintenues à leur place par un second lien (69). Comme les choses célestes n’ont pas de lieu où elles puissent s’écouler [hors du monde] (70), il n’est pas besoin de les contenir intérieurement ni de les comprimer extérieurement pour les ramener au dedans : elles subsistent dans le lieu où l’Âme universelle les a placées dès l’origine. Celles qui se meuvent naturellement modifient les êtres qui n’ont pas de mouvement naturel (71); elles exécutent des révolutions bien ordonnées, parce qu’elles sont des parties de l’univers. Ici-bas il y a des êtres qui périssent parce qu’ils ne peuvent se conformer à l’ordre universel : par exemple, si une tortue se trouvait prise au milieu d’un choeur qui dansât dans un ordre parfait, elle serait foulée aux pieds parce qu’elle ne saurait se soustraire aux effets de l’ordre qui règle les pas des danseurs ; au contraire, si elle se conformait à cet ordre, elle n’éprouverait aucun mal.

Guthrie

THE UNIVERSAL SOUL MAY NOT BE JUDGED BY THE HUMAN STANDARD.

7. Elsewhere we have demonstrated that this world never began, and will never end; and that it must last as long as the intelligible entities. We have also shown, and that earlier than these (Gnostics), that the soul’s intercourse with the body is not advantageous to her. But to judge the universal Soul according to ours is to resemble a man who would blame the totality of a well governed city by an examination limited to the workers in earth or metal.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE UNIVERSAL SOUL AND THE HUMAN SOUL.

The differences between the universal Soul and our (human) souls are very important. To begin with, the universal Soul does not govern the world in the same manner (as our soul governs the body); for she governs the world without being bound thereto. Besides many other differences elsewhere noted, we were bound to the body after the formation of a primary bond. In the universal Soul the nature that is bound to the body (of the world) binds all that it embraces; but the universal Soul herself is not bound by the things she binds. As she dominates them, she is impassible in respect to them, while we ourselves do not dominate exterior objects. Besides, that part of the universal Soul which rises to the intelligible world remains pure and independent; even that which communicates life to the body (of the world) receives nothing therefrom. In general what is in another being necessarily participates in the state of that being; but a principle which has its own individual life would not receive anything from any other source. That is why, when one thing is located within another, it feels the experiences of the latter, but does not any the less retain its individual life in the event of the destruction of the latter. For instance, if the fire within yourself be extinguished, that would not extinguish the universal fire; even if the latter were extinguished, the universal Soul would not feel it, and only the constitution of the body (of the world) would be affected thereby. If a world exclusively composed of the remaining three elements were a possibility, that would be of no importance to the universal Soul, because the world does not have a constitution similar that of each of the contained organisms. On high, the universal Soul soars above the world, and thereby imposes on it a sort of permanence; here below, the parts, which as it were flow off, are maintained in their place by a second bond. As celestial entities have no place (outside of the world), into which they might ooze out, there is no need of containing them from the interior, nor of compressing them from without to force them back within; they subsist in the location where the universal Soul placed them from the beginning. Those which naturally move modify the beings which possess no natural motion. They carry out well arranged revolutions because they are parts of the universe. Here below there are beings which perish because they cannot conform to the universal order. For instance, if a tortoise happened to be caught in the midst of a choric ballet that was dancing in perfect order, it would be trodden under foot because it could not withdraw from the effects of the order that regulated the feet of the dancers; on the contrary, if it conformed to that order, it would suffer no harm.

Taylor

VII. That this world, therefore, never began, nor will ever cease to be, but will continue in existence, as long as intelligibles have a subsistence, has been elsewhere shown by us. And that the communion of our soul with the body, is not better for the soul, has been asserted prior to them. But that the soul of the universe should receive any thing from ours, is just as if some one adducing the tribe of potters or braziers, in a well-governed city, should blame the whole city [on their account]. It is necessary, however, to be persuaded that the soul of the universe governs in a way very different from ours; and not bound to body as our souls are. For besides ten thousand other differences which we have elsewhere enumerated, this also ought to be considered, that we are bound by the body, the bond being now in reality produced. For the nature of body being bound in the whole soul, binds together with itself whatever it may comprehend; but the soul of the universe is not bound by the things which it binds. For it has dominion over them. Hence it is not passively affected by them. We, however, are not the lords of these. But so much of the soul of the world as is raised to the divine nature which is above it, so much of it remains entire and simple, and without impediment; and so much of it as imparts life to the body with which it is connected, receives nothing from it. For, in short, that which is in something different from itself, necessarily receives the passive properties of that in which it is. But this no longer imparts any thing of itself to that which possesses its own proper life. Just as if one thing should be centrically inserted in another, and which is co-passive with that in which it is inserted; but the latter being decayed, should permit the former to have its own life; since, neither when the fire which is in you is extinct, is the wholeness of fire extinguished. Nor if the whole of fire should perish, this would not affect the soul of the universe, but the composition of the mundane body. And if in each of the remaining elements there should be a certain’ world, this would not affect the soul of the universe, since the composition of the world is different from that of each of the animals which it contains. For the soul of the world stands as it were over its body, and orders it to abide; but here the elements secretly as it were withdrawing themselves, are bound in their proper order by a secondary bond. In the former case, however, they have no place into which they can fly. Hence, it is neither necessary to contain them internally, nor by external compression to impel them inwardly; but each remains where nature from the first intended it should remain. And if any one of them is naturally moved, those tilings to which motion is not natural are affected by it. The bodies, however, which are naturally moved, are moved in a beautiful manner, as being parts of the whole; but certain things are corrupted, in consequence of not being able to sustain the order of the whole. Just as if in a great dance, which is conducted in a becoming manner, a tortoise being caught in the middle of the progression, should be trod upon, not being able to escape the order of the dance; though if the tortoise had arranged itself with the dance, it would not have suffered from those that composed it.

MacKenna

7. That this world has neither beginning nor end but exists for ever as long as the Supreme stands is certainly no novel teaching. And before this school rose it had been urged that commerce with the body is no gain to a Soul.

But to treat the human Soul as a fair presentment of the Soul of the Universe is like picking out potters and blacksmiths and making them warrant for discrediting an entire well-ordered city.

We must recognize how different is the governance exercised by the All-Soul; the relation is not the same: it is not in fetters. Among the very great number of differences it should not have been overlooked that the We [the human Soul] lies under fetter; and this in a second limitation, for the Body-Kind, already fettered within the All-Soul, imprisons all that it grasps.

But the Soul of the Universe cannot be in bond to what itself has bound: it is sovereign and therefore immune of the lower things, over which we on the contrary are not masters. That in it which is directed to the Divine and Transcendent is ever unmingled, knows no encumbering; that in it which imparts life to the body admits nothing bodily to itself. It is the general fact that an inset [as the Body], necessarily shares the conditions of its containing principle [as the Soul], and does not communicate its own conditions where that principle has an independent life: thus a graft will die if the stock dies, but the stock will live on by its proper life though the graft wither. The fire within your own self may be quenched, but the thing, fire, will exist still; and if fire itself were annihilated that would make no difference to the Soul, the Soul in the Supreme, but only to the plan of the material world; and if the other elements sufficed to maintain a Kosmos, the Soul in the Supreme would be unconcerned.

The constitution of the All is very different from that of the single, separate forms of life: there, the established rule commanding to permanence is sovereign; here things are like deserters kept to their own place and duty by a double bond; there is no outlet from the All, and therefore no need of restraining or of driving errants back to bounds: all remains where from the beginning the Soul’s nature appointed.

The natural movement within the plan will be injurious to anything whose natural tendency it opposes: one group will sweep bravely onward with the great total to which it is adapted; the others, not able to comply with the larger order, are destroyed. A great choral is moving to its concerted plan; midway in the march, a tortoise is intercepted; unable to get away from the choral line it is trampled under foot; but if it could only range itself within the greater movement it too would suffer nothing.