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Plotino - Tratado 33,8 (II, 9, 8) — Sobre a produção do universo e sobre a excelência daquilo que ele contém

Enéada II, 9, 8

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 8: Sobre a produção do universo e sobre a excelência dito que ele contém.

  • 1-8. É preciso lhes ensinar o que é a verdadeira natureza das realidades inteligíveis.
  • 8-20. O universo é a melhor imitação possível do mundo inteligível.
  • 20-26. Esta imitação não resulta de um pensamento discursivo ou de uma atividade artesanal.
  • 26-43. Os astros são deuses excelentes que possuem uma sabedoria superior.
  • 43-46. Não se pode condenar nosso universo, pois ele está suspenso nos inteligíveis.

Míguez

8. Preguntarse por qué fue hecho el mundo es lo mismo que preguntarse por qué hay un alma o por qué lo hizo el demiurgo. Esto equivale sobre todo a dar por bueno un principio para lo que existe desde siempre. Y viene a significar después que, luego de haber cambiado, se ha convertido también en causa de su misma obra.

Habrá que mostrar a quienes piensan así — y siempre que lo acepten con buenos sentimientos — cuál es la naturaleza de las cosas; de este modo podrán desvanecerse las censuras que formulan tan alegremente contra seres dignos de estima, de los que debiera hablarse adecuadamente y con mucha más propiedad. En realidad, no convendría menospreciar el gobierno del universo, dado que manifiesta, en primer lugar, la grandeza de la naturaleza inteligible. Porque si ha llegado a una vida tal que no tiene la in articulación de la vida de los animales — de los pequeños animales que se producen sin interrupción, noche y día, por la misma sobreabundancia de la vida del universo — , sino que es una vida continua, clara y múltiple, que se extiende por todas partes y manifiesta una extraordinaria sabiduría, ¿cómo no afirmar que se trata de una imagen visible y hermosa de los dioses inteligibles? Si es una imagen, no cabe confundirla con el mundo inteligible, ni está en su naturaleza el serlo; porque, entonces, tampoco sería ya una imagen. Pero es falso afirmar que no guarda semejanza con el original; nada se ha omitido de todo cuanto debe tener una hermosa imagen natural. No es necesario, sin embargo, que esta imagen sea la obra de una mente artística, porque lo inteligible no debe ser la última realidad. Su obra tendrá que cumplirse de dos maneras: de un lado, actuando sobre sí mismo, de otro, actuando sobre algo diferente. Convendrá, pues, que haya algo después de él, ya que si existiese solo nada se encontraría por debajo de sí, lo cual resultaría de todo punto imposible. Una potencia maravillosa corre por él, potencia que le fuerza a actuar. Si de hecho hay otro mundo superior a éste, ¿cuál es en realidad? Porque si ha de haber alguno, y no sabemos de otro mundo que éste, es claro que guardaría la imagen del mundo inteligible. Ahí tenemos la tierra toda, llena de animales diversos e inmortales, que se extiende hasta el cielo; tenemos también los astros, que ya se sitúen en las esferas inferiores, o ya se encuentren en la región más alta, ¿por qué no han de ser dioses, si son llevados con orden y discurren así por el universo? ¿Por qué no habrán de poseer la virtud y qué impide que la posean? No se da en el cielo, seguramente, todo aquello que produce los males de este mundo, ni tampoco la imperfección de un cuerpo que no sólo es molestado sino que es también motivo de perturbación. Si, por otra parte, disponen siempre de tiempo libre, ¿por qué no han de captar y aprehender en su inteligencia al dios que está por encima de todo y a los otros dioses inteligibles? ¿Por qué, además, creemos contar con una sabiduría mejor que la de ellos? ¿Quién que no se hubiese vuelto loco podría sostener esto? Porque si nuestras almas se han visto forzadas por el alma del universo a dirigirse hasta aquí, ¿cómo, en esta situación, podrían considerarse superiores? Entre las almas, la que es superior es la que manda. Si, pues, nuestras almas han venido hasta aquí por su voluntad, ¿por qué censuráis un lugar al que habéis venido por vuestra voluntad, lugar que podéis abandonar si realmente no os agrada? Pero si este mundo es tal que resulta posible, permaneciendo en él, poseer la sabiduría y vivir en él conforme a la vida de los seres inteligibles, ¿cómo no ver en esto una prueba de su dependencia de los seres inteligibles?

Bouillet

[8] Demander [comme le font les Gnostiques] pourquoi le monde a été créé, cela revient à demander pourquoi l’Âme existe et pourquoi le Démiurge a créé. Poser cette question, c’est le fait d’hommes qui d’abord veulent trouver un principe même à ce qui est éternel [au monde], puis qui pensent que le Démiurge n’est devenu la cause créatrice que par suite d’une inclination et d’un changement (72). Il faut donc leur enseigner, s’ils consentent à nous écouter avec bienveillance, quelle est la nature de ces principes intelligibles, pour qu’ils cessent enfin d’accuser, selon leur habitude, des êtres vénérables, et pour qu’ils leur accordent un juste respect.. Personne en effet n’a le droit de blâmer la disposition du monde : elle montre la grandeur de la nature intelligible. Si le monde est arrivé à l’existence sans avoir une vie obscure, comme les petits animaux qu’il renferme et que la fécondité de la vie universelle ne cesse d’engendrer jour et nuit, s’il a une vie continue, claire, multiple, répandue partout, et dans laquelle éclate une sagesse merveilleuse, comment ne pas reconnaître qu’il est une belle et brillante statue (ἄγαλμα) des dieux intelligibles (73) ? Si ce monde n’est pas l’égal du modèle intelligible qu’il imite, c’est naturel (74) ; sans cela, il ne serait pas une simple imitation. Prétendre que le monde imite mal son modèle, c’est se tromper : il n’y manque aucune des choses que pouvait renfermer une image (εἰκών) belle et naturelle : car il était nécessaire que cette image existât, sans supposer cependant ni raisonnement ni art [dans l’Âme universelle] (75).

En effet, l’intelligible ne pouvait être le dernier degré de l’existence (ἔσχατον); il devait être doublement en acte : être en acte en lui-même, être en acte pour les autres êtres (76) [exister et créer]. Il fallait qu’il y eût quelque chose après lui : car il n’y a que le plus impuissant de tous les êtres duquel il ne procède rien (77); mais l’intelligible possède une puissance admirable ; il devait donc créer (78),

S’il y a un monde possible meilleur que le monde actuel, quel est-il? Si l’existence du monde est nécessaire et qu’il n’y ait pas d’autre monde possible meilleur que celui-ci, celui-ci offre l’image fidèle du monde intelligible. La terre est tout entière peuplée d’êtres animés et même immortels; tout en est plein d’ici-bas jusqu’au ciel (79). Pourquoi les astres qui sont dans la sphère la plus élevée ou dans les sphères inférieures ne seraient-ils pas des dieux, puisqu’ils ont un mouvement régulier et qu’ils opèrent au tour du monde une magnifique révolution (80) ? Pourquoi ne posséderaient-ils pas la vertu? Quel obstacle pourrait les empêcher de l’acquérir ? On ne trouve pas là-haut les causes qui rendent les hommes méchants ici-bas ; on n’y trouve pas dans les corps cette mauvaise nature qui trouble et qui elle-même est troublée. Pourquoi, avec le loisir perpétuel qui est leur partage, les astres. n’auraient-ils pas d’intelligence, ne connaîtraient-ils pas Dieu et tous les autres dieux intelligibles (81)? Comment posséderions-nous une sagesse plus grande qu’eux ? Il n’y a qu’un homme insensé qui puisse admettre de pareilles idées. Si les âmes sont descendues ici-bas parce qu’elles y ont été contraintes par l’Âme universelle (82), comment seraient-elles supérieures aux autres, quand elles subissent une pareille contrainte? Car ce qu’il y a de meilleur dans les âmes, c’est la partie qui commande (83). Si au contraire les âmes sont venues ici-bas de leur plein gré, pourquoi alors accusez-vous cette région où vous êtes venus librement, et dont vous pouvez vous en aller si bon vous semble (84) ? Si telle est l’organisation du monde que l’on puisse, en vivant ici-bas, acquérir la sagesse et y mener une vie semblable à celle des dieux (85), c’est une preuve que tout y dépend des principes intelligibles.

Guthrie

GNOSTIC DEMANDS FOR REASON OF WORLD’S ’ CREATION ARE IDLE, AND INVOLVE STILL LARGER QUESTIONS.

8. To ask (as do the Gnostics) why the world was created, amounts to asking the reason of the existence of the universal Soul, and of the creation of the demiurgic creator himself. To ask such a question well characterizes men who first wish to find a principle of that which (in the world) is eternal, but who later opine that the demiurgic creator became the creating (3 pages missing...)

Taylor

To inquire, however, why the world was made, is the same thing as to ast why soul is; and why the demiurgus made it ? For this indeed, in the first place, is the inquiry of those who suppose there is a beginning of perpetuity. In the next place, they fancy that the demiurgus became the cause of the fabrication of the world, through being changed from one thing to another. Hence, they are to be taught, if they are equitably disposed, what the nature of these things is, that they may cease to revile what is honourable, which they will easily do, if they become properly cautious respecting such like particulars. For no one can rightly blame the administration of the universe, since in the first place it demonstrates the magnitude of an intelligible nature. For if it proceeds into life in such a way, as not to have an indistinct and confused life, such as the smallest natures in it possess, which are perpetually generated night and day through the abundant life it contains ; but is continued, clear and abundant, and is every where a life exhibiting an inestimable wisdom, how is it possible not to assert that it is a perspicuous and beautiful statue of the intelligible Gods ? But if though it imitates the intelligible paradigm it is not the same with it, this is conformable to nature ; since if it were the same with, it would no longer imitate it. The assertion, however, is false, that it imitates this paradigm in a dissimilar manner. For nothing is omitted, which a beautiful and natural image can possibly possess; since it was indeed necessary that this imitation should exist, but yet that it should not be an imitation resulting from the discursive energy of reason, and an artificial care. For it was not possible that the intelligible should be the last of things; since it was necessary that the energy of it should be twofold, one indeed abiding in itself, but the other proceeding into something else. Hence it was necessary that there should be something posterior to it. For that alone which is the most powerless of all things, has nothing of itself which proceeds downwards. But an admirable power flourishes in intelligibles, so that this power perpetually fabricates.

If, however, there is another [sensible] world better than this, what is it ? But if it is necessary that this world should exist, and there is no other, it is this world which preserves the imitation of the intelligible universe. For the whole earth indeed, is full of various animals, and of immortal beings; and all things are replete with these, as far as to the heavens. And with respect to the stars, both those which are in the inferior spheres, and those which are in the highest orb, what reason can be assigned why they are not Gods, since they are moved in order, and revolve with such beautiful bodies ? Why should they not possess virtue, or what can hinder them from obtaining it ? For those things have no place there, which are the causes of evils here; nor is that evil of body there, which here is disturbed and disturbs. What, likewise, prevents celestial natures from possessing intellectual energy, since they are always at leisure, and from receiving in their intellect divinity, and the other intelligible Gods. But to assert that our wisdom is more excellent than theirs, will be said by no one who is not insane ; since if souls have descended hither, through being compelled by the soul of the world, how since they suffer compulsion are they better than that soul? For in souls, that which has dominion is more excellent. And if souls descended hither voluntarily, why do you blame this sensible region, into which you willingly came ? Especially since you may be liberated from it, if it is not agreeable to you to stay. If, however, this universe is a place of such a kind, that it is possible to obtain wisdom in it, and while dwelling here to live according to a similitude of intelligibles, does not this testify that sensible are suspended from intelligible forms ?

MacKenna

8. To ask why the Soul has created the Kosmos, is to ask why there is a Soul and why a Creator creates. The question, also, implies a beginning in the eternal and, further, represents creation as the act of a changeful Being who turns from this to that.

Those that so think must be instructed - if they would but bear with correction - in the nature of the Supernals, and brought to desist from that blasphemy of majestic powers which comes so easily to them, where all should be reverent scruple.

Even in the administration of the Universe there is no ground for such attack, for it affords manifest proof of the greatness of the Intellectual Kind.

This All that has emerged into life is no amorphous structure - like those lesser forms within it which are born night and day out of the lavishness of its vitality - the Universe is a life organized, effective, complex, all-comprehensive, displaying an unfathomable wisdom. How, then, can anyone deny that it is a clear image, beautifully formed, of the Intellectual Divinities? No doubt it is copy, not original; but that is its very nature; it cannot be at once symbol and reality. But to say that it is an inadequate copy is false; nothing has been left out which a beautiful representation within the physical order could include.

Such a reproduction there must necessarily be - though not by deliberation and contrivance - for the Intellectual could not be the last of things, but must have a double Act, one within itself and one outgoing; there must, then, be something later than the Divine; for only the thing with which all power ends fails to pass downwards something of itself. In the Supreme there flourishes a marvellous vigour, and therefore it produces.

Since there is no Universe nobler than this, is it not clear what this must be? A representation carrying down the features of the Intellectual Realm is necessary; there is no other Kosmos than this; therefore this is such a representation.

This earth of ours is full of varied life-forms and of immortal beings; to the very heavens it is crowded. And the stars, those of the upper and the under spheres, moving in their ordered path, fellow-travellers with the universe, how can they be less than gods? Surely they must be morally good: what could prevent them? All that occasions vice here below is unknown there evil of body, perturbed and perturbing.

Knowledge, too; in their unbroken peace, what hinders them from the intellectual grasp of the God-Head and the Intellectual Gods? What can be imagined to give us a wisdom higher than belongs to the Supernals? Could anyone, not fallen to utter folly, bear with such an idea?

Admitting that human Souls have descended under constraint of the All-Soul, are we to think the constrained the nobler? Among Souls, what commands must be higher than what obeys. And if the coming was unconstrained, why find fault with a world you have chosen and can quit if you dislike it?

And further, if the order of this Universe is such that we are able, within it, to practise wisdom and to live our earthly course by the Supernal, does not that prove it a dependency of the Divine?