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Plotino - Tratado 33,12 (II, 9, 12) — Sequência da refutação da doutrina gnóstica sobre o demiurgo

Enéada II, 9, 12

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 12: Sequência da refutação da doutrina gnóstica sobre o demiurgo.

  • 1-12. O demiurgo não produz graças à lembrança das coisas que tem vistas.
  • 12-25. O demiurgo não tem nenhuma razão de produzir então o fogo e também não o mundo inteiro.
  • 25-30. O mundo não pode nascer senão das melhores realidades.
  • 30-39. Mesmo sua teoria da iluminação mostra que o mundo depende destas realidades.
  • 39-44. Se a alma produz a matéria, sua inclinação depende unicamente dela e das realidades melhores.

Míguez

12. Y ese ser que acaba de surgir, ¿cómo intenta crear con sólo el recuerdo de los seres que ha visto? ¡Pero si no estaba en modo alguno allí donde podría verlos, como tampoco la madre que se le atribuye!

Además, ¿cómo no ha de extrañar que no se trate de imágenes de almas sino de almas verdaderas que han descendido a este mundo, si apenas una o dos de estas imágenes pueden llegar a salir del mundo y a recordar, aunque con dificultad, los seres que han visto en otra ocasión? ¿Y cómo no ha de extrañar también que esa imagen que acaba de surgir reflexione, como ellos dicen, de manera confusa, acerca de los seres inteligibles, o que su propia madre, que es como una imagen material, haga exactamente lo mismo y no sólo ejercite su pensamiento sobre esos seres, sino que saque del mundo inteligible la idea del mundo sensible, conociendo de este modo de qué elementos se ha formado este mundo? ¿De dónde viene que piense en el fuego como primer elemento a producir? ¿Por qué precisamente el fuego y no otro elemento? Y si podía producir el fuego con sólo pensarlo, ¿por qué no iba a poder producir el mundo de una vez, con sólo pensarlo, si realmente conviene pensar antes el todo? Todas las demás ideas, claro está, quedarían contenidas en su pensamiento.

La acción de producir es enteramente una acción natural, pero no semejante a las técnicas artesanas; porque éstas se sitúan después de la naturaleza y del cosmos. Aquí tenemos ahora los productos de cada fuerza natural: no surge primero el fuego, luego otro elemento, y a continuación una especie de dilución de estas cosas, sino que se da un esbozo y un diseño de cada ser vivo, modelado según los ciclos menstruales. ¿Por qué, pues, no ha de recibir allí la materia una impronta del mundo, en la que se encuentren la tierra, el fuego y las demás cosas? Tal vez ocurriría así sí el mundo fuese obra de ellos, que se sirven de un alma más verdadera; pero el demiurgo, al parecer, no ha sabido hacerlo.

Para prever la magnitud del cielo y, sobre todo, su dimensión, para prever también la dirección oblicua del zodíaco, el movimiento de los (planetas) que se hallan debajo del cielo, la disposición de la tierra, de modo que pueda darse una razón de todo esto, mejor que una imagen seria, desde luego, una potencia que proviniese de los seres superiores. Esto lo reconocen ellos mismos, aunque a regañadientes; porque la iluminación comprobada en las tinieblas les obliga a reconocer las causas verdaderas del mundo. Ya que, ¿por qué razón deberían iluminarse las tinieblas, si no parece del todo necesario? Esta iluminación ha de verificarse con arreglo a la naturaleza o bien contra ella. Pero si se verifica con arreglo a la naturaleza, es que siempre ha tenido lugar; y si se realiza contra ella, es porque se dan en los seres inteligibles cosas que contrarían a la naturaleza, lo cual haría suponer que los males preceden al mundo sensible y que no es el mundo la causa de ellos, sino precisamente la realidad inteligible la causa de los que se producen en este mundo; no sería del mundo, entonces, de donde viene el mal al alma, sino al contrario, del alma misma de donde aquél proviene. Con este razonamiento tendríamos que remontarnos a los principios primeros. Si es para ellos la materia la causa de los males, deberán decirnos igualmente de dónde proviene la materia; porque el alma que se ha inclinado ha visto e iluminado, según afirman, unas tinieblas que ya existían. ¿De dónde viene, pues, la materia? Si dicen que el alma misma la ha producido al inclinarse, es claro que ella no tenía a dónde inclinarse, siendo entonces la causa de la inclinación, no ciertamente las tinieblas sino la naturaleza del alma. O, lo que es lo mismo, habrá que pensar en necesidades que precedan a la materia; de modo que la causa de todo remonta de nuevo a los seres primeros.

Bouillet

[12] Comment cette Image nouvellement formée [le Démiurge] a-t-elle entrepris de créer par le souvenir des choses qu’elle connaissait? Car précédemment elle n’existait pas, par conséquent, ne pouvait rien connaître, non plus que la mère qu’on lui donne [la Sagesse]. N’est-il pas d’ailleurs étonnant que, quoique les Gnostiques ne soient pas descendus sur la terre comme des images d’âmes (εἴδωλα ψυχῶν), mais comme de véritables âmes (ἀληθιναὶ ψυχαί) (122), cependant à peine un ou deux d’entre eux parviennent à se détacher du monde [sensible], et, en recueillant leurs souvenirs, à se rappeler quelques-unes des choses qu’ils connaissaient antérieurement; tandis que cette Image [le Démiurge], aussi bien que sa mère [la Sagesse], qui est une image matérielle (εἴδωλον ὑλικόν), a été capable de concevoir les choses intelligibles faiblement (ἀμυδρῶς ἐνθυμηθῆναι ἐνεῖκα), comme disent les Gnostiques, mais dès sa naissance? Non seulement elle a conçu les choses intelligibles et s’est formé une idée du monde sensible d’après le monde intelligible, mais, encore elle a su avec quels éléments elle devait produire le monde sensible. Pourquoi a-t-elle créé d’abord le feu (123)? Sans doute elle a jugé qu’il fallait commencer par lui : car pourquoi n’a-t-elle pas commencé par un autre élément? Si elle a pu produire le feu parce qu’elle en avait la conception, pourquoi, ayant la conception du monde (car elle devait commencer par concevoir le tout), ne l’a-t-elle pas créé d’un seul coup (124)? En effet, cette conception du monde embrassait aussi toutes les parties. C’était plus naturel: le Démiurge ne devait pas agir comme les artisans, puisque les arts sont postérieurs à la nature et à la création du monde. Aujourd’hui même, nous ne voyons pas les natures [les raisons séminales] (125), quand elles engendrent des individus, produire d’abord le feu, puis les autres éléments l’un après l’autre, enfin les mélanger: la configuration et l’organisation de l’animal entier sont formées d’un seul coup dans le germe que la mère porte dans son sein. Pourquoi donc, dans la création, la matière n’aurait-elle pas été organisée d’un seul coup par le type du monde (τύπῳ κόσμου) (126) type qui devait contenir le feu, la terre et le reste? Peut-être les Gnostiques auraient-ils conçu ainsi la création du monde, s’ils avaient eu dans leur système une Âme véritable [au lieu d’un image]. Mais leur Démiurge n’aurait pas su procéder ainsi. Cependant, concevoir la grandeur et surtout les dimensions du ciel, l’obliquité du zodiaque, le cours des astres, la forme de la terre, comprendre la raison de chacune de ces choses (127), ce n’est pas là l’oeuvre d’une image, mais plutôt d’une puissance qui procède des meilleurs- principes, comme les Gnostiques l’avouent eux-mêmes malgré eux.

En effet, si l’on examine attentivement en quoi consiste cette illumination des ténèbres, on peut les amener à reconnaître les vrais principes du monde. Pourquoi fallait-il que cette illumination des ténèbres fût produite, s’il ne fallait pas absolument qu’elle le fût? Cette nécessité [d’une illumination des ténèbres] était ou conforme ou contraire à la nature : si elle lui était conforme, elle a dû l’être de tout temps ; si elle lui était contraire, il serait arrivé aux puissances divines quelque chose de contraire à la nature, et le mal serait antérieur à ce monde. Alors ce n’est plus ce monde qui est la cause du mal [comme le prétendent les Gnostiques], ce sont les puissances divines : le monde n’est pas le principe du mal pour l’âme ; c’est l’âme qui est le principe du mal pour le monde. En remontant ainsi de cause en cause, la raison rapportera ce monde aux premiers principes.

Si l’on dit que la matière est aussi cause du mal (128), d’où provient-elle? car les ténèbres existaient déjà, comme le disent les Gnostiques, quand l’Âme les a vues et illuminées. D’où viennent donc les ténèbres? Si les Gnostiques répondent que c’est l’Âme elle-même qui a créé les ténèbres en inclinant, évidemment les ténèbres n’existaient pas avant que l’Âme inclinât. Les ténèbres ne sont donc pas la cause de cette inclination; la cause en est la nature de l’Âme. On rapporte ainsi cette cause à des nécessités précédentes, par suite aux premiers principes (129).

Guthrie

HOW THE GNOSTIC DEMIURGE CREATED.

12. How could this newly formed image (the demiurgic creator) have undertaken to create by memory of the things he knew? As he did not exist before, he could not have known anything, any more than the mother (Wisdom) which is attributed to him. Besides, it is quite surprising that, though the (Gnostics) did not descend upon this world as images of souls, but as veritable, genuine souls, nevertheless hardly one or two of them succeeds in detaching themselves from the (sense) world and by gathering together their memories, to remember some of the things they previously knew, while this image (the demi-urgical creator), as well as his mother (Wisdom), which is a material image, was capable of conceiving intelligible entities in a feeble manner, indeed, as say the Gnostics, but after all from her very birth. Not only did she conceive intelligible things, and formed an idea of the sense-world from the intelligible world, but she also discovered with what elements she was to produce the sense-world. Why did she first create the fire? Doubtless because she judged she would begin thereby; for why did she not begin with some other element? If she could produce fire because she had the conception thereof, why, as she had the conception of the world — as she must have begun by a conception of the totality — did she not create the whole at one single stroke ? Indeed, this conception of the world embraced all its parts. It would also have been more natural, for the demiurgical creator should not have acted like a workman, as all the arts are posterior to nature and to the creation of the world. Even to-day, we do not see the natures when they beget individuals, first produce the fire, then the other elements successively, and finally mingle them. On the contrary, the outline and organization of the entire organism are formed at once in the germ born at the monthly periods in the womb of the mother. Why then, in creation, should matter not have been organized at one stroke by the type of the world, a type that must have contained fire, earth, and all the rest of them? Perhaps the (Gnostics) would have thus conceived of the creation of the world, if (instead of an image) they had had in their system a genuine Soul. But their demiurgic creator could not have proceeded thus. To conceive of the greatness, and especially of the dimension of the heavens, of the obliquity of the zodiac, of the course of the stars, the form of the earth, and to understand the reason of each of these things, would not have been the work of an image, but rather of a power that proceeded from the better principles, as the (Gnostics) in spite of themselves acknowledge.

THE NECESSITY OF THE ILLUMINATION OF THE DARKNESS MUST HAVE BEEN ETERNAL.

Indeed, if we examine attentively that in which this illumination of the darkness consists, the (Gnostics) may be led to a recognition of the true principles of the world. Why was the production of this illumination of the darkness necessary, if its existence was not absolutely unavoidable? This necessity (of an illumination of the darkness) was either in conformity with, or in opposition to nature. If it conformed thereto, it must have been so from all time; if it were contrary thereto, something contrary to nature would have happened to the divine powers, and evil would be prior to the world. Then it would no longer be the world that was the cause of evil (as the Gnostics claim), but the divine powers. The world is not the principle of evil for the soul, but it is the soul that is the principle of evil for the world. Ascending from cause to cause, reason will relate this world to the primary principles.

EVEN THE EXISTENCE OF THE DARKNESS MUST BE RELATED TO THE SOUL.

If matter is also said to be the cause of evil, where does it originate? For the darkness existed already, as say (the Gnostics), when the soul has seen and illuminated them. From whence (comes darkness) ? If (the Gnostics) answer that it is the soul herself that created (darkness) by inclining (downwards to matter), then evidently (the darkness) did not exist before the inclination of the soul. Darkness therefore is not the cause of this inclination; the cause is in the nature of the soul. This cause may thus be related to preceding necessities, and as a result to first principles.

Taylor

XII. After what manner, likewise, did this image when just produced attempt to fabricate ? Was it through a recollection of what it previously knew ? But in short it had not then an existence, neither itself, nor the mother which they assign to it, in order that it might know this. In the next place, is it not wonderful, since they came into this world, not as images of souls, but as true souls, that scarcely one or two of them being raised from the world, and recovering their recollection, have been able to remember something of what they formerly saw; and yet this image, as soon as it was generated, formed a conception, though as they say, obscurely, of supernal natures ? Or that this should have been the case with the mother of it, who is a material image; and that it should not only have formed a conception of these natures, and of both this and the intelligible world, but should also have learned what the things are from which the sensible universe was generated? Whence did it conceive that fire should first be produced, and think that this was necessary? For why did it not conceive this of something else ? But if it was able to produce fire from the conception of it, why did it not produce the world from a conception of the world? For it is in a similar manner requisite, that the production of the world should be simultaneous with the conception of it. For both fire and the world were comprehended in the conception of them; since this image fabricated entirely in a more physical way. and not like the arts. For the arts are posterior both to nature and the world. And even now, in the individuals which are generated by natures, fire is not first produced, afterwards each particular, and in the next place the mixture of these, but the enclosure and circumscription of the whole animal, impressed in the menstrual effluxions. Why, therefore, might not matter be there circumscribed in the impression of the world, in which impression, earth and fire and the rest of things were comprehended ? But perhaps they would thus have made the world, in consequence of employing a more true soul. The artificer of the world, however, knew not how to make it in this manner, though he foresaw the definite magnitude of the heavens, the obliquity of the zodiac, the motion of the bodies under it, and [the central position of] the earth; and all this in such a way as to possess the causes through which they thus subsist; though such foreknowledge could not belong to an image, but entirely proceeded from a power derived from the best of things, and which they also though unwillingly acknowledge. For the illumination diffused through the darkness, compels them to assent to the true causes of the world. For why was it requisite to illuminate, if it was not entirely necessary ? For this necessity was either according to nature, or preternatural. And if, indeed, it was according to nature, this illumination always existed; but if it was preternatural, then among supernal beings that which is irregular had a subsistence, and evils existed prior to this world. Hence, this world is not the cause of evil, but supernal beings are the causes of evils to the world. And evil to the soul is not from the universe, but the evils that are here are derived from soul. And thus by a reasoning process we are led to refer the world to the first of things. But if matter also is the cause of evil, whence does it appear that it is so ? For soul verging downward, they say, the darkness, and illuminated it. Whence, therefore, did the darkness originate ? For if they say that soul verging downward produced it, then it will follow that the darkness did not exist prior to this downward tendency of the soul. Nor will the darkness itself be the cause of this tendency, but the nature of soul. This, however, is the same thing as to attribute the cause to precedaneous necessities. So that the cause is from the first of beings.

MacKenna

12. And how does this image set to its task immediately after it comes into being?

By memory of what it has seen?

But it was utterly non-existent, it could have no vision, either it or the Mother they bestow upon it.

Another difficulty: These people come upon earth not as Soul-Images but as veritable Souls; yet, by great stress and strain, one or two of them are able to stir beyond the limits of the world, and when they do attain Reminiscence barely carry with them some slight recollection of the Sphere they once knew: on the other hand, this Image, a new-comer into being, is able, they tell us - as also is its Mother - to form at least some dim representation of the celestial world. It is an Image, stamped in Matter, yet it not merely has the conception of the Supreme and adopts from that world the plan of this, but knows what elements serve the purpose. How, for instance, did it come to make fire before anything else? What made it judge fire a better first than some other object?

Again, if it created the fire of the Universe by thinking of fire, why did it not make the Universe at a stroke by thinking of the Universe? It must have conceived the product complete from the first; the constituent elements would be embraced in that general conception.

The creation must have been in all respects more according to the way of Nature than to that of the arts - for the arts are of later origin than Nature and the Universe, and even at the present stage the partial things brought into being by the natural Kinds do not follow any such order - first fire, then the several other elements, then the various blends of these - on the contrary the living organism entire is encompassed and rounded off within the uterine germ. Why should not the material of the Universe be similarly embraced in a Kosmic Type in which earth, fire and the rest would be included? We can only suppose that these people themselves, acting by their more authentic Soul, would have produced the world by such a process, but that the Creator had not wit to do so.

And yet to conceive the vast span of the Heavens - to be great in that degree - to devise the obliquity of the Zodiac and the circling path of all the celestial bodies beneath it, and this earth of ours - and all in such a way that reason can be given for the plan - this could never be the work of an Image; it tells of that Power [the All-Soul] next to the very Highest Beings.

Against their will, they themselves admit this: their "outshining upon the darkness," if the doctrine is sifted, makes it impossible to deny the true origins of the Kosmos.

Why should this down-shining take place unless such a process belonged to a universal law?

Either the process is in the order of Nature or against that order. If it is in the nature of things, it must have taken place from eternity; if it is against the nature of things, then the breach of natural right exists in the Supreme also; evil antedates this world; the cause of evil is not the world; on the contrary the Supreme is the evil to us; instead of the Soul’s harm coming from this sphere, we have this Sphere harmed by the Soul.

In fine, the theory amounts to making the world one of the Primals, and with it the Matter from which it emerges.

The Soul that declined, they tell us, saw and illuminated the already existent Darkness. Now whence came that Darkness?

If they tell us that the Soul created the Darkness by its Decline, then, obviously, there was nowhere for the Soul to decline to; the cause of the decline was not the Darkness but the very nature of the Soul. The theory, therefore, refers the entire process to pre-existing compulsions: the guilt inheres in the Primal Beings.