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Plotino - Tratado 33,16 (II, 9, 16) — Sobre a providência e sobre a beleza do universo sensível

Enéada

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Capítulo 16: Sobre a providência e sobre a bondade do universo   sensível.

  • 1-14. Um homem   bom não pode desprezar   as realidades nem o mundo que elas produziram.
  • 14-34. Sua doutrina   sobre a providência é contraditória e absurda.
  • 34-49. É preciso ser louco para se crer superior ao mundo.
  • 49-56. O músico, o geômetra e amante reconhecem que a beleza daqui de baixo vem de lá de cima.
    

Míguez

16. No es, desde luego, un hombre bueno aquel que desprecia el mundo, a los dioses y todas las bellezas que se dan en él. Es el hombre malo el que desprecia a los dioses antes de nada; porque si no los despreciase de primera intención, y no fuese malo totalmente, lo sería precisamente por esto mismo. El honor que rinde este hombre a los dioses inteligibles no compaginaría con aquel desprecio del mundo; porque el que ama a alguien tiene que amar   también a todos los que con él tienen relación; así, ama a los hijos, aquel que ama al padre  , pues toda alma   proviene del padre que está en lo alto.

Las almas de los astros son mucho más inteligentes y más buenas que las nuestras e, igualmente, guardan más relación con los seres inteligibles. ¿Cómo, por ejemplo, podría existir nuestro mundo, separado del mundo inteligible? ¿Cómo podrían concebirse los dioses en él? Pero de esto ya hemos tratado antes; digamos ahora que desprecian a los seres relacionados con los inteligibles por el hecho de que no los conocen más que de palabra. Pues, ¿cómo puede ser piadoso el que afirma que la providencia no llega a tocar este mundo, ni otra cosa cualquiera? ¿Cómo (pueden decir) que concuerdan consigo mismos? Porque afirman, ciertamente, que la providencia sólo actúa sobre ellos; pero, ¿cuándo ocurre eso, en el mundo inteligible o ahora que están aquí? Si ello tiene lugar en el mundo inteligible, ¿cómo han podido venir a este mundo? Y si se verifica aquí, ¿cómo siguen aún en este mundo? ¿Cómo no se encuentra aquí el mismo Dios? ¿Por dónde sabría de ellos y, por ejemplo, que están en este mundo? ¿Cómo llegaría a conocer que, en su permanencia aquí, todavía no le han olvidado ni se han vuelto sujetos de maldad? Si conoce a aquellos que no se han hecho malos, es claro que ha de conocer también a los que se han hecho, para poder distinguir   unos de otros. (Dios), pues está presente   en todas las cosas y se encontrará, por tanto, en nuestro mundo, en cualquier modo de ser que se le atribuya. De manera que el mundo tendrá participación en Dios.

Y si Dios estuviese ausente del mundo, es claro que también estaría ausente de vosotros y que nada podríais decir de El ni de los seres que vienen después de El. Ya admitamos que la providencia fluye del mundo inteligible hacia vosotros, ya demos por bueno lo que vosotros mismos queráis, el mundo contendrá algo que viene del mundo inteligible, algo que, realmente, ni ha sido abandonado, ni lo será jamás. La providencia cuida mucho más del todo que de las partes; el alma del todo participa mucho más en ella que las otras; lo prueba la existencia   misma, una existencia que disfruta de la razón. ¿Quién de esos insensatos que se eleva demasiado alto muestra la ordenación y la prudencia del universo  ? Este acercamiento resulta ridículo y totalmente fuera de lugar; y el que no lo hace forzado por el razonamiento no puede ser estimado limpio de impiedad. Ya no es de persona razonable tratar de investigar sobre esto; se necesita realmente estar ciego, no poseer en absoluto sensación   ni inteligencia y hallarse a distancia de la contemplación del mundo inteligible, ya que ni siquiera se mira a nuestro mundo. Porque, ¿podría concebirse un músico   que, conociendo los acordes musicales percibidos por la inteligencia, no se sintiera conmovido escuchando los acordes sensibles? ¿Y existe acaso algún experto   en la geometría y en la aritmética que, conociendo la simetría, la proporción y el orden, no desee verlos con los ojos del cuerpo? Si no se mira de la misma manera las figuras que nos presenta un cuadro y que vemos con nuestros propios ojos, al no reconocer la imagen en lo sensible de algo que es inteligible, ¡buena turbación nos asaltará cuando sobrevenga el recuerdo del mundo verdadero! De esta experiencia se origina el amor.

Porque hay quienes, viendo la belleza en un rostro, se sienten transportados al mundo inteligible, en tanto que otros, espíritus dominados por la pereza, no se sienten movidos por nada. Tienen bastante con admirar todas las bellezas del mundo sensible, toda su simetría, todo su buen orden y la apariencia visible de los astros, no obstante su alejamiento de nosotros. No se pararán a meditar, dominados por el temor religioso: «¿De dónde provendrá su belleza?». Es claro que no han llegado a comprender, ni a ver, los seres del mundo inteligible.

Bouillet

[16] Qu’on ne croie pas que l’on devienne un homme de bien parce qu’on méprise les dieux, le monde et toutes les beautés qui s’y trouvent. Mépriser les dieux est le principal caractère du méchant; nul n’est complètement pervers que lorsqu’il méprise les dieux; ne fût-on pas d’ailleurs entièrement pervers, il suffit de ce vice pour-le devenir (153). Le respect que les Gnostiques prétendent professer pour les dieux intelligibles n’est qu’une inconséquence. Quand on aime un être, on aime tout ce qui s’y rattache; on étend aux enfants l’affection qu’on a pour le Père. Or toute âme est fille du Père céleste  . Les âmes qui président aux astres sont intellectuelles, bonnes et plus rapprochées de Dieu   que les nôtres. Comment ce monde sensible, avec les dieux qu’il contient, pourrait-il être séparé du monde intelligible? Nous avons déjà montré plus haut l’impossibilité d’une telle séparation (154). Maintenant, nous affirmons que quand on méprise des êtres placés si près de ceux qui tiennent le premier rang, c’est qu’on ne connaît ceux-ci que de nom.

Comment peut-il être pieux de prétendre que la Providence divine ne s’étend pas aux choses sensibles ou du moins ne s’occupe pas de quelques-unes d’entre elles (155) ? Comment une pareille assertion nie serait-elle pas une in conséquence? Les Gnostiques prétendent que la Providence divine ne s’occupe que d’eux-mêmes. Est-ce pendant qu’ils vivaient là-haut, ou seulement depuis qu’ils vivent ici-bas ? Dans le premier cas, pourquoi sont-ils descendus sur la terre? Dans le second, pourquoi y restent-ils (156)? Pourquoi d’ailleurs Dieu ne serait-il pas aussi présent ici-bas ? Comment sans cela peut-il savoir que les Gnostiques, qui sont ici-bas, ne l’ont pas oublié et ne sont pas devenus pervers ? S’il connaît ceux qui ne sont pas devenus pervers, il connaît aussi ceux qui le sont devenus, afin de les distinguer des autres. Il faut donc qu’il soit présent à tous les hommes et au monde entier, de quelle façon que ce soit. Ainsi le monde participera de Dieu. Si Dieu privait le monde de sa présence, il vous en priverait aussi, et vous ne pourriez rien dire ni de lui ni des êtres qui sont au-dessous de lui. Que Dieu vous protége par sa Providence ou par son aide [sa grâce], quelque nom que vous lui donniez, le monde certainement tient de lui l’existence ; il n’en a jamais été, il n’en sera jamais abandonné. Le monde a plus le droit que les individus d’occuper. la Providence, de participer aux perfections divines (157). Cela est vrai surtout pour l’Âme, universelle, comme le prouvent l’existence et la sage disposition du monde. Qui de ces hommes si orgueilleux est aussi bien ordonné, aussi sage que l’univers, et pourrait même se comparer avec lui sans ridicule, sans absurdité? Une pareille comparaison est une impiété quand on ne la fait pas seulement pour le besoin de la discussion. Douter de pareilles vérités est le propre d’un homme aveugle et insensé, qui n’a ni expérience ni raison, et qui est si éloigné de connaître le monde intelligible qu’il ne connaît même pas le monde sensible. Quel est le musicien qui, après avoir saisi l’harmonie intelligible, entendra sans émotion celle des sons sensibles? Quel est l’homme qui, sachant la géom  étrie et l’arithmétique, n’aimera à reconnaître de la symétrie, de l’ordre, de la proportion, dans les objets qui frappent ses regards? C’est que, tout en ayant sous les yeux les mêmes objets que le vulgaire, les connaisseurs y voient autre chose, quand ils regardent, par exemple, des peintures avec un oeil exercé. Mais en reconnaissant dans les choses sensibles une image des essences intelligibles, ils en sont frappés et ils se rappellent la véritable beauté : de là naît l’amour (158). Quand on voit briller dans un visage une éclatante image de la beauté, on s’élève à l’intelligible (159). Il faut avoir un esprit   pesant, insensible, pour contempler toutes les beautés du monde visible, cette harmonie; cet ordre imposant, ce grand spectacle qu’offrent les astres malgré leur éloignement, sans être frappé d’enthousiasme par leur vue, sans admirer leur éclat et leur magnificence. Si l’on n’éprouve pas ces sentiments, c’est qu’on n’a pas bien considéré les choses sensibles et que l’on connaît encore moins le monde intelligible.

Guthrie

SCORN OF THIS WORLD IS NO GUARANTEE OF GOODNESS.

16. One does not become a good man merely by scorning the divinities, the world, and the beauties it contains. Scorn of the divinities is the chief characteristic of the evil. Perversity is never complete until scorn of the divinities is reached; and if a man were not otherwise perverse, this vice would be sufficient’ to make him such. The respect which the (Gnostic) pretend to have for the intelligible divinities (the aeons) is an illogical accident. For when one loves a being, he loves all that attaches thereto; he extends to the children the affection for the parent. Now every soul is a daughter of the heavenly Father.

The souls that preside over the stars are intellectual, good, and closer to the divinity than ours. How could this sense-world, with the divinities it contains, be separated from the intelligible world? We have already shown above the impossibility of such a separation. Here we insist that when one scorns beings so near to those that hold the front rank, it can only be that one knows them by name only.

TO EXCEPT CERTAIN CLASSES OF BEING FROM DIVINE CARE IS TO SHOW CALLOUSNESS OF DISPOSITION.

How could it ever be considered pious to claim that divine Providence does not extend to sense-objects, or at least interests itself only in some of them (the spiritual men, not the psychical) ? Such an assertion must surely be illogical. The (Gnostics) claim that divine Providence interests itself only in them. Was this the case while they were living on high, or only since they live here below? In the first case, why did they descend onto this earth? In the second, why do they remain here below ? Besides, why should the Divinity not be present here below also? Otherwise how could He know that the (Gnostics), who are here below, have not forgotten Him, and have not become perverse? If He know those that have not become perverse, He must also know those who have become perverse, to distinguish the former from the latter. He must therefore be present to all men, and to the entire world, in some manner or other. Thus the world will participate in the Divinity. If the Divinity deprived the world of His presence, He would deprive you also thereof, and you could not say anything of Him or of the beings below Him. The world certainly derives its existence from Him whether the divinity protect you by His providence or His help, and whatever be the name by which you refer to Him. The world never was deprived of the Divinity, and never will be. The world has a better right than any individuals to the attentions of Providence, and to participation in divine perfections. This is particularly true in respect to the universal   Soul, as is proved by the existence and wise arrangement of the world. Which of these so proud individuals is as well   arranged, and as wise as the universe, and could even enter into such a comparison without ridicule or absurdity? Indeed, unless made merely in the course of a discussion, such a comparison is really an impiety. To doubt such truths is really the characteristic of a blind and senseless man, without experience or reason, and who is so far removed from knowledge of the intelligible world that he does not even know the sense-world? Could any musician who had once grasped the intelligible harmonies hear that of sense-sounds without profound emotion? What skilful geometrician or arithmetician will fail to enjoy symmetry, order and proportion, in the objects that meet his view? Though their eyes behold the same objects as common people, experts see in them different things; when, for instance, with practiced glance, they examine some picture. When recognizing in sense-objects an image of intelligible (essence), they are disturbed and reminded of genuine beauty: that is the origin of love. One rises to the intelligible by seeing a shining image of beauty glowing in a human face  . Heavy and senseless must be that mind   which could contemplate all the visible beauties, this harmony, and this imposing arrangement, this grand panoramic view furnished by the stars in spite of their distance, without being stirred to enthusiasm, and admiration of their splendor and magnificence. He who can fail to experience such feelings must have failed to observe sense-objects, or know even less the intelligible world.

Taylor

XVI. Again, to despise the world, and the Gods, and other beautiful natures that are contained in it, is not to become a (food man. For, every bad man. trill in the first place despise the Gods; and. no one is completely bad till he does despise them.. Hence, if he is not bad in every thing else, from this very thing he null   become so. For the honour which the Gnostics say is paid by them to the intelligible Gods, is utterly incongruous. For he who loves any thing, is delighted with every thing which is allied to the object of his love. For you also love the children of the father whom you love. But every soul is the daughter of the father of the universe. And the souls in the mundane spheres, are intellectual, and good, and are united to intelligible essences much more than ours. For how could this world be separated from the intelligible world; or the Gods in it, from the intelligible Gods ? But these things have been discussed by us before. Now, however, we must say, that those who despise things allied to the intelligible Gods, have no knowledge of those Gods, except what is merely verbal. For how can it be pious to assert as they do, that providence does not extend to terrene affairs, and to every thing whatever it may be ? How also is this consonant to their own doctrine ? For they say that divinity providentially attends to them alone. Whether, therefore, did he pay attention to them while they were with supernal natures, or does he also attend to them during their existence here ? For if the former, how came they to descend ? But if the latter, how is it that they are still upon the earth ? How. likewise, does it happen   that divinity is not present in the earth’? For whence does he know that they are here, and that being here and revolting from him. they have become evil ? But if he has a knowledge of souls that have not become evil, he will also know those that have, in order that he may be able to distinguish the former from the latter. He will, therefore, be present to all things, and will be in this world, whatever the mode may be of his subsistence in it. So that the world will participate of him. But if he is absent from the world, he will also be absent from you ; and you will not have any thing to say either about him, or the natures posterior   to him. But whether a certain providence proceeds from divinity to you, or whatever you may think fit to assert respecting it, the world certainly derives its subsistence from thence, and is not, nor ever will be, deserted by him. For the providence of divinity is in a much greater degree extended to wholes than to parts ; and the former of these participate of him more abundantly than the latter. And much more does he providentially attend to the soul of the world. This is evident from the existence of the world, and from the wisdom of the mode in which it exists. For who among those that are stupidly proud, is so orderly and wise as the universe ? Indeed, to compare the one with the other is ridiculous, and is attended with great absurdity. Hence, when the comparison is made for any other purpose than that of argument, it is attended with impiety. Nor is it the province of a wise man to investigate things of this kind [as if he was dubious about them], but of one who is mentally blind, who is entirely destitute both of sense and intellect, and who being very remote from a knowledge of the intelligible world does not look to the sensible universe. For what musician is there, who on perceiving the harmony in the intelligible world, is not moved when he hears the harmony arising from sensible sounds ? Or who that is skilled in geometry and numbers, when he beholds through Ins eyes that which is commensurate, analogous and orderly, is not delighted with the view ? For those who view through the eyes the productions of art, in pictures, do not behold them in the same way as they do the originals of which they are the resemblances. But the geometrician and arithmetician, knowing in the sensible object the imitation of that which subsists in intellection, they are as it were agitated, and brought to the recollection of reality. And from this passion also, love is excited. He however, who sees beauty resplendent in the face, tends thither. But his mind must, be dull and sluggish in the extreme, and incapable of being incited to any thing else, who on seeing all the beautiful objects in the sensible world, all this symmetry and great arrangement of things, and the form apparent in the stars though so remote, is not from this view mentally agitated, and does not venerate them as admirable productions of still more admirable causes. For he who is not thus affected, will neither direct his attention to the one, nor have a knowledge of the other.

MacKenna

16. On the other hand, to despise this Sphere, and the Gods within it or anything else that is lovely, is not the way to goodness.

Every evil-doer began by despising the Gods; and one not previously corrupt, taking to this contempt, even though in other respects not wholly bad, becomes an evil-doer by the very fact.

Besides, in this slighting of the Mundane Gods and the world, the honour they profess for the gods of the Intellectual Sphere becomes an inconsistency; Where we love, our hearts are warm also to the Kin of the beloved; we are not indifferent to the children of our friend. Now every Soul is a child of that Father; but in the heavenly bodies there are Souls, intellective, holy, much closer to the Supernal Beings than are ours; for how can this Kosmos   be a thing cut off from That and how imagine the gods in it to stand apart?

But of this matter we have treated elsewhere: here we urge that where there is contempt for the Kin of the Supreme the knowledge of the Supreme itself is merely verbal.

What sort of piety can make Providence stop short of earthly concerns or set any limit whatsoever to it?

And what consistency is there in this school when they proceed to assert that Providence cares for them, though for them alone?

And is this Providence over them to be understood of their existence in that other world only or of their lives here as well? If in the other world, how came they to this? If in this world, why are they not already raised from it?

Again, how can they deny that the Lord of Providence is here? How else can He know either that they are here, or that in their sojourn here they have not forgotten Him and fallen away? And if He is aware of the goodness of some, He must know of the wickedness of others, to distinguish good from bad. That means that He is present to all, is, by whatever mode, within this Universe. The Universe, therefore, must be participant in Him.

If He is absent from the Universe, He is absent from yourselves, and you can have nothing to tell about Him or about the powers that come after Him.

But, allowing that a Providence reaches to you from the world beyond - making any concession to your liking - it remains none the less certain that this world holds from the Supernal and is not deserted and will not be: a Providence watching entires is even more likely than one over fragments only; and similarly, Participation is more perfect in the case of the All-Soul - as is shown, further, by the very existence of things and the wisdom manifest in their existence. Of those that advance these wild pretensions, who is so well ordered, so wise, as the Universe? The comparison is laughable, utterly out of place; to make it, except as a help towards truth, would be impiety.

The very question can be entertained by no intelligent being but only by one so blind, so utterly devoid of perception and thought, so far from any vision of the Intellectual Universe as not even to see this world of our own.

For who that truly perceives the harmony of the Intellectual Realm could fail, if he has any bent towards music, to answer to the harmony in sensible sounds? What geometrician or arithmetician could fail to take pleasure in the symmetries, correspondences and principles of order observed in visible things? Consider, even, the case of pictures: those seeing by the bodily sense the productions of the art of painting do not see the one thing in the one only way; they are deeply stirred by recognizing in the objects depicted to the eyes the presentation of what lies in the idea  , and so are called to recollection of the truth - the very experience out of which Love rises. Now, if the sight of Beauty excellently reproduced upon a face hurries the mind to that other Sphere, surely no one seeing the loveliness lavish in the world of sense - this vast orderliness, the Form which the stars even in their remoteness display - no one could be so dull-witted, so immoveable, as not to be carried by all this to recollection, and gripped by reverent awe in the thought of all this, so great, sprung from that greatness. Not to answer thus could only be to have neither fathomed this world nor had any vision of that other.