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Plotino - Tratado 47,17 (III, 2, 17) — O mundo é múltiplo e contem contrários, bons e maus.

Enéada III, 2, 17

sábado 28 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Cap. 17, 11 ao cap. 18,26: Quarta objeção e sua solução

  • Cap. 17, 12-16: Haveria ainda maldosos; se sim, eles o seriam neles mesmos?
  • Cap. 17, 16-34: As almas são como atores que desempenham bem ou mal seu papel
  • Cap. 17, 35-59: Elas não recebem um papel ao acaso e o desempenham como podem.
  • Cap. 17, 59-89: Boas ou más, elas se harmonizam à razão universal
  • Cap. 18, 1-5: As almas não são todas iguais
  • Cap. 18: 5-18: Elas seguem o papel designado pela razão, que fixa as consequências
  • Cap. 18, 18-26: As más ações, como as boas, fazem parte da razão
  • Cap. 18, 26: Quinta objeção e sua solução

Míguez

17- Si la razón es, en absoluto, tal como decimos, los seres que ella produce serán tanto más contrarios cuanto más separados se encuentren. Así, por ejemplo, el universo sensible contiene menos unidad que su razón, y es, por tanto, más múltiple, y, consiguientemente, más contrario en sus partes: el deseo de vivir y la tendencia a la unidad son mayores en cada uno de los seres. Con frecuencia, el amante que busca su propio bien destruye el ser amado, siempre que éste sea un ser perecedero; el mismo deseo de la parte por integrarse en el todo atrae hacia sí misma todo lo que puede. Esto explica que existan seres buenos y malo, de la misma forma que, obedientes a un mismo arte, las dos partes de un coro proceden en sentido inverso, y decimos entonces que una de las partes es buena y que otra es mala, y que todo, al fin, está bien así. Pero, ¿no hay en tal caso seres malos? No se prescribe ciertamente la existencia de los seres malos, sino tan sólo que su maldad no provenga de ellos. Tal vez convenga la indulgencia con los malos, si es que no se atribuye a la razón la decisión que aquí proceda. La razón, sin embargo, no permite que perdonemos a los malos. Y si el hombre bueno dispone de la parte correspondiente, y lo mismo el hombre malo —éste de una parte realmente mayor—, ocurrirá al igual que en los dramas, donde el autor asigna los papeles sirviéndose de los actores de que dispone. No es él, por tanto, quien señala el protagonista, o el que ocupará el segundo o tercer lugar, pues se limita a dar a cada uno el papel que le conviene, indicándole la posición que debe ocupar. Otro tanto acontece en el universo: hay en él un lugar que conviene al bueno, y otro lugar que conviene al malo. Siguiendo el orden de la naturaleza y de la razón, cada uno se dirige al lugar conveniente que es, al fin, el lugar escogido por él [1]. Luego, el uno pronuncia palabras impías y realiza actos malos, en tanto el otro hace todo lo contrario. Los actores eran lo que son antes del comienzo del drama, en el que se entregan ya a un determinado papel. En los dramas imaginados por los hombres el autor asigna el papel, mientras sacan de sí mismos la parte buena y la parte mala. ¡Bastante trabajo tienen ya, después de conocidos los pasajes del autor!

En el poema verdadero, que es el que imitan, en parte, los hombres con disposición poética, el alma es el actor y el papel que debe representar lo recibe del autor del universo. Y así como los actores de nuestros dramas reciben sus máscaras, sus vestiduras, sus túnicas amarillas y sus andrajos, así también el alma recibe la suerte correspondiente, sin que en ello intervenga para nada el azar; pues la suerte está de acuerdo con la razón, y el alma se adapta a ella y juega su papel en el drama y en la razón universal. Seguidamente, canta sus propias acciones y todas las demás cosas que el alma realiza según su índole característica. Pero la belleza, la fealdad y el ornato que acompañen a la voz y a la actitud han de atribuirse al actor, que también a veces añade al poema un sonido disonante. Cuando esto ocurre, no es realmente el drama el que desmerece, sino el actor, que se ha desenvuelto torpemente. El autor del drama puede entonces repudiarle, juzgándole indigno según merece; y obra seguramente como un buen juez. En cambio, ensalza lo más posible al buen actor y, si los hay, guarda para él los mejores dramas, reservando para el otro los de menos consistencia. Otro tanto cabe decir del alma que ha penetrado en el poema del universo y toma su parte en la representación del drama, al que trae consigo sus propias virtudes y defectos; en efecto, al entrar aquí es ordenada debidamente y recibe todas las demás cosas, sin que no obstante deje de ser dueña de sus actos, por los que merecerá castigo o recompensa. Hay que añadir que estos actores representan en un teatro de mayores proporciones que el nuestro y que, asimismo, reciben del autor del universo una autoridad y un poder mucho más grandes, que les llevan a recorrer múltiples lugares, pero diferenciando claramente lo que es honroso de lo que no lo es; por si mismos también van en busca de los castigos y recompensas convenientes, cada uno en la región adecuada a sus costumbres. Es así como armonizan con la razón del universo, adaptado cada cual a la parte que en justicia le corresponde; obran en tal caso como las cuerdas de una lira, cuando éstas son colocadas en un lugar particular, de acuerdo con la naturaleza del sonido que ellas mismas son capaces de producir.

Porque en el universo tendrán su sitio la conveniencia y la belleza, si cada ser aparece colocado en su lugar debido. Váyase sin más a la oscuridad del tártaro, si. realmente produce disonancia, porque aquí esta disonancia tiene su belleza. El universo resulta hermoso, no porque cada ser sea una piedra, sino porque con su voz contribuye a la armonía universal. Esta voz no es otra cosa que la vida de cada ser, corta, inferior e imperfecta. Y de igual modo que la flauta pastoril, no da un sonido único, sino también sonidos ligeros y oscuros que, no obstante, concurren a la unidad armónica del conjunto. Porque la armonía se compone de partes desiguales, y los sonidos de que esta formada son asimismo desiguales. Con todo, el sonido perfecto es único y proviene de todos los demás. Lo cual acontece también con la razón universal, que no se compone de partes iguales; de ahí que el universo contenga regiones diferentes, unas buenas y otras malas. Las almas se muestran desiguales por la misma desigualdad de estas regiones, de tal modo que a lugares desemejantes corresponden almas que son también desemejantes. Y así como en la flauta pastoril o en otro instrumento cualquiera hay cañas de desigual dimensión, lo mismo ocurre con las almas, cada una de las cuales está situada en un lugar diferente; pero a cada una corresponde, sin embargo un sonido que acompasa con el lugar y con el conjunto al que ella pertenece.

La maldad de las almas tiene el puesto que le es debido en la belleza del todo universal. Y lo que para las almas resulta contrario a la naturaleza, para el universo esta de acuerdo con ella, pues un sonido más débil no deja de ser tan concordante como cualquier otro. Si hemos de usar aquí de otra imagen, diremos que ocurre como con el verdugo que, siendo un mal, no hace por ello que desmerezca una ciudad bien constituida. Porque conviene que haya un verdugo en cada ciudad, en la que siempre ha de ocupar el puesto adecuado.

Bouillet

XVII. Si la Raison fait ainsi naître de son essence des choses opposées, les choses qu’elle produira seront d’autant plus opposées qu’elles seront plus éloignées les unes des autres. Le monde sensible est moins tin que sa Raison, par conséquent, il est plus multiple, il renferme plus d’oppositions : ainsi, l’amour de la vie a plus de force dans les individus, l’égoïsme est plus puissant en eux, et souvent, par leur avidité, ils détruisent ce qu’ils aiment, quand ce qu’ils aiment est périssable. L’amour que chaque individu a pour lui-même fait que, dans ses rapports avec l’univers, il s’approprie tout ce qu’il peut. Ainsi, les bons et les méchants sont conduits à faire des choses opposées par l’art qui dirige l’univers, comme est dirigé un choeur de danse : une partie en est bonne, et l’autre mauvaise ; mais l’ensemble est bon. - Alors, il n’y a plus de méchants [objectera-t-on]. - Rien n’empêche qu’il n’y ait encore des méchants ; seulement ils ne seront pas tels par eux seuls. Aussi sera-ce un motif d’indulgence à leur égard, à moins que la raison n’admette pas cette indulgence et ne la rende impossible (120).

64 Au reste, s’il y a dans le monde des bons et des méchants, et que ces derniers jouent un plus grand rôle, il arrivera alors ce qu’on voit dans les drames, où le poète tantôt impose ses idées aux acteurs, tantôt se borne à se servir de leur naturel. Il ne dépend pas du poète qu’un acteur obtienne le premier, le second ou le troisième rang. Il donne seulement à chacun le rôle (λόγος) qu’il est capable de remplir et il lui assigne une place convenable. De même [dans le monde], chacun occupe la place qui lui est assignée, et le méchant a aussi bien que le bon celle qui lui convient (121). Chacun, selon sa nature et son caractère (κατὰ φύσιν καὶ κατὰ λόγον), vient occuper la place qui lui convient et qu’il avait choisie, puis parle et agit avec piété, s’il est bon, avec impiété, s’il est méchant. Avant que le drame commençât, les acteurs avaient déjà leur caractère propre; ils n’ont fait que le développer. Dans les drames composés par les hommes, c’est le poète qui assigne aux personnages leur rôle ; ceux-ci ne sont responsables que de la manière bonne ou mauvaise dont ils s’acquittent de leur tâche : car ils n’ont autre chose à faire que de réciter les paroles du poète. Mais, dans ce drame plus vrai [de la vie], dont les hommes imitent certaines parties quand ils ont une nature poétique, c’est l’âme qui est l’acteur ; cet acteur reçoit son rôle du Créateur, comme les acteurs ordinaires reçoivent du poète leur masque, leur vêtement, leur robe de pourpre ou leurs haillons. Ainsi, dans le drame du monde, ce n’est pas du hasard que l’âme reçoit son sort.

En effet, le sort d’une âme est conforme à son caractère (κατὰ λόγον), et, en le subissant convenablement, elle remplit son rôle dans le drame auquel préside la Raison universelle (λόγος πᾶς) (122). Elle chante son morceau, c’est-à-dire elle fait les actes qu’il est dans sa nature de faire. Si sa voix et sa figure sont belles par elles-mêmes, elles donnent de l’agrément au poème, comme c’est naturel ; sinon, elles y introduisent un élément discordant qui déplaît, mais qui n’altère pas la nature de l’oeuvre (123). Quant à l’auteur du drame, il réprimande le mauvais acteur comme celui-ci le mérite, et il remplit ainsi la tâche d’un bon juge; il élève le bon acteur en dignité et le fait jouer, s’il le peut, dans de plus belles pièces, tandis qu’il relègue le mauvais acteur dans des pièces inférieures (124). De même, l’âme qui figure dans le drame dont le monde est le théâtre, et qui y a pris un rôle, apporte avec elle une disposition à y jouer bien ou mal. A son arrivée elle est classée avec les autres acteurs, et, après avoir été partagée pour tous les biens de la fortune sans égard pour sa personne ni pour ses actes, elle est ensuite punie ou récompensée. De pareils acteurs ont quelque chose de plus que des acteurs ordinaires : ils paraissent sur une scène plus grande ; le Créateur de l’univers leur donne de la puissance et leur accorde la liberté de choisir entre un plus grand nombre de places. Les peines et les récompenses sont déterminées de telle sorte que les âmes courent elles-mêmes au-devant, parce que chacune a une place conforme à son caractère et est ainsi en harmonie avec la saison de l’univers (125).

Chaque individu a donc, selon la justice, la place qu’il mérite, comme chaque corde de la lyre est fixée au lieu que lui assigne la nature des sons qu’elle doit rendre. Dans l’univers, tout est bien, tout est beau, si chaque être occupe la place qu’il mérite, s’il fait entendre, par exemple, des sons discordants, dans les ténèbres et le Tartare : car il est convenable qu’on y entende de tels sons. Pour que l’univers soit beau, il faut que l’individu n’y soit pas comme une pierre (126) ; il faut qu’il concoure à l’unité de l’harmonie universelle en rendant le son qui lui est propre (127) ; or, le son que rend l’individu, c’est la vie qu’il mène, vie qui est inférieure en grandeur, en bonté, et en puissance [à celle de l’univers]. Le chalumeau rend plusieurs sons, et le plus faible contribue cependant à l’harmonie totale, parce que cette harmonie est composée de sons inégaux dont l’ensemble constitue un accord parfait (128) ; de même, la Raison universelle est une, mais renferme des parties inégales. De là résulte qu’il y a dans l’univers des places différentes, les unes meilleures, les autres inférieures, et leur inégalité correspond à l’inégalité des âmes. En effet, les places étant diverses et les âmes différentes, les âmes qui sont différentes trouvent des places qui sont inégales (comme les diverses parties du chalumeau ou de tout autre instrument) ; elles habitent des lieux différents et font entendre chacune des sons convenables pour l’endroit où elles se trouvent et pour l’univers. Ainsi, ce qui est mauvais pour l’individu est bon pour l’ensemble (129) ; ce qui est contre nature dans l’individu est selon 68 la nature dans l’ensemble ; un son qui est faible n’altère pas l’harmonie de l’univers, comme, pour me servir d’un autre exemple, un mauvais citoyen ne change pas la nature d’une cité bien réglée : car souvent il est nécessaire qu’il y ait un homme de cette sorte dans une cité ; il y est donc lui-même bien placé (130).

Guthrie

THE WHOLE IS GOOD THOUGH COMPOSED OF GOOD AND EVIL PARTS.

17. If Reason thus from its essence produce opposed things, the things it will produce will be so much the more opposed as they are more separated from each other. The sense-world is less unitary than its Reason, and consequently, it is more manifold, containing more oppositions. Thus, in individuals, the love of life has greater force; selfishness is more powerful in them; and often, by their avidity, they destroy what they love, when they love what is perishable. The love which each individual has for himself, makes him appropriate all he can in his relations with the universe. Thus the good and evil are led to do opposite things by the Art that governs the universe; just as a choric ballet would be directed. One part is good, the other poor; but the whole is good. It might be objected that in this case no evil person will be left. Still, nothing hinders the existence of the evil; only they will not be such as they would be taken by themselves. Besides, this will be a motive of leniency in regard to them, unless Reason should decide that this leniency be not deserved, thereby making it impossible.

FOUNDED ON THE PUN ON LOGOS, AS CHARACTER, ROLE AND REASON, THE EVILS ARE SHOWN TO PLAY THEIR PART BADLY IN THE DRAMA OF LIFE.

Besides, if this world contain both bad and good people, and if the latter play the greater part in the world, there will take place that which is seen in dramas where the poet, at times, imposes his ideas on the actors, and again at others relies on their ingenuity. The obtaining of the first, second or third rank by an actor does not depend on the poet. The poet only assigns to each the part he is capable of filling, and assigns to him a suitable place. Likewise (in the world), each one occupies his assigned place, and the bad man, as well as the good one, has the place that suits him. Each one, according to his nature and character, comes to occupy the place that suits him, and that he had chosen, and then speaks and acts with piety if he be good, and impiously, if he be evil. Before the beginning of the drama, the actors already had their proper characters; they only developed it. In dramas composed by men, it is the poet who assigns their parts to the actors; and the latter are responsible only for the efficiency or inefficiency of their acting; for they have nothing to do but repeat the words of the poet. But in this drama (of life), of which men imitate certain parts when their nature is poetic, it is the soul that is the actor. This actor receives his part from the creator, as stage-actors receive from the poet their masks, garments, their purple robe, or their rags. Thus in the drama of the world it is not from chance that the soul receives her part.

LIKE GOOD AND BAD ACTORS, SOULS ARE PUNISHED AND REWARDED BY THE MANAGER.

Indeed, the fate of a soul conforms to her character, and, by going through with her part properly, the soul fulfils her part in the drama managed by universal Reason. The soul sings her part, that is, she does that which is in her nature to do. If her voice and features be beautiful, by themselves, they lend charm to the poem, as would be natural. Otherwise they introduce a displeasing element, but which does not alter the nature of the work. The author of the drama reprimands the bad actor as the latter may deserve it, and thus fulfils the part of a good judge. He increases the dignity of the good actor, and, if possible, invites him to play beautiful pieces, while he relegates the bad actor to inferior pieces. Likewise, the soul which takes part in the drama of which the world is the theatre, and which has undertaken a part in it, brings with her a disposition to play well or badly. At her arrival she is classed with the other actors, and after having been allotted to all the various gifts of fortune without any regard for her personality or activities, she is later punished or rewarded. Such actors have something beyond usual actors; they appear on a greater scene; the creator of the universe gives them some of his power, and grants them the freedom to choose between a great number of places. The punishments and rewards are so determined that the souls themselves run to meet them, because each soul occupies a place in conformity with her character, and is thus in harmony with the Reason of the universe.

THE SOUL MUST FIT HERSELF TO HER SPECIAL PART IN THE GREAT SCHEME.

Every individual, therefore, occupies, according to justice, the place he deserves, just as each string of the lyre is fixed to the place assigned to it by the nature of the sounds it is to render. In the universe everything is good and beautiful if every being occupy the place he deserves, if, for instance, he utter discordant sounds when in darkness and Tartarus; for such sounds fit that place. If the universe is to be beautiful, the individual must not behave “like a stone” in it; he must contribute to the unity of the universal harmony by uttering the sound suitable to him (as thought Epictetus  ). The sound that the individual utters is the life he leads, a life which is inferior in greatness, goodness and power (to that of the universe). The shepherd’s pipe utters several sounds, and the weakest of them, nevertheless, contributes to the total Harmony, because this harmony is composed of unequal sounds whose totality constitutes a perfect harmony. Likewise, universal Reason though one, contains unequal parts. Consequently, the universe contains different places, some better, and some worse, and their inequality corresponds to the inequality of the soul. Indeed, as both places and souls are different, the souls that are different find the places that are unequal, like the unequal parts of the pipe, or any other musical instrument. They inhabit different places, and each utters sounds proper to the place where they are, and to the universe. Thus what is bad for the individual may be good for the totality; what is against nature in the individual agrees with the nature in the whole. A sound that is feeble does not change the harmony of the universe, as — to use another example — one bad citizen does not change the nature of a well-regulated city; for often there is need of such a man in a city; he therefore fits it well.

MacKenna

17. The nature of the Reason-Principle is adequately expressed in its Act and, therefore, the wider its extension the nearer will its productions approach to full contrariety: hence the world of sense is less a unity than is its Reason-Principle; it contains a wider multiplicity and contrariety: its partial members will, therefore, be urged by a closer intention towards fullness of life, a warmer desire for unification.

But desire often destroys the desired; it seeks its own good, and, if the desired object is perishable, the ruin follows: and the partial thing straining towards its completing principle draws towards itself all it possibly can.

Thus, with the good we have the bad: we have the opposed movements of a dancer guided by one artistic plan; we recognize in his steps the good as against the bad, and see that in the opposition lies the merit of the design.

But, thus, the wicked disappear?

No: their wickedness remains; simply, their role is not of their own planning.

But, surely, this excuses them?

No; excuse lies with the Reason-Principle - and the Reason-Principle does not excuse them.

No doubt all are members of this Principle but one is a good man, another is bad - the larger class, this - and it goes as in a play; the poet while he gives each actor a part is also using them as they are in their own persons: he does not himself rank the men as leading actor, second, third; he simply gives suitable words to each, and by that assignment fixes each man’s standing.

Thus, every man has his place, a place that fits the good man, a place that fits the bad: each within the two orders of them makes his way, naturally, reasonably, to the place, good or bad, that suits him, and takes the position he has made his own. There he talks and acts, in blasphemy and crime or in all goodness: for the actors bring to this play what they were before it was ever staged.

In the dramas of human art, the poet provides the words but the actors add their own quality, good or bad - for they have more to do than merely repeat the author’s words - in the truer drama which dramatic genius imitates in its degree, the Soul displays itself in a part assigned by the creator of the piece.

As the actors of our stages get their masks and their costume, robes of state or rags, so a Soul is allotted its fortunes, and not at haphazard but always under a Reason: it adapts itself to the fortunes assigned to it, attunes itself, ranges itself rightly to the drama, to the whole Principle of the piece: then it speaks out its business, exhibiting at the same time all that a Soul can express of its own quality, as a singer in a song. A voice, a bearing, naturally fine or vulgar, may increase the charm of a piece; on the other hand, an actor with his ugly voice may make a sorry exhibition of himself, yet the drama stands as good a work as ever: the dramatist, taking the action which a sound criticism suggests, disgraces one, taking his part from him, with perfect justice: another man he promotes to more serious roles or to any more important play he may have, while the first is cast for whatever minor work there may be.

Just so the Soul, entering this drama of the Universe, making itself a part of the Play, bringing to its acting its personal excellence or defect, set in a definite place at the entry and accepting from the author its entire role - superimposed upon its own character and conduct - just so, it receives in the end its punishment and reward.

But these actors, Souls, hold a peculiar dignity: they act in a vaster place than any stage: the Author has made them masters of all this world; they have a wide choice of place; they themselves determine the honour or discredit in which they are agents since their place and part are in keeping with their quality: they therefore fit into the Reason-Principle of the Universe, each adjusted, most legitimately, to the appropriate environment, as every string of the lyre is set in the precisely right position, determined by the Principle directing musical utterance, for the due production of the tones within its capacity. All is just and good in the Universe in which every actor is set in his own quite appropriate place, though it be to utter in the Darkness and in Tartarus the dreadful sounds whose utterance there is well.

This Universe is good not when the individual is a stone, but when everyone throws in his own voice towards a total harmony, singing out a life - thin, harsh, imperfect, though it be. The Syrinx does not utter merely one pure note; there is a thin obscure sound which blends in to make the harmony of Syrinx music: the harmony is made up from tones of various grades, all the tones differing, but the resultant of all forming one sound.

Similarly the Reason-Principle entire is One, but it is broken into unequal parts: hence the difference of place found in the Universe, better spots and worse; and hence the inequality of Souls, finding their appropriate surroundings amid this local inequality. The diverse places of this sphere, the Souls of unequal grade and unlike conduct, are wen exemplified by the distinction of parts in the Syrinx or any other instrument: there is local difference, but from every position every string gives forth its own tone, the sound appropriate, at once, to its particular place and to the entire plan.

What is evil in the single Soul will stand a good thing in the universal system; what in the unit offends nature will serve nature in the total event - and still remains the weak and wrong tone it is, though its sounding takes nothing from the worth of the whole, just as, in another order of image, the executioner’s ugly office does not mar the well-governed state: such an officer is a civic necessity; and the corresponding moral type is often serviceable; thus, even as things are, all is well.


[1Cf. Platón, Leyes, 904 c-e