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Plotino - Tratado 26,5 (III, 6, 5) — Impassibilidade e purificação

Enéada III, 6, 5

sábado 21 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 5: Impassibilidade e purificação

  • 1-2: Posição da questão: se a alma é intrinsecamente impassível, porque a filosofia propõe uma purificação?
  • 2-9: São as "imagens mentais" que é preciso erradicar para garantir a saúde da alma
  • 10-11: Comparação com as imagens oníricas
  • 12-15: Como falar de "sujeira" e de "separação da alma do corpo"?
  • 15-20: Trata-se de purificar a alma das opiniões e da voltá-la para o alto
  • 20-23: Para pensar a separação, comparação com uma luz no nevoeiro
  • 23-29: A separação consiste ainda em purificar o modo de vida da alma; aparição da noção de "veículo da alma"

Míguez

5. ¿Por qué, pues, ha de buscar la filosofía el hacer un alma impasible, si ésta, ya desde un principio, no experimenta pasiones? La representación introducida en el alma, en la parte que llamamos pasiva, produce como consecuencia un estado pasivo, o una turbación, a la cual se une la imagen de un mal que se espera: esto es lo que se llama pasión, que viene a ser lo que la razón desea suprimir por completo, sin permitir que se introduzca en el alma. El alma no se encuentra bien mientras esta turbación permanezca en ella; y sólo recobrará el estado de impasibilidad en el momento en que desaparezca esa visión, que es la causa de la pasión. Ocurre aquí como si, queriendo suprimir las imágenes del sueño, se hiciese despertar a un alma en trance precisamente de soñar. Sí se dijese que los objetos exteriores producen las pasiones, tendríamos que considerar también como visiones los estados pasivos del alma.

¿Qué significa entonces la purificación [1], si el alma no ha sido manchada en modo alguno? ¿O qué se quiere decir con la expresión: separar el alma del cuerpo? La purificación consiste en dejar sola al alma y en no permitir que se una a otras cosas, o que las mire, o que tenga opiniones extrañas, ya se trate de una opinión cualquiera o de esas opiniones llamadas pasiones; esto es, que no contemple esas imágenes para obtener de ellas las pasiones. ¿Cómo no llamarla purificación si esta separación va de una cosa a su contraria, mejor dicho, de abajo hacía arriba? La separación misma es un estado del alma no radicada en el cuerpo, pero como si estuviese en él, cual ocurre por ejemplo con la luz, libre de las tinieblas; aunque habrá que añadir que esta luz seguiría impasible entre la bruma.

La purificación significa, para la parte pasiva del alma, el despertar de sus sueños extraños y el no ver ya las visiones que producen; la separación, a su vez, es un dejar de inclinar demasiado hacia las cosas de abajo, actuando imaginativamente sobre ellas. Separar esa parte del cuerpo es tanto como suprimir los objetos de los que se la separa, sobre todo cuando libre ya de la impura exhalación de la glotonería y de la abundancia de comida, el cuerpo, no del todo descarnado, pero sí lo bastante débil, demuestra suficiente docilidad para dejarse gobernar.

Bouillet

V. Pourquoi donc faut-il chercher à rendre l’âme impassible par la philosophie, puisque, dès l’origine, elle n’éprouve pas de passions? C’est que, quand une image est produite dans l’âme par la partie passive, il en résulte une passion et une agitation [dans le corps], et à cette agitation se lie l’image du mal qui est prévu par l’opinion. C’est cette passion que la raison commande d’anéantir et de ne jamais laisser se produire, parce que l’âme est malade quand cette passion se produit, et saine, quand elle ne se produit pas : car, dans le dernier cas, il ne se forme dans l’âme aucune de ces images qui sont les causes dès passions. C’est ainsi que, pour se délivrer des images dont on est obsédé dans le rêve, on réveille l’âme occupée par ces images (36). C’est en ce sens encore qu’on peut dire que les passions sont produites par les représentations des choses extérieures, en regardant ces représentations comme des passions de l’âme (37).

Mais qu’est-ce que purifier l’âme, puisqu’elle ne saurait être souillée? Qu’est-ce que la séparer du corps? Purifier l’âme, c’est l’isoler, ne pas lui permettre de s’attacher aux autres choses, ni de les regarder, ni de recevoir des opinions qui lui sont étrangères, quelles que soient d’ailleurs ces opinions et ces passions, comme nous l’avons dit ; c’est, par conséquent, l’empêcher de considérer des fantômes et de produire les passions qui les accompagnent. Ainsi, purifier l’âme consiste à l’élever des choses d’ici-bas aux choses intelligibles; c’est aussi la séparer du corps (39) : car alors elle n’est plus assez attachée au corps pour lui être asservie, mais elle ressemble à une lumière qui n’est pas plongée dans le tourbillon [de la matière] (39), quoique la partie de l’âme qui s’y trouve plongée ne cesse pas pour cela d’être impassible. Quant à la partie passive de l’âme, la purifier, c’est la détourner de l’intuition des images trompeuses; la séparer du corps, c’est l’empêcher d’incliner vers les choses inférieures et de s’en représenter les images; 138 c’est encore anéantir les choses dont on la sépare, en sorte qu’elle ne soit pas étouffée par le tourbillon (40) qui se déchaîne quand on laisse prendre trop de force au corps ; il faut alors affaiblir celui-ci pour le gouverner plus facilement (41).

Guthrie

PASSIONS ARE PRODUCED BY EXTERNAL IMAGES; AND THEIR AVOIDANCE IS THE TASK OF PHILOSOPHY.

5. If then, from the very start, the soul undergo no affections, what then is the use of trying to render her impassible by means of philosophy? The reason is that when an image is produced in the soul by the affective part, there results in the body an affection and a movement; and to this agitation is related the image of the evil which is foreseen by opinion. It is this affection that reason commands us to annihilate, and whose occurrence even we are to forestall, because when this affection occurs, the soul is sick, and healthy when it does not occur. In the latter case, none of these images, which are the causes of affections, form within the soul. That is why, to free oneself from the images that obsess one during dreams, the soul that occupies herself therewith is to be wakened. Again, that is why we can say that affections are produced by representations of exterior entities, considering these representations as affections of the soul.

PSYCHOLOGICAL PROCESS INVOLVED IN PURIFYING THE SOUL, AND SEPARATING SOUL FROM BODY.

But what do we mean by "purifying the soul," inasmuch as she could not possibly be stained? What do we mean by separating (or, weaning) the soul from the body? To purify the soul is to isolate her, preventing her from attaching herself to other things, from considering them, from receiving opinions alien to her, whatever these (alien) opinions or affections might be, as we have said; it consequently means hindering her from consideration of these phantoms, and from the production of their related affections. To "purify the soul," therefore, consists in raising her from the things here below to intelligible entities; also, it is to wean her from the body; for, in that case, she is no longer sufficiently attached to the body to be enslaved to it, resembling a light which is not absorbed in the whirlwind (of matter), though even in this case that part of the soul which is submerged does not, on that account alone, cease being impassible. To purify the affective part of the soul is to turn her from a vision of deceitful images; to separate her from the body, is to hinder her from inclining towards lower things, or from representing their images to herself; it means annihilating the things from which she thus is separated, so that she is no longer choked by the whirlwind of the spirit which breaks loose whenever the body is allowed to grow too strong; the latter must be weakened so as to govern it more easily.

Taylor

V. Why, then, is it requisite to endeavour to render the soul impassive by means of philosophy, if from the first it is without passivity ? Shall we say, it is because a phantasm as it were proceeding into it from what is called the passive part, the consequent passion produces a perturbation [in this part] and the image of expected evil is conjoined with the perturbation? Reason, therefore, thinks it fit that a passion of this kind should be extirpated, and that it should not be suffered to be ingenerated, because where it is, the soul is not yet in a good condition. But where it is not ingenerated, there the soul is impassive, the vision which is the cause of the passion about the soul, having no longer an inherent subsistence. Just as if some one wishing to expel the visions of sleep, should recal the dreaming soul to wakefulness ; or as if he should say that external spectacles produce the passions, and should assert that these passions belong to the soul. But what will the purification of the soul be, if it is in no respect defiled ? Or in what will the separation of it from the body consist ? May we not say that the purification of it will be, to leave it by itself alone, and not suffer it to associate with other things [that are hostile to its nature], nor permit it to look to any thing external; nor again, to have foreign opinions, whatever the mode is, as we have said, of opinions or passions; nor to behold images, nor fabricate passions from them? If, however, it is converted to supernal from inferior objects, is not this a purification and separation of the soul, which in this case is no longer in body, so as to be something belonging to it, but resembles a light not merged in turbid mire, though at the same time that which is merged in it is impassive ? But the purification, indeed, of the passive part of the soul, is an excitation from the vision of absurd images. And the separation of it will consist in not verging downward, and in the imagination not being conversant with inferior natures. It will also consist in taking away those things by the ablation of which this part likewise will be separated, when it is not permitted to he in a spirit turbid from gluttony, lest it-should be suffocated in flesh, but when that in which it dwells is attenuated, so that it may be quietly carried in it.

MacKenna

5. But why have we to call in Philosophy to make the Soul immune if it is thus immune from the beginning?

Because representations attack it at what we call the affective phase and cause a resulting experience, a disturbance, to which disturbance is joined the image of threatened evil: this amounts to an affection and Reason seeks to extinguish it, to ban it as destructive to the well-being of the Soul which by the mere absence of such a condition is immune, the one possible cause of affection not being present.

Take it that some such affections have engendered appearances presented before the Soul or Mind from without but taken [for practical purposes] to be actual experiences within it - then Philosophy’s task is like that of a man who wishes to throw off the shapes presented in dreams, and to this end recalls to waking condition the mind that is breeding them.

But what can be meant by the purification of a Soul that has never been stained and by the separation of the Soul from a body to which it is essentially a stranger?

The purification of the Soul is simply to allow it to be alone; it is pure when it keeps no company; when it looks to nothing without itself; when it entertains no alien thoughts - be the mode or origin of such notions or affections what they may, a subject on which we have already touched - when it no longer sees in the world of image, much less elaborates images into veritable affections. Is it not a true purification to turn away towards the exact contrary of earthly things?

Separation, in the same way, is the condition of a soul no longer entering into the body to lie at its mercy; it is to stand as a light, set in the midst of trouble but unperturbed through all.

In the particular case of the affective phase of the Soul, purification is its awakening from the baseless visions which beset it, the refusal to see them; its separation consists in limiting its descent towards the lower and accepting no picture thence, and of course in the banning for its part too of all which the higher Soul ignores when it has arisen from the trouble storm and is no longer bound to the flesh by the chains of sensuality and of multiplicity but has subdued to itself the body and its entire surrounding so that it holds sovereignty, tranquilly, over all.


[1Se refiere Plotino a la célebre katharsis helénica, de la que se habla en el Fedón, 67 c.