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Plotino - Tratado 26,13 (III, 6, 13) — Em que sentido a matéria «foge da forma»

Enéada III, 6, 13

domingo 22 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Capítulo 13: Em que sentido a matéria «foge da forma»; comparação   da matéria com um espelho  

  • 1-11: Como dizer que a matéria «foge da forma»? Sua forma, é de não ter jamais uma. A permanência da matéria é oposta ao devir sensível
  • 11-29: Comentário da expressão   do Timeu   «ela é o receptáculo   e a nutriz de todo o devir» (49a5-6). Enquanto tal, a matéria foge radicalmente a relação ao ser
  • 29-34: A matéria permanece impassível em relação ao que entra nela; ela não participa em nada à verdade
  • 34-55: Comparação detalhada da matéria e de um espelho. O espelho, ele, é sensível, a matéria ela, é invisível  . Os seres que nela estão devem necessariamente depender   das Formas
    

Míguez

13. Conviene igualmente que nos añadan cómo la materia huye de la forma; porque, ¿cómo podría huir de las piedras y las rocas que la encierran? No se atreverán a decir que unas veces huye y otras no. Porque, si quisiese hacerlo, ¿por qué no lo haría siempre? Si, en cambio, permanece necesariamente, no es porque no se encuentre en una cierta forma. En cuanto a que cada materia no posea siempre la misma forma, habrá que buscar la causa  , especialmente en las formas que entran en la materia. ¿Cómo se dice, pues, que la materia huye de la forma? Porque, por su misma naturaleza, permanece siempre tal cual es [1]. Pero, ¿qué es esto sino no salir de sí misma y poseer y no poseer nunca las formas? O, en otro caso, no podrán hacer suyas las palabras de (Platón  ): «El receptáculo   y la nodriza del devenir universal  » [2]. Puesto que si ella es el receptáculo y la nodriza, el devenir es algo diferente de ella y es en él donde se produce la alteración. Siendo así, la materia es anterior   al devenir y a la alteración. Las expresiones «receptáculo» y «nodriza» nos advierten que es impasible, al igual que las otras expresiones «en lo que se manifiestan las cosas que nacen y de dónde salen» o «el lugar y la residencia». Esto último, corregido como lugar de las formas, no indica que la materia sea pasiva sino que busca otra relación a las formas. ¿Cuál será? Dado que esta llamada naturaleza no debe ser ninguno de los seres, sino que ha de rehuir su esencia y mostrarse totalmente diferente de ella, esa esencia son las razones que existen de hecho; necesariamente, por ser otra, ha de conservar y dejar a salvo la naturaleza que ha recibido, y no tan sólo por incapacidad de acoger los seres sino también porque, si surge alguna imitación de ellos, se declara excluida para apropiársela. Esa es, precisamente, su radical diferencia. Porque si una . forma se estableciese en ella, o si ella se hiciese otra con esa forma, perdería su diferencia y no sería ya el lugar de todas las cosas y el receptáculo de no importa qué. Conviene, sin embargo, que si las cosas entran y salen de ella, permanezca tal cual es e impasible, para que aquéllas puedan entrar y salir siempre. Lo que entra en ella es una imagen, algo que no es realmente verdadero. ¿Cómo, pues, podría entrar verdaderamente? ¿Cómo, añadiríamos, si no puede participar en modo alguno en la verdad, por ser una imagen falsa? ¿Es acaso engañosa esta penetración en un ser falso y podría comparársela a las imágenes de los seres que se miran en un espejo, en tanto precisamente se miran en él? Porque si suprimiésemos estos seres, no se aparecería ya en ningún momento nada de lo que ahora vemos sensiblemente en el espejo. Se vería el espejo mismo, porque es una forma. Tratándose de la materia, nada puede verse, porque ella no es una formo; de otro modo, tendríamos que verla en sí misma. Pero a la materia le acontece algo semejante al aire, que es invisible aun estando iluminado, justamente porque no se le veía ya cuando estaba privado de luz. Por esta razón no damos crédito a la existencia   de las imágenes en los espejos, o dudamos de ellas, porque vemos perfectamente el espejo en el que se encuentran, que sigue existiendo verdaderamente, en tanto aquéllas se alejan de él. No vemos, sin embargo, la materia en sí misma, ni cuando posee esas imágenes, ni cuando no las posee. Sí fuese posible que permaneciesen las imágenes de que se llenan los espejos, y que éstos, en cambio, no se viesen, no desconfiaríamos ciertamente de la verdad de lo que vemos. Si, pues, existiese lo que vemos en los espejos, también existiría lo que se da en la materia; pero sí aquello no es más que una apariencia, hemos de decir también que sólo hay apariencia en la materia, de la que es causa la realidad sustancial de los seres. Los seres participan siempre y verdaderamente en ella, cosa que no ocurre con los no-seres. Porque éstos no han de tener la existencia que tendrían en el caso de que no existiese el ser; (y la tendrían) si ellos mismos existiesen.

Bouillet

XIII. Ils doivent en outre expliquer en quel sens ils disent que la mati  ère fuit la forme. Comment petit-elle fuir les pierres et les choses solides qui la contiennent ? Car on ne saurait dire que tantôt elle fuit la forme, et tantôt ne la fuit pas. Si elle la fuit par sa volonté, pourquoi ne la fuit-elle pas toujours? Si elle demeure [dans la forme] par nécessité, il n’est pas de moment où elle ne soit dans quelque forme. La cause pour laquelle la matière n’est pas toujours contenue par la même forme ne doit pas être cherchée dans la matière, mais dans les formes que reçoit la matière. En quel sens donc dit-on que la matière fuit la forme ? Fuit-elle la forme toujours et par sa nature? Cette assertion revient à dire que la matière, ne cessant jamais d’être elle-même, a la forme sans l’avoir jamais. Sinon, on ne saurait attacher à cette assertion aucun sens raisonnable. La matière, dit Platon, est « la nourrice, le réceptacle de la génération (71). » Si la matière est la nourrice et le réceptacle de la génération» elle est évidemment autre chose que celle-ci. Il n’y a que ce qui est susceptible d’être altéré qui tombe dans le domaine de la génération. Or, comme la matière, étant la nourrice et le réceptacle de la génération, existe avant elle, elle existe aussi avant toute altération. Donc dire que la matière est la nourrice et le réceptacle de la génération, c’est la conserver impassible. C’est à la même idée que se rattachent encore ces assertions, que la matière est ce dans quoi apparaissent les choses engendrées et dont elles sortent (72) qu’elle est le lieu [éternel], la place [de toute génération] (73).

En appelant avec raison la matière le lieu des formes, Platon n’attribue aucune passion à la matière; il indique seulement que les choses se passent d’une autre manière. De quelle manière? Puisque la matière ne peut par sa nature être aucun des êtres, qu’elle doit fuir l’essence de tous les êtres, en être complètement différente (car les raisons séminales sont des êtres véritables], elle garde nécessairement sa nature en vertu de cette différence même. Elle doit donc non seulement ne pas contenir les êtres, mais encore ne pas s’approprier ce qui en est l’image : car c’est ainsi qu’elle est complètement différente des êtres. Autrement, si elle s’appropriait la forme, elle changerait avec elle et cesserait ainsi d’en être différente ; elle ne serait plus le lieu de toutes choses, elle ne serait plus le réceptacle de rien. Il faut cependant que la matière demeure la même quand les formes y entrent, et qu’elle reste impassible quand elles en sortent, afin qu’il y ait toujours quelque chose qui puisse entrer en elle ou en sortir. Comme ce qui entre en elle est un simulacre, il en résulte que c’est une chose mensongère qui entre alors dans une chose mensongère. Ce qui entre dans la matière y entrera-t-il du moins d’une manière véritable? Mais comment une chose peut-elle être reçue véritablement par une autre qui ne saurait participer en aucune façon à la réalité, parce qu’elle est elle-même essentiellement mensongère?

Ainsi, la matière est une chose mensongère dans laquelle les simulacres des essences entrent d’une façon mensongère, de la même façon que nous voyons dans un miroir les images des objets qui sont à la portée de notre vue (74). Faites disparaître les êtres du monde sensible  , et vous n’apercevrez plus rien des choses qui frappent ici-bas votre regard. Il est vrai qu’ici-bas le miroir est lui-même visible ; c’est qu’il est une forme. Mais la matière, qui remplit dans le monde sensible le rôle d’un miroir, n’étant pas une forme, échappe à la vue ; sinon, elle devrait être visible par elle-même. Il lui arrive la même chose qu’à l’air qui reste caché même quand il est pénétré par la lumière  , puisque avant d’en être pénétré il n’était pas visible. Nous ne croyons pas que les choses qui apparaissent dans un miroir existent réellement, parce qu’elles passent, tandis que le miroir demeure et frappe nos regards. Au contraire, la matière est invisible, qu’elle contienne ou qu’elle ne contienne pas de formes. Mais, supposons un moment qu’il en soit autrement, que les images qui remplissent un miroir ne soient pas passagères et que le miroir reste invisible : évidemment dans ce cas nous croirions que les choses qu’il nous présente existent réellement. S’il y a donc quelque chose dans un miroir, cette chose est ce que sont les formes sensibles dans la matière. Si dans un miroir il n’y a qu’apparence, nous devons également admettre qu’il n’y a qu’apparence dans la matière, en reconnaissant que cette apparence est la cause de l’existence des êtres, existence à laquelle participent toujours réellement les choses qui existent, et à laquelle ne participent pas réellement celles qui n’existent pas véritablement : car elles ne sauraient être dans l’état où elles seraient si elles existaient sans que l’Être en soi existât lui-même.

Guthrie

MATTER AS THE ETERNAL LOCATION OR RESIDENCE OF GENERATION.

13. They would further have to explain in what sense they say that matter seeks to elude form. How can it be said to seek to elude the stones and the solid objects which contain it? For it would be irrational to say that it seeks to elude form at certain times, but not at others. If matter seeks to elude form voluntarily, why does it not elude form continuously? If necessity keep matter (within form), there can be no moment when it would not inhere in some form or other. The reason why matter is not always contained by the same form must not be sought for within matter, but in the forms that matter receives. In what sense then could it be said that matter eludes form? Does it always and essentially elude form? This would amount to saying that matter, never ceasing being itself, has form without ever having it. Otherwise, the statement would be meaningless. (Plato) says that matter is the «nurse and residence of generation.» If then matter be the nurse and residence of generation, it is evidently distinct from the latter. Only that which can be affected is within the domain of generation. Now as matter, being the nurse and residence of generation, exists before the latter, it must also exist before any alteration. Therefore to say that matter is the nurse and residence of generation is tantamount to saying that matter is impassible. The same meaning attaches to such other statements as that matter is that in which begotten things appear, and from which they issue, that"matter is the (eternal) location, and place (of all generation).

MATTER AS LOCATION OF FORMS REMAINS IMPASSIBLE.

When Plato, rightfully, calls matter «the location of forms,» he is not thereby attributing any passion to matter; he only indicates that matters go on in a different manner. How? Since matter, however, by its nature, cannot be any of the beings, and as it must flee from the «being» of all beings, and be entirely different from them — for («seminal) reasons» are genuine beings — it must necessarily preserve its nature by virtue of this very difference. It must not only contain all beings, but also not appropriate what is their image; for this is that by which matter differs from all beings. Otherwise, if the images that fill a mirror were not transient, and if the miVror remained invisible, evidently we would believe that the things the mirror presents to us existed really. If then there be something in a mirror, that is that which sense-forms are in matter. If in a mirror there be nothing but appearance, then there is nothing in matter but appearance, recognizing that this appearance is the cause of the existence of beings, an existence in which the things that exist always really participate, and in which the things which do not really exist do not participate; for they could not be in the condition where they would be if they existed without the existence of existence in itself.

Taylor

XIII. It is likewise requisite that they should attend to the manner in which they say matter flies from form. For how can it fly from stones and rocks by which it is comprehended ? For they will not say that it sometimes flies from form, and sometimes does not. For if it flies by its own will, why does it not always fly from it ? But if it abides from necessity, there is not any time in which it is not invested with a certain form. The cause, however, must be investigated why each matter has not always the same form, and this must be in a still greater degree investigated in the forms which enter into matter. How, therefore, is matter said to fly from form ? Is it by its own nature, and always ? But what else will this be, than that never departing from itself, it so possesses form as if it never possessed it, or if this is not admitted, they will not be able to assign any probable reason in defence of what they assert. Plato also calls matter the receptacle and nurse of all generation. And the receptacle and nurse indeed, are different from generation; but that which is changed in quality is in generation. Since, likewise, the receptacle and nurse are prior to generation, they will also be prior to alliation. Add too, that they will preserve matter in an impassive state; as also will the assertion that each thing has an apparent subsistence in that in which it is ingenerated, and that it departs from thence as from a receptacle and seat. The impassivity of matter, likewise, is preserved by the assertion that it is the place of forms; for this does not ascribe any passion to it, but investigates another mode of subsistence. What, therefore, is this mode? Since, indeed, a nature of this kind ought not to be any one of, but to fly from every essence of beings, and to be entirely different from them; for they are reasons or productive principles, and have a real existence; — this being the case, it is necessary that matter in consequence of this difference should preserve the safety which it is allotted, and should not only be unreceptive of beings, but also if there is a certain imitation of them, that it should even be destitute of familiarity with this resemblance. For thus it will be entirely different from beings, since otherwise, being conversant with a certain form, and becoming something else in conjunction with it, it would cease to be different from beings, and to be the receptacle of all things; for it would not be the recipient of any thing. It is necessary, however, that matter should remain the same, while forms enter into it, and that it should be impassive during their egress from it, in order that they may always enter into and depart from it. But that which enters, enters as an image, and not being itself real, enters into that which is void of truth and reality. Does it, therefore, truly enter ? But how is it possible it should be truly received by that to which it is not in any respect lawful to participate of truth, in consequence of its being false ? Hence, it falsely proceeds into that which is false, and becomes similar to an object in a mirror, as long as the object is beheld within it. For with respect to matter, if you take away [real] beings, none of those things which are now seen in the sensible region, would for the smallest space of time be apparent. The mirror, therefore, of which we have just spoken, is perceived by us; for it is itself a certain form. Matter, however, not being itself any form, is not itself seen ; for otherwise, it would be requisite that it should be seen by itself prior to the forms that it apparently contains. But it suffers something of the same kind as the air when illuminated, which is then also invisible, because it could not be seen without being illuminated. Hence the objects which are seen in mirrors, are b§lieved not to have an existence, or to have it in a less degree, because that which contains them is visible, and itself remains while the objects depart. But matter is not itself perceived, neither when it has, nor when it is without forms. If, however, it was possible for the objects from which mirrors are filled to remain without being seen, yet no one would doubt the reality of the objects which are seen in them. Hence, if there is something in mirrors, sensibles also will be in matter. But if there is nothing [in reality] in mirrors, but objects have only an apparent subsistence in them, in matter also it must be said, forms have a resemblance of subsistence. The cause of this appearance, likewise, must be ascribed to the hypostasis   of beings, of which beings themselves always truly participate, but non-beings not truly; since it is not proper that they should subsist in such a manner as they would, if they had an existence, and being had not.

MacKenna

13. Further, they must explain in what sense they hold that Matter tends to slip away from its form [the Idea  ]. Can we conceive it stealing out from stones and rocks or whatever else envelops it?

And of course they cannot pretend that Matter in some cases rebels and sometimes not. For if once it makes away of its own will, why should it not always escape? If it is fixed despite itself, it must be enveloped by some Ideal-Form for good and all. This, however, leaves still the question why a given portion of Matter does not remain constant to any one given form: the reason lies mainly in the fact that the Ideas are constantly passing into it.

In what sense, then, is it said to elude form?

By very nature and for ever?

But does not this precisely mean that it never ceases to be itself, in other words that its one form is an invincible formlessness? In no other sense has Plato’s dictum any value to those that invoke it.

Matter [we read] is «the receptacle and nurse of all generation.»

Now if Matter is such a receptacle and nurse, all generation is distinct from it; and since all the changeable lies in the realm of generation, Matter, existing before all generation, must exist before all change.

«Receptacle» and «nurse»; then it «retains its identity; it is not subject to modification. Similarly if it is» [as again we read] «the ground on which individual things appear and disappear,» and so, too, if it is a «place, a base.» Where Plato describes and identifies it as «a ground to the ideas» he is not attributing any state to it; he is probing after its distinctive manner of being.

And what is that?

This which we think of as a Nature-Kind cannot be included among Existents but must utterly rebel from the Essence of Real Beings and be therefore wholly something other than they - for they are Reason-Principles and possess Authentic Existence - it must inevitably, by virtue of that difference, retain its integrity to the point of being permanently closed against them and, more, of rejecting close participation in any image of them.

Only on these terms can it be completely different: once it took any Idea to hearth and home, it would become a new thing, for it would cease to be the thing apart, the ground of all else, the receptacle of absolutely any and every form. If there is to be a ceaseless coming into it and going out from it, itself must be unmoved and immune in all the come and go. The entrant Idea will enter as an image, the untrue entering the untruth.

But, at least, in a true entry?

No: How could there be a true entry into that which, by being falsity, is banned from ever touching truth?

Is this then a pseudo-entry into a pseudo-entity - something merely brought near, as faces enter the mirror, there to remain just as long as the people look into it?

Yes: if we eliminated the Authentic Existents from this Sphere nothing of all now seen in sense would appear one moment longer.

Here the mirror itself is seen, for it is itself an Ideal-Form of a Kind [has some degree of Real Being]; but bare Matter, which is no Idea, is not a visible thing; if it were, it would have been visible in its own character before anything else appeared upon it. The condition of Matter may be illustrated by that of air penetrated by light and remaining, even so, unseen because it is invisible whatever happens.

The reflections in the mirror are not taken to be real, all the less since the appliance on which they appear is seen and remains while the images disappear, but Matter is not seen either with the images or without them. But suppose the reflections on the mirror remaining and the mirror itself not seen, we would never doubt the solid reality of all that appears.

If, then, there is, really, something in a mirror, we may suppose objects of sense to be in Matter in precisely that way: if in the mirror there is nothing, if there is only a seeming of something, then we may judge that in Matter there is the same delusion and that the seeming is to be traced to the Substantial-Existence of the Real-Beings, that Substantial-Existence in which the Authentic has the real participation while only an unreal participation can belong to the unauthentic since their condition must differ from that which they would know if the parts were reversed, if the Authentic Existents were not and they were.


[1Cf. Platón, Timeo, 49 e.

[2Nueva referencia al Timeo, 49 a.