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ENÉADAS

Plotino - Tratado 45,2 (III, 7, 2) — Exame crítico e rejeição de teorias platônicas que identificam a eternidade

Enéada III, 7, 2

quarta-feira 18 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Cap 2: Exame crítico e rejeição de teorias platônicas que identificam a eternidade...

  • linhas 1-19: ... ao mundo inteligível: três argumentos pro (3-10) e contra (10-19)
  • linhas 20-36: ... ao Repouso inteligível, compreendido como o gênero do Repouso em si (24-29); ou como o repouso da realidade (24-36)

B) LA ETERNIDAD (caps. 2-6) I. QUÉ NO ES (cap. 2).
  • 1.No es la Sustancia inteligible (2, 1-19).
  • 2.Ni el Reposo en sí como Género (2, 20-29).
  • 3.Ni el Reposo de la Sustancia inteligible (2, 29-36).

Míguez

2. ¿Cómo, pues, hemos de definir la eternidad? ¿La consideraremos como la esencia inteligible, cual si dijésemos; que el tiempo es el cielo todo y el mundo? Porque algunos, según se dice, han sostenido esta opinión sobre el tiempo [1]. Y, ciertamente, nos imaginamos y pensamos la eternidad; como algo venerable, al igual que la naturaleza inteligible, de tal modo que no podríamos decir cuál de los dos seres es más venerable. Sin embargo, como esta calificación no corresponde a lo que está más allá de lo inteligible, hemos de concluir en aquella identidad. Ya es sabido, por otra parte, que el mundo inteligible y la eternidad contienen ambos las mismas cosas. Aunque decimos, no obstante, que una naturaleza está en la otra y que lo eterno se aplica a los seres inteligibles; así, dice (Platón  ), la naturaleza del modelo es eterna [2]. Pero la eternidad, con todo, es algo diferente a la naturaleza inteligible, puesto que en realidad la rodea, y está en ella o presente en ella. Una y otra son seres venerables, pero esto no prueba su identidad, ya que tal vez este carácter de la una provenga verdaderamente de la otra. Porque si una y otra naturaleza contienen las mismas cosas, la una las contiene como si fuesen sus partes, mientras que la eternidad es un todo que no puede dividirse, sino que pertenece en totalidad a todas las cosas que llamamos eternas.

¿Diremos acaso que la eternidad es la posición estable del mundo inteligible, lo mismo que el tiempo, en el parecer de algunos, es el movimiento del mundo sensible? Convendrá investigar si la eternidad es justamente idéntica a esa posición estable, o bien a la estabilidad que concierne a la esencia. En el primer caso, no diremos que la estabilidad es la eternidad, porque esto es una tautología; de la misma manera que lo eterno no es la eternidad, sino lo que participa en la eternidad. Además, ¿cómo atribuiríamos la eternidad al movimiento? Porque, en ese caso, diríamos también que es algo estable. ¿Y cómo afirmar realmente que la noción de estabilidad podría contener en sí misma la noción de eternidad? No me refiero, claro está, a lo que sucede ininterrumpidamente en el tiempo, sino a lo que nosotros pensamos cuando hablamos de lo que es eterno. En el segundo caso, si la eternidad se identifica con la estabilidad de la esencia, se seguirá de aquí que los otros géneros del ser quedan fuera de la eternidad. Hay que admitir, además, que la eternidad no consiste tan sólo en el reposo, sino en la unidad; y diremos que posee la individualidad [3], para que no resulte lo mismo que el tiempo. Porque el reposo no encierra en sí mismo la noción de la unidad, ni la de la indivisibilidad. Afirmamos, pues, de la eternidad que permanece en la unidad; lo cual quiere indicar que participa del reposo, pero no que sea el reposo en sí [4].

Bouillet

II. Quelle est donc cette chose en vertu de laquelle le monde intelligible est éternel et perpétuel? En quoi consiste la perpétuité? Ou la perpétuité et l’éternité sont identiques, ou l’éternité est liée à la perpétuité. Or il faut admettre que l’éternité consiste dans une unité, mais dans une unité formée d’éléments multiples, dans une conception ou dans une nature qui dérive des intelligibles, ou qui leur est unie, ou est aperçue en eux, de telle sorte que tous ces intelligibles forment une unité, mais que cette uni té soit en même temps multiple par son essence et ses puissances. Quand on contemple la puissance multiple du monde intelligible, on appelle Essence sa substance, Mouvement sa vie, Repos sa permanence, Différence la pluralité de ces principes, et Identité leur unité (09). Si l’on opère la synthèse de ces principes, on les ramène à ne former tous à la fois qu’une vie unique, en supprimant leur différence, en considérant la durée inépuisable, l’identité et l’immutabilité de leur action, de leur vie et de leur pensée, pour lesquelles il n’y a ni changement, ni intervalle. En contemplant ainsi toutes ces choses, on contemple l’éternité, on voit une vie qui est permanente dans son identité, qui possède toujours toutes choses présentes, qui n’a pas successivement d’abord l’une, puis l’autre, mais toutes à la fois ; qui n’est pas tantôt d’une façon et tantôt d’une autre, mais qui possède une perfection accomplie et indivisible. Elle contient donc toutes choses à la fois, comme en un seul point, sans qu’aucune d’elles s’écoule (10) ; elle demeure dans l’identité, c’est-à-dire en elle même, et ne subit aucun changement. Étant toujours dans le présent, parce qu’elle n’a jamais rien perdu et qu’elle n’acquerra jamais rien, elle est toujours ce qu’elle est. L’éternité n’est pas l’Être intelligible; elle est la lumière qui rayonne de cet Être, dont l’identité exclut complètement le futur et n’admet que l’existence actuelle, laquelle reste ce qu’elle est et ne change pas.

Quelle chose en effet l’Être intelligible pourrait-il avoir plus tard qu’il n’ait déjà? Que pourrait-il être dans l’avenir 176 qu’il ne soit maintenant ? Il n’y a rien qu’on puisse ajouter ou retrancher à son état présent : car il n’était pas autre que ce qu’il est, il ne doit rien posséder qu’il ne possède actuellement et nécessairement, en sorte qu’on ne dira point de lui : il était ; car quelle chose avait-il et n’a-t-il plus ? On ne dira pas davantage de lui : il sera; car que pourrait-il acquérir ? Reste donc qu’il continue d’être ce qu’il est. Or, ce dont on ne peut dire : il était, il sera, mais seulement, il est ; ce dont l’existence est immuable, parce que le passé ne lui a rien fait perdre et que l’avenir ne lui fera rien acquérir, c’est là ce qui possède l’éternité (11). Ainsi, quand on examine l’existence de l’Être intelligible, on voit que sa vie est tout entière à la fois, complète et sans aucune espèce 177 d’intervalle. Or, c’est là l’éternité que nous cherchons.

Guthrie

ETERNITY AS A UNION OF THE FIVE CATEGORIES.

2. (3). What then is that thing by virtue of which the intelligible world is eternal and perpetual? Of what does perpetuity consist? Either perpetuity and eternity are identical, or eternity is related to perpetuity. Evidently, however, eternity consists in an unity, but in an unity formed by multiple elements, in a conception of nature derived from intelligible entities, or which is united to them, or is perceived in them, so that all these intelligible entities form an unity, though this unity be at the same time manifold in nature and powers. Thus contemplating the manifold power of the intelligible world, we call "being" its substrate; movement its life; rest its permanence; difference the manifoldness of its principles; and identity, their unity.441 Synthesizing these principles, they fuse into one single life, suppressing their difference, considering the inexhaustible duration, the identity and immutability of their action, of their life and thought, for which there is neither change nor interval. The contemplation of all these entities constitutes the contemplation of eternity; and we see a life that is permanent in its identity, which ever possesses all present things, which does not contain them successively, but simultaneously; whose manner of existence is not different at various times, but whose perfection is consummate and indivisible. It therefore contains all things at the same time, as in a single point, without any of them draining off; it resides in identity, that is, within itself, undergoing no change. Ever being in the present, because it never lost anything, and will never acquire anything, it is always what it is. Eternity is not intelligible existence; it is the (light) that radiates from this existence, whose identity completely excludes the future and admits nothing but present existence, which remains what it is, and does not change.

THE LIFE OF THE INTELLIGENCE IS EVER CONTEMPORANEOUS.

What that it does not already possess could (intelligible existence) possess later? What could it be in the future, that it is not now? There is nothing that could be added to or subtracted from its present state; for it was not different from what it is now; and it is not to possess anything that it does not necessarily possess now, so that one could never say of it, "it was"; for what did it have that it does not now have? Nor could it be said of it, "it will be"; for what could it acquire? It must therefore remain what it is. (As Plato   thought438), that possesses eternity of which one cannot say either "it was," or "will be," but only, "it is;" that whose existence is immutable, because the past did not make it lose anything, and because the future will not make it acquire anything. Therefore, on examining the existence of intelligible nature, we see that its life is simultaneously entire, complete, and without any kind of an interval. That is the eternity we seek.

Taylor

II. What, therefore, will that be according to which we say, the whole world which is there is eternal and perpetual? And what is perpetuity ? Whether it is the same with eternity, or eternity subsists according to perpetuity. Shall we say, therefore, that it is necessary to conceive of eternity as one certain thing, but a certain intelligence or nature collected together from many things, whether it be something consequent to the natures in the intelligible world, or existing together with, or perceived in them, but which is able to effect and is many things. Indeed, he who surveys an abundant power collected into one, according to this particular thing which is as it were a subject, he denominates it essence ; afterwards, so far as he beholds life in it, he denominates it motion ; and in the next place, he calls it permanency, so far as it entirely possesses an invariable sameness of subsistence. And he denominates it different and the same, so far as all these are at once one. Thus, therefore, composing these, so as to be at once one life alone, contracting in them difference, and beholding an unceasing sameness of energy, and which never passes from one intelligence or life to another, but always possesses the invariable, and is without interval; — beholding all these, he will behold eternity. For he will perceive life abiding in sameness, and always possessing everything present, and not at one time this, and afterwards another thing, but containing all things at once, and not now some things, and again others. For it is an impartible end; just as in a point where all things subsist at once, and have not yet proceeded into a [linear] flux. It likewise abides in the same, i.e. in itself, and does not suffer any change. But it is always in the present, because nothing of it is past, nor again will be in future, but this very thing which it is, it always is. Hence, eternity is not a subject, but that which as it were shines forth from a subject, according to sameness itself, which it announces not concerning the future, but that which is now present, indicating that it subsists in this manner, and in no other. For what can afterwards happen to this, which it now is not? Nor again, will it be in futurity what it is not at present. For there is not any thing from which it can arrive at the present time. For it is not another thing, but this. Nor will it be this in future, which it does not now possess from necessity; nor does it possess about itself that which was. For what is there which was present with it and is past ? Nor does that which will be, belong to it. For what is there which will happen to it ? It remains, therefore, that in to be, it is that which it is. Hence, that which neither was, nor will be, but alone is, stably possessing its being, in consequence of not changing into will be, nor having been changed from the past, is eternity. The life, therefore, which is about being, and which in existence or to be, is at once total and full, and every where without interval, is the eternity which we investigate.

MacKenna

2. What definition are we to give to Eternity?

Can it be identified with the [divine or] Intellectual Substance itself?

This would be like identifying Time with the Universe of Heavens and Earth - an opinion, it is true, which appears to have had its adherents. No doubt we conceive, we know, Eternity as something most august; most august, too, is the Intellectual Kind; and there is no possibility of saying that the one is more majestic than the other, since no such degrees can be asserted in the Above-World; there is therefore a certain excuse for the identification - all the more since the Intellectual Substance and Eternity have the one scope and content.

Still; by the fact of representing the one as contained within the other, by making Eternity a predicate to the Intellectual Existents - "the Nature of the Exemplar," we read, "is eternal" - we cancel the identification; Eternity becomes a separate thing, something surrounding that Nature or lying within it or present to it. And the majestic quality of both does not prove them identical: it might be transmitted from the one to the other. So, too, Eternity and the Divine Nature envelop the same entities, yes; but not in the same way: the Divine may be thought of as enveloping parts, Eternity as embracing its content in an unbroken whole, with no implication of part, but merely from the fact that all eternal things are so by conforming to it.

May we, perhaps, identify Eternity with Repose-There as Time has been identified with Movement-Here?

This would bring on the counter-question whether Eternity is presented to us as Repose in the general sense or as the Repose that envelops the Intellectual Essence.

On the first supposition we can no more talk of Repose being eternal than of Eternity being eternal: to be eternal is to participate in an outside thing, Eternity.

Further, if Eternity is Repose, what becomes of Eternal Movement, which, by this identification, would become a thing of Repose?

Again, the conception of Repose scarcely seems to include that of perpetuity - I am speaking of course not of perpetuity in the time-order (which might follow on absence of movement) but of that which we have in mind when we speak of Eternity.

If, on the other hand, Eternity is identified with the Repose of the divine Essence, all species outside of the divine are put outside of Eternity.

Besides, the conception of Eternity requires not merely Repose but also unity - and, in order to keep it distinct from Time, a unity including interval - but neither that unity nor that absence of interval enters into the conception of Repose as such.

Lastly, this unchangeable Repose in unity is a predicate asserted of Eternity, which, therefore, is not itself Repose, the absolute, but a participant in Repose.


[1Cf. Aristóteles, Física, Theta 10, 218 b1.

[2Cf. Platón, Timeo 37 c-d

[3O mejor, la continuidad (adiatasia).

[4Cf. Platón, Timeo, 37 d.