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ENÉADAS

Plotino - Tratado 45,12 (III, 7, 12) — A temporalidade do mundo sensível

Enéada III, 7, 12

sábado 21 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

  • Cap 12, 1-15: Se a alma não tivesse deixado o mundo inteligível, não haveria tempo
  • Cap 12, 15-22: A temporalidade do mundo sensível decorre da descida da alma, cujo ato é o tempo
  • Cap 12, 22 a cap 13, 9: Interpretação do Timeu   38b-39d, de acordo com o que precede: o movimento do céu não é o tempo mas somente uma medida do tempo, que o torna visível

Míguez

12. Debemos pensar la naturaleza del tiempo como un avance progresivo de la vida del alma según cambios uniformes y semejantes entre sí. Este avance tiene lugar silenciosamente, por la misma continuidad de la acción del alma. Pero hagamos de nuevo, mentalmente, que la potencia del alma remonte a lo inteligible y detengamos por un momento esa vida que no puede cesar ni concluir, siendo como es, no un acto del alma que se dirige hacia ella o está en ella, sino más bien algo que se da en la producción y en la generación. Si damos por supuesto que no actúa y que ese mismo acto se detiene; si suponemos también que aquella parte del alma vuelve a lo inteligible, a la eternidad y a la permanencia inmóvil, ¿qué habría entonces después de la eternidad? ¿Cómo explicar que las cosas sean distintas sí todas ellas permanecen en la unidad? ¿Por qué, pues, la anterioridad y, con mayor motivo, la posterioridad? ¿A qué otra cosa se lanzaría el alma sino a lo inteligible en lo que ya está? Mejor aún: ni aquí podría dirigirse, porqiie para ello tendría que alejarse de lo inteligible. Ni siquiera la esfera celeste tendría razón de existir, porque no podría hacerlo antes del tiempo en el cual ella es y, además, se mueve. Y, aunque dijésemos que se detenía, su reposo sólo podría ser medido con la actuación del alma y en tanto ésta permaneciese fuera de la eternidad.

Como el tiempo queda destruido cuando el alma se dirige a. lo inteligible, es claro que tiene su principio en el’ movimiento del alma hacia las cosas sensibles y en la vida que entonces comienza. Dice por ello (Platón  ) que "el tiempo nació con este universo" [1], porque el alma lo engendró juntamente con el universo. El universo fue producido, pues, en un acto que identificamos con el tiempo; es el tiempo y se da en el tiempo. Y si se arguye que, para (Platón  ), los movimientos de los astros son tiempos, recuérdese también que para él los astros fueron engendrados para dar razón del tiempo, esto es, "para hacer posible su división y evidente su medida" [2]. Como no se puede delimitar el tiempo con -el alma, ni medir por sí misma cada una de sus partes, ya que el tiempo es invisible e inaprensible y no existe todavía posibilidad de contar, el ’alma ’produce la noche y el día" [3]; tomando como base esta diferenciación surge entonces la idea del dos, y por ella, añade también (Platón  ), se origina la noción del número [4]. Hay un intervalo entre la salida y la puesta del sol con el que corresponde un intervalo igual de tiempo, porque el movimiento del sol, en el que nosotros nos apoyamos, es un movimiento uniforme del que nos servimos para medir el tiempo. Y si medimos el tiempo, es claro que éste no es medida, pues, ¿cómo podría medir? ¿Cómo podría decir, por ejemplo, tal intervalo es tan grande como yo? Sin embargo, según él se realiza la medida, y él mismo existe para medir aun no siendo una medida. El movimiento del universo se mide en relación al tiempo, pero el tiempo no es una medida del movimiento, sino, fundamentalmente, otra cosa, haciendo sólo manifiesta, por accidente, la cantidad del movimiento. Si tomamos un movimiento único, en un determinado tiempo y contamos repetidamente este movimiento, llegaremos a alcanzar la noción del tiempo transcurrido desde el punto inicial del movimiento; de modo que no estaría fuera de lugar el decir que el movimiento y la revolución del sol miden la dimensión del tiempo, porque ésta, con su propia cantidad, nos da a conocer la cantidad de tiempo transcurrido, la cual no se puede aprehender ni darse de otra manera. El tiempo resulta, pues, medido; esto es, queda manifiesto por la revolución del sol, pero no es engendrado por esta revolución sino sólo conocido por ella. Así, la medida del movimiento viene a ser el intervalo medido por un movimiento determinado. Y es medido por el movimiento pero no constituye el movimiento. Porque en tanto mide otra cosa no es ya lo que era en el momento de ser medido, debiendo considerarlo medido por accidente. Hablar de este modo es como si, tratando de definir la magnitud, se dijese que es el espacio medido por un codo, sin llegar a decir lo que ella misma es. O como sí, no pudiendo demostrar lo que es el movimiento en sí mismo por su carácter de ilimitado, se afirmase que es medido por el espacio recorrido; porque al tomar el espacio recorrido por el movimiento, diríamos también que la cantidad del movimiento es igual a ese espacio.

Bouillet

XII. La révolution de la sphère universelle nous amène donc à connaître le temps, dans lequel elle s’accomplit. Non-seulement le temps est ce dans quoi [toutes choses deviennent], mais il faut encore qu’antérieurement à toutes choses il soit ce qu’il est, ce dans quoi tout se meut ou se repose avec ordre et uniformité (65) ce qui est découvert et manifesté à notre intelligence, mais non engendré par le mouvement et le repos régulier, surtout par le mouvement. Le mouvement en effet nous amène mieux que le repos à concevoir le temps, et il est plus facile d’apprécier la durée du mouvement que celle du repos. C’est ce qui a conduit des philosophes à définir le temps la mesure du mouvement, au lieu de dire, ce qui était probablement leur pensée, que le temps est mesuré par le mouvement (66). Il faut donc ajouter ce qu’est en soi la chose mesurée par le mouvement, et ne pas se bornera énoncer ce qui ne lui convient que par accident, surtout ne pas regarder cette définition comme adéquate. Peut-être ces philosophes n’ont-ils pas eux-mêmes regardé cette définition comme adéquate. Quant à nous, nous ne nous sommes pas aperçu que telle fût leur opinion, et, comme ils ont évidemment placé la mesure dans la chose mesurée, nous n’avons pu comprendre leur doctrine. Ce qui nous a empêché de les comprendre, c’est que, s’adressant sans doute à des personnes instruites de leur doctrine ou à des auditeurs bien préparés, ils n’expliquent pas dans leurs écrits en quoi consiste le temps considéré en lui-même, s’il est la mesure ou la chose mesurée. Quant à Platon   lui-même, il dit, non que le temps a pour essence d’être une mesure ou d’être mesuré, mais que pour le faire connaître il y a dans le mouvement circulaire de l’univers un élément très-court [l’intervalle d’un jour] destiné à faire saisir la plus petite portion du temps (67) ; c’est par là que nous pouvons découvrir l’essence et la quantité du temps. Pour nous en indiquer l’essence, Platon   dit qu’il est né avec le ciel et qu’il est l’image mobile de l’éternité (68). Le temps est mobile, parce qu’il n’a pas plus de permanence que la vie de l’Âme universelle, qu’il passe et s’écoule avec elle; il est né avec le ciel, parce que c’est une seule et même vie qui produit à la fois le ciel et le temps. Si, en admettant que cela fût possible, la vie de l’Âme était ramenée à l’unité [de l’Intelligence], aussitôt cesseraient d’être le temps, qui n’existe que dans cette vie, et le ciel, qui n’existe que par elle (69).

Si, considérant l’antérieur et le postérieur de ce mouvement et de cette vie inférieure, on affirmait que c’est là le temps, on tomberait dans le ridicule en admettant d’un côté que [l’antérieur et le postérieur de cette vie sensible] sont quelque chose, et en refusant d’un autre côté de reconnaître comme quelque chose de réel un mouvement plus vrai, qui renferme en soi l’antérieur et le postérieur. En effet, ce serait accorder à un mouvement inanimé le privilège de contenir en soi l’antérieur avec le postérieur, c’est-à-dire le temps, elle refuser au mouvement [de l’Âme], dont le mouvement de la sphère universelle n’est qu’une image. C’est cependant du mouvement [propre à l’Âme] que sont émanés primitivement l’antérieur et le postérieur, parce que ce mouvement est efficace par lui-même ; en produisant tous ses actes, il engendre la succession, et, en même temps qu’il engendre la succession, il produit le passage d’un acte à un autre.

Pourquoi ramenons-nous le mouvement de l’univers au mouvement [de l’Âme] qui l’embrasse, et avouons-nous qu’il est dans le temps, tandis que nous ne plaçons pas dans le temps le mouvement de l’Âme, lequel subsiste en lui-même, et passe perpétuellement d’un acte à un autre ? C’est qu’au-dessus de l’action de l’Âme il n’y a que l’éternité, qui ne partage pas son mouvement ni son extension. Ainsi, le mouvement premier [de l’Intelligence] aboutit au temps, l’engendre, et le fait durer par son action.

Comment donc le temps est-il présent partout ? C’est que la vie de l’Âme est présente dans toutes les parties du monde, comme la vie de notre âme est présente dans toutes les parties de notre corps. Objectera-t-on que le temps ne constitue pas une substance ni une existence réelle (70), qu’il est un mensonge par rapporta l’Être, comme nous disons que les expressions : il était, il sera, sont un mensonge par rapport à Dieu ; car il était et il sera sont comme ce dans quoi on dit qu’il sera. Pour répondre à ces objections, il faut suivre une autre méthode. Il suffit ici de rappeler ce qui a été dit plus haut, savoir, qu’en voyant combien s’est avancé un homme qui est en mouvement, on voit par là même quelle est la quantité du mouvement, et que, lorsqu’on apprécie le mouvement par la marche, on conçoit en même temps qu’avant la marche le mouvement avait dans cet homme une quantité déterminée, puisqu’il a fait avancer son corps de telle ou telle quantité. Le corps étant mû pendant une quantité déterminée de temps, on ramènera sa quantité à telle quantité de mouvement (car c’est ce mouvement qui en est la cause), et à la quantité de temps qui lui est propre. Nous rapporterons ensuite ce mouvement au mouvement de l’Âme, qui par son action uniforme produit l’intervalle du temps (71).

A quoi rapporterons-nous le mouvement de l’Âme lui-même ? A quelque chose que nous le rapportions, nous arriverons à trouver un principe indivisible, savoir, le mouvement premier, celui qui contient tous les autres dans sa durée et qui n’est contenu par aucun (72) : car il ne peut être embrassé par rien ; il est donc véritablement premier. Il en est de même pour l’Âme universelle.

Le temps est-il aussi en nous (73) ? Il est présent uniformément dans l’Âme universelle et dans les âmes particulières qui sont unies toutes ensemble (74). Le temps n’est donc pas divisé entre les âmes, pas plus que l’éternité n’est divisée entre les essences, qui à cet égard sont toutes uniformes entre elles (75).

Guthrie

TIME IS MEASURED BY MOVEMENT, AND IN THAT SENSE IT IS THE MEASURE OF MOVEMENT.

12. (13). The revolution of the universal Sphere leads us therefore to the recognition of time, within which it occurs. Not only is time that in which (all things "become," that is, grow), but time has to be what it is even before all things, being that within which everything moves, or rests with order and uniformity. This is discovered and manifested to our intelligence, but not produced by regular movement and rest, especially by movement. Better than rest, indeed, does movement lead us to a conception of time, and it is either to appreciate the duration of movement than that of rest. That is what led philosophers to define time as the measure "of" movement, instead of saying, what probably lay within their intention, that time is measured "by" movement. Above all, we must not consider that definition as adequate, adding to it that which the measured entity is in itself, not limiting ourselves to express what applies to it only incidentally. Neither did we ever discern that such was their meaning, and we were unable to understand their teachings as they evidently posited the measure in the measured entity. No doubt that which hindered us from understanding them was that they were addressing their teachings to learned (thinkers), or well prepared listeners, and therefore, in their writings, they failed to explain the nature of time considered in itself, whether it be measure or something measured.

PLATO   DOES MAKE SOME STATEMENTS THAT ALLOW OF BEING JUSTIFIED.

Plato   himself, indeed, does say, not that the nature of time is to be a measure or something measured, but that to make it known there is, in the circular movement of the universe, a very short element (the interval of a day), whose object is to demonstrate the smallest portion of time, through which we are enabled to discover the nature and quantity of time. In order to indicate to us its nature ("being"), (Plato  ) says that it was born with the heavens, and that it is the mobile image of eternity. Time is mobile because it has no more permanence than the life of the universal Soul, because it passes on and flows away therewith; it is born with the heavens, because it is one and the same life that simultaneously produces the heavens and time. If, granting its possibility, the life of the Soul were reduced to the unity (of the Intelligence), there would be an immediate cessation of time, which exists only in this life, and the heavens, which exist only through this life.

TIME AS THE PRIOR AND POSTERIOR OF THE MOVEMENT OF THIS LIFE WOULD BE ABSURD.

The theory that time is the priority and posteriority of this (earthly) movement, and of this inferior life, is ridiculous in that it would imply on one hand that (the priority and posteriority of this sense-life) are something; and on the other, refusing to recognize as something real a truer movement, which includes both priority and posteriority. It would, indeed, amount to attributing to an inanimate movement the privilege of containing within itself priority with posteriority, that is, time; while refusing it to the movement (of the Soul), whose movement of the universal Sphere is no more than an image. Still it is from the movement (of the Soul) that originally emanated priority and posteriority, because this movement is efficient by itself. By producing all its actualizations it begets succession, and, at the same time that it begets succession, it produces the passing from one actualization to another.

THE PRIMARY MOVEMENT OF INTELLIGENCE THE INFORMING POWER OF TIME.

(Some objector might ask) why we reduce the movement of the universe to the movement of the containing Soul, and admit that she is within time, while we exclude from time the (universal) Soul’s movement, which subsists within her, and perpetually passes from one actualization to another? The reason is that above the activity of the Soul there exists nothing but eternity, which shares neither her movement nor her extension. Thus the primary movement (of Intelligence) finds its goal in time, begets it, and by its activity informs its duration.

WHY TIME IS PRESENT EVERYWHERE; POLEMIC AGAINST ANTIPHANES AND CRITOLAUS.

How then is time present everywhere? The life of the Soul is present in all parts of the world, as the life of our soul is present in all parts of our body. It may indeed be objected, that time constitutes neither a hypostatic substance, nor a real existence, being, in respect to existence, a deception, just as we usually say that the expressions "He was" and "He will be" are a deception in respect to the divinity; for then He will be and was just as is that, in which, according to his assertion, he is going to be.

To answer these objections, we shall have to follow a different method. Here it suffices to recall what was said above, namely, that by seeing how far a man in motion has advanced, we can ascertain the quantity of the movement; and that, when we discern movement by walking, we simultaneously concede that, before the walking, movement in that man was indicated by a definite quantity, since it caused his body to progress by some particular quantity. As the body was moved during a definite quantity of time, its quantity can be expressed by some particular quantity of movement-for this is the movement that causes it-and to its suitable quantity of time. Then this movement will be applied to the movement of the soul, which, by her uniform action, produces the interval of time.

THE MOVEMENT OF THE SOUL IS ATTRIBUTED TO THE PRIMARY MOVEMENT.

To what shall the movement of the (universal) Soul be attributed? To whatever we may choose to attribute it. This will always be some indivisible principle, such as primary Motion, which within its duration contains all the others, and is contained by none other; for it cannot be contained by anything; it is therefore genuinely primary. The same obtains with the universal Soul.

APPROVAL OF ARISTOTLE  : TIME IS ALSO WITHIN US.

Is time also within us? It is uniformly present in the universal Soul, and in the individual souls that are all united together. Time, therefore, is not parcelled out among the souls, any more than eternity is parcelled out among the (Entities in the intelligible world) which, in this respect, are all mutually uniform.

Taylor

XII. Circulation, therefore, renders time in which it is performed manifest. It is necessary, however, that time should no longer alone be that in which something is performed, but that prior to this it should be what it is, namely, that in which other things are moved and at rest, in an equable and orderly manner; and that from a certain thing of an orderly nature, it should become apparent, and shine forth to our conceptions, yet not be generated by this thing, whether it is at rest, or in motion. It becomes, however, more apparent when this thing is in motion. For motion contributes more to the knowledge, and transition to the nature of time than rest. And the quantity of the motion of a thing is more known than the quantity of its rest. Hence [some philosophers] have been induced to say that time is the measure of motion, instead of saying that it is measured by motion. In the next place, it is requisite to add what that is which is measured by motion, and not to adduce that which accidentally takes place about it, and this alternately. Perhaps, however, they do not intend to say that this takes place alternately, and we do not understand their meaning; but they clearly asserting that time is a measure according to that which is measured, we do not apprehend their conceptions on this subject. The cause, however, why we do not, is because they have not clearly shown in their writings what time is, whether it is a measure, or that which is measured, as if they were writing to those who were acquainted with their opinions, and to their auditors. Plato  , indeed, does not say that the essence of time is either a measure, or that which is measured by something, but asserts in order to render it manifest, that the circulation [of the universe] is allotted something which is the smallest [i.e. the centre,] for the purpose of unfolding the smallest part of time; so that from hence both the quality and quantity of time may be known. "Wishing, however, to manifest the essence of time, he says that it was generated together with the universe, and that it is a moveable image of its paradigm eternity; because neither does time remain, life not remaining, in conjunction with which it runs and is convolved. But he says, it was generated together with the universe, because such a life as this produced the universe, and one life fabricated both the world and time. If, therefore, this life could be converted into one, time which exists in this life would immediately cease, and also the universe, in consequence of no longer possessing this life.

If, however, some one assuming the prior and posterior of the life which is here, should assert this to be time, because this is something, but that the more true motion which has prior and posterior is not any thing, his assertion would be most absurd. For he would ascribe to inanimate motion the prior and posterior, and also time together with it, but he would not grant this to the motion through the imitation of which the inferior motion exists; though from this superior motion prior and posterior primarily subsist, since it is a self-operative motion. As, likewise, it generates its several energies, thus too it produces that which is successive, and together with the generation a transition of energies. Why, therefore, do we refer this motion of the universe to the comprehension of the more true motion, and assert that it is in time, but do not refer to this the motion of soul which subsists in itself, and proceeds in a perpetual course? Shall we say it is because that which is prior to it is eternity, which neither runs in conjunction, nor is co-extended with this motion ? This first motion, therefore, is referred to time which also it generates, and which together with its own energy it possesses. How, therefore, is time every where ? Because this life and motion are not absent from any part of the world, as neither does the life which is in us desert any part of us. If, however, some one should say that time consists in a non-hypostasis, or non-hyparxis, for we are deceived about its essence, in the same manner as when we say of God that he was or will be; for thus he will be and was in the same manner as that in which it is said he will be [i.e. in the same manner as time] ; to assertions of this kind there belongs another mode of discussion. With respect to all that has been said, however, it is necessary to observe, that when any one assumes the quantity of space passed over by a man that is moved, he also assumes the quantity of the motion, and when he assumes the quantity of the motion, such for instance as is produced in walking, he directs his attention to the boundary of motion existing in the man prior to this motion, in order that he may judge whether he has walked to the full extent of this boundary. And the body, indeed, which has been moved in so much time, he refers to so much motion ; for this is the cause of its being moved; and to the time of this motion. But he refers this motion of the body to the motion of the soul which produced an equality of interval. To what, therefore, will he refer the motion of the soul ? For that whatever it may be to which he may wish to refer it, will be now without interval. Hence, this subsists primarily, and is that in which the rest are contained; but it is itself no longer contained in any thing else. For there is not any thing by which it can be contained. This, therefore, is primarily; and the like takes place in the soul of the universe. Is then time in us also ? May we not say that it is in every such soul, that it subsists uniformly in every similar soul, and that all of them are [in a certain respect] one? Hence, time will not be divulsed, since neither is eternity, which according to another characteristic is in all uniform natures.

MacKenna

12. We are brought thus to the conception of a Natural-Principle - Time - a certain expanse [a quantitative phase] of the Life of the Soul, a principle moving forward by smooth and uniform changes following silently upon each other - a Principle, then, whose Act is sequent.

But let us conceive this power of the Soul to turn back and withdraw from the life-course which it now maintains, from the continuous and unending activity of an ever-existent soul not self-contained or self-intent but concerned about doing and engendering: imagine it no longer accomplishing any Act, setting a pause to this work it has inaugurated; let this outgoing phase of the Soul become once more, equally with the rest, turned to the Supreme, to Eternal Being, to the tranquilly stable.

What would then exist but Eternity?

All would remain in unity; how could there be any diversity of things? What Earlier or Later would there be, what long-lasting or short-lasting? What ground would lie ready to the Soul’s operation but the Supreme in which it has its Being? Or, indeed, what operative tendency could it have even to That since a prior separation is the necessary condition of tendency?

The very sphere of the Universe would not exist; for it cannot antedate Time: it, too, has its Being and its Movement in Time; and if it ceased to move, the Soul-Act [which is the essence of Time] continuing, we could measure the period of its Repose by that standard outside it.

If, then, the Soul withdrew, sinking itself again into its primal unity, Time would disappear: the origin of Time, clearly, is to be traced to the first stir of the Soul’s tendency towards the production of the sensible universe with the consecutive act ensuing. This is how "Time" - as we read - "came into Being simultaneously" with this All: the Soul begot at once the Universe and Time; in that activity of the Soul this Universe sprang into being; the activity is Time, the Universe is a content of Time. No doubt it will be urged that we read also of the orbit of the Stars being Times": but do not forget what follows; "the stars exist," we are told, "for the display and delimitation of Time," and "that there may be a manifest Measure." No indication of Time could be derived from [observation of] the Soul; no portion of it can be seen or handled, so it could not be measured in itself, especially when there was as yet no knowledge of counting; therefore the Soul brings into being night and day; in their difference is given Duality - from which, we read, arises the concept of Number.

We observe the tract between a sunrise and its return and, as the movement is uniform, we thus obtain a Time-interval upon which to measure ourselves, and we use this as a standard. We have thus a measure of Time. Time itself is not a measure. How would it set to work? And what kind of thing is there of which it could say, "I find the extent of this equal to such and such a stretch of my own extent?" What is this "I"? Obviously something by which measurement is known. Time, then, serves towards measurement but is not itself the Measure: the Movement of the All will be measured according to Time, but Time will not, of its own Nature, be a Measure of Movement: primarily a Kind to itself, it will incidentally exhibit the magnitudes of that movement.

And the reiterated observation of Movement - the same extent found to be traversed in such and such a period - will lead to the conception of a definite quantity of Time past.

This brings us to the fact that, in a certain sense, the Movement, the orbit of the universe, may legitimately be said to measure Time - in so far as that is possible at all - since any definite stretch of that circuit occupies a certain quantity of Time, and this is the only grasp we have of Time, our only understanding of it: what that circuit measures - by indication, that is - will be Time, manifested by the Movement but not brought into being by it.

This means that the measure of the Spheric Movement has itself been measured by a definite stretch of that Movement and therefore is something different; as measure, it is one thing and, as the measured, it is another; [its being measure or] its being measured cannot be of its essence.

We are no nearer knowledge than if we said that the foot-rule measures Magnitude while we left the concept Magnitude undefined; or, again, we might as well define Movement - whose limitlessness puts it out of our reach - as the thing measured by Space; the definition would be parallel since we can mark off a certain space which the Movement has traversed and say the one is equivalent to the other.


[1Cf. Platón, Timeo, 38 b.

[2Cf. Platón, Timeo, 38 c.

[3Continuación de la cita anterior.

[4Cf. Aristóteles, Física, Δ 12, 220 b, 13-14.