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Plotino - Tratado 30,6 (III, 8, 6) — Todas as atividades da alma são contemplações

Enéada III, 8, 6

terça-feira 17 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulos 5-6: A alma por inteiro contempla

  • Cap. 5,1-17 A parte superior da alma contempla
  • Cap. 5,17-cap. 6 Todas as atividades da alma são contemplações

Míguez

6. La acción se realiza, pues, en vista de la contemplación y del objeto a contemplar. De modo que la contemplación es el fin de toda acción, y andamos realmente inciertos alrededor de lo que no podemos aprehender directamente, pero tratando, con todo, de apropiárnoslo. Es así que cuando alcanzamos lo que queremos, hacemos la comprobación de nuestro deseo, que no era precisamente el desconocimiento, sino el conocimiento de este objeto, esto es, su visión presente por el alma, y es claro que desearíamos colocarlo en nosotros para contemplarlo.

Actuamos, indudablemente, en vista del bien. Pero obramos así no para que el bien quede fuera de nosotros y de nuestra posesión, sino para poseer este bien como consecuencia de nuestra acción. Mas, ¿dónde podremos encontrarlo:1 En el alma. Porque el alma es llevada a la contemplación por medio de la acción; y si verdaderamente es una razón, ¿qué otra cosa puede recibir sino una razón que mantiene silencio, y que lo mantiene tanto más cuanto más razón es? Entonces el alma se tranquiliza y no busca nada más, porque se siente ya colmada. La contemplación que se da en ella, nadie más que ella confía en poseerla. Esta fe suya es tanto más clara cuanto más tranquila es la contemplación y más unidad introduce en el alma, pues si la parte con la que el alma conoce forma una sola cosa con el objeto conocido, el asunto ya parece más serio. Si, en cambio, fuesen dos cosas, el sujeto y el objeto serían distintos, como colocados el uno al lado del otro, de manera que el alma no los habría asimilado. Tal es lo que ocurre cuando ella tiene en sí misma razones que no actúan, por lo que conviene que toda razón no sea exterior a nosotros, sino que se una íntimamente a nuestra alma hasta alcanzar una unidad con ella. Así, pues, en el momento en que el alma se asimila esas nociones y se pone en parangón con ellas, obtiene algún provecho y preparación: conoce, al menos, lo que ya poseía de antemano y, al tratarlo, se vuelve realmente distinta, viendo reflexivamente aquellas nociones como algo diferente de ella misma. Como quiera que sea, el alma es una razón y, en cierto modo también, una inteligencia, pero una inteligencia que ve algo distinto de ella. Esto es así, porque el alma no posee la plenitud y se muestra inferior a lo que le antecede. Sin embargo, ve tranquilamente todo lo que declara, pues no se atreve a declarar lo que antes no ha visto de algún modo. Digamos, además, que si declara algo, esto es una muestra de su inferioridad, porque, para aprender lo que sabe, ha debido entregarse a la investigación. En la práctica acomodamos lo que sabemos a las cosas exteriores.

Al poseer el alma más nociones que la naturaleza se muestra también más tranquila que ésta y más deseosa de la contemplación. Pero como este deseo nunca es completo, aspira siempre a aumentar su instrucción y su contemplación valiéndose a tal efecto de la investigación. Es así como abandona la contemplación y se inserta en las cosas, volviendo luego hacia atrás y contemplando por esa parte que ella había dejado. Cosa que no hace, verdaderamente, el alma que permanece en sí misma, y de ahí que el hombre sabio saque de sí mismo lo que descubre a los demás, porque es hacia sí mismo a donde mira. No sólo tiende a ser uno y a mantenerse alejado de las cosas exteriores, sino que se vuelve a sí mismo y encuentra en su interior todas las cosas.

Bouillet

VI. Ainsi tout dérive de la contemplation, tout est contemplation, les êtres véritables, et les êtres que ceux-ci engendrent en se livrant à la contemplation et qui sont eux-mêmes des objets de contemplation soit pour la sensation, soit pour la connaissance ou l’opinion (22). Les actions ont pour fin la connaissance ; le désir l’a également pour fin. La génération a pour principe la spéculation et aboutit à la production d’une forme, c’est-à-dire d’un objet de contemplation. En général, tous les êtres qui sont des images des principes générateurs produisent des formes et des objets de contemplation. Les substances engendrées, étant des imitations des êtres, montrent que les principes générateurs ont pour but, non la génération ni l’action, mais la production d’œuvres qui soient elles-mêmes contemplées. C’est à la contemplation qu’aspirent la pensée discursive, et, au-dessous d’elle, la sensation, qui toutes deux ont pour fin la connaissance. Enfin, au-dessous de la pensée discursive et de la sensation, il y a la nature qui, portant en elle-même un objet de contemplation, une raison [séminale], produit une autre raison [la forme visible] (23). Telles sont les vérités qui sont évidentes par elles-mêmes ou qu’on peut démontrer par le raisonnement. Il est clair d’ailleurs que, puisque les êtres intelligibles se livrent à la contemplation, tous les autres êtres doivent y aspirer : car le principe des êtres est aussi leur fin.

Quand les animaux engendrent, c’est que les raisons [séminales] agissent en eux. La génération est un acte de contemplation ; elle résulte du besoin de produire des formes multiples, des objets de contemplation, de remplir tout de raisons, de contempler sans cesse : engendrer, c’est produire une forme et faire pénétrer partout la contemplation (24). Les défauts qui se rencontrent dans les choses engendrées ou faites de main d’homme ne sont que des fautes de contemplation. Le mauvais artisan ressemble à celui qui produit de mauvaises formes. Les amants, enfin, doivent être comptés au nombre de ceux qui étudient les formes et qui, par conséquent, se livrent à la contemplation. En voici assez sur ce sujet.

Guthrie

PRACTICE IS ONLY A PREPARATION FOR CONTEMPLATION.

6. (5). The purpose of action is to contemplate, and to possess the contemplated object. Thz object or activity, therefore, is contemplation. It seeks to achieve indirectly what it is unable to accomplish directly. It is not otherwise when one has achieved the object of one’s desires. One’s real desire is not to possess the desired object without knowing it, but to know it more thoroughly, to present it to the sight of the soul, and to be able to contemplate it therein. Indeed, activity always has in view some good; one desires to posses it interiorly, to appropriate it, and to possess the result of one’s action. Now as Good can be possessed only by the soul, activity once more brings us back to contemplation. Since the soul is a "reason," what she is capable of possessing could be no more than a silent "reason," being so much the more silent as it is more a "reason," for perfect "reason" seeks nothing farther; it rests in the manifestation of that with which it is filled; the completer the manifestation, the calmer is the contemplation, and the more does it unite the soul. Speaking seriously, there is identity between knowing subject and known object in the actualization of knowledge. If they were not identical, they would be different, being alien to each other, without any real bond, just as reasons (are foreign to the soul) when they slumber within her, without being perceived. The reason must therefore not remain alien to the learning soul, but become united thereto, and become characteristic of her. Therefore when the soul has appropriated a "reason," and has familiarized herself therewith, the soul as it were draws it out of her (breast) to examine it. Thus she observes the thing that she (unconsciously) possessed, and by examining it, distinguishes herself therefrom, and by the conception she forms of it, considers it as something foreign to her; for though the soul herself be a "reason" and a kind of intelligence, nevertheless when she considers something, she considers it as something distinct from herself, because she does not possess the true fulness, and is defective in respect to her principle (which is intelligence). Besides, it is with calmness that she observes what she has drawn from within herself; for she does not draw from within herself anything of which she did not formerly have even a notion. But she only drew from within herself that of which her view was incomplete, and which she wished to know better. In her actualizations (such as sensation), she adapts the "reasons" she possesses to exterior objects. On one hand, as she possesses (the intelligible entities) better than does nature, she is also calmer and more contemplative; on the other hand, as she does not possess (the intelligible entities) perfectly, more (than intelligence) she desires to have direct experimental knowledge and contemplation of the object she contemplates. After having (temporarily) withdrawn from her own higher part, and having (by discursive reason) run through the series of differences, she returns to herself, and again gives herself up to contemplation by her higher part (intelligence) from which she had withdrawn (to observe the differences); for the higher part does not deal with differences, as it abides within herself. Consequently the wise mind is identical with reason, and in itself possesses what it manifests to others. It contemplates itself; it arrives at unity not only in respect to exterior objects, but also in respect to itself; it rests in this unity, and finds all things within itself.

MacKenna

6. Action, thus, is set towards contemplation and an object of contemplation, so that even those whose life is in doing have seeing as their object; what they have not been able to achieve by the direct path, they hope to come at by the circuit.

Further: suppose they succeed; they desired a certain thing to come about, not in order to be unaware of it but to know it, to see it present before the mind: their success is the laying up of a vision. We act for the sake of some good; this means not for something to remain outside ourselves, not in order that we possess nothing but that we may hold the good of the action. And hold it, where? Where but in the mind?

Thus once more, action is brought back to contemplation: for [mind or] Soul is a Reason-Principle and anything that one lays up in the Soul can be no other than a Reason-Principle, a silent thing, the more certainly such a principle as the impression made is the deeper.

This vision achieved, the acting instinct pauses; the mind is satisfied and seeks nothing further; the contemplation, in one so conditioned, remains absorbed within as having acquired certainty to rest upon. The brighter the certainty, the more tranquil is the contemplation as having acquired the more perfect unity; and - for now we come to the serious treatment of the subject-

In proportion to the truth with which the knowing faculty knows, it comes to identification with the object of its knowledge.

As long as duality persists, the two lie apart, parallel as it were to each other; there is a pair in which the two elements remain strange to one another, as when Ideal-Principles laid up in the mind or Soul remain idle.

Hence the Idea must not be left to lie outside but must be made one identical thing with the soul of the novice so that he finds it really his own.

The Soul, once domiciled within that Idea and brought to likeness with it, becomes productive, active; what it always held by its primary nature it now grasps with knowledge and applies in deed, so becoming, as it were, a new thing and, informed as it now is by the purely intellectual, it sees [in its outgoing act] as a stranger looking upon a strange world. It was, no doubt, essentially a Reason-Principle, even an Intellectual Principle; but its function is to see a [lower] realm which these do not see.

For, it is a not a complete thing: it has a lack; it is incomplete in regard to its Prior; yet it, also, has a tranquil vision of what it produces. What it has once brought into being it produces no more, for all its productiveness is determined by this lack: it produces for the purpose of Contemplation, in the desire of knowing all its content: when there is question of practical things it adapts its content to the outside order.

The Soul has a greater content than Nature has and therefore it is more tranquil; it is more nearly complete and therefore more contemplative. It is, however, not perfect, and is all the more eager to penetrate the object of contemplation, and it seeks the vision that comes by observation. It leaves its native realm and busies itself elsewhere; then it returns, and it possesses its vision by means of that phase of itself from which it had parted. The self-indwelling Soul inclines less to such experiences.

The Sage, then, is the man made over into a Reason-Principle: to others he shows his act but in himself he is Vision: such a man is already set, not merely in regard to exterior things but also within himself, towards what is one and at rest: all his faculty and life are inward-bent.