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Plotino - Tratado 30,8 (III, 8, 8) — O intelecto é a primeira contemplação vivente

Enéada III, 8, 8

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

Capítulo 8-11: O Intelecto contempla o Uno.

  • Cap. 8 O Intelecto é a primeira contemplação viva, desdobrada desde o Uno
  • Cap. 9,1-39 Como o Intelecto contempla
  • Cap. 9,39-cap. 10 O Uno é princípio e poder de todas as coisas
  • Cap. 11 O Intelecto deseja e alcança o Bem

Míguez

8. Pero ya se ha dicho bastante sobre esto. La contemplación asciende de la naturaleza al alma y de ésta a la inteligencia, uniéndose cada vez más íntimamente a los seres que contempla. En el alma virtuosa los objetos conocidos se identifican con el sujeto que conoce, porque aquélla quiere alcanzar la inteligencia. Está claro que en la inteligencia ambas cosas son una misma, y no por una especie de unión, como ocurriría en la mejor de las almas, sino por un acto sustancial en virtud del cual "pensar y ser son una y la misma cosa". No hay allí un sujeto y un objeto, pues en este caso existiría todavía por encima de la inteligencia una realidad donde no se diese esta diferencia. Convendrá, pues, que en la inteligencia esas dos cosas sean realmente una: se trata de la viva contemplación, cuyo objeto no se halla fuera de ella. Porque sí se hallase en otra cosa, sería entonces algo vivo, pero que no cuenta con vida propia. Convengamos que si el objeto contemplado por la inteligencia debe vivir, su vida no será como la vida de la planta, o del animal, o de cualquier otro ser animado. Digamos que estas vidas son pensamientos distintos; así, por ejemplo, se da un pensamiento de la planta, un pensamiento del animal dotado de sensación y un pensamiento del ser animado. Pero, ¿cómo hablar aquí de pensamientos? Sin duda, porque se trata de razones. Pues toda vida es un pensamiento, un pensamiento que puede ir haciéndose más oscuro, como la vida misma. Sin embargo, aquella vida es la que se ofrece más clara; se trata de la vida primera y de la inteligencia primera, que son una y la misma cosa.

La vida primera es, pues, el pensamiento primero; la vida segunda es el pensamiento segundo y, en fin, la última vida es el último de los pensamientos. Toda vida entra en el género del pensamiento y es, naturalmente, un pensamiento. Pero tal vez ios hombres asignen a la vida grados diferentes que, en cambio, no atribuyen al pensamiento; y así estiman que unas vidas son pensamientos y que otras no lo son, lo cual quiere decir que no buscan en realidad lo que es la vida. Ello nos hace afirmar una vez más, y de pasada, que todos los seres son contemplaciones. Si la vida más verdadera es la vida por e] pensamiento, y si esta misma vida es idéntica al pensamiento más verdadero, dedúcese de aquí que el pensamiento más verdadero es una vida y que la contemplación y el objeto de la contemplación son también realidades vivas y vidas y, mejor, una y la misma vida.

Mas, ¿cómo explicar estas dos cosas en una unidad y cómo imaginarse esta unidad múltiple? Esto es debido a que la inteligencia no contempla un solo objeto, pues incluso cuando contempla el ser uno, no lo contempla como un solo objeto; si así no fuese, la inteligencia no sería engendrada. Verdaderamente, ella comienza por un objeto, pero no permanece en él, sino que, sin apenas darse cuenta, se hace múltiple, adquiere pesadez y empieza a girar sobre sí misma como queriendo poseer todos los seres, (Cosa que mejor le sería no querer, porque con este deseo se vuelve el segundo principio). Desplegándose, pues, a la manera de un círculo, adquiere el carácter de figura» de superficie, de circunferencia, de centro, de línea, que comporta un arriba y un abajo, esto es, un lugar mejor, que es aquel de donde parten las líneas, y un lugar peor, que representa el lugar a donde se dirigen. Porque el centro no es identificable con la totalidad del centro y de la circunferencia, y esta totalidad, a su vez, no concuerda con el verdadero centro. Dicho de otro modo, la inteligencia no es el pensamiento de una sola cosa, sino que es un todo; pero, al ser un todo, es también el pensamiento de todas las cosas. Conviene, por tanto, que sea todos los seres, pero que cada una de sus partes los contenga asimismo a todos y sea a la vez todos ellos; si así no fuese, habría una parte de la inteligencia que no sería inteligencia y ésta contendría partes no inteligentes. La inteligencia misma semejaría un cúmulo de partes reunidas que, para llegar a ser tal inteligencia, necesitaría del concurso de todas las partes. De ahí el carácter infinito de la inteligencia. Y, si algo proviene de ella, es claro que no resultará menoscabado, porque reúne todas las cosas, como tampoco lo será la propia inteligencia, de la que proviene, por no ser ésta un cúmulo de partes.

Bouillet

VIII. Telle est la nature de l’Intelligence. Elle n’occupe donc pas le premier rang. Il doit y avoir au-dessus d’elle un principe, que cette discussion a pour but de mettre en évidence. En effet, la pluralité est postérieure à l’unité : or l’Intelligence est un nombre; le nombre a pour principe l’unité, et le nombre qui constitue l’Intelligence a pour principe l’Unité absolue (30). L’Intelligence est à la fois intelligence et intelligible; elle est donc deux choses à la fois.

Si elle est deux choses, cherchons ce qui est antérieur à cette dualité. Quel est ce principe ? l’intelligence seule ? mais à l’intelligence est toujours lié l’intelligible : si le principe que nous cherchons ne peut être lié à l’intelligible, il ne sera pas non plus l’Intelligence. S’il n’est pas l’intelligence, s’il échappe à la dualité, il doit lui être supérieur, par conséquent être au-dessus de l’intelligence. Sera-t-il l’intelligible seul ? mais nous avons déjà vu que l’intelligible est inséparable de l’intelligence. Si ce principe n’est ni l’intelligence, ni l’intelligible, que peut-il être? Il est le principe dont dérivent l’intelligence et l’intelligible qui est lié à celle-ci (31).

Mais qu’est-il et comment devons-nous nous le représenter ? Il doit ou être intelligent ou n’être pas intelligent. S’il est intelligent, il sera aussi intelligence. S’il n’est pas intelligent, il s’ignorera lui-même et il semblera n’être rien de vénérable. Dire qu’il est le Bien même, qu’il est absolument simple, ce n’est pas encore énoncer une chose claire et évidente (quoiqu’elle soit vraie), puisque nous n’avons pas encore un objet sur lequel nous puissions attacher notre pensée quand nous en parlons. En outre, puisque c’est par l’intelligence et dans l’intelligence qu’a lieu la connaissance des autres objets chez tous les êtres qui peuvent connaître quelque chose d’intelligent, par quelle intuition (ἐπιβολῇ ἀθρόᾳ (32)) saisirons -nous ce principe qui est supérieur à l’intelligence î Par ce qui lui ressemble en nous, répondrons-nous : car il y a en nous quelque chose de lui (33); ou plutôt, il est dans toutes les choses qui participent de lui. Partout où vous approchez du Bien, ce qui peut en participer en vous en reçoit quelque chose. Supposez qu’une, voix remplisse 228 un désert et les oreilles des hommes qui peuvent s’y trouver : en quelque endroit que vous prêtiez l’oreille à cette voix, vous la saisirez tout entière en un sens, non tout entière en un autre sens. Comment saisirons-nous donc quelque chose en approchant notre intelligence du Bien ? Pour voir là-haut (34) le principe qu’elle cherche, il faut que l’intelligence retourne pour ainsi dire en arrière, que, formant une dualité, elle se dépasse elle-même en quelque sorte (35), c’est-à-dire qu’elle cesse d’être l’intelligence de toutes les choses intelligibles. En effet, l’Intelligence est la vie première, l’acte de parcourir toutes choses, non [comme le fait l’Âme (36)] par un mouvement qui s’accomplit actuellement (διεξόδῳ διεξιούσῃi) (37), mais par un mouvement qui est toujours accompli et passé (διεξόδῳ διεξελθούσῃ) (38). Donc, si l’Intelligence est la vie, l’acte de parcourir toutes les choses, si elle possède toutes choses distinctement, sans confusion (sinon elle les posséderait d’une manière imparfaite et incomplète), elle doit nécessairement procéder d’un principe supérieur qui, au lieu d’être en mouvement, est le principe du Mouvement [par lequel l’Intelligence parcourt toutes choses], de la Vie, de l’Intelligence, enfin de toutes choses. Le principe de toutes choses ne saurait être toutes choses, il en est seulement l’origine. Il n’est lui-même ni toutes choses, ni une chose particulière, parce qu’il engendre tout; il n’est pas non plus multitude, parce qu’il est le principe de la multitude (39). En effet, ce qui engendre est toujours plus simple que ce qui est engendré. Donc, si ce principe engendre l’Intelligence, il est nécessairement plus simple que l’Intelligence. Si l’on croit qu’il est un et tout, il sera toutes choses parce qu’il est toutes choses à la fois, ou qu’il est chaque chose particulière. S’il est toutes choses à la fois, il sera postérieur à toutes choses; s’il est au contraire antérieur à toutes choses, il sera autre que toutes choses : car, si l’Un et toutes choses coexistaient, l’Un ne serait .pas principe ; il faut cependant que l’Un soit principe, qu’il existe antérieurement à toutes choses, pour que toutes choses en dérivent. Si l’on dit que l’Un est chaque chose particulière, il sera par là même identique à chaque chose particulière; il sera ensuite toutes choses à la fois, sans qu’il soit possible de rien discerner. Ainsi l’Un n’est aucune des choses particulières, il est antérieur à toutes choses.

Guthrie

THE DIFFERENT GRADES OF THOUGHT AND LIFE.

8. (7). Since contemplation rises by degrees, from nature to the Soul, from the Soul to Intelligence; and as within it thought becomes more and more (intimate or) interior, more and more united to the thinker; and as in the perfect Soul the things known are identical with the knower; and because they aspire to Intelligence, the subject must then evidently within Intelligence be identical with the object; not through any appropriation thereof, as the perfect Soul does indeed appropriate it, but because their essence ("being") is identical, because of the identity between thinking and being ("essence"). Within intelligence no longer do we have on one side the object, and on the other the subject; otherwise we would need another principle where this difference would no longer exist. Within it, then, these two things, the subject and the object, form but a single (entity). That is a living contemplation, and no longer an object of contemplation which seems to inhere in something else; for existence within a living being is not identical with living by oneself. Therefore if it is to be alive, the object of contemplation and of thought must be life itself, and not the life of plants, that of sensation, or psychic life. Those are different thoughts, the one being the thought of plants, the thought of sensation, and psychic thought. They are thoughts because they are "reasons."

"ALL BEINGS ARE CONTEMPLATIONS."

Every life is a thought which, like life itself, may be more or less true. The truest thought is also the first life; and the first life is identical with the first Intelligence. Consequently, the first degree of life is also the first degree of thought; the second degree of life is also the second degree of thought; and the third degree of life is also the third degree of thought. Therefore every life of this kind is a thought. Nevertheless it is humanly possible to define the differences of the various degrees of life without being able to set forth clearly those of thought; men will limit themselves to saying that some (of these degrees of thought) imply intelligence, while others exclude it, because they do not seek to penetrate the essence of life. We may observe that the remainder of the discussion brings us back to this proposition, that "all beings are contemplations." If the truest life be the life of thought, if the truest life and the life of thought be identical, then the truest thought must be alive. This contemplation is life, the object of this contemplation is a living being and life, and both form but one.

LIKE A CIRCLE, INTELLIGENCE IS INSEPARABLY SINGLE AND MANIFOLD.

Since both are identical, the unity that they form became manifold because it does not contemplate unity, or it does not contemplate unity so far as it isone;, otherwise it would not be intelligence. After having begun by being one, it ceased being one; unconsciously it became manifold as a result of the fruitful germs it contained. It developed to become all things, though it would have been better for it not to have desired this. Indeed, it thus became the second principle, as a circle which, by developing, becomes a figure and a surface, whose circumference, centre, and rays are distinct, occupying different points. The origin of things is better than their goal. The origin is not equivalent to the origin and goal, and that which is both origin and goal is not identical with that which is no more than origin. In other words, intelligence itself is not the intelligence of a single thing, but universal intelligence; being universal, it is the intelligence of all things. If then intelligence be universal Intelligence, and the intelligence of all things, then each of its parts must also be universal, also possess all things. Otherwise, intelligence would contain a part that was not intelligence; intelligence would be composed of non-intelligences; and it would resemble a conglomeration of things which would form an intelligence only by their union. Thus intelligence is infinite. When something proceeds from it, there is no weakening; neither for the things that proceed from it, for this is also all things, nor for the intelligence from which the thing proceeds, because it is not a summation of parts.

MacKenna

8. From this basis we proceed:

In the advancing stages of Contemplation rising from that in Nature, to that in the Soul and thence again to that in the Intellectual-Principle itself - the object contemplated becomes progressively a more and more intimate possession of the Contemplating Beings, more and more one thing with them; and in the advanced Soul the objects of knowledge, well on the way towards the Intellectual-Principle, are close to identity with their container.

Hence we may conclude that, in the Intellectual-Principle Itself, there is complete identity of Knower and Known, and this not by way of domiciliation, as in the case of even the highest soul, but by Essence, by the fact that, there, no distinction exists between Being and Knowing; we cannot stop at a principle containing separate parts; there must always be a yet higher, a principle above all such diversity.

The Supreme must be an entity in which the two are one; it will, therefore, be a Seeing that lives, not an object of vision like things existing in something other than themselves: what exists in an outside element is some mode of living-thing; it is not the Self-Living.

Now admitting the existence of a living thing that is at once a Thought and its object, it must be a Life distinct from the vegetative or sensitive life or any other life determined by Soul.

In a certain sense no doubt all lives are thoughts - but qualified as thought vegetative, thought sensitive and thought psychic.

What, then, makes them thoughts?

The fact that they are Reason-Principles. Every life is some form of thought, but of a dwindling clearness like the degrees of life itself. The first and clearest Life and the first Intelligence are one Being. The First Life, then, is an Intellection and the next form of Life is the next Intellection and the last form of Life is the last form of Intellection. Thus every Life, of the order strictly so called, is an Intellection.

But while men may recognize grades in life they reject grade in thought; to them there are thoughts [full and perfect] and anything else is no thought.

This is simply because they do not seek to establish what Life is.

The essential is to observe that, here again, all reasoning shows that whatever exists is a bye-work of visioning: if, then, the truest Life is such by virtue of an Intellection and is identical with the truest Intellection, then the truest Intellection is a living being; Contemplation and its object constitute a living thing, a Life, two inextricably one.

The duality, thus, is a unity; but how is this unity also a plurality?

The explanation is that in a unity there can be no seeing [a pure unity has no room for vision and an object]; and in its Contemplation the One is not acting as a Unity; if it were, the Intellectual-Principle cannot exist. The Highest began as a unity but did not remain as it began; all unknown to itself, it became manifold; it grew, as it were, pregnant: desiring universal possession, it flung itself outward, though it were better had it never known the desire by which a Secondary came into being: it is like a Circle [in the Idea] which in projection becomes a figure, a surface, a circumference, a centre, a system of radii, of upper and lower segments. The Whence is the better; the Whither is less good: the Whence is not the same as the Whence-followed-by-a-Whither; the Whence all alone is greater than with the Whither added to it.

The Intellectual-Principle on the other hand was never merely the Principle of an inviolable unity; it was a universal as well and, being so, was the Intellectual-Principle of all things. Being, thus, all things and the Principle of all, it must essentially include this part of itself [this element-of-plurality] which is universal and is all things: otherwise, it contains a part which is not Intellectual-Principle: it will be a juxtaposition of non-Intellectuals, a huddled heap waiting to be made over from the mass of things into the Intellectual-Principle!

We conclude that this Being is limitless and that, in all the outflow from it, there is no lessening either in its emanation, since this also is the entire universe, nor in itself, the starting point, since it is no assemblage of parts [to be diminished by any outgo].