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Plotino - Tratado 30,10 (III, 8, 10) — O Uno é o princípio e poder de todas as coisas

Enéada III, 8, 10

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

10. ¿Qué es, entonces? La potencia de todas las cosas. Si este principio no existiese nada existiría: ni la totalidad de los seres, ni la inteligencia, ni la vida primera ni ninguna otra. Digamos que se halla por encima de la vida y es también causa   de la vida; porque la actividad de la vida a que se contrae todo ser, no es realmente primera, sino que fluye de El como de una fuente. Imaginad para ello una fuente que no tuviese otro principio; daría su agua a todos los ríos, pero sin que por ello se agotase; al contrario, permanecería apaciblemente con su mismo caudal, en tanto los ríos salidos de ella confundirían primero su curso antes de seguir el suyo particular, una vez conocido por cada uno a dónde le llevará Ia corriente. Imaginad también la vida de un gran árbol a través del cual corre la vida. El principio de ella permanece y no se dispersa por todo el árbol, sino que asienta en la raíz. Es él quien da a la planta   toda la vida múltiple que ésta posee; pero, no obstante, sigue inmóvil y uno, aunque sea principio de la multiplicidad. Y nada sorprendente hay en ello.

Nada sorprendente hay en ello, decimos, como tampoco en el hecho de que una multiplicidad de vidas proceda de lo que no es múltiple, o en ese otro de que no exista multiplicidad, si lo que no es múltiple no se da antes de esta multiplicidad. Porque el principio no se reparte por el universo  ; sí así fuese, el universo perecería, y no volvería a nacer de no subsistir el principio en sí mismo  , como diferente de. todas las cosas.

Todo nos invita a remontar a la unidad. Para cada caso hemos de contar con una unidad, a la que conviene ascender. Todo ser se refiere a la unidad que le es anterior   -no a la unidad absoluta-, hasta llegar por sus pasos a esa unidad absoluta, que no puede reducirse ya a ninguna otra. Aprehender así la unidad de la planta -esto es, el principio permanente de su vida-, la unidad del animal  , la unidad del alma   o la unidad del universo, es aprehender en cada uno de los seres lo que éstos tienen de más poderoso y más preciado. Pero si aprehendemos la unidad verdadera de los seres, su principio, su fuente y su poder, ¿pondremos en duda, o supondremos siquiera que no hemos aprehendido nada? Este principio, sin embargo, no es ninguno de los seres de que es principio; nada, pues, podrá ser afirmado de El, ni el ser  , ni la sustancia, ni la vida, ya que El supera todas estas cosas. Si consideráis el ser simplemente, vuestra sorpresa será grande. Dirigios a El y llegad a El; y mejor, descansando en El, concebidlo por el pensamiento o por una impresión: abarcaréis toda su magnitud por los seres que vienen después de El y existen gracias a El.

Bouillet

X. Voici encore une réflexion à faire. Puisque l’Intelligence est une intuition  , une intuition en acte (ὄῳς ὁρῶσα), elle est par cela même une puissance passée à l’acte. Il y aura donc en elle deux éléments qui joueront le rôle, l’un de mati  ère (c’est-à-dire de matière intelligible) (48), l’autre de forme, comme dans la vision [sensible  ] en acte (ἡ κατ’ ἐνέργιαν ὅρασις  ;) (49) : car la vision en acte implique aussi dualité. Donc l’intuition, avant d’être en acte, était unité. Ainsi l’unité est devenue dualité, et la dualité est unité. La vision [sensible] reçoit de l’objet sensible sa plénitude et en quelque sorte sa perfection. Pour l’intuition de l’Intelligence, le Bien est le principe qui lui donne sa plénitude. Si l’Intelligence était le Bien même, à quoi lui servirait son intuition ou son acte? Les autres êtres en effet aspirent au Bien, et l’ont pour but de leur action ; mais le Bien même n’a besoin de rien; il ne possède donc rien que lui-même (50).

Quand on l’a nommé, il ne faut rien lui ajouter par la pensée : car, lui ajouter quelque chose, c’est supposer qu’il a besoin de ce qu’on lui attribue. Il ne faut donc pas lui attribuer même l’intelligence : ce serait introduire en lui une chose étrangère, faire de lui deux choses, l’Intelligence et le Bien. L’Intelligence a besoin du Bien, le Bien n’a pas besoin de l’Intelligence. En atteignant le Bien, l’Intelligence en prend la forme ( car c’est du bien qu’elle tient sa forme) et elle devient parfaite, parce qu’elle en prend la nature. Il faut juger ce qu’est l’archétype d’après la trace qu’il laisse dans l’Intelligence» concevoir son vrai caractère d’après l’empreinte qu’il y fait. C’est par cette empreinte que l’Intelligence voit le Bien et le possède. Aussi aspire-t-elle au Bien ; et comme elle y aspire toujours, toujours elle l’atteint. Quant au Bien, il n’aspire à rien : car que désirerait-il ? Il n’atteint rien non plus, puisqu’il ne désire rien (51). Il n’est donc pas l’Intelligence, puisque celle-ci désire et aspire à la forme du Bien.

L’Intelligence est belle sans doute; elle est la plus belle des choses, puisqu’elle est éclairée d’une pure lumière, qu’elle brille d’un pur éclat, qu’elle contient les êtres intelligibles, dont notre monde, malgré sa beauté, n’est qu’une ombre et qu’une image. Quant au monde intelligible, il est placé dans une région brillante de clarté, où il n’y a rien de ténébreux ni d’indéterminé, où il jouit en lui-même d’une vie bienheureuse. Son aspect ravit d’admiration, surtout si l’on sait y pénétrer et s’y unir. Mais, de même que la vue du ciel et de l’éclat des astres fait chercher et concevoir leur auteur, de même la contemplation du monde intelligible et l’admiration qu’elle inspire conduisent à en chercher le père   (52). On se dit alors : quel est celui qui a donné l’existence au monde intelligible? où et comment a-t-îl engendré l’Intellect si pur, ce fils si beau qui tient de son père toute sa plénitude (53) ? Ce principe suprême n’est lui-même ni intellect, ni fils, il est supérieur à l’Intellect, qui est son fils. L’Intellect, son fils, est après lui, parce qu’il a besoin de recevoir de lui son intellection et la plénitude qui est sa nourriture; il tient le premier rang après Celui qui n’a besoin de rien, pas même d intellection. L’Intellect possède cependant la plénitude et la véritable intellection parce qu’il participe du Bien immédiatement. Ainsi, le Bien, étant au-dessus de la véritable plénitude et de l’intellection, ne les possède pas et n’en a pas besoin ; sinon, il ne serait pas le Bien (54).

Guthrie

THE SUPREME IS THE POTENTIALITY OF ALL THINGS, ABOVE ALL ACTUALIZATION.

10. (9). This Principle then is the potentiality of all. Without it, nothing would exist, not even Intelligence, which is the primary and universal   life. Indeed what is above life is the cause of life. The actualization of life, being all things, is not the first Principle; it flows from this Principle as (water  ) from a spring.

THE SUPREME AS A SPRING OF WATER.

The first Principle may indeed be conceived of as a spring (of water) which is its own origin, and which pours its water into many streams without itself becoming exhausted by what it yields, or even without running low, because the streams that it forms, before flowing away each in its own direction, and while knowing which direction it is to follow, yet mingles its waters with the spring.

THE SUPREME AS THE TREE OF THE UNIVERSE.

Again, (the Supreme may be compared to) the life that circulates in a great tree, without its principle issuing from the root, where is its seat, but which later divides among the branches. Though spreading everywhere a manifold life, the Principle still dwells in itself exempt from all manifoldness, though being only its origin.

IF UNITY PASSED INTO THE MANIFOLD, THE UNIVERSE WOULD BE DESTROYED.

This contains nothing surprising. Why should we be surprised at manifoldness issuing from Him who is not manifold, or at the impossibility of the existence of the manifold without the prior existence of That which is not manifold ? The Principle is not distributed in the universe; far rather, if it were disturbed, the universe would be annihilated; for it cannot exist except in so far as its Principle abides within itself, without becoming confused with the rest.

THIS IS THE BASIS OF THE RETURN TO UNITY.

Consequently, there is everywhere a return to unity — for there is for everything a unity to which it may be reduced. Consequently, the universe must be derived from the unity that is superior to it; and as this unity is not absolutely simple, it must itself be derived from a still superior unity, and so on until we arrive at the absolutely simple Unity, which cannot be reduced to any other. Therefore, considering what is in a tree — that is, its permanent principle — or what is unitary in an animal, in a soul, or in the universe, you will everywhere have that which is most powerful and precious. If, at last, you consider that unity of the things that really exist, that is, their principle, their source, their (productive) power, can you doubt its reality, and believe that this principle amounts to nothing? Certainly this principle is none of the things of which it is the principle; it is such that nothing could be predicated of it, neither essence, nor being, nor life, because it is superior to all of it. If you grasp it, by abstracting from it even being, you will be in ecstasy. By directing your glance towards it, by reaching it, and resting in it, you will get a unitary and simple intuition thereof; you will conceive of its greatness by both itself and its derivatives.

MacKenna

10. And what will such a Principle essentially be?

The potentiality of the Universe: the potentiality whose non-existence would mean the non-existence of all the Universe and even of the Intellectual-Principle which is the primal Life and all Life.

This Principle on the thither side of Life is the cause of Life - for that Manifestation of Life which is the Universe of things is not the First Activity; it is itself poured forth, so to speak, like water from a spring.

Imagine a spring that has no source outside itself; it gives itself to all the rivers, yet is never exhausted by what they take, but remains always integrally as it was; the tides that proceed from it are at one within it before they run their several ways, yet all, in some sense, know beforehand down what channels they will pour their streams.

Or: think of the Life coursing throughout some mighty tree while yet it is the stationary Principle of the whole, in no sense scattered over all that extent but, as it were, vested in the root: it is the giver of the entire and manifold life of the tree, but remains unmoved itself, not manifold but the Principle of that manifold life.

And this surprises no one: though it is in fact astonishing how all that varied vitality springs from the unvarying, and how that very manifoldness could not be unless before the multiplicity there were something all singleness; for, the Principle is not broken into parts to make the total; on the contrary, such partition would destroy both; nothing would come into being if its cause, thus broken up, changed character.

Thus we are always brought back to The One.

Every particular thing has a One of its own to which it may be traced; the All has its One, its Prior but not yet the Absolute One; through this we reach that Absolute One, where all such reference comes to an end.

Now when we reach a One - the stationary Principle - in the tree, in the animal, in Soul, in the All - we have in every case the most powerful, the precious element: when we come to the One in the Authentically Existent Beings - their Principle and source and potentiality - shall we lose confidence and suspect it of being-nothing?

Certainly this Absolute is none of the things of which it is the source - its nature is that nothing can be affirmed of it - not existence, not essence, not life - since it is That which transcends all these. But possess yourself of it by the very elimination of Being and you hold a marvel. Thrusting forward to This, attaining, and resting in its content, seek to grasp it more and more - understanding it by that intuitive thrust alone, but knowing its greatness by the Beings that follow upon it and exist by its power.

Another approach:

The Intellectual-Principle is a Seeing, and a Seeing which itself sees; therefore it is a potentiality which has become effective.

This implies the distinction of Matter and Form in it - as there must be in all actual seeing - the Matter in this case being the Intelligibles which the Intellectual-Principle contains and sees. All actual seeing implies duality; before the seeing takes place there is the pure unity [of the power of seeing]. That unity [of principle] acquires duality [in the act of seeing], and the duality is [always to be traced back to] a unity.

Now as our sight requires the world of sense for its satisfaction and realization, so the vision in the Intellectual-Principle demands, for its completion, The Good.

It cannot be, itself, The Good, since then it would not need to see or to perform any other Act; for The Good is the centre of all else, and it is by means of The Good that every thing has Act, while the Good is in need of nothing and therefore possesses nothing beyond itself.

Once you have uttered «The Good,» add no further thought: by any addition, and in proportion to that addition, you introduce a deficiency.

Do not even say that it has Intellection; you would be dividing it; it would become a duality, Intellect and the Good. The Good has no need of the Intellectual-Principle which, on the contrary, needs it, and, attaining it, is shaped into Goodness and becomes perfect by it: the Form thus received, sprung from the Good, brings it to likeness with the Good.

Thus the traces of the Good discerned upon it must be taken as indication of the nature of that Archetype: we form a conception of its Authentic Being from its image playing upon the Intellectual-Principle. This image of itself, it has communicated to the Intellect that contemplates it: thus all the striving is on the side of the Intellect, which is the eternal striver and eternally the attainer. The Being beyond neither strives, since it feels no lack, nor attains, since it has no striving. And this marks it off from the Intellectual-Principle, to which characteristically belongs the striving, the concentrated strain towards its Form.

Yet: The Intellectual-Principle; beautiful; the most beautiful of all; lying lapped in pure light and in clear radiance; circumscribing the Nature of the Authentic Existents; the original of which this beautiful world is a shadow and an image; tranquil in the fullness of glory since in it there is nothing devoid of intellect, nothing dark or out of rule; a living thing in a life of blessedness: this, too, must overwhelm with awe any that has seen it, and penetrated it, to become a unit of its Being.

But: As one that looks up to the heavens and sees the splendour of the stars thinks of the Maker and searches, so whoever has contemplated the Intellectual Universe and known it and wondered for it must search after its Maker too. What Being has raised so noble a fabric? And where? And how? Who has begotten such a child, this Intellectual-Principle, this lovely abundance so abundantly endowed?

The Source of all this cannot be an Intellect; nor can it be an abundant power: it must have been before Intellect and abundance were; these are later and things of lack; abundance had to be made abundant and Intellection needed to know.

These are very near to the un-needing, to that which has no need of Knowing, they have abundance and intellection authentically, as being the first to possess. But, there is that before them which neither needs nor possesses anything, since, needing or possessing anything else, it would not be what it is - the Good.