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Plotino - Tratado 27,12 (IV, 3, 12) — A descida da alma não é total mas cíclica

Enéada IV, 3, 12

sábado 2 de abril de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Cap 12-19: As almas humanas

  • Cap 12: Sua descida não é total mas cíclica
  • Cap 13: Sua descida obedece a uma lei
  • Cap 14: As almas são o ornamento do mundo
  • Cap 15 a 17: Os diferentes níveis de descida
  • Cap 18: O uso do raciocínio
  • Cap 19: Um comentário do Timeu   35a-b

Míguez

12. En cuanto a las almas de los hombres ven sus imágenes como en el espejo de Dionisos y se lanzan hacia ellas desde lo alto, pero sin cortar por ello con su principio, que es la inteligencia.

No descienden, pues, con su propia inteligencia, sino que se dirigen hacia la tierra, pero con la cabeza fija por encima del cielo. Si ocurre en realidad que descienden demasiado, ello será debido a que su parte intermedia viene obligada a procurar el cuidado del cuerpo en el que aquéllas se han precipitado. El padre Zeus, en este caso, se compadece de sus trabajos y hace temporales las ligaduras que les atan a ellos, dando a las almas un descanso en el tiempo y liberándolas a la vez de sus cuerpos para que puedan alcanzar la región inteligible, donde permanece ya para siempre el alma del universo sin tener que volverse a las cosas de aquí abajo. Porque el universo dispone verdaderamente de cuanto es posible para bastarse a sí mismo, y así es y será, ya que su ciclo se cumple según razones fijas y, al cabo de un cierto tiempo, vuelve de nuevo al mismo estado conforme a un movimiento periódico. De este modo pone también de acuerdo las cosas de arriba con las de este mundo, ordenándolo todo con sujeción a una razón única. Y todo queda perfectamente regulado, no sólo en lo que atañe al descenso y al ascenso de las almas, sino también en cuanto a las demás cosas (15). Lo prueba el acuerdo de las almas con el orden del universo, pues éstas no actúan separadamente sino que coordinan sus descensos y manifiestan una armonía con el movimiento circular del mundo. La condición de las almas, sus vidas y sus mismas voluntades, tiene una explicación en las figuras formadas por los planetas, que emiten una sola nota y en las debidas proporciones (mejor lo daríamos a entender con las palabras musical y armonioso). Esto no sería posible, desde luego, si el universo no actuase conforme a los inteligibles y no tuviese pasiones adecuadas a los períodos de las almas, a sus regulaciones y a sus vidas en los distintos géneros de carreras que ellas realizan, bien en el mundo inteligible, bien en el cielo, bien en esos lugares terrestres a los que ellas se vuelven.

La inteligencia, por su parte, permanece siempre y por entero en lo alto, sin que en ninguna ocasión salga fuera de sí misma; no obstante, aun asentada como está en el mundo inteligible, deja sentir su influencia en las cosas de aquí abajo por intermedio del alma. El alma, colocada más cerca de ella, se dispone según la forma que recibe de la inteligencia; da, a su vez, esta forma a las cosas que dependen de ella, haciéndolo de una o de otra manera, según una ordenación firme, aunque variable. No desciende nunca de un modo igual, sino en un grado mayor o menor, bien que se dirija a un mismo género de seres. Cada alma desciende a un cuerpo que le es apropiado, conforme al carácter de su disposición. Y así todas ellas son llevadas al cuerpo que más se les semeja, unas, por ejemplo, al cuerpo de un hombre, otras al cuerpo de un animal, y cada una, en fin, a un cuerpo diferente.

Bouillet

XII. Si les âmes humaines se sont élancées d’en haut ici-bas, c’est qu’elles ont contemplé leurs images [dans la matière] comme dans le miroir de Bacchus (73) ; cependant elles ne sont pas séparées de leur principe, de leur intelligence : car leur intelligence ne descend pas avec elles (74), en sorte que, si leurs pieds touchent la terre, leur tête s’élève au-dessus du ciel (75). Elles descendent d’autant plus bas que le corps sur lequel leur partie intermédiaire (76) doit veiller a plus besoin de soins. Mais Jupiter, leur père, prenant pitié de leurs peines, a fait leurs liens mortels (77) ; il leur accorde du repos à certains intervalles, en les délivrant du corps, afin qu’elles puissent revenir habiter la région où l’Âme universelle demeure toujours, sans incliner vers les choses d’ici-bas (78). En effet, ce que l’univers possède actuellement lui suffit et lui suffira toujours, puisqu’il a une durée réglée par des raisons éternelles et immuables, et que, lorsqu’une période est finie, il recommence à en parcourir une autre où toutes les vies sont déterminées conformément aux idées (79). Par là, les choses d’ici-bas étant soumises aux choses intelligibles, tout est subordonné à une Raison unique, soit pour la descente, soit pour l’ascension des âmes (ἔν τε καθόδοις ψυχῶν καὶ ἀνόδοις)soit pour leurs actes en général. Ce qui le prouve, c’est l’accord qui existe entre l’ordre universel et les mouvements des âmes qui, en descendant ici-bas, se conforment à cet ordre sans en dépendre, et sont parfaitement en harmonie avec le mouvement circulaire du ciel : c’est ainsi que les actions, les fortunes, les destinées trouvent toujours leurs signes dans les figures formées par les astres (80). C’est la ce concert dont le son est, dit-on, si mélodieux, et que les anciens exprimaient symboliquement par l’harmonie musicale (81). Or, il n’en pourrait 291 être ainsi si toutes les actions et toutes les passions de l’univers n’étaient réglées par des raisons qui déterminent ses périodes, les rangs des âmes, leurs existences, les carrières qu’elles parcourent dans le monde intelligible, ou dans le ciel, ou sur la terre. L’Intelligence universelle reste toujours au-dessus du ciel, et demeurant là tout entière, sans sortir d’elle-même, elle rayonne dans le monde sensible par l’intermédiaire de l’Âme qui, placée près d’elle, reçoit l’impression de l’idée et la transmet aux choses inférieures, tantôt d’une façon immuable, tantôt d’une manière variée, mais réglée cependant (82). Les âmes ne descendent pas toujours également ; elles descendent tantôt plus bas, tantôt moins bas, mais toujours dans le même genre d’êtres [dans le genre des êtres vivants] (83). Chaque âme entre dans le corps qui est préparé pour le recevoir, et qui est tel ou tel, selon la nature à laquelle l’âme est devenue semblable par sa disposition (καθ’ ὁμοίωσιν τῆς διαθέσεως) car, selon que l’âme est devenue semblable à la nature d’un homme ou à celle d’une brute, elle entre dans tel ou tel corps (84).

Guthrie

SOULS ARE NOT CUT OFF FROM INTELLIGENCE DURING THEIR DESCENT AND ASCENT.

12. Human souls rush down here below because they have gazed at their images (in matter) as in the mirror of Bacchus. Nevertheless, they are not separated from their principle, Intelligence. Their intelligence does not descend along with them, so that even if by their feet they touch the earth, their head rises above the sky. They descend all the lower as the body, over which their intermediary part is to watch, has more need of care. But their father Jupiter, pitying their troubles, made their bonds mortal. At certain intervals, he grants them rest, delivering them from the body, so that they may return to inhabit the region where the universal Soul ever dwells, without inclining towards things here below. Indeed what the universe at present possesses suffices it both now and in the future, since its duration is regulated by eternal and immutable reasons, and because, when one period is finished, it again begins to run through another where all the lives are determined in accordance with the ideas. In that way all things here below are subjected to intelligible things, and similarly all is subordinated to a single reason, either in the descent or in the ascension of souls, or in their activities in general. This is proved by the agreement between the universal order and the movements of the souls which by descending here below, conform to this order without depending on it; and perfectly harmonize with the circular movement of heaven. Thus the actions, fortunes and destinies ever are prefigured in the figures formed by the stars. That is the symphony whose sound is so melodious that the ancients expressed it symbolically by musical harmony. Now this could not be the case unless all the actions and experiences of the universe were (well) regulated by reasons which determine its periods, the ranks of souls, their existences, the careers that they accomplish in the intelligible world, or in heaven, or on the earth. The universal Intelligence ever remains above the heaven, and dwelling there entirely, without ever issuing from itself; it radiates into the sense-world by the intermediation of the Soul which, placed beside it, receives the impression of the idea, and transmits it to inferior things, now immutably, and then changeably, but nevertheless in a regulated manner.

WHY SOULS TAKE ON DIFFERENT KINDS OF BODIES.

Souls do not always descend equally; they descend sometimes lower, sometimes less low, but always in the same kind of beings (among living beings). Each soul enters into the body prepared to receive her, which corresponds to the nature to which the soul has become assimilated by its disposition; for, according as the soul has become similar to the nature of a man or of a brute, she enters into a corresponding body.

Taylor

XII. The souls of men, however, beholding the images of themselves, like that of Bacchus in a mirror,2 were from thence impelled to descend; vet were not cut off from their principle and from intellect. For they did not descend in conjunction with intellect, but proceeded as far as to the earth, their heads being at the same time established above the heavens. It happened, however, that their descent was more extended, because that which subsists in them as a medium, is compelled to exercise a guardian care, in consequence of the nature into which it arrives requiring solicitous attention. But the father Jupiter, commiserating laborious souls, made the bonds about which they labour mortal, causing them to have periodical cessations of their toil, and a liberation from body, that they also may become situated there where the soul of the universe always resides, without any conversion to these inferior realms. For what the world now possesses is sufficient to it, and will be perpetually through all the following revolutions and periodic restitutions of time, and this established in measures of definite lives, in which these are led to an harmonious agreement with those. At the same time, likewise, all things are arranged by one reason, with reference to the ascent and descent of souls, and every other particular. The symphony, however, of souls with the order of the universe, which nevertheless are not suspended from the universe, hut co-adapt themselves in their descent, and make one concord with the mundane circulation, is testified by this, that their fortunes, lives, and deliberate elections, are signified by the figures of the stars. That the universe, likewise, utters as it were one voice harmonically and aptly, is asserted by the ancients more than any thing else, though obscurely. But this would not be the case, unless the universe was both active and passive through its participation of intellectual forms, in the measures of its periods, orders, and lives; souls evolving themselves according to the genera of discursive progressions, at one time in the intelligible world, at another in the heavens, and at another being converted to these inferior realms. Every intellect, however, is always in the intelligible world, and never departing from its own proper habitation, but established on high, sends through soul these objects of sensible inspection. But soul from its proximity to intellect, is in a greater degree disposed according to the form which flourishes there, and to some of the natures posterior to itself imparts a sameness of subsistence, but to others a subsistence which is different at different times, and a wandering which proceeds in an orderly course.

Souls, however, do not always equally descend, but sometimes more, and at other times less, though they may belong to the same genus. But each soul descends to that which is prepared for its reception, according to similitude of disposition. For it tends to that to which it has become similar; one soul indeed to man, but another to some other animal.

MacKenna

12. The souls of men, seeing their images in the mirror of Dionysus as it were, have entered into that realm in a leap downward from the Supreme: yet even they are not cut off from their origin, from the divine Intellect; it is not that they have come bringing the Intellectual Principle down in their fall; it is that though they have descended even to earth, yet their higher part holds for ever above the heavens.

Their initial descent is deepened since that mid-part of theirs is compelled to labour in care of the care-needing thing into which they have entered. But Zeus, the father, takes pity on their toils and makes the bonds in which they labour soluble by death and gives respite in due time, freeing them from the body, that they too may come to dwell there where the Universal Soul, unconcerned with earthly needs, has ever dwelt.

For the container of the total of things must be a self-sufficing entity and remain so: in its periods it is wrought out to purpose under its Reason-Principles which are perdurably valid; by these periods it reverts unfailingly, in the measured stages of defined life-duration, to its established character; it is leading the things of this realm to be of one voice and plan with the Supreme. And thus the kosmic content is carried forward to its purpose, everything in its co-ordinate place, under one only Reason-Principle operating alike in the descent and return of souls and to every purpose of the system.

We may know this also by the concordance of the Souls with the ordered scheme of the kosmos; they are not independent, but, by their descent, they have put themselves in contact, and they stand henceforth in harmonious association with kosmic circuit - to the extent that their fortunes, their life experiences, their choosing and refusing, are announced by the patterns of the stars - and out of this concordance rises as it were one musical utterance: the music, the harmony, by which all is described is the best witness to this truth.

Such a consonance can have been procured in one only way:

The All must, in every detail of act and experience, be an expression of the Supreme, which must dominate alike its periods and its stable ordering and the life-careers varying with the movement of the souls as they are sometimes absorbed in that highest, sometimes in the heavens, sometimes turned to the things and places of our earth. All that is Divine Intellect will rest eternally above, and could never fall from its sphere but, poised entire in its own high place, will communicate to things here through the channel of Soul. Soul in virtue of neighbourhood is more closely modelled upon the Idea uttered by the Divine Intellect, and thus is able to produce order in the movement of the lower realm, one phase [the World-Soul] maintaining the unvarying march [of the kosmic circuit] the other [the soul of the Individual] adopting itself to times and season.

The depth of the descent, also, will differ - sometimes lower, sometimes less low - and this even in its entry into any given Kind: all that is fixed is that each several soul descends to a recipient indicated by affinity of condition; it moves towards the thing which it There resembled, and enters, accordingly, into the body of man or animal.