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Plotino - Tratado 27,21 (IV, 3, 21) — A alma não está no corpo (2)

Enéada IV, 3, 21

quarta-feira 20 de abril de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulos 20-24: A alma está no corpo como em um lugar?

  • Cap 20 a 21: A alma não está no corpo, como em um lugar, nem como um substrato, nem como uma parte em um todo, nem como a forma na matéria, nem mesmo como o piloto em seu navio
  • Cap 22: A alma está no corpo como a luz está no ar, e é o corpo que está na alma
  • Cap 23: Como as faculdades da alma se exercem localmente
  • Cap 24: A saída da alma fora do corpo


21. ¿Pues qué? ¿Cómo podríamos contestar al que, sin atreverse a afirmar nada, nos formulase las cuestiones siguientes? ¿De qué manera está presente el alma en el cuerpo? ¿Se encuentra toda ella del mismo modo, o unas de sus partes se encuentran de una manera y otras de otra? Ninguna de las cosas hasta ahora examinadas expresa justamente la relación del alma con el cuerpo. No obstante, se dice que el alma está en el cuerpo lo mismo que el piloto en la nave. Con lo cual se indica suficientemente que el alma se separa del cuerpo, aunque no quede establecido con claridad el modo de unión que nosotros buscamos. Como pasajero, el alma me encuentra en el cuerpo por accidente, pero ¿y como piloto? Porque el piloto no se halla en todo el navío, como el alma se halla en el cuerpo. Tal vez convenga decir que el alma se encuentra en el cuerpo como el arte en los instrumentos, cual ocurre con el arte del piloto que podríamos localizarlo en el timón si este timón estuviese animado y poseyese un arte interior que lo moviese. Ahora que una diferencia puede establecerse aquí, y es que el arte permanece extraño al instrumento. Consideramos, pues, el alma sobre el modelo de un piloto cuya alma dirigiese su timón; el alma, en efecto, se encuentra en el cuerpo como en su instrumento natural y lo mueve a medida de su voluntad. Pero, ¿avanzamos así más en nuestra búsqueda? Seguimos dudando realmente cómo se encuentra el alma en su instrumento y, aunque su modo de unión sea diferente a los anteriores, ansiamos todavía descubrir la verdad o aproximarnos lo más posible a ella.


XXI. Que répondrons-nous si quelqu’un, sans rien affirmer lui-même à ce sujet, nous demande comment l’âme est présente au corps, si l’âme est tout entière présente au corps de la même manière, ou si une de ses parties est présente d’une manière, une autre d’une autre manière?

Puisqu’aucune des comparaisons que nous avons exami- 306 nées précédemment ne nous semble exprimer convenablement le rapport de l’âme avec le corps, dirons-nous que l’âme est dans le corps comme le pilote dans le navire ? Cette comparaison est bonne pour exprimer que l’âme est séparable du corps ; mais elle n’indique pas encore convenablement la manière dont l’âme est présente au corps. Si l’âme est dans le corps comme le passager est dans le navire, elle n’y sera que par accident ; si elle y est comme le pilote est dans le navire qu’il gouverne, la comparaison ne sera pas encore satisfaisante : car le pilote n’est pas dans tout le navire comme l’âme est tout entière dans tout le corps (119). Dirons-nous que l’âme est dans le corps comme le serait l’art dans ses instruments, dans un gouvernail par exemple, que nous supposerions animé et renfermant en lui-même la puissance de gouverner le navire avec art? Cette comparaison est encore impropre en ce que l’art vient du dehors. Si, assimilant l’âme à un pilote qui serait incarné dans son gouvernail, nous la plaçons dans le corps comme dans un instrument naturel (ἐν ὀργάνῳ φυσικῷ) (120) de telle sorte qu’elle le meuve à son gré, aurons- 307 nous trouvé la solution que nous cherchons? ou bien demanderons-nous encore comment l’âme sera dans son instrument? Quoique ce dernier mode de présence l’emporte sur les précédents, nous voulons en trouver un qui approche encore plus de la réalité.



21. How would we answer a person who, without himself making any statements in regard to the matter, should ask us how the soul is present to the body; whether the whole soul is present to the body in the same manner, or whether one of her parts is present in one way, and another in some other way?


Since none of the comparisons that we have formerly examined seems to express the relation of the soul to the body, properly we might say that the soul is in the body as the pilot is in the ship. This illustration is satisfactory in that it emphasizes the soul’s being separable from the body; but it does not properly indicate the presence of the soul in the body. If the soul be present in the body as a passenger in a ship, it would be there only by accident, and the illustration is not yet satisfactory if changed to the pilot’s presence in the ship he is steering; for the pilot is not present to the whole of the ship as the whole soul is in the body. One might illustrate the soul’s presence in the body as an art inheres in its instruments; as, for instance, in the helm, which might be supposed to be alive, containing the power of steering the ship skilfully. This is still unsatisfactory, because such an art comes from without. The soul might indeed be compared to a pilot who should be incarnated in his helm; and the soul might be in the body as in some natural instrument, so that the soul would move it at pleasure. This however might still fail to explain the manner in which the soul would exist in her instrument. Therefore, though the latter illustration is an improvement on the former, we must still seek one which closer approaches reality.


XXI. What then shall we say, if some one should ask us how the soul is present with the body, without giving us any information himself on the subject ? And also if he should ask us whether the whole soul is similarly present, or a different part is differently present with the body? Since, therefore, none of the above-mentioned modes of the subsistence of one thing in another1 is adapted to the subsistence of the soul in the body; but the soul is said to be in the body in such a way as the pilot in a ship, this is well said so far as pertains to the power by which the soul is able to separate itself from the body; yet it does not entirely exhibit to us the mode which we are now investigating. For the pilot, so far as he is a sailor, will be from accident a pilot in the ship. But if the soul is present with the body in the same manner as the pilot alone with the ship, how is this effected ? For the pilot is not in all the ship, in the same manner as the soul is in all the body. Shall we, therefore, say, that the soul is in the body, in the same way as art is in the instruments of art ? For instance, as art in the rudder, if the rudder was animated, so that the piloting art is within it, moving it artificially. Now, however, there is this difference between the two, that art operates externally. If, therefore, we admit that the soul is in the body, conformably to the paradigm of the pilot within the rudder, as in a natural instrument ; for he thus will move it, in whatever he wishes to effect; shall we make any accession to the object of our investigation? Or shall we again be dubious how the soul is in the instrument? And though this mode is different from the former modes, yet we still desire to discover [something farther], and to accede still nearer to the thing proposed.


21. What does all this come to? What answer do we give to him who, with no opinion of his own to assert, asks us to explain this presence? And what do we say to the question whether there is one only mode of presence of the entire soul or different modes, phase and phase?

Of the modes currently accepted for the presence of one thing in another, none really meets the case of the soul’s relation to the body. Thus we are given as a parallel the steersman in the ship; this serves adequately to indicate that the soul is potentially separable, but the mode of presence, which is what we are seeking, it does not exhibit.

We can imagine it within the body in some incidental way - for example, as a voyager in a ship - but scarcely as the steersman: and, of course, too, the steersman is not omnipresent to the ship as the soul is to the body.

May we, perhaps, compare it to the science or skill that acts through its appropriate instruments - through a helm, let us say, which should happen to be a live thing - so that the soul effecting the movements dictated by seamanship is an indwelling directive force?

No: the comparison breaks down, since the science is something outside of helm and ship.

Is it any help to adopt the illustration of the steersman taking the helm, and to station the soul within the body as the steersman may be thought to be within the material instrument through which he works? Soul, whenever and wherever it chooses to operate, does in much that way move the body.

No; even in this parallel we have no explanation of the mode of presence within the instrument; we cannot be satisfied without further search, a closer approach.