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Plotino - Tratado 28,17 (IV, 4, 17) — A questão da sucessão das razões na alma: mais a alma é submetida a um princípio único, melhor ela é

Enéada IV, 4, 17

quinta-feira 5 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Cap 15 a 17: Dificuldades relativas à alma   e à temporalidade

  • Cap 15: A questão da temporalidade: as almas não estão no tempo
  • Cap 16: A questão da sucessão: ela existe nos produtos da alma, mas não nela
  • Cap 17: A questão da sucessão das razões na alma: mais a alma é submetida a um princípio único, melhor ela é
    

Míguez

17. Pero, ¿cómo no se dan en nosotros los pensamientos y las ideas del mismo modo que se dan en el alma   universal  ? ¿Por qué en nosotros esa sucesión en el tiempo y esa serie de investigaciones? ¿Serán debidas a la multiplicidad de principios y de movimientos y al hecho de que no domina un solo ser? ¿O habrá que pensar   que nuestras necesidades varían constantemente y que cada uno de los momentos, indeterminado   en sí mismo  , se ve lleno a cada instante   por objetos externos, siempre también diferentes? ¿Acaso cambia la voluntad de acuerdo con la ocasión y la necesidad presentes? En lo exterior ocurre ahora una cosa y luego otra. Y como a nosotros nos dominan fuerzas múltiples, cada potencia podrá recibir de las otras muchas y renovadas imágenes, las cuales serán como impedimentos para sus movimientos y sus acciones. Porque, cuando se origina en nosotros un deseo, surge verdaderamente una imagen del objeto deseado cual una especie de sensación   anunciadora y reveladora, que nos da a conocer nuestras pasiones y nos pide que las sigamos y las obedezcamos. Lo que en nosotros le obedece o le hace resistencia, eso precisamente permanece en la incertidumbre. Lo mismo acontece con la cólera   que nos mueve a protegernos y con las necesidades del cuerpo y las demás pasiones, que nos hacen juzgar de manera diferente las mismas cosas. Y otro tanto ocurre con la ignorancia del bien, o la falta de consistencia de un alma que se ve arrastrada a todas partes. De la mezcla de todas estas cosas derivan todavía muchos otros resultados.

¿Diremos entonces que nuestra parte mejor es enteramente voluble? No, ciertamente, porque la incertidumbre y el cambio de opinión hay que atribuirlos a la variedad de nuestras facultades. La recta razón, que proviene de la parte superior del alma y se entrega a ella, no se debilite en su propia naturaleza sino en virtud de su mezcla con las otras partes. Viene a ser algo así como el mejor consejero entre el múltiple clamor de una asamblea; ya no domina con su palabra sino que lo hacen, como allí, el ruido y los gritos de los hombres inferiores, mientras él, que permanece sentado, nada puede ya y se siente vencido por el alboroto de los peores. En el hombre más perverso es la totalidad de sus pasiones la que domina; ese hombre es el resultado de todas estas fuerzas. En cambio, el hombre que está en medio puede ser comparado a una ciudad en la que domina un principio útil  , conforme a un gobierno democrático que se mantiene puro. En su caminar hacia lo mejor, su vida se parece al régimen aristocrático por cuanto que huye del conjunto   de las facultades y se entrega a los hombres más buenos. El hombre plenamente virtuoso separa de las demás la potencia directriz, que es única, y con ella ordena las restantes facultades. Ocurre así como si existiese una doble ciudad, la de los de arriba y la de los de abajo, gobernada según un orden superior.

En el alma del universo   actúa de manera uniforme un único y mismo principio; en las otras almas esta actividad es por completo diferente y ya se ha dicho el porqué. Pasemos, pues, a otra cosa.

Bouillet

XVII. Pourquoi les pensées (verras) et les conceptions rationnelles (λόγοι) ne sont-elles pas en nous telles qu’elles sont dans l’Âme universelle (44) ? Pourquoi y a-t-il en nous postériorité par rapport au temps [puisque nous concevons les choses d’une manière successive, tandis que l’Âme universelle les conçoit toutes à la fois]? Pourquoi sommes-nous obligés de nous poser des questions ? — Est-ce parce que plusieurs forces agissent en nous et s’y disputent la domination, et qu’il n’y en a pas une qui commande seule? Est-ce parce qu’il nous faut successivement des choses diverses pour satisfaire nos besoins, parce que notre présent n’est pas déterminé par lui-même, mais se rapporte à des choses qui varient sans cesse et qui sont placées hors de lui? — Oui. De là résulte que nos déterminations changent selon l’occasion et le besoin présent. Des choses diverses viennent du dehors s’offrir à nous successivement. En outre, comme plusieurs forces dominent en nous, notre imagination a nécessairement des représentations variées, adventices, modifiées l’une par l’autre, et entravant les mouvements et les actes propres a chaque puissance da l’âme. Ainsi, quand la Concupiscence (45) s’éveille en nous, l’imagination nous représente l’objet désiré, nous avertit et nous instruit de la passion née de la concupiscence, et nous demande en même temps de l’écouter et de la satisfaire. En cet état, l’âme flotte dans l’incertitude, soit qu’elle accorde à l’appétit la satisfaction qu’il réclame, soit qu’elle la lui refuse. La Colère (46), en nous excitant à la vengeance  , produit en nous le même effet. Les besoins et les passions du corps nous suggèrent aussi des actions et des opinions diverses. Ajoutez-y l’ignorance des vrais biens, l’impossibilité où l’âme se trouve de porter un jugement certain, quand elle est ainsi flottante, et les conséquences qui résultent du mélange des choses dont nous venons de parler, quoique la partie la plus relevée de nous-mêmes porte d’autres jugements que la partie commune [à l’âme et au corps], partie incertaine et livrée à la diversité des opinions.

La droite raison, en descendant de la partie supérieure de l’âme dans la partie commune, s’affaiblit par ce mélange, quoiqu’elle ne soit pas faible de sa nature : ainsi, dans le tumulte d’une nombreuse assemblée, ce n’est pas le plus sage conseiller dont la parole domine; ce sont au contraire les plus turbulents et les plus factieux, et le tumulte qu’ils font force le sage de rester assis, impuissant et vaincu par le bruit. Dans l’homme pervers, c’est la partie animale qui règne ; la diversité des influences qui maîtrisent cet homme représente le pire des gouvernements [l’ochlocratie]. Dans l’homme ordinaire, les choses se passent comme dans une république   où quelque bon élément domine le reste, qui ne refuse pas d’obéir. Dans l’homme vertueux, il y a une vie qui ressemble au gouvernement aristocratique (47), parce qu’il se soustrait à l’influence de la partie commune et qu’il écoute ce qu’il y a de meilleur en lui. Enfin, dans l’homme le meilleur, complètement séparé de la partie commune, règne un seul principe dont procède l’ordre auquel le reste est soumis. II semble qu’il y a ainsi en quelque sorte deux cités, l’une supérieure, l’autre inférieure et empruntant son ordre à la première. Nous avons dit que dans l’Âme universelle, c’est un seul et même principe qui commande uniformément; mais il en est autrement dans les autres âmes, comme nous venons de l’expliquer. En voici assez sur ce sujet.

Guthrie

THE INTELLECTUAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE WORLD-SOUL, AND SOULS OF STARS, EARTH AND MEN.

17. Why are the thoughts and rational aspirations in us different (from what they are in the universal Soul) ? Why is there in us posteriority in respect to time (as we conceive things in a successive manner, while the universal Soul conceives them simultaneously) ? Why do we have to question ourselves (about this) ? Is it because several forces are active in us, and contend for mastery, and there is no single one which alone commands? Is it because we successively need various things to satisfy our needs, because our present is not determined by itself, but refers to things which vary continually, and which are outside of ourselves? Yes, that is the reason why our determinations change according to the present occasion and need. Various things come from the outside to offer themselves to us successively. Besides, as several forces dominate in us, our imagination necessarily has representations that are various, transient, modified by each other, and hindering the movements and actions characteristic of each power of the soul. Thus, when lust arises in us, imagination represents to us the desired object, warns us, and instructs us about the passion born of lust, and at the same time begs of us to listen to it, and to satisfy it. In this state, the soul floats in uncertainty, whether it grant to the appetite the desired satisfaction, or whether she refuse it. Anger, for instance, excites us to vengeance, and thereby produces the same uncertainty. The needs and passions of the body also suggest to us varying actions and opinions; as do also the ignorance of the true goods, the soul’s inability to give a certain judgment, while in this hesitating condition, and the consequences which result from the mingling of the things we have just mentioned. Still our own highest part makes judgments more certain than those reached by the part common (to the soul and to the body), a part that is very uncertain, being a prey to diversity of opinions.

SOULS, ACCORDING TO MORALIZATION, RESEMBLE VARIOUS FORMS OF GOVERNMENT.

Right reason, on descending from the higher realms of the soul into the common part, is by this mingling weakened, although it is not naturally weak; thus, in the tumult of a numerous assembly, it is not the wisest counsellor whose word carries weight; but on the contrary, that of the most turbulent and quarrelsome, and the tumult they make forces the wise man to stay seated, powerless and vanquished, by the noise. In the perverse man, it is the animal   part that rules; the diversity of influences which overcome this man represents the worst of governments (the rule of the mob). In the commonplace man, things happen   as in a republic where some good element dominates the remainder, which does not refuse to obey. In the virtuous man, there is a life which resembles the aristocracy, because he manages to withdraw from the influence of the commonplace part, and because he listens to what is best in himself. Finally, in the best man, completely separated from the common part, reigns one single principle from which proceeds the order to which the remainder is subject. It would seem therefore that there were two cities, the one superior, and the other inferior  , which latter derives its order from the former. We saw that the universal Soul was a single identical principle which commands uniformly; but other souls, as we have just explained, are in a very different condition. Enough of this.

MacKenna

17. But how comes it that the intuitions and the Reason-Principles of the soul are not in the same timeless fashion within ourselves, but that here the later of order is converted into a later of time - bringing in all these doubts?

Is it because in us the governing and the answering principles are many and there is no sovereign unity?

That condition; and, further, the fact that our mental acts fall into a series according to the succession of our needs, being not self-determined but guided by the variations of the external: thus the will changes to meet every incident as each fresh need arises and as the external impinges in its successive things and events.

A variety of governing principles must mean variety in the images formed upon the representative faculty, images not issuing from one internal centre, but, by difference of origin and of acting - point, strange to each other, and so bringing compulsion to bear upon the movements and efficiencies of the self.

When the desiring faculty is stirred, there is a presentment of the object - a sort of sensation, in announcement and in picture, of the experience - calling us to follow and to attain: the personality, whether it resists or follows and procures, is necessarily thrown out of equilibrium. The same disturbance is caused by passion urging revenge and by the needs of the body; every other sensation or experience effects its own change upon our mental attitude; then there is the ignorance of what is good and the indecision of a soul [a human soul] thus pulled in every direction; and, again, the interaction of all these perplexities gives rise to yet others.

But do variations of judgement affect that very highest in us?

No: the doubt and the change of standard are of the Conjoint [of the soul-phase in contact with body]; still, the right reason of that highest is weaker by being given over to inhabit this mingled mass: not that it sinks in its own nature: it is much as amid the tumult of a public meeting the best adviser speaks but fails to dominate; assent goes   to the roughest of the brawlers and roarers, while the man of good counsel sits silent, ineffectual, overwhelmed by the uproar of his inferiors.

The lowest human type exhibits the baser nature; the man is a compost calling to mind   inferior political organization: in the mid-type we have a citizenship in which some better section sways a demotic constitution not out of control: in the superior type the life is aristocratic; it is the career of one emancipated from what is a base in humanity and tractable to the better; in the finest type, where the man has brought himself to detachment, the ruler is one only, and from this master principle order is imposed upon the rest, so that we may think of a municipality in two sections, the superior city and, kept in hand by it, the city of the lower elements.