Página inicial > Antiguidade > Neoplatonismo (245-529 dC) > Plotino (204-270 dC) – Tratados Enéadas > Plotino - Tratado 28,22 (IV, 4, 22) — Questão: É que a terra pode ter (...)

ENÉADAS

Plotino - Tratado 28,22 (IV, 4, 22) — Questão: É que a terra pode ter sensações?

Enéada IV, 4, 22

domingo 8 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulos 18-29: O prazer e a dor, o desejo e a cólera em sua relação à união da alma e do corpo.

  • Cap 18: A união da alma e do corpo comparada ao ar aquecido (alma vegetativa) ou iluminado (alma descida)
  • Cap 19: O prazer e a dor
  • Cap 20-21: O desejo
  • Cap 22-27: Digressão. A questão da alma vegetativa posta em relação a este vivente divino que é a terra
  • Cap 22: Questão: É que a terra pode ter sensações?
  • Cap 23-26: Sabe-se que a sensação não pode se fazer sem órgãos e tem por meta a utilidade
  • Cap 27: Resposta. A terra tem um poder vegetativo que ela dá não somente às plantas, mas também às pedras. Ela tem um poder sensitivo. E ela tem um intelecto como os astros.
  • Cap 28: A cólera
  • Cap 29: A separação da alma e do corpo. A alma descida deixa imediatamente o corpo como a luz quando sua fonte desaparece, então a alma vegetativa continua a agir durante um certo tempo como o color no ar

Míguez

22. ¿Habrá que distinguir también en las plantas unas cualidades que sean en sus cuerpos como el eco de una potencia y, a la vez, la potencia que dirige estas cualidades, potencia que es en nosotros la facultad de desear y en las plantas la potencia vegetativa? ¿O acaso esta potencia se da en la tierra, que tiene ciertamente un alma, y en las plantas proviene de ella? Habría que investigar primero cuál sea el alma de la tierra y si es, por ejemplo, algo que proviene de la esfera del universo, lo único a lo que Platón   parece querer animar. ¿Será como un resplandor de esta alma sobre la tierra? Mas he aquí que Platón   dice de nuevo que la tierra es la primera y la más antigua de las divinidades que se encuentran en el cielo, dándole así un alma al igual que a los astros . Pero, ¿cómo podría ser una divinidad, si no tuviese alma? De este modo, la cuestión resulta difícil de resolver y las dificultades aumentan todavía, y no disminuyen, con las afirmaciones de Platón  .

Hemos de investigar primeramente cómo podremos formarnos una opinión razonable. Que existe en la tierra un alma vegetativa lo prueban sin duda las mismas plantas que nacen de ella. Pero si vemos que muchos animales tienen también su origen en la tierra, ¿por qué no decir que la tierra es un ser animado? Y de un ser así, que constituye una parte no pequeña del universo, ¿por qué no decir igualmente que posee una inteligencia y que es un dios? Si cada uno de los astros es un ser animado, ¿qué impide que lo sea la tierra, que es asimismo una parte del ser animado universal? Pues no hemos de afirmar que está dirigida desde fuera por un alma extraña y que no tiene alma en sí misma, al no poder contar con un alma propia. Más, veamos: ¿por qué un ser ígneo podría tener alma y no en cambio un ser de tierra? Tanto el uno como el otro son verdaderos cuerpos y no hay más músculos, o carne, o sangre, o líquido en el uno que en el otro, pues en realidad la tierra es el cuerpo más vario de todos. Podría argüirse que es el cuerpo que menos se mueve, pero habría que afirmar esto en el sentido de que no cambia de lugar. ¿Y cómo siente? ¿Cómo sienten a la vez los astros? Es claro que la sensación no es propia de la carne, ni en absoluto hay que dar un cuerpo a un alma para que ésta tenga sensación, sino que el alma debe ser dada al cuerpo para que éste pueda ser conservado. Al alma corresponde la facultad de juzgar y es ella la que debe mirar por el cuerpo, partiendo a tal fin de sus afecciones para concluir en la sensación. ¿Qué es, en cambio, lo que experimenta la tierra y cuáles podrían ser sus juicios? Las plantas, en cuanto que pertenecen a la tierra, no tienen sensación alguna. ¿De qué y por qué iba a tener ella sensación? Porque, ciertamente, no nos atreveremos a admitir sensaciones sin sus órganos. Y, además, ¿de qué le serviría la sensación? No, desde luego, para conocer, porque el conocimiento intelectual es suficiente para los seres que no obtienen ninguna utilidad de la sensación. No hay por que, pues, conceder esto. Pero se da en las sensaciones, además de su misma utilidad, un cierto conocimiento rudo, como el del sol, el de los astros, el del cielo y el de la tierra; y nuestras sensaciones, por otra parte, resultan gratas por sí mismas. Mas, dejaré la cuestión para más adelante; ahora hemos de preguntarnos de nuevo si la tierra tiene sensaciones, qué son y cómo se dan en ella. Para esto habrá que considerar en primer lugar las dificultades que antes surgieron, como por ejemplo si pueden existir sensaciones sin órganos y si ellas están dispuestas para nuestra utilidad, aun en el supuesto de que puedan ofrecernos otras ventajas.

Bouillet

XXII. Faut-il aussi distinguer dans les végétaux quelque chose qui soit la propriété de leurs corps et une puissance qui le leur donne? — Sans doute. Ce qu’est en nous la concupiscence, la puissance végétative (τὸ φυτικόν) l’est en eux.

La Terre possède aussi une pareille puissance, puisqu’elle a une âme, et c’est d’elle que les végétaux tiennent leur puissance végétative. On pourrait avec raison demander d’abord quelle est cette âme qui réside dans la Terre. Procède-t-elle de la sphère de l’univers (que Platon   paraît animer seule primitivement), en sorte qu’elle soit une irradiation de cette sphère sur la Terre? Faut-il au contraire attribuer à la Terre une âme semblable à celle des astres, comme le fait Platon   quand il appelle la Terre la première et la plus ancienne des divinités qui sont contenues dans l’intérieur du ciel (59)? Pourrait-elle dans ce cas être une divinité si elle n’avait pas une âme? Il est donc difficile de déterminer ce qu’il en est, et les paroles mêmes de Platon   ne font ici qu’augmenter notre embarras au lieu de le diminuer.

D’abord, comment arriverons-nous à nous former sur cette question une opinion raisonnable ? On peut, d’après ce que la Terre engendre, conjecturer qu’elle possède la puissance végétative. Puisque l’on voit naître de la Terre même beaucoup d’animaux, pourquoi ne serait-elle pas elle-même un animal ? Étant d’ailleurs un grand animal et une partie considérable du monde, pourquoi ne posséderait-elle pas l’intelligence et ne serait-elle pas une divinité? Puisque nous regardons chaque astre comme un animal, pourquoi ne regarderions-nous pas aussi comme un animal la Terre, qui est une partie de l’Animal universel? On ne saurait admettre en effet qu’elle soit contenue extérieurement par une âme étrangère, qu’elle n’ait point d’âme intérieurement comme si elle était seule incapable d’avoir une âme en propre. Pourquoi les corps de feu [les astres] seraient-ils animés et un corps de terre ne le serait-il pas? En effet, ce qui est de feu et ce qui est de terre est également corps. Il n’y a pas plus dans les astres que dans la Terre de nez, de chair, de sang, d’humeurs, quoiqu’elle soit plus variée que les astres et qu’elle se trouve composée de tous les corps. Si l’on affirme qu’elle est incapable de se mouvoir, on ne peut le dire que sous le rapport du mouvement local. [Car elle est capable de se mouvoir sous ce rapport qu’elle peut sentir (60).]

Mais comment peut-elle sentir [demandera-t-on]? —Comment peuvent sentir les astres [demanderons-nous à notre tour]? Ce ne sont pas les chairs qui sentent; il n’est pas nécessaire à l’âme d’avoir un corps pour sentir; mais le corps a besoin de l’âme pour se conserver. Comme l’âme possède le jugement, elle a la faculté de juger les passions du corps quand elle y applique son attention.

Mais [demandera-t-on encore] quelles sont les passions qui sont propres à la Terre et qui peuvent être pour son âme des objets de jugement? D’ailleurs [ajoutera-t-on], les plantes, considérées dans l’élément terrestre qui les constitue, ne sentent pas.

Examinons donc à quels êtres appartient la sensation, et par quoi elle s’opère. Voyons si la sensation peut avoir lieu même sans organes. Déterminons à quoi la sensation peut servir à la Terre, puisqu’elle ne lui sert pas à connaître : car la connaissance qui consiste dans la sagesse suffit aux êtres auxquels la sensation n’est d’aucune utilité. Peut-être refusera-t-on de nous accorder ce point. En effet, la connaissance des objets sensibles offre, outre l’utilité, quelque chose des agréments des Muses : telle est, par exemple, la connaissance du soleil et des autres astres ; la contemplation en est agréable par elle-même. C’est donc une des choses que nous aurons ensuite à considérer.

Nous avons à chercher d’abord si la Terre a des sens, à quels animaux il appartient de sentir, et comment s’opère la sensation. Il semble nécessaire de commencer par discuter les points douteux que nous avons indiqués, et d’examiner en général si la sensation peut s’opérer sans organes, et si les sens ont été donnés pour l’utilité, en admettant même qu’ils puissent procurer quelque autre avantage.

Guthrie

RELATION OF DESIRE-FUNCTION TO THE VEGETATIVE POWERS.

22. It is possible, even in plant-life, to distinguish something which is the characteristic property of their bodies, and a power that imparts it to them. What in us in the soul’s faculty of desire, is in plant-life the natural element (or, vegetative power).

PLATO   IS IN DOUBT ABOUT THE EARTH’S SOUL; WHETHER SHE IS LIKE THOSE OF STARS.

The earth also possesses a soul; and therefore also such a potentiality; and it is from the earth that the plants derive their vegetative potentiality. One might reasonably first ask which is this soul that resides in the earth. Does she proceed from the sphere of the universe (to which alone Plato   seems to attribute a soul from the very first), so as to make of her an irradiation of this sphere upon the earth ? Or should we on the contrary, attribute to the earth a soul similar to that of the stars, as Plato   does when he calls the earth the first and most ancient of the divinities contained within the interior of the heavens? Could it, in this case, be a divinity, if it did not have a soul? It is therefore difficult to determine the exact state of affairs, and the very words of Plato   here instead of diminishing our embarrassment, only increase it.

At first, how will we manage to form a reasonable opinion on this subject? Judging from what the earth causes to grow, one might conjecture that it possesses the vegetative potentiality. As many living beings are seen to grow from the earth, why would it itself not be a living being? Being besides a great living being, and a considerable part of the world, why should the earth not possess intelligence, and be a divinity? Since we consider every star as a living being, why would we not similarly consider the earth, which is a part of the universal living being? It would, indeed, be impossible to admit that it was exteriorly contained by a foreign soul, and that interiorly it would have no soul, as if it were the only being incapable of having an individual soul. Why should we grant animation to the (starry) bodies of fire, while not to the earthly body of our earth? Indeed, bodies could as easily be of earth as of fire. Not in the stars, any more than in the earth, is there any nose, flesh, blood, or humours, although the earth is more varied than the stars, and although it be composed of all the other living bodies. As to its inability to move, this can be said only in reference to local motion. (For it is capable of motion in the respect that it can feel.)

THE EARTH CAN FEEL AS WELL AS ANY OF THE STARS.

It will be asked, But how can the earth feel? We shall answer in turn, How can stars feel ? It is not the flesh that feels; a soul is not dependent for feeling on a body; but the body is dependent on the soul for self-preservation. As the soul possesses judgment, she should be able to judge the passions of the body whenever she applies her attention thereto.

QUESTION: WHAT PASSIONS WOULD BE SUITABLE TO THE EARTH?

It may however still be asked, What are the passions characteristic of the earth, and which may be objects of judgment for the soul? It may besides be objected that the plants, considered in the terrestrial element that constitutes them, do not feel.

SENSATION WILL FIRST HAVE TO BE EXAMINED.

Let us now examine to what beings sensation belongs, and whereby it operates. Let us see whether sensation can take place even without organs. Of what use to the earth could sensation be? For it does not serve the earth as means of knowledge; the knowledge which consists in wisdom suffices for the beings to whom sensation is of no use. This consideration might however be denied, for the knowledge of sense-objects offers, besides utility, some of the charms of the Muses. Such is, for example, the knowledge of the sun and the other stars, whose contemplation itself is agreeable. This problem will therefore demand solution.

RESTATEMENT OF PROBLEMS INVOLVED.

We must therefore first investigate if the earth possess senses, to what animals sensation naturally belongs, and how sensation operates. It will be necessary to begin by discussing the doubtful points that we have indicated, and to examine in general if sensation can operate without organs, and if the senses have been given for utility, admitting even that they can procure some other advantage.

MacKenna

22. And as regards vegetal forms? Are we to imagine beneath the leading principle [the "Nature" phase] some sort of corporeal echo of it, something that would be tendency or desire in us and is growth in them? Or are we to think that, while the earth [which nourishes them] contains the principle of desire by virtue of containing soul, the vegetal realm possesses only this latter reflection of desire?

The first point to be decided is what soul is present in the earth.

Is it one coming from the sphere of the All, a radiation upon earth from that which Plato   seems to represent as the only thing possessing soul primarily? Or are we to go by that other passage where he describes earth as the first and oldest of all the gods within the scope of the heavens, and assigns to it, as to the other stars, a soul peculiar to itself?

It is difficult to see how earth could be a god if it did not possess a soul thus distinct: but the whole matter is obscure since Plato  ’s statements increase or at least do not lessen the perplexity. It is best to begin by facing the question as a matter of reasoned investigation.

That earth possesses the vegetal soul may be taken as certain from the vegetation upon it. But we see also that it produces animals; why then should we not argue that it is itself animated? And, animated, no small part of the All, must it not be plausible to assert that it possesses an Intellectual-Principle by which it holds its rank as a god? If this is true of every one of the stars, why should it not be so of the earth, a living part of the living All? We cannot think of it as sustained from without by an alien soul and incapable of containing one appropriate to itself.

Why should those fiery globes be receptive of soul, and the earthly globe not? The stars are equally corporeal, and they lack the flesh, blood, muscle, and pliant material of earth, which, besides, is of more varied content and includes every form of body. If the earth’s immobility is urged in objection, the answer is that this refers only to spatial movement.

But how can perception and sensation [implied in ensoulment] be supposed to occur in the earth?

How do they occur in the stars? Feeling does not belong to fleshy matter: soul to have perception does not require body; body, on the contrary, requires soul to maintain its being and its efficiency, judgement [the foundation of perception] belongs to the soul which overlooks the body, and, from what is experienced there, forms its decisions.

But, we will be asked to say what are the experiences, within the earth, upon which the earth-soul is thus to form its decisions: certainly vegetal forms, in so far as they belong to earth have no sensation or perception: in what then, and through what, does such sensation take place, for sensation without organs is too rash a notion. Besides, what would this sense-perception profit the soul? It could not be necessary to knowledge: surely the consciousness of wisdom suffices to beings which have nothing to gain from sensation?

This argument is not to be accepted: it ignores the consideration that, apart from all question of practical utility, objects of sense provide occasion for a knowing which brings pleasure: thus we ourselves take delight in looking upon sun, stars, sky, landscape, for their own sake. But we will deal with this point later: for the present we ask whether the earth has perceptions and sensations, and if so through what vital members these would take place and by what method: this requires us to examine certain difficulties, and above all to decide whether earth could have sensation without organs, and whether this would be directed to some necessary purpose even when incidentally it might bring other results as well.