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Plotino - Tratado 28,28 (IV, 4, 28) — A cólera

Enéada IV, 4, 28

terça-feira 10 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

28. Pero bastante se ha dicho sobre esto. Volvamos ahora al asunto de que tratábamos e investiguemos respecto a la parte irascible del alma lo mismo que acerca de las pasiones, esto es, si tanto éstas como las penas y los placeres — y entiéndase bien, las afecciones, no las sensaciones — tienen su principio en un cuerpo animado. Porque ya acerca del principio de la cólera, o incluso acerca de la cólera misma, hemos de preguntarnos si responde a una disposición del cuerpo o sólo de una parte del cuerpo, como el corazón o la bilis, que no radique en un cuerpo inerte. Porque si es alguna otra cosa la que da a estos órganos una huella del alma, la cólera es entonces algo propio de ellos, pero no el producto de la facultad irascible o sensitiva. En cuanto a las pasiones, la potencia vegetativa que se encuentra en todo el cuerpo ofrece también su huella a todo el cuerpo, encontrándose así en todo él tanto el sufrimiento como el placer y el principio del deseo de saciarse. No se ha hablado hasta ahora del deseo sexual, pero demos por supuesto que radica en sus propios órganos, cosa que puede decirse igualmente del principio del deseo, al que se asigna la región del hígado. Y es que la potencia vegetativa, que comunica una huella del alma al hígado y al cuerpo, tiene realmente en aquel órgano su principal acción. Con lo que, si afirmamos que el deseo radica en el hígado, admitimos que se da ahí el principio de su acción. En cuanto a la cólera, ¿qué es en sí misma y qué parte del alma ocupa? ¿Proviene de ella la huella que merodea el corazón o es algo verdaderamente diferente lo que mueve el corazón y el hígado? Acaso no sea la huella de la cólera, sino la cólera misma, lo que se encuentre en el corazón. Por ello convendrá preguntarse primero qué es en realidad la cólera. Porque no sólo nos vemos afectados con lo que sufre nuestro cuerpo, sino que nos irritamos con lo que acontece a nuestros progenitores y, en general, con cualquier otra cosa que nos resulta inconveniente. De ahí que, para irritarse, haya que percibir o conocer alguna cosa. Por ello buscamos el origen de la cólera, no en la potencia vegetativa, sino en otro principio.

Está claro, pues, que la predisposición a la cólera es una consecuencia de la organización del cuerpo. Así, las personas de bilis y sangre caliente tienen inclinación a la cólera y, en cambio, los no biliosos, comúnmente llamados personas frías, no se ven fácilmente arrastrados por ella. En los animales, la cólera proviene del temperamento y no de un juicio sobre el daño que sufren; esto es lo que mueve en mayor grado a referir la cólera al cuerpo y a la disposición misma de éste.

No hay duda que las personas enfermas son más irritables que las personas sanas. Y lo mismo ocurre con las personas ayunas de alimento en relación con las saciadas de él. Lo cual nos indica claramente que la cólera, o el principio de la cólera, está radicado en el cuerpo. La bilis y la sangre son como convulsivos del cuerpo para producir los movimientos de la cólera; de modo que, cuando el cuerpo sufre, la sangre y la bilis se mueven a su tenor. Es entonces también cuando se origina la sensación, asociando el alma una imagen al estado del cuerpo y atacando a la vez la causa que lo produce. Pero la cólera puede, a la vez, provenir de lo alto; el alma, en este caso, se sirve de la reflexión ante una aparente injusticia, moviéndose con una cólera que ya no es cosa del cuerpo sino que se destina a combatir lo que se opone a su naturaleza, haciéndose así una aliada suya. Se produce de este modo un despertar irreflexivo que arrastra consigo la razón y, por otra parte, una cólera que comienza con la reflexión y concluye en la irritación natural del cuerpo. Estas dos clases de cólera se originan en la potencia vegetativa y generadora, que prepara un cuerpo susceptible de placeres y de dolores. Por la bilis amarga a ella debida e, igualmente, por la huella del alma que hay en esta bilis, se da libre paso a la irritación y a la cólera; pero no menos también, y quizá en primer lugar, por el deseo de dañar al que nos hace mal y de hacerlo semejante a uno mismo. La prueba de que la cólera se parece a la otra huella del alma (que llamamos el deseo), se basa en el hecho de que quienes buscan en menor grado los placeres del cuerpo, o los desprecian en absoluto, apenas son empujados a la cólera. Su falta de pasión es algo naturalmente irracional.

Tampoco debe sorprendernos en manera alguna el hecho de que los árboles no posean la facultad de irritarse, aunque tengan como es sabido la potencia vegetativa, puesto que los árboles carecen de sangre y de bilis. Cuando estos humores se producen sin la sensación hay como una convulsión y excitación del cuerpo; pero si les acompaña la sensación, entonces dirigimos nuestro ataque contra el objeto que nos irrita de modo que consigamos protegernos de él. Es claro que dividimos la parte irracional del alma en deseo y parte irascible, pero si el deseo es la potencia vegetativa y la parte irascible una huella de esta potencia en la sangre y en la bilis, no procedemos a una división correcta, ya que uno de los términos es anterior y el otro posterior. Aunque nada impide que ambos términos sean posteriores a otro y que la división se haya hecho de algo que proviene de él, puesto que la división afecta realmente a las tendencias y no al ser del que éstas provienen. Este ser no es en sí mismo una tendencia, sino que tal vez complete la tendencia anudando a sí mismo la actividad que proviene de ella. No resulta extraño afirmar que la huella del alma transformada en cólera tenga su sitio en el corazón; porque esto no quiere decir que el alma se encuentra ahí, sino el principio de la sangre de ese cuerpo.

Bouillet

XXVIII. En voici assez sur ce sujet. Revenons à la question que cette digression nous a fait abandonner. Examinons si, ayant déjà admis que les Appétits, les douleurs et les plaisirs (considérés non comme sentiments, mais comme passions) ont leur origine dans la constitution du corps organisé et vivant (74), nous devons assigner la même origine à la puissance irascible (τὸ θυμοειδές). Dans ce cas, plusieurs questions se présentent : La Colère (θυμός) appartient-elle à l’organisme entier ou seulement à un organe particulier, soit au cœur disposé de telle manière (75), soit à la bile, en tant que celle-ci est une partie du corps vivant? La colère est-elle différente du principe qui donne au corps un vestige de l’âme (76), ou bien est-elle une puissance individuelle, qui ne dépend d’aucune autre puissance, irascible ou sensitive?

La puissance végétative présente dans tout le corps y fait pénétrer partout un vestige de l’âme. C’est donc au corps entier que se rapportent la souffrance, la volupté, et le désir des aliments (77). Quoiqu’il n’y ait rien de déterminé au sujet de l’amour physique, admettons qu’il ait son siège dans les organes destinés à le satisfaire (78). Admettons aussi que le foie soit le siège de la Concupiscence, parce que c’est là surtout qu’agit la puissance végétative qui imprime au foie et au corps entier un vestige de l’âme, enfin parce que c’est du foie que part l’action qu’elle exerce (79).

Quant à la Colère, il faut chercher ce qu’elle est, quelle puissance de l’âme elle constitue, si c’est elle qui donne au cœur un vestige de sa propre puissance, s’il y a une autre force capable de produire le mouvement qui se fait sentir dans l’animal, enfin si c’est, non le vestige de la colère, mais la colère même qui siège dans le cœur.

D’abord, en quoi consiste la Colère? — Nous sommes irrités quand on nous maltraite nous-mêmes ou qu’on maltraite une personne qui nous est chère, en général quand nous voyons commettre une indignité. La colère implique donc sensation et même intelligence à un certain degré. — On pourrait en conclure que la colère a son origine dans un autre principe que la puissance végétative. Il y a, en effet, certaines dispositions du corps qui nous rendent irascibles, comme d’avoir le sang bouillant, d’être bilieux : car on est moins irascible quand on a le sang froid. D’un autre côté, les animaux s’irritent, indépendamment de la constitution de leur corps, quand on les menace. — Mais ces faits conduisent encore à rapporter la colère à la disposition du corps et au principe qui préside à la constitution de l’animal (σύστασις τοῦ ζώου). Puisque les mêmes hommes sont plus irascibles quand ils sont malades que quand ils se portent bien, étant à jeun que rassasiés, évidemment on doit rapporter la colère ou son principe au corps organisé et vivant. En effet, les élans de la colère sont excités par le sang ou la bile, qui sont des parties vivantes de l’animal : dès que le corps souffre, le sang bouillonne ainsi que la bile, et il se produit une sensation qui éveille l’imagination ; celle-ci instruit l’âme de l’état de l’organisme et la dispose à attaquer ce qui cause la souffrance. D’un autre côté, quand l’âme raisonnable juge qu’on nous fait une injustice, elle s’émeut, n’y eût-il même alors dans le corps aucune disposition à la colère. Cette affection semble donc nous avoir été donnée par la nature pour nous faire repousser d’après les ordres de la raison ce qui nous attaque et nous menace. Ainsi, ou bien la puissance irascible s’émeut en nous d’abord sans le concours de la raison et elle lui communique ensuite sa disposition par l’intermédiaire de l’imagination ; ou bien la raison entre d’abord en action et elle communique ensuite son impulsion à la partie qui a une nature irascible (80). Il en résulte que dans les deux cas (81) la colère a son origine dans la puissance végétative et générative, qui, en organisant le corps, l’a rendu capable de rechercher ce qui est agréable, de fuir ce qui est pénible : en plaçant la bile amère dans l’organisme, en lui donnant un vestige de l’âme, elle lui a communiqué la faculté de s’émouvoir en présence des objets nuisibles, de chercher, après avoir été lésée, à léser les autres choses et à les rendre semblables à elle-même (82). Ce qui prouve que la colère est un vestige de l’âme, vestige dont l’essence est la même que selle de la concupiscence, c’est que ceux qui recherchent moins les objets agréables au corps, qui méprisent même le corps, sont moins portés à s’abandonner aux aveugles transports de la colère. Si les végétaux ne possèdent pas l’appétit irascible, quoiqu’ils aient la puissance végétative, c’est qu’ils n’ont ni sang ni bile. Ce sont ces deux choses qui, en l’absence de la sensation, rendent l’être capable de bouillir d’indignation ; en s’y joignant, la sensation produit en lui un élan qui le porte à combattre l’objet nuisible. Si l’on divisait en Concupiscence et en Colère la partie irraisonnable de l’âme, que l’on regardât la première comme la puissance végétative, et l’autre, au contraire, comme un vestige de la puissance végétative, vestige résidant soit dans le cœur, soit dans le sang, soit dans tous les deux, on n’aurait pas de membres opposés dans cette division, parce que le second procéderait du premier (83). Mais rien n’empêche de regarder les deux membres de cette division, la Concupiscence et la Colère, comme deux puissances dérivées d’un même principe [la puissance végétative]. En effet, quand on divise les Appétits (τὰ ὀρεκτικά), on considère leur nature et non l’essence dont ils dépendent. Cette essence en elle-même n’est pas l’appétit; elle le complète seulement, en mettant en harmonie avec elle l’acte qui provient de l’appétit. Il est d’ailleurs raisonnable de donner le cœur pour siège au vestige de l’âme qui constitue la colère : car le cœur n’est pas le siège de l’âme, mais la source du sang disposé de telle manière [c’est-à-dire du sang artériel] (84).

Guthrie

DOES THE IRASCIBLE POWER ALSO ORIGINATE IN THE BODY?

28. Enough of this. Let us return to the question from which we digressed. We granted that the desires, pains and pleasures (considered not only as sentiments, but as passions), originate in the constitution of the organized and living body. Must the same origin be assigned to the irascible (power) ? Were this so, we would have several questions to ask: Does anger belong to the entire organism, or only to a particular organ, such as the heart when so disposed, or to the bile, as long as it is part of a living body? Is anger different from the principle which gives the body a trace of the soul, or is it an individual power, which depends on no other power, whether irascible or sensitive ?

THE LIVER IS THE SEAT OF THE SOUL’S FACULTY OF DESIRE.

The vegetative power present in the whole body communicates to every part thereof a trace of the soul. It is therefore to the entire body that we must refer suffering, pleasure, and the desire of food. Though nothing definite is ascertained about the seat of sexual desire, let us grant that their seat is in the organs destined to its satisfaction. Further, be it granted that the liver is the seat of the soul’s faculty of desire, because that organ is particularly the theatre of the activities of the vegetative power which impresses a trace of the soul on the body; and further, because it is from the liver that the action it exercises starts.

THE HEART IS THE SEAT OF ANGER.

As to anger, we shall have to examine its nature, what power of the soul it constitutes, whether it be anger that imparts to the heart a trace of its own power; if there exist another force capable of producing the movement revealed in the animal; and finally, if it be not a trace of anger, but anger itself which resides in the heart.

ANGER ORIGINATES IN THE VEGETATIVE AND GENERATIVE POWER, AS TRACE OF THE SOUL.

First, what is the nature of anger? We grow irritated at maltreatment of ourselves or of a person dear to us; in general, when we witness some outrage. Therefore anger implies a certain degree of sensation, or even intelligence, and we should have to suppose that anger originates in some principle other than the vegetative power. Certain bodily conditions, however, predispose us to anger; such as being of a fiery disposition, and being bilious; for people are far less disposed to anger if of a cold-blooded nature. Besides, animals grow irritated especially by the excitement of this particular part, and by threats of harm to their bodily condition. Consequently we would once more be led to refer anger to the condition of the body and to the principle which presides over the constitution of organism. Since men are more irritable when sick than when well, when they are hungry, more than when well satisfied, anger or its principle should evidently be referred to the organized and living body; evidently, attacks of anger are excited by the blood or the bile, which are living parts of the animal. As soon as the body suffers, the blood as well as the bile boils, and there arises a sensation which arouses the imagination; the latter then instructs the soul of the state of the organism, and disposes the soul to attack what causes this suffering. On the other hand, when the reasonable soul judges that we have been injured, she grows excited, even if there were no disposition to anger in the body. This affection seems therefore to have been given to us by nature to make us, according to the dictates of our reasons, repel and threatens us. (There are then two possible states of affairs) Either the irascible power first is moved in us without the aid of reason, and later communicates its disposition to reason by means of the imagination; or, reason first enters into action, and then reason communicates its impulse to that part of our being which is disposed to anger. In either case, anger arises in the vegetative and generative power, which, in organizing the body, has rendered it capable to seek out what is agreeable, and to avoid what is painful; diffusing the bitter bile through the organism, imparting to it a trace of the soul, thus communicating to it the faculty of growing irritated in the presence of harmful objects, and, after having been harmed, of harming other things, and to render them similar to itself. Anger is a trace of the soul, of the same nature as the soul’s faculty of desire, because those least seek objects agreeable to the body, and who even scorn the body, are least likely to abandon themselves to the blind transports of anger. Although plant-life possesses the vegetative power, it does not possess the faculty of anger because it has neither blood nor bile. These are the two things which, in the absence of sensation, leads one to boil with indignation. When however sensation joins these two elements, there arises an impulse to fight against the harmful object. If the irrational part of the soul were to be divided into the faculty of desire, and that of anger, and if the former were to be considered the vegetative power, and the other, on the contrary, as a trace of the vegetative power, residing in either the heart or blood, or in both; this division would not consist of opposed members, because the second would proceed from the first. But there is an alternative: both members of this division, the faculties of desire and anger, might be considered two powers derived from one and the same principle (the vegetative power). Indeed, when the appetites are divided, it is their nature, and not the being from which they depend, that is considered. This essence itself, however, is not the appetite, but completes it, harmonizing with it the actions proceeding from the appetite. It is also reasonable to assign the heart as seat of the trace of the soul which constitutes anger; for the heart is not the seat of the soul, but the source of the (arterially) circulating blood.

MacKenna

28. Thus much established, we may return on our path: we have to discuss the seat of the passionate element in the human being.

Pleasures and pains - the conditions, that is, not the perception of them - and the nascent stage of desire, we assigned to the body as a determined thing, the body brought, in some sense, to life: are we entitled to say the same of the nascent stage of passion? Are we to consider passion in all its forms as vested in the determined body or in something belonging to it, for instance in the heart or the bile necessarily taking condition within a body not dead? Or are we to think that just as that which bestows the vestige of the soul is a distinct entity, so we may reason in this case - the passionate element being one distinct thing, itself, and not deriving from any passionate or percipient faculty?

Now in the first case the soul-principle involved, the vegetal, pervades the entire body, so that pain and pleasure and nascent desire for the satisfaction of need are present all over it - there is possibly some doubt as to the sexual impulse, which, however, it may suffice to assign to the organs by which it is executed - but in general the region about the liver may be taken to be the starting point of desire, since it is the main acting point of the vegetal principle which transmits the vestige phase of the soul to the liver and body - the seat, because the spring.

But in this other case, of passion, we have to settle what it is, what form of soul it represents: does it act by communicating a lower phase of itself to the regions round the heart, or is it set in motion by the higher soul-phase impinging upon the Conjoint [the animate-total], or is there, in such conditions no question of soul-phase, but simply passion itself producing the act or state of [for example] anger?

Evidently the first point for enquiry is what passion is.

Now we all know that we feel anger not only over our own bodily suffering, but also over the conduct of others, as when some of our associates act against our right and due, and in general over any unseemly conduct. It is at once evident that anger implies some subject capable of sensation and of judgement: and this consideration suffices to show that the vegetal nature is not its source, that we must look for its origin elsewhere.

On the other hand, anger follows closely upon bodily states; people in whom the blood and the bile are intensely active are as quick to anger as those of cool blood and no bile are slow; animals grow angry though they pay attention to no outside combinations except where they recognize physical danger; all this forces us again to place the seat of anger in the strictly corporeal element, the principle by which the animal organism is held together. Similarly, that anger or its first stirring depends upon the condition of the body follows from the consideration that the same people are more irritable ill than well, fasting than after food: it would seem that the bile and the blood, acting as vehicles of life, produce these emotions.

Our conclusion [reconciling with these corporeal facts the psychic or mental element indicated] will identify, first, some suffering in the body answered by a movement in the blood or in the bile: sensation ensues and the soul, brought by means of the representative faculty to partake in the condition of the affected body, is directed towards the cause of the pain: the reasoning soul, in turn, from its place above the phase not inbound with body-acts in its own mode when the breach of order has become manifest to it: it calls in the alliance of that ready passionate faculty which is the natural combatant of the evil disclosed.

Thus anger has two phases; there is firstly that which, rising apart from all process of reasoning, draws reason to itself by the medium of the imaging faculty, and secondly that which, rising in reason, touches finally upon the specific principle of the emotion. Both these depend upon the existence of that principle of vegetal life and generation by which the body becomes an organism aware of pleasure and pain: this principle it was that made the body a thing of bile and bitterness, and thus it leads the indwelling soul-phase to corresponding states - churlish and angry under stress of environment - so that being wronged itself, it tries, as we may put it, to return the wrong upon its surroundings, and bring them to the same condition.

That this soul-vestige, which determines the movements of passion is of one essence [con-substantial] with the other is evident from the consideration that those of us less avid of corporeal pleasures, especially those that wholly repudiate the body, are the least prone to anger and to all experiences not rising from reason.

That this vegetal principle, underlying anger, should be present in trees and yet passion be lacking in them cannot surprise us since they are not subject to the movements of blood and bile. If the occasions of anger presented themselves where there is no power of sensation there could be no more than a physical ebullition with something approaching to resentment [an unconscious reaction]; where sensation exists there is at once something more; the recognition of wrong and of the necessary defence carries with it the intentional act.

But the division of the unreasoning phase of the soul into a desiring faculty and a passionate faculty - the first identical with the vegetal principle, the second being a lower phase of it acting upon the blood or bile or upon the entire living organism - such a division would not give us a true opposition, for the two would stand in the relation of earlier phase to derivative.

This difficulty is reasonably met by considering that both faculties are derivatives and making the division apply to them in so far as they are new productions from a common source; for the division applies to movements of desire as such, not to the essence from which they rise.

That essence is not, of its own nature, desire; it is, however, the force which by consolidating itself with the active manifestation proceeding from it makes the desire a completed thing. And that derivative which culminates in passion may not unreasonably be thought of as a vestige-phase lodged about the heart, since the heart is not the seat of the soul, but merely the centre to that portion of the blood which is concerned in the movements of passion.