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Plotino - Tratado 28,29 (IV, 4, 29) — A separação da alma e do corpo

Enéada IV, 4, 29

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 que desceu deixa imediatamente o corpo como a luz quando sua fonte desaparece, então a alma vegetativa continua a agir durante um certo tempo como o calor no ar

Míguez

29. ¿Cómo, pues, si el cuerpo se parece a un objeto caliente y no a un objeto que recibe la luz, no retiene nada de la vida una vez que el alma le ha abandonado? Cabría indicar que retiene de ella un poco, aunque este poco se consuma rápidamente cual ocurre con los objetos que se enfrían porque se les aleja del fuego. Y lo prueban los cabellos, que todavía nacen en los cadáveres, y las uñas, que siguen creciendo, y el hecho de que los animales cortados en trozos continúan moviéndose durante mucho tiempo. Esto es tal vez lo que aún queda de vida en el cadáver. Pero, incluso si (el alma vegetativa) se marchase con el alma razonable, no querría esto decir que una y otra no fuesen diferentes. Porque cuando el sol desaparece, no sólo desaparece con él la luz que de él depende, sino que también deja de lucir aquella otra luz que, no siendo ya la suya, viene en efecto de él hasta los objetos a su alcance. ¿Diremos acaso que esta luz se marcha con él o bien que ella es destruida? Nuestra investigación tendrá que recaer, no sólo sobre esta luz, sino también sobre la vida, la cual, según decimos, es lo propio de un cuerpo. Porque es indudable que nada queda de la luz en los cuerpos que han sido iluminados, pero lo que realmente se busca es si la luz retorna a su centro productor o deja de existir en absoluto. Pero, ¿cómo podría dejar de existir si ya antes era algo? Y, en una palabra, ¿qué era? Porque lo que llamamos el color pertenece a los cuerpos de los que proviene la luz y, cuando estos cuerpos son destruidos o se produce en ellos algún cambio, su color también desaparece, sin que nadie pregunte por ello dónde se encuentra el color del fuego que ha desaparecido o la forma misma del cuerpo. No obstante, la forma es una manera de ser, lo mismo que la disposición de la mano, abierta o cerrada; el color, en cambio, no es una cosa así, sino algo parecido a la dulzura. Pero, ¿qué impide que el cuerpo dulce u oloroso desaparezcan, sin que desaparezcan la dulzura y el olor? Porque, ciertamente, la dulzura y el olor pueden pasar a otro cuerpo, e incluso dejar de ser perceptibles si los cuerpos que los reciben muestran en sus cualidades resistencia a la sensación. De igual manera, la luz podría subsistir luego de la destrucción de los cuerpos de los que ella procedía, sin que por ello subsistiese esa resistencia que proviene de la reunión de sus cualidades. A no ser que se diga que el color que nosotros vemos existe por convención y que no existe en los objetos nada que se parezca a las cualidades. Pero si esto fuese así haríamos a las cualidades indestructibles, lo cual equivaldría a decir que no se originan al mismo tiempo que los cuerpos, o que los colores del animal no son el resultado de sus razones seminales, como ocurre en los pájaros de plumas variadas, sino que simplemente se reúnen o se producen sirviéndose de las cualidades existentes en el aire, que está lleno de ellas. Pero esto no significa que se den en el aire tal como se nos aparecen en los cuerpos.

Dejemos, sin embargo, la dificultad en este punto. Mas si, subsistentes los cuerpos, la luz permanece anudada a ellos y no es cortada en ningún modo, ¿qué impedirá que les siga en todos sus movimientos, y no sólo la luz que les es inmediata, sino incluso la que está en contigüidad con la primera? Porque si no se la ve marchar, tampoco se la ve cuando ella llega. Y, en cuanto al alma, ¿siguen las potencias de segundo orden a las primitivas y, hablando en términos generales, lo que es posterior sigue siempre a lo que es anterior, o bien cada una de las potencias puede subsistir por sí misma, privada de todo enlace con las anteriores? Habría que preguntarse también si, en absoluto, ninguna parte del alma puede ser separada de las otras, sino que todas ellas forman una sola alma, que es a la vez una y múltiple. Pero, entonces, ¿en que se convierte esa huella del alma que es como lo propio del cuerpo? Porque si es un alma, seguirá la suerte de ésta, de la cual no podríamos separarla, y si es la vida del cuerpo, tendríamos que aplicar aquí el mismo razonamiento que a la imagen de la luz. Habrá que indagar también si la vida puede existir sin el alma o si no existe más que por su inmediatez y su acción sobre otra cosa.

Bouillet

XXIX. Si le corps ressemble à un objet échauffé plutôt qu’à un objet éclairé (85), pourquoi, quand l’âme raisonnable l’a quitté, n’a-t-il plus rien de vital? — Il conserve quelque chose de vital, mais pour peu de temps : ce vestige ne tarde pas à disparaître, comme s’évanouit la chaleur d’un objet quand il est éloigné du feu. Ce qui prouve qu’après la mort il reste encore dans le corps quelque vestige de vie, c’est que des poils naissent sur le corps de personnes mortes, que leurs ongles poussent, que des animaux, après avoir été coupés en plusieurs morceaux, se meuvent encore quelque temps (86). D’ailleurs, si la vie [végétative] disparaît avec l’âme raisonnable, il ne s’ensuit pas que ces deux choses [l’âme raisonnable et l’âme végétative] ne soient pas différentes. Quand le soleil disparaît, il fait disparaître avec lui non seulement la lumière qui l’entoure immédiatement et lui est suspendue, mais encore la clarté que les objets reçoivent de cette lumière et qui en est complètement différente.

Mais ce qui disparaît ainsi s’en va-t-il seulement ou périt-il? Telle est la question qu’on peut se poser pour la lumière qui est dans les objets éclairés [et les colore], ainsi que pour la vie qui se trouve dans le corps et que nous appelons la vie propre au corps. Évidemment, il ne reste rien de la lumière dans les objets qui ont été éclairés. Mais la question est de décider si la lumière qui était en eux remonte à sa source ou est anéantie (87). Comment serait-elle anéantie, si antérieurement elle était quelque chose de réel? Qu’était-elle donc réellement? Elle était la couleur des corps mêmes dont émane aussi la lumière. Ces corps étant périssables, leur lumière périt avec eux : car on ne demande pas ce qu’est devenue la couleur du feu qui s’est éteint, pas plus qu’on ne s’inquiète de ce qu’est devenue sa figure. — Mais, dira-t-on, la figure n’est qu’une manière d’être, comme l’état de la main ouverte ou fermée, tandis que la couleur est au contraire dans la même condition que la qualité de doux. Or, qui empêche que le corps doux ou le corps odorant ne périssent sans que la douceur ou que l’odeur périssent? Ne peuvent-elles subsister dans d’autres corps sans y être senties, parce que les corps qui participent à ces qualités ne sont pas de nature à laisser sentir les qualités qu’ils possèdent ? Qui empêche que la lumière ne subsiste également après la destruction des corps qu’elle colorait, mais en cessant d’être réfléchie, à moins qu’on ne voie par l’esprit que ces qualités-là ne subsistent en aucun sujet? — Si nous admettions cette opinion, nous serions obligés d’admettre aussi que les qualités sont indestructibles, qu’elles ne sont pas engendrées dans la constitution des corps, que les couleurs ne sont pas produites par les raisons séminales (οἱ λόγοι οἱ ἐν σπέρματι) ; que, ainsi que cela a lieu pour le plumage changeant de certains oiseaux, les raisons séminales non seulement réunissent ou produisent les couleurs des objets, mais encore se servent de celles dont l’air est rempli, et qui sont dans l’air sans s’y trouver telles qu’elles nous apparaissent dans les corps. — En voici assez sur cette question.

Si, tant que les corps subsistent, la lumière qui les colore leur reste attachée et ne se sépare pas d’eux, pourquoi ne se mouvrait-elle pas, ainsi que ce qui peut émaner d’elle, avec le corps auquel elle est attachée, quoiqu’on ne la voie point s’éloigner, pas plus qu’on ne la voit s’approcher? Nous aurons donc à examiner ailleurs si les puissances qui tiennent le second rang dans l’âme restent toujours attachées à celles qui leur sont supérieures , et ainsi de suite , ou si chacune d’elles subsiste par elle-même et peut continuer de subsister en elle-même quand elle est séparée des puissances supérieures, ou enfin si, aucune partie de l’âme ne pouvant être séparée des autres, toutes ensemble forment une âme qui soit à la fois une et multiple, mais d’une manière qui reste à déterminer.

Que devient cependant ce vestige de vie que l’âme imprime au corps et que celui-ci s’approprie? S’il appartient à l’âme (88), il la suivra, puisqu’il n’est pas séparé de l’essence de l’âme (89). S’il est la vie du corps, il est soumis aux mêmes conditions que la couleur lumineuse des corps [il périt avec eux]. Il faut en effet considérer si la vie peut exister sans l’âme, ou si au contraire la vie n’existe que dès que l’âme est présente et qu’elle agit sur le corps (90).

Guthrie

WHEN THE SOUL LEAVES THE BODY, SHE LEAVES A TRACE OF LIFE.

29. If the body resemble an object warmed rather than illuminated, why does nothing vital remain after the reasonable soul has abandoned it? It does preserve some vital element, but only for a short time; this trace soon disappears, as vanishes the heat of an object when it is removed from the fire. After death, some trace of life still remains. This is proved by the growth of hair and nails on corpses; and it is well known that animals, even after being cut in pieces, still move for some time. Besides, the disappearance of the (vegetative) life simultaneously with the reasonable soul, does not prove their identity, and that they (the reasonable soul, and the vegetative soul) are not different. When the sun disappears, it causes the disappearance not only of the light that surrounds it immediately, and as it were depends from it, but also of the brilliance which these objects receive from this light, and which completely differs from it.

DOES THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THESE THINGS NECESSARILY IMPLY THEIR DESTRUCTION?

But does that which disappears merely depart, or does it perish? Such is the question which applies both to the light which inheres in the illuminated objects (and colors them), as well as to the life inherent in the body, and which we call the characteristically bodily life. Evidently, there remains no light left in the objects which were illuminated. But the question is to decide whether the light that inhered in them returns to its source, or is annihilated. Annihilation is impossible if anteriorly it was something real. What was it really? So-called color must depend on the very bodies from which light also emanates; and when these bodies perish, their coloring perishes with them; nobody indeed asks after the fate of the color of the fire that has gone out any more than one troubles oneself about what has become of its appearance. It may be objected that the appearance is only a condition, such as holding the hand open or closed, while the color, on the contrary, is the same sort of a quality as sweetness. Now, is there nothing to hinder the sweet or the fragrant body from perishing, without affecting the existence of the sweetness and fragrance ? Could they subsist in other bodies without being felt, because the bodies which participate in the qualities are such as not to allow the qualities they possess to be felt? What would hinder the unaffected existence of the light after the destruction of the body it colored, if it merely ceased to be reflected, unless one’s mind should see that those qualities subsist in no subject? If we were to admit this opinion, we would also be obliged to admit that qualities are indestructible, that they are not produced in the constitution of the bodies, that their colors are not produced by the reasons in seed; that, as happens with the changing plumage of certain birds, the ("seminal) reasons" not only gather or produce the colors of the objects, but they besides make use of those that still fill the air, and that they remain in the air without being such as they appear to us when in bodies. Enough of this.

THREE POSSIBLE INTERRELATIONS OF THE SOUL’S SUPERIOR AND INFERIOR BODIES.

It may still be asked whether, if while the bodies subsist, the light that colors them remains united to them, and does not separate from them, why then would not both it, together with its immediate emanations, move along with the body in which it inheres, although it cannot be seen going away any more than it is seen approaching? We shall therefore have to examine elsewhere if the second-rank powers of the soul always remain attached to the higher ones, and so on; or if each of them subsist by itself, and can continue to subsist in itself when it is separated from the higher ones; or if, inasmuch as no part of the soul can be separated from the others, all together form a soul which is simultaneously one and manifold, but in some still undetermined manner.

CAN THE PHYSICAL LIFE EXIST WITHOUT THE SOUL?

What becomes of this trace of life that the soul impresses on the body, and that the latter appropriates? If it belong to the soul, it will follow the latter, since it is not separated from the being of the soul. If it be the life of the body, it must be subject to the same conditions as the luminous color of the bodies (and perish with them). Indeed, it will be well to examine if the life can subsist without the soul, or if, on the contrary, the life exists no earlier than the soul is present, and acts on the "body.

MacKenna

29. But - keeping to our illustration, by which the body is warmed by soul and not merely illuminated by it - how is it that when the higher soul withdraws there is no further trace of the vital principle?

For a brief space there is; and, precisely, it begins to fade away immediately upon the withdrawal of the other, as in the case of warmed objects when the fire is no longer near them: similarly hair and nails still grow on the dead; animals cut to pieces wriggle for a good time after; these are signs of a life force still indwelling.

Besides, simultaneous withdrawal would not prove the identity of the higher and lower phases: when the sun withdraws there goes with it not merely the light emanating from it, guided by it, attached to it, but also at once that light seen upon obliquely situated objects, a light secondary to the sun’s and cast upon things outside of its path [reflected light showing as colour]; the two are not identical and yet they disappear together.

But is this simultaneous withdrawal or frank obliteration?

The question applies equally to this secondary light and to the corporeal life, that life which we think of as being completely sunk into body.

No light whatever remains in the objects once illuminated; that much is certain; but we have to ask whether it has sunk back into its source or is simply no longer in existence.

How could it pass out of being, a thing that once has been?

But what really was it? We must remember that what we know as colour belongs to bodies by the fact that they throw off light, yet when corruptible bodies are transformed the colour disappears and we no more ask where the colour of a burned-out fire is than where its shape is.

Still: the shape is merely a configuration, like the lie of the hands clenched or spread; the colour is no such accidental but is more like, for example, sweetness: when a material substance breaks up, the sweetness of what was sweet in it, and the fragrance of what was fragrant, may very well not be annihilated, but enter into some other substance, passing unobserved there because the new habitat is not such that the entrant qualities now offer anything solid to perception.

May we not think that, similarly, the light belonging to bodies that have been dissolved remains in being while the solid total, made up of all that is characteristic, disappears?

It might be said that the seeing is merely the sequel to some law [of our own nature], so that what we call qualities do not actually exist in the substances.

But this is to make the qualities indestructible and not dependent upon the composition of the body; it would no longer be the Reason-Principles within the sperm that produce, for instance, the colours of a bird’s variegated plumage; these principles would merely blend and place them, or if they produced them would draw also on the full store of colours in the sky, producing in the sense, mainly, of showing in the formed bodies something very different from what appears in the heavens.

But whatever we may think on this doubtful point, if, as long as the bodies remain unaltered, the light is constant and unsevered, then it would seem natural that, on the dissolution of the body, the light - both that in immediate contact and any other attached to that - should pass away at the same moment, unseen in the going as in the coming.

But in the case of the soul it is a question whether the secondary phases follow their priors - the derivatives their sources - or whether every phase is self-governing, isolated from its predecessors and able to stand alone; in a word, whether no part of the soul is sundered from the total, but all the souls are simultaneously one soul and many, and, if so, by what mode; this question, however, is treated elsewhere.

Here we have to enquire into the nature and being of that vestige of the soul actually present in the living body: if there is truly a soul, then, as a thing never cut off from its total, it will go with soul as soul must: if it is rather to be thought of as belonging to the body, as the life of the body, we have the same question that rose in the case of the vestige of light; we must examine whether life can exist without the presence of soul, except of course in the sense of soul living above and acting upon the remote object.