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Plotino - Tratado 28,30 (IV, 4, 30) — A influência dos astros é devida à simpatia. A Memória, a Sensação e a Magia

Enéada IV, 4, 30

terça-feira 10 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Capítulos 30-45: A influência dos astros é devida à simpatia.

    

Míguez

30. Hemos admitido la memoria como un hecho extraordinario en la vida de los astros; pero, no obstante, hemos concedido a éstos la sensación  , y entre otros los sentidos de la vista y del oído, puesto que decíamos que escuchaban las súplicas que dirigimos al sol o las que otros hombres dirigen a los astros. Existe la creencia de que muchas cosas se cumplen por los astros y, gracias a ellos, con suma facilidad. Y, hasta tal punto, que no sólo nos ayudan en las empresas justas sino también en muchas de las que son injustas. Son todas éstas cuestiones que salen al paso y que conviene considerar. Porque conocemos bien las grandes y renombradas dificultades de los que toman a mal que los dioses se conviertan en auxiliares e incluso en autores de acciones torpes y, sobre todo, que cooperen a nuestros amores y a nuestros desenfrenos, examinamos ahora todas estas cosas y de modo especial la cuestión ya planteada al principio, que concierne a la memoria de los dioses.

Porque está claro, en efecto, que si los dioses atienden nuestras súplicas, no desde luego de manera inmediata sino en un plazo breve y aún a veces dilatado, poseen el recuerdo de las rogativas de los hombres. Es eso lo que ocurre con los beneficios que nos otorgan Demeter   y Hestia  , salvo que se diga que solo la tierra procura tales beneficios. Dos cosas, pues, hemos de tratar de mostrar: primeramente como situaremos en los astros la función de la memoria, dificultad que, realmente, existe tan solo para nosotros y no para el resto de los mortales, que no tienen inconvenientes en concederles el recuerdo; en segundo lugar, habrá que considerar también esas acciones que parecen inauditas, acciones que la filosofía debe investigar, ofreciendo una lógica   defensa frente a las dificultades esgrimidas contra los dioses que se encuentran en el cielo  . La acusación, en este sentido, se extiende verdaderamente a todo el universo  , si hemos de creer a los que dicen que el cielo todo puede ser hechizado por las artes más audaces de los hombres. Convendrá examinar también todo lo que se dice acerca de los demonios, y especialmente sobre los servicios que nos prestan, si es que esta cuestión no ha quedado ya resuelta en las páginas precedentes.

Bouillet

XXX. (91). Nous avons montré que la mémoire est inutile aux astres; nous leur avons accordé des sens (92), savoir la vue et l’ouïe, le pouvoir d’entendre les prières que nous adressons au Soleil (93) et que d’autres hommes adressent aussi à d’autres astres, parce que ces hommes sont persuadés qu’ils peuvent en obtenir une foule de choses ; ils croient même les obtenir si facilement qu’ils leur demandent de concourir non seulement à des actions qui sont justes, mais
encore à d’autres qui sont injustes. Il nous reste donc à examiner les questions que soulève ce dernier point.

Ici, en effet, s’offrent des questions importantes et souvent traitées, surtout par ceux qui ne peuvent souffrir qu’on regarde les dieux comme les complices ou les auteurs d’actes honteux , par exemple de folles amours et d’adultères (94). Pour cette raison, ainsi que pour ce que nous avons dit plus haut de la mémoire des astres, nous avons à examiner la nature de l’influence qu’ils exercent. En effet, s’ils exaucent nos vœux sans le faire sur-le-champ, s’ils nous accordent ce que nous demandons après un temps quelquefois fort long, il faut qu’ils se souviennent des vœux que nous leur adressons: or, précédemment nous leur avons refusé la mémoire. Quant aux bienfaits qu’ils accordent aux hommes , nous avons dit que les choses se passaient comme si ces bienfaits étaient accordés par Vesta, c’est-à-dire par la Terre , à moins qu’on ne prétende que la Terre seule accorde des bienfaits aux hommes (95).

Nous avons donc deux points à examiner : nous avons d’abord à expliquer que si nous attribuons de la mémoire aux astres, c’est comme nous l’entendons [§ 42], et non pour la raison pour laquelle d’autres leur en accordent ; nous avons ensuite à montrer qu’on a tort de les regarder comme auteurs de mauvaises actions. Pour cela nous essaierons, comme c’est le devoir de la philosophie, de réfuter les plaintes formées contre les dieux qui résident dans le ciel et contre l’univers qu’on accuse également, s’il faut toutefois accorder quelque créance à ceux qui prétendent que le ciel peut être charmé (γοητεύεσθαι) par l’art d’hommes audacieux (96); enfin , nous déterminerons aussi comment s’exerce le ministère des démons [§ 43], à moins que la solution des questions précédentes   n’entraîne aussi celle de ce dernier point.

Guthrie

STARS, AS WELL   AS THE SUN  , HAVE PRAYERS ADDRESSED TO THEM.

30. We have shown that memory is useless to the stars; we have agreed that they have senses, namely, sight and hearing, and the power to hear the prayers addressed to the sun, and also those by many people addressed to the other stars, because these people are persuaded that they receive from them many benefits; they think even that they will obtain them so easily that these men ask the stars to co-operate in actions not only such as are just, but even such as are unjust. Questions raised by the latter point must still be considered.

BENEFITS ARE GRANTED TO MEN THROUGH THE WORLD-SOUL’S MEDIATION.

Here arise important questions which have been frequently considered especially by such as will not allow the divinities to be regarded as the accomplices or authors of shameful deeds, such as love-adventures and adulteries. For this reason, as well as on account of what was said above about the memory of the stars, we shall have to examine the nature of the influence they exercise. Indeed, if they grant our petitions, though not immediately, and give us what we ask after a time that sometimes is very long, they must necessarily exercise memory of the prayers addressed to them; now, we have above denied that they could have memory. As to the benefits that they grant to men, it has been said that it seemed as if they had been granted by Vesta, that is, the earth, unless indeed it should be insisted that the earth alone granted benefits to men.

STATEMENT OF THREE QUESTIONS.

We have therefore two points to examine: we first have to explain that if we do attribute memory to the stars, it is only in a sense agreeing with our former statements, and not for the reason advanced by other people; we shall later have to show that it is a mistake to attribute evil actions to them. In view of this, we shall try, as is the duty of the philosopher, to refute the complaints formed against the divinities which reside in the heavens, and against the universe which is equally accused, in the case that any credence whatever is to be attached to such as pretend that heaven can be magically swayed by the arts of audacious men; last, we shall explain the administration of the ministry of guardians, unless the latter point have been explained incidentally to the solution of the former problems.

MacKenna

30. We have declared acts of memory unnecessary to the stars, but we allow them perceptions, hearing as well as seeing; for we said that prayers to them were heard - our supplications to the sun, and those, even, of certain other men to the stars. It has moreover been the belief that in answer to prayer they accomplish many human wishes, and this so lightheartedly that they become not merely helpers towards good but even accomplices in evil. Since this matter lies in our way, it must be considered, for it carries with it grave difficulties that very much trouble those who cannot think of divine beings as, thus, authors or auxiliaries in unseemliness even including the connections of loose carnality.

In view of all this it is especially necessary to study the question with which we began, that of memory in the heavenly bodies.

It is obvious that, if they act on our prayers and if this action is not immediate, but with delay and after long periods of time, they remember the prayers men address to them. This is something that our former argument did not concede; though it appeared plausible that, for their better service of mankind, they might have been endowed with such a memory as we ascribed to Demeter and Hestia - or to the latter alone if only the earth is to be thought of as beneficent to man.

We have, then, to attempt to show: firstly, how acts implying memory in the heavenly bodies are to be reconciled with our system as distinguished from those others which allow them memory as a matter of course; secondly, what vindication of those gods of the heavenly spheres is possible in the matter of seemingly anomalous acts - a question which philosophy cannot ignore - then too, since the charge goes   so far, we must ask whether credence is to be given to those who hold that the entire heavenly system can be put under spell by man’s skill and audacity: our discussion will also deal with the spirit  -beings and how they may be thought to minister to these ends - unless indeed the part played by the Celestials prove to be settled by the decision upon the first questions.