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Plotino - Tratado 28,35 (IV, 4, 35) — Os poderes dos astros

Enéada IV, 4, 35

quarta-feira 11 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

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

  • Cap 35-36: Os poderes dos astros
  • Cap 35, 1-24: Resumo dos capítulos 32-34
  • Cap 35, 24-37: Vontade una e poderes múltiplas
  • Cap 35, 37-50: Os astros agem, mas não de maneira deliberada
  • Cap 35, 50-69: Os poderes que provêm dos astros
    

Míguez

35. ¿Cuál es, por tanto, el poder de las figuras? Hemos de volver sobre ellas para tratarlas aún con más claridad. Porque, por ejemplo, ¿en qué se diferencia de un triángulo el triángulo de los planetas? ¿Y en virtud de qué y hasta qué punto produce determinado efecto un astro   que entra en relación con otro? Estas acciones, en nuestra opinión, no han de atribuirse ni a los cuerpos de los astros, ni siquiera a su voluntad. Y no han de atribuirse a los cuerpos porque los efectos producidos no son tan sólo acciones de los cuerpos; ni tampoco a la voluntad, porque sería ilógico que los dioses hiciesen voluntariamente cosas carentes de sentido.

Si quisiésemos recordar nuestros supuestos, éstos quedarían así: el mundo como un ser animado único, por lo cual ha de estar necesariamente en simpatía consigo mismo; el curso de su vida, si es conforme a la razón, ha de ser también armónico consigo mismo; por otra parte, nada en su vida quedará fiado al azar  , sino que se encuadrará en una armonía y un orden únicos; sus esquemas se ajustarán asimismo a la razón, de tal modo que cada una de las partes que intervienen en la danza se interpreten numéricamente. Dos cosas hemos de poner aquí de acuerdo: la actividad misma del universo  , con las figuras que se forman en él, y las partes que resultan de estas figuras, con todo lo que de ellas se deriva. De este modo podrá explicarse la vida del universo. Sus potencias contribuirán a ella, en la medida que deben su existencia a la acción de un agente   racional. Estas figuras son como las razones, los intervalos, las disposiciones simétricas y las formas mismas, conforme a razón, del ser animado universal  ; los seres así separados y que componen estas figuras son como otros miembros del mismo animal  . Pero éste, a su vez, cuenta con potencias independientes de su voluntad, aunque sean justamente partes suyas, puesto que lo que proviene de la voluntad queda fuera de estas partes y no contribuye ciertamente a la naturaleza del animal. La voluntad de un animal único tiene necesariamente que ser una; pero si ese animal tiene potencias múltiples, nada impedirá que cada una de ellas tienda a un fin distinto. Sin embargo, todas las voluntades contenidas en el animal universal se dirigirán siempre a una misma cosa, como fin exclusivo de la voluntad única del universo. Existirá el deseo de una parte hacia otra, porque alguna de ellas querrá apropiarse de la otra si de ésta tiene necesidad: así, la cólera   hacia otro será motivada por la aflicción, en tanto el crecimiento se hará también a expensas de otro ser y la generación, por su parte, nos traerá siempre algo distinto. Pero el universo, que produce en los seres todas estas cosas, busca él mismo el Bien y, aún mejor, lo contempla. Eso mismo hace también la voluntad recta, situada sobre las pasiones, colaborando en tal sentido con la voluntad universal. De este modo, los que trabajan a sueldo de otro realizan muchas cosas ordenadas por sus dueños, pero, no obstante, el deseo del bien les conduce al mismo fin que a ellos.

Si el sol y los demás astros miran realmente a las cosas de aquí, hemos de pensar   que el mismo sol — para fijarnos exclusivamente en él — mira también a las cosas inteligibles, produciendo a la vez, de la misma manera que calienta las cosas de la tierra, todo eso que a él se atribuye. Y aun después distribuye algo de su alma  , en virtud del alma vegetativa múltiple que se encuentra en él. Por su parte, los demás astros transmiten su poder, como si lo irradiasen, pero sin que en ello intervenga su voluntad. Y todos, en conjunto  , forman una sola figura, ofreciendo una u otra disposición según la figura adoptada.

Todas las figuras tienen ciertamente su poder, y a tantas figuras corresponderán por necesidad tantos efectos, aunque a decir verdad algo del efecto proviene de las mismas cosas que forman las figuras, con lo cual a cosas diferentes corresponderán también efectos diferentes. Incluso en las cosas de aquí advertimos claramente el poder de las figuras, existiendo en nosotros el temor de experimentar daño con la percepción de ciertas figuras, mientras otras son vistas sin perjuicio alguno. Tendríamos razón para preguntarnos: ¿por qué unas figuras perjudican a unos y otras a otros? Sin duda, porque en un caso actúan unas figuras y en otro, otras, y precisamente aquellas que pueden hacerlo para lo que naturalmente están dispuestas. Y así, una figura atrae la mirada de una persona, pero otra, en cambio, no tiene atractivo para ella. Si se dijera que es su belleza la que nos atrae, ¿por qué, entonces, un objeto bello es del gusto de uno, y otro del gusto de otro, si la diferencia de figura no tiene poder alguno? ¿Por qué hemos de afirmar que los colores actúan eficazmente, y no del mismo modo las figuras? Porque, hablando en términos generales, resulta absurdo incluir una cosa entre los seres y no atribuirle poder alguno. El ser   es lo que es capaz de actuar o de sufrir. Y así, a unos seres atribuimos la acción, y a otros, en cambio, la acción y la pasión; aunque, a decir verdad, se den en ellos otros poderes que los de su, figuras, porque en la misma tierra existen otros muchos poderes que no se derivan del calor o del frío, y hay, por ejemplo, seres que difieren por su cualidad y se ven atenidos en su forma a razones seminales, los cuales participan en el poder de la naturaleza: tal es el caso de las piedras y de las plantas, que producen muchos efectos maravillosos.

Bouillet

XXXV. Comment donc s’exercent ces puissances? (car il est nécessaire de revenir sur nos pas pour nous expliquer plus clairement.) Quelle différence offre tel triangle comparé à d’autres triangles? Quelle action celui-ci exerce-t-il sur celui-là, comment l’exerce-t-il, et jusqu’où va-t-elle? telles sont les questions que nous avons à examiner, puisque nous ne rapportons pas aux corps des astres ni à leur volonté la production des choses d’ici-bas : nous ne la rapportons pas à leurs corps, parce que les choses qui arrivent ne sont pas de simples effets physiques ; nous ne la rapportons pas à leur volonté, parce qu’il est absurde que des dieux produisent par leur volonté des choses absurdes.

Rappelons-nous ce que nous avons déjà établi : l’univers est un animal un, sympathique à lui-même en vertu de son unité ; sa vie est réglée dans son cours par la Raison, elle est tout entière d’accord avec elle-même, elle n’a rien de fortuit, elle offre un seul ordre et une seule harmonie ; en outre, toutes les figures sont conformes chacune à une raison et à un nombre déterminé; les deux parties de l’animal universel qui forment cette espèce de danse   (nous parlons des figures qui s’y produisent, des parties qui y sont figurées ainsi que des choses qui en dérivent) sont l’acte même de cet univers. Ainsi, l’univers vit de la manière que nous avons déterminée, et ses puissances concourent à cet état selon la nature qu’elles ont reçue de la raison qui les a produites. Les figures sont en quelque sorte les raisons de l’animal universel, les intervalles de ses parties, les attitudes qu’elles prennent selon les lois du rythme et selon la Raison de l’univers. Les êtres qui par leurs distances relatives produisent ces figures sont les membres divers de cet animal. Les puissances diverses de cet animal agissent sans délibération, comme ses membres, parce que délibérer est une opération étrangère à leur nature et à celle de cet animal. Aspirer à un but unique est le propre de l’animal qui est un ; mais il renferme en lui des puissances multiples; or, toutes les volontés diverses aspirent au même but que la volonté unique de l’animal : car chaque partie désire quelqu’un des objets divers qu’il renferme; chacune veut posséder quelque chose des autres, obtenir ce qui lui manque ; chacune éprouve un sentiment de colère contre une autre quand elle en est lésée ; chacune s’accroît aux dépens d’une autre et en engendre une autre. L’univers produit toutes ces actions dans ses parties, mais en même temps il cherche le Bien, ou plutôt il le contemple. C’est également le Bien que cherche la volonté droite, qui est au-dessus des passions et qui s’accorde ainsi avec la volonté de l’univers ; de même, des serviteurs rapportent beaucoup de leurs actions aux ordres qu’ils reçoivent de leurs maîtres, mais le désir du Bien les porte où leur maître est porté lui-même. Donc, si le Soleil   et les autres astres exercent quelque influence sur les choses d’ici-bas, c’est qu’ils contemplent le monde intelligible.

Nous bornant à l’exemple que nous venons de citer et qu’on peut facilement appliquer au reste, nous remarquerons que le Soleil ne se borne pas à échauffer les êtres terrestres, qu’il les fait encore participer à son âme, autant que cela est possible, parce qu’il possède une âme naturelle (φυσικὴ ψυχή) qui est puissante. De même, les autres astres, sans aucun choix et par une espèce d’irradiation, transmettent aux êtres inférieurs un peu de la puissance [naturelle] qu’ils possèdent. Bien que toutes choses ne forment ainsi qu’une seule chose qui a telle figure, elles offrent une foule de dispositions différentes, et ces diverses figures elles-mêmes ont chacune une puissance propre : car telle disposition a pour conséquence telle action.

Les choses qui ont une figure possèdent aussi elles-mêmes quelque vertu, qui change selon les êtres avec lesquels elles sont en rapport. Nous en voyons des exemples journaliers. Pourquoi certaines figures nous inspirent-elles de la terreur, quoiqu’elles ne nous aient jamais fait aucun mal, tandis que d’autres ne produisent pas sur nous le même effet? Pourquoi ceux-ci sont-ils effrayés par certaines figures et ceux-là par d’autres? C’est que ces figures-ci sont constituées de manière à exercer une action sur les premiers et celles-là sur les autres ; elles ne sauraient en effet produire que les effets conformes à leur nature. Un objet attire le regard s’il est configuré de telle manière et ne l’attire pas s’il est configuré de telle autre. C’est la beauté qui émeut [dira-t-on]. Nous demanderons alors pourquoi ce bel objet émeut un homme et cet autre objet un autre homme, si la différence de figure n’a aucune puissance? Comment admettre que les couleurs ont une influence et une action propre, et ne pas accorder la même vertu aux figures? Il est absurde de reconnaître qu’une chose existe et de lui refuser toute puissance. Tout être, par cela qu’il est, doit agir ou pâtir. Les uns agissent seulement, les autres agissent et pâtissent. Il y a dans les substances des vertus indépendantes des figures. Il y a aussi dans les êtres d’ici-bas beaucoup de forces qui ne dérivent ni de la chaleur, ni du froid. C’est que ces êtres sont doués de qualités différentes, qu’ils reçoivent leur forme de raisons [séminales], qu’ils participent à la puissance de la Nature : telles sont les vertus propres à la nature des pierres, et les effets étonnants produits par les plantes (111).

Guthrie

EARTHLY EVENTS SHOULD NOT BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE STARS’ BODY OR WILL.

35. How then do these powers exert themselves? — for we have to retrace our steps to give a clear explanation. What difference is exhibited by the comparison of one triangle with another? What action does the one exert on another, how is it exerted, and how far does it go ? Such are the questions we have to study, since we do not refer the production of things here below to the stars, neither to their body, nor to their will; not to their bodies, because the things which happen   are not simple physical effects; nor to their will, because it is absurd that divinities should by their will produce absurd things.

THE INFLUENCE OF THE STARS CONSISTS IN THEIR CONTEMPLATION OF THE INTELLIGIBLE WORLD.

Let us now recall what has already been established. The universe is a single living being by virtue of its unity being sympathetic with itself. The course of its life is regulated by reason; it is entirely in agreement with itself; it has nothing fortuitous, it offers a single order, and a single harmony. Besides, all the (star) figures are each conformed to a reason and to a determinate number. The parts of the universal living beings which constitute this kind of a dance — we mean the figures produced in it, of the parts figured therein, as well   as the things derived therefrom — are the very actualization of the universe. Thus the universe lives in the manner we have determined, and its powers contribute to this state according to the nature they have received from the reason that has produced them. The figures are, in some way, the reasons of the universal Living being, the intervals or contrasts (of the parts) of the Living being, the attitudes they take according to the laws of rhythm, and according to the reason of the universe. The beings which by their relative distances produce these figures are the divers members of this living being. The different powers of this living being act without deliberation, as its members, because deliberation is a process foreign to the nature of themselves or to this living being. Aspiration to a single aim is the characteristic of the single living being; but it includes manifold powers. All these different wills aspire to the same end as the single will of the organism, for each part desires some one of the different objects that it contains. Each wishes to possess something of the other’s possessions, and to obtain what it lacks; each experiences a feeling of anger against another, when it is excited against that other; each increases at the expense of another, and begets another. The universe produces all these actions in its parts, but at the same time it seeks the Good, or rather, it contemplates it. It is always the Good that is sought by the right will, which is above passions, and thus accords with the will of the universe. Similarly, servants ascribe many of their actions to the orders received from their master; but the desire of the Good carries them where their own master is carried. Consequently, the sun and the other stars exert what influence they do exert on things here below through contemplation of the intelligible world.

STAR INFLUENCE IS EXPLAINED BY THEIR NATURAL RADIATION   OF GOOD.

We shall limit ourselves to the above illustration, which may easily be applied to the rest. The sun does not limit itself to warming terrestrial beings. It makes them also participate in its soul, as far as possible; for it possesses a powerful physical soul. Likewise, the other stars, involuntarily, by a kind of irradiation, transmit to inferior   beings somewhat of the (natural) power they possess. Although therefore all things (in the universe) form but a single thing of a particular figure, they offer manifold different dispositions; which different figures themselves each have a characteristic power; for each disposition results in appropriate action.

SPECIAL FIGURES HAVE INDIVIDUAL EFFECTS, DUE TO THEIR CHARACTERISTICS.

Things which appear as a figure themselves possess a characteristic influence, which changes according to the people with which they are brought in contact. Examples of this may be seen daily. Why do certain figures or appearances inspire us with terror, although they have never done us any harm, while others do not produce the same effect on us? Why are some people frightened by certain figures or appearances, while others are frightened by different ones? Because the former’s constitution specially acts on the former people, and the latter on the latter; they could only produce effects in harmony with their nature. One object attracts attention by a particular appearance, and would yet attract attention by a different constitution. If it was its beauty that exerted the power of arousing emotion, why then would this beautiful object move one man, while the other object would move another, if there be no potency in the difference of figure or appearance? It would be unreasonable to admit that colors have a characteristic influence and action, yet deny the same power to figures or appearances. It would, besides, be absurd, to admit the existence of something, but to refuse it all potency. Every being, because of his mere existence, must «act» or «suffer.» Some indeed «act» exclusively, while others both «act» and «suffer.» Substances contain influences independent of their figure or appearance. Terrestrial beings also possess many forces which are derived neither from heat nor cold. The reason is that these beings are endowed with different qualities, that they receive their forms from («seminal) reasons,» and participate in the powers of nature; such are the peculiar virtues of natural stones, and the surprising effects produced by plants.

MacKenna

35. But we must give some explanation of these powers. The matter requires a more definite handling. How can there be a difference of power between one triangular configuration and another?

How can there be the exercise of power from man to man; under what law, and within what limits?

The difficulty is that we are unable to attribute causation either to the bodies of the heavenly beings or to their wills: their bodies are excluded because the product transcends the causative power of body, their will because it would be unseemly to suppose divine beings to produce unseemliness.

Let us keep in mind   what we have laid down:

The being we are considering is a living unity and, therefore, necessarily self-sympathetic: it is under a law of reason, and therefore the unfolding process of its life must be self-accordant: that life has no haphazard, but knows only harmony and ordinance: all the groupings follow reason: all single beings within it, all the members of this living whole in their choral dance are under a rule of Number.

Holding this in mind we are forced to certain conclusions: in the expressive act of the All are comprised equally the configurations of its members and these members themselves, minor as well as major entering into the configurations. This is the mode of life of the All; and its powers work together to this end under the Nature in which the producing agency within the Reason-Principles has brought them into being. The groupings [within the All] are themselves in the nature of Reason-Principles since they are the out-spacing of a living-being, its reason-determined rhythms and conditions, and the entities thus spaced-out and grouped to pattern are its various members: then again there are the powers of the living being - distinct these, too - which may be considered as parts of it, always excluding deliberate will which is external to it, not contributory to the nature of the living All.

The will of any organic thing is one; but the distinct powers which go to constitute it are far from being one: yet all the several wills look to the object aimed at by the one will of the whole: for the desire which the one member entertains for another is a desire within the All: a part seeks to acquire something outside itself, but that external is another part of which it feels the need: the anger of a moment of annoyance is directed to something alien, growth draws on something outside, all birth and becoming has to do with the external; but all this external is inevitably something included among fellow members of the system: through these its limbs and members, the All is bringing this activity into being while in itself it seeks - or better, contemplates - The Good. Right will, then, the will which stands above accidental experience, seeks The Good and thus acts to the same end with it. When men serve another, many of their acts are done under order, but the good servant is the one whose purpose is in union with his master’s.

In all the efficacy of the sun and other stars upon earthly matters we can but believe that though the heavenly body is intent upon the Supreme yet - to keep to the sun - its warming of terrestrial things, and every service following upon that, all springs from itself, its own act transmitted in virtue of soul, the vastly efficacious soul of Nature. Each of the heavenly bodies, similarly, gives forth a power, involuntary, by its mere radiation: all things become one entity, grouped by this diffusion of power, and so bring about wide changes of condition; thus the very groupings have power since their diversity produces diverse conditions; that the grouped beings themselves have also their efficiency is clear since they produce differently according to the different membership of the groups.

That configuration has power in itself is within our own observation here. Why else do certain groupments, in contradistinction to others, terrify at sight though there has been no previous experience of evil from them? If some men are alarmed by a particular groupment and others by quite a different one, the reason can be only that the configurations themselves have efficacy, each upon a certain type - an efficacy which cannot fail to reach anything naturally disposed to be impressed by it, so that in one groupment things attract observation which in another pass without effect.

If we are told that beauty is the motive of attraction, does not this mean simply that the power of appeal to this or that mind depends upon pattern, configuration? How can we allow power to colour and none to configuration? It is surely untenable that an entity should have existence and yet have no power to effect: existence carries with it either acting or answering to action, some beings having action alone, others both.

At the same time there are powers apart from pattern: and, in things of our realm, there are many powers dependent not upon heat and cold but upon forces due to differing properties, forces which have been shaped to ideal-quality by the action of Reason-Principles and communicate in the power of Nature: thus the natural properties of stones and the efficacy of plants produce many astonishing results.