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Plotino - Tratado 28,36 (IV, 4, 36) — O universo é um vivente que guarda vários poderes

Enéada IV, 4, 36

quinta-feira 12 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Míguez

36. Este universo encierra la mayor variedad y se dan en él las más diversas e ilimitadas potencias. Si nos referimos al hombre, vemos que cada ojo tiene su poder e, igualmente, cada hueso el suyo: uno es el poder de los huesos del dedo, otro el de los del pie, y no hay ninguna parte que no tenga el suyo propio, diferente del de otra parte, aunque nosotros lo desconozcamos por no haberlo aprendido. Otro tanto ocurre, y aun con mayor razón, en el universo; con mayor razón, decimos, porque los poderes de que disfrutamos son huellas (de los poderes) del universo. Hay en éste, en efecto, una innumerable y maravillosa diversidad de potencias, y lo mismo acontece en los astros del cielo. Porque no es el universo como una casa sin alma, grande y amplísima, conformada con materiales fáciles de enumerar, como piedras y troncos de madera y, si se quiere, todavía algunos más. Conviene, por el contrario, que forme un mundo ordenado, algo así como un ser despierto en el que todo viva a su modo, y sin que nada pueda darse que no se dé a la vez en él. Así se resuelve la dificultad acerca de cómo puede haber algo sin alma en un ser verdaderamente animado. Porque la razón nos dice que todo vive a su modo en el universo, y nosotros afirmamos, por nuestra parte, que nada vive si no recibe del universo un movimiento que afecte a nuestros sentidos. Todo, sin embargo, tiene su vida, pero una vida que a veces se nos oculta. El ser, cuya vida nosotros percibimos, es un compuesto de otros seres cuya percepción se nos escapa, pero cuyos poderes maravillosos contribuyen a la vida del todo. El hombre, realmente, no podría ser movido de tal manera si su movimiento fuese el resultado de poderes sin alma. Y el universo, a su vez, no viviría como vive, si cada uno de los seres que hay en él no tuviese su vida propia, aun sin la presencia de la voluntad. Porque el universo mismo no necesita en modo alguno de la voluntad, como ser que precede a los seres de este género. Ello explica que muchos seres obedezcan a poderes de esta clase.

Bouillet

XXXVI. L’univers est plein de variété ; il contient toutes les raisons et un nombre infini de puissances diverses, comme, dans le corps de l’homme, l’œil, les os et les autres organes ont chacun leur puissance propre : ainsi, l’os de la main n’a pas la même force que celui du pied, et, en général, chaque partie a une puissance différente de la puissance que possède toute autre partie. Mais cette diversité nous échappe dans ces objets si nous ne l’examinons pas attentivement. A plus forte raison nous échappe-t-elle dans le monde : car les forces que nous y voyons sont les vestiges de celles qui existent dans la région supérieure. Il doit donc y avoir dans le monde une inconcevable et admirable variété de puissances, surtout dans les astres qui parcourent le ciel. L’univers n’est pas un édifice grand et vaste, mais inanimé et composé de choses dont il soit facile de compter les espèces, de pierres, par exemple, de morceaux de bois et d’autres matériaux destinés à l’embellir; il est un être éveillé et vivant dans toutes ses parties, quoiqu’il le soit dans chacune d’une manière différente; en un mot, il renferme tout ce qui peut être. Ainsi est résolue cette question : comment dans un être vivant et animé peut-il y avoir quelque chose d’inanimé? En effet, notre discussion nous amène à cette conclusion que dans l’univers [il n’y a rien d’inanimé; qu’au contraire] toutes les choses qu’il renferme sont vivantes, mais chacune d’une manière différente. Nous refusons la vie aux objets que nous ne voyons pas s’y mouvoir; ils vivent cependant, mais d’une vie latente. Ceux dont la vie est visible sont composés de ceux dont la vie est invisible, mais qui concourent cependant à la vie de cet animal en lui fournissant des puissances admirables. L’homme ne saurait se mouvoir vers tant de grandes choses, s’il n’y avait en lui que des puissances inanimées. Il serait donc également impossible que l’univers fût vivant si chacune des choses qu’il contient ne vivait de sa vie propre. Cependant les actes de l’univers ne dérivent pas d’un choix : il agit sans avoir besoin de choisir, parce qu’il est antérieur à tout choix. Aussi beaucoup de choses obéissent-elles à ses forces (112).

Guthrie

NOTHING IN THE UNIVERSE IS ENTIRELY INANIMATE.

36. The universe is full of variety; it contains all the "reasons," and an infinite number of different powers. So, in the human body, the eye, the bones, and the other organs each have their characteristic power; as, the bone in the hand does not have the same strength as the bone in the foot; and in general, each part has a power different from that possessed by every other part. But unless we observe very carefully, this diversity escapes us in the case of (natural) objects. Much more would it escape us in the world; for the forces that we see in it are (but) the traces of those that exist in the superior region. There must then be in the world an inconceivable and admirable variety of powers, especially in the stars that wander through the heavens. The universe is not a great and vast edifice, inanimate, and composed of things of which it would be easy to catalogue the different kinds, such as stones, lumber, and ornamental structures; it is a wakeful being, living in all its parts, though differently so in each; in short, it includes all that can ever be. This solves the problem, how inanimate matter can exist within an animated living being. Our discussions have therefore taught us that in the universe (nothing is inanimate; that, on the contrary) everything it contains is alive; but each in a different manner. We deny that there is life in objects that we do not see moving; but nevertheless they do live, though only with a latent life. Those whose life is visible are composed of those whose life is invisible, but which nevertheless contribute to the life of this animal by furnishing it with admirable powers. It would therefore be equally impossible that the universe should be alive unless each of the things it contained lived with its own life. Nevertheless the acts of the universe do not depend on choice; it acts without needing to choose, because it precedes any choice. Thus many things obey its forces.

MacKenna

36. The Universe is immensely varied, the container of all the Reason-Principles and of infinite and diverse efficacies. In man, we are told, the eye has its power, and the bones have their varied powers, and so with each separate part of hand and of foot; and there is no member or organ without its own definite function, some separate power of its own - a diversity of which we can have no notion unless our studies take that direction. What is true of man must be true of the universe, and much more, since all this order is but a representation of the higher: it must contain an untellably wonderful variety of powers, with which, of course, the bodies moving through the heavens will be most richly endowed.

We cannot think of the universe as a soulless habitation, however vast and varied, a thing of materials easily told off, kind by kind - wood and stone and whatever else there be, all blending into a kosmos: it must be alert throughout, every member living by its own life, nothing that can have existence failing to exist within it.

And here we have the solution of the problem, "How an ensouled living form can include the soulless": for this account allows grades of living within the whole, grades to some of which we deny life only because they are not perceptibly self-moved: in the truth, all of these have a hidden life; and the thing whose life is patent to sense is made up of things which do not live to sense, but, none the less, confer upon their resultant total wonderful powers towards living. Man would never have reached to his actual height if the powers by which he acts were the completely soulless elements of his being; similarly the All could not have its huge life unless its every member had a life of its own; this however does not necessarily imply a deliberate intention; the All has no need of intention to bring about its acts: it is older than intention, and therefore its powers have many servitors.