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Plotino - Tratado 28,42 (IV, 4, 42) — Não há memória nos astros

Enéada IV, 4, 42

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

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

  • Cap 41-42: As orações
  • Cap 41, 1-9: Há influência em razão da simpatia entre as partes
  • Cap 41, 9-15: Os efeitos prejudicáveis não são voluntários
  • Cap 42, 1-19: Não há memória nos astros
  • Cap 42, 19-30: O princípio diretor do universo é absolutamente impassível

Míguez

42. En consecuencia, los astros no tienen necesidad de memoria — con tal objeto hemos tratado de todas estas cuestiones — , ni de las sensaciones provenientes de los seres. No se da en ellos, como piensan algunos, una aquiesencia a nuestras súplicas, porque, con nuestras súplicas o sin ellas, siempre recibimos de los astros alguna influencia, como partes que ellos son, al igual que nosotros mismos, de un solo y único universo. En éste se ejercen, ciertamente, muchos poderes independientes de la voluntad, sean o no ayudados por el arte. Y es que se trata (como decimos) de un ser animado único, cuyas partes se favorecen o perjudican en razón a su naturaleza. El arte de los médicos y el de los magos tiende a que una parte ofrezca a la otra alguno de sus poderes privativos. El universo, a su vez, da también algo a sus partes, algo que es realmente de él — o que resulta de la atracción de una de estas partes y, por tanto, de su misma naturaleza; porque, en definitiva, nadie que dirija sus súplicas a lo alto puede sentirse ajeno al universo.

No hay razón para admirarse de que el suplicante sea un malvado, puesto que los malos extraen igualmente agua de los ríos, sin que el ser que da sepa a ciencia cierta lo que da, sino simplemente que da algo. Así, pues, esta ordenación y estos dones provienen de la naturaleza del universo. De tal modo que si algún malvado toma de lo que es de todos lo que no debiera, le alcanzará el castigo por una ley necesaria.

No hemos de conceder, sin embargo, que el universo sufre; hemos de afirmar, por el contrario, que su parte dirigente es totalmente impasible. Las pasiones, si acaso, tienen lugar en sus partes y vienen muy bien a ellas; pero como nada de lo que ocurre es contrario a la naturaleza, todo lo que acontece deja al universo impasible frente a sí mismo. También los astros, supuesto que experimenten pasiones, son seres verdaderamente impasibles, como partes constitutivas del universo. Disfrutan, podemos decir, de una voluntad impasible y de unos cuerpos y unas naturalezas incapaces de recibir daño alguno. Y si, a través de su alma, dan algo de sí mismos, lo que fluya de ellos será para nosotros imperceptible, lo mismo que si reciben alguna cosa permanecerá oculta para nosotros.

Bouillet

XLII. Les astres n’ont donc pas besoin de mémoire pour se rappeler nos prières, ni de sens pour en être instruits : ainsi se trouve résolue la question que nous avons posée (127). S’ils exaucent nos prières, ce n’est pas par suite d’une détermination libre, comme quelques-uns le croient. Soit que nous leur adressions des prières, soit que nous ne leur en adressions pas, ils exercent sur nous une certaine action par cela même qu’ils font partie de l’univers comme nous.

Il y a beaucoup de forces qui s’exercent involontairement, soit d’elles-mêmes, sans aucune sollicitation, soit avec le concours de l’art: ainsi, dans un animal, une partie est naturellement favorable ou nuisible à une autre; c’est pour cela que le médecin et le magicien forcent, chacun par leur art, une chose d’en faire participer une autre à sa puissance. L’univers communique de même à ses parties quelque chose de sa propre puissance, soit de lui-même, soit par suite de l’attraction qu’exercé un individu; cela est naturel, puisque celui qui demande ne lui est pas étranger. Si un individu obtient ce qu’il demande, quoiqu’il soit pervers, il ne faut pas s’en étonner : les méchants ne puisent-ils pas aux fleuves comme les bons? Dans ce cas, celui qui accorde ne sait pas qu’il accorde ; il accorde simplement, et ce qu’il accorde est conforme à l’ordre de l’univers. Il s’ensuit que, si un individu pervers demande et obtient ce qui est à la portée de tous, il n’est pas nécessaire qu’il en soit puni.

Il ne faut donc pas admettre que l’univers soit sujet à éprouver des passions : d’abord, l’Âme qui le gouverne est tout à fait impassible ; ensuite, s’il y a en lui des passions, elles ne sont éprouvées que par ses parties; quant à lui, ne pouvant éprouver rien de contraire à sa nature, il reste impassible en lui-même. — Éprouver des passions semble convenir aux astres considérés comme parties de l’univers ; mais, considérés en eux-mêmes, ils sont impassibles, parce que leurs volontés sont impassibles et que leurs corps demeurent inaltérables comme leur nature, parce qu’enfin si, par leur âme, ils communiquent quelque chose d’eux-mêmes aux êtres inférieurs, leur âme ne perd rien et leurs corps restent les mêmes. Si quelque chose découle d’eux, ils ne s’en aperçoivent pas; si quelque chose leur arrive, ils y restent également insensibles.

Guthrie

AS THE STARS ANSWER PRAYERS UNCONSCIOUSLY, THEY DO NOT NEED MEMORIES THEREFOR.

42. The stars therefore have no need of memory to remember our prayers, nor senses to receive them; thus is solved the problem considered above. Nor even, if our prayers are answered, is this due, as some think, to any free will on their part. Whether or not we address prayers to them, they exercise over us a certain influence by the mere fact that, along with us, they form part of the universe.

THE PRAYERS OF EVEN THE EVIL ARE ANSWERED, IF MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH NATURAL LAW.

There are many forces that are exercised involuntarily, either automatically, without any invitation, or with the assistance of skill. Thus, in an animal, one part is naturally favorable or harmful to another; that is why both physician and magician, each by his characteristic arts, force one thing to communicate its power to another. Likewise, the universe communicates to its parts something of its own power, either automatically, or as a result of the attraction exercised by the individual. This is a natural process, since he who asks is not foreign to it. Neither should we be astonished if even an evil individual obtains his requests; for do not the evil drink from the same streams as do the good? In this case, the granting is done unconsciously; it grants simply, and what is granted harmonizes with the order of the universe. Consequently, if an evil individual asks and obtains what is within reach of all, there is no reason why he should be punished.

THE WORLD-SOUL AND STARS ARE IMPASSIBLE.

It is therefore wrong to hold that the universe is subject to experiencing passions. In the first place, the governing Soul is entirely impassible; then, if there be any passions in her, they are experienced only by her parts; as to her, being unable to experience anything contrary to her nature, she herself remains impassible. To experience passions seems suitable to stars considered as parts of the universe; but, considered in themselves, they are impassible, because their wills are impassible, and their bodies remain as unalterable as their nature, because their soul loses nothing, and their bodies remain the same, even if, by their soul, they communicate something of themselves to inferior beings. If something issues from them, they do not notice it; if some increase happens, they pay no attention.

MacKenna

42. It follows that, for the purposes which have induced this discussion, the stars have no need of memory or of any sense of petitions addressed to them; they give no such voluntary attention to prayers as some have thought: it is sufficient that, in virtue simply of the nature of parts and of parts within a whole, something proceeds from them whether in answer to prayer or without prayer. We have the analogy of many powers - as in some one living organism - which, independently of plan or as the result of applied method, act without any collaboration of the will: one member or function is helped or hurt by another in the mere play of natural forces; and the art of doctor or magic healer will compel some one centre to purvey something of its own power to another centre. just so the All: it purveys spontaneously, but it purveys also under spell; some entity [acting like the healer] is concerned for a member situated within itself and summons the All which, then, pours in its gift; it gives to its own part by the natural law we have cited since the petitioner is no alien to it. Even though the suppliant be a sinner, the answering need not shock us; sinners draw from the brooks; and the giver does not know of the gift but simply gives - though we must remember that all is one woof and the giving is always consonant with the order of the universe. There is, therefore, no necessity by ineluctable law that one who has helped himself to what lies open to all should receive his deserts then and there.

In sum, we must hold that the All cannot be affected; its leading principle remains for ever immune whatsoever happens to its members; the affection is really present to them, but since nothing existent can be at strife with the total of existence, no such affection conflicts with its impassivity.

Thus the stars, in so far as they are parts, can be affected and yet are immune on various counts; their will, like that of the All, is untouched, just as their bodies and their characteristic natures are beyond all reach of harm; if they give by means of their souls, their souls lose nothing; their bodies remain unchanged or, if there is ebb or inflow, it is of something going unfelt and coming unawares.