Página inicial > Antiguidade > Neoplatonismo (245-529 dC) > Plotino (204-270 dC) – Tratados Enéadas > Plotino - Tratado 28,44 (IV, 4, 44) — Só a contemplação é livre, não a (...)

ENÉADAS

Plotino - Tratado 28,44 (IV, 4, 44) — Só a contemplação é livre, não a ação

Enéada IV, 4, 44

sexta-feira 13 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

  • Cap 44, 1-16: Só a contemplação é livre, não a ação
  • Cap 44, 16-37: As ações

Míguez

44. Únicamente la contemplación escapa al encantamiento, porque nadie ejercita el encantamiento consigo mismo. Se trata aquí de un solo ser, ya que es también él mismo el objeto que contempla. Y es claro que su razón no puede sufrir engaño, porque ella hace lo que debe hacer y realiza asimismo su vida y su actividad propia. En ésta no son su libertad ni su razón las que le dan el impulso, sino la parte irracional, instituida como principio. Son así, pues, las pasiones las que actúan como premisas.

Tienen indudablemente un claro atractivo el cuidado de los hijos, la inclinación al matrimonio y todos los placeres que seducen a los hombres y halagan sus deseos. Todas nuestras acciones, tanto las que son movidas por la cólera como las afectadas por el deseo, carecen por completo de razón. Toda nuestra pasión política o nuestro deseo del arcontado están provocados por el ansia de dominio que es innata en nosotros. Los actos que realizamos en evitación del sufrimiento tienen como principio el temor, e, igualmente, los que tienden a nuestra utilidad toman su origen del deseo. De tal manera que cuando actuamos para nuestro provecho tratamos de satisfacer nuestros deseos naturales, lo cual constituye claramente una especie de coacción de la naturaleza en su intento de familiarizarnos con la vida.

Podrá decirse tal vez que las acciones bellas escapan al encantamiento, ya que, de no ser así, tampoco escaparía la contemplación, que se refiere de hecho a las cosas hermosas. Si, ciertamente, las acciones bellas se consideran como necesarias, es claro que escapan al encantamiento, aun en el supuesto de que la belleza real sea algo distinto. Porque es indudable que conocemos su necesidad, y la vida, además, no inclina decididamente hacia abajo y hacia la materia, sino en la medida en que la fuerza la naturaleza humana y esa inclinación a conservarla que se da en los demás y en nosotros mismos. Quizá por eso parezca razonable el no privarse de la vida, porque, si todo ocurre así, somos verdadera presa del encantamiento. Mas, si se ama la belleza que hay en esas acciones y se capta engañosamente por la vista los vestigios de hermosura que ellas contienen, lo que realmente perseguimos es la belleza de las cosas de este mundo, dominados como estamos por el encantamiento. Pues entonces, la aplicación a esta imagen de lo verdadero y el mismo atractivo que ella ejerce nos seduce engañosamente con su embeleso irresistible.

Tal es la acción de la magia de la naturaleza. Porque perseguir como un bien lo que no es un bien y dejarse arrastrar a su vista por impulsos irracionales, no es otra cosa que verse llevado inconscientemente a donde uno no quisiera ir. ¿Y puede concebirse la magia de otro modo? Sólo escapa, por tanto, a la acción del encantamiento aquel que, no obstante el atractivo de las partes inferiores de su alma, sostiene firmemente que no es un bien lo que ellas declaran como un bien, ya que el único bien existente es el que él conoce sin engaño posible y sin buscarlo, por la certeza de su posesión. Ya entonces no se ve atraído a él de ninguna manera.

Bouillet

XLIV. Il n’y a donc que l’être livré à la contemplation qui ne puisse être ensorcelé : car nul n’est ensorcelé par lui-même. Celui qui contemple est un : il est ce qu’il contemple, il est une raison à l’abri de toute séduction. Il fait ce qu’il doit faire, il accomplit sa vie et sa fonction propre. Pour le reste, l’âme n’accomplit pas une fonction qui lui soit propre, la raison ne détermine pas l’action : c’est alors la partie irraisonnable de l’âme qui est le principe de l’action, ce sont les passions qui lui donnent des règles. L’influence d’un attrait magique se manifeste dans le penchant qui nous porte au mariage, dans le soin que nous prenons de nos enfants, et, en général, dans tout ce que l’appât de la volupté nous entraîne à faire. Parmi nos actions, il y en a qui sont provoquées par une puissance irraisonnable, soit par la colère, soit par la concupiscence ; d’autres, celles qui se rapportent à la vie politique, comme le désir d’obtenir les magistratures, ont pour mobile l’amour du commandement; celles où nous nous proposons d’éviter quelque mal ou de posséder plus que les autres nous sont inspirées, les premières, par la crainte, les secondes, parla cupidité; enfin, celles qui se rapportent à l’utile, à la satisfaction de nos besoins, montrent avec quelle force la nature nous attache à la vie.

On dira peut-être que les actions où l’on a un but noble et honnête échappent aux influences de la magie, sans quoi la contemplation y serait elle-même soumise. Nous pensons qu’en effet celui qui accomplit les actions honnêtes comme nécessaires, les yeux fixés sur le Beau véritable, ne saurait être ensorcelé : il connaît la nécessité, et il ne donne pour but à sa vie rien de terrestre, à moins qu’on ne dise qu’il est charmé et retenu ici-bas par la force magique de la nature humaine, qui l’attache à la vie des autres ou à sa propre vie. Il semble en effet raisonnable de ne pas se séparer du corps à cause de l’attachement que nous inspire pour lui une espèce de charme magique (130). Quant à l’homme qui préfère [à la contemplation] l’activité pratique et se contente de la beauté qu’on y trouve, il est séduit par les traces trompeuses du Beau, puisqu’il cherche la beauté dans les choses inférieures : car, toute activité déployée dans le domaine de ce qui n’a que l’apparence du vrai, toute inclination pour cette espèce de choses suppose que l’âme est trompée par ce qui l’attire. C’est ainsi que s’exerce la puissance magique de la nature. En effet, poursuivre ce qui n’est pas le bien comme si c’était le bien, se laisser entraîner par son apparence et par des penchants irrationnels, c’est le propre d’un homme qui est conduit à son insu où il ne voulait pas aller. Or, n’est-ce pas là céder véritablement à un charme magique? Celui-là seul échappe donc à tout charme magique qui, quoiqu’il soit entraîné par les facultés inférieures de son âme, ne regarde comme bien aucun des objets qui paraissent être tels à ces facultés, n’appelle bien que ce qu’il connaît par lui-même être tel, sans être séduit par aucune apparence trompeuse, ne regarde comme bien que ce qu’il ne cherche pas, mais ce qu’il possède véritablement. Alors il ne saurait être entraîné nulle part par aucun charme magique.

Guthrie

MAGIC HAS POWER OVER MAN BY HIS AFFECTIONS AND WEAKNESSES.

44. Only the man devoted to contemplation can defy enchantments, inasmuch as none can be bewitched by himself. The man who contemplates has become unified; he has become what he contemplates, his reason is sheltered from all seductive influences. He does what he ought to do, he accomplishes his life and his proper function. As to the remainder of humanity, the soul does not fulfil her characteristic function, nor does reason determine its action; the irrational soul becomes the principle of action, and the passions furnish men with directions. The influence of a magic attraction manifests in the disposition to marriage, in the care we take of our children, and, in general, in all that the bait of pleasure leads us to do. Amidst our actions there are some that are provoked by an irrational power, either by anger, or the general faculty of desire of the soul. Other actions relate to political life, like the desire of obtaining office, and they spring from a desire to command. Those actions in which we propose to avoid some evil, are inspired by fear; while those actions in relating to the desire to possess more than others, are inspired by cupidity. Last, those actions relating to utility, and to the satisfaction of our needs, show with what force nature has attached us to life.

HONESTY ESCAPES MAGIC ONLY BECAUSE IT RESULTS FROM CONTEMPLATION OF THE INTELLIGIBLE.

It may perhaps be said that the actions whose aim is noble and honest escape the influences of magic; otherwise contemplation itself would be subject thereto. This is true, that the man who performs deeds of honesty as being inevitable, with his eyes fixed on true Beauty, could never be bewitched. He knows duty, and the aim of his life (which would limit his efforts) is not anything on earth or in the (universe). It may indeed be objected that he is bewitched and attached here below by the magic force of human nature, which binds him to the lives of others and of himself. It would even be reasonable to say that we should not separate ourselves from the body because of the attachment for him inspired by some magic charm. As to the man who (to contemplation) prefers practical activity, and who contents himself with the beauty discovered therein, he is evidently misled by the deceptive traces of the Beautiful, since he seeks beauty in inferior things. Every activity unfolded in the domain of what has nothing but the appearance of truth, every inclination for this kind of thing supposes that the soul is deceived by what attracts it. That is the way in which the magic power of nature is exercised.

HOW TO AVOID MAGIC ENCHANTMENTS.

Indeed, to follow what is not Good as if it was the Good, to let oneself be misled by its appearance, and by irrational inclinations, that is the characteristic of a man who in spite of himself is led whither he does not wish to go. Now does this not really amount to yielding to a magic charm? He alone escapes every magic charm who, though he be carried away by the lower faculties of his soul, considers good none of the objects that seem such to these faculties, who calls good only what he by himself knows to be such, without being misled by any deceptive appearance; and who regards as good not what he has to seek, but what he possesses veritably. Then only could he in no way be misled by any magic charm.

MacKenna

44. Contemplation alone stands untouched by magic; no man self-gathered falls to a spell; for he is one, and that unity is all he perceives, so that his reason is not beguiled but holds the due course, fashioning its own career and accomplishing its task.

In the other way of life, it is not the essential man that gives the impulse; it is not the reason; the unreasoning also acts as a principle, and this is the first condition of the misfortune. Caring for children, planning marriage - everything that works as bait, taking value by dint of desire - these all tug obviously: so it is with our action, sometimes stirred, not reasonably, by a certain spirited temperament, sometimes as foolishly by greed; political interests, the siege of office, all betray a forth-summoning lust of power; action for security springs from fear; action for gain, from desire; action undertaken for the sake of sheer necessities - that is, for supplying the insufficiency of nature - indicates, manifestly, the cajoling force of nature to the safeguarding of life.

We may be told that no such magic underlies good action, since, at that, Contemplation itself, certainly a good action, implies a magic attraction.

The answer is that there is no magic when actions recognized as good are performed upon sheer necessity with the recollection that the veritable good is elsewhere; this is simply knowledge of need; it is not a bewitchment binding the life to this sphere or to any thing alien; all is permissible under duress of human nature, and in the spirit of adaptation to the needs of existence in general - or even to the needs of the individual existence, since it certainly seems reasonable to fit oneself into life rather than to withdraw from it.

When, on the contrary, the agent falls in love with what is good in those actions, and, cheated by the mere track and trace of the Authentic Good makes them his own, then, in his pursuit of a lower good, he is the victim of magic. For all dalliance with what wears the mask of the authentic, all attraction towards that mere semblance, tells of a mind misled by the spell of forces pulling towards unreality.

The sorcery of Nature is at work in this; to pursue the non-good as a good, drawn in unreasoning impulse by its specious appearance: it is to be led unknowing down paths unchosen; and what can we call that but magic.

Alone in immunity from magic is he who, though drawn by the alien parts of his total being, withholds his assent to their standards of worth, recognizing the good only where his authentic self sees and knows it, neither drawn nor pursuing, but tranquilly possessing and so never charmed away.