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Plotino - Tratado 28,45 (IV, 4, 45) — Conclusões gerais

Enéada IV, 4, 45

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

    

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

  • Cap 45: Conclusões gerais
  • Cap 45, 1-10: As partes agem e sofrem segundo sua qualidade   natural
  • Cap 45, 10-26: O homem   bom ou mal age bem ou mal
  • Cap 45, 27-33: A ordem   e a justiça no universo  
  • Cap 45, 33-52: As almas se deslocam em função de seu caráter
    

Míguez

45. De todo lo que hemos dicho una cosa resulta clara, a saber, que cada una de las partes del universo  , según su naturaleza y su disposición, colabora con el todo y sufre y actúa, no de otro modo que en un animal   cada una de sus partes, de acuerdo con su naturaleza y su constitución, colabora con el todo y le presta sus servicios, siempre a tenor de la ordenación y utilidad mas justas. Cada parte da de sí misma, y recibe a la vez de las demás todo lo que la naturaleza le permita recibir; pues no olvidemos que se da en el todo una conciencia perceptiva de sí mismo  . Pero si, además, cada parte fuese verdaderamente un animal, realizaría las funciones de un animal, que son, en realidad, muy diferentes a las de cada una de las partes.

Otra cosa también está clara en lo que a nosotros concierne, y es que ejercemos una cierta acción en el universo. Y no solamente sufrimos en cuanto al cuerpo todo lo que el cuerpo puede sufrir, sino que introducimos en el universo esa otra parte de nosotros que es el alma  . Así, pues, mantenemos contacto con los seres exteriores por aquellos lazos que nos son afines con ellos. Por medio de nuestras almas y de nuestras disposiciones tomamos contacto, o mejor ya lo mantenemos, con todos esos seres que nos siguen en la región de los demonios, e incluso con los que están más allá de ellos. De manera que no podrá ignorarse verdaderamente lo que nosotros somos.

Pero no recibimos, ni damos todos, las mismas cosas. Porque, ¿cómo podríamos dar a otro lo que nosotros no poseemos, como por ejemplo un bien? Por supuesto que tampoco podríamos hacer donación de un bien a un ser incapaz de recibirlo. Un ser dominado por el vicio será conocido por lo que él es y, de acuerdo con su naturaleza, se verá impulsado hacia lo que realmente posee; luego, una vez liberado del cuerpo, se sentirá atraído hacia la región conveniente a su naturaleza. En cambio, para el hombre bueno, todo será muy diferente: lo que él reciba, lo que él dé, sus propios cambios de lugar. En ambos casos, sin embargo, la naturaleza regula los impulsos con la finura de un cordel.

He aquí, pues, cuán maravillosos son el poder y el orden del universo. Todas las cosas se desarrollan en él en un caminar silencioso y según la justicia, a la que ningún ser escapa. Por ello el malvado, aun sin darle oídos, es llevado sin saberlo al lugar del universo que verdaderamente le corresponde. Pero el hombre de bien sí que conoce esta justicia y va a donde debe ir, sabiendo ya, antes de partir, cuál es necesariamente su morada  . Tiene en verdad la firme   esperanza de que vivirá en compañía de los dioses.

En un animal pequeño sus partes apenas se modifican, con lo cual sus percepciones son también muy reducidas. Y no es posible que sus partes sean seres animados, salvo si acaso algunas, pero éstas en el menor grado. Mas, en el animal universal  , de dimensiones tan grandes y un relajamiento tan acusado que da cabida a muchos seres animados, debe haber indudablemente movimientos y cambios de proporciones considerables. Vemos, por ejemplo, cómo se desplazan y se mueven regularmente el sol, la luna   y el resto de los astros. No es ilógico, por tanto, que también las almas se desplacen y, como no conservan siempre el mismo carácter, adoptarán el orden que convenga a sus pasiones y a sus acciones. Así, unas ocuparán un lugar en la cabeza, otras en los pies, conforme a la armonía del universo. Porque es evidente   que el universo encierra diferencias en cuanto atañe al bien y al mal. El alma que no ha escogido aquí lo mejor, ni ha participado asimismo de lo peor, pasa realmente a un lugar puro, ocupando así la morada que ella ha escogido. Los castigos que sufren las almas son como remedios a sus partes enfermas; en unas, habrán de emplearse remedios astringentes, en otras se apelará a desplazamientos o a modificaciones para restablecer la salud, colocando al efecto cada órgano en el lugar que le corresponda. El universo conserva también su salud mediante la modificación o el desplazamiento de las partes del lugar afectado por la enfermedad a otro que verdaderamente no lo esté.

Bouillet

XLV. De cette discussion, il ressort évidemment que chacun des êtres compris dans l’univers concourt à la fin de l’univers par ses actions et ses passions selon sa nature et ses dispositions, comme chaque organe dans un animal concourt à la fin du corps entier en remplissant la fonction que lui assignent sa nature et sa constitution, tient de là sa place et son rôle, communique en outre quelque chose aux autres organes, et en reçoit lui-même tout ce que comporte sa nature ; tous les organes sentent chacun en quelque sorte ce qui se passe dans les autres, et, si chacun d’eux devenait un animal, il serait tout préparé à remplir les fonctions d’animal, lesquelles diffèrent de celles d’organe.

Nous voyons aussi quelle est notre condition : d’un côté, nous exerçons une certaine action sur le tout ; de l’autre, non seulement nous éprouvons les passions qu’il est naturel que notre corps éprouve dans ses relations avec d’autres corps, mais encore nous faisons entrer dans ces relations l’âme qui nous constitue, liés que nous sommes aux choses congénères qui nous entourent par la ressemblance que nous avons naturellement avec elles : en effet, par notre âme et par nos dispositions, nous devenons, ou plutôt nous sommes semblables, d’un côté, aux êtres inférieurs du monde démonique, de l’autre côté, aux êtres supérieurs du monde intelligible. Nous ne pouvons donc ignorer notre nature. Nous ne donnons pas, nous ne recevons pas tous la même chose. Comment pourrions-nous en effet communiquer aux autres le bien si nous ne le possédions pas ? le recevoir, si notre nature n’en était pas capable?

Ainsi, l’homme pervers montre ce qu’il est et est poussé par sa nature vers ce qui le domine déjà, soit pendant qu’il est ici-bas, soit lorsque, sorti d’ici-bas, il passe dans le lieu où l’entraînent ses penchants. L’homme vertueux, au contraire, a sous tous ces rapports un sort différent. Chacun est ainsi poussé par sa nature, comme par une force occulte, vers le lieu où il doit aller. Il y a donc dans cet univers une puissance et un ordre admirables, puisque, par une voie secrète et cachée, chacun est conduit à la condition que lui assigne la justice divine (131) et à laquelle il ne saurait échapper. L’homme pervers l’ignore et est à son insu conduit au lieu qu’il doit occuper dans l’univers. L’homme sage le sait, et se rend de lui-même à la place qui lui est destinée : avant de sortir de la vie, il connaît quel séjour l’attend nécessairement, et l’espérance d’habiter un jour avec les dieux vient remplir sa vie de bonheur   (132).

Les parties de chaque petit animal éprouvent des changements et des affections sympathiques qui sont peu sensibles, parce que ces parties ne sont pas des animaux (si ce n’est pour quelque temps et chez quelques êtres seulement). Mais, dans l’animal universel, où les parties sont si éloignées les unes des autres, où chacune suit ses inclinations, où il y a une multitude d’animaux, les mouvements et les changements de place doivent être plus considérables. Aussi voyons-nous le soleil  , la lune, et les autres astres occuper successivement des lieux divers et opérer des révolutions régulières. Il n’est donc pas contraire à la raison que les âmes changent de lieu comme elles changent de caractère, et qu’elles aient une place conforme à leurs dispositions : elles contribuent ainsi à l’ordre de l’univers en y occupant, les unes, une place analogue à celle de la tête dans le corps humain, et les autres, à celle des pieds : car l’univers admet des degrés différents sous le rapport de la perfection. Quand une âme ne choisit pas ce qu’il y a de meilleur, qu’elle ne s’attache pas non plus à ce qu’il y a de pire, elle passe dans un autre lieu, qui est encore pur, mais qui est en même temps proportionné à ce qu’elle a choisi. Les châtiments ressemblent aux remèdes que le médecin applique aux organes malades : le médecin met sur les uns certaines substances, fait à d’autres des incisions ou change leur état, pour rétablir la santé du système, en donnant à chaque organe la disposition qu’il doit avoir ; de même, la santé de l’univers exige que l’un soit changé, que l’autre soit éloigné du lieu où il languit et mis à une place où il ne soit plus malade.

Guthrie

EVERY BEING THEREFORE IS A SPECIALIZED ORGAN OF THE UNIVERSE.

45. This discussion teaches us that each one of the beings contained in the universe contributes to the purpose of the universe by its «actions» and «passions» according to its nature and dispositions, as, in an organism, each organ contributes to the final purpose of the entire body, by fulfilling the function assigned to it by its nature and constitution. From this each organ derives its place and role, and besides communicates something else to the other organs, and from them receives all that its nature would allow. Somehow, all the organs feel what is going on in the others, and if each of them became an organism, it would be quite ready to fulfil the function of an organism, which function differs from that of being merely an organ.

HUMAN NATURE IS INTERMEDIATE, SUFFERING WITH THE WHOLE, BUT ALSO ACTING ON IT.

We are thus shown our condition. On the one hand, we exercise a certain action on the whole; on the other, we not only experience the passions that it is natural for our body to experience in its relations with other bodies, but we also introduce into these relations the soul which constitutes us, bound as we are to the kindred things which surround us by our natural resemblance to them. Indeed, by our souls and dispositions we become, or rather, we already are similar on one hand to the inferior   beings of the demonic world, and on the other, to the superior beings of the intelligible world. Our nature cannot be ignored, therefore. Not all of us receive, not all of us give the same thing. How indeed could we communicate to others the good, if we do not possess it? or receive it, if our nature was not capable of it?

BY A SECRET ROAD EACH ONE IS LED TO DIVINE RETRIBUTION.

Thus the evil man shows what he is, and he is by his nature impelled towards what already dominates him, both while he is here below, or after he has left this place; when he passes into the place towards which his inclinations draw him. The virtuous man, on the contrary, has, in all these respects, a different fate. Each one is thus driven by his nature, as by some occult force, towards the place whither he is to go. In this universe, therefore, there obtains an admirable power and order, since, by a secret, and hidden path, each one is led to the unescapable condition assigned to him by divine justice. The evil man does not know this, and is, in spite of himself, conducted to the place in the universe which he is to occupy. The wise man knows it, and himself proceeds to his destined abode. Before leaving this life, he knows what residence inevitably awaits him, and the hope of dwelling there some day in company with the divinities fills his life with happiness.

EXISTENCE OF HEAVEN; HELL’S TORMENTS ARE REFORMATORY.

The parts of each small organism undergo changes and sympathetic affections which are not much felt, because these parts are not individual organisms (and they exist only for some time, and in some kinds of organisms). But in the universal organism, where the parts are separated by so great distances, where each one follows its own inclinations, where there is a multitude of different animals, the movements and change of place must be more considerable. Thus the sun, the moon and the other stars are seen successively to occupy different places, and to revolve regularly. It is not unreasonable therefore to suppose that souls would change location, as they change character, and that they would dwell in a place suitable to their dispositions. They would thus contribute to the order of the universe by occupying some, a place analogous to the head in the human body; and others, a place analogous to the human feet; for the universe admits of place for all degrees of perfection. When a soul does not choose the best (actions), and yet does not attach herself to what is worst, she would naturally pass into some other place, which is indeed pure, but yet proportioned to the mediocrity she has chosen. As to the punishments, they resemble the remedies applied by physicians to sickly organs. On some the physician lays certain substances; in some he makes incisions, or he changes the condition of some others, to reestablish the health of the whole system, by giving to each organ the special treatment suitable to it. Likewise, the health of the universe demands that the one (soul) be changed; that another be taken away from the locality where she languishes, and be located where she would recover from the disease.

MacKenna

45. From this discussion it becomes perfectly clear that the individual member of the All contributes to that All in the degree of its kind and condition; thus it acts and is acted upon. In any particular animal each of the limbs and organs, in the measure of its kind and purpose, aids the entire being by service performed and counts in rank and utility: it gives what is in it its gift and takes from its fellows in the degree of receptive power belonging to its kind; there is something like a common sensitiveness linking the parts, and in the orders in which each of the parts is also animate, each will have, in addition to its rank as part, the very particular functions of a living being.

We have learned, further, something of our human standing; we know that we too accomplish within the All a work not confined to the activity and receptivity of body in relation to body; we know that we bring to it that higher nature of ours, linked as we are by affinities within us towards the answering affinities outside us; becoming by our soul and the conditions of our kind thus linked - or, better, being linked by Nature - with our next highest in the celestial or demonic realm, and thence onwards with those above the Celestials, we cannot fail to manifest our quality. Still, we are not all able to offer the same gifts or to accept identically: if we do not possess good, we cannot bestow it; nor can we ever purvey any good thing to one that has no power of receiving good. Anyone that adds his evil to the total of things is known for what he is and, in accordance with his kind, is pressed down into the evil which he has made his own, and hence, upon death, goes   to whatever region fits his quality - and all this happens under the pull of natural forces.

For the good man, the giving and the taking and the changes of state go quite the other way; the particular tendencies of the nature, we may put it, transpose the cords [so that we are moved by that only which, in Plato’s metaphor of the puppets, draws towards the best].

Thus this universe of ours is a wonder of power and wisdom, everything by a noiseless road coming to pass according to a law which none may elude - which the base man never conceives though it is leading him, all unknowingly, to that place in the All where his lot must be cast - which the just man knows, and, knowing, sets out to the place he must, understanding, even as he begins the journey, where he is to be housed at the end, and having the good hope that he will be with gods.

In a living being of small scope the parts vary but slightly, and have but a faint individual consciousness  , and, unless possibly in a few and for a short time, are not themselves alive. But in a living universe, of high expanse, where every entity has vast scope and many of the members have life, there must be wider movement and greater changes. We see the sun and the moon and the other stars shifting place and course in an ordered progression. It is therefore within reason that the souls, also, of the All should have their changes, not retaining unbrokenly the same quality, but ranged in some analogy with their action and experience - some taking rank as head and some as foot in a disposition consonant with the Universal Being which has its degrees in better and less good. A soul, which neither chooses the highest that is here, nor has lent itself to the lowest, is one which has abandoned another, a purer, place, taking this sphere in free election.

The punishments of wrong-doing are like the treatment of diseased parts of the body - here, medicines to knit sundered flesh  ; there, amputations; elsewhere, change of environment and condition - and the penalties are planned to bring health to the All by settling every member in the fitting place: and this health of the All requires that one man be made over anew and another, sick here, be taken hence to where he shall be weakly no longer.