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Plotino - Tratado 29,7 (IV, 5, 7) — A luz morre?

Enéada IV, 5, 7

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

    

Capítulos 6-8: Questões diversas.

  • Cap. 6: Há luz sem ar?
  • Resposta  : A luz   não é nem qualidade   do corpo iluminado nem substância  , mas atividade   da fonte   luminosa.
  • Cap. 7: A luz morre?
  • Resposta: A luz é um incorporal que não morre, retorna a sua fonte; a cor pode igualmente deixar o corpo, mas não morre no sentido estrito.
  • Cap. 8: Se existisse, poderia se perceber um corpo exterior a nosso mundo?
  • Resposta: A hipótese engendra consequências contraditórias, não é aceitável.
    

Míguez

7. Pero, ¿acaso se pierde la luz o vuelve a su lugar de procedencia? Tal vez saquemos algo en limpio de aquí para lo que antes se ha dicho. Pues si la luz se introdujese en el objeto y éste, por tanto, llegase a poseerla en propiedad, podría afirmarse tal vez que la luz puede ser destruida. Ahora bien, si la luz es un acto que no fluye — de otro modo correría en abundancia por el objeto y penetraría en su interior hasta el punto de sobrepasar cualquier acto de un ser activo — , si es verdaderamente un acto, decimos, entonces es claro que no podrá ser destruida y permanecerá ella misma en tanto subsista su propia fuente. Se traslada y cambia de lugar no por un movimiento de reflujo hacia su fuente, sino por ser su acto y acompañarla siempre, en tanto nada se le oponga. Y, aunque la distancia que ahora hay del sol hasta nosotros se multiplicase varias veces, su luz no dejaría de llegarnos, siempre que un obstáculo   no lo impidiese. Porque se da indudablemente en el sol un acto interior, una especie de vida sobreabundante que es como el principio y la fuente de ese acto que es la luz, el cual, al sobrepasar los límites del cuerpo, se convierte en una imagen del acto interior, esto es, en un segundo acto que no se separa nunca del primero. Cada uno de los seres tiene un acto, que es semejante a él. De modo que desde el momento que el ser exista, existirá también su acto, y, en tanto aquél subsista, su acto se verá realizado a mayor o menor distancia.

Unos actos son débiles y otros, por el contrario, son oscuros. Unos actos se nos escapan y otros, en cambio, son lo bastante poderosos para influir a distancia sobre nosotros. Cuando esto último ocurre habrá que pensar   justamente que el acto existe allí donde se da el agente  , llegando incluso hasta el límite de su poder. Podemos comprobarlo en los animales de ojos brillantes, cuya luz sale fuera de sus ojos. Y vemos también otros que encierran un fuego en su interior hasta el punto de que, cuando abren sus alas, brillan en la oscuridad, y cuando las cierran, ninguna luz se desprende de ellos. Sin embargo, la luz no ha desaparecido; sigue existiendo sin salir de sus cuerpos. ¿Diremos entonces que ha vuelto a entrar en el animal  ? No, porque ella no ha estado   nunca fuera, ya que el fuego no trasluce al exterior sino que se recoge en aquél. ¿Y ocurre lo mismo con la luz? No, sino tan sólo con el fuego, el cual se recoge en el animal porque una parte de su cuerpo le sirve como de obstáculo para que él se exteriorice.

La luz que emana de los cuerpos es, pues, un acto del cuerpo luminoso que se manifiesta hacia afuera. La misma luz que hay en estos cuerpos es, ya desde un principio, una esencia que se corresponde con la forma de ellos. Así, cuando uno de estos cuerpos se mezcla con la materia produce el color  . Y no es el acto sólo el que lo produce, pues a éste atribuiríamos en rigor de verdad una coloración superficial; es el acto de un cuerpo diferente de aquellos cuerpos, pero con los cuales está ligado de algún modo. Si esos cuerpos permanecen separados de él, también lo estarán de su acto.

Aunque sea el acto de un cuerpo, la luz debe ser considerada como algo enteramente incorpóreo  . Y no podrá decirse con propiedad que se ha alejado o que está presente  , sino en el sentido de que es una realidad y un acto. La imagen que se da en un espejo es también el acto del objeto que se ve en ella y que actúa sobre lo que puede sufrir, sin que nada fluya de él. Basta con que el objeto esté presente para que aparezca su imagen en el espejo, como imagen de una figura coloreada. Si el objeto desaparece, el medio transparente no retiene ya nada de lo que antes poseía, cuando el objeto visible extendía su acción hasta él. Y lo mismo ocurre con el alma  , pues todo lo que en ella constituye el acto de una vida anterior   subsiste igualmente con ella con el carácter de acto subordinado.

Pero, ¿qué acontece con algo que no es un acto, sino más bien el resultado de un acto, como cuando hablábamos de la vida propia de un cuerpo o de la luz que se encuentra mezclada con los cuerpos? Ciñéndonos a este último caso, diremos que la luz produce el color como consecuencia de la mezcla. Pero, ¿qué afirmar, en cambio, de la vida propia de un cuerpo? El cuerpo la posee, indudablemente, por la proximidad del alma. Por tanto, cuando el cuerpo deja de existir — y aun en el supuesto de que nada pueda perder su participación en el alma — , ello es debido a que su alma y las almas que le están próximas no le resultan suficientes. ¿Cómo, pues, podría seguir viviendo? Pero, ¿qué ha ocurrido entonces? ¿Es que su vida ha desaparecido? Digamos simplemente que esta vida era el reflejo de una luz. Y no se encuentra ya aquí.

Bouillet

VII. Quand l’objet dont la lumière   émane vient à s’éloigner, la lumière périt-elle ou remonte-t-elle à sa source? Cette question se rattache en effet aux précédentes  . Si la lumière se trouve dans le corps éclairé de telle sorte qu’elle lui soit devenue propre, elle périt avec lui. Mais, si elle est un acte immanent (sans cela, elle entourerait l’objet dont elle émane, elle y resterait intérieurement, elle s’y accumulerait) , elle ne saurait s’évanouir tant que l’objet dont elle émane continue lui-même de subsister. Si cet objet passe d’un lieu à un autre, la lumière y passe aussi, non parce qu’elle reflue sur elle-même ou change de lieu, mais parce que l’acte de l’objet lumineux existe et est présent dès que rien ne s’y oppose. Si la distance du soleil à la terre était beaucoup plus considérable qu’elle ne l’est actuellement, la lumière du soleil s’étendrait cependant jusqu’à nous, pourvu qu’il n’y eût point d’obstacle dans cet espace. D’un côté, il y a dans le corps lumineux un acte, une espèce de vie surabondante, un principe et une source d’activité; de l’autre, il y a au delà des limites du corps lumineux un second acte qui est l’image de l’acte propre à ce corps et ne s’en sépare pas. Tout être a un acte qui est son image, de telle sorte que, dès que l’être existe, son acte existe aussi, et que tant que l’être subsiste, son acte rayonne plus ou moins loin. Il est des actes faibles et obscurs, d’autres cachés, d’autres puissants qui rayonnent au loin. Quand un acte rayonne au loin, il faut admettre qu’il est là où il agit, où il exerce et manifeste sa puissance. Aussi voit-on la lumière jaillir des yeux des animaux qui les ont naturellement brillants(19); de même, quand les animaux qui ont un feu concentré à l’intérieur viennent à ouvrir leurs paupières, ils dardent des rayons de lumière dans les té- 422 nèbres, tandis que, dès qu’ils ferment leurs yeux, il n’y a plus de lumière au dehors. La lumière ne périt pas alors; seulement, elle ne se produit plus au dehors. Rentre-t-elle dans l’animal? Elle cesse seulement d’être au dehors : car le feu visuel ne va pas au dehors, mais au dedans. La lumière même est-elle donc au dedans? Celle-ci du moins est au dedans; mais [l’œil étant fermé], la paupière lui fait obstacle, en sorte qu’elle n’agit plus au dehors.

Ainsi, la lumière qui émane des corps est l’acte du corps lumineux qui agit au dehors. La lumière qui se trouve dans les corps qui ont originairement une telle nature est l’essence formelle du corps originairement lumineux. Quand un pareil corps a été mêlé à la mati  ère, il produit la couleur. L’acte seul ne suffît pas pour donner la couleur; il ne produit que la coloration, parce qu’il est la propriété d’un sujet, qu’il en dépend, de telle sorte que rien ne peut être éloigné de ce sujet sans l’être également de son acte. La lumière est tout à fait incorporelle, quoiqu’elle soit l’acte d’un corps. On ne saurait donc dire proprement de la lumière qu’elle s’éloigne ou qu’elle est présente; les choses se passent d’une autre manière : la lumière est l’essence du corps lumineux en tant qu’elle est son acte. L’image produite dans un miroir est donc un acte de l’objet visible, lequel agit sur ce qui peut pâtir, sans laisser rien écouler de sa substance. Si l’objet est présent, l’image paraît dans le miroir : elle est en quelque sorte l’image de la couleur qui a telle figure. Si l’objet s’éloigne, le corps diaphane n’a plus ce qu’il avait quand l’objet visible agissait sur le miroir. Il en est de même pour la première âme : son acte demeure dans le corps tant que cette âme y demeure elle-même (20).

S’il s’agit d’une force qui ne soit pas l’acte de la première âme, mais qui procède seulement de cet acte, telle que la vie que nous disons propre au corps, cette force sera-t-elle dans les mêmes conditions que la lumière mêlée aux corps? — Nous disons que la lumière est dans les corps colorés, en tant que ce qui produit la couleur est mêlé aux corps. Quant à la vie propre au corps, nous pensons que le corps la possède tant que la première âme est présente : car rien ne peut être inanimé. Quand le corps périt, et qu’il n’est plus assisté par la première âme qui lui communiquait la vie, ni par l’acte de cette âme, comment la vie demeurerait-elle dans le corps? — Quoi! cette vie a-t-elle péri? — Non : cette vie elle-même n’a pas péri (car elle n’est que l’image d’une irradiation) ; il faut dire seulement qu’elle n’est plus là (21).

Guthrie

DOES THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE LUMINOUS SOURCE ABANDON THE LIGHT TO DESTRUCTION; OR DOES THE LIGHT FOLLOW IT?

7. It might be asked whether the withdrawal of the object from which light emanates abandons the light to destruction, or does the light follow the source into withdrawal? This question is related to the former one; (and it may be said that) if the light inhere in the illuminated body in a manner such as to have become characteristic of it, the light perishes with it. The light is an immanent actualization, for otherwise it would surround the object from which it emanates, and remain within it, accumulating there. If this were so, the light could not vanish so long as the object from which it emanates itself continues to subsist. If this object pass from one place to another, light would pass thither also, not because it turns back on itself or changes locality, but because the actualization of the luminous object exists and is present as soon as nothing opposes it. If the distance from the sun to the earth were much more considerable than it really is, the light of the sun would nevertheless reach us, providing no obstacle were interposed. On the one hand, there is in the luminous body an actualization, a kind of superabundant life, a principle and source of activity; on the other hand, beyond the limits of the luminous body, exists a second actualization which is the image of the actualization characteristic of this body, and which never separates itself from the body. Every being has an actualization which is its image; so that, as soon as the being exists, its actualization exists also; and so long as the being subsists, its actualization radiates nearer or further. Actualizations (differ indeed); some are feeble and obscure, others are secret or hidden, others are powerful and radiate afar  . When an actualization radiates at a distance it must be admitted to exist there where it acts, where it exercises and manifests its power. Consequently one can see light shine from the eyes of animals whose eyes are naturally brilliant; likewise when the animals that exert a concentrated interior fire happen   to open their eyelids, they radiate rays of light into the darkness; while, when they close their eyes, no more light exists outside them. The light therefore does not perish; only, it is no longer produced exteriorly. It does not re-enter into the animal but merely ceases to exist exteriorly, for the visual fire does not pass outside, remaining inside. Is light itself then within ? At least this light remains within; but (when the eye is closed) the eyelid forms an obstacle to its diffusion.

LIGHT AS ACTUALIZATION IS THE BEING OF THE LUMINOUS BODY, AND IS INCORPOREAL.

Thus the light that emanates from bodies is the actualization of the luminous body which is active exteriorly. The light in the bodies whose original nature is such, is the formal being of the originally luminous body. When such a body has been mingled with matter, it produces color. The actualization alone does not suffice to give color; it produces only the hue, because the actualization is the property of a subject, and depends on it, so that nothing can be withdrawn from the subject without simultaneously being withdrawn from its actualization. Light is entirely incorporeal, though it be the actualization of a body. It could not therefore properly be said of light that it withdraws or is present. The true state of affairs is entirely different; for the light, so far as it is the actualization of the luminous body, is its very being. The image produced in a mirror is therefore an actualization of the visible object, which acts on anything that is passive (that can suffer, or experience), without letting any of its substance escape by any wastage. If the object be present, the image appears in the mirror; it is as it were the image of the color that possesses some particular figure. When the object withdraws, the diaphanous body no longer possesses what it possessed while the visible object was acting on the mirror. A similar condition is that of the soul; her actualization dwells within the (world’s) body so long as this soul herself dwells within it.

LIFE AND LIGHT DO NOT PERISH. BUT ARE NO MORE THERE.

(Curiosity might lead some one to ask about) a force that were not the actualization of the Soul, but which only proceeded from this actualization, such as the life which we say is proper to the body. Is the case of such a force similar to that of the light characteristic of bodies? We said that the light inheres in colored bodies, so far as that which produces the colors inheres in the bodies. As to the life proper to the bodies, we think that the body possesses it so far as the soul is present; for nothing can be inanimate. When the body perishes, and when it is no longer assisted by the soul which communicated life to it, nor by the actualization of this soul, how should life remain in the body? What! Has this life perished? No: this life itself has not perished, for it is only the image of an irradiation; it would not be correct to say more than that it is no more there.

MacKenna

7. Our investigation may be furthered by enquiring: Whether light finally perishes or simply returns to its source.

If it be a thing requiring to be caught and kept, domiciled within a recipient, we might think of it finally passing out of existence: if it be an Act not flowing out and away - but in circuit, with more of it within than is in outward progress from the luminary of which it is the Act - then it will not cease to exist as long as that centre is in being. And as the luminary moves, the light will reach new points - not in virtue of any change of course in or out or around, but simply because the act of the luminary exists and where there is no impediment is effective. Even if the distance of the sun from us were far greater than it is, the light would be continuous all that further way, as long as nothing checked or blocked it in the interval.

We distinguish two forms of activity; one is gathered within the luminary and is comparable to the life of the shining body; this is the vaster and is, as it were, the foundation or wellspring of all the act; the other lies next to the surface, the outer image of the inner content, a secondary activity though inseparable from the former. For every existent has an Act which is in its likeness: as long as the one exists, so does the other; yet while the original is stationary the activity reaches forth, in some things over a wide range, in others less far. There are weak and faint activities, and there are some, even, that do not appear; but there are also things whose activities are great and far-going; in the case of these the activity must be thought of as being lodged, both in the active and powerful source and in the point at which it settles. This may be observed in the case of an animal’s eyes where the pupils gleam: they have a light which shows outside the orbs. Again there are living things which have an inner fire that in darkness shines out when they expand themselves and ceases to ray outward when they contract: the fire has not perished; it is a mere matter of it being rayed out or not.

But has the light gone inward?

No: it is simply no longer on the outside because the fire [of which it is the activity] is no longer outward going but has withdrawn towards the centre.

But surely the light has gone inward too?

No: only the fire, and when that goes   inward the surface consists only of the non-luminous body; the fire can no longer act towards the outer.

The light, then, raying from bodies is an outgoing activity of a luminous body; the light within luminous bodies - understand; such as are primarily luminous - is the essential being embraced under the idea   of that body. When such a body is brought into association with Matter, its activity produces colour: when there is no such association, it does not give colour - it gives merely an incipient on which colour might be formed - for it belongs to another being [primal light] with which it retains its link, unable to desert from it, or from its [inner] activity.

And light is incorporeal even when it is the light of a body; there is therefore no question, strictly speaking, of its withdrawal or of its being present - these terms do not apply to its modes - and its essential existence is to be an activity. As an example: the image upon a mirror may be described as an activity exercised by the reflected object upon the potential recipient: there is no outgoing from the object [or ingoing into the reflecting body]; it is simply that, as long as the object stands there, the image also is visible, in the form of colour shaped to a certain pattern, and when the object is not there, the reflecting surface no longer holds what it held when the conditions were favourable.

So it is with the soul considered as the activity of another and prior soul: as long as that prior retains its place, its next, which is its activity, abides.

But what of a soul which is not an activity but the derivative of an activity - as we maintained the life-principle domiciled in the body to be - is its presence similar to that of the light caught and held in material things?

No; for in those things the colour is due to an actual intermixture of the active element [the light being alloyed with Matter]; whereas the life-principle of the body is something that holds from another soul closely present to it.

But when the body perishes - by the fact that nothing without part in soul can continue in being - when the body is perishing, no longer supported by that primal life-giving soul, or by the presence of any secondary phase of it, it is clear that the life-principle can no longer remain; but does this mean that the life perishes?

No; not even it; for it, too, is an image of that first out-shining; it is merely no longer where it was.