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Plotino - Tratado 6,4 (IV, 8, 4) — A queda das almas individuais

Enéada IV, 8, 4

domingo 15 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 4: A queda das almas individuais.

  • 1-10. A dualidade das almas individuais: por sua parte superior, podem habitar aqui lá, próximo a Alma universal.
  • 10-25. O isolamento e a queda das almas.
  • 25-35. O caráter "anfíbio" das almas, que vivem aqui permanecendo lá.
  • 35-42. Comentário da produção e da semeadura das almas no Timeu  .

Míguez

4. En cuanto a las almas individuales se sirven de su inclinación intelectual para retornar al lugar de su procedencia, aunque dispongan de un cierto poder sobre los seres inferiores. Ocurre aquí como con el rayo luminoso que, por su parte superior, está suspendido al sol, pero que no por ello rehúsa dar su luz a los seres inferiores. Así también, las almas que permanecen en lo inteligible con el alma universal deben subsistir libres del sufrimiento, ya que están con ella en el cielo y comparten su gobierno, lo mismo que hacen los reyes que conviven con el soberano supremo, que también gobiernan con él sin descender para nada de la mansión real. De igual modo, las almas subsisten juntas y siempre en el mismo lugar. Pero, con todo, las almas pueden cambiar de lugar y pasar del universo a cada una de sus partes, como queriendo estar más en sí mismas, cansadas ya del trato ajeno y en el deseo de volver a encontrarse a solas. Cuando ya ha transcurrido mucho tiempo de esta huida y separación del todo, y sin haber dirigido su mirada a lo inteligible, (el alma) se convierte en una parte que vive aislada y debilitada, ocupada verdaderamente en multitud de cosas y sin considerar nada más que meros fragmentos. Porque instalada sobre un solo objeto separado del conjunto, ha huido ya de todo lo demás y viene y se vuelve hacia un objeto único que es el blanco de todos los otros. Hela aquí, pues, alejada del todo y gobernando circunstancialmente su objeto propio, con el que ha de estar en contacto, no sólo para librarlo de los agentes exteriores sino para encontrarse presente en él y penetrar mucho más en su interior. De ahí viene el que se hable de la pérdida de las alas y de su vinculación a los lazos del cuerpo para un alma desviada del camino recto, en el que gobernaba a los seres superiores, conducida por el alma universal. Ese estado anterior era para ella mucho mejor en cuanto ascendía a él. Porque el alma, una vez caída, queda sujeta a las ligaduras del cuerpo y actúa tan sólo por los sentidos, impedida, como se encuentra, al menos al principio, de actuar por la inteligencia. Así se dice con razón que el alma se halla en una tumba y en una caverna, pero que, vuelta hacia el pensamiento, se libera ya de esos lazos y emprende la marcha hacia arriba cuando parte de la reminiscencia para llegar a contemplar los seres. Y es que el alma encierra, a pesar de todo, una parte superior. Por lo que hemos de convenir que las almas tienen necesariamente una doble vida: pues, por un lado, viven en parte la vida inteligible, y por otro viven también en parte la vida de este mundo, por más tiempo la primera las almas que conviven en mayor grado con la inteligencia, y con más insistencia la segunda las almas que se ven empujadas a ella, bien por su naturaleza, bien por circunstancias fortuitas.

Esto es lo que, a la ligera, quiere mostrarnos Platón  , cuando procede a dividir y a formar las partes de la última cratera. Dice entonces que las almas llegan necesariamente al nacimiento cuando están constituidas por determinadas partes. Si afirma que Dios las siembra, hemos de entender la alusión como si el mismo Dios hablase y pronunciase un discurso a la asamblea. Porque (Platón  ) estima como producidas y creadas todas las cosas que hay en la naturaleza del universo, las cuales, según él, nos muestran en su sucesión tanto los seres que han sido creados como las mismas realidades eternas.

Bouillet

[IV] Les âmes particulières, qui aspirent au monde intelligible dans leur conversion (26) vers le principe dont elles procèdent, et qui exercent aussi le pouvoir qu’elles ont sur les choses inférieures (comme la lumière, tout en restant là-haut suspendue au soleil, ne refuse pas d’envoyer ses rayons ici-bas), ces âmes, dis-je, doivent rester à l’abri de toute souffrance tant qu’elles demeurent dans le monde intelligible conjointement avec l’Âme universelle; elles doivent en outre partager avec elle dans le ciel l’administration du monde, semblables à des rois qui, collègues du grand Roi de l’univers, partageraient avec lui le gouvernement, sans descendre eux-mêmes de leurs trônes, sans cesser d’occuper une place aussi élevée que lui. Mais, quand elles passent de cet état dans lequel elles vivent avec l’Âme universelle à une existence particulière et indépendante, qu’elles semblent fatiguées de demeurer avec une autre, alors elles reviennent chacune à ce qui leur appartient en propre (27). Or, quand une âme fait cela longtemps, quand elle s’éloigne de l’Âme universelle et qu’elle s’en distingue, quand elle cesse de tenir ses regards tournés vers le monde intelligible, alors, s’isolant dans son existence particulière, elle s’affaiblit et se trouve accablée d’une foule de soins, parce qu’elle porte sa vue sur quelque chose de particulier (28).

S’étant donc séparée de l’Âme universelle ainsi que des autres âmes qui restent unies à celle-ci, s’étant attachée à un corps individuel, et concentrant son attention uniquement sur cet objet, qui est soumis à l’action destructive de tous les autres êtres, elle cesse de gouverner le Tout pour administrer avec sollicitude une partie, dont le soin l’oblige à s’occuper et à se mêler des choses extérieures, à n’être pas seulement présente dans le corps, mais encore à y pénétrer profondément.

Alors, comme on le dit, elle a perdu ses ailes, elle est enchaînée dans les liens du corps (29), parce qu’elle a renoncé à l’existence calme dont elle jouissait en partageant avec l’Âme universelle l’administration du monde: car elle menait une vie bien meilleure quand elle était là-haut. L’âme tombée est donc enchaînée, emprisonnée, obligée d’avoir recours aux sens parce qu’elle ne peut d’abord faire usage de l’intelligence; elle est ensevelie, comme on le dit, dans un tombeau, dans une caverne (30). Mais, par sa conversion vers la pensée, elle brise ses chaînes, elle remonte aux régions supérieures , quand elle part des données de la réminiscence pour s’élever à la contemplation des essences (31) : car elle garde toujours, même après sa chute, quelque chose de supérieur au corps.

Les âmes ont ainsi une double vie, puisqu’elles vivent tour à tour dans le monde intelligible et dans le monde sensible, plus longtemps dans le monde intelligible quand elles peuvent rester unies à l’Intelligence suprême d’une manière durable, plus longtemps ici-bas, quand leur nature ou quand le sort leur impose une destinée contraire. C’est là le sens caché qu’ont les paroles de Platon  , quand il dit que Dieu divise les semences des âmes formées par un second mélange dans le cratère, et qu’il en fait des parties ; il ajoute qu’elles doivent nécessairement tomber dans la génération après avoir été partagées en nombre déterminé (32). Si Platon   dit encore que Dieu a semé les âmes [dans les astres], il faut prendre cette expression dans un sens figuré, ainsi que l’allocution qu’il lui fait adresser aux autres dieux (33). Car, pour traiter des choses contenues dans l’univers, on est obligé de les supposer engendrées et produites, parce qu’on ne peut énoncer et décrire que successivement ce qui est éternellement engendré et qui existe éternellement dans son état actuel (34).

Guthrie

INCARNATE SOULS WEAKEN BECAUSE THEY CONTEMPLATE THE INDIVIDUAL.

4. There are individual souls which, in their conversion towards the principle from which they proceed, aspire to the intelligible world, and which also exercise their power on inferior things, just as light, which does not disdain to throw its rays down tu us though remaining suspended to the sun on high. These souls must remain sheltered from all suffering so long as in the intelligible world they remain together with the universal Soul. They must besides, in heaven, share with it the administration of the world; like kings who, being colleagues of the great King of the universe, share the government with Him, without themselves descending from their thrones, without ceasing to occupy a place as elevated as He. But when they pass from this state in which they live with the universal Soul to a particular and independent existence, when they seem weary of dwelling with another, then each of them returns to what belongs to her individually. Now when a soul has done that for a long while, when she withdraws from the universal Soul, and distinguishes herself therefrom, when she ceases to keep her glances directed towards the intelligible world; then, isolating herself in her individual existence, she weakens, and finds herself overwhelmed with a crowd of cares, because she directs her glance at something individual. Having therefore separated herself from the universal Soul as well as from the other souls that remain united thereto, and having attached herself to an individual body, and concentrating herself exclusively on this object, which is subjected to the destructive action of all other beings, she ceases to govern the whole to administer more carefully a part, the care of which forces her to busy herself, and mingle with external things, to be not only present in the body, but also to interpenetrate it.

THIS PROCESS EXPLAINS THE CLASSIC EXPRESSIONS ABOUT HER CONDITION.

Thus, in the common expression, she has lost her wings, and is chained by the bonds of the body, because she gave up the calm existence she enjoyed when with the universal Soul she shared the administration of the world; for when she was above she spent a much happier life. The fallen soul is therefore chained or imprisoned, obliged to have recourse to the senses because she cannot first make use of intelligence. She is, as it is said, buried in a tomb, or cavern. But by her conversion towards thought, she breaks her bonds, she returns upwards towards higher regions, when, starting from the indications of reminiscence she rises to the contemplation of the essences; for even after her fall she always preserves something superior to the body.

SOULS AS AMPHIBIANS.

Souls therefore are necessarily amphibians; since they alternately live in the intelligible world, and in the sense-world; staying longer in the intelligible world when they can remain united to supreme Intelligence more permanently, or staying longer or preponderatingly here below when nature or destiny imposes on them a contrary fate. That is the secret meaning of Plato  ’s words to the effect that the divinity divides the seeds of the souls formed by a second mixture in the cup, and that He separates them into (two) parts. He also adds that they must necessarily fall into generation after having been divided into a definite number. Plato  ’s statement that the divinity sowed the souls, as well as the divinity’s address to the other deities, must be taken figuratively. For, in reference to the things contained in the universe, this implies that they are begotten or produced; for successive enumeration and description implies an eternal begetting, an1 that those objects exist eternally in their present state.

MacKenna

4. So it is with the individual souls; the appetite for the divine Intellect urges them to return to their source, but they have, too, a power apt to administration in this lower sphere; they may be compared to the light attached upwards to the sun, but not grudging its presidency to what lies beneath it. In the Intellectual, then, they remain with soul-entire, and are immune from care and trouble; in the heavenly sphere, absorbed in the soul-entire, they are administrators with it just as kings, associated with the supreme ruler and governing with him, do not descend from their kingly stations: the souls indeed [as distinguished from the kosmos] are thus far in the one place with their overlord; but there comes a stage at which they descend from the universal to become partial and self-centred; in a weary desire of standing apart they find their way, each to a place of its very own. This state long maintained, the soul is a deserter from the All; its differentiation has severed it; its vision is no longer set in the Intellectual; it is a partial thing, isolated, weakened, full of care, intent upon the fragment; severed from the whole, it nestles in one form of being; for this, it abandons all else, entering into and caring for only the one, for a thing buffeted about by a worldful of things: thus it has drifted away from the universal and, by an actual presence, it administers the particular; it is caught into contact now, and tends to the outer to which it has become present and into whose inner depths it henceforth sinks far.

With this comes what is known as the casting of the wings, the enchaining in body: the soul has lost that innocency of conducting the higher which it knew when it stood with the All-Soul, that earlier state to which all its interest would bid it hasten back.

It has fallen: it is at the chain: debarred from expressing itself now through its intellectual phase, it operates through sense, it is a captive; this is the burial, the encavernment, of the Soul.

But in spite of all it has, for ever, something transcendent: by a conversion towards the intellective act, it is loosed from the shackles and soars - when only it makes its memories the starting point of a new vision of essential being. Souls that take this way have place in both spheres, living of necessity the life there and the life here by turns, the upper life reigning in those able to consort more continuously with the divine Intellect, the lower dominant where character or circumstances are less favourable.

All this is indicated by Plato  , without emphasis, where he distinguishes those of the second mixing-bowl, describes them as "parts," and goes on to say that, having in this way become partial, they must of necessity experience birth.

Of course, where he speaks of God sowing them, he is to be understood as when he tells of God speaking and delivering orations; what is rooted in the nature of the All is figuratively treated as coming into being by generation and creation: stage and sequence are transferred, for clarity of exposition, to things whose being and definite form are eternal.