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Plotino - Tratado 6,7 (IV, 8, 7) — O estatuto intermediário da alma entre o sensível e o inteligível

Enéada IV, 8, 7

domingo 15 de maio de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 7: O estatuto intermediário da alma entre o sensível e o inteligível.

  • 1-7. Pelo fato de sua dupla identidade, sensível e inteligível, a alma ocupa um nível médio na hierarquia do real.
  • 7-17. A alma temerária que se precipita no corpo sofre de sua relação com ele; as a experiência do mal pode também lhe permitir, por contraste, melhor conhecer o bem.
  • 17-23. Comparação do movimento de saída fora do Intelecto e do movimento que sai da alma.
  • 23-31. Distinção da situação das almas individuais e da situação da alma do universo.

Míguez

7. Podemos hablar, por tanto, de dos naturalezas, una inteligible y otra sensible. Será mejor para el alma permanecer en la naturaleza inteligible, pero también es necesario, por la naturaleza que ella misma posee, que participe en el ser sensible. No hay que irritarse contra ella porque no sea superior en todo, ya que realmente ocupa un lugar intermedio entre los seres. Y cuenta, sin duda, con una parte divina, pero, colocada en el extremo de los seres inteligibles y en la vecindad de la naturaleza sensible, ha de dar a esta naturaleza algo de sí misma, recibiendo a cambio algo de ella, si no ha organizado las cosas con la debida seguridad o si, llevada de un excesivo celo, se adentró demasiado en su interior sin permanecer por entero en sí misma. No obstante, aún le es posible emerger de nuevo y, ya con la experiencia de lo que ha visto y sufrido aquí, comprender más fácilmente la existencia de la naturaleza inteligible y conocer también con mucha más claridad lo que es el bien por comparación con su contrario. Porque la prueba del mal nos ofrece un conocimiento mucho más claro del bien en todos aquellos seres cuyo poder es más débil y que, por consiguiente, apenas pueden tener conciencia del mal antes de haberlo experimentado.

Convengamos en que el pensamiento discursivo significa un descenso hasta el último grado de la inteligencia. Ni por una vez podrá remontar más allá, sino que, actuando por sí mismo y no pudiendo por otra parte permanecer en sí mismo por una necesidad y una ley de su naturaleza, habrá de llegar hasta el alma. Este y no otro es su fin, de tal modo que si procede a remontar el vuelo en sentido inverso traiciona en realidad a lo que viene después de él. Otro tanto ocurre con el acto del alma: lo que viene a continuación de él son los seres de este mundo; lo que se encuentra antes de él es la contemplación de la realidad. Para algunas almas esa contemplación se verifica parte por parte y sucesivamente, operándose la conversión hacia lo mejor en un lugar inferior. Sin embargo, lo que llamamos el alma del universo no se encuentra nunca en vías de obrar mal, ya que no sufre mal alguno y, por el contrario, aprehende por la contemplación lo que está por debajo de ella, sin dejar por esto de depender siempre de los seres que la anteceden, en tanto ambas cosas puedan ser posibles y simultáneas. Lo que toma de los seres de allá ha de darlo a los seres de aquí, puesto que, si es un alma, resulta imposible que no entre en contacto con ellos.

Bouillet

[VII] Comme il y a deux essences, l’une intelligible, l’autre sensible (43), il est préférable pour l’âme de vivre dans le monde intelligible ; il est néanmoins nécessaire, par suite de sa nature, qu’elle participe aussi aux choses sensibles (44). Elle ne doit donc pas s’indigner de n’être pas le meilleur des êtres, puisqu’elle n’occupe qu’un rang intermédiaire (45). En effet, si, d’un côté, elle est de condition divine, d’un autre côté elle se trouve placée aux limites du monde intelligible, à cause de son affinité pour la nature sensible : elle fait participer cette nature à ses puissances, et elle en reçoit elle-même quelque chose, quand, au lieu d’administrer le corps sans compromettre sa propre sécurité, elle se laisse entraîner par son inclination à entrer profondément en lui, parce qu’elle renonce à demeurer unie tout entière à l’Âme universelle. D’ailleurs, elle peut s’élever au-dessus du corps après avoir, par l’expérience des choses qu’elle a vues et souffertes ici-bas, appris à sentir combien on est heureux d’habiter là-haut, et après avoir, par la comparaison des contraires, apprécié le véritable bien. En effet, la connaissance du bien devient plus claire par l’expérience du mal, chez les âmes surtout qui ne sont pas assez fortes pour connaître le mal avant de l’avoir éprouvé (46).

La procession de l’intelligence (ἡ νοερὰ διέξοδος) consiste à descendre aux choses qui occupent le dernier rang
et qui ont une nature inférieure (47) : car l’intelligence ne saurait s’élever à la nature supérieure ; mais, obligée d’agir hors d’elle, et ne pouvant demeurer renfermée en elle-même, elle doit, par une nécessité et une loi de sa nature, s’avancer jusqu’à l’âme à laquelle elle s’arrête, puis, après s’être ainsi communiquée à ce qui la suit immédiatement, remonter au monde intelligible. De même, l’âme a une double action dans son double rapport avec ce qui lui est inférieur et avec ce qui lui est supérieur : par la première action, elle administre le corps auquel elle est unie ; par la seconde, elle contemple les essences intelligibles. Ces alternatives s’accomplissent pour les âmes particulières avec le cours du temps, et il s’opère enfin une conversion qui les ramène des natures inférieures aux natures supérieures (48).

Quant à l’Âme universelle, comme elle n’a pas à s’occuper de fonctions pénibles, qu’elle demeure hors de l’atteinte des maux, elle considère ce qui est au-dessous d’elle d’une manière purement contemplative, et en même temps elle reste suspendue à ce qui est au-dessus d’elle; elle peut donc tout à la fois recevoir d’un côté et donner de l’autre, puisque sa nature lui commande de se mettre en contact même avec les choses de l’ordre sensible (49).

Guthrie

THE SOUL’S NATURE IS OF AN INTERMEDIATE KIND.

7. As there are two kinds of being (or, existence), one of sensation, and the other intelligible, it is preferable for the soul to live in the intelligible world; nevertheless, as a result of her nature, it is necessary for her also to participate in sense-affairs. Since she occupies only an intermediate rank, she must not feel wronged at not being the best of beings. Though on one hand her condition be divine, on the other she is located on the limits of the intelligible world, because of her affinity for sense-nature. She causes this nature to participate in her powers, and she even receives something therefrom, when, instead of managing the body without compromising her own security, she permits herself to be carried away by her own inclination to penetrate profoundly within it, ceasing her complete union with the universal Soul. Besides, the soul can rise above the body after having learned to feel how happy one is to dwell on high, by the experience of things seen and suffered here below, and after having appreciated the true Good by the comparison of contraries. Indeed the knowledge of the good becomes clearer by the experience of evil, especially among souls which are not strong enough to know evil before having experienced it.

THE PROCESSION OF INTELLIGENCE IS AN EXCURSION DOWNWARDS AND UPWARDS.

The procession of intelligence consists in descending to things that occupy the lowest rank, and which have an inferior nature, for Intelligence could not rise to the superior Nature. Obliged to act outside of itself, and not being able to remain self-enclosed, by a necessity and by a law of its nature, intelligence must advance unto the soul where it stops; then, after having communicated of itself to that which immediately follows it, intelligence must return to the intelligible world. Likewise, the soul has a double action in her double relation with what is below and above her. By her first action, the soul manages the body to which she is united; by the second, she contemplates the intelligible entities. These alternatives work out, for individual souls, with the course of time; and finally there occurs a conversion which brings them back from the lower to the higher natures.

THE UNIVERSAL SOUL, HOWEVER, IS NOT DISTURBED BY THE URGENCIES BELOW HER.

The universal Soul, however, does not need to busy herself with troublesome functions, and remains out of the reach of evils. She considers what is below her in a purely contemplative manner, while at the same time remaining related to what is above her. She is therefore enabled simultaneously on one side to receive, and on the other to give, since her nature compels her to relate herself closely with the objects of sense.

MacKenna

7. The Kind, then, with which we are dealing is twofold, the Intellectual against the sensible: better for the soul to dwell in the Intellectual, but, given its proper nature, it is under compulsion to participate in the sense-realm also. There is no grievance in its not being, through and through, the highest; it holds mid-rank among the authentic existences, being of divine station but at the lowest extreme of the Intellectual and skirting the sense-known nature; thus, while it communicates to this realm something of its own store, it absorbs in turn whenever - instead of employing in its government only its safeguarded phase - it plunges in an excessive zeal to the very midst of its chosen sphere; then it abandons its status as whole soul with whole soul, though even thus it is always able to recover itself by turning to account the experience of what it has seen and suffered here, learning, so, the greatness of rest in the Supreme, and more clearly discerning the finer things by comparison with what is almost their direct antithesis. Where the faculty is incapable of knowing without contact, the experience of evil brings the dearer perception of Good.

The outgoing that takes place in the Intellectual-Principle is a descent to its own downward ultimate: it cannot be a movement to the transcendent; operating necessarily outwards from itself, wherein it may not stay inclosed, the need and law of Nature bring it to its extreme term, to soul - to which it entrusts all the later stages of being while itself turns back on its course.

The soul’s operation is similar: its next lower act is this universe: its immediate higher is the contemplation of the Authentic Existences. To individual souls such divine operation takes place only at one of their phases and by a temporal process when from the lower in which they reside they turn towards the noblest; but that soul, which we know as the All-Soul, has never entered the lower activity, but, immune from evil, has the property of knowing its lower by inspection, while it still cleaves continuously to the beings above itself; thus its double task becomes possible; it takes thence and, since as soul it cannot escape touching this sphere, it gives hither.