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Plotino - Tratado 10,2 (V, 1, 2) — A natureza da alma do mundo e sua atividade

Enéada V, 1, 2

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 2: A natureza da Alma do Mundo e sua atividade

  • 1-9. A alma é a fonte da vida e do movimento de todas as coisas
  • 10-27. de que maneira a alma provê a vida a todas as coisas?
  • 27-42. A alma cerca o mundo inteiro e o anima estando presente em tudo ao mesmo tempo; ela introduz em todos os seres vivos um elemento divino.
  • 42-51. A alma individual é "do mesmo gênero" que a alma do mundo, eis porque toda alma é mais digna de honra que tudo aquilo que é corporal.

Míguez

2. Toda alma deberá proponerse en primer lugar: ¿cómo es realmente ella misma, que creó todos los animales y les dio un soplo de vida, esos animales (decimos) que alimentan a la tierra y el mar, o cuantos se encuentran en el aire, en el cielo y en los astros divinos? Porque es claro que a ella se debe el sol y la inmensidad del cielo, y es ella también la que puso orden en estos seres, dotándolos de un movimiento de rotación [1]. Pero el alma, sin embargo, dispone de una naturaleza diferente a la de los seres que ordena, mueve y hace vivir. Es necesario, por tanto, que tenga mucho más valor que ellos, ya que estos seres nacen y perecen y cuando el alma les da la vida y les destruye, y ella, en cambio, existe siempre por cuanto no se abandona nunca a si misma [2]. Y en lo relativo al modo de proporcionar la vida al universo y a cada uno de los seres, el alma deberá razonar así: ella, que es un alma, y nada pequeña, por cierto, si es digna de verificar este examen y de liberarse del engaño y la seducción a que se ven sujetas las otras almas, en virtud de su tranquilidad natural, habrá de dirigir su atención a esa gran alma universal. Supondrá que se da el reposo en el cuerpo que la rodea y que no sólo se apacigua su movimiento, sino que el reposo se extiende en su derredor; esto es, que se encuentran en reposo la tierra, el mar, el aire y el mismo cielo, que es superior a los otros elementos [3]. Tendrá que imaginar para este cielo inmóvil un alma que le viene de fuera y que penetra y se vierte en él, inundándole e iluminándole por todas partes; porque lo mismo que los rayos del sol iluminan una nube oscura y la llenan de luz hasta hacer que parezca dorada, así también el alma que penetra en el cuerpo da a éste la vida y la inmortalidad y le despierta de su reposo. Movido el cielo con un movimiento eterno y por un alma que le conduce inteligentemente, se convierte en un animal feliz que obtiene así su dignidad del alma establecida en él [4]. Antes de esto no era realmente más que un cuerpo sin vida, tierra y agua, o mejor una materia oscura y un no-ser, “odiado por los dioses” como alguien dice [5].

El poder y la naturaleza del alma se harán todavía más claros y más evidentes si la imaginamos envolviendo y conduciendo el cielo a medida de su voluntad. Porque se entrega a él en toda su extensión, y todos sus intervalos, grandes y pequeños, se ven animados por ella. Tratándose de cuerpos, éstos no podrán encontrarse juntos, y uno ha de estar aquí y otro ha de estar allá, pero siempre separados entre sí por más que se hallen en lugares contrarios. Con el alma, en cambio, no acontece lo mismo, porque el alma, se divide para animar con cada una de sus partes cada del cuerpo, sino que, a la inversa, todas las partes obtienen su vida por la totalidad del alma, la cual se encuentra presente dondequiera que sea, en semejanza, por su unidad y su omnipresencia, con el padre que le dio el ser [6]. El cielo, que es múltiple y cuenta con diversas partes, adquiere unidad por el poder de esta alma, que hace que este mundo se convierta en un dios [7]. Y otro tanto ocurre con el sol, en su condición de ser animado, e igualmente con los demás astros, e incluso con nosotros, si somos partícipes algo divino: “porque los cadáveres deben ser más rechazados que la basura misma” [8]. No obstante, la causa por la que los dioses son realmente dioses es necesariamente anterior a ellos. Y nuestra alma se ofrece semejante al alma de los dioses hasta el punto de que, cuando se la considera en estado de pureza y sin el añadido que ella recibe, se la estima de igual valor que el alma del mundo y de mucho más valor que todos los seres corpóreos [9]. Porque todos ellos son terrestres, ya que si fuesen fuego, ¿qué es lo que podría inflamarlos? Lo mismo diríamos de los compuestos de estos dos elementos, aún en el caso de añadirles el agua y el aire. Siendo así que lo que perseguimos es el ser animado, ¿por qué olvidamos de nosotros mismos y buscar un ser que no somos nosotros?. Sí amas el alma que se da en otro, ámate con mayor razón a ti mismo.

Bouillet

[2] Voici la première réflexion que toute âme doit faire (05) : c’est l’Âme universelle qui a produit, en leur soufflant un esprit de vie (06), tous les animaux qui sont sur la terre, dans l’air et dans la mer, ainsi que les astres divins, le soleil et le ciel immense; c’est elle quia donné au ciel sa forme et qui préside à ses révolutions régulières, et tout cela sans se mêler aux êtres auxquels elle communique la forme, le mouvement et la vie. Elle leur est en effet fort supérieure par son auguste nature : tandis que ceux-ci naissent ou meurent selon qu’elle leur donne la vie ou la leur retire, l’Âme est essence et vie éternelle, parce qu’elle ne saurait cesser d’être elle-même. Mais comment la vie se répand-elle à la fois dans l’univers et dans chaque individu? Afin de le comprendre, il faut que l’âme contemple l’Âme universelle : or, pour s’élever à cette contemplation, l’âme doit en être digne par sa noblesse, s’être affranchie de l’erreur et s’être dérobée aux objets qui fascinent les regards des âmes vulgaires, être plongée dans un recueillement profond, l’aire taire autour d’elle, non seulement l’agitation du corps qui l’enveloppe et le tumulte des sensations, mais encore tout ce qui l’entoure. Que tout se taise donc, et la terre, et la mer, et l’air, et le ciel même (07). Que l’âme se représente alors la grande Âme qui de tous côtés déborde dans cette masse immobile, s’y répand, la pénètre intimement et l’illumine comme les rayons du soleil éclairent et dorent un nuage sombre. C’est ainsi que l’Âme, en descendant dans le monde, a tiré ce grand corps de l’inertie où il gisait, lui a donné le mouvement, la vie et l’immortalité. Mû éternellement par une puissance intelligente, le ciel est devenu un être plein de vie et de félicité; et la présence de l’Âme a fait un tout admirable de ce qui n’était auparavant qu’un cadavre inerte, eau et terre, ou plutôt ténèbres de la matière, non-être, objet d’horreur pour les dieux, comme dit le poète (08).

La nature et la puissance de l’Âme se révèlent encore avec plus d’éclat (09) dans la manière dont elle embrasse et gouverne le monde par sa volonté. Elle est présente dans tous les points de ce corps immense, elle en anime toutes les parties, grandes ou petites. Quoique celles-ci soient placées dans des lieux divers, elle ne se divise pas comme elles, elle ne se fractionne pas pour vivifier chaque individu. Elle vivifie toutes choses en même temps, en restant toujours entière, indivisible, semblable par son unité et son universalité à l’Intelligence qui l’a engendrée (10). C’est sa puissance qui maintient dans les liens de l’unité ce monde d’une grandeur et d’une variété infinie. Si le ciel, le soleil, les astres sont des dieux, c’est par la présence de l’Âme. C’est par elle que nous-mêmes nous sommes quelque chose : car un cadavre est plus vil que le vil fumier (11).

Mais si c’est à l’Âme que les dieux doivent d’être des dieux, il faut qu’elle soit elle-même un dieu plus auguste. Or notre âme est conforme à l’Âme universelle. Écartez d’elle tout ce qui l’enveloppe, considérez-la dans son état de pureté, et vous verrez combien l’essence de l’âme est précieuse, combien elle est supérieure à tout ce qui est corps (12). Sans l’âme, tout corps n’est que terre. Ajoutez à la terre le feu, l’eau et l’air, vous n’aurez encore rien qui mérite votre vénération. Si c’est l’âme qui donne au corps sa beauté, pourquoi oublier l’âme qui est en vous pour aller prostituer votre admiration à d’autres objets ? Si c’est l’âme que vous estimez en eux, estimez-la en vous-même?

Guthrie

SOULS ARE DIVINE BECAUSE THE WORLD WAS CREATED BY THE UNIVERSAL SOUL.

2. This is the first reflection of every soul. By an influx of the spirit of life, the universal Soul produced all the animals upon earth, in the air and in the sea, as well as the divine stars, the sun, and the immense heaven. It was the universal Soul that gave form to the heavens, and which presides over their regular revolutions; and she effects all that without mingling with the being to whom she communicates form, movement and life. The universal Soul is far superior to all created things. While the latter are born or die in the measure that she imparts to them, or withdraws from them their life, she herself is "being" and eternal life, because she could not cease being herself. To understand how life can simultaneously be imparted to the universe and to each individual, we must contemplate the universal Soul. To rise to this contemplation, the soul must be worthy of it by nobility, must have liberated herself from error, and must have withdrawn from the objects that fascinate the glances of worldly souls, must have immersed herself in a profound meditation, and she must have succeeded in effecting the silence not only of the agitations of the body that enfolds her, and the tumult of sensations, but also of all that surrounds her. Therefore let silence be kept by all — namely, earth, air, sea, and even heaven. Then let the soul represent to herself the great Soul which, from all sides, overflows into this immovable mass, spreading within it, penetrating into it intimately, illuminating it as the rays of the sun light and gild a dark cloud. Thus the universal Soul, by descending into this world redeemed this great body from the inertia in which it lay, imparting to it movement, life and immortality. Eternally moved by an intelligent power, heaven became a being full of life and felicity. The presence of the Soul made an admirable whole from what before was no more than In inert corpse, water and earth, or rather, darkness of matter, which, as Homer says, was an "object of horror for the divinities."

SOUL-POWER REVEALED IN THE SIMULTANEITY OF CONTROL OVER THE WORLD.

The nature and power of the Soul reveal themselves still more gloriously in the way she embraces and governs the world at will. She is present in every point of this immense body, she animates all its parts, great and small. Though these may be located in different parts, she does not divide as they do, she does not split up to vivify each individual. She vivifies all things simultaneously, ever remaining whole and indivisible, resembling the intelligence from which she was begotten by her unity and universality. It is her power which contains this world of infinite magnitude and variety within the bonds of unity. Only because of the presence of the Soul are heaven, sun, and stars divinities; only because of her are we anything; for "a corpse is viler than the vilest dung-hill."

AS LIFE TRANSFIGURES MATTER, SO THE UNIVERSAL SOUL GLORIFIES US.

But if the deities owe their divinity to the universal Soul, she herself must be a divinity still more venerable. Now our soul is similar to the universal Soul. Strip her of all coverings, consider her in her pristine I purity, and you will see how precious is the nature of the soul, how superior she is to everything that is body. Without the soul, no body is anything but earth. Even if you add to earth fire, water and air, still there is nothing that need claim your veneration. If it be the Soul that imparts beauty to the body, why should we forget the souls within ourselves, while prostituting our admiration on other objects? If it be the soul that you admire in them, why do you not admire her within yourselves?

Taylor

II. Every soul, therefore, ought to consider in the first place, that soul produced all animals, and inspired them with life; viz. those animals which the earth and sea nourish, those which live in the air, and the divine stars contained in the heavens. Soul also made the sun; soul made and adorned this mighty heaven. Soul, too, circumvolves it in an orderly course, being of a nature different from the things which it adorns, which it moves, and causes to live, and is necessarily more honourable than these. For these are corrupted when soul deserts them, and generated when it supplies them with life. But soul always exists, because it never deserts itself. What the mode is, however, by which life is supplied to the universe, and to each of its parts, may be considered to be as follows : Let a certain other soul whose dignity in contemplating is not small, being liberated from deception, and the allurements which fascinate other souls, be established in a quiet condition and survey a mighty soul. And let not only the surrounding body and the storms of body be at rest with respect to it, but the whole of that by which it is surrounded. Let the earth, therefore, be still; let the sea be still, the air, and the heavens themselves which are more excellent than the elements.[V.]] Afterwards, let this quiet soul behold that other mighty soul, externally as it were, on all sides flowing and infused into, penetrating and illuminating the quiescent mass. For just as the rays of the sun darting on a dark cloud cause it to become splendid, and golden to the view, thus also, soul entering into the body of heaven gave it life, gave it immortality, and excited it from its torpid state. But heaven being moved with a perpetual motion, through the guidance of a wise soul, became a blessed animal. It also acquired dignity through soul becoming its inhabitant, since, prior to soul, it was a dead body, viz. earth and water, or rather the darkness of matter and non-entity; and, as some one says, that which the Gods abhor. The power, however, and nature of soul will become still more apparent and manifest, if any one directs his attention to the manner in which it comprehends and leads heaven by its will. For it gives itself to the whole of this vast magnitude; and every interval, both great and small, is animated by it: one body indeed, being situated differently from another, and some bodies being opposite, but others being suspended from each other. This, however, is not the case with soul. For it does not give life to individuals, through a division of itself into minute parts, hut it vivifies all things with the whole of itself; and the whole of it is present every where, in a manner similar to its generator, both according to oneness and ubiquity. Heaven, also, though it is ample, and different parts of it have a different situation, yet is one through the power of soul. And through this the sensible world is a God. The sun, likewise, is a God, because it is animated. And this is also the case with the other stars. Whatever we too possess, we possess on account of this. For dead bodies are more worthless than dunghills. It is necessary, however, that soul, which is the cause to Gods [i.e. to the mundane Gods] of their being Gods, should be itself a more ancient God. Similar to this likewise is our soul. And when it is surveyed in a pure condition, without any thing extraneous adhering to it, this same thing which is soul will be found to be a venerable thing, and more honourable than every corporeal nature. For [perhaps without soul] all things would be earth. And though fire should then exist, what would there be [venerable] in its burning power, or in the composites from fire and earth, even though you should add to these, water and air ? But if body is an object of pursuit because it is animated, why does any one, neglecting himself, pursue another thing? Since, therefore, you admire soul in another thing, admire yourself.

MacKenna

2. Let every soul recall, then, at the outset the truth that soul is the author of all living things, that it has breathed the life into them all, whatever is nourished by earth and sea, all the creatures of the air, the divine stars in the sky; it is the maker of the sun; itself formed and ordered this vast heaven and conducts all that rhythmic motion; and it is a principle distinct from all these to which it gives law and movement and life, and it must of necessity be more honourable than they, for they gather or dissolve as soul brings them life or abandons them, but soul, since it never can abandon itself, is of eternal being.

How life was purveyed to the universe of things and to the separate beings in it may be thus conceived:

That great soul must stand pictured before another soul, one not mean, a soul that has become worthy to look, emancipate from the lure, from all that binds its fellows in bewitchment, holding itself in quietude. Let not merely the enveloping body be at peace, body’s turmoil stilled, but all that lies around, earth at peace, and sea at peace, and air and the very heavens. Into that heaven, all at rest, let the great soul be conceived to roll inward at every point, penetrating, permeating, from all sides pouring in its light. As the rays of the sun throwing their brilliance upon a lowering cloud make it gleam all gold, so the soul entering the material expanse of the heavens has given life, has given immortality: what was abject it has lifted up; and the heavenly system, moved now in endless motion by the soul that leads it in wisdom, has become a living and a blessed thing; the soul domiciled within, it takes worth where, before the soul, it was stark body - clay and water - or, rather, the blankness of Matter, the absence of Being, and, as an author says, "the execration of the Gods."

The Soul’s nature and power will be brought out more clearly, more brilliantly, if we consider next how it envelops the heavenly system and guides all to its purposes: for it has bestowed itself upon all that huge expanse so that every interval, small and great alike, all has been ensouled.

The material body is made up of parts, each holding its own place, some in mutual opposition and others variously interdependent; the soul is in no such condition; it is not whittled down so that life tells of a part of the soul and springs where some such separate portion impinges; each separate life lives by the soul entire, omnipresent in the likeness of the engendering father, entire in unity and entire in diffused variety. By the power of the soul the manifold and diverse heavenly system is a unit: through soul this universe is a God: and the sun is a God because it is ensouled; so too the stars: and whatsoever we ourselves may be, it is all in virtue of soul; for "dead is viler than dung."

This, by which the gods are divine, must be the oldest God of them all: and our own soul is of that same Ideal nature, so that to consider it, purified, freed from all accruement, is to recognise in ourselves that same value which we have found soul to be, honourable above all that is bodily. For what is body but earth, and, taking fire itself, what [but soul] is its burning power? So it is with all the compounds of earth and fire, even with water and air added to them?

If, then, it is the presence of soul that brings worth, how can a man slight himself and run after other things? You honour the Soul elsewhere; honour then yourself.


[1Plotino se inspira en el Fedro, 245 e. Dícese en este texto platónico: “El preciso, en primer término, comprender la verdad sobre la naturaleza del alma, tanto divina como humana, viendo sus afecciones y operaciones. El principio de la demostración es el siguiente: toda alma es inmortal; pues aquello que se mueve a si mismo es inmortal, mientras que lo que mueve a otro, al tener un fin de su movimiento, tiene también un fin de su vida”.

[2Es lo que se afirma también en el Fedro, 245 c-d: “Sólo lo que se mueve a sí mismo, en cuanto no se abandona a sí mismo, jamás cesa de moverse y además es fuente y principio de movimiento para todo lo demás que se mueve

[3Cf. Platón, Timeo, 43 b.

[4Cf. Platón, Timeo, 36 e.

[5Cf. Homero, Ilíada, 7, 112 y 17, 694.

[6Cf. Platón, Timeo, 37 e.

[7Cf. Platón, Timeo, 36 e.

[8Cf. Heráclito, fr. B 96

[9Dice Sócrates en La República, 611 e: “Cómo es el alma en realidad no se hace patente por la contemplación de su convivencia en el cuerpo y con otros males, tal como ahora la vemos; conviene, por el contrario, percibirla atentamente con el entendimiento y en su prístina pureza, porque sólo así parecerá mucho más hermosa y resplandecerá nítidamente la obra de la justicia y todo lo demás que tratábamos hace poco”.