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Plotino - Tratado 49,10 (V, 3, 10) — A visão intelectual que o Intelecto tem dele mesmo

Enéada V, 3, 10

segunda-feira 13 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Cap 9, 22 a cap 10, 52: A visão intelectual que o Intelecto tem dele mesmo implica na multiplicidade dos inteligíveis que nele estão; se houvesse uma realidade absolutamente simples, ela não teria portanto o conhecimento e a visão de si.

Míguez

10. Pero ya con estas cosas hay bastante. Si las formas producidas existiesen solas, no ocuparían, entonces, el último lugar. Si existen (tal como son) es porque en el mundo inteligible existen igualmente unas causas productoras, que son las causas primeras. Conviene realmente que esas causas productoras sean a la vez las causas primeras, esto es, que constituyan ambas una sola cosa; porque, de otro modo, habría que acudir de nuevo a otro principio. ¿Pues qué? ¿No tendremos ya necesidad de otra cosa más allá de la Inteligencia? La necesitaremos, desde luego, porque de no ser así, la Inteligencia sería ese principio que buscamos. Pero, entonces, ¿ese principio no se ve a sí mismo? No, no tiene necesidad de verse.

Bien; dejemos la cuestión para más adelante. Ahora, sigamos de nuevo el hilo de nuestro tema — "puesto que no se trata de resolver sobre algo intrascendente " — y afirmemos una vez más que la Inteligencia tiene necesidad de verse a sí misma, o mejor que se ve a sí misma, primeramente porque ella es múltiple, y luego porque está ligada a otro principio, ya que, necesariamente, su facultad de ver no tiene otro objeto que este principio, y su esencia consiste en la visión de él; porque la visión, o no es nada consistente, o tiene que ser en realidad visión de algo. Se necesita, pues, más de una cosa para que haya visión, y ésta debe coincidir con el objeto visible. Por otra parte, el objeto visible ha de ser múltiple y no absolutamente uno; porque lo que es absolutamente uno no tiene nada sobre lo que actuar y ha de permanecer en reposo y en completo aislamiento, si un ser actúa, hay que contar, entonces, con una cosa y luego con otra; de otro modo, ¿qué es lo que él podría hacer? ¿Hasta dónde podría avanzar? Porque es claro que su acción, o bien recae sobre otra cosa, o bien ha de quedar encerrada en sí misma, lo que exige su multiplicidad. Y si no avanza hacia otro objeto, tendrá necesariamente que detenerse, y, una vez detenido, no podrá ya pensar. Pues conviene que el ser pensante, cuando piensa, disponga de dos términos, uno de los cuales tendrá que ser exterior a él, salvo que ambos términos se den en el mismo ser, en cuyo caso el pensamiento versará siempre sobre una diferencia, y necesariamente también sobre una identidad. Así ocurre con los objetos esenciales, que son pensados al volverse a la Inteligencia y encierran en sí la mismidad y la alteridad. Cada uno de estos objetos se ve acompañado sucesivamente de la identidad y de la diferencia; porque, ¿qué objeto podríamos pensar que no contenga una cosa y luego otra? Si cada uno de ellos es una palabra, entonces, es múltiple; pues, una cosa se percibe a sí misma si es en realidad un ojo múltiple o si consta de variados colores. En el caso de que tuviese que aplicarse a un objeto uno e indivisible, la palabra ya no sería necesaria, porque ¿qué podría decir de este objeto y cómo lo comprendería? Porque si lo absoluto indivisible necesitase decir lo que es, tendría que decir primeramente lo que no es; de modo que sería múltiple para poder ser uno. Y así, cuando dijese: soy esto, o bien esto designaría algo diferente de él, y entonces mentiría, o bien esto designaría un accidente suyo, y entonces diría varias cosas de sí mismo. Parece, pues, que debiera decir: yo soy, yo soy, y yo, yo. Pero, ¿y si fuese realmente dos cosas y dijese: yo y esto? Entonces sería necesariamente múltiple y contaría con elementos diferentes, que tendrían a la vez sus caracteres propios; sería un número y también muchas otras cosas.

Es, preciso, pues, que el ser que piensa aprehenda primero una cosa y luego otra; y es necesario, asimismo, que el ser pensado lo sea según su variedad. En otro caso no podrá darse todavía el pensamiento, sino tan sólo un contacto o una especie de tacto superficial, inefable e ininteligente, anterior, por supuesto, a la Inteligencia y que tiene lugar cuando ella aún no ha nacido, esto es, cuando únicamente es posible el acto y no el pensamiento. Conviene, por lo demás, que el ser que piensa no subsista como un ser simple y mucho menos que se piense a sí mismo; porque al pensarse a sí mismo ya se divide, incluso aunque él silencie lo que encierra en sí mismo.

Por otra parte, lo que es absoluto e indivisible no necesita ocuparse de sí mismo; porque, ¿qué aprendería con ello? ¿Acaso a pensar? Lo que él es para sí mismo, eso le pertenece ya con prioridad a todo pensamiento. Porque el conocimiento es como un cierto deseo, algo así como un descubrimiento con el que culmina una búsqueda. De donde resulta que lo que carece en absoluto de diferencia permanece inmóvil con respecto a sí mismo y nada tiene que buscar en torno a lo que él es; en tanto que lo que se despliega, eso precisamente es múltiple.

Bouillet

X. En voici assez sur ce sujet. Si les formes que contient l’Intelligence ne sont pas des formes créées (sinon, les formes qui se trouvent en nous n’occuperaient plus le dernier rang, comme elles le doivent), si ce sont des formes créatrices et vraiment premières, ou bien ces formes créatrices et le principe créateur ne font qu’une seule chose, ou bien l’Intelligence a besoin d’un autre principe. — Mais quoi? Le principe qui est supérieur à l’Intelligence [l’Un] n’aura-t-il pas besoin lui-même d’un autre principe? — Non : car c’est l’Intelligence qui a besoin d’un autre principe.— Quoi donc? Le principe qui est supérieur à l’Intelligence ne se voit-il pas?—Non : il n’a pas besoin de se voir. Mais nous traiterons cela plus loin.

Revenons maintenant à notre question qui est de la plus grande importance. Nous le répétons : l’Intelligence a besoin de se contempler elle-même, ou plutôt elle possède continuellement cette contemplation; elle voit d’abord qu’elle est multiple, ensuite qu’elle implique une différence, enfin qu’elle a besoin de contempler, de contempler l’intelligible, et qu’elle a pour essence de contempler. En effet, toute contemplation suppose un objet; sinon, elle est vide. Il faut donc qu’il y ait plus qu’une unité pour que la contemplation soit possible; il faut que la contemplation s’applique à un objet, et que cet objet soit multiple : car ce qui est simple n’a pas d’objet sur lequel il puisse diriger son action, mais reste silencieux dans sa solitude. Dès qu’il y a action, il y a différence. Sans cela, à quoi s’appliquerait l’action? Quel serait son but? Il faut donc que le principe qui agit dirige son action sur une chose autre que lui-même, ou soit lui-même multiple pour diriger son action sur lui-même. En effet, s’il ne dirige son action sur rien, il se reposera, et s’il se repose, il ne pensera pas. Il faut donc que le principe pensant, quand il pense, soit dualité. Que les deux termes soient extérieurs l’un à l’autre, ou qu’ils soient unis, la pensée implique toujours identité et différence (18). En général, les intelligibles doivent être à la fois identiques à l’Intelligence et différents d’elle. En outre, chacun d’eux doit renfermer aussi en lui-même identité et différence. Sans cela, quel sera l’objet de la pensée, si l’intelligible ne renferme aucune diversité? Si l’on admet que chaque intelligible ressemble à une raison [séminale], il est multitude. Chaque intelligible se connaît donc lui-même comme étant un œil varié, ou bien un objet qui a plusieurs couleurs. Si l’Intelligence s’appliquait à une chose une et absolument simple, elle ne saurait penser. Que dirait-elle ? Que comprendrait-elle? Si l’indivisible s’affirmait lui-même, il devrait d’abord affirmer ce qu’il n’est pas ; il devrait ainsi être multiple pour être un. S’il disait : je suis ceci, et qu’il n’affirmât pas ceci comme différent de lui-même, il mentirait. S’il l’affirmait comme un accident de lui-même, il affirmerait de lui-même une multitude . Dira-t-il : Je suis, je suis ; moi, moi ? Mais, ou ces deux choses seront simples, et chacune pourra dire : mot ; ou bien, il y aura multitude, par conséquent différence, par conséquent nombre et diversité. Il faut donc que le sujet pensant renferme en lui une différence, et que l’objet pensé offre une diversité, parce qu’il est divisé par la pensée. Sans cela, il n’y aura plus de pensée de l’intelligible, mais une espèce de toucher, de contact ineffable et inconcevable, antérieur à l’intelligence, puisqu’on suppose que l’intelligence n’existe pas encore et que celui qui possède ce tact ne pense pas. Le sujet pensant ne doit donc pas demeurer simple, surtout quand il se pense lui-même ; il faut qu’il se scinde, lors même que la compréhension qu’il a de lui-même serait silencieuse. Enfin, ce qui est simple [l’Un] n’a pas besoin de s’occuper de soi-même. Qu’apprendrait-il en se pensant? Avant de se penser, n’est-il pas ce qu’il est? En outre, la connaissance implique qu’on désire, qu’on cherche et qu’un trouve. Celui qui ne renferme en lui aucune différence se repose tourné vers lui-même, sans rien chercher en lui-même; mais celui qui se développe est multitude.

Guthrie

THE TRANSCENDENT FIRST PRINCIPLE HAS NO NEED OF SEEING ITSELF.

10. But enough of this. If the (forms) contained by Intelligence are not created forms — otherwise the forms contained in us would no longer, as they should, occupy the lowest rank — if these forms in intelligence really be creative and primary, then either these creative forms and the creative principle fuse into one single entity, or intelligence needs some other principle. But does the transcendent Principle, that is superior to Intelligence (the One), itself also need some other further principle? No, because it is only Intelligence that stands in need of such an one. Does the Principle superior to Intelligence (the transcendent One) not see Himself? No. He does not need to see Himself. This we shall study elsewhere.

THE CONTEMPLATION OF INTELLIGENCE DEMANDS A HIGHER TRANSCENDING UNITY.

Let us now return to our most important problem. Intelligence needs to contemplate itself, or rather, it continually possesses this contemplation. It first sees that it is manifold, and then that it implies a difference, and further, that it needs to contemplate, to contemplate the intelligible, and that its very essence is to contemplate. Indeed, every contemplation implies an object; otherwise, if is empty. To make contemplation possible there must be more than an unity; contemplation must be applied to an object, and this object must be manifold; for what is simple has no object on which it could apply its action, and silently remains withdrawn in its solitude. Action implies some sort of difference. Otherwise, to what would action apply itself? What would be its object? The active principle, must, therefore, direct its action on something else than itself, or must itself be manifold to direct its action on itself. If, indeed, it direct its action on nothing, it will be at rest; and if at rest, it will not be thinking. The thinking principle, therefore, when thinking, implies duality. Whether the two terms be one exterior to the other, or united, thought always implies both’ identity and difference. In general, intelligible entities must simultaneously be identical with Intelligence, and different from Intelligence. Besides, each of them must also contain within itself identity and difference. Otherwise, if the intelligible does not contain any diversity, what would be the object of thought? If you insist that each intelligible entity resembles a "seminal reason," it must be manifold. Every intelligible entity, therefore, knows itself to be a compound, and many-colored eye. If intelligence applied itself to something single and absolutely simple, it could not think. What would it say? What would it understand? If the indivisible asserted itself it ought first to assert what it is not; and so, in order to be single it would have to be manifold. If it said, ’i am this," and if it did not assert that "this" was different from itself, it would be uttering untruth. If it asserted it as an accident of itself, it would assert of itself a multitude. If it says, "I am; I am; myself; myself;" then neither these two things will be simple, and each of them will be able to say, "me;" or there will be manifoldness, and, consequently, a difference; and, consequently, number and diversity. The thinking subject must, therefore, contain a difference, just as the object thought must also reveal a diversity, because it is divided by thought. Otherwise, there will be no other thought of the intelligible, but a kind of touch, of unspeakable and inconceivable contact, prior to intelligence, since intelligence is not yet supposed to exist, and as the possessor of this contact does not think. The thinking subject, therefore, must not remain simple, especially, when it thinks itself; it must split itself, even were the comprehension of itself silent. Last, that which is simple (the One) has no need of occupying itself with itself. What would it learn by thinking? Is it not what it is before thinking itself? Besides, knowledge implies that some one desires, that some one seeks, and that some one finds. That which does not within itself contain any difference, when turned towards itself, rests without seeking anything within itself; but that which develops, is manifold.

Taylor

X. And thus much concerning these particulars. If, however, not only forms that are produced, are in intellect, for they are not the last of things [when they are considered as having an intellectual subsistence] ; but their productive forms are the first of things, whence also they are first; — if this be the case, it is necessary, that the producing cause of forms should also be there, and that both the productive cause and the forms produced should be one. For if this is not admitted, intellect will again he in want of something else. What then, will that which is beyond this be again in want? Or is not this, indeed, which is indigent intellect ? Will not, therefore, that which is beyond intellect see itself ? Or must we not rather say, that this is not at all in want of vision ? But of this hereafter. Now, however, we shall resume what we were before discussing. For the speculation is not about a casual thing. Again, therefore, we must say that this intellect is in want of the vision of itself; or rather that it possesses the perception of itself. And in the first place, it sees that it is manifold. In the next place it sees that it is the perception of something else [i.e. of the intelligible], and hence, that it is necessarily perceptive of the intelligible. It likewise sees that the essence of itself is vision. For in consequence of there being a certain other thing, it is necessary there should be vision; since if there were nothing else, vision would be in vain. Hence, it is necessary that in intellect there should be more things than one, in order that there may be vision. It is also necessary that vision should concur with the visible; and that what is seen by intellect should be multitude, and not entirely one. For that which is entirely one has not any thing about which it may energize ? but being alone and solitary, it is perfectly quiescent. For so far as it energizes, it is another and another. For if it were not another and another, what would it do, or where would it proceed ? Hence it is necessary that the nature which energizes, should either energize about another thing, or be itself something manifold, if it intends to energize in itself. If, however, it does not proceed into any thing else, it will be quiescent. But when t is entirely quiescent, it will not perceive intellectually. Hence it is necessary that the nature which is intellective, should, when it perceives intellectually, be in two things ; and that either one of the two should be external, or that both should be in the same thing, and that intelligence should always subsist in difference, and also from necessity in sameness. Those things also which are properly the objects of intellectual perception are the same and different. And again, each of the intelligibles co-introduces with itself this sameness and difference. Or what will that perceive intellectually, which does not contain in itself another and another? For if each of the objects of intellectual vision is reason, [1] it is a multitude. Intellect, therefore, will learn that it is itself a various eye, or that it consists as it were of various colours. For if it should apply itself to the one, and to be impartible, it would be silent. For what would it have to say, or discuss about it? Indeed, if it were requisite that the impartible should entirely speak of itself, it would be necessary that it should first say what it is not. So that thus it would be many in order that it may be one [which is absurd] [2]. In the next place, when it says " I am this thing," if it says this thing as something different from itself, it asserts what is false; but if as an accident to itself, it says that it is a multitude. Or it will say this, l am, l am, and I, I. What then, if it should be alone two things, and should say I, and this ? Will it not in this case necessarily be more than two things ? For these two are to be considered as different from each other, and different in a certain respect. Hence, there will now be number and many other things. It is necessary, therefore, that the nature which is intellective, should receive another and another, and that the objects of its perception being intelligible, should be various; for otherwise there will not be an intellectual perception of, but a contact with it. There will likewise be as it were, an adhesion only ineffable, and without intellection, possessing an energy prior to intelligence, intellect not yet existing, in consequence of that which adheres not perceiving intellectually. It is necessary, however, that the nature which sees intellectually, should not itself remain simple, and especially when it perceives itself. For it will itself divide itself, even though it should be silently intellective. In the next place, that which is entirely simple will not be in want of a busy energy, as it were, about itself. For what will it learn by intellectual perception ? For prior to this perception, it exists that which it is to itself. For again, knowledge is a certain desire and as it were, an investigating discovery. Hence, that which is without any difference in itself with respect to itself, is quiescent, and investigates nothing respecting itself. But that which evolves itself, will also be multitudinous.

MacKenna

10. This matter need not be elaborated at present: it suffices to say that if the created were all, these ultimates [the higher] need not exist: but the Supreme does include primals, the primals because the producers. In other words, there must be, with the made, the making source; and, unless these are to be identical, there will be need of some link between them. Similarly, this link which is the Intellectual-Principle demands yet a Transcendent. If we are asked why this Transcendent also should not have self-vision, our answer is that it has no need of vision; but this we will discuss later: for the moment we go back, since the question at issue is gravely important.

We repeat that the Intellectual-Principle must have, actually has, self-vision, firstly because it has multiplicity, next because it exists for the external and therefore must be a seeing power, one seeing that external; in fact its very essence is vision. Given some external, there must be vision; and if there be nothing external the Intellectual-Principle [Divine Mind] exists in vain. Unless there is something beyond bare unity, there can be no vision: vision must converge with a visible object. And this which the seer is to see can be only a multiple, no undistinguishable unity; nor could a universal unity find anything upon which to exercise any act; all, one and desolate, would be utter stagnation; in so far as there is action, there is diversity. If there be no distinctions, what is there to do, what direction in which to move? An agent must either act upon the extern or be a multiple and so able to act upon itself: making no advance towards anything other than itself, it is motionless and where it could know only blank fixity it can know nothing.

The intellective power, therefore, when occupied with the intellectual act, must be in a state of duality, whether one of the two elements stand actually outside or both lie within: the intellectual act will always comport diversity as well as the necessary identity, and in the same way its characteristic objects [the Ideas] must stand to the Intellectual-Principle as at once distinct and identical. This applies equally to the single object; there can be no intellection except of something containing separable detail and, since the object is a Reason-principle [a discriminated Idea] it has the necessary element of multiplicity. The Intellectual-Principle, thus, is informed of itself by the fact of being a multiple organ of vision, an eye receptive of many illuminated objects. If it had to direct itself to a memberless unity, it would be dereasoned: what could it say or know of such an object? The self-affirmation of [even] a memberless unity implies the repudiation of all that does not enter into the character: in other words, it must be multiple as a preliminary to being itself.

Then, again, in the assertion "I am this particular thing," either the "particular thing" is distinct from the assertor - and there is a false statement - or it is included within it, and, at once, multiplicity is asserted: otherwise the assertion is "I am what I am," or "I am I."

If it be no more than a simple duality able to say "I and that other phase," there is already multiplicity, for there is distinction and ground of distinction, there is number with all its train of separate things.

In sum, then, a knowing principle must handle distinct items: its object must, at the moment of cognition, contain diversity; otherwise the thing remains unknown; there is mere conjunction, such a contact, without affirmation or comprehension, as would precede knowledge, the intellect not yet in being, the impinging agent not percipient.

Similarly the knowing principle itself cannot remain simplex, especially in the act of self-knowing: all silent though its self-perception be, it is dual to itself. Of course it has no need of minute self-handling since it has nothing to learn by its intellective act; before it is [effectively] Intellect, it holds knowledge of its own content. Knowledge implies desire, for it is, so to speak, discovery crowning a search; the utterly undifferentiated remains self-centred and makes no enquiry about that self: anything capable of analysing its content, must be a manifold.


[1I.e. If it is a distributed cause. For this is what reason and reasoning signify when ascribed to intelligible, and intellectual, or living essences.

[2For in this case, it would be at least two things; since in addition to the impartible it would have speech. And the duad is the first multitude.