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Plotino - Tratado 49,13 (V, 3, 13) — O Uno está além do conhecimento

Enéada V, 3, 13

terça-feira 14 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

      

Cap 12, 44 a cap 13, 36: Em razão de sua simplicidade absoluta, o Uno   está além do conhecimento, do pensamento   e do discurso, e não pode portanto ser nem sujeito   nem objeto de conhecimento, de pensamento e de discurso.

      

Míguez

13. De ahí que, verdaderamente, el Uno sea algo inefable; porque, lo que digáis de El, será siempre alguna cosa. Ahora bien, lo que está más allá de todas las cosas, lo que está más allá de la venerable Inteligencia e, incluso, de la verdad que en todas las cosas, eso no tiene nombre, porque el mismo nombre sería algo diferente de él. (El Uno), pues, no es ninguna de las cosas, ni posee ningún nombre, porque nada puede decirse de él como de un sujeto. Sin embargo, en tanto nos es posible, tratamos de designarlo de alguna manera para nosotros mismos; pero, cuando caemos en la incertidumbre y afirmamos que "sí no tiene sensación   ni conciencia de sí mismo, tampoco puede llegar a conocerse", hemos de señalar que, al decir esto, nos volvemos en realidad hacia la hipótesis contraria. Pues lo hacemos múltiple al considerarlo cognoscible, y es más, al atribuirle el conocimiento y el pensamiento, admitimos también que tiene necesidad de pensar  . Mas, una vez concedido esto, estimamos que el pensar es para él algo superfluo; porque, en nuestra opinión, el pensamiento sólo es posible por la reunión de muchas cosas en una y la conciencia simultánea de esta totalidad, lo cual se dice con razón del pensamiento de sí mismo, que es el pensamiento por excelencia. Si admitimos que cada ser es por sí mismo algo y que nada tiene que buscar, diremos también del pensamiento que, si tiende hacia algo exterior, es realmente deficiente y no puede ser considerado ya como el pensamiento esencialmente puro. Ahora bien, el principio absolutamente simple se basta por entero a sí mismo y, verdaderamente, de nada tiene necesidad; por supuesto, la segunda naturaleza se basta también enteramente, pero tiene necesidad de sí misma; esto es, tiene necesidad de pensarse a sí misma, porque un ser que tiene necesidad de sí mismo sólo se satisface con su totalidad y en la reunión consigo mismo; por tanto, uniéndose a sí mismo y volviendo también hacia sí su pensamiento. Mas, la conciencia simultánea de una totalidad es la sensación de una multiplicidad, como su mismo nombre lo indica. Y, si el pensamiento primero es la vuelta del ser sobre sí mismo, sin ningún género de duda este ser es múltiple. Por eso, si tuviese que decir "yo soy el ser  " lo diría, y con razón, como si hubiese hecho un descubrimiento en sí mismo, porque es claro que el ser es múltiple. Y en el caso de que, por percibir algo simple, dijese también "yo soy el ser", ocurriría que no se ha encontrado a sí mismo ni ha encontrado siquiera el ser; porque, al hablar del ser verdadero no puede hacerlo como de una piedra  , ya que con esa sola palabra se dicen en realidad muchas cosas. Pues, este ser, si es un ser real   y no algo que lleva tal nombre, por contener una huella del ser; si es como una imagen con relación a su modelo, entonces, necesariamente, contiene varias cosas. ¿Pero qué? ¿No se podrá pensar separadamente cada una de ellas? No, no podréis pensarlas si queréis mantenerlas separadas unas de otras; porque el ser múltiple en sí mismo y contiene todo aquello de lo que podáis hablar.

Pero, si es así, el ser que es el más simple de todos no tiene el pensamiento de sí mismo; pues, si lo tuviese, sería ser múltiple. Por tanto, ni se piensa a sí mismo, ni es objeto de pensamiento alguno.

Bouillet

XIII. Ce principe est par conséquent véritablement ineffable. Quelque chose qu’on en affirme, on le particularise. Or ce qui est au-dessus de tout, même au-dessus de l’auguste Intelligence, n’a véritablement pas de nom, et tout ce qu’on en peut dire, c’est qu’il n’est aucune chose. On ne peut lui donner aucun nom, puisqu’on ne peut rien affirmer de lui. Nous parlons de lui seulement comme nous pouvons (19). Dans notre incertitude» nous disons : « Quoi? ne se sent-il pas, n’a-t-il pas conscience de lui-même, ne se connaît-il point? » Nous devons alors réfléchir qu’en parlant ainsi nous pensons aux choses qui sont opposées à Celui que nous considérons maintenant. Nous le rendons multiple en supposant qu’il peut être connu et posséder la connaissance. Si nous lui accordons la pensée, il semble qu’il en ait besoin. Si nous supposons qu’elle se trouve en lui, elle est superflue. Car en quoi consiste la pensée? dans la conscience qu’ont du tout qu’ils forment les deux termes qui concourent à l’acte de la pensée et qui s’y identifient; c’est là se penser soi-même, et se penser soi-même c’est penser véritablement : car chacun des deux éléments de la pensée est lui-même une unité à laquelle il ne manque rien. Au contraire, la pensée des objets extérieurs [à l’Intelligence] n’est pas parfaite, n’est pas la véritable pensée. Ce qui est souverainement simple et souverainement absolu n’a besoin de rien. L’absolu qui n’occupe que le second rang a besoin de soi-même, a par conséquent besoin de se penser soi-même : en effet, puisque l’Intelligence a besoin de quelque chose relativement à elle-même, elle n’arrive à satisfaire ce besoin, par conséquent, à être absolue, qu’en se possédant tout entière; elle ne se suffit à elle-même qu’en unissant tous les éléments dont son essence est constituée, qu’en habitant en elle-même, qu’en restant tournée vers elle-même pendant qu’elle pense : car la conscience (συναίσθησις) est la science de quelque chose de multiple (πολλοῦ τινος αἴσθησις), comme l’indique l’étymologie du mot même (συν-αίσθησις, con-science). Si la pensée suprême a lieu par la conversion de l’Intelligence vers elle-même, c’est évidemment qu’elle est multiple. Ne dirait-elle que ceci : je suis être (ὂν εἰμί), elle le dirait comme si elle faisait une découverte, et elle aurait raison, parce que l’être est multiple. Quand même elle s’appliquerait à ce qui est simple et dirait : je suis être, il n’en résulterait pas qu’elle se saisît elle-même ni qu’elle saisît l’être. En effet, quand elle parle de l’être conformément à la réalité, elle n’en parle pas comme d’une pierre, mais elle énonce en un seul mot une chose multiple. L’être qui mérite vraiment et essentiellement le nom d’être, au lieu de n’en avoir qu’un vestige qui ne serait pas l’être et qui n’en offrirait qu’une image, l’être, dis-je, est une chose multiple. Quoi donc? chacun des éléments de cette chose multiple ne sera-t-il pas pensé Y Sans doute vous ne pourrez le penser si vous le prenez seul et séparé des autres ; mais l’être même est en lui-même une chose multiple. Quel que soit l’objet que vous nommiez, il possède l’être. Il en résulte que Celui qui est souverainement simple ne peut se penser lui-même; s’il se pensait, il serait quelque part [ce qui n’est pas]. Donc il ne pense pas et il ne peut être saisi par la pensée.

Guthrie

THE SUPREME IS ABSOLUTELY INEFFABLE.

13. This Principle, therefore, is really indescribable. We are individualizing it in any statement about it. That which is above everything, even above the venerable Intelligence, really has no name, and all that we can state about Him is, that He is not anything-. Nor can He be given any name, since we cannot assert anything about Him. We refer to Him only as best we can. In our uncertainty we say, "What does He not feel? is He not self-conscious? does He not know Himself?" Then we must reflect that by speaking thus we are thinking of things, that are opposed to Him of whom we are now thinking. When we suppose that He can be known, or that He possesses self-consciousness  , we are already making Him manifold. Were we to attribute to Him thought, it would appear that He needed this thought. If we imagine thought as being within Him, thought seems to be superfluous. For of what does thought consist? Of the consciousness of the totality formed by the two terms that contribute to the act of thought, and which fuse therein. That is thinking oneself, and thinking oneself is real thinking; for each of the two elements of thought is itself an unity to which nothing is lacking. On the contrary, the thought of objects exterior (to Intelligence) is not perfect, and is not true thought. That which is supremely simple and supremely absolute stands in need of nothing. The absolute that occupies the second rank needs itself, and, consequently, needs to think itself. Indeed, since Intelligence needs something relatively to itself, it succeeds in satisfying this need, and consequently, in being absolute, only by possessing itself entirely. It suffices itself onlv by uniting all the elements constituting its nature ("being"), only by dwelling within itself, only by remaining turned towards itself while thinking; for consciousness is the sensation of manifoldness, as is indicated by the etymology of the word "con-scious-ness," or, "conscience." If supreme Thought occur bv the conversion of Intelligence towards itself, it evidently is manifold. Even if it said no more than "I am existence," Intelligence would say it as if making a discovery, and Intelligence would be right, because existence is manifold. Even though it should apply itself to something simple, and should say, "I am existence," this would not imply successful grasp of itself or existence. Indeed, when Intelligence speaks of existence in conformity with reality, intelligence does not speak of it as of a stone, but, merely, in a single word expresses something manifold. The existence that really and essentially deserves the name of existence, instead of having of it only a trace which would not be existence, and which would be only an image of it, such existence is a multiple entity. Will not each one of the elements of this multiple entity be thought? No doubt you will not be able to think it if you take it alone and separated from the others; but existence itself is in itself something .manifold. Whatever object you name, it possesses existence. Consequently, He who is supremely simple cannot think Himself; if He did, He would be somewhere, (which is not the case). Therefore He does not think, and He cannot be grasped by thought.

Taylor

XIII. Hence, it is in reality ineffable. For of whatever you speak, you speak of as a certain thing. But of that which is beyond all things, and which is beyond even most venerable intellect, it is alone true to assert that it has not any other name [than the ineffable], and that it is not some one of all things. Properly speaking, however, there is no name of it, because nothing can be asserted of it. We, however, endeavour as much as possible to signify to ourselves something respecting it. But when we say doubting, it has therefore no perception nor intellection of itself, and consequently does not know itself, we ought to consider this, that when we assert these things, we should convert ourselves to their contraries. For we make it to be multitudinous, when we admit that it is knowable and has knowledge: and by attributing intellection to it, we make it to be in want of intelligence. But if it subsists together with intellection, intellectual perception will be superfluously added to it. For in short, intellection appears to be the co-sensation of the whole [of that which is intellective] many things concurring in one and the same, when any thing itself intellectually perceives itself, in which also intellection properly so called consists. Each of these many, however, is itself one certain thing unattended with investigation. But if intelligence is of that which is external, it will be something indigent, and not properly intellectual perception. That, however, which is perfectly simple, and truly self-sufficient, is not in want of any thing. But that which is secondarily self-suflicient, being in want of itself, is in want of the intellectual perception of itself. And that which is indigent with respect to itself, produces from the whole of itself the self-sufficient, becoming sufficient from all [the particulars of which it consists], dwelling with itself, and being conversant with itself by intellection; since co-sensation also, is the sensation of a certain multitude, as its name testifies. Intelligence, likewise, which is prior to sense, converts that which is intellective, and which is evidently multitudinous, to itself. For if it should alone say this, I am being, it would say this, as having discovered that it is so. And it would make this assertion reasonably. For being is multitudinous ; since when it extends itself to that which is simple, and says, I am being, it does not meet either with itself, or with being. For it does not speak of being as of a stone, when it speaks of it truly: but by one word it pronounces many things. [1] For this existence, which is truly existence, is not spoken of as having nothing more than a vestige of being; since this is not being, and therefore may be said to have the relation of an image to its archetype. Hence, true being contains in itself multitude. What then ? will it not intellectually perceive each of the many it contains ? May we not say, that if you wish to assume the solitary and alone, you will not have intellectual perception?

Existence itself, however, is in itself multitudinous. And though you should speak of something else, that something else has existence. If, however, this be the case, if there is something which is the most simple of all things, it will not have an intellectual perception of itself. For if it had [it would also have a subsistence somewhere]. [2] Neither, therefore, does it intellectually perceive itself, nor is there any intellectual perception of it.

MacKenna

13. Thus The One is in truth beyond all statement: any affirmation is of a thing; but the all-transcending, resting above even the most august divine Mind  , possesses alone of all true being, and is not a thing among things; we can give it no name because that would imply predication: we can but try to indicate, in our own feeble way, something concerning it: when in our perplexity we object, "Then it is without self-perception, without self-consciousness, ignorant of itself"; we must remember that we have been considering it only in its opposites.

If we make it knowable, an object of affirmation, we make it a manifold; and if we allow intellection in it we make it at that point indigent: supposing that in fact intellection accompanies it, intellection by it must be superfluous.

Self-intellection - which is the truest - implies the entire perception of a total self formed from a variety converging into an integral; but the Transcendent knows neither separation of part nor any such enquiry; if its intellectual act were directed upon something outside, then, the Transcendent would be deficient and the intellection faulty.

The wholly simplex   and veritable self-sufficing can be lacking at no point: self-intellection begins in that principle which, secondarily self-sufficing, yet needs itself and therefore needs to know itself: this principle, by its self-presence, achieves its sufficiency in virtue of its entire content [it is the all]: it becomes thus competent from the total of its being, in the act of living towards itself and looking upon itself.

Consciousness, as the very word indicates, is a conperception, an act exercised upon a manifold: and even intellection, earlier [nearer to the divine] though it is, implies that the agent turns back upon itself, upon a manifold, then. If that agent says no more than "I am a being," it speaks [by the implied dualism] as a discoverer of the extern; and rightly so, for being is a manifold; when it faces towards the unmanifold and says, "I am that being," it misses both itself and the being [since the simplex cannot be thus divided into knower and known]: if it is [to utter] truth it cannot indicate by "being" something like a stone; in the one phrase multiplicity is asserted; for the being thus affirmed - [even] the veritable, as distinguished from such a mere container of some trace of being as ought not to be called a being since it stands merely as image to archetype - even this must possess multiplicity.

But will not each item in that multiplicity be an object of intellection to us?

Taken bare and single, no: but Being itself is manifold within itself, and whatever else you may name has Being.

This accepted, it follows that anything that is to be thought of as the most utterly simplex of all cannot have self-intellection; to have that would mean being multiple. The Transcendent, thus, neither knows itself nor is known in itself.


[1This impression is the one of intellect, the summit and as it were flower of its nature, and a vestige of the ineffable. For by seeing the ineffable, it becomes stamped as it were with its super-essential nature.

[2The words within the brackets are wanting in the original, and are supplied from the version of Ficinus. But the meaning of Plotinus in this place is, that if the most simple of all things had an intellectual perception of itself, it would be in itself; and consequently would be somewhere. For an intellectual essence because self-subsistent, is said to be in itself. For so far as it is the cause of, it comprehends itself; but so far as it is caused, it is comprehended by itself.