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Plotino - Tratado 42,21 (VI, 1, 21) — O agir e o padecer

Enéada VI, 1, 21

sexta-feira 17 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Igal

21 —¿En qué reconoceremos, pues, la pasión?

—No, ciertamente, en el acto proveniente de otro, si quien recibe el acto lo hace suyo heredándolo.

—¿Acaso, entonces, en que no sea acto, sino sólo pasión?

—¿Qué pensar  , entonces, del caso en que la pasión salga mejorada y el acto empeorado, o del caso en que uno obre viciosamente o mande en otro intemperantemente? En realidad, nada impide que el acto sea innoble y la pasión noble.

—¿Por qué característica distinguiremos, pues, la pasión? ¿Acaso por el hecho de que el acto provenga del sujeto mismo y termine en otro, mientras que la pasión está en el sujeto proviniendo de otro?

—Entonces, ¿qué pensar del caso en que el acto emane del sujeto mismo, pero no termine en otro, como es el pensar y el opinar  ? ¿Qué pensar de cuando uno se enardece llevado de sus propios pensamientos o de la cólera   nacida de un juicio sin intervención de ninguna cosa exterior?

—¿Será acaso que la acción consiste en una noción emanada de uno mismo, sea que se quede en uno mismo, sea que termine en otro?.

—Entonces, ¿qué pensar del apetito y del deseo en general? Si el deseo parte del objeto deseado (a no ser que no se tenga en cuenta de dónde parte, sino que se suscita en dirección a aquél), si es así, ¿en qué difiere de un golpe recibido o de una caída por empujón?

—Acaso haya   que trazar una distinción: llamaremos «acciones» a los deseos que vayan en seguimiento de la inteligencia, y a los demás, como meras atracciones que son, «pasiones»; y la «pasión» no la definiremos porque provenga de otro o de uno mismo —ya que una cosa puede corromperse intrínsecamente—, sino que cuando alguna cosa, sin poner nada de su parte, sufra una alteración que no conduzca a la esencia y que redunde en un estado   peor o no mejor, a semejante alteración la llamaremos «pasión» y «tener pasión».

—Pero si el calentarse consiste en retener calor y es posible que en uno contribuya a la esencia y en otro no, la misma cosa será pasión y no pasión. Y habrá, ¿cómo no?, dos clases de calentamiento.

—Es que cuando el calentamiento contribuya a la esencia, aun entonces contribuirá a la esencia porque el paciente es distinto de la esencia. Por ejemplo, el bronce se calienta y padece, pero la esencia es la estatua, y la estatua misma no se calienta salvo accidentalmente. Si, pues, el bronce se hermosea como consecuencia de que se calienta o en cuanto se calienta, no hay dificultad en decir que padece, dado que hay dos modos   de padecer, uno empeorando y otro mejorando o ni empeorando ni mejorando.

Bouillet

XXI. omment définirons-nous le fait de pâtir ? Nous ne le ferons point consister dans l’acte qui passe d’un être dans un autre, si celui qui reçoit cet acte se l’approprie (90). Dirons-nous que l’être   pâtit quand il n’y a pas acte, mais seulement passion? Mais ne se peut-il pas que l’être qui pâtit devienne meilleur et que celui qui agit perde au contraire? Ne se peut-il pas aussi qu’un être agisse d’une manière mauvaise et exerce sur un autre une influence pernicieuse? Ne se peut-il pas encore que l’action soit mauvaise et la passion honorable? Quelle distinction établirons-nous donc entre la passion et l’action? Dirons-nous qu’agir c’est faire passer un acte de soi en autrui, et que pâtir c’est recevoir en soi un acte qui provient d’autrui? Mais n’arrive-t-il pas qu’on produise en soi des actes qui ne passent pas en autrui, la pensée et l’opinion, par exemple? On peut encore s’échauffer de soi-même   par suite d’une réflexion ou d’une opinion qui émeut, sans que cette émotion soit provoquée par un autre être. Nous définirons donc Y action un mouvement spontané (κίνημα ἐχ αὐτοῦ), soit que ce mouvement reste dans l’être même qui le produit, soit qu’il passe dans un autre. — Que sont donc la concupiscence et le désir en général? Si le désir est excité par la chose désirée, il est une passion, lors même qu’on ne considérerait pas par quoi il est excité et que l’on remarquerait seulement qu’il est postérieur à l’objet : car ce désir ne diffère pas d’une impression et d’une impulsion. — Diviserons-nous donc les désirs, et les appellerons-nous actions quand ils procèdent de l’intelligence, et passions quand ils entraînent l’âme  , en sorte que l’être soit moins passif par ce qu’il reçoit d’autrui que par ce qu’il reçoit de lui-même (91) ? Sans doute un être peut agir sur lui-même (92). Mais éprouver, sans y contribuer en rien, une modification qui ne concoure pas à l’essence, qui altère au contraire ou du moins ne rende pas meilleur, éprouver, dis-je, une telle modification, c’est là subir   une passion et pâtir (93). — Dans ce cas, dira-t-on, si s’échauffer consiste à posséder une chaleur propre, et que cet échauffement en partie concoure à l’essence, en partie n’y concoure pas, la même chose à la fois sera et ne sera pas une passion. Nous répondrons qu’il y a deux manières de s’échauffer. En outre, lors même que réchauffement concourt à l’essence, il n’y concourt qu’autant qu’un autre objet pâtit ; par exemple, il faut que l’airain soit échauffé et pâtisse pour que l’essence appelée statue soit produite, quoique cette statue ne soit échauffée elle-même que par accident. Si donc l’airain devient plus beau par l’effet de ce qui l’échauffé ou par l’effet de réchauffement même, il pâtit : car il y a deux manières de pâtir, l’une consiste à devenir pire, et l’autre à devenir meilleur ou du moins à ne pas s’altérer (94).

Guthrie

DEFINITION OF REACTION OR SUFFERING.

21. How may we define the fact of «reaction»? We do not approve of the definition that it is the passing of the actualization from one being into another, if its receiver appropriate it. Shall we say that a (being) reacts when there is no actualization, but only an effective experience? But is it not possible that the being that reacts becomes better; while, on the contrary, the one who acts, loses? A (being) may also act in an evil manner, and exercise on another a harmful influence; and the actualization may be shameful, and the affective experience be honorable. What distinction shall we then establish (between action and reaction) ? Shall we say that an action is to cause (an actualization) to pass from self into others, and that reaction is to receive in oneself (an action) from someone else ? But then what about the (actualizations) produced in oneself which do not pass into others, such as thought and opinion? One can even excite oneself by a reflection or opinion of emotive value, without this emotion having been aroused by anybody else. We shall therefore define an action as a spontaneous movement, whether this movement remain in the being who produces it, or whether it pass into somebody else.

What then are the faculty of desire, and desire in general? If desire be excited by the desired thing (it is an experience, or passion), even if we should not take into consideration the cause of its excitement, and even if we only noticed that it arose later than the object; for this desire does not differ from an impression or an impulsion.

Shall we then, among desires, distinguish actions when they proceed from intelligence, and experiences when they invoke and draw (on the soul), so that the being be less passive by what it receives from others, than by what it receives from itself? Doubtless a being can act upon itself. (We can then define) an affective experience, and a being’s experience, as follows. They consist of undergoing, without any contribution from oneself, a modification which does not contribute to «being,» and which, on the contrary, alters, or at least, does not improve.

To this (definition) it may be objected that if warming oneself consist in receiving such heat as partially contributes to the subject’s being, and partly does not do so, then we have here one and the same thing which both is, and is not an experience. To this it may be answered that there are two ways of warming oneself. Besides, even when the heating contributes to the being, it does so only in the degree .that some other object experiences. For instance, the metal will have to be heated, and undergo an experience, for the production of the being called statue, although this statue itself be heated only incidentally. If then the metal become more beautiful by the effect of that which heats it, or by the effect of the heating itself, it undergoes an experience; for there are two manners of (undergoing an experience, or) suffering: the one consists in becoming worse, and the other in becoming better—or at least, in not altering.

MacKenna

21. How, then, are we to recognise Passivity, since clearly it is not to be found in the Act from outside which the recipient in turn makes his own? Surely we must look for it in cases where the patient remains without Act, the passivity pure.

Imagine a case where an agent improves, though its Act tends towards deterioration. Or, say, a a man’s activity is guided by evil and is allowed to dominate another’s without restraint. In these cases the Act is clearly wrong, the Passion blameless.

What then is the real distinction between Action and Passion? Is it that Action starts from within and is directed upon an outside object, while Passion is derived from without and fulfilled within? What, then, are we to say of such cases as thought and opinion which originate within but are not directed outwards? Again, the Passion «being heated» rises within the self, when that self is provoked by an opinion to reflection or to anger, without the intervention of any external. Still it remains true that Action, whether self-centred or with external tendency, is a motion rising in the self.

How then do we explain desire and other forms of aspiration? Aspiration must be a motion having its origin in the object aspired to, though some might disallow «origin» and be content with saying that the motion aroused is subsequent to the object; in what respect, then, does aspiring differ from taking a blow or being borne down by a thrust?

Perhaps, however, we should divide aspirations into two classes, those which follow intellect being described as Actions, the merely impulsive being Passions. Passivity now will not turn on origin, without or within - within there can only be deficiency; but whenever a thing, without itself assisting in the process, undergoes an alteration not directed to the creation of Being but changing the thing for the worse or not for the better, such an alteration will be regarded as a Passion and as entailing passivity.

If however «being heated» means «acquiring heat,» and is sometimes found to contribute to the production of Being and sometimes not, passivity will be identical with impassivity: besides, «being heated» must then have a double significance [according as it does or does not contribute to Being].

The fact is, however, that «being heated,» even when it contributes to Being, involves the presence of a patient [distinct from the being produced]. Take the case of the bronze which has to be heated and so is a patient; the being is a statue, which is not heated except accidentally [by the accident of being contained in the bronze]. If then the bronze becomes more beautiful as a result of being heated and in the same proportion, it certainly becomes so by passivity; for passivity must, clearly, take two forms: there is the passivity which tends to alteration for better or for worse, and there is the passivity which has neither tendency.