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Plotino - Tratado 38,5 (VI, 7, 5) — Homem como uma alma

Enéada VI, 7, 5

sábado 26 de março de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Míguez

5. Conviene, pues, buscar otro punto de apoyo que no sea el alma para la definición del hombre. ¿Qué impide que el hombre sea un compuesto, esto es, un alma determinada por una razón? Esta razón vendría a ser cual un cierto acto del alma, acto que no existiría sin un sujeto que actúa. Eso ocurre precisamente con las razones espermáticas: no existen sin el alma, pero tampoco son almas en absoluto. Puesto que las razones productoras de un ser no son inanimadas, no resulta extraño que las sustancias sean también Tazones. Pero, vengamos a aquellas razones que no producen al hombre; ¿de qué alma serán sus actos? ¿Acaso del alma vegetativa? No, serán los actos del alma animal, alma, desde luego, más luminosa y por esto mismo más viva. Esa alma ha venido a caer en una determinada materia; es un hombre por lo que ella es, por su propia disposición, pero a la vez da al cuerpo una forma que le corresponde produciendo en él una figura humana solamente en cuanto el cuerpo es capaz de recibirla; no de otro modo que como el pintor produce un hombre inferior a esta figura.

Esta forma encerrará disposiciones y potencias, aunque todas ellas puedan aparecer oscuras porque la figura no es realmente el primer hombre. En ella habrá producido el alma toda la diversidad de sensaciones, sensaciones que serán aparentemente claras, pero que revisten oscuridad sí se las compara con las sensaciones superiores de las que son imagen. Porque el hombre que está sobre este hombre tiene un alma más divina, una humanidad mejor y sensaciones que son todavía más claras. Ese es el hombre que Platón   define como "el alma que se sirve del cuerpo" 1 y que, si ya tiene primacía sobre el cuerpo desde un plano más elevado, también la tendrá desde un plano inferior. Y ése es el hombre al cual se debe un ser capaz de sensación, el hombre que acompaña la vida haciéndola más clara; mejor diríamos aún que no la acompaña, sino que se une a ella. Porque, ciertamente, no sale del mundo inteligible, pero unido a él como está, mantiene suspendida un alma que le es inferior y, por su propia razón, se une a la razón de esta alma. Ello explica el porqué un ser oscuro queda iluminado por su resplandor.

Bouillet

V. Il faut donc que l’homme ait pour raison [pour essence] autre chose que l’âme. Qui empêche alors que l’homme ne soit quelque chose de composé, c’est-à-dire l’âme subsistant dans telle raison (ψυχὴ ἐν τοιῷδε λόγῳ), en admettant que cette raison soit un certain acte de l’âme, mais que cet acte ne puisse exister sans le principe qui le produit. Or, telle est la nature des raisons séminales (οἱ ἐν τοῖς σπέρμασι λόγοι). Elles n’existent pas sans l’âme : car les raisons génératrices ne sont pas inanimées ; et cependant elles ne sont pas l’âme purement et simplement. Il n’y a rien d’étonnant à ce que de telles essences soient des raisons.

Ces raisons qui n’engendrent pas l’homme [mais l’animal] (25), de quelle âme sont-elles donc les actes ? Est-ce de l’âme végétative? Non , elles sont les actes de l’âme [raisonnable] qui engendre l’animal (26), laquelle est une âme plus puissante et par cela même plus vivante. L’âme disposée de telle façon, présente à la matière disposée de telle façon (puisque l’âme est telle chose, selon qu’elle est dans telle disposition), même sans le corps, est ce qui constitue l’homme (27). Elle façonne dans le corps une forme à sa ressemblance. Elle produit ainsi, autant que le comporte la nature du corps , une image de l’homme, comme le peintre lui-même fait une image du corps : elle produit, je le répète, un homme inférieur [l’homme sensitif, l’animal], qui possède la forme de l’homme, ses raisons, ses mœurs, ses dispositions, ses facultés, mais d’une manière imparfaite, parce qu’il n’est pas le premier homme [l’homme intellectuel]. Il a des sensations d’une autre espèce, des sensations qui, quoiqu’elles paraissent claires, sont obscures, si on les compare aux sensations supérieures dont elles sont les images. L’homme supérieur [l’homme raisonnable] est meilleur, a une âme plus divine et des sensations plus claires. C’est lui sans doute que Platon   définit [en disant : L’homme est l’âme (28)]; il ajoute dans sa définition : qui se sert du corps, parce que l’âme plus divine domine l’âme qui se sert du corps, et qu’elle ne se sert du corps qu’au second degré (29).

En effet, la chose engendrée par l’âme étant capable de sentir, l’âme s’y attache en lui donnant une vie plus puissante ; ou plutôt, elle ne s’y attache pas, mais elle l’approche d’elle (30). Elle ne s’éloigne pas du monde intelligible, mais tout en restant en contact avec lui, elle tient suspendue à elle-même l’âme inférieure [qui constitue l’homme sensitif], elle se mêle à cette raison par sa raison [elle s’unit à cette essence par son essence]. C’est pourquoi cet homme [sensitif], qui par lui-même est obscur, est éclairé par cette illumination (ἐλλάμψει).

Guthrie

MAN AS A SOUL SUBSISTING IN A SPECIAL REASON.

5. Man must therefore have as “reason” (or, as essence), something else than the soul. Still, in this case, man might be something composite; that is, the soul would subsist in a particular “reason,” admitting that this “reason” was a certain actualization of the soul, though this actualization could not exist without its producing principle. Now such is the nature of the “seminal reasons.” They do not exist without the soul; for the generating reasons are not inanimate; and nevertheless they are not the soul purely and simply. There is therefore nothing surprising in the statement that these (human) beings are (”seminal) reasons.”

THESE REASONS ARE THE ACTUALIZATIONS OF THE SOUL WHICH BEGETS THE ANIMAL.

Of which soul are these reasons, which do not beget the man (though they do beget the animal), then the actualization? Not of the vegetative soul; they are the actualizations of the (reasonable) soul which begets the animal, which is a more powerful, and therefore a more living soul. Man is constituted by the soul disposed in some manner, when present to matter disposed in some particular fashion — since the soul is some particular thing, according as she is in some particular disposition — even in the body. In the bodies, she fashions a resembling form. So far as the nature of the body allows it, she thus produces an image of the man, as the painter himself makes an image of the body; she produces, I repeat, an inferior man (the sense-man, the animal), which possesses the form of man, his reasons, morals, dispositions, faculties, although in an imperfect manner, because he is not the first man (the intellectual man). He has sensations of another kind; sensations which, though they seem clear, are obscure, if they be compared to the superior sensations of which they are the images. The superior man (the reasonable man) is better, has a diviner soul, and clearer sensations. It is he doubtless to whom Plato   refers (when he says, Man is the soul); in his definition he adds, “which makes use of the body,” because the diviner man dominates the soul which uses the body, and thus uses the body only in an indirect manner.

NATURE OF THE COMBINATION BEGOTTEN BY THE SOUL.

In fact, the soul attaches herself to the thing begotten by the soul, because she was capable of feeling. The soul does this by vivifying it more; or rather, the soul does not attach herself thereto, but draws it to herself. She does not depart from the intelligible world, but even while remaining in contact with it, she holds the inferior soul (which constitutes the sense-man) suspended to herself; and by her reason she blends herself with this reason (or, she unites herself to this being by her “being”). That is why this man (known by the senses), who by himself is obscure, is enlightened by this illumination.

MacKenna

5. Man, thus, must be some Reason-Principle other than soul. But why should he not be some conjoint - a soul in a certain Reason-Principle - the Reason-Principle being, as it were, a definite activity which however could not exist without that which acts?

This is the case with the Reason-Principles in seed which are neither soulless nor entirely soul. For these productive principles cannot be devoid of soul and there is nothing surprising in such essences being Reason-Principles.

But these principles producing other forms than man, of what phase of soul are they activities? Of the vegetal soul? Rather of that which produces animal life, a brighter soul and therefore one more intensely living.

The soul of that order, the soul that has entered into Matter of that order, is man by having, apart from body, a certain disposition; within body it shapes all to its own fashion, producing another form of Man, man reduced to what body admits, just as an artist may make a reduced image of that again.

It is soul, then, that holds the pattern and Reason-Principles of Man, the natural tendencies, the dispositions and powers - all feeble since this is not the Primal Man - and it contains also the Ideal-Forms of other senses, Forms which themselves are senses, bright to all seeming but images, and dim in comparison with those of the earlier order.

The higher Man, above this sphere, rises from the more godlike soul, a soul possessed of a nobler humanity and brighter perceptions. This must be the Man of Plato  ’s definition ["Man is Soul"], where the addition "Soul as using body" marks the distinction between the soul which uses body directly and the soul, poised above, which touches body only through that intermediary.

The Man of the realm of birth has sense-perception: the higher soul enters to bestow a brighter life, or rather does not so much enter as simply impart itself; for soul does not leave the Intellectual but, maintaining that contact, holds the lower life as pendant from it, blending with it by the natural link of Reason-Principle to Reason-Principle: and man, the dimmer, brightens under that illumination.