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Plotino - Tratado 38,13 (VI, 7, 13) — A unidade do inteligível admite a multiplicidade das formas

Enéada VI, 7, 13

domingo 27 de março de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Cap 13-14: A unidade do inteligível admite portanto a multiplicidade das formas de todos os viventes que existem no sensível.

Míguez

13. Ni el alma ni la inteligencia que provienen de aquí son seres simples. Toda la variedad de las cosas se da en ellas, pero solamente en cuanto esas mismas cosas conserven su simplicidad y no ofrezcan composición, cual si se tratase de un principio o de un acto. El acto del ser que ocupa el último lugar en el mundo inteligible es un acto simple, mientras que el acto del ser que ocupa el primer lugar es todos los actos. La inteligencia que se mueve no varía nunca su movimiento y se muestra siempre semejante a sí misma; pero, sin embargo, no puede hablarse de una inteligencia idéntica y una en sus partes, sino de un todo, puesto que cada una de sus partes no es a la vez una sino que puede hacerse divisible hasta el infinito.

Podríamos hablar ahora de dónde proviene este movimiento e incluso señalar a dónde tiende; pero, de lo que está intermedio, ¿lo juzgaríamos como una línea, o como un cuerpo formado de partes semejantes y carente de variedad? Entonces, claro está, ¿dónde dejaríamos su carácter venerable? Porque si no presenta ninguna diferencia y ninguna alteridad le despierta a la vida, no puede pensarse en un acto de la inteligencia; nada, habría, pues, que distinguiese este estado del estado de inactividad. Con un mola miento de esta naturaleza, la inteligencia tendría una sola vida, pero no toda Ja vida; ya que conviene que todo en ella y en todas partes esté dotado de vida y que la vida a nada falte. Por tanto, esa inteligencia deberá moverse en todas direcciones y cumplir sus movimientos de este mismo modo. Si fuese algo simple lo que se moviese, contendría únicamente este término; por consiguiente, o no avanza hacia nada, o, si avanza, alguna otra cosa permanece inmóvil. De manera que hay que contar con dos términos: y si uno y otro son el mismo, la unidad permanece y no se da entonces procesión alguna; pero si son diferentes, el avance se produce en virtud de esta diferencia y así, al proceder de lo uno a lo otro, se da origen a un tercer término. Este tercer término, proveniente de lo mismo y lo otro, tiene una naturaleza que retiene la mísmidad y la alteridad. Y entiéndase, desde luego, que hablo de lo otro de una manera general y no particular, y ése es el sentido que también doy a lo mismo. Pero si se produce, de una manera general, esa identificación de lo mismo y lo otro, no queda ya nada que pueda faltar a los otros seres particulares. Tendrá como naturaleza el extenderse a todo para hacerlo otro. En cambio, si todos los demás seres fuesen anteriores al ser universal, éste sufriría la influencia de aquéllos. No se da realmente esta anterioridad, sino que el ser universal engendra a los demás seres o, mejor todavía, él es todos los seres.

Concluyamos, pues, que no es posible que existan los seres si no se da una actuación de la inteligencia. Con este acto, la inteligencia produce siempre los seres de manera sucesiva, no de otro modo que si llevase a término su curso errante pero sin salir a la vez de sí misma. Pues la inteligencia realiza como algo natural el recorrerse a sí misma y cumple su carrera en compañía de las esencias que la acompañan. Ahora bien, como ella se encuentra en todas partes, esa carrera es una permanencia; es una carrera que tiene lugar en la "llanura de la verdad" de la que no sale la inteligencia. La inteligencia la ocupa por entero y hace de ella algo así como un lugar para su movimiento; con todo, el lugar mismo no es diferente de la inteligencia.

Esta llanura es realmente variada en razón de su recorrido; si no fuese en su totalidad y siempre variable, la inteligencia se detendría; pero si se detiene, entonces no piensa; esto es, una vez detenida, deja ya de pensar, con lo cual abocamos a su término. Digamos, pues, que la inteligencia es pensamiento, y es un pensamiento con movimiento universal que llena la esencia universal. La esencia universal es a la vez un pensamiento universal que envuelve la vida toda. Después de un ser, siempre se produce otro en su pensamiento, porque lo mismo y lo otro no tienen diferencia en este ser; con su división constante está manifestándose ya otro ser. La marcha de la inteligencia se desarrolla toda ella a través de la vida y de los seres vivos, y podremos imaginarla como la marcha de alguien que recorre todos los lugares de la tierra y encuentra solamente tierra en este recorrido, no obstante la diferencia de un lugar a otro. En el mundo inteligible lo que la inteligencia recorre es siempre la vida, una vida que se muestra siempre diferente y nunca la misma. Sin embargo, a través de todas estas vidas se mantiene el recorrido de la inteligencia, que no cambia, sino que permanece idéntica a pesar de las diferencias apuntadas. Porque es claro que si la inteligencia no se conservase idéntica a través de los seres diferentes, la tendríamos que pensar como totalmente desocupada, sin ningún poder, ni siquiera en acto.

Por tanto, la inteligencia es todos los demás seres, de manera que se presenta como algo universal. Porque es evidente que si es inteligencia, es algo universal; y si no es algo universal, tampoco será inteligencia. Si la inteligencia es, pues, universal, porque encierra todas las cosas, y si ella no contiene nada que no contribuya al todo, nada hay tampoco en ella que no sea diferente, para formar así, con su alteridad, el ser total de que hablamos. Porque si no se manifestase diferencia entre las cosas, y si hubiese realmente identidad, ello equivaldría a disminuir la propia esencia sin contribuir para nada a la perfección de la naturaleza común.

Bouillet

XIII. Ni l’Intelligence, ni l’Ame qui procède d’elle ne sont une essence simple ; toutes les deux renferment l’universalité des choses avec leur variété infinie, en tant que celles-ci sont simples, c’est-à-dire qu’elles ne sont pas composées, qu’elles sont principes et actes : car, dans le monde intelligible, l’acte de ce qui occupe le dernier rang est simple; l’acte de ce qui occupe le premier rang est universel. L’Intelligence, dans son mouvement uniforme, se porte toujours sur des choses semblables et identiques ; cependant, chacune d’elles est identique et une sans être une partie ; elle est au contraire universelle, parce que ce qui est partie dans le monde intelligible n’est pas une simple unité, mais une unité divisible à l’infini. Dans ce mouvement, l’Intelligence part d’un objet et va à un autre objet qui est son terme (54). Mais tout ce qui est intermédiaire ressemble-t-il à une ligne droite ou à un corps uniforme et homogène? Qu’y aurait-il là de grand? Si l’Intelligence ne renfermait pas de différences, si nulle diversité ne l’éveillait à la vie, elle ne serait pas acte; son état ne différerait en rien de l’inactivité. Si son mouvement était déterminé d’une seule façon, elle ne posséderait qu’une seule espèce de vie au lieu de posséder la vie universelle. Or elle doit avoir en elle une vie universelle, omniprésente ; par conséquent, elle doit se mouvoir ou plutôt s’être mue vers toutes les essences. Qu’elle se meuve d’une manière simple et uniforme, elle ne possède plus qu’une seule chose, elle lui est identique, elle ne procède plus vers une chose différente. Puisqu’elle procède vers une chose différente, il faut qu’elle devienne une chose différente, qu’elle soit deux choses. Si ces deux choses sont identiques, l’Intelligence reste encore une et il n’y a plus de procession; si au contraire ces deux choses sont différentes, elle procède à l’aide de cette différence, et eu vertu de cette différence jointe à son identité elle engendre une troisième chose. Celle-ci, par son origine, est à la fois identique et différente ; elle n’est pas telle ou telle différence, mais toute espèce de différence, parce que l’identité qu’elle contient est-elle-même universelle. Etant ainsi différence universelle aussi bien qu’identité universelle, cette chose possède tout ce qu’on nomme différent : car sa nature est d’être une différenciation universelle (ἐπὶ πᾶν ἑτεροιοῦσθαι). Si toutes les différences précédaient cette chose, celle-ci serait modifiée par elles. S’il n’en est pas ainsi, elle a dû engendrer toutes les différences, ou plutôt être leur universalité (55).

II est donc impossible que les essences existent sans l’acte de l’Intelligence. Par cet acte, après avoir produit une essence, l’Intelligence en a produit toujours une autre, elle a parcouru en quelque sorte la carrière qu’il est naturel à l’Intelligence véritable de parcourir en. elle-même : cette carrière, c’est celle des essences, dont chacune correspond à une de ses évolutions. Puisque l’Intelligence est partout identique, ses évolutions impliquent permanence, et elles lui font parcourir «le champ de la vérité (56),» sans en sortir jamais. Elle occupe ce champ tout entier, parce qu’elle s’est fait à elle-même le lieu où elle opère ses évolutions, lieu identique à ce qu’il contient. Ce champ est varié pour qu’il offre une carrière à parcourir : s’il n’était pas universellement et toujours varié, il y aurait un point d’arrêt où cesserait la variété; or, si l’Intelligence s’arrêtait, elle ne penserait pas; et si elle s’était jamais arrêtée, elle aurait été sans penser. Or cela n’est pas; donc la Pensée existe, et son mouvement universel produit la plénitude de l’Essence universelle. L’Essence universelle est la Pensée qui embrasse la Vie universelle, et qui après une chose en conçoit toujours une autre, parce que, ce qui en elle est identique étant aussi différent, toujours elle divise et toujours elle trouve une chose différente des autres. Dans sa marche, l’Intelligence va toujours de la vie à la vie, des êtres animés aux êtres animés; de même un voyageur, en s’avançant sur la terre, ne voit jamais s’offrir à ses yeux rien autre chose que la terre, quelques diversités qu’ait sa surface. Dans le monde intelligible, la vie dont on parcourt le champ est toujours identique à elle-même, mais aussi elle est toujours différente. Il en résulte qu’elle ne nous paraît pas identique, parce que dans son évolution (διέξοδος), qui est identique, elle parcourt des choses qui ne le sont pas; elle ne change pas pour cela: car elle parcourt des choses différentes d’une manière uniforme et identique. Si cette uniformité et celte identité de l’Intelligence ne s’appliquaient pas à des choses différentes, l’Intelligence demeurerait oisive; elle n’existerait plus en acte, elle ne serait plus acte. Or ces choses différentes constituent l’Intelligence même. L’Intelligence est donc universelle, parce que cette universalité forme son essence même. Ainsi, étant universelle, l’Intelligence est toutes choses : il n’y a rien en elle qui ne concoure à l’universalité; il n’y a rien non plus qui ne soit différent, afin de pouvoir, par sa différence même, concourir encore à la totalité. S’il n’y avait pas de différence, si tout était identique en elle, l’Intelligence perdrait de son essence, parce que sa nature ne formerait plus un tout plein d’harmonie.

Guthrie

SIMPLICITY OF THE INTELLIGIBLE DOES NOT DENY COMPOSITENESS, BUT INFERS HEIGHT OF SOURCE.

13. Neither Intelligence, nor the Soul that proceeds therefrom, are simple; both contain the universality of things with their infinite variety, so far as these are simple, meaning that they are not composite, but that they are principles and actualizations; for, in the intelligible world, the actualization of what occupies the last rank is simple; the actualization of what occupies the first rank is universal. Intelligence, in its uniform movement, always trends towards similar and identical things; nevertheless, each of them is identical and single, without being a part; it is on the contrary universal, because what, in the intelligible world, is a part, is not a simple unit, but a unity that is infinitely divisible. In this movement, Intelligence starts from one object, and goes to another object which is its goal. But does all that is intermediary resemble a straight line, or to a uniform and homogeneous body? There would be nothing remarkable about that; for if Intelligence did not contain differences, if no diversity awoke it to life, it would not be an actualization; its state would not differ from inactivity. If its movement were determined in a single manner, it would possess but a single kind of (restricted) life, instead of possessing the universal Life. Now it should contain an universal and omnipresent Life; consequently, it must move, or rather have been moved towards all (beings). If it were to move in a simple and uniform manner, it would possess but a single thing, would be identical with it, and no longer proceed towards anything different. If however it should move towards something different, it would have to become something different, and be two things. If these two things were then to be identical, Intelligence would still remain one, and there would be no progress left; if, on the contrary, these two things were to be different, it would be proceeding with this difference, and it would, by virtue of this difference joined to its divinity, beget some third thing. By its origin, the latter is simultaneously identical and different; not of some particular difference, but of all kinds of difference, because the identity it contains is itself universal. Thus being universal difference as well as universal identity, this thing possesses all that is said to be different; for its nature is to be universal differentiation (to spread over everything, to become everything else). If all these differences preceded this (Intelligence), the latter would be modified by them. If this be not the case, Intelligence must have begotten all the differences, or rather, be their universality.

INTELLIGENCE EVOLVES OVER THE FIELD OF TRUTH.

Essences (”beings”) therefore cannot exist without an actualization of Intelligence. By this actualization, after having produced some (”being”), Intelligence always produces some other one, somehow carrying out the career which it is natural for veritable Intelligence to carry out within itself; this career is that of the beings, of which each corresponds to one of its evolutions, (or, it roams around among beings, so that through its roaming around these beings unite and form.) Since Intelligence is everywhere identical, its evolutions imply permanence, and they make it move around the “field of truth” without ever issuing therefrom. It occupies this whole field, because Intelligence has made itself the locality where its evolutions operate, a locality which is identical with what it contains. This field is varied enough to offer a career to be fulfilled; if it were not universally and eternally varied, there would be a stopping-place where variety would cease; and, were Intelligence to stop, it would not think; and if it had never stopped, it would have existed without thought (or, it would not exist). This however, is not the case; therefore thought exists, and its universal movement produces the fulness of universal “Being.” Universal “Being,” however, is the thought that embraces universal Life, and which, after each thing, ever conceives some other; because, since that which within it is identical is all so different. It continually divides and ever finds something different from the others. In its march, Intelligence ever progresses from life to life, from animated (beings) to animated (beings); just as some traveller, advancing on the earth, finds all that he travels through to be earth, whatever variations thereof there may have been. In the intelligible world, the life whose field one traverses is always self-identical, but it is also always different. The result is that (this sphere of operations) does not seem the same to us, because in its evolution, which is identical, life experiences (or, traverses) things which are not the same. That however does not change this life, for it passes through different things in a uniform and identical manner. If this uniformity and identity of Intelligence were not applied to different things, Intelligence would remain idle; it would no longer exist in actualization, and no more be actualization. Now these different things constitute Intelligence itself. Intelligence is therefore universal, because this universality forms its very nature. Being thus universal, Intelligence is all things; there is nothing in it which does not contribute to its universality; and everything is different, so as to be able still to contribute to totality, by its very difference. If there were no difference, if everything in it were identical, the being of Intelligence would be diminished, inasmuch as its nature would no more co-operate towards its harmonic consummation.

MacKenna

13. For Intellectual-Principle is not a simplex, nor is the soul that proceeds from it: on the contrary things include variety in the degree of their simplicity, that is to say in so far as they are not compounds but Principles and Activities; - the activity of the lowest is simple in the sense of being a fading-out, that of the First as the total of all activity. Intellectual-Principle is moved in a movement unfailingly true to one course, but its unity and identity are not those of the partial; they are those of its universality; and indeed the partial itself is not a unity but divides to infinity.

We know that Intellectual-Principle has a source and advances to some term as its ultimate; now, is the intermediate between source and term to thought of as a line or as some distinct kind of body uniform and unvaried?

Where at that would be its worth? it had no change, if no differentiation woke it into life, it would not be a Force; that condition would in no way differ from mere absence of power and, even calling it movement, it would still be the movement of a life not all-varied but indiscriminate; now it is of necessity that life be all-embracing, covering all the realms, and that nothing fail of life. Intellectual-Principle, therefore, must move in every direction upon all, or more precisely must ever have so moved.

A simplex moving retains its character; either there is no change, movement has been null, or if there has been advance it still remains a simplex and at once there is a permanent duality: if the one member of this duality is identical with the other, then it is still as it was, there has been no advance; if one member differs from the other, it has advanced with differentiation, and, out of a certain identity and difference, it has produced a third unity. This production, based on Identity and Difference, must be in its nature identical and different; it will be not some particular different thing but Collective Difference, as its Identity is Collective Identity.

Being, thus, at once Collective Identity and Collective Difference, Intellectual-Principle must reach over all different things; its very nature then is to modify into a universe. If the realm of different things existed before it, these different things must have modified it from the beginning; if they did not, this Intellectual-Principle produced all, or, rather, was all.

Beings could not exist save by the activity of Intellectual-Principle; wandering down every way it produces thing after thing, but wandering always within itself in such self-bound wandering as authentic Intellect may know; this wandering permitted to its nature is among real beings which keep pace with its movement; but it is always itself; this is a stationary wandering, a wandering within the Meadow of Truth from which it does not stray.

It holds and covers the universe which it has made the space, so to speak, of its movement, itself being also that universe which is space to it. And this Meadow of Truth is varied so that movement through it may be possible; suppose it not always and everywhere varied, the failing of diversity is a failure of movement; failure in movement would mean a failing of the Intellectual Act; halting, it has ceased to exercise its Intellectual Act; this ceasing, it ceases to be.

The Intellectual-Principle is the Intellectual Act; its movement is complete, filling Being complete; And the entire of Being is the Intellectual Act entire, comprehending all life and the unfailing succession of things. Because this Principle contains Identity and Difference its division is ceaselessly bringing the different things to light. Its entire movement is through life and among living things. To a traveller over land, all is earth but earth abounding in difference: so in this journey the life through which Intellectual-Principle passes is one life but, in its ceaseless changing, a varied life.

Throughout this endless variation it maintains the one course because it is not, itself, subject to change but on the contrary is present as identical and unvarying Being to the rest of things. For if there be no such principle of unchanging identity to things, all is dead, activity and actuality exist nowhere. These "other things" through which it passes are also Intellectual-Principle itself; otherwise it is not the all-comprehending principle: if it is to be itself, it must be all-embracing; failing that, it is not itself. If it is complete in itself, complete because all-embracing, and there is nothing which does not find place in this total, then there can be nothing belonging to it which is not different; only by difference can there be such co-operation towards a total. If it knew no otherness but was pure identity its essential Being would be the less for that failure to fulfil the specific nature which its completion requires.