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Plotino - Tratado 38,15 (VI, 7, 15) — O Intelecto e a vida inteligível não são senão uma imagem do Bem

Enéada VI, 7, 15

domingo 27 de março de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulos 15-30: O Intelecto e aquilo que está além dele: a natureza do Bem e as dificuldades que surgem ao redor dele.

  • Cap 15: O Intelecto e a vida inteligível não são senão uma imagem do Bem.
  • Cap 16-18: Em qual sentido o inteligível é uma imagem do Bem? Porque o Intelecto e as formas provêm do Bem.
  • Cap 19-20: Em qual sentido o Bem é um objeto de desejo para a alma?
  • Cap 21-23: A alma deseja o Intelecto que é uma imagem do Bem, e é nesta medida que ela tem acesso ao Bem.
  • Cap 24-25, 16: As dificuldades concernindo a definição do Bem como objeto de desejo da alma.
  • Cap 25, 16-18: O Bem não é tal porque é objeto de desejo.
  • Cap 25, 18-32: O Bem é o que se encontra no topo do real.
  • Cap 26: O Bem não é objeto de desejo porque é uma fonte de prazer.
  • Cap 27: O Bem é, para cada realidade, o que vem antes dela; eis o que explica que para o Bem supremo, que nada tem antes dele, não existe qualquer bem.
  • Cap 28: Pode haver um bem para a matéria?
  • Cap 29-30: O Bem procura uma forma de prazer que corresponde à mistura de prazer e inteligência da qual fala Platão no Filebo  .

Míguez

15. ¿Habrá alguien que viendo esta vida múltiple y universal, esta vida primera y única, no la abrace con todo su amor y desprecie a la vez cualquier otra vida 1 ? Todas las demás vidas, esas vidas que transcurren aquí abajo, no son más que vidas pequeñas y oscuras; son viles y carecen de pureza, y, aún más, manchan toda pureza. El que vuelva la vista hacia estas vidas no verá ya la vida pura, ni vivirá tampoco esta vida inteligible que comprende en sí todas las vidas y en la que nada hay que no viva, y que no viva con una vida plena de pureza y privada de todo mal. Los males son algo característico de este mundo, en el que sólo se da una huella de la vida y de la inteligencia. Allá, en el mundo inteligible; se encuentra el verdadero modelo, lo que (Platón  ) llama "la apariencia del bien", porque tiene en sí el Bien merced a las ideas1. Existe el Bien y existe además una Inteligencia que es buena porque lo propio de su vida es la contemplación. Los seres que esta inteligencia contempla tienen la forma del Bien y ella los posee efectivamente porque contempla la naturaleza del Bien. El Bien viene a ella no como es en el mundo inteligible, sino como la Inteligencia puede retenerlo. El Bien es un principio y de El saca la Inteligencia los seres que ella produce. Porque en cuanto la Inteligencia mira hacia el Bien ya no le es lícito pensar otra cosa que lo que hay en El; de otro modo, ella misma no podría ser inteligencia productora. Del Bien recibe la Inteligencia el poder de engendrar y de satisfacerse con lo que ella engendra, pues es el Bien quien le da lo que ella no tiene. Del Uno proviene para la Inteligencia la multiplicidad, cuya potencia no puede ella acoger, por lo cual la rompe y la multiplica todavía más, al objeto de poder sobrellevarla, aunque sea parte por parte. Todo lo que la Inteligencia engendra hay que atribuirlo a la potencia del Bien, y ella misma es buena y tiene la apariencia del Bien porque procede de seres que también la poseen; presenta, pues, el Bien en su variedad. Por tanto, si alguien la comparase a una esfera viva y variada y se la representase como un ser sobre cuyo rostro se manifiesta el resplandor de los seres vivos, o incluso se la imaginase como una reunión de todas las almas puras y completas, culminadas por la inteligencia universal que resplandece sobre estas regiones, a las que ilumina con su luz intelectual, la vería ciertamente desde fuera y lo mismo que un ser ve a otro. Pero necesitaría entonces, para una visión perfecta, convertirse él mismo en inteligencia y hacerse igualmente objeto de contemplación.

Bouillet

XV (59). Qui pourra donc contempler cette Vie multiple et universelle, première et une, sans être épris d’elle et sans mépriser toute autre espèce de vie? Car ce sont de véritables ténèbres que ces vies d’ici-bas, vies faibles, impuissantes, incomplètes, dont l’impureté souille la pureté des autres vies. Dès que vous regardez ces vies impures, vous ne voyez plus les autres, vous ne vivez plus avec toutes ces vies dans lesquelles tout est vivant et affranchi de toute impureté, de tout contact du mal. En effet, le mal ne règne qu’ici-bas (60), où nous n’avons qu’un vestige de l’Intelligence et de la vie intelligible. Au contraire, dans le monde intelligible existe cet archétype qui possède la forme du Bien (τὸ ἀρχέτυπον τὸ ἀγαθοειδές), comme le dit Platon   (61), parce qu’il possède le Bien par les formes [par les idées]. Autre chose est en effet le Bien absolu, autre chose l’Intelligence, qui est bonne parce que sa vie consiste à contempler. Les objets que l’Intelligence contemple sont les essences qui ont la forme du Bien et qu’elle possède depuis le moment où elle a contemplé le Bien. Elle l’a reçu, non tel qu’il était en lui-même, mais tel qu’elle a pu le recevoir. Le Bien est en effet le principe suprême. L’Intelligence tient de lui sa perfection; si elle a engendré tous les intelligibles, c’est à lui qu’elle le doit : d’un côté, elle ne pouvait considérer le Bien sans penser ; d’un autre côté, elle ne devait pas voir en lui les intelligibles ; autrement, elle ne les eût pas engendrés. Ainsi, l’Intelligence a reçu du Bien la puissance d’engendrer et de se remplir de ce qu’elle a engendré (62). Le Bien ne possède pas lui-même les choses dont il a ainsi fait don : car il est absolument un, et ce qu’il a donné à l’Intelligence est multiple. Incapable d’embrasser dans sa plénitude et de posséder dans son unité la puissance qu’elle recevait, l’Intelligence l’a brisée en mille fragments et l’a rendue multiple pour la posséder au moins par parties. Ainsi, toutes les essences engendrées par l’Intelligence procèdent de la puissance qu’elle tient du Bien et elles en portent la forme ; comme l’Intelligence est bonne elle-même et qu’elle est composée de choses qui portent la forme du Bien, elle est un bien varié. Pour se la représenter, qu’on s’imagine une sphère variée et vivante, ou un composé de faces animées et brillantes ; ou bien qu’on se figure encore les âmes pures, parfaites et complètes dans leur essence, unies toutes ensemble par leur sommet, puis l’Intelligence universelle assise à ce sommet et illuminant toute la région intelligible. Nous supposons ici que celui qui se figure cette image la considère comme une chose placée hors de lui; mais [pour contempler l’Intelligence], il faut devenir l’Intelligence, et se donner ensuite le spectacle de soi-même.

Guthrie

ALL SOULS ARE UNITED BY THEIR HIGHEST, WITH INTELLIGENCE SHINING DOWN FROM THE PEAK THEY FORM.

15. Who then will be able to contemplate this multiple and universal Life, primary and one, without being charmed therewith, and without scorning every other kind of life? For our lives here below, that are so weak, impotent, incomplete, whose impurity soils other lives, can be considered as nothing but tenebrous. As soon as you consider these lives, you no longer see the others, you no longer live with these other lives in which everything is living; which are relieved of all impurity, and of all contact with evil. Indeed, evil reigns here below only; here where we have but a trace of Intelligence and of the intelligible life. On the contrary, in the intelligible world exists “that archetype which is beneficent (which possesses the form of Good”), as says Plato  , because it possesses good by the forms (that is, by the ideas). Indeed, the absolute Good is something different from the Intelligence which is good only because its life is passed in contemplating the Good. The objects contemplated by Intelligence are the essences which have the form of Good, and which it possesses from the moment it contemplates the Good. Intelligence receives the Good, not such as the Good is in itself, but such as Intelligence is capable of receiving it. The Good is indeed the supreme principle. From the Good therefore, Intelligence derives its perfection; to the Good Intelligence owes its begetting of all the intelligible entities; on the one hand, Intelligence could not consider the Good without thinking it; on the other, it must not have seen in the Good the intelligible entities, otherwise, Intelligence itself could not have begotten them. Thus Intelligence has, from the Good, received the power to beget, and to fill itself with that which it has begotten. The Good does not Himself possess the things which He thus donates; for He is absolutely one, and that which has been given to Intelligence is manifold. Incapable in its plenitude to embrace, and in its unity to possess the power it was receiving, Intelligence split it up, thus rendering it manifold, so as to possess it at least in fragments. Thus everything begotten by Intelligence proceeds from the power derived from the Good, and bears its form; as intelligence itself is good, and as it is composed of things that bear the form of Good, it is a varied good. The reader may be assisted in forming a conception of it by imagining a variegated living sphere, or a composite of animated and brilliant faces. Or again, imagine pure souls, pure and complete (in their essence), all united by their highest (faculties), and then universal Intelligence seated on this summit, and illuminating the whole intelligible region. In this simile, the reader who imagines it considers it as something outside of himself; but (to contemplate Intelligence) one has to become Intelligence, and then give oneself a panorama of oneself.

MacKenna

15. That Life, the various, the all-including, the primal and one, who can consider it without longing to be of it, disdaining all the other?

All other life is darkness, petty and dim and poor; it is unclean and polluting the clean for if you do but look upon it you no longer see nor live this life which includes all living, in which there is nothing that does not live and live in a life of purity void of all that is ill. For evil is here where life is in copy and Intellect in copy; There is the archetype, that which is good in the very Idea - we read - as holding The Good in the pure Idea. That Archetype is good; Intellectual-Principle is good as holding its life by contemplation of the archetype; and it sees also as good the objects of its contemplation because it holds them in its act of contemplating the Principle of Good. But these objects come to it not as they are There but in accord with its own condition, for it is their source; they spring thence to be here, and Intellectual-Principle it is that has produced them by its vision There. In the very law, never, looking to That, could it fail of Intellectual Act; never, on the other hand, could it produce what is There; of itself it could not produce; Thence it must draw its power to bring forth, to teem with offspring of itself; from the Good it takes what itself did not possess. From that Unity came multiplicity to Intellectual-Principle; it could not sustain the power poured upon it and therefore broke it up; it turned that one power into variety so as to carry it piecemeal.

All its production, effected in the power of The Good, contains goodness; it is good, itself, since it is constituted by these things of good; it is Good made diverse. It might be likened to a living sphere teeming with variety, to a globe of faces radiant with faces all living, to a unity of souls, all the pure souls, not faulty but the perfect, with Intellect enthroned over all so that the place entire glows with Intellectual splendour.

But this would be to see it from without, one thing seeing another; the true way is to become Intellectual-Principle and be, our very selves, what we are to see.