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Plotino - Tratado 38,33 (VI, 7, 33) — O desprovido de forma como fonte da beleza

Enéada VI, 7, 33

domingo 27 de março de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulos 31-42: O Bem está na origem e na fonte da vida, do Intelecto e da alma: eis porque é desprovido de pensar, de conhecimento e de ser.

  • Cap 31: A subida alma para o Bem.
  • Cap 32-33: A alma se dirige para o que é desprovido de forma, pois aí está a fonte de toda beleza e de todo desejo.
  • Cap 34-35: Indo além do Intelecto, a alma realiza a união com ela mesma e reencontra seu princípio.
  • Cap 36: Posição do problema: pode-se dizer que o Bem pensa?
  • Cap 37: Exame e refutação da doutrina aristotélica de um Intelecto primeiro que se pensa ele mesmo.
  • Cap 38-39: A doutrina platônica do ser e do conhecimento.
  • Cap 40-41: A condição do Bem, que é absolutamente um, primeiro e autárcico, o impede de fazer ato de pensamento, pois o ato de pensar supõe o ser do que é pensado e um princípio que suscita o pensamento, o que é incompatível com o estatuto do Bem
  • Cap 42: A hierarquia do real.

Míguez

33. De ahí que cuando hablamos de la belleza debamos huir sobre todo de pensar en una forma y de colocarla ante nuestros ojos. En este caso, vendríamos a caer de la belleza misma en esas cosas que llamamos bellas por una oscura participación en la belleza. La esencia informada es ya bella, si es verdaderamente una esencia. Su belleza será tanto mayor cuanto más despojada esté de toda forma, así por ejemplo, de la forma del lenguaje con la que separamos unas cosas de otras y hacemos diferentes la justicia y la prudencia, aunque ambas sean algo bello. En cuanto la Inteligencia piensa en un ser particular queda de hecho disminuida, incluso aunque aprehenda a la vez todo lo que se da en el mundo inteligible; si aprehende a cada ser en particular, entonces lo que hace es poseer una sola forma inteligible, mientras que si aprehende a todos los seres a un tiempo adquiere una variedad de formas, lo que no impide, desde luego, que siga estando incompleta. Porque la Inteligencia debe contemplar, por encima de la variedad, la belleza total, verdaderamente variada y sin variedad, belleza a la que el alma aspira sin que pueda decir por qué motivo la desea. La razón nos advierte, con todo, que ésta es la realidad verdadera, si la naturaleza de lo que es perfecto y deseable consiste en una realidad totalmente informada.

Por ello todo ser tendente a una forma y que se hace manifiesto al alma, dará motivo para que ésta busque, por encima de él, la realidad que produce esa forma. Nos dice aquí el razonamiento que tanto el ser que posee la forma como la forma misma son susceptibles de medida; no constituyen, pues, una realidad autárquica ni una belleza por sí misma, sino que resultan de una mezcla. Y no cabe duda que ambos son bellos, aunque la realidad verdadera, que todavía supera a lo bello, no ofrezca campo a la medición. Siendo así, esta realidad no debe tener forma ni ser una forma. Lo primero carece, pues, de forma; la belleza es ahí nada menos que la naturaleza del bien inteligible.

Tendríamos una prueba de esto en la propia experiencia de los amantes; éstos, en tanto se atienen al elemento sensible realmente no aman; pero, cuando de resultas de ello se forjan en su alma indivisible una imagen no sensible, entonces nace su amor. Y buscan naturalmente el encuentro visible con el amado, mas con un claro objetivo, el de que esa imagen cobre nueva vida y no se marchite. Si tuviesen conciencia de que conviene alcanzar todavía una realidad más desnuda de forma, no existe duda que intentarían llegar a ella. Porque ya desde un principio experimentaban en sí mismos que el amor de esta luz borrosa les inclinaba a otra luz mayor.

La forma es, por tanto, una huella de algo sin forma. Esta realidad sin forma engendra la forma, sin que sea posible lo contrario. La engendra nada más presentarse la materia. La materia, sin embargo, se halla necesariamente en el punto más alejado, ya que no posee en sí forma alguna y ni siquiera las formas últimas. Por consiguiente, si lo amado no es la materia, sino más bien el ser informado por la forma; si la forma que se da en la materia proviene del alma; si el alma es sobre todo forma y objeto amado; si la Inteligencia es forma y, aun en mayor medida, objeto deseado, convendrá aceptar sin lugar a dudas que la naturaleza primera de lo Bello es una naturaleza sin forma.

Bouillet

XXXΙΙΙ. Quand nous parlons de Beauté absolue, il faut donc nous éloigner de toute forme déterminée, ne nous en mettre aucune sous les yeux ; sinon, nous nous exposerions à descendre delà Beauté absolue à une chose qui ne mérite le nom de belle qu’en vertu d’une obscure et faible participation (116), tandis que la Beauté absolue est une idée sans forme (εἶδος ἄμορφον), si l’on admet toutefois qu’elle soit une idée. Ainsi, c’est par l’abstraction que vous vous rapprocherez de la Forme universelle (117); retranchez même la forme qui se trouve dans la raison [dans l’essence] et par laquelle nous distinguons un objet d’un autre, retranchez, par exemple, la différence qui sépare la tempérance de la justice (quoique toutes deux soient belles) : car, par cela seul que l’intelligence conçoit un objet comme quelque chose de propre, l’objet qu’elle conçoit est amoindri, cet objet fût-il l’ensemble des intelligibles; et, d’un autre côté, si chacun d’eux pris à part a une forme unique, tous pris ensemble offrent une certaine variété.

Il reste à considérer comment il faut concevoir Celui qui est supérieure l’Intelligence si pleine de beauté et de variété, mais qui lui-même n’est pas varié. L’âme aspire à lui sans savoir pourquoi elle désire le posséder; mais la raison nous dit qu’il est la Beauté essentielle (118), puisque la nature de Celui qui est excellent et souverainement aimable doit n’avoir absolument aucune forme. C’est pourquoi, quel que soit l’objet que vous montriez à l’âme en ramenant cet objet à une forme, elle cherche toujours au delà le principe qui a donné la forme (τὸ μορφῶσαν). Or la raison enseigne que ce qui a une forme, que la forme ou l’idée est quelque chose de mesuré, que par conséquent elle n’est pas une chose véritablement universelle, absolue, belle par elle-même, et que sa beauté est mélangée. Les intelligibles sont donc beaux [mais ils ont une mesure], tandis que Celui qui est la Beauté essentielle (τὸ ὄντως) ou plutôt la Beauté transcendante (τὸ ὑπέρκαλον} doit n’être pas quelque chose de mesuré, doit par conséquent n’avoir pas de forme, n’être pas une idée. Ainsi Celui qui est la Beauté au premier degré, la Beauté première, est supérieur à l’idée, et la splendeur de l’intelligible n’est qu’un reflet de la nature du Bien.

On en trouve la preuve dans ce qui arrive aux amants : tant que leurs yeux restent attachés sur un objet sensible, ils n’aiment pas encore véritablement; mais dès qu’ils s’élèvent au-dessus de l’objet sensible et qu’ils arrivent à s’en représenter dans l’âme, qui est indivisible, une image qui n’a plus rien de sensible, alors l’amour nait en eux. Ils souhaitent encore contempler l’objet aimé pour calmer l’ardeur qui les dévore ; mais s’ils comprennent qu’il faut s’élever à quelque chose qui soit plus éloigné de toute forme, ils le désirent aussitôt: car ce qu’il y a en eux dès le commencement, c’est l’amour qu’une faible clarté leur inspire pour une grande lumière. La forme est en effet le vestige de Celui qui n’a pas de forme. Celui-ci engendre donc la forme sans avoir lui-même de forme, et il l’engendre quand la matière s’approche de lui. Or la matière est nécessairement fort éloignée de lui, puisqu’elle n’a pas même une des formes du dernier degré. Ainsi, puisque ce qui nous parait aimable n’est pas la matière qui a été façonnée par la forme, puisque la forme qui est dans la matière vient de l’âme, que l’âme est une forme supérieure, mais inférieure encore à l’Intelligence et moins aimable qu’elle, il faut admettre que la nature première du Beau est supérieure à toute forme.

Guthrie

ABSOLUTE BEAUTY IS A FORMLESS SHAPE.

33. When we speak of absolute Beauty, we must therefore withdraw from all determinate shape, setting none before the eyes (of our mind); otherwise, we would expose ourselves to descending from absolute beauty to something which does not deserve the name of beauty but by virtue of an obscure and feeble participation; while absolute Beauty is a shapeless form, if it be at all allowed to be an idea (or form). Thus you may approach the universal Shape only by abstraction. Abstract even the form found in the reason (that is, the essence), by which we distinguish one action from another. Abstract, for instance, the difference that separates temperance from justice, though both be beautiful. For by the mere fact that intelligence conceives an object as something proper, the object that it conceives is diminished, even though this object were the totality of intelligible entities; and, on the other hand, if each of them, taken apart, have a single form, nevertheless all taken together will offer a certain variety.

THE SUPREME IS ESSENTIAL BEAUTY; THE SHAPELESS SHAPER; TRANSCENDENT.

We still have to study the proper conception of Him who is superior to the Intelligence that is so universally beautiful and varied, but who Himself is not varied. To Him the soul aspires without knowing why she wishes to possess Him; but reason tells us He is essential beauty, since the nature of Him who is excellent and sovereignly lovable cannot absolutely have any form. That is why the soul, whatever object you may show her in your process of reducing an object to a form, ever seeks beyond the shaping principle. Now reason tells us in respect to anything that has a shape, that as a shape or form is something measured (or limited), (anything shaped) cannot be genuinely universal, absolute, and beautiful in itself, and that its beauty is a mixture. Therefore though the intelligible entities be beautiful (they are limited); while He who is essential beauty, or rather the super-beautiful, must be unlimited, and consequently have no shape or form. He who then is beauty in the first degree, and primary Beauty, is superior to form, and the splendor of the intelligible (world) is only a reflection of the nature of the Good.

THUS LOVE BEGINS PHYSICALLY BUT BECOMES SPIRITUAL.

This is proved by what happens to lovers  ; so far as their eyes remain fixed on a sense-object, they do not yet love genuinely. Love is born only when they rise above the sense-object, and arrive at representing in their indivisible soul an image which has nothing more of sensation. To calm the ardor that devours them they do indeed still desire to contemplate the beloved object; but as soon as they come to understand that they have to rise to something beyond the form, they desire the latter; for since the very beginning they felt within themselves the love for a great light inspired by a feeble glow. The Shape indeed is the trace of the shapeless. Without himself having any shape, He begets shape whenever matter approaches Him. Now matter must necessarily be very distant from Him, because matter does not possess forms of even the last degree. Since form inherent in matter is derived from the soul, not even mere form-fashioned matter is lovable in itself, as matter; and as the soul herself is a still higher form, but yet is inferior to and less lovable than intelligence, there is no escape from the conclusion that the primary nature of the Beautiful is superior to form.

MacKenna

33. When therefore we name beauty, all such shape must be dismissed; nothing visible is to be conceived, or at once we descend from beauty to what but bears the name in virtue of some faint participation. This formless Form is beautiful as Form, beautiful in proportion as we strip away all shape even that given in thought to mark difference, as for instance the difference between Justice and Sophrosyne, beautiful in their difference.

The Intellectual-Principle is the less for seeing things as distinct even in its act of grasping in unity the multiple content of its Intellectual realm; in its knowing of the particular it possesses itself of one Intellectual shape; but, even thus, in this dealing with variety as unity, it leaves us still with the question how we are to envisage that which stands beyond this all-lovely, beyond this principle at once multiple and above multiplicity, the Supreme for which the soul hungers though unable to tell why such a being should stir its longing-reason, however, urging that This at last is the Authentic Term because the Nature best and most to be loved may be found there only where there is no least touch of Form. Bring something under Form and present it so before the mind; immediately we ask what Beyond imposed that shape; reason answers that while there exists the giver having shape to give - a giver that is shape, idea, an entirely measured thing - yet this is not alone, is not adequate in itself, is not beautiful in its own right but is a mingled thing. Shape and idea and measure will always be beautiful, but the Authentic Beauty and the Beyond-Beauty cannot be under measure and therefore cannot have admitted shape or be Idea: the primal existent, The First, must be without Form; the beauty in it must be, simply, the Nature of the Intellectual Good.

Take an example from love: so long as the attention is upon the visible form, love has not entered: when from that outward form the lover elaborates within himself, in his own partless soul, an immaterial image, then it is that love is born, then the lover longs for the sight of the beloved to make that fading image live again. If he could but learn to look elsewhere, to the more nearly formless, his longing would be for that: his first experience was loving a great luminary by way of some thin gleam from it.

Shape is an impress from the unshaped; it is the unshaped that produces shape, not shape the unshaped; and Matter is needed for the producing; Matter, in the nature of things, is the furthest away, since of itself it has not even the lowest degree of shape. Thus lovableness does not belong to Matter but to that which draws upon Form: the Form upon Matter comes by way of soul; soul is more nearly Form and therefore more lovable; Intellectual-Principle, nearer still, is even more to be loved: by these steps we are led to know that the First Principle, principle of Beauty, must be formless.