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Plotino - Tratado 38,40 (VI, 7, 40) — A condição do Bem, que é absolutamente um, primeiro e autárcico

Enéada VI, 7, 40

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

40. Todos aquellos que se han acercado a él saben de cierto que no conviene atribuirle el pensamiento. Sin embargo, deberán añadirse otras argumentaciones a lo que ya se ha dicho, si es que procede seguir sirviéndose del lenguaje. Oportuno será unir al convencimiento la fuerza de la demostración.

Desde luego, ha de tenerse por sabido que todo pensamiento proviene de un ser y es pensamiento de un ser. Unido a la cosa de la que proviene, tiene por sujeto el ser   del que es pensamiento. Y se origina además al añadirse a ese ser del que es acto, cuya potencia viene a completar aunque sin engendrar para ello nada. Es, pues, la realización del ser del que es pensamiento.

Por tanto, si el pensamiento se encuentra unido a la esencia y hace que ésta exista, no puede hallarse en ese principio del que proviene; sí así fuese, realmente no engendraría nada. Como potencia que es de engendrar, engendra en sí mismo  . Su acto es su esencia, y él mismo permanece con la esencia y está en la esencia. He aquí, pues, que pensamiento y esencia no son algo diferente; hasta tal punto que si esta naturaleza se piensa a sí misma sólo se apreciará una diferencia lógica   entre el sujeto pensante y el objeto pensado, que es una multiplicidad como ya se ha mostrado en varías ocasiones. Estamos entonces ante el acto primero, que es el acto que hace existir la esencia. La esencia misma es como la imagen de otro principio, lo suficientemente grande para dar realidad a su ser. Si se tratase de un acto del Bien y no de un acto que proviene del Bien, no seria otra cosa que acto del Bien y carecería de existencia en sí mismo. Pero, como se trata del acto primero y del pensamiento primero, no tiene antes que él acto ni pensamiento alguno. Al pasar de una situación a otra, de la esencia y del pensamiento a algo que no es ya ni esencia ni pensamiento, se llega a un principio verdaderamente admirable, más allá de la esencia y del pensamiento. Este principio no tiene en sí ni esencia ni pensamiento, sino que está aislado en sí mismo y no necesita para nada de las cosas que salen de él 1 .

La producción del acto por parte de este principio no se realiza con una actuación previa. De este modo, el principio estaría en acto antes de que el acto fuese engendrado. Y no es asimismo pensando como engendra el pensamiento, pues también en esta coyuntura tendría necesidad de pensar   antes de que existiese el pensamiento. Si en absoluto este pensamiento es el pensamiento del Bien, ha de ser luego inferior   al Bien; de modo que no pertenecerá al Bien, y al decir esto no quiero afirmar que no sea posible pensar el Bien, sino que doy esto por hecho y digo en realidad que el pensamiento no se encuentra en el Bien pues en ese caso el pensamiento y el Bien mismo serían una sola cosa. Dado que el pensamiento es inferior al Bien existirá al propio tiempo que la esencia; porque si precediese a ésta, lo inteligible quedaría en un rango inferior al pensamiento.

Podemos decir, por tanto, que el pensamiento no está en el Bien, sino que es inferior a El y es por quien toma todo su valor  . Pero el pensamiento se halla en otra parte y deja al Bien tan alejado de las otras cosas como de sí mismo. Libre de todo pensamiento, el Bien es lo que es en toda su pureza   y no se ve impedido por la presencia del pensamiento que le haría perder su pureza y su unidad. Si lo imaginásemos a la vez como sujeto pensante y objeto pensado, como esencia y como pensamiento unido a esta esencia, y sí quisiésemos además que se pensase a sí mismo, tendríamos necesidad de otro Bien que le precediese. Ya que si el acto y el pensamiento son como la realización de otio sujeto o una realidad que coexiste con él, ello trae como supuesto una naturaleza anterior   y diferente de aquélla, naturaleza que hace posible con razón el acto mismo de pensar.

El pensamiento tiene materia para pensar porque algo existe antes que él; y cuando se piensa a sí mismo trata de conocer lo que hay por la contemplación de un ser diferente. Si admitimos que el pensamiento nada tiene delante de sí y que nada en él proviene de otro ser, ¿qué es entonces lo que podrá pensar y cómo se pensará a sí mismo? ¿Qué buscaría y desearía? Como busca hasta donde llega su potencia, ésta será exterior a él en tanto él la piensa. Y digo esto siempre que la potencia que llega a conocer sea algo distinto a la potencia por medio de la que conoce. Si estas dos potencias fuesen una sola cosa, ¿qué buscaría el pensamiento?

Bouillet

XL. Que la pensée ne puisse convenir au Premier principe, c’est ce que savent ceux qui se sont élevés jusqu’à lui (147). Ajoutons cependant quelques raisons à ce que nous avons déjà dit (si toutefois la parole peut ici exprimer notre idée) : car il faut à la persuasion joindre une démonstration rigoureuse (148).

Remarquons d’abord que toute pensée est dans un sujet et provient d’un objet. Celle qui est unie à l’objet dont elle provient a pour sujet l’être auquel elle appartient; inhérente à lui, elle est son acte, elle complète sa puissance, sans cependant rien engendrer elle-même : car elle appartient au sujet seul dont elle est le complément. La Pensée qui est unie à l’Essence et qui la fait subsister ne saurait être dans l’objet dont elle provient : car étant en lui, elle n’eût rien engendré. Or, ayant la puissance d’engendrer, elle a engendré en elle-même (149) : elle a pour acte l’Essence et elle lui est unie. Ainsi la Pensée n’est pas une chose différente de l’Essence ; en tant que cette nature se pense elle-même, elle ne se pense pas comme étant une chose différente : car la seule multiplicité qu’il y ait en elle est celle qui résulte de la distinction logique du sujet intelligent et de l’objet intelligible, comme nous l’avons souvent montré. C’est là le premier acte qui a engendré une hypostase en constituant l’Essence ; et cet acte est l’image d’un principe si grand qu’il est devenu lui-même Essence. Si la Pensée appartenait au Bien au lieu d’en provenir, elle ne serait qu’un attribut, elle ne serait pas une hypostase en elle-même. Étant le premier acte et la première pensée, cette Pensée n’a ni acte ni pensée au-dessus d’elle. Donc, en s’élevant au-dessus de cette Essence et de cette Pensée, on ne rencontrera plus au delà une autre essence ni une autre pensée; mais on arrivera au Principe supérieur à l’essence et à la pensée, Principe admirable, qui n’a en lui ni pensée ni essence, qui habite solitaire eu lui-même et n’a nul besoin des choses qui procèdent de lui. Il n’a pas agi d’abord, puis engendré un acte [il n’a pas commencé par penser pour engendrer ensuite la Pensée] ; sinon, il aurait pensé avant que la Pensée fût née. En un mot la Pensée, étant la pensée du Bien, est au-dessous de lui, par conséquent elle ne lui appartient pas. Je dis : ne lui appartient pas, non que je nie que le Bien puisse être pensé (car je l’admets), mais parce que la Pensée ne saurait exister dans le Bien ; sinon, le Bien et ce qui est au-dessous du Bien (c’est-à-dire la pensée du Bien) ne feraient qu’un. Or, si le Bien est une chose inférieure, il sera à la fois la Pensée et l’Essence ; si au contraire le Bien est supérieur à la Pensée, il doit l’être également à l’Intelligible (150).

Puis donc que la Pensée n’existe pas dans le Bien, qu’elle est au contraire inférieure au Bien et qu’elle doit ainsi en vénérer la majesté, elle constitue un principe différent, et elle laisse le Bien pur et dégagé d’elle comme des autres choses. Indépendant delà Pensée, le Bien est sans mélange ce qu’il est. La présence de la Pensée ne l’empêche pas d’être pur et un. Si l’on suppose que le Bien est à la fois sujet pensant el objet pensé, Essence et Pensée unie à l’Essence, si on le fait ainsi se penser lui-même (151), il aura besoin d’une autre chose, et cette chose sera au-dessus de lui. Comme l’Acte et la Pensée sont le complément ou l’hypostase consubstantielle d’un autre sujet, la Pensée suppose au-dessus d’elle une autre nature à laquelle elle doit le pouvoir de penser : car pour que la Pensée pense quelque chose, il faut qu’elle ait quelque chose au-dessus d’elle. Quand elle se connaît elle-même, elle connaît ce qu’elle a reçu par la contemplation de cette autre nature. Quant à Celui qui n’a rien au-dessus de lui, qui ne tient rien d’un autre principe, que pourrait-il penser, et comment pourrait-il se penser lui-même? Que chercherait-il, et que souhaiterait-il? Voudrait-il connaître la grandeur de sa puissance? Mais elle lui serait extérieure par cela même qu’il la penserait : je dis extérieure, si la puissance qui connaissait en lui différait de celle qui serait connue; si au contraire les deux ne font qu’un, qu’a-t-il à chercher?

Guthrie

THE FIRST PRINCIPLE HAS NO THOUGHT AS THE FIRST ACTUALIZATION OF A HYPOSTASIS  .

40. That thought is incompatible with the first Principle is something well   known by all those who have (in ecstasy) risen to Him. To what we have already said, we shall however add several arguments, if indeed we succeed in expressing thought comprehensibly; for conviction should be fortified by demonstration. In the first place, observe that all thought exists within a subject, and proceeds from some object. Thought that is connected with the object from which it is derived, has the being to which it belongs, as subject. It inheres in him because it is his actualization, and completes his potentiality, without, itself, producing anything; for it belongs exclusively to the subject whose complement it is. Thought that is hypostatically united with “being,” and which underlies its existence, could not inhere in the object from which it proceeds; for, had it remained in him, it would not have produced anything. Now, having the potentiality of producing, it produced within itself; its actualization was “being,” and it was united thereto. Thus thought is not something different from “being”; so far as this nature thinks itself, it does not think itself as being something different; for the only multiplicity therein is that which results from the logical distinction of intelligent subject (thinker) and intelligible object (the being thought), as we have often pointed out. That is the first actualization which produced a hypostasis (or, form of existence), while constituting “being”; and this actualization is the image of a Principle so great that itself has become “being.” If thought belonged to the Good, instead of proceeding therefrom, it would be no more than an attribute; it would not, in itself, be a hypostatic form of existence. Being the first actualization and the first thought, this thought has neither actualization nor thought above it. Therefore, by rising above this “being” and this thought, neither further “being” nor thought will be met with; we would arrive to the Principle superior to “being,” and thought, an admirable principle, which contains neither thought nor being, which in solitary guise dwells within itself, and which has no need of the things which proceed from Him. He did not first act, and then produce an actualization (he did not begin by thinking in order later to produce thought); otherwise, he would have thought before thought was born. In short, thought, being the thought of good, is beneath Him, and consequently does not belong to Him. I say: “does not belong to Him,” not denying that the Good can be thought (for this, I admit); but because thought could not exist in the Good; otherwise, the Good and that which is beneath it — namely, the thought of Good — would fuse. Now, if the good be something inferior, it will simultaneously be thought and being; if, on the contrary, good be superior to thought, it must likewise belong to the Intelligible.

EVEN IF THE GOOD THOUGHT, THERE WOULD BE NEED OF SOMETHING SUPERIOR.

Since therefore thought does not exist in the Good, and since, on the contrary, it is inferior to the Good, and since it must thus worship its majesty, (thought) must constitute a different principle, and leaves the Good pure and disengaged from it, as well as from other things. Independent of thought, the Good is what it is without admixture. The presence of the Good does not hinder it from being pure and single. If we were to suppose that Good is both thinking subject and thought object (thinker and thought) or “being,” and thought connected with “being,” if thus we make it think itself, it will need something else, and thus things will be above it. As actualization and thought are the complement or the consubstantial hypostasis (or, form of existence) of another subject, thought implies above it another nature to which it owes the power of thinking; for thought cannot think anything without something above it. When thought knows itself, it knows what it received by the contemplation of this other nature. As to Him who has nothing above Him, who derives nothing from any other principle, what could He think, and how could He think himself? What would He seek, and what would He desire? Would He desire to know the greatness of His power? But by the mere fact of His thinking it, it would have become external to Him; I call it exterior, if the cognizing power within Him differed from that which would be known; if on the contrary they fuse, what would He seek?

MacKenna

40. That there can be no intellection in the First will be patent to those that have had such contact; but some further confirmation is desirable, if indeed words can carry the matter; we need overwhelming persuasion.

It must be borne in mind   that all intellection rises in some principle and takes cognisance of an object. But a distinction is to be made:

There is the intellection that remains within its place of origin; it has that source as substratum but becomes a sort of addition to it in that it is an activity of that source perfecting the potentiality there, not by producing anything but as being a completing power to the principle in which it inheres. There is also the intellection inbound with Being - Being’s very author - and this could not remain confined to the source since there it could produce nothing; it is a power to production; it produces therefore of its own motion and its act is Real-Being and there it has its dwelling. In this mode the intellection is identical with Being; even in its self-intellection no distinction is made save the logical distinction of thinker and thought with, as we have often observed, the implication of plurality.

This is a first activity and the substance it produces is Essential Being; it is an image, but of an original so great that the very copy stands a reality. If instead of moving outward it remained with the First, it would be no more than some appurtenance of that First, not a self-standing existent.

At the earliest activity and earliest intellection, it can be preceded by no act or intellection: if we pass beyond this being and this intellection we come not to more being and more intellection but to what overpasses both, to the wonderful which has neither, asking nothing of these products and standing its unaccompanied self.

That all-transcending cannot have had an activity by which to produce this activity - acting before act existed - or have had thought in order to produce thinking - applying thought before thought exists - all intellection, even of the Good, is beneath it.

In sum, this intellection of the Good is impossible: I do not mean that it is impossible to have intellection of the Good - we may admit the possibility but there can be no intellection by The Good itself, for this would be to include the inferior with the Good.

If intellection is the lower, then it will be bound up with Being; if intellection is the higher, its object is lower. Intellection, then, does not exist in the Good; as a lesser, taking its worth through that Good, it must stand apart from it, leaving the Good unsoiled by it as by all else. Immune from intellection the Good remains incontaminably what it is, not impeded by the presence of the intellectual act which would annul its purity and unity.

Anyone making the Good at once Thinker and Thought identifies it with Being and with the Intellection vested in Being so that it must perform that act of intellection: at once it becomes necessary to find another principle, one superior to that Good: for either this act, this intellection, is a completing power of some such principle, serving as its ground, or it points, by that duality, to a prior principle having intellection as a characteristic. It is because there is something before it that it has an object of intellection; even in its self-intellection, it may be said to know its content by its vision of that prior.

What has no prior and no external accompaniment could have no intellection, either of itself or of anything else. What could it aim at, what desire? To essay its power of knowing? But this would make the power something outside itself; there would be, I mean, the power it grasped and the power by which it grasped: if there is but the one power, what is there to grasp at?