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Plotino - Tratado 9,3 (VI, 9, 3) — A unidade verdadeira, o Uno, é o princípio que precede todas as coisas e do qual derivam todas as coisas

Enéada VI, 9, 3

sábado 26 de março de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 3: A unidade verdadeira, o Uno, é o princípio que precede todas as coisas e do qual derivam todas as coisas.

  • 1-14. É difícil falar do Uno, o princípio da unidade, e de conhecê-lo; isto exige, para as almas, uma longa subida a seu princípio.
  • 14-33. Para realizar a contemplação do Uno, é preciso se dispor no Intelecto puro e "se tornar uno".
  • 33-45. O Uno é mais puro e mais simples que o Intelecto; é portanto além do Intelecto, das formas e daquilo que é, não tem forma, nem mesmo é; nenhuma atributo dele se pode predicar.
  • 45-54. Se o Uno tivesse um ou mais atributos, não seria nem "simples", nem "uno"; eis porque nada lhe convém, nem conhecimento, nem discurso, nem linguagem; quando dele falamos, só fazemos expressar o que dele recebemos.

Tradução desde MacKenna

3. O que é então a unidade e qual é sua natureza? Nada há de surpreendente, sem dúvida, a que não seja fácil de o dizer, posto que não é menos fácil de dizer o que são o ser e a forma, mesmo se nosso conhecimento se funda sobre as formas. Mas na medida que a alma avança para o que não tem forma, ao mesmo tempo sendo incapaz de apreender isso porque ela não é delimitada por isso e que ela não é também, por assim dizer, afetada por uma marca multiforme, ela vacila e teme de nada reter. Eis porque, assim sendo, ela se fadiga e desce frequentemente com o prazer, se afastando de tudo isso, até que ela alcance ao sensível, como se ela encontrasse seu repouso no sólido; da mesma forma, a visão, fatigada de olhar pequenos objetos, se volta com prazer para os grandes. Mas quando a alma quer ver por ela mesma, então, porque ela não pode ver que em se unindo com o que ela pensa, e que ela é uma se ela é uma com ele, ela não crê ainda ter o que ela busca, pois ela não é diferente dele. No entanto, é bem assim que deve fazer aquele que ouve o filosofar sobre a unidade. Logo, posto que o que buscamos é uno, e posto que é para o princípio de todas as coisas que dirigimos nosso olhar, quer dizer para o Bem e o Primeiro, não é preciso se afastar disto que se encontra ao redor das realidades primeiras, em se deixando cair até as últimas de todas as realidades; mas, em se dirigindo para as realidades primeiras, é necessário se afastar dos sensíveis, que são as realidade últimas, e é necessário se liberar de todo vício, pois é ao Bem que a gente se esforça em alcançar; é necessário subir até ao princípio que em nós está, e , de vários que éramos, se tornar um, para aceder à contemplação do princípio que é o Uno. Logo é necessário se tornar Intelecto, e confiar sua alma ao intelecto, a colocar em seu dependência, para que ela possa receber, desperta, o que este vê; deve-se olhar o Uno por meio do intelecto, sem aí adicionar qualquer sensação e sem além do mais admitir nele nada que deriva da sensação, pois é por meio do intelecto puro que é necessário olhar o que é o mais puro; ainda mais, por meio do que é o mais elevado no intelecto. Consequentemente, quando este que se preparou à contemplação de uma tal coisa se representa, nesta natureza, grandeza, contorno ou massa, não é o intelecto que guia sua contemplação — pois não está na natureza do intelecto ver tais coisas —, mas é a atividade da sensação e da opinião que segue a sensação. É necessário em revanche que receba do intelecto o que este último anuncia estar em seu poder: o intelecto pode ver tanto as coisas que possui quanto as coisas que o precedem. Sim, as coisas que nele estão são puras, mas bem mais puras e mais simples ainda são as coisas que o procedem, ou de preferência o que o precede.

Logo o Uno não é não menos o intelecto, mas precede o intelecto; pois o intelecto é certamente uma das coisas que são, enquanto ele, ele não é algo, mas precede cada coisas, posto que não é mesmo; pois justamente o que é possui de certo modo uma figura, aquele do que é, enquanto o Uno é privado de figura, mesmo de figura inteligível. Com efeito, a natureza do Uno, posto que é geradora de todas as coisas, não nenhuma delas. Logo não é nem algo, nem qualidade, nem Intelecto, nem Alma; não está nem «em movimento», nem muito menos em «em repouso», nem «em um lugar», nem «em um tempo», mas é «de forma única em si e por si», ou de preferência, é privado de forma, pois precede toda forma; precede o movimento, precede o repouso; pois estas coisas são relativas ao que é, e elas o rendem múltiplo.

— Logo porque, se não está em movimento, não está em repouso?

— Porque está necessariamente em relação ao que é senão o repouso ou o movimento, ou os dois juntos, se produzem, e que o que está em repouso está em repouso em devido ao repouso, e não porque seria idêntico ao repouso; de sorte que o repouso lhe pertencerá como um atributo, e que não restará mais simples. Pois dizer que o Uni é uma causa, não é lhe dar um atributo a ele, mas de preferência a nós, pois é nós que detemos algo que dele vem, enquanto ele, permanece nele mesmo. Não é preciso dizer nem «ele» nem «é», para falar com exatidão. Mas somos nós que, girando, por assim dizer, ao redor dele do exterior, desejamos exprimir o que experimentamos quando nos aproximamos por vezes dele ou que por vezes nós deles nos afastamos por causa das aporias que surgem a seu respeito.

MacKenna

3. What then must The Unity be, what nature is left for it?

No wonder that to state it is not easy; even Being and Form are not easy, though we have a way, an approach through the Ideas.

The soul or mind reaching towards the formless finds itself incompetent to grasp where nothing bounds it or to take impression where the impinging reality is diffuse; in sheer dread of holding to nothingness, it slips away. The state is painful; often it seeks relief by retreating from all this vagueness to the region of sense, there to rest as on solid ground, just as the sight distressed by the minute rests with pleasure on the bold.

Soul must see in its own way; this is by coalescence, unification; but in seeking thus to know the Unity it is prevented by that very unification from recognising that it has found; it cannot distinguish itself from the object of this intuition. Nonetheless, this is our one resource if our philosophy is to give us knowledge of The Unity.

We are in search of unity; we are to come to know the principle of all, the Good and First; therefore we may not stand away from the realm of Firsts and lie prostrate among the lasts: we must strike for those Firsts, rising from things of sense which are the lasts. Cleared of all evil in our intention towards The Good, we must ascend to the Principle within ourselves; from many, we must become one; only so do we attain to knowledge of that which is Principle and Unity. We shape ourselves into Intellectual-Principle; we make over our soul in trust to Intellectual-Principle and set it firmly in That; thus what That sees the soul will waken to see; it is through the Intellectual-Principle that we have this vision of The Unity; it must be our care to bring over nothing whatever from sense, to allow nothing even of soul to enter into Intellectual-Principle: with Intellect pure, and with the summit of Intellect, we are to see the All-Pure.

If quester has the impression of extension or shape or mass attaching to That Nature he has not been led by Intellectual-Principle which is not of the order to see such things; the activity has been of sense and of the judgement following upon sense: only Intellectual-Principle can inform us of the things of its scope; its competence is upon its priors, its content and its issue: but even its content is outside of sense; and still purer, still less touched by multiplicity, are its priors, or rather its Prior.

The Unity, then, is not Intellectual-Principle but something higher still: Intellectual-Principle is still a being but that First is no being but precedent to all Being; it cannot be a being, for a being has what we may call the shape of its reality but The Unity is without shape, even shape Intellectual.

Generative of all, The Unity is none of all; neither thing nor quantity nor quality nor intellect nor soul; not in motion, not at rest, not in place, not in time: it is the self-defined, unique in form or, better, formless, existing before Form was, or Movement or Rest, all of which are attachments of Being and make Being the manifold it is.

But how, if not in movement, can it be otherwise than at rest?

The answer is that movement and rest are states pertaining to Being, which necessarily has one or the other or both. Besides, anything at rest must be so in virtue of Rest as something distinct: Unity at rest becomes the ground of an attribute and at once ceases to be a simplex.

Note, similarly, that, when we speak of this First as Cause, we are affirming something happening not to it but to us, the fact that we take from this Self-Enclosed: strictly we should put neither a This nor a That to it; we hover, as it were, about it, seeking the statement of an experience of our own, sometimes nearing this Reality, sometimes baffled by the enigma in which it dwells.

Bouillet

[3] Qu’est donc l’Un? Quelle est sa nature? Il n’est point étonnant qu’il soit si difficile de le dire, lorsqu’il est difficile de dire même ce que c’est que l’être, ce que c’est que la forme. Les formes sont cependant le fondement de notre connaissance. Toutes les fois que l’âme s’avance vers ce qui est sans forme (ἀνείδεον), ne pouvant le comprendre parce qu’il n’est point déterminé et n’a point reçu pour ainsi dire l’empreinte d’un type distinctif, elle s’en écarte parce qu’elle craint de n’avoir devant elle que le néant. Aussi se trouble-t-elle en présence des choses de cette sorte, et redescend-elle souvent avec plaisir; alors, s’éloignant d’elles, elle se laisse en quelque sorte tomber jusqu’à ce qu’elle rencontre quelque objet sensible, sur lequel elle s’arrête et s’affermit : semblable à l’œil, qui, fatigué par la contemplation de petits objets, se reporte volontiers sur les grands Lorsque l’âme veut voir par elle-même, voyant alors seulement parce qu’elle est avec l’objet qu’elle voit, et de plus étant une parce qu’elle ne fait qu’un avec cet objet, elle s’imagine que ce qu’elle cherchait lui a échappé, parce qu’elle n’est pas distincte de l’objet qu’elle pense.

Toutefois, celui qui voudra faire une étude philosophique de l’Un devra adopter la marche suivante : puisque c’est l’Un que nous cherchons, puisque c’est le Principe de toutes choses, le Bien, le Premier, que nous considérons, quiconque veut l’atteindre ne s’éloignera pas de ce qui tient le premier rang pour tomber à ce qui occupe le dernier, mais il ramènera son âme des choses sensibles, qui occupent le dernier degré parmi les êtres, aux choses qui tiennent le premier rang; il se délivrera de tout mal puisqu’il souhaite s’élever au Bien; il remontera au principe qu’il possède en lui-même; enfin, il deviendra un 541 de multiple qu’il était ; ce n’est qu’à ces conditions qu’il contemplera le Principe suprême, l’Un (07). Devenu ainsi intelligence, ayant confié son âme à l’intelligence et l’ayant édifiée en elle, afin qu’elle perçoive avec une attention vigilante tout ce que voit l’intelligence, il contemplera l’Un avec celle-ci, sans se servir d’aucun des sens, sans mélanger aucune de leurs perceptions aux données de l’intelligence; il contemplera, dis-je, le principe le plus pur avec l’intelligence pure, avec ce qui en constitue le degré le plus élevé. Lors donc qu’un homme qui s’applique à la contemplation d’un tel principe se le représente comme une grandeur ou une figure ou enfin une forme, ce n’est pas son intelligence qui le guide dans cette contemplation (car l’intelligence n’est pas destinée à voir de telles choses) ; c’est la sensation, ou l’opinion, compagne de la sensation, qui agit en lui.

L’intelligence est seule capable de nous faire connaître les choses qui sont de son ressort. L’Intelligence peut voir et les choses qui sont au-dessus d’elle, et celles qui lui appartiennent, et celles qui procèdent d’elle. Les choses qui appartiennent à l’Intelligence sont pures ; mais elles sont encore moins pures et moins simples que les choses qui sont au-dessus de l’Intelligence ou plutôt que la chose qui est au-dessus d’elle : cette chose n’est point l’Intelligence, elle est supérieure à l’Intelligence. L’Intelligence est en effet être, tandis que le Principe qui est au-dessus d’elle n’est point être, mais est supérieur à 542 tous les êtres. Il n’est point non plus l’Être : car l’Être a une forme spéciale, celle de l’Être (08), et l’Un est sans forme (ἄμορφον), même intelligible. Étant la nature qui engendre toutes choses, l’Un ne peut être aucune d’elles. Il n’est donc ni une certaine chose, ni quantité, ni qualité, ni intelligence, ni âme, ni ce qui se meut, ni ce qui est stable: il n’est ni dans le lieu ni dans le temps ; mais il est l’uniforme en soi (τὸ καθ’ αὐτὸο μονοειδές), ou plutôt il est sans forme (ἀνείδεον), il est au-dessus de toute forme, au-dessus du mouvement et de la stabilité : car tout cela appartient à l’Être et le rend multiple (09). — Mais pourquoi n’est-il point stable, s’il ne se meut point? — C’est qu’une de ces deux choses ou toutes les deux ensemble ne peuvent convenir qu’à l’Être. En outre, ce qui est stable est stable par la stabilité et n’est point identique à la stabilité même ; aussi ne possède-t-il la stabilité que par accident et ne demeure-t-il plus simple.

Qu’on ne vienne pas non plus nous objecter qu’en disant que l’Un est cause première, nous lui attribuons quelque chose de contingent; c’est à nous-mêmes que nous attribuons alors la contingence, puisque c’est nous qui recevons quelque chose de l’Un, tandis que lui il demeure en lui-même.

Pour parler avec exactitude, il ne faut donc pas dire de l’Un qu’il est ceci ou cela [il ne faut lui donner ni un nom, ni un autre]; nous ne pouvons, pour ainsi dire, que tourner autour de lui, et essayer d’exprimer ce que nous éprouvons [par rapport à lui] . car tantôt nous approchons de l’Un, tantôt nous nous éloignons de lui par l’effet de notre incertitude à son égard.

Guthrie

UNITY IS DIFFICULT TO ASCERTAIN BECAUSE THE SOUL IS FEARFUL OF SUCH ABSTRUSE RESEARCHES.

3. What then is unity? What is its nature? It is not surprising that it is so difficult to say so, when it is difficult to explain of what even essence or form consist. But, nevertheless, forms are the basis of our knowledge. Everything that the soul advances towards what is formless, not being able to understand it because it is indeterminate, and so to speak has not received the impression of a distinctive type, the soul withdraws therefrom, fearing she will meet nonentity. That is why, in the presence of such things she grows troubled, and descends with pleasure. Then, withdrawing therefrom, she, so to speak, lets herself fall till she meets some sense-object, on which she pauses, and recovers; just as the eye which, fatigued by the contemplation of small objects, gladly turns back to large ones. When the soul wishes to see by herself, then seeing only because she is the object that she sees, and, further, being one because she forms but one with this object, she imagines that what she sought has escaped, because she herself is not distinct from the object that she thinks.

THE PATH OF SIMPLIFICATION TO UNITY.

Nevertheless a philosophical study of unity will follow the following course. Since it is Unity that we seek, since it is the principle of all things, the Good, the First that we consider, those who will wish to reach it must not withdraw from that which is of primary rank to decline to what occupies the last, but they must withdraw their souls from sense-objects, which occupy the last degree in the scale of existence, to those entities that occupy the first rank. Such a man will have to free himself from all evil, since he aspires to rise to the Good. He will rise to the principle that he possesses within himself. From the manifold that he was he will again become one. Only under these conditions will he contemplate the supreme principle, Unity. Thus having become intelligence, having trusted his soul to intelligence, educating and establishing her therein, so that with vigilant attention she may grasp all that intelligence sees, he will, by intelligence, contemplate unity, without the use of any senses, without mingling any of their perceptions with the flashes of intelligence. He will contemplate the purest Principle, through the highest degree of the purest Intelligence. So when a man applies himself to the contemplation of such a principle and represents it to himself as a magnitude, or a figure, or even a form, it is not his intelligence that guides him in this contemplation for intelligence is not destined to see such things; it is sensation, or opinion, the associate of sensation, which is active in him. Intelligence is only capable of informing us about things within its sphere.

UNITY AS THE UNIFORM IN ITSELF AND FORMLESS SUPERFORM.

Intelligence can see both the things that are above it, those which belong to it, and the things that proceed from it. The things that belong to intelligence are pure; but they are still less pure and less simple than the things that are above Intelligence, or rather than what is above it; this is not Intelligence, and is superior to Intelligence. Intelligence indeed is essence, while the principle above it is not essence, but is superior to all beings. Nor is it essence, for essence has a special form, that of essence, and the One is shapeless even intelligible. As Unity is the nature that begets all things, Unity cannot be any of them. It is therefore neither any particular thing, nor quantity, nor quality, nor intelligence, nor soul, nor what is movable, nor what is stable; it is neither in place nor time; but it is the uniform in itself, or rather it is formless, as it is above all form, above movement and stability. These are my views about essence and what makes it manifold.

WHY IT IS NOT STABLE, THOUGH IT DOES NOT MOVE.

But if it does not move, why does it not possess stability? Because either of these things, or both together, are suitable to nothing but essence. Besides, that which possesses stability is stable through stability, and is not identical with stability itself; consequently it possesses stability only by accident, and would no longer remain simple.

BEING A PRIMARY CAUSE, UNITY IS NOTHING CONTINGENT.

Nor let anybody object that something contingent is attributed to Unity when we call it the primary cause. It is to ourselves that we are then attributing contingency, since it is we who are receiving something from Unity, while Unity remains within itself.

UNITY CANNOT BE DEFINED; WE CAN ONLY REFER TO IT BY OUR FEELINGS OF IT.

Speaking strictly, we should say that the One is this or that (that is, we should not apply any name to it). We can do no more than turn around it, so to speak, trying to express what we feel (in regard to it); for at times we approach Unity, and at times withdraw from it as a result of our uncertainty about it.

Taylor

III. What then will the one be; and what nature will it possess ? Or may we not say that it is not at all wonderful, it should not be easy to tell what it is, since neither is it easy to tell what being is, or what form is. But our knowledge is fixed in forms. When, however, the soul directs its attention to that which is formless, then being unable to comprehend that which is not bounded, and as it were impressed with forms by a former of a various nature, it falls from the apprehension of it, and is afraid it will possess [nothing from the view]. Hence, it becomes weary in endeavours of this kind, and gladly descends from the survey frequently falling from all things, till it arrives at something sensible, and as it were rests in a solid substance; just as the sight also, when wearied with the perception of small objects, eagerly converts itself to such as are large. When, however, the soul wishes to perceive by itself, and sees itself alone, then in consequence of being one with the object of its perception, it does not think that it yet possesses that which it investigates, because it is not different from that which it intellectually perceives. At the same time, it is requisite that he should act in this manner, who intends to philosophize about the one. Since, therefore, that which we investigate is one, and we direct our attention to the principle of all things, to the good, and the first, we ought not to be far removed from the natures which are about the first of things, nor fall from them to the last of all things, but proceeding to such as are first, we should elevate ourselves from sensibles which have an ultimate subsistence. The soul, likewise, should for this purpose be liberated from all vice, in consequence of hastening to the [vision of the] good; and should ascend to the principle which is in herself, and become one instead of many things, in order that she may survey the principle of all things, and the one. Hence it is requisite, that the soul of him who ascends to the good should then become intellect, and that he should commit his soul to, and establish it in intellect, in order, that what intellect sees, his soul may vigilantly receive, and may through intellect survey the one; not employing any one of the senses, nor receiving any thing from them, but with a pure intellect, and with the summit [and as it were, flower] of intellect, beholding that which is most pure. When, therefore, he who applies himself to the survey of a thing of this kind imagines that there is either magnitude, or figure, or bulk about this nature, he has not intellect for the leader of the vision; because intellect is not naturally adapted to pe« ceive things of this kind, but such an energy is the energy of sense, and of opinion following sense. But in order to perceive the one, it is necessary to: receive from intellect a declaration of what intellect is able to accomplish. Intellect, however, is able to see either things prior to itself, or things pertaining to itself, or things effected by itself. And the things indeed contained in itself, are pure; but those prior to itself are still purer and more simple; or rather this must be asserted of that which is prior to it. Hence, that which is prior to it, is not intellect, but something more excellent. For intellect is a certain one among the number of beings; but that is not a certain one, but is prior to every thing. Nor is it being; for being has, as it were, the form of the one.1 But that is formless, and is even without intelligible form. For the nature of the one being generative of all things, is not any one of them. Neither, therefore, is it a certain thing, nor a quality, nor a quantity, nor intellect, nor soul, nor that which is moved, nor again that which stands stall. Nor is it in place, or in time; but is by itself uniform, or rather without form, being prior to all form, to motion and to permanency. For these subsist about being which also cause it to be multitudinous. Why, however, if it is not moved, does it not stand still ? Because it is necessary that one or both of these should subsist about being. And that which stands still, stands still through permanency, and is not the same with it. Hence permanency is accidental to it, and it no longer remains simple. For when we say that the one is the cause of all things, we do not predicate anything as an accident to it, but rather as something which happens to us, because we possess something from it, the one in the mean time subsisting in itself. It is necessary, however, when speaking accurately of the one, neither to call it that, nor this. But we running as it were externally round it, are desirous of explaining the manner in which we are affected about it. And at one time, indeed, we draw near to it, but at another time fall from it, by our doubts about it.