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Taylor: Tratado 31 (V, 8) — Sobre a beleza inteligível

Enéada V, 8

quarta-feira 19 de janeiro de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro


The following beautiful extract from the treatise of Plotinus  , " On intelligible beauty," is a specimen of his manner of surveying all things, as subsisting without specific distinction in one supreme intellect. The whole of the extract likewise is the result of noera epibole, or intuition   through the projecting energies of intellect.

"All the Gods are venerable and beautiful, and their beauty is immense. What else however is it but intellect through which they are such ? and because intellect energizes in them in so great a degree as to render them visible [by its light] ? For it is not because their bodies are beautiful. For those Gods that have bodies, do not through this derive their subsistence as Gods; but these also are Gods through intellect. For they are not at one time wise, and at another destitute of wisdom; but they are always wise, in an impassive, stable, and pure intellect. They likewise know all things, not human concerns [precedaneously] but their own, which are divine, and such as intellect sees. Of the Gods however, those that are in the sensible   heaven, for they abound in leisure, always contemplate, as if remotely, what the intelligible heaven contains, and this with an elevated head. But those that dwell in the latter, occupy the whole of the heaven which is there, and survey [its blessed] inhabitants. For all things there are heaven, and there the earth is heaven, as also are the sea, animals, plants, and men. And in short, every thing pertaining to that heaven is celestial. The Gods likewise that it contains do not think men undeserving of their regard, nor any thing else that is there [because every thing there is divine [1]. And they occupy and pervade without ceasing the whole of that [blissful] region. For the life which is there is unattended with labour, and truth [as Plato says in the ’Phaedrus  ’] is their generator, and nutriment, their essence and nurse. They likewise see all things, not those with which generation, but those with which essence is present. And they perceive themselves in others. For all things there are diaphanous; and nothing is dark and resisting, but every thing is apparent to every one internally and throughout. For light every where meets with light; since every thing contains all things in itself, and again sees all things in another. So that all things are every where, and all is all. Each thing likewise is every thing. And the splendour there is infinite. For every thing there is great, since even that which is small is great. The sun   too which is there is all the stars: and again each star is the sun and all the stars. In each, however, a different property predominates, but at the same time all things are visible in each. Motion likewise there is pure; for the motion is not confounded by a mover different from it. Permanency also suffers no change of its nature, because it is not mingled with the unstable. And the beautiful there is beautiful, because it does not subsist in beauty [as in a subject]. Each thing too is there established, not as in a foreign land, but the seat of each thing is that which each thing is; and concurs with it, while it proceeds as it were on high from whence it originated. Nor is the thing itself different from the place in which it subsists. For the subject of it is intellect, and it is itself intellect. Just as if some one should conceive that stars germinate from the light   of this visible heaven which is luminous. In this sensible region therefore, one part is not produced from another, but each part is alone a part. But there each part always proceeds from the whole, and is at the same time each part and the whole. For it appears indeed as a part; but by him whose sight is acute, it will be seen as a whole; viz. by him whose sight resembles that which Lynceus is said to have possessed, and which penetrated the interior parts of the earth; the fable obscurely indicating the acuteness of the vision of supernal eyes. There is likewise no weariness of the vision which is there, nor any plenitude   of perception which can bring intuition to an end. For neither was there any vacuity, which when filled might cause the visive energy to cease: nor is this one thing, but that another, so as to occasion a part of one thing not to be amicable with that of another. "Whatever likewise is there, possesses an untamed and unwearied power. And that which is there insatiable is so, because its plenitude never causes it to despise that by which it is filled. For by seeing it more abundantly sees, and perceiving both itself and the objects of its perception to be infinite, it follows its own nature [in unceasing contemplation]. And life indeed is not wearisome to any one, when it is pure. Why, therefore, should that which leads the most excellent life be weary ? But the life there is wisdom; a wisdom not obtained by a reasoning process, because the whole of it always was, and is not in any respect deficient, so as to be in want of investigation. But it is the first wisdom, and is not derived from another."

Ver online : Select works of Plotinus

[1From the version of Ficinus it appears that the words oti pan ekei theion are omitted in the original.