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quinta-feira 24 de março de 2022

Now in every living being the upper parts - head, face - are the most beautiful, the mid and lower members inferior. In the Universe the middle and lower members are human beings; above them, the Heavens and the Gods that dwell there; these Gods with the entire circling expanse of the heavens constitute the greater part of the Kosmos: the earth is but a central point, and may be considered as simply one among the stars. Yet human wrong-doing is made a matter of wonder; we are evidently asked to take humanity as the choice member of the Universe, nothing wiser existent! Enneads  : III II. 8

But if all this is true, what room is left for evil? Where are we to place wrong-doing and sin? How explain that in a world organized in good, the efficient agents [human beings] behave unjustly, commit sin? And how comes misery if neither sin nor injustice exists? Again, if all our action is determined by a natural process, how can the distinction be maintained between behaviour in accordance with nature and behaviour in conflict with it? And what becomes of blasphemy against the divine? The blasphemer is made what he is: a dramatist has written a part insulting and maligning himself and given it to an actor to play. Enneads  : III II. 16

The punishments of wrong-doing are like the treatment of diseased parts of the body - here, medicines to knit sundered flesh; there, amputations; elsewhere, change of environment and condition - and the penalties are planned to bring health to the All by settling every member in the fitting place: and this health of the All requires that one man be made over anew and another, sick here, be taken hence to where he shall be weakly no longer. Enneads  : IV IV. 45

Wrong-doing from man to man is wrong in the doer and must be imputed, but, as belonging to the established order of the universe is not a wrong even as regards the innocent sufferer; it is a thing that had to be, and, if the sufferer is good, the issue is to his gain. For we cannot think that this ordered combination proceeds without God and justice; we must take it to be precise in the distribution of due, while, yet, the reasons of things elude us, and to our ignorance the scheme presents matter of censure. Enneads  : IV III. 16