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Categorias

sexta-feira 25 de março de 2022

VI. 2. 8
(Armstrong   Selection and Translation from the Enneads  )

[How we discover the five categories applicable to the intelligible world, Being, Motion, Rest, Sameness, and Otherness. Plotinus   explains what we mean when we apply these predicates to Noûs.]

Observe Noûs in its purity. Look upon it with concentrated gaze, not with these bodily eyes. You see the hearth of being and a sleepless light on it; you see how beings rest in it and are distinct and all together; you see abiding life and a thought whose activity is not directed towards the future but towards the present, or rather the perpetual present, the everlasting now, a thought thinking in itself and not outside. In its thinking there is activity and motion, in its thinking itself, substance and being. Existing, it thinks itself as existent and the being on which it is, so to speak, founded. Its self-directed activity is not substance, but being is that to which the activity is directed and from which it comes. That which it looks at is being, not its look: but the look too possesses being, because it comes from and is directed to being. And since it is an act, not in potency, it gathers the two [being and thought] together again and does not separate them, but makes itself being and being itself. Being is the most firmly set of all things and that about which all other things have established their rest; it has a rest which does not come to it from outside but is from itself and in itself. It is that in which thought comes to a stop, though thought is a rest which has no beginning, and from which it starts, though thought is a rest which never started: for movement does not begin from or end in movement. Again, the Form at rest is the defining limit of intelligence, and intelligence is the motion of the Form, so that all are one; movement and rest are one, and are all-pervading kinds; and each subsequent thing is a particular being, a particular rest, and a particular motion.

Now when anyone sees these three, having come into intuitive contact with the nature of being, he sees being by the being in himself and the others, motion and rest, by the motion and rest, in himself, and fits his own being, motion, and rest to those in Noûs: they come to him together in a sort of confusion and he mingles them without distinguishing them; then as it were separating them a little and holding them away from him and distinguishing them he perceives being, motion, and rest, three and each of them one. Does he not then say that they are different from each other and distinguish them in otherness, and see the otherness in being when he posits three terms, each of them one? Again, when he brings them back to unity and sees them in a unity, all one, does he not collect them into sameness and, as he looks at them, see that sameness has come to be and is? So we must add these two, the same and the other, to those first three, so that there will be in all five kinds: the last two give to subsequent things the characters of being other and same; for each individual thing is a particular ’ same’ and a particular ’other’; (’same’ and ’other’ without the ’particular’ apply to the universal kinds). These are primary kinds, because you cannot apply any predicate to them which forms part of the definition of their essence. You will certainly predicate being of them, for they exist, but not as their genus or kind, for they are not particular beings; nor can you predicate being as the genus of motion and rest, for they are not species of being. (Some things exist as species of being, others as participating in being.) Nor does being participate in these other primary kinds as if they were genera of which it was a species, for they do not rise to the level of being and are not prior to it.