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Plotino - Tratado 39,13 (VI, 8, 13) — Início do discurso positivo a respeito do Bem

Enéada VI, 8, 13

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

      

Terceira parte: O discurso positivo sobre a liberdade do Bem

Capítulo 13: Início do discurso positivo a respeito do Bem

  • 1-5: Advertência: As expressões que vão doravante ser empregadas não tem outra finalidade que persuadir
  • 5-11: Há total identidade entre o ato do Bem e sua realidade  : ele não age portanto sendo submisso a sua natureza
  • 11-40: Cada ser se deseja ele mesmo desejando o Bem; também o Bem deve a fortiori se querer ele mesmo
  • 41-47: O Bem é a única realidade a encontrar absolutamente   satisfação nela mesma
  • 50-59: O Bem se produz ele mesmo.
      

Míguez

13. Si por mera conveniencia usamos de unos términos tales que, ciertamente, no resultan apropiados, digamos de nuevo que, en lenguaje más riguroso, no cabe admitir aquí una dualidad, ni siquiera de carácter mental  . Lo que yo diga ahora no tiene, sin embargo, otro objetivo que el de convencer, aunque para ello se prescinda de razonamientos serios.

Concedido que ese (Principio) actúe y que sus actos sean obra de su voluntad (porque es evidente   que no actuará sin quererlo). Sus actos, no cabe duda, constituirán su esencia, y su voluntad, a su vez, quedará identificada con ella. Se tratará de algo que es como quiere ser, de algo de lo que no cabe decir que quiere y actúa según su naturaleza, puesto que tiene la esencia que desea tener por su acto. Es, por consiguiente, totalmente dueño de sí porque su ser depende de él.

Consideremos todavía estas razones: cada uno   de los seres desea el Bien y querría mejor ser el Bien que lo que precisamente es. Piensa que su ser se realza a medida de su participación en el Bien, y se coloca así en aquel estado   en el que tiene tanto bien cuanto le es posible, porque cree que la naturaleza del Bien debe ser, con mucho, preferible por sí misma, si es que la parte de Bien que haya   en una cosa ha de preferirse a cualquier otra. La esencia, en este caso, es algo conforme a la voluntad, próxima justamente de lo que quiere ser, y una y la misma cosa con la voluntad por la cual existe.

En tanto un ser no posee el Bien, siente deseos de algo; pero en el momento en que posee el Bien se quiere realmente a sí mismo. La presencia del Bien en él no habrá que atribuirla al azar   ni a algo que sea extraño a la voluntad. Su esencia, por el contrario, está delimitada por él y, gradas a esto, se pertenece a sí misma. Si cada ser se hace, pues, por el Bien lo que es, el Bien, con mayor motivo, existirá por sí mismo, ya que es El quien permite a los demás seres que sean por sí. Diríamos que la voluntad de ser y la esencia están ahí unidas, sin que pueda concebírsele prescindiendo de la voluntad de ser por sí mismo lo que es. Concurriendo a sí mismo y queriendo ser lo que es, el Bien es de hecho lo que quiere ser. Su voluntad y su ser constituyen una unidad, pero sin que esto venga a disminuir su carácter de ser uno. No cabría distinguir   aquí entre lo que de cierto es y lo que, por otra parte, hubiera querido ser. Porque, ¿qué es lo que querría ser que ya verdaderamente no lo sea?

Dando por supuesto que haya escogido por sí mismo lo que quiere ser y que esté dentro de su posibilidad el dejar su naturaleza por otra, aun así no querría ser lo que no es, ni tendría que formularse censura alguna, como si su ser fuese tal cual es por una rigurosa necesidad. Es indudablemente lo que siempre ha querido y quiere ser. La naturaleza del Bien es esencialmente la voluntad, sin que ello nos fuerce a decir que obedece a las seducciones y atractivos de su propia naturaleza. El Bien se quiere a sí mismo tal como es, ya que ninguna otra cosa fuera de él puede atraerle.

Diríase ciertamente que los demás seres no tienen en su esencia una razón que les atraiga y que, por tanto, pueden estar enojados consigo mismos, En lo que concierne a la existencia del Bien se da por necesidad el acto de escogerse y quererse a sí mismo, pues si así no fuese no habría ser alguno que se holgase consigo, dado que tal complacencia, precisamente, descansa en la participación en el Bien y en la imagen que se posee de El. Conviene transigir, al hablar del Bien, con las palabras que nos vemos obligados a emplear para calificarle; esas palabras, desde luego, no las empleamos con toda rigurosidad. Tómense si acaso con cierto condicionamiento.

Si, pues, existe el Bien y existen con El su voluntad y su poder de elección (no podríamos concebirle privado de estas dos cosas), no deberá implicarse en esto una realidad de varias cosas. Por lo pronto, la voluntad y la esencia del Bien habrán de reducirse a una sola cosa, esto es, se entenderán necesariamente como provenientes de El. De modo que ya la misma razón nos dice que el Bien se ha producido a sí mismo. Si la voluntad proviene del Bien cual si se tratase de una obra suya y si, por otra parte, esa voluntad es idéntica a su existencia, no cabe duda que es el Bien quien se da a sí mismo la existencia. Pero ello supone que el Bien es lo que es no por azar, sino por designio de su voluntad.

Bouillet

XIII. Quoique les expressions que nous venons d’employer ne soient pas convenables quand il s’agit de Dieu  , nous sommes cependant obligés de nous en servir pour le sujet que nous traitons. Répétons donc qu’il a été dit avec raison qu’il ne faut pas admettre en Dieu de dualité, même purement logique. Cependant, pour nous faire mieux comprendre, nous allons ici mettre un moment de côté la sévérité de langage qu’exige la raison.

Supposons donc qu’il y ait des actes en Dieu, que ces actes dépendent de sa volonté (car il ne saurait agir involontairement), et qu’en même temps ils constituent son essence : en ce cas, sa volonté et son essence ne font qu’un. Tel il a voulu être, tel il est. On ne dira donc pas qu’il veut et qu’il agit conformément à sa nature plutôt qu’on ne dira qu’il a une essence conforme à sa volonté et à son acte. Il est donc maître absolu de lui-même, puisque son être même dépend de lui (ἐφ’ ἑαυτῷ ἔχω  ν καὶ τὸ εἶναι  ).

Ici se présente une autre considération. Chaque être, aspirant au bien, veut être le bien plus encore que d’être ce qu’il est, et croit être d’autant plus qu’il participe davantage du bien ; ce qu’il préfère, c’est d’être dans un pareil état, c’est de participer du bien le plus possible, sans doute parce que la nature du bien est préférable pour elle-même. Plus la portion qu’un être a du bien est grande, plus son essence est libre et conforme à sa volonté ; elle ne fait donc alors qu’une seule et même chose avec sa volonté, elle subsiste par sa volonté (45). Tant qu’un être ne possède pas le bien, il veut être autre qu’il n’est; dès qu’il le possède, il veut être ce qu’il est. Cette présence du bien en lui n’est pas fortuite ; son essence n’est pas en dehors de sa volonté : par là elle se détermine, par là elle s’appartient. Si c’est par là que chaque être se fait et se détermine, évidemment Dieu est au premier degré par lui-même le principe dont les autres êtres tiennent d’être pour eux-mêmes; son essence est intimement unie à la volonté qu’il a d’être tel (si je puis m’exprimer ainsi), et on ne saurait le concevoir sans la volonté d’être ce qu’il est, Comme tout concourt en lui, il veut être, et il est ce qu’il veut ; sa volonté et lui ne font qu’un. Il n’en est pas moins un : car il se trouve être précisément ce qu’il a pu vouloir être. Qu’aurait-il pu vouloir être en effet sinon ce qu’il est (46)?

Supposons qu’il fût donné à Dieu de choisir ce qu’il voudrait être, et qu’il eût la faculté de changer sa nature : il ne désirerait pas devenir autre qu’il est, il ne trouverait rien en lui qui lui déplût, comme s’il avait été contraint d’être ce qu’il est ; car, ce qu’il est, il l’a voulu de tout temps, il le veut encore. L’essence du Bien est véritablement sa volonté : il n’a point cédé à un attrait ni suivi sa propre nature» mais il s’est préféré lui-même, parce qu’il n’y avait aucune autre chose qu’il eût souhaité d’être (47). Joignez à cola que les autres êtres ne trouvent pas impliquée dans leur propre essence la raison de se plaire à eux-mêmes, qu’il y en a même qui sont mécontents d’eux. Dans l’existence du Bien (ἐν τῇ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ὑποστάσει), au contraire, est nécessairement contenu l’acte de se choisir et de se vouloir soi-même : sinon, il n’y aura rien dans l’univers qui puisse se plaire à soi-même, puisqu’on ne se plait à soi-même qu’autant qu’on participe du bien, qu’on en possède une image en soi. Il faut avoir ici de l’indulgence pour notre langage : en parlant de Dieu, on est obligé, pour se faire comprendre, de se servir de mots qu’une rigoureuse exactitude ne permettrait pas d’employer. Avec chacun d’eux il faut sous-entendre : en quelque sorte (οἷον (48)).

Si donc le Bien subsiste, avec lui subsistent le choix et la volonté, parce qu’il ne saurait exister sans ces deux choses. Mais en Dieu le choix, l’essence, la volonté, ne forment pas une multiplicité ; nous devons considérer ces trois choses comme n’en faisant qu’une. Puisqu’il est l’auteur de la volonté, nécessairement il est aussi l’auteur de ce qu’on appelle être pour toi (τὸ εἶναι αὑτῷ) ; or cela conduit à dire qu’il s’est fait lui-même: car, puisqu’il est l’auteur de la volonté, que celle-ci est en quelque sorte son œuvre, et qu’elle est identique à son être, il s’est donné l’être a lui-même (ὑποστήσας αὐτὸν). Ce n’est donc point par hasard qu’il est ce qu’il est ; il est ce qu’il est parce qu’il a voulu l’être.

Guthrie

ALL SUCH LANGUAGE ABOUT THE DIVINITY IS METAPHORICAL.

13. Although the above expressions, when applied to the (divinity), are really not exact, we are nevertheless forced to use them in connection with this disquisition. We therefore repeat what was above rightly stated, that no doubleness, not even if merely logical, should be admitted to our idea   of the Divinity. Nevertheless, that we may be better understood, we shall for a moment lay aside the strictness of language demanded by reason.

THE SUPREME IS MASTER OF HIMSELF BECAUSE HIS VERY ESSENCE DEPENDS ON HIMSELF.

Now supposing the existence of actualizations in the divinity, and that these actualizations depend on His will — for he could not actualize involuntarily — and that simultaneously they constitute His being; in this case, His will and His being will be identical (that is, will fuse). Such as He wished to be, He is. That He wills and actualizes in conformity to His nature, will not be said in preference to this, that His being conforms to His will and His actualization. He is absolutely master of Himself, because His very essence depends on Himself.

THE SUPREME IS A UNITY OF WILL, BEING AND ACTUALIZATION.

Here arises another consideration. Every being, that aspires to the Good, wishes to be the Good far more than to be what it is; and thinks itself as existing most, the more it participates in the Good. Its preference is to be in such a state, to participate in the Good as much as possible, because the nature of the Good is doubtless preferable in itself. The greater the portion of good possessed by a being, the freer and more conformable to its will is its nature (being); then it forms but one and the same thing with its will, and by its will achieves hypostatic existence (or, a form of existence). So long as a being does not possess the Good, it wishes to be different from what it is; so soon as the being possesses it, the being wishes to be what it is. This union, or presence of the Good in a being, is not fortuitous; its “being” is not outside of the Will (of the Good); by this presence of the Good it is determined, and on that account, belongs to itself. If then this presence of the Good cause every being to make and determine itself, then evidently (the Divinity) is primarily and particularly the principle through which the rest may be itself. The “being” (of the Good) is intimately united with the will (the Divinity) has to be such as He is — if I may be permitted to speak thus — and He cannot be understood unless He wishes to be what He is. As in Him everything concurs (in a consummation), He wishes to be, and is what He wishes; His will and Himself form but one (are identical, or, fuse). He is not any the less one, for He finds that He is precisely what He may have wished to be. What indeed could He have wished to be, if not what He is?

THE SUPREME WOULD WISH TO BE WHAT HE IS.

Now supposing that (the divinity) were given the chance to choose what He would like to be, and that He were permitted to change His nature, He would not desire to become different from what He is; He would not find in Himself anything that displeased Him, as if He had been forced to be what He is; for He as ever willed, and still wills to be what He is. The nature of Good is really His will; He has neither yielded to a lure, nor (blindly) followed his own nature, but He preferred Himself, because there was nothing different that He could have wished to be. With this, contrast that other beings do not find implied in their own being the reason of pleasing themselves, and that some of them are even dissatisfied with themselves. In the hypostatic existence of the Good, however, is necessarily contained self-choice, and self-desire; otherwise, there would be nothing in the whole universe that could please itself, since one pleases himself only inasmuch as he participates in the Good, and possesses an image of it within oneself.

EVERY TERM, WHEN APPLIED TO THE DIVINITY, SHOULD BE PRECEDED BY A PARTICLE REMINDING IT IS ONLY USED METAPHORICALLY.

We must, however, ask indulgence for our language; when speaking of the (divinity) we are, by the necessity of being understood, obliged to make use of words which a meticulous accuracy would question. Each of them should be prefixed by a (warning) particle, (meaning “somewhat,” or) “higher.”

THE SUPREME IS CHOICE, BEING, WILL, SELF-DIRECTION, AND SELF-EXISTENCE.

The subsistence of the Good implies that of choice and will, because He could not exist without these two. But (in the Divinity) (these three, choice, being and will) do not form a multiplicity; they must be considered as having fused. Since He is the author of will, He must evidently also be the author of what is called self-direction (”being for oneself”). This leads us to say that He made Himself; for, since He is the author of will, and as this will is more or less His work, and as it is identical with His essence, (we may say that) He gave himself the form of (hypostatic) existence. Not by chance therefore is He what He is; He is what He is because He wished to be such.

MacKenna

13. Our enquiry obliges us to use terms not strictly applicable: we insist, once more, that not even for the purpose of forming the concept of the Supreme may we make it a duality; if now we do, it is merely for the sake of conveying conviction, at the cost of verbal accuracy.

If, then, we are to allow Activities in the Supreme and make them depend upon will - and certainly Act cannot There be will-less and these Activities are to be the very essence, then will and essence in the Supreme must be identical. This admitted, as He willed to be so He is; it is no more true to say that He wills and acts as His nature determines than that His essence is as He wills and acts. Thus He is wholly master of Himself and holds His very being at His will.

Consider also that every being in its pursuit of its good seeks to be that good rather than what it is it judges itself most truly to be when it partakes of its good: in so far as it thus draws on its good its being is its choice: much more, then, must the very Principle, The Good, be desirable in itself when any fragment of it is very desirable to the extern and becomes the chosen essence promoting that extern’s will and identical with the will that gave the existence?

As long as a thing is apart from its good it seeks outside itself; when it holds its good it itself as it is: and this is no matter of chance; the essence now is not outside of the will; by the good it is determined, by the good it is in self-possession.

If then this Principle is the means of determination to everything else, we see at once that self-possession must belong primally to it, so that, through it, others in their turn may be self-belonging: what we must call its essence comports its will to possess such a manner of being; we can form no idea of it without including in it the will towards itself as it is. It must be a consistent self willing its being and being what it wills; its will and itself must be one thing, all the more one from the absence of distinction between a given nature and one which would be preferred. What could The Good have wished to be other than what it is? Suppose it had the choice of being what it preferred, power to alter the nature, it could not prefer to be something else; it could have no fault to find with anything in its nature, as if that nature were imposed by force; The Good is what from always it wished and wishes to be. For the really existent Good is a willing towards itself, towards a good not gained by any wiles or even attracted to it by force of its nature; The Good is what it chose to be and, in fact, there was never anything outside it to which it could be drawn.

It may be added that nothing else contains in its essence the principle of its own satisfaction; there will be inner discord: but this hypostasis   of the Good must necessarily have self-option, the will towards the self; if it had not, it could not bring satisfaction to the beings whose contentment demands participation in it or imagination of it.

Once more, we must be patient with language; we are forced to apply to the Supreme terms which strictly are ruled out; everywhere we must read "So to speak." The Good, then, exists; it holds its existence through choice and will, conditions of its very being: yet it cannot be a manifold; therefore the will and the essential being must be taken as one identity; the act of the will must be self-determined and the being self-caused; thus reason shows the Supreme to be its own Author. For if the act of will springs from God Himself and is as it were His operation and the same will is identical with His essence, He must be self-established. He is not, therefore, "what He has happened to be" but what He has willed to be.