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Plotino - Tratado 52,9 (II, 3, 9) — Abandonado a sua alma inferior, o homem se torna escravo do destino

Enéada II, 3, 9

quarta-feira 1º de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

      

Cap. 9-15: A influência dos astros é limitada.

      

Míguez

9. Vayamos, ahora al ejemplo del huso, que fue considerado por unos, ya desde antiguo, como un huso que trabajan las Parcas, y por Platón   como una representación de la esfera   celeste; las Parcas y la Necesidad, su madre, eran las encargadas de hacerle girar, fijando en suerte, al nacer el destino de cada uno  . Por ella misma todos los seres engendrados alcanzan su propia existencia. En el Timeo, a su vez, el demiurgo   nos da el principio del alma  , aunque son los dioses que se mueven lo que facilitan las terribles y necesarias pasiones: así, los impulsos del ánimo, los deseos, los placeres y las penas, al igual que la otra parte del alma de la que recibimos esas pasiones Las mismas razones nos enlazan a los astros, de los cuales obtenemos el alma; y en virtud de ello quedamos sometidos a la necesidad una vez llegados a este mundo. ¿De dónde provienen entonces nuestros caracteres y, según los caracteres, las acciones y las pasiones que tienen su origen   en un hábito   pasivo? ¿Qué es, pues, lo que queda de nosotros? No queda otra cosa que lo que nosotros somos verdaderamente, esto es, ese ser al que es dado, por la naturaleza, el dominio de las pasiones, Pero, sin embargo, en medio de los males con que somos amenazados por la naturaleza del cuerpo, Dios nos concedió la virtud, que carece de dueño Porque no es en la calma   cuando tenemos necesidad de la virtud, sino cuando corremos peligro de caer en el mal, por no estar presente   la virtud. De ahí que debamos huir de este mundo y alejarnos de todo aquello que se ha añadido a nosotros mismos. Y no hemos de ser siquiera algo compuesto, un cuerpo animado de alma en el que domina más la naturaleza del cuerpo, quedando sólo en él una simple huella del alma; si es así, la vida común del ser animado es en mayor medida la del cuerpo, y todo cuanto depende de ella es realmente corpóreo. Atribuimos, por tanto, a otra alma que se halla fuera de aquí ese movimiento que nos lleva hacia arriba, hacia lo bello y hacia lo divino   donde a nadie es permitido mandar; muy al contrario, es el alma la que se sirve de este impulso para hacerse igual a lo divino y vivir de acuerdo con él en el lugar de su retiro  . Al ser abandonado de esta alma corresponde, en cambio, una vida sujeta al destino; los astros no son para él, en este mundo, únicamente signos, sino que él mismo se convierte en una parte, sumisa por completo   al universo  , del cual es precisamente parte. Cada ser es ciertamente doble esto es, un ser compuesto y que sin embargo, resulta uno mismo; así, todo el universo es un ser compuesto de un cuerpo y de un alma enlazada a este cuerpo, y es también el alma del universo que no se encuentra en el cuerpo, pero que ilumina los propios vestigios de ella existentes en el cuerpo. Son igualmente dobles el sol   y todos los demás astros. Como su otra alma es pura no producen nada pernicioso  , pero algo engendran en el universo ya que son una parte de él y constituyen cuerpos vivificados por un alma. He aquí que cada uno de estos cuerpos es una parte del universo, que actúa sobre otra; pero su alma verdadera tiende, sin embargo, su mirada hacia el bien supremo. También las demás cosas siguen de cerca este principio y, mejor que a él, a todo lo que priva alrededor de él. Esta acción se ejercita no de otro modo que la del calor   proveniente del fuego, que se extiende por todas partes; y es algo así corno la influencia del alma ejercida sobre otra alma con la cual tiene parentesco.

Las contrariedades habrán de atribuirse a la mezcla porque es claro que la naturaleza del universo aparece mezclada, a la cual, si se la separase del alma, apenas alcanzaría ningún valor  . El universo es como un dios, en el supuesto de que el alma entre en cuenta; lo que queda sin ella, dice (Platón), es como un gran demonio, que posee las pasiones de los demonios.

Bouillet

[IX] Nous voici amenés à parler de ce fuseau que les Parques tournent selon les anciens, et par lequel Platon désigne ce qui se meut et ce qui est immobile dans la révolution du monde.[33] Selon ce philosophe, les Parques et la Nécessité, leur mère, tournent ce fuseau, et lui impriment un mouvement de rotation dans la génération de chaque être. C’est par cette révolution que les êtres engendrés arrivent à. la génération. Dans le Timée  ,[34] le Dieu   qui a créé l’univers [l’intelligence] donne le principe [immortel] de l’âme [l’âme raisonnable],[35] et les dieux qui exécutent leurs révolutions dans le ciel ajoutent [au principe immortel de l’âme] les passions violentes qui nous soumettent à la Nécessité, la colère, les désirs, les peines et les plaisirs; e. un mot, ils nous donnent cette autre espèce d’âme [la nature animale ou âme végétative] de laquelle dérivent ces passions.[36] Par ces paroles, Platon semble dire que nous sommes asservis aux astres, que nous en recevons nos âmes,[37] qu’ils nous soumettent à l’empire de la Nécessité quand nous venons ici-bas, que c’est d’eux que nous tenons nos moeurs, et, par nos moeurs, les actions et les passions qui dérivent de l’habitude passive (ἕξις παθητικὴ) de l’âme.[38]

Que sommes-nous donc nous-mêmes? Nous sommes ce qui est essentiellement nous, nous sommes le principe auquel la nature a donné le pouvoir de triompher des passions.[39] Car si, à cause du corps, nous sommes entourés de maux, Dieu nous a cependant donné la vertu qui n’a pas de maître.[40] En effet, ce n’est pas quand nous sommes dans un état calme que nous avons besoin de la vertu, c’est quand l’absence de la vertu nous expose à des maux. Il faut donc que nous fuyions d’ici-bas,[41] que nous nous séparions du corps qui nous a été ajouté dans la génération, que nous nous appliquions à n’être pas cet animai, ce composé dans lequel prédomine la nature du corps, nature qui n’est qu’un vestige de l’âme, d’où résulte que la vie animale[42] appartient principalement au corps. En effet, tout ce qui se rapporte à cette vie est corporel. L’autre âme [l’âme raisonnable, supérieure à l’âme végétative] n’est pas dans le corps: elle s’élève aux choses intelligibles, au beau, au divin, qui ne dépendent de rien; bien plus, elle tâche de leur devenir identique, et elle vit d’une manière conforme à la divinité quand elle s’est retirée en elle-même [pour se livrer à la contemplation]. Quiconque est privé de cette âme [quiconque n’exerce pas les facultés de l’âme raisonnable] vit soumis à la fatalité.[43] Non seulement les actes d’un pareil être sont indiqués par les astres, mais encore il devient lui-même une partie du monde, il dépend du monde dont il fait partie. Tout homme est double: car il y a dans tout homme l’animal   et l’homme véritable [que constitue l’âme raisonnable].

De même il y a dans l’univers le composé d’un Corps et d’une Ame qui lui est étroitement unie, et l’Ame universelle, qui n’est pas dans le Corps et qui illumine l’Ame unie au Corps.[44] Le soleil et les autres astres sont doubles de la même manière [ont une âme unie à un corps et une âme indépendante du corps]. Ils ne font rien qui soit mauvais pour l’âme pure. S’ils produisent certaines choses dans l’univers, en tant qu’ils sont eux-mêmes des parties de l’univers, et qu’ils ont un corps et une âme unie à ce corps, les choses qu’ils produisent sont des parties de l’univers; mais leur volonté et leur âme véritable s’appliquent à la contemplation du principe qui est excellent.[45] C’est à ce principe, ou plutôt à ce qui l’entoure que se rattachent les autres choses: c’est ainsi que le feu fait rayonner sa chaleur de tous côtés, et que l’Ame supérieure [de l’univers] fait passer quelque chose de sa puissance dans l’Ame inférieure qui lui est liée. Les choses mauvaises qui se trouvent ici-bas naissent du mélange qui se trouve dans la nature de ce monde. Si l’on séparait de l’univers l’Ame universelle, ce qui resterait n’aurait pas de valeur. L’univers est donc un Dieu, si l’on fait entrer dans sa substance l’Ame qui en est séparable. Le reste constitue ce Démon que Platon nomme le grand Démon,[46] et qui a d’ailleurs toutes les passions propres aux démons.

Guthrie

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SPINDLE OF THE FATES.

9. This brings us to a consideration of the spindle, which, according to the ancients, is turned by the Fates, and by which Plato signifies that which, in the evolution of the world, moves, and that which is immovable. According to (Plato), it is the Fates, and their mother Necessity, which turn this spindle, and which impress it with a rotary motion in the generation of each being. It is by this motion that begotten beings arrive at generation. In the Timaeus the (Intelligence, or) divinity which has created the universe gives the (immortal) principle of the soul, (the reasonable soul), and the deities which revolve in the heaven add (to the immortal principle of the soul) the violent passions which subject us to Necessity, namely, angers, desires, sufferings, and pleasures; in short, they furnish us with that other kind of soul (the animal nature, or vegetable soul) from which they derive these passions. Plato thus seems to subject us to the stars, by hinting that we receive from them our souls, subordinating to the sway of Necessity when we descend here below, both ourselves and our morals, and through these, the "actions" and "passions"31 which are derived from the passional habit of the soul (the animal nature).

WHICH OF OUR TWO SOULS IS THE GENUINE INDIVIDUALITY?

Our genuine selves are what is essentially "us"; we are the principle to which Nature has given the power to triumph over the passions. For, if we be surrounded by evils because of the body, nevertheless, the divinity has given us virtue, which "knows of no master"26 (is not subject to any compulsion). Indeed we need virtue not so much when we are in a calm state, but when its absence exposes us to evils. We must, therefore, flee from here below; we must divorce ourselves from the body added to us in generation, and apply ourselves to the effort to cease being this animal, this composite in which the predominant element is the nature of the body, a nature which is only a trace of the soul, and which causes animal life to pertain chiefly to the body. Indeed, all that relates to this life is corporeal. The other soul (the reasonable soul, which is superior to the vegetative soul), is not in the body; she rises to the beautiful, to the divine, and to all the intelligible things, which depend on nothing else. She then seeks to identifv herself with them, and lives conformably to the divinity when retired within herself (in contemplation). Whoever is deprived of this soul (that is, whoever does not exercise the faculties of the reasonable soul), lives in subjection to fatality. Then the actions of such a being are not only indicated by the stars, but he himself becomes a part of the world, and he depends on the world of which he forms a part. Every man is double, for every man contains both the composite (organism), and the real   man (which constitutes the reasonable soul).

NUMENIAN DOUBLENESS, MIXTURE, AND DIVISIBLE SOUL.

Likewise the universe is a compound of a body and of a Soul intimately united to it, and of the universal   Soul, which is not in the Body, and which irradiates the Soul united to the Body. There is a similar double-ness in the sun and the other stars, (having a soul united to their body, and a soul independent thereof). They do nothing that is shameful for the pure soul. The things they produce are parts of the universe, inasmuch as they themselves are parts of the universe, and inasmuch as they have a body, and a soul united to this body; but their will and their real soul apply themselves to the contemplation of the good Principle. It is from this Principle, or rather from that which surrounds it, that other things depend, just as the fire radiates its heat in all directions, and as the superior Soul (of the universe) infuses somewhat of her potency into the lower connected soul. The evil things here below originate in the mixture inhering in the nature of this world. After separating the universal Soul out of the universe, the remainder would be worthless. Therefore, the universe is a deity if the Soul that is separable from it be included within its substance. The remainder constitutes the guardian which (Plato) names the Great Guardian, and which, besides, possesses all the passions proper to guardians.

MacKenna

9. This brings us to the Spindle-destiny, spun according to the ancients by the Fates. To Plato the Spindle represents the co-operation of the moving and the stable elements of the kosmic circuit: the Fates with Necessity, Mother of the Fates, manipulate it and spin at the birth of every being, so that all comes into existence through Necessity.

In the Timaeus, the creating God bestows the essential of the Soul, but it is the divinities moving in the kosmos   [the stars] that infuse the powerful affections holding from Necessity our impulse and our desire, our sense   of pleasure and of pain - and that lower phase of the Soul in which such experiences originate. By this statement our personality is bound up with the stars, whence our Soul [as total of Principle and affections] takes shape; and we are set under necessity at our very entrance into the world: our temperament will be of the stars’ ordering, and so, therefore, the actions which derive from temperament, and all the experiences of a nature shaped to impressions.

What, after all this, remains to stand for the "We"?

The "We" is the actual resultant of a Being whose nature includes, with certain sensibilities, the power of governing them. Cut off as we are by the nature of the body, God has yet given us, in the midst of all this evil, virtue the unconquerable, meaningless in a state of tranquil safety but everything where its absence would be peril of fall.

Our task, then, is to work for our liberation from this sphere, severing ourselves from all that has gathered about us; the total man is to be something better than a body ensouled - the bodily element dominant with a trace of Soul running through it and a resultant life-course mainly of the body - for in such a combination all is, in fact, bodily. There is another life, emancipated, whose quality is progression towards the higher realm, towards the good and divine, towards that Principle which no one possesses except by deliberate usage but so may appropriate, becoming, each personally, the higher, the beautiful, the Godlike  , and living, remote, in and by It - unless one choose to go bereaved of that higher Soul and therefore, to live fate-bound, no longer profiting, merely, by the significance of the sidereal system but becoming as it were a part sunken in it and dragged along with the whole thus adopted.

For every human Being is of twofold character; there is that compromise-total and there is the Authentic Man: and it is so with the Kosmos as a whole; it is in the one phase a conjunction of body with a certain form of the Soul bound up in body; in the other phase it is the Universal Soul, that which is not itself embodied but flashes down its rays into the embodied Soul: and the same twofold quality belongs to the Sun and the other members of the heavenly system.

To the remoter Soul, the pure, sun and stars communicate no baseness. In their efficacy upon the [material] All, they act as parts of it, as ensouled bodies within it; and they act only upon what is partial; body is the agent while, at the same time, it becomes the vehicle through which is transmitted something of the star’s will and of that authentic Soul in it which is steadfastly in contemplation of the Highest.

But [with every allowance to the lower forces] all follows either upon that Highest or rather upon the Beings about It - we may think of the Divine as a fire whose outgoing warmth pervades the Universe - or upon whatsoever is transmitted by the one Soul [the divine first Soul] to the other, its Kin [the Soul of any particular being]. All that is graceless is admixture. For the Universe is in truth   a thing of blend, and if we separate from it that separable Soul, the residue is little. The All is a God when the divine Soul is counted in with it; "the rest," we read, "is a mighty spirit   and its ways are subdivine."