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Plotino - Tratado 52,13 (II, 3, 13) — Princípio geral: nada pode modificar a razão que dirige o universo

Enéada II, 3, 13

quinta-feira 2 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

      

13. Princípio geral: nada pode modificar a razão   que dirige o universo  ; uma coisa não pode senão melhorar uma outra ou torná-la pior  , sem mudar   sua natureza.

      

Míguez

13. Conviene que ahora tomemos tu consideración y distingamos estos dos casos, a saber, el hecho de que unas cosas derivan del movimiento del cielo y otras no, diciendo ademas, de manera general, de dónde proviene cada cosa. Nuestro principio es el siguiente: el alma   gobierna el universo   de acuerdo con la razón y puede ser comparada al principio que, en cada ser animado, modela las partes de este y las ordena con ese todo del que ellas son parte. En el todo se da la totalidad de las partes, pero en cada parte no se da, en cambio, más que ella misma. Las cosas de fuera son aquí unas veces contrarias y otras favorables a la voluntad de la naturaleza; en tanto en el universo todos los seres, sin excepción alguna, están ordenados al conjunto   por ser precisamente sus partes; de ese todo tienen su naturaleza y con él colaboran por su inclinación característica   hacia la vida universal  .

Los seres inanimados han de ser considerados como instrumentos, movidos a la acción por un impulso que les viene le fuera. Y en cuanto a los seres animados ocurrirá lo siguiente: unos conocerán un movimiento sin límite, cual si se tratase de caballos enganchados que, antes de que el auriga decida sobre la carrera, han de ser dominados a golpe, otros, y hablamos ahora de los de naturaleza racional, tienen en si mismos su propio conductor. Si este conductor es diestro, su carrera será recta y nunca fortuita, como tantas veces ocurre. Unos y otros, sin embargo, están en el interior   del universo y colaboran con el todo; los mayores de entre ellos y los que merecen más estima   actúan continuamente y colaboran en gran medida a la vida del universo; su disposición es, desde luego, mucho más activa que pasiva. Pero hay otros que perseveran en su pasividad, por carecer apenas de poder para la acción. Y aun puede hablarse de aquellos seres intermedios, que son pasivos en relación con los primeros, pero que actúan con renovada frecuencia y, en muchos casos, sacan de sí mismos el principio de sus acciones y creaciones.

Así se origina la vida universal en la que los seres mejores tienen también la actividad mejor, en razón de que poseen en si mismos el mejor principio; no obstante, deberán subordinarse a su jefe, como lo hacen los soldados con su general; de ellos se dice que "siguen a Zeus  ’, inclinado a la naturaleza inteligible. Los que poseen una naturaleza inferior   ocupan el segundo lugar en el universo, análogamente a lo que tiene el segundo lugar en nuestra alma. En cuanto a los demás se encuentran en el universo a la manera como en nosotros nuestros órganos; porque es indudable que todos ellos no son iguales.

Todos los seres animados viven de conformidad con la razón del universo. Y no sólo los seres animados que están en el cielo sino todos los demás que se reparten por el universo; pues ninguna parte del universo, ni aun la mayor, tiene el poder de transformar las razones de los seres, y ni siquiera lo producido en ellos por estas mismas razones. Puede producir, si acaso, una alteración en doble sentido, mejor o peor, sin que por esto los haga salir de su naturaleza. Y así hace peores a los seres, bien originando su debilidad corporal, bien convirtiéndose accidentalmente en causa   de rebajamiento pan esa alma que simpatiza con ella, y que por ella también ha recibido su inclinación hacia abajo. E incluso de la constitución defectuosa del cuerpo hace un obstáculo para la actividad del ser que se vuelve hacia ella, el cuerpo no es entonces otra cosa que una lira desajustada, que no puede recibir el acuerdo riguroso de los sonidos musicales.

Bouillet

[XIII] Il nous reste maintenant à discerner, à déterminer et à énoncer d’où provient chaque chose, puisqu’il est des choses qui sont produites par le cours des astres et d’autres qui ne le sont pas. Voici notre principe. L’Ame gouverne l’univers par la Raison (ψυχῆς τὸ πᾶν διοικούσης κατὰ λόγον), comme chaque animal   est gouverné par le principe [la raison] qui façonne ses organes et les met en harmonie avec le tout dont ils sont des parties;[53] or le tout contient toutes choses et les parties ne renferment que ce qui leur est particulier. Quant aux influences extérieures, les unes secondent, les autres contrarient la tendance de la nature. Toutes choses sont subordonnées au Tout parce qu’elles en saut des parties: prises chacune avec leur nature propre et avec leurs tendances particulières, elles forment par leur concours la vie totale de l’univers.[54] Les êtres inanimés servent d’instruments aux autres qui les mettent en mouvement par une Impulsion mécanique. Les êtres animés, mais privés de raison, ont un mouvement indéterminé: tels sont les chevaux attachés à un char avant que le conducteur leur indique la marche qu’ils doivent suivre : car ils ont besoin du fouet pour être dirigés. La nature de l’animal raisonnable a en elle-même le conducteur qui la dirige;[55] si celui-ci est habile, elle suit la droite voie,[56] au lieu d’aller au hasard, comme cela arrive souvent. Les êtres doués de raison et ceux qui en sont privés se trouvent contenus les uns et les autres dans l’univers, et contribuent à en former l’ensemble. Ceux qui sont plus puissants et qui occupent un rang plus élevé font beaucoup de choses importantes, et concourent à la vie de l’univers où ils ont un rôle plutôt actif que passif. Ceux qui sont passifs agissent peu. Ceux qui occupent un rang intermédiaire sont passifs à l’égard des uns, souvent actifs à l’égard des autres, parce qu’ils ont par eux-mêmes la puissance d’agir et de produire.[57]

L’univers a une vie universelle et parfaite, parce que les principes excellents [les âmes des astres] produisent des choses excellentes, c’est-à-dire, ce qu’il y a d’excellent dans chaque chose.[58] Ces principes sont subordonnés à l’Âme qui gouverne l’Univers, comme des soldats le sont à leur général; aussi Platon   dit-il qu’ils forment le cortége de Jupiter[59] quand celui-ci s’avance à la contemplation du monde intelligible.[60]

Les êtres qui ont une nature inférieure [aux âmes des astres], les hommes tiennent le second rang dans l’univers, et y jouent le même rôle que remplit en nous la seconde puissance de l’âme [la raison discursive]. Les autres êtres [les brutes] tiennent à peu près le même rang qu’occupe en nous la dernière puissance de l’âme [la puissance végétative] : car en nous toutes les puissances ne sont pas égales.[61] Donc tous les êtres qui sont dans le ciel ou qui se trouvent distribués dans l’univers sont des êtres animés et tiennent leur vie de la Raison totale de l’univers [parce qu’elle contient les raisons séminales de tous les êtres vivants]. Une des parties de l’univers, quelle que soit sa grandeur, n’a pas la puissance d’altérer les raisons ni les êtres engendrés avec le concours de ces raisons. Elle peut rendre ces êtres meilleurs ou pires, mais non leur faire perdre leur nature propret Quand elle les rend pires, c’est qu’elle affaiblit, soit leur corps, soit leur âme : ce qui a lieu lorsqu’un accident devient une cause de vice pour l’âme qui partage les passions du corps [l’âme sensitive et végétative] et qui est donnée au principe inférieur [à l’animal] par le principe supérieur [l’âme raisonnable], ou bien lorsque le corps par sa mauvaise organisation entrave les actes où l’âme besoin de son concours : il ressemble alors à une lyre mal accordée et incapable de rendre des sons qui forment une parfaite harmonie.[62]

Guthrie

DISTINCTION BETWEEN WHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT PRODUCED BY THE STARS.

13. We must now distinguish, decide and express the origin of various things, inasmuch as there are some things that are produced by the course of the stars, and others that are not. Our principle is that the Soul governs the universe by Reason, just as each animal is governed by the principle (the reason) which fashions his organs, and harmonizes them with the whole of which they are parts; now the All contains everything, while the parts contain only what is individual to them. As to exterior influences, some assist, while others oppose the tendency of nature. All things are subordinated to the All because they are parts of it; by their co-operation, each with its own nature and their particular tendencies they form the total life of the universe. The inanimate beings serve as instruments for the others that set them in motion by a mechanical impulse. Irrational animated beings move indeterminately; such as horses attached to a chariot before the driver indicates which direction they are to follow; for they need the whip to be directed. The nature of the reasonable animal contains the directing driver; if the driver be skilful, it follows the straight road, instead of going blindly at chance, as often happens. Beings gifted with reason and those that lack it are both contained within the universe, and contribute to the formation of the whole. Those which are more powerful, and which occupy a more elevated rank do many important things, and co-operate in the life of the universe where their part is active, rather than passive. The passive ones act but little. Those of intermediary rank are passive in regard to some, and often active in regard to others, because they themselves possess the power of action and production (the stars, the brutes, and men.).

THE STARS AS THE FOLLOWERS OF THE UNIVERSAL KING.

The universe leads an universal and perfect life, because the good principles (the star-Souls) produce excellency, that is, the more excellent part In every object. These principles are subordinate to the Soul that governs the universe, as soldiers are to their general; consequently, (Plato) describes this by the figure of the attendants of Jupiter (the universal Soul) advancing to the contemplation of the intelligible world.

MEN AS SOULS OF THE SECOND RANK.

The beings which possess a nature inferior to the star-Souls, that is, men, occupy the second rank in the universe, and play in it the same part played in us by the second power of the soul (the discursive reason). The other beings, that is, the animals, occupy about the same rank occupied in us by the lowest (or vegetative) power of the soul; for all these powers in us are not of equal rank. Consequently, all the beings which are in the heaven, or which are distributed in the universe are animated beings, and derive their life from the total Reason of the universe (because it contains the "seminal reasons" of all living beings). None of the parts of the universe, whatever be its greatness, possesses the power of altering the reasons, nor the beings engendered with the co-operation of these reasons. It may improve or degrade these beings, but cannot deprive them of their individual nature. It degrades them by injuring either their body or their soul; which occurs when an accident becomes a cause of vice for the soul which partakes of the passions of the body (the sensitive and vegetative soul) and which is given over to the inferior principle (to the animal) by the superior principle (the reasonable soul); or when the body, by its poor organization, hinders the actions in which the soul needs its co-operation; then it resembles a badly attuned lyre, which is incapable of producing sounds which could form a perfect harmony.

MacKenna

13. Of phenomena of this sphere some derive from the Kosmic Circuit and some not: we must take them singly and mark them off, assigning to each its origin.

The gist of the whole matter lies in the consideration that Soul governs this All by the plan contained in the Reason-Principle and plays in the All exactly the part of the particular principle which in every living-thing forms the members of the organism and adjusts them to the unity of which they are portions; the entire force of the Soul is represented in the All, but, in the parts, Soul is present only in proportion to the degree of essential reality held by each of such partial objects. Surrounding every separate entity there are other entities, whose approach will sometimes be hostile and sometimes helpful to the purpose of its nature; but to the All taken in its length and breadth each and every separate existent is an adjusted part, holding its own characteristic and yet contributing by its own native tendency to the entire life-history of the Universe.

The soulless parts of the All are merely instruments; all their action is effected, so to speak, under a compulsion from outside themselves.

The ensouled fall into two classes. The one kind has a motion of its own, but haphazard like that of horses between the shafts but before their driver sets the course; they are set right by the whip. In the Living-Being possessed of Reason, the nature-principle includes the driver; where the driver is intelligent, it takes in the main a straight path to a set end. But both classes are members of the All and co-operate towards the general purpose.

The greater and most valuable among them have an important operation over a wide range: their contribution towards the life of the whole consists in acting, not in being acted upon; others, but feebly equipped for action, are almost wholly passive; there is an intermediate order whose members contain within themselves a principle of productivity and activity and make themselves very effective in many spheres or ways and yet serve also by their passivity.

Thus the All stands as one all-complete Life, whose members, to the measure in which each contains within itself the Highest, effect all that is high and noble: and the entire scheme must be subordinate to its Dirigeant as an army to its general, "following upon Zeus" - it has been said - "as he proceeds towards the Intelligible Kind."

Secondary in the All are those of its parts which possess a less exalted nature just as in us the members rank lower than the Soul; and so all through, there is a general analogy between the things of the All and our own members - none of quite equal rank.

All living things, then - all in the heavens and all elsewhere - fall under the general Reason-Principle of the All - they have been made parts with a view to the whole: not one of these parts, however exalted, has power to effect any alteration of these Reason-Principles or of things shaped by them and to them; some modification one part may work upon another, whether for better or for worse; but there is no power that can wrest anything outside of its distinct nature.

The part effecting such a modification for the worse may act in several ways.

It may set up some weakness restricted to the material frame. Or it may carry the weakness through to the sympathetic Soul which by the medium   of the material frame, become a power to debasement, has been delivered over, though never in its essence, to the inferior order of being. Or, in the case of a material frame ill-organized, it may check all such action [of the Soul] upon the material frame as demands a certain collaboration in the part acted upon: thus a lyre may be so ill-strung as to be incapable of the melodic exactitude necessary to musical effect.