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Plotino - Tratado 52,18 (II, 3, 18) — Os males são necessário e úteis

Enéada II, 3, 18

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

      
      

Míguez

18. ¿Son necesarios, pues, los males en el universo  , por seguirse de los seres superiores? Sí lo son, porque si no lo fuesen, el universo sería imperfecto. Muchos de entre ellos, e incluso todos, prestan algún servido al universo, como ocurre con los animales venenosos, aunque esto se nos oculta la mayoría de las veces. Aun el vicio reporta mucha utilidad y produce cosas hermosas, como por ejemplo la belleza de todo producto artificial Por él nos inclinamos a la prudencia, ya que no nos permite descansar en la seguridad.

Si lo que ahora decimos es justo, el alma   del universo debe contemplar los seres mejores y enderezarse siempre hacia la naturaleza inteligible y hacia Dios  . Llena y colmada de ellos hasta la saciedad, brota entonces del alma una especie de imagen, que ocupa en aquélla su límite más bajo. Esta imagen es precisamente la productora de las cusas, la que ocupa el lugar   inferior   en la escala de las potencias; sobre ella se encuentra la parte principal del alma, llena de formas que provienen de la inteligencia; y aun por encima quedará situada la inteligencia del demiurgo, que da al alma; que viene después de ella, esas formas cuyas huellas convienen al tercer rango. Se dice, pues, con razón que el mundo es una imagen, reproducida de modo indefinido; la primera y la segunda realidad permanecen inmóviles, y lo mismo puede decirse de la tercera, aunque ésta, por hallarse sometida a la materia, es movida por accidente.

En tanto existan una inteligencia y un alma, las razones (seminales) estarán fluyendo hacia la última especie de alma; al igual que en tanto exista el sol  , toda luz provendrá de él.

Bouillet

[XVIII] Faut-il donc regarder comme nécessaires les maux qui se trouvent dans l’univers, parce qu’ils sont les conséquences de principes supérieurs? Oui: car sans eux l’univers serait imparfait. La plupart des maux, ou plutôt tous les maux sont utiles à l’univers: tels sont les animaux venimeux; mais souvent on ne sait pas à quoi ils servent. La méchanceté même est utile sous beaucoup de rapports, et peut produire beaucoup de belles choses: par exemple, elle conduit à de belles inventions; elle oblige les hommes à la prudence, et ne les laisse pas s’endormir dans une indolente sécurité.[85]

Si ces réflexions sont justes, il faut admettre que l’Ame universelle contemple toujours les meilleurs principes, parce qu’elle est tournée vers le monde intelligible et vers Dieu. Comme elle s’en remplit et qu’elle en est remplie, elle déborde en quelque sorte sur son image, sur la Puissance   qui tient le dernier rang [la Puissance naturelle et génératrice], et qui, par conséquent, est la dernière Puissance créatrice. Au-dessus de cette Puissance créatrice est la Puissance de l’Ame qui reçoit les formes immédiatement de l’Intelligence. Au-dessus de tout est l’Intelligence, le Démiurge, qui donne les formes à l’Ame universelle, et celle-ci en imprime des traces à la puissance qui tient le troisième rang [la Puissance naturelle et génératrice].[86] Ce monde est donc véritablement une image qui se forme perpétuellement (ἐικών ἀεί ἐικονιζόμενος).[87] Les deux premiers principes sont immobiles; le troisième est également immobile [par son essence], mais il est engagé dans la matière; il devient donc mobile par accident. Tant que l’Intelligence et que l’Ame subsistent, les raisons[88] en découlent dans cette image de l’Ame [la Puissance naturelle et génératrice]; de même tant que le soleil subsiste, toute lumière en émane.[89]

Guthrie

EVILS ARE NECESSARY TO THE PERFECTION OF THE UNIVERSE.

18. Must the evils in the universe be considered as necessary, because they are the consequences of the superior principles? Yes, for without them the universe would be imperfect. The greater number of evils, if not all of them, are useful to the universe; such as the venomous animals; though they often ignore their real   utility. Even wickedness is useful in certain respects, and can produce many beautiful things; for example, it leads to fine inventions, it forces men to prudence, and does not let them fall asleep in an indolent security.

PICTURE OF THE STRUCTURE OF THE UNIVERSE.

Under these circumstances, it is plain that the universal   Soul ever contemplates the better principles, because it is turned towards the intelligible world, and towards the divinity. As she fills herself with God, and is filled with God, she, as it were, overflows over her image, namely, the power which holds the last rank (the natural generative power), and which, consequently, is the last creative power. Above this creative power is the power of the Soul which immediately receives the forms from the Intelligence. Above all is the intelligence, the Demiurge, who gives the forms to the universal Soul, and the latter impresses its traces on the third-rank power (the natural generative power) [1]. This world, therefore, is veritably a picture which perpetually pictures itself. The two first principles are immovable; the third is also immovable (in essence); but it is engaged in matter, and becomes immovable (only) by accident. As long as the Intelligence and the Soul subsist, the "reasons" flow down into this image of the Soul (the natural generative power); likewise, so long as the sun subsists, all light emanates therefrom.

MacKenna

18. Are the evils in the Universe necessary because it is of later origin than the Higher Sphere?

Perhaps rather because without evil the All would be incomplete. For most or even all forms of evil serve the Universe - much as the poisonous snake has its use - though in most cases their function is unknown. Vice itself has many useful sides: it brings about much that is beautiful, in artistic creations for example, and it stirs us to thoughtful living, not allowing us to drowse in security.

If all this is so, then [the secret of creation is that] the Soul of the All abides in contemplation of the Highest and Best, ceaselessly striving towards the Intelligible Kind and towards God: but, thus absorbing and filled full, it overflows - so to speak - and the image it gives forth, its last utterance towards the lower, will be the creative puissance.

This ultimate phase, then, is the Maker, secondary to that aspect of the Soul which is primarily saturated from the Divine Intelligence. But the Creator   above all is the Intellectual-Principle, as giver, to the Soul that follows it, of those gifts whose traces exist in the Third Kind.

Rightly, therefore, is this Kosmos   described as an image continuously being imaged, the First and the Second Principles immobile, the Third, too, immobile essentially, but, accidentally and in Matter, having motion.

For as long as divine Mind and Soul exist, the divine Thought-Forms will pour forth into that phase of the Soul: as long as there is a sun, all that streams from it will be some form of Light.


[1Plotinos here makes in the world-Soul a distinction analogous to that obtaining in the human one (where there is a reasonable soul, and its image, the vegetative soul, see i. 1.8-12; IV. 4. 13, 14). Here he asserts that there are two souls; the superior soul (the principal power of the soul, which receives the forms from Intelligence (see IV. 4.9-12, 35), and the inferior soul (nature, or the generative power), which transmits them to matter, so as to fashion it by seminal reasons (see iii. 4.13, 14, 22, 27). Bouillet, no doubt remembering Plotinos’s own earlier invectives against those who divided the world-soul (II. 9.6), evidently directed against Amelius and the Numenian influence, which till then he had followed — tries to minimize it, claiming that this does not mean two different hypostases, but only two functions of one and the same hypostasis. But he acknowledges that this gave the foundation for Plotinos’s successors’ distinction between the suoermundane and the mundane souls (hyperkosmios, and egkosmios). Plotinos was therefore returning to Numenius’s two world-souls (fr. 16), which was a necessary logical consequence of his belief in two human souls (fr. 53), as he himself had taught in iii. 8.5. Plotinos objectifies this doubleness of the soul in the myth of the two Hercules, in the next book, L 1.12. 7 2 See II. 92.