THAT HUMAN IMPRECATIONS NATURALLY IMPRESS THEIR POWERS UPON EXTERNAL THINGS--AND HOW MAN'S MIND, THROUGH A DEGREE OF DEPENDENCIES, ASCENDS INTO THE INTELLIGIBLE WORLD, AND BECOMES LIKE TO THE MORE SUBLIME SPIRITS AND INTELLIGENCES.
THE celestial souls send forth their virtues to the celestial bodies, which transmit them to this sensible world; for the virtues of the terrene orb proceed from no other cause than celestial. Hence the magician, that will work by them, uses a cunning invocation of the superiors, with mysterious words and a certain kind of ingenious speech, drawing the one to the other; yet by a natural force, through a certain mutual agreement between them, whereby
things follow of their own accord, or sometimes are drawn unwillingly. Hence says Aristotle, in his sixth book of his Mystical Philosophy, "that when any one, by binding or bewitching, calls upon the Sun or other stars, praying them to assist the work desired, the Sun and other stars do not hear his words; but are moved, after a certain manner, by a certain conjunction and mutual series, whereby the parts of the world are mutually subordinate the one to the other, and have a mutual consent, by reason of their great union: as in a man's body, one member is moved by perceiving the motion of another; and in a harp, one string is moved by the motion of another. So when any one moves any part of the world, other parts are moved by the perceiving of that motion."--The knowledge, therefore, of the dependency of things following one the other, is the foundation of all wonderful operation, which is necessarily required to the exercising the power of attracting superior virtues. Now the words of men are certain natural things; and because the parts of the world mutually draw one the other; therefore a magician invocating by words, works by powers fitted to Nature, by leading some by the love of one to the other; or drawing others, by reason of the one following after the other; or by repelling, by reason of the enmity of one to the other, from the contrariety and difference of things, and multitude of virtues; which, although they are contrary and different, yet perfect one part. Sometimes, also, he compels things by way of authority, by the celestial virtue, because he is not a stranger to the heavens. A man, therefore, if he receives the impression of a ligation, or fascination, doth not receive it according to the rational soul, but sensual; and if he suffers in any part, he suffers according to the animal part; for they cannot draw a knowing and intelligent man by reason, but by receiving that impression and force by sense; inasmuch as the animal spirit of man is, by the influence of the celestials, and co-operation of the things of the world, affected beyond his former and natural disposition. As the son moves the father to labour, although unwilling, to keep and maintain him, although he be wearied; and the desire to rule, is moved by anger and other labours to get the dominion; and the indigency of nature, and fear of poverty, moves a man to desire riches; and the ornaments and beauty of women, is an incitement
to concupiscence; and the harmony of a wise musician moves his hearers with various passions, whereof some do voluntary follow the consonancy of art, others conform themselves by gesture, although unwilling, because their sense is captivated, their reason not being intent to these things. Hence they fall into errors, who think those things to be above nature, or contrary to nature--which indeed are by nature, and according to nature. We must know, therefore, that every superior moves its next inferior, in its degree and order, not only in bodies, but also in spirits: so the universal soul moves the particular soul; the rational acts upon the sensual, and that upon the vegetable; and every part of the world acts upon another, and every part is apt to be moved by another. And every part of this inferior world suffers from the heavens, according to their nature and aptitude, as one part of the animal body suffers for another. And the superior intellectual world moves all things below itself; and, after a manner, contains all the same beings, from the first to the last, which are in the inferior world. Celestial bodies, therefore, move the bodies of the elementary world, compounded, generable, sensible (from the circumference to the centre), by superior, perpetual, and spiritual essences, depending on the primary intellect, which is the acting intellect; but upon the virtue put in by the word of God; which word the wise Chaldeans of Babylon call, the Cause of Causes; because from it are produced all beings: the acting intellect, which is the second, from it depends; and that by reason of the union of the word with the First Author, from whom all things being are truly produced: the word, therefore, is the image of God--the acting intellect, the image of the word--the soul is the image of this intellect--and our word is the image of the soul, by which it acts upon natural things naturally, because nature is the work thereof. And every one of those perfects his subsequent: as a father his son; and none of the latter exists without the former; for they are depending among themselves by a kind of ordinate dependency--so that when the latter is corrupted, it is returned into that which was next before it, until it come to the heavens; then to the universal soul; and, lastly, into the acting intellect, by which all other creatures exist; and itself exists in the principal author, which is the creating word of God, to which, at length, all things are
returned. Our soul, therefore, if it will work any wonderful thing in these inferiors, must have respect to their beginning, that it may be strengthened and illustrated by that, and receive power of acting through each degree, from the very first Author. Therefore we must be more diligent in contemplating the souls of the stars--then their bodies, and the super-celestial and intellectual world--then the celestial, corporeal, because that is more noble; although, also, this be excellent, and the way to that, and without which medium the influence of the superior cannot be attained to. As for example: the Sun is the king of stars, most full of light; but receives it from the intelligible world, above all other stars, because the soul thereof is more capable of intelligible splendour. Wherefore he that desires to attract the influence of the Sun, must contemplate upon the Sun; not only by the speculation of the exterior light, but also of the interior. And no man can do this, unless he return to the soul of the Sun, and become like to it, and comprehend the intelligible light thereof with an intellectual sight, as the sensible light with the corporeal eye; for this man shall be filled with the light thereof, and the light whereof, which is an under type impressed by the supernal orb, it receives into itself; with the illustration whereof his intellect being endowed, and truly like to it, and being assisted by it, shall at length attain to that supreme brightness, and to all forms that partake thereof; and when he hath received the light of the supreme degree, then his soul shall come to perfection, and be made like to spirits of the Sun, and shall attain to the virtues and illustrations of the supernatural virtue, and shall enjoy the power of them, if he has obtained faith in the First Author. In the first place, therefore, we must implore assistance from the First Author; and praying, not only with mouth, but a religious gesture and supplicant soul, also abundantly, incessantly, and sincerely, that he would enlighten our mind, and remove darkness, growing upon our souls by reason of our bodies.