OF THE MAGICAL POWER, &c.
THEREFORE the knowledge and power magical, and that faculty in man which acteth only per nutum, sleeps since the knowledge of the apple was eaten; and as long as this knowledge (which is of the flesh and blood, gross and material belonging to the external man and darkness) flourishes, the more noble magical power is lying dormant.
But because in sleep this outward or sensual knowledge is sometimes dormant, hence it is that our dreams are sometimes prophetical, and God himself is therefore nearer unto man in dreams, through that effect, viz. when the more inward magic of the soul being uninterrupted by the flesh, diffuses itself on every side into the understanding; even as when it sinks itself into the inferior powers thereof it safely leads those who walk in their sleep by moving or conducting them, whither those that were awake could not surmount or climb.
Therefore we establish this point, viz. that there is inherent in the soul a certain magical virtue given her by God, naturally proper and belonging to her, in asmuch as we are his image and engravement; and in this respect she acts also in a peculiar manner, i. e. spiritually on an object at a distance, and that more powerfully than by any corporeal assistance; for seeing the soul is the principal part of the body, therefore all action belonging to her is spiritual, magical, and of the greatest validity.
Which power man is able, by the Art of the Cabala, to excite in himself at his own pleasure, and these, as we have before said, are called Adepts; who are governed by the Spirit of God.
Thus we have endeavoured to shew that man predominates over all other creatures that are corporeal, and that by his magical faculty he is able to subdue the magical virtues of all other things; which predominance of man, or the
soul's natural magic, some have ignorantly attributed solely to verses, charms, signs, characters, &c. by which hierarchy or holy dominion inherent in man, those effects, whatever they may be, are wrought, which some (who but too corporeally philosophize) have attributed to the dominion of Satan.
High and sacred is the force of the microcosmical spirit, which, as is evident in pregnant women, stamps upon the young the image and properties of a thing desired, as we have before instanced in a cherry, which, without the trunk of a tree, brings forth a true cherry, that is flesh and blood, enobled with the properties and power of the more inward or real cherry, by the conception of the imagination alone; from whence are two necessary consequences.
First, that all the spirits, and as it were the essences of all things, lie hid in us, and are born and brought forth only by the working, power, and phantasy of the microcosm.
The second is, that the soul, in conceiving, generates a certain idea of the thing conceived; the which, as it before lay hid unknown, like fire in a flint, so by the stirring up of the phantasy there is produced a certain real idea, which is not a naked quality, but something like a substance, hanging in suspense between a body and a spirit, that is the soul.
That middle being is so spiritual, that it is not plainly exempted from a corporeal condition, since the actions of the soul are limited on the body, and the inferior orders of faculties de ending upon it, nor yet so corporeal that it may be inclosed by dimensions, the which we have also related to be only proper to a seminal being. This ideal entity, therefore, when it falls out of the invisible and intellectual world of the microcosm, it puts on a body, and then it is first inclosed by the limitation of place and numbers.
The object of the understanding is in itself a naked and pure essence, not an accident, by the consent of practical, that is, mystical divines; therefore this Proteus or transferable essence, the understanding doth, as it were, put on and clothe itself, with this conceived essence.
But because every body, whether external or internal, hath its making in its own proper image, the understanding knows or discerns not, the will loves and wills not, the memory recollects not, but by images or likenesses: the understanding
therefore puts on this same image of its object; and because the soul is the pure simple form of the body, which turns itself about to every member, therefore the acting understanding cannot have two images at once, but first one and then the other. He, who is wholly the life, created all things and hath said, nothing is to be expected as dead out of his hand. Likewise nothing can come to our view wherein himself is not clearly apparent or present; for it is said, "the spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole globe of the earth:" and, again, "that he containeth or comprehendeth all things," therefore there is nothing in being, no creature but what possesses a certain degree of divine fire and life, yet lying dormant or unexcited, till stirred up by the art, power, and operation of man.