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The Philosophy of Natural Magic, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, L. W. de Laurence ed. [1913], at


Of the Forming of Man, of the External Senses, also those Inward, and the Mind; and of the Three-Fold Appetite of the Soul, and Passions of the Will.

It is the opinion of some divines that God did not immediately create the body of man, but by the assistance of the heavenly spirits compounded and framed him; which opinion Alcinous and Plato favor, thinking that God is the chief creator of the whole world, and of spirits, both good and bad, and therefore, immortalized them; but that all kinds of mortal animals were made only at the command of God; for, if he should have created them, they must have been immortal. The spirits, therefore, mixing Earth, Fire, Air, and Water together, made of them all, put together, one body, which they subjected to the service of the soul, assigning in it several provinces to each power thereof; to the meaner of them, mean and low

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places: as to anger, the midriff; to desire, the womb; but to the more noble senses, the head—as the tower of the whole body—and then the manifold organs of speech. They divide the senses into the external and internal. The external are divided into five, known to every one, to which there are allotted five organs, or subjects, as it were foundations; being so ordered that they which are placed in the more eminent part of the body, have a greater degree of purity. For the eyes, placed in the uppermost place, are the most pure, and have an affinity with the nature of Fire and Light; then the ears have the second order of place and purity, and are compared to the Air; the nostrils have the third order, and have a middle nature betwixt the Air and the Water. Then the organ of tasting, which is grosser, and most like to the nature of Water. Last of all the touching is diffused through the whole body, and is compared to the grossness of Earth. The more pure senses are those which perceive their objects farthest off, as seeing and hearing; then the smelling, then the taste, which doth not perceive but that which is nigh. But the touch perceives both ways, for it perceives bodies nigh; and as sight discerns by the medium of the Air, so the touch perceives, by the medium of a stick or pole, bodies hard, soft and moist. Now the touch only is common to all animals. And it is most certain that man hath this sense, and, in this and taste, he excels all other animals; but in the other three, he is excelled by some animals, as by a dog, who hears, sees and smells more acutely than man; and the lynx and eagles see more acutely than all other animals and man. Now the interior senses are, according to Averrois, divided into four, whereof the first is called common sense, because it doth first collect and perfect all the representations which are drawn in by the outward senses. The second is the imaginative power, whose office is, seeing it represents nothing, to retain

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those representations which are received by the former senses, and to present them to the third faculty of inward sense, which is the phantasy, or power of judging, whose work is also to perceive and judge by the representations received, what, or what kind of thing that is of which the representations are; and to commit those things which are thus discerned and adjudged, to the memory to be kept. For the virtues thereof in general, are discourse, dispositions, persecutions, and fights, and stirrings up to action, but in particular, the understanding of intellectuals, virtues, the manner of discipline, counsel, and election. This is that which shows us future things by dreams, whence the fancy is sometimes named the phantastical intellect. For it is the last impression of the understanding, which, as saith Iamblicus, is that belonging to all the powers of the mind, and forms all figures, resemblances of species, and operations, and things seen, and sends forth the impressions of other powers unto others. And those things which appear by sense, it stirs up into an opinion; but those things which appear by the intellect, in the second place, it offers to opinion; but of itself it receives images from all, and by its property, doth properly assign them, according to their assimilation; it forms all the actions of the soul, and accommodates the external to the internal and impresses the body with its impression. Now these senses have their organs in the head, for the common sense and imagination take up the two forward cells of the brain, although Aristotle placeth the organ of the common sense in the heart; but the cogitative power possesseth the highest and middle part of the head; and, lastly, the memory the hindmost part thereof. Moreover, the organs of voice and speech are many, as the inward muscles of the breast betwixt the ribs, the breasts, the lungs, the arteries, the windpipe, the bowing of the tongue, and all those

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parts and muscles that serve for breathing. But the proper organ of speech is the mouth, in which are framed words and speeches, the tongue, the teeth, the lips, the palate and the like. Above the sensible soul, which expresseth its powers by the organs of the body, the incorporeal mind possesseth the highest place, and it hath a double nature—the one, which inquireth into the causes, properties, and progress of those things which are contained in the Order of Nature, and is content in the contemplation of the truth, which is, therefore called the contemplative intellect. The other is a power of the mind which, discerning by consulting what things are to be done and what is to be shunned, is wholly taken up in consultation and action, and is therefore called the active intellect. This order of powers, therefore, Nature ordained in man, that by the external senses we might know corporeal things, and by those internal the representations of bodies, as also things abstracted by the mind and intellect, which are neither bodies nor any thing like them. And, according to this three-fold order of the powers of the soul, there are three Appetites in the soul: The first is natural, and is an inclination of nature unto its end, as of a stone downward, which is in all stones; another is animal, which the sense follows, and it is divided into that irascible and that concupiscible; the third is intellectual, and is called the will, differing from the sensitive faculty in that the sensitive is, of itself, of those things which may be presented to the senses, desiring nothing unless in some manner comprehended. But the will, although it be of itself of all things that are possible, yet, because it is free by its essence, it may be also of things that are impossible, as it was in the devil (desiring himself to be equal with God) and, therefore, is altered and depraved with pleasure and with continual anguish, whilst it assents to the inferior powers. Whence,

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from its depraved appetite, there arise four passions in it, with which, in like manner, the body is affected sometimes. Whereof the first is called oblectation, which is a certain quietness or assentation of the mind or will, because it obeys, and not willingly consents to that pleasantness which the senses hold forth; which is, therefore, defined to be an inclination of the mind to an effeminate pleasure. The second is called effusion, which is a remission of, or dissolution of the power, viz., when beyond the oblectation, the whole power of the mind and intention of the present good is melted, and diffuseth itself to enjoy it. The third is vaunting and loftiness, thinking itself to have attained to some great good, in the enjoyment of which it prides itself and glorieth. The fourth and the last is envy, or a certain kind of pleasure or delight at another man's harm, without any advantage to itself. It is said to be without any advantage to itself, because, if any one should, for his own profit, rejoice at another man's harm, this would be rather out of love to himself than out of ill will to another. And all these four passions, arising from a depraved appetite for pleasure, the grief or perplexity itself doth also beget very many contrary passions, as horror, sadness, fear, and sorrow at another's good without his own hurt, which we call envy, or sadness at another's prosperity, just as pity is a certain kind of sadness at another's misery.

Next: Chapter LXII. Of the Passions of the Mind, their Original Source, Differences, and Kinds