« EdellinenJatka »
proximately produce effects corresponding to the end intended by God the Creator.
696. THE FIFTH MEMORABLE RELATION.
I once prayed to the Lord, that He would permit me to converse with the disciples of ARISTOTLE, and at the same time with those of DESCARTES, and also with those of LEIBNITZ, to the end that I might hear from them their opinions on the intercourse between the soul and the body; and when I had prayed, nine persons presented themselves to my view, three of each class, and ranged themselves about me; the worshippers of Aristotle on the left, the followers of Descartes on the right, and the favourers of Leibnitz behind: at a great distance off, and at considerable intervals of space from each other, appeared three men, as if crowned with laurel, whom I knew, by an influent perception from heaven, to be the three founders of those sects; behind Leibnitz stood one who had hold on the skirt of his garment, and I was told that he was Wolfius. The nine men when they first met, behaved courteously to one another; but presently there arose a spirit from beneath with a torch in his right hand, which he waved before their faces, and then they commenced enemies, three against three, and looked at each other with a stern aspect, for they were seized with the passion of altercation and dispute. The Aristotelians, who were of the schoolmen, began the debate, saying, "Who doth not perceive that objects enter by influx through the senses into the soul, just as a man enters into a room through the door, and consequently that the soul thinks according to such influx? When a lover beholds the mistress of his affections, do not his eyes sparkle, and convey the love of the fair object to his soul? When a heap of money presents itself to the view of the miser, do not all his senses burn at the sight, and transfer their emotion to his soul, exciting there an ardent desire to possess it? And when the vain man hears himself praised, does he not E E
prick up his ears at the sound, and do not these convey the praises to his soul? Are not these instances, among numberless others, sufficient to demonstrate that the bodily senses are as inlets to the soul, and to establish the doctrine of physical influx, that is, an influx from nature?" To this the Cartesians, who had hitherto stood with their fingers placed beneath their foreheads, in a musing posture, replied as follows; "Alas, you reason from appearances only! Do you not know, that it is not the eye of the lover that admires and desires the beloved object, but his soul? that it is not from any bodily sense that the miser covets the golden heap, but from his soul? and lastly, that it is not from themselves that the ears of the vain man so eagerly listen to the praises of the flatterer, but from the soul? Is it not the perceptive faculty which produces sense? and perception is a faculty not of the organ but of the soul. Shew, if you can, what causes the tongue and lips to speak but thought, or the hands to work but the will; and thought and will belong to the soul. So again, what but the soul makes the eyes see, the ears hear, and gives the other organs the power of feeling, attending, and adverting to objects? From these and many more convincing proofs, every one whose wisdom is elevated above the sensual apprehensions of the body, concludes, that influx proceeds not from the body into the soul, but from the soul into the body, and this we call occasional, and also spiritual influx." After this, the three who were favourers of Leibnitz, and stood behind the other triads, cried out and said, "We have heard and compared the arguments on both sides, and find that in many respects the latter are stronger than the former, and in many others the former are stronger than the latter, and therefore, if agreed to, we will compound the difference:" And being asked how; they answered, " By setting aside all influx from the soul into the body, and also from the body into the soul, and by maintaining a joint consent and instantaneous
operation of both together, which a celebrated author has distinguished by the admirable name of pre-established harmony." Upon this, the spirit appeared again with the torch, but now it was in his left hand, and he waved it behind their heads; on this, all their ideas became confused, and they cried out with one voice, "Neither soul nor body knows which side to take; let us then decide the dispute by casting lots, and abide by that which comes up first." This said, they took three bits of paper, on one of which they wrote PHYSICAL INFLUX, on the second SPIRITUAL INFLUX, and on the third, PRE-ESTABLISHED HARMONY: these they put into the crown of a cap, and appointed one of their number to be the drawer, who putting in his hand, drew out that lot on which was written SPIRITUAL INFLUX; on seeing and reading which, they all said, some with a clear and fluent tone of voice, and others with a faint and indrawn tone, "Let us abide by this, because it came out first." At that instant an angel suddenly appeared, and said to them, "Do not suppose that the lot in favour of spiritual influx came forth by mere chance, but know, that it was by divine direction; for not being able, from the confusion of your ideas, to discern the truth of that doctrine, the very truth thus presented itself to the hand, that so ye might be led to favour it."
697. THE SIXTH MEMORABLE RELATION.
I once observed, not far from me, a singular meteoric phanomenon; I saw a cloud divided into lesser clouds, some of which were of an azure colour, and some opake; and I saw them as it were in collision together: rays, disposed in streaks, which one while appeared pointed like sharp swords, and another while blunt, like broken swords, shone through them the streaks sometimes darted out against each other, at other times drew themselves back within themselves, just like the swords of actual combatants: thus these lesser clouds of diverse colours appeared as if they were contend
ing with each other in battle; but this was an illusion. As this meteoric phænomenon was seen at no great distance from me, I lifted up my eyes, and looking attentively, saw some boys, young men, and old men, entering into a house which was built of marble, with a foundation of porphyry, and it was over this house that the above phænomenon appeared; so addressing myself to one who was going in, I asked, "What house is this?" He answered, "It is a gymnasium, where young persons are initiated into various arcana of wisdom." Hearing this, I went in with the rest, being then in the spirit, that is, being in a similar state with the men of the spiritual world, who are called spirits and angels: and lo! within the gymnasium in front appeared a desk, in the middle, benches, and seats round about the sides, and over the entrance, an orchestra; the desk was for the young men who were to give answers to the problem which was to be proposed, the benches were for the auditors, the seats on the sides for those who on former occasions had given wise answers, and the orchestra for the seniors who were to be judges and arbitrators: in the middle of the orchestra was a pulpit, where sat a wise man, whom they called the head-master, who proposed the problems to which the young men in the desk were to give answers. And when they were all assembled, this man arose and said, "I pray you, give an answer now to this problem, and solve it if you can: WHAT IS THE SOUL, AND WHAT IS ITS NATURE AND QUALITY?" On hearing this problem all were surprized, and began to murmur, and some of the auditors on the benches exclaimed, “ What man, from the Saturnian age down to the present time, has been able, by any rational thought, to see and conceive what the soul is, and much less its nature and quality? Is not this a subject above the sphere of all human understanding?" But reply was made from the orchestra, "It is not above the understanding, but within its sphere, and open to its apprehension; so let the problem be answered." Then the
young men who were appointed for that day to ascend the desk, and reply to the question, arose; they were five in number, who had been examined by the seniors, and found to be possessed of sagacity and discernment: when the problem was proposed, they were sitting on sofas by the side of the desk; they ascended in the order in which they sat, and each, when he ascended, put on a tunic of silk, of an opaline colour, and over it a gown of soft wool, in which flowers were interwoven, and on his head a cap, on the top of which was a bunch of roses encircled with small sapphires. And I saw the first youth, thus clad, ascending the desk, and he thus began, "What the soul is, and what is its nature and quality, is a mystery hidden amongst the deep secrets of God, which has never been revealed to any one from the day of creation; this indeed has been discovered, that the soul resideth in man as a queen, but where she keeps her court, is, among the learned, a matter of mere conjecture; some have supposed it to be in the small tubercle between the cerebrum and cerebellum, which is called the pineal gland, and there they have fixed the soul's habitation, from observing that the whole man is governed by those two spheres of the brain, and that these again are regulated by that tubercle; whatsoever then regulates the brains at pleasure, must also regulate the whole man from head to foot." And he added, "Hence this account was received as true, or probable, by many in the world, but in the course of this century it has been rejected as groundless." When he had thus ended, he took off his gown, his tunic, and cap, which the second of the appointed speakers put on, and then ascending the desk, thus delivered his sentiments concerning the soul: "What the soul is, and what is its nature and quality, are points utterly unknown both in heaven and in the world; this only is known, that it is, and that it is in man, but in what part of man is a matter of conjecture; it is clear however, that it is in the head, for there the under