Three Books of Occult Philosophy/Book 1/Chapter 58

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

And because, as they say, all like things being applyed to their like, are made of the same natures; and every patient, and thing that receives into it self the act of any agent, is endowed with the nature of that agent, and made con-naturall. Hence they think, that to this vivification, or making alive, some Hearbs, and Magicall confections, such as they say are made of the ashes of the Phoenix, and the cast skin of a Snake do much conduce, which indeed to many seems fabulous, and to some impossible, unless it could be accounted approved by an Historicall faith. For we read of some that have been drowned in water, others cast into the fire, and put upon the fire, others slain in war, others otherwise tryed, and after a few dayes were alive again, as Pliny testifies of Aviola, a man pertaining to the Consull, of L. Lamia, Cæius, Tubero, Corfidius, Gabienus, and many others. Also we read that Aesop the Tale-maker, Tindoreus, Hercules, and Palicy, the sons of Jupiter, and Thalia being dead, were raised to life again; also that many were by Physitians, and Magicians raised from death again, as the Historians relate of Aesculapius; and we have above mentioned out of Juba, and Xanthus, and Philostratus concerning Tillo, and a certain Arabian, and Apollonius the Tyanean. Also we read that Glaucus, a certain man that was dead, whom they say, beyond all expectation, the Physitians coming to see it, the hearb Dragon-wort restored to life. Some say that he revived by the puting into his body a medicine made of Honey, whence the proverb, Glaucus was raised from death by taking in Honey into his body. Apuleius also relating the manner of these kinds of restorings to life, saith of Zachla the Egyptian prophet: The prophet being thus favourable, layes a certain Hearb upon the mouth of the body of a young man being dead, and another upon his brest, then turning towards the East, or rising of the propitious Sun, praying silently (a great assembly of people striving to see it) in the first place heaved up his brest, then makes a beating in his veines, then his body to be filled with breath, after which the Carkase ariseth, and the young man speaks. If these things are true, the dying souls must, sometimes lying hid in their bodies, be oppressed with vehement extasies, and be freed from all bodily action: So that the life, sense, motion, forsake the body, and so, that the man is not yet truly dead, but lies astonied, and as it were dead for a certain time. And this is often found, that in times of Pestilence many that are carried for dead to the graves to be buryed, revive again. The same also hath often befeln women, by reason of fits of the Mother. And Rabbi Moises out of the book of Galen, which Patriarcha translated, makes mention of a man, who was suffocated for six dayes, and did neither eat nor drink, and his arteries became hard. And it is said in the same book, that a certain man by being filled with Water, lost the pulse of his whole body, so that the heart was not perceived to move, and he lay like a dead man. Also it is said that a man by reason of a fal from a high place, or great noise, or long staying under the Water, may fall into a swoun, which may continue fourty eight hours, and so lye as if he were dead, his face being very green. And in the same place there is mention made of a man that buried a man that seemed to be dead seventy two hours after his seeming decease, and so killed him, because he buried him alive, and there are given signs whereby it may be known who are alive; although they seem to be dead, and indeed will dye, unless there be some means used to recover them, as Phlebotomy, or some other cure. And these are such as very seldom happen. This is the manner, by which we understand Magicians, and Physitians do raise dead men to life, as they that were tryed by the stinging of Serpents, were by the Nation of the Marsi, and the Psilli restored to life. Now we may conceive that such kind of extasies may continue a long time, although a man be not truly dead, as it is in Dor-mice, and Crocodiles, and many other Serpents, which sleep all Winter, and are in such a dead sleep, that they can scarce be awakened with fire. And I have often seen a Dormouse dissected, and continue immovable, as if she were dead, untill she was boyled, and when presently in boyling the water the dissected members did shew life. Also, although it be hard to be believed, we read in some approved Historians, that some men have slept for many yeers together, and in the time of sleep, untill they awaked, there was no alteration in them, as to make them seem older: The same doth Pliny testifie of a certain boy, whom he saith, being wearied with heat, and his journey, slept fifty seven yeers in a Cave. We read also that Epimenides Gnosius slept fifty seven yeers in a Cave. Hence the proverb arose, To outsleep Epimenides. M. Damascenus tels, that in his time a certain country man being wearied in Germany, slept for the space of a whole Autumn, and the Winter following, under a heap of hay, untill the Summer, when the hay began to be eaten up, then he was found awakened as a man halfe dead, and out of his wits. Eclesiasticall Histories confirm this opinion concerning the seven sleepers, whom they say slept 196 yeers. There was in Norvegia a Cave in a high Sea shore, where, as Paulus Diaconus, and Methodius the Martyr write, seven men lay sleeping a long time without corruption, and the people that went in to disturb them were contracted, or drawn together, so that after a while, being forewarned by that punishment, they durst not hurt them. Now Xenocrates, a man of no mean repute amongst Philosophers was of opinion, that this long sleeping was appointed by God as a punishment for some certain sins. But Marcus Damascenus proves it by many reasons to be possible, and naturall, neither doth he think it irrationall, that some should without meat, and drink, and avoyding excrements, without consuming, or corruption, sleep many moneths. And this may befall a man by reason of some poisonous potion, or sleepy disease, or such like causes, for certain dayes, moneths, or years, according to the intention, or remission of the power of the medicine, or of the passions of their mind. And Physitians say that there are some Antidotes, of which they that take too great a potion, shall be able to endure hunger a long time, as Elias in former time being fed with a certain food by an Angell, walked, and fasted in the strength of that meat, fourty dayes. And John Bocatius makes mention of a man in his time, in Venice, who would every yeer fast four dayes without any meat. But that was a greater wonder, that there was a woman in lower Germany at the same time, who took no food till the thirteenth yeer of her age, which to us may seem incredible, but that he lately confirmed it; as also he tels of a Miracle of our Age, that his brother Nicolaus Stone, an Helvetian by Nation, who lived twenty yeers in the wilderness without meat, till he dyed. That also is wonderfull which Theophrastus mentions concerning a certain man, called Philinus, who used no meat, or drink, besides Milk. And there are grave Authors who describe a certain hearb of Sparta, with which they say the Scythians can endure twelve dayes hunger, without meat or drink, if they do but tast it, or hold it in their mouth.

Chapter lix. Of Divination by Dreams.[edit]

There is also a certain kind of Divination by Dreams, confirmed by the traditions of Philosophers, the authorities of Divines, the examples of Histories, and daily experience. A Dreams I call here, not vain Dreams, or idle imaginations: for those are vain, and have no Divination in them, but arise from the remains of watchings, and disturbance of the body. For as the mind is taken up about, and wearied with cares, it suggests it self to him that is asleep. I call that a Dream here, which is caused by the Celestiall influences in the phantastick spirit, mind, or body, being all well disposed. The rule of interpreting this is found amongst Astrologers, in that part which is wrote concerning questions; but yet that is not sufficient, because these kind of Dreams come by use to divers men after a divers manner, and according to the divers quality, and dispositions of the phantastick spirit: wherefore there cannot be given one common rule to all for the interpretation of Dreams. But according to the opinion of Synesius, seeing there are the same accidents to things, and like befall like; so be which hath often fallen upon the same visible thing, hath assigned to himself the same opinion, passion, fortune, action, event, and asAristotle saith, the