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MikeH  MikeH is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
Posts: 443

And now my attempt at translation:
of how to amuse oneself with the
Deck of cards named TAROT

We have often reproached the Philosophers who dealt with the occult sciences as being too abstract; and we would have been completely persuaded that they were that, because these sciences were false, if those who are not rebutted, having found the truth, had not said, to make it understandable to all men, that the sciences that we understood as occult, were purely, with regard to the sciences and the Savants, only [60] a more perfect knowledge of Nature than that which can can be procured from Physics, the borders of which are fixed to the second and third degree of matter; the first and highest degree offering its substance, being that proper to the Physical-philosophical.

The Philosophers thus seemed abstract, and even often diffuse, only because their Writings concerned an imperceptible nature; that because this universal magnetism, tangible, but subtle substance of Nature, did not hit our senses like matter, and in the second degree, like the salt, sulfur and mercury which we pull from her by more or less correct extracts.

I have said in the first Volume that our Philosophers tried to rise above matter, through mounting by their work and their tireless efforts to its substance, to recognize the spirit which moves this matter: I said that by rising [61] above Physics, they avoided falling in the abysses which line Metaphysics; and finally, as I shall explain, that the wise Cabala, which is a meeting, or the term appropriate to express meeting, and if we wish, the summit of all the hidden and visible sciences, had on the one side Physics which conducted us towards it; and on the other, the Metaphysics with which we arranged to have access to the Ruler of the human sciences: the wise Cabala.

To judge the high sciences correctly, you should not, as is always done, give them what is beyond them, nor be warned that by them, that some men cannot operate wonderful effects, more than others who have not studied them. It is necessary, reason commits to it, that all men follow the order which leads towards her: to be a good Physicist, I understand the possession, at least of the theory, and many essential things practically, (62) of the sciences we call vulgar; this term in this sense always understood as the sciences common to all men; and when oen has come to the point of being that we call humanly universal (1), with which a wise Metaphysic is occupied; I say this title “wise” rightly, or of this wisdom which commits the human mind not to support offensively these views on questions which are not proper for him, such as, what God is, what the soul is, what the infinite is; but rather legitimately on these, what Nature is, what ties it together, its chain, these three homogeneous qualities, and its heterogeneity; because it is indisputable that Nature is managed by a Being, who is not her;
(1) Reading several modern Works, I am only amazed to know in Europe only a very small number of wise Cabalists; and I would not be brought out of my surprise if I had not too often made the wrinkle [?] test, of going to look far and wide for the truth which surrounded me.

[63] as we do not go against the sublime order by putting intermediaries between the Engine and all the Beings, between the cause and its effects, because it is perceivable in all, and accordingly, as J. Locke said, penetrates our soul; then, I say, we grant justification for what escapes the understanding of one who, in the little reflected examiner, of that which passes from the Earth to the Sky; as if between this Sky, supposed of Celestial bodies, and our earth, were no intermediaries, of whom I offer here to prove their extent.

One of the biggest obstacies that I noticed for stopping the progress of young Followers in the high sciences, is their too much precipitated desires to perform marvels before having reached the development of the branch that they follow; and without stopping at these ignorant perceivers of circles [social circles or something else?], the biggest hindrance offered to the men, that is, to those who [64] recognized that matter could not have movement by itself, is that of searching to recognize its substance, in its purest Physical degree, and the spirit which gives it life, movement, of throwing itself to spirit lost in Metaphysics, which capturing them, makes them forget their unique point of view.

N. B. It is on physical Principles that the senses can rely; it is on intellectual Principles that human mind can bind the spirit of Nature, which expands its operation, its causes, and its results; finally, it is on spiritual principles, which we call heavenly & sometimes even divine, that the truth reveals it to us; it follows necessarily that without a perfect knowledge of these three principles, following the rule & following the branch of the wise Cabala that you follow, it is impossible to work wonders & to become a philosopher, not believing that even to those without study, Nature permits sometmes to find the Agent and the proper Patient, so as to give birth to what we call wonders, made accessible to humans.

The Physical Principle of a number is the number itself, that is to say, (66) the sign or Character 2 is its demonstrative numerical Principle. The intellectual Principle of the number 2 is its property, not numerical, which is the soul of the physical principle, but the intelligible property which is man, because the intellectual property of the number 2 is man, and because the number of man is 2, whose agent is 1, and the resulting summary of the Agent 1 on the Patient 2 is 3. (1)
(1) Get away, I beg you, from all common sense, which believes that discourse produces numbers: discourse is produced by way of seeing, feeling, touching, but this way is not the same for all men: that is, the senses penetrate the soul, but their applications on such and such men’s soul, mind, senses, and finally, suffer more or less alteration; as such a Savant sees exquisitely in a painting, where another finds only fierce character traits & ventured colors: finally speech, we must agree, flits constantly between truth & lies. It is not the same with numbers, 2 x 3 = 6. Thus just as we say that the whole is greater than the half, and [67] the fourth, because the numbers force all men to be certain of it, so it is today a study to do again: discourse must flow from numbers, and not, as is commonly believed, numbers from discourse: how many thousands of years were the numbers before the sounds, the articulation & arrangement of these sounds that express poorly everything that happens to us! 1. 2. 3, etc. speak to me openly & leave for me nothing to be desired. If I say today 1, my mind tomorrow, in ten years, will not tell me 2, but always 1.

[67] It only remains for you to acknowledge the heavenly principle; having found it, you will see that man can work wonders by the science of numbers, because himself, man, has found his number, the number of the Agent; & from another view than the one I have just traced, the number of the Patient on which he can work, but which will be for him man in all cases, in what will be in human reach, the intermediate.

The three principles found, trituration [phamaceutical term: crushing, sometimes including mixing] is much easier, for Nature, [68] always guided by the truth, offers itself to sense in such a manner that you may form your Tableaus [or Tables].

In what I have just said, you should discover the common manner of the Philosophy of the Ancients in their numerical operations, of which sire M. Gibelin (1) has spoken learnedly, saying that the early Egyptians, and many of the ancient Peoples, counted from the whole to their parts; so, it is assumed, the circle that they saw full under the numbers 12, 360, etc., and counted backwards 359 ... & finally, as we now inversely have the parts 1.2.3, their total 360.

If, as with the early Egyptians, and among them the wise Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, and other nations, we had schools where the last class dealt with occult physics or physics-Philosophical, whose basis is the knowledge of Causes that activate (69)
(1) See the end of this Supplement *.

[69] matter, in fifteen years we would begin to spell the alphabet of the true Philosophers; in thirty years, we would read their books fluently; and in forty-five years, that of nature in its most occult mysteries; but it is a known truth, men always start too late to believe in the high sciences, I say to see them in their proper level (1), establishing only in
(1) Divination, properly named human, is not a prophetic wisdom, nor an art drawing its source from spirit contrary to it; it is no more than an exaltation of the human spirit, such as happens at one time or another to men who predict what will happen without being able to give a reason why they spoke thus; it is not more than an effect of presentment given to all men, which would deserve a solid study, or the strength of mind which appears sometimes in a dying man.

Human Divination, such that all reasonable men should understand, is a very natural science, acquired by profound studies proper to Divination, such as are numbers, geometry, perspective practical & Specious, etc.

The continuation of these studies specific to Divination are Astrology, which leads to becoming [70] a good Astrologer, etc., physiognomy. Palmistry, Cartonomancy, each of which leads to Divination of which these principles & others are fought for, lacking knowledge of the other two principles outlined in these different substantive principles.

It is the possession of the three requisite principles, subject to the understanding of the true Philosopher, that gives birth to what is commonly called enthusiasm, which makes bold to predict the truth; but we must beware of the trap of false enthusiasm, which wishes to imitate, and the remembering of an ignoramus cannot be a real enthusiasm delivering boldly what comes to his mouth, as was he of whom I spoke in the Epistle to M. de Gébelin, 1784. [end of footnote]

[70] their first mature age, the ridiculous stories that have been made in their childhood, or the deceptions of Players of Gibberish [?].

Men do not reflect the same as in an age when they can hardly be corrupted by Sophists; all the great philosophers, without a single exception, have been neither inept enough, nor lost enough, not to have written words without complete [71] certainty that the higher sciences, such that everyone understands them today, were real: Finally, I say that the majority of men, become singularly profound, often perceive too late, that Divination, like many branches of the sublime Cabala, are in Nature, and that Socrates, Thales, Pythagoras, Democritus, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas, and finally the greatest men before our eyes (1), could not & cannot take pleasure in passing to Posterity the spirit of enthusiasts, fools, in a word impostors; and to address any lingering doubts: objecting against this feeling, I would say that posterity would be wrong to confuse the learned men of our century, men more than sufficiently enlightened,
(1) M. de G.: Many persons do not know how to read. Etteilla: It is easier to learn how to write than to learn how to read.

[72] with those who by a vile interest, or a villainous ignorance, still follow the torrent of lies. However, if Socrates, from whom you have not yet dared to snatch the high quality, sobriqueted Wise, said, as it is true that to enter the more than human sciences, that is to say, higher than those all men follow, it is necessary to apply the Science of Divination. It is unfair to think he spoke in this way because the vulgar believed in divination, and that Sage pronounced this sentence emanating from Nature, only so as to condescend to the taste of his century; it is truer & more natural to assume that Socrates had been of this sentiment because ultimately it [or he?: il] had been one of the subjects in which divination had a place, and finally because his genius [that is, his daemon, the spirit that aids him in his quest for wisdom] had demonstrated to him that it was of the high sciences which the vulgar could not penetrate, because they had no real notion or study of it.

[73]In general, all the Sciences called occult, including Divination, never seem to really learned men merely a sublime fiction. What to respond to reasoning so subtle as to effects to ignore [i]Socrates{/i], who does not represent himself as a Divine, yet admits Divination? Finally, what to respond to this obstinacy which negates all the greatest philosophers, and all who have been convinced by the evidence of their reality, this sincerity common to honest people?

If those who protested verbally & in writing that (1) the occult [sciences] (74)
(1) I protest of having known men who, telling me of the injuries of many of our Philosophers, were deeply penetrated by what they read, gladly indulging two or three of their books: Read them, I dare to beg you, to convince yourself if the Writers whom you have loved all your life developed Nature like them in spite of having attacked them? What we have is a man of letters who denigrates Savants of whom he one day should become the Emulator! [Or something like that: I don’t know these idioms!]

[74] were real and necessary for Society were only ordinary men, although we are certain that these sciences are true, we would remain in silence; but these men were & are indeed our masters & those of all Savants of all kinds that exist; it is thus true that in the sciences which appear newly discovered, we find ourselves at once in the field of the mind that the ancient Peoples were able to transmit to us; reason forces us to believe that they were found, or at least directed by the Magi (if Nature was pleased to share them first with few ordinary men) & finally that the Magi were, as is known, fully occupied with the abstract sciences.

If some men in every time have written well on some vulgar sciences, and at the same time, enamored of the material, they com-[75]batted its substance & the spirit which gave it movement, shape, property, it can only be a testament to their ingratitude to the Agent of Nature, and the true Philosophers from whom they took what suited them, adopted it, while rejecting what they could not understand, or did not wish to agree with, appearing new. But back to the justice we must give to all those who have testified, of what was called, by expression, supernatural or supernatural, and as I say, more than human, that it is science, I say “by expression,” because it would be only nonsense to think something supernatural happens, and that there are things that surpass Nature: there is nothing in nature, or dependent on her, that is more marvelous than her; & arrangements that take in different times different parts, in the less trodden paths, can only [76] produce rarer effects than others, but there is nothing that can surpass its power. As for the will of the Power of her Author, this is a completely different object, above Nature & human Science.
The general point in all this is to defend the perspective of alchemy and "Cabala" that there are three levels of material reality that have been articulated by philosophers since time immemorial, but most authors, and the majority of humanity, take nature on only the lower two levels (unreflective experience and the study of observed cause/effect) and ignore what has been said about the spirit behind movement and development (through which God exercises His will), which is part of Nature and also the realm of divination. Etteilla holds up Socrates as a defender of his position and of divination. I think he is referring to Socrates' speech in Plato's Symposium, in which he quotes approvingly a wise woman and mentor named Diotima, to the effect that there is a realm of spirits intermediate between ignorance and Wisdom. And "Through this [realm] proceeds all divination and the art of the priests who deal with sacrifices, initiatory rituals, incantations, and every kind of soothsaying and magic" ( Among these intermediate spirits, it is Love that leads us to divine Wisdom, as Socrates cites her, building on other speeches that distinguish celestial love, Aphrodite Uranos, from the love known by all (Pan) the people (demos), Aphrodite Pandemos. It is the former Love (conceived now as the "daemon", or demigod, Eros, going from below upwards, rather than the goddess Aphrodite) that I think Etteilla is referring to--or else Diotima herself, whom Socrates has reduced to human terms--when he speaks of Socrates' "genius".
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