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MikeH  MikeH is offline
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Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
Posts: 443
MikeH 
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I didn't put a lot of energy into the translation, because I didn't see much that he hadn't already said. Some might find of interest his defense of Divination against the charge that it deprives people of Free Will.
Quote:
Half-learned men, who doubt the high Sciences, and who decide to cut them short, calling them philosophical fictions, what must be done to convince you that a man can do more than you in what is not physical material, in the second & third level of this material, because with respect to them you are quite convinced, while in the third degree you consider that a Taillander forges better anvils than you, & in the second degree a Geometer calculates above your ideas, a good poet has more spiri for Poetry than you, etc. etc. It is cnecessary, you say, to work wonders in the high seiences, whose causes are incomprehensible, but, you say, (77) without resorting to Nature in the first-degree, Physics in the second degree offers effects all the time whose causes surpass your understanding. It is necessary, you say in consquence, that all our senses are surprised, but, one continues, it only takes a single Player of Gibberish [Gibecière] to put them in disarray.

It would take little to reprove you, if I did not have, in the sciences which you dismiss, which you name fanciful, more talent than you: but, to say the truth, I studied them for thirty years with love, taste, and simplicity, and with incredible (78) fatigue, as much as ignorance has decked them out in clothes that do not suit them: finally, because it is a only question, as you say every day, of performing marvels in front of you, to reinstate the memory and the judgment of Great Men, I grant.

The branch of the Occult Sciences on which I am furthest along, to the knowledge of my oldest friends, my family, and more than a thousand people in Europe, is especially Divination; I am or at least should be one of the greatest Divines of my Homeland, if this sublime science is, as I maintain, real.

Will you, before I explain, by your unnecessary repetition excite me again to the anger permitted to any man who, for your use, takes, against ignorance, the interests of the truth? truth that believes it has no duty to defend itself giving you the History (79) of all centuries, and the justified forecasts available to you every day. And before going further, do you think I will give you a Divination? I answer that this is not me, emanating from my court. So you think that, more than all the Sciences, and more than all the Srts, I am responsible for nonsense, lies, that false Philosophers, Savants articulate? Come to wise Nature; know to what degree the causes completely produce their effects, everything is enchained. I return.

In spite of all that I could tell you, from Cabala to Metaphysics, and Physics, in order that your senses be penetrated by the first, you will come back again to the sentiment of ignorance, that Divination is forbidden, a prohibition that ought first truly persuade you, or make it necessary for you to agree, that this prohibition was as ridiculous (80) as useless, if it were false; & agreeing that Divination is a science is the same as showing that it was absurd to forbid people to apply it, because nothing can kill, I say always, the Sciences & Arts that wise Nature indicates and inspires us with.

By Divination that could be forbidden without knowing it, I mean natural Divination, and not these kinds of Divination by the blood of humans, beasts, etc., almost always false & full of deceptions that accompany in succession the false Religions; finally, true, natural Divination could not be combatted because one recognizes there the true, and at the same time contrary to the bad policy of barbaric times, of baubles or vicious, men not being able to bear patiently Regents that do not bear the love of good for them, or a profound knowledge of the perpetual wheel of sad events of life that ignorance (81) necessitates. These times are no longer the same, and I have enough material power that I can show to be useful, necessary, and finally admired, as a celestial human Science, given to men to inspire them to virtue and to warn them of the evils that attend their weaknesses & perverted men.

You may say that if moral causes produce their effects like physics, then free will is taken away: to a man without virtue at these times, there must be many detours in dealing with such a subject; but when truth guides men, everything comes together to support them.

Free will in moral life is a special gift of the Deity, as it is, in political & civil life, a faculty of our intellect, in a word, knowing what is right & what is wrong, according the country in which we exist; it follows that Divination, regarded naturally in itself (82) is a human Science studied & learned like Arithmetic, Algebra, Mathematics, which has no relation with free will, if it is demonstrated in an irrefutable way &, above all else that has been said, a way in which men are divinely gifted: I have fully explained this elsewhere in the Work, to the point of calming you and generally meeting all your suspicions against a science that requires no effects to predict them, but does predict them, because lacking the power of free will, Divination discovers that these effects will happen.

Divination is still, for many, what the garment of a man filled with straw is for children; they fear it, and fear that their Good will be eaten by it: it is always the reasoning faculty, or often the delirium, which makes judgments about a thing that is other than what we have known; here [83] it is this reasoning faculty that, with the coming years & education, deprives their children of their panic.

Divination is a human science, and a human science is not the Divine prescience: when I say Diviner, it is with laws proper to examine its particular facts, which for me are acquired with science by wise operations & profound meditations, going back to their causes & returning again to the effects that exist, descending down to their results, more or less distant, according to the degree of knowledge that I have acquired; and finally I call myself Professor of this sublime science; come and be convinced if I speak true.

If I had in common with all the men who are not diviners, that of being, as they say, a more judicious Diviner than others, it would still be a very good record; (& I should have well proved in the long Cause of M. de M.... & of Sieur Duj.... in prognosticating (84) to both of them the Judgment ultimately beyond the G. C. at least two months in advance; I think both are still living, and they should testify on my behalf: the first came to see me at home, and the second sent me searching at the G. C. And many others, if their prejudice against the high Sciences were switched off, would at least grant justice to our Philosophy!) But I also learned through my studies to convince you that you yourselves were Diviners, & you ignore it only for lack of knowing the true principles of Divination, as because morally your mind has turned to not believing it; and finally because it has led you to the point of persuading yourself that Divination was a branch of sorcery, but then no longer believing in Sorcerers, which is again nonsense. Considering

[85] your ideas from another side, you say that thought & Divination was a chimera, not being able to imagine, as I repeated several times, that this sublime science is in Nature as much as all the others; which you fight only because you do not perceive it architecturally, although the effects forecasted and come true are often very palpable, and affect you mentally & physically.

To estimate properly the real value of all branches of the wise Cabala, such is now agitated animal magnetism, Magnetism sensing part of the universal Magnetism, about which absolutely all ancient philosophers spoke, and it must be said in front of your eyes, Paracelsus, d’[i]Aubry, Bartholin, N. De Lotques, de Vallemon, Digby, de Saulx[/i, and finally the living, the Knight Stuart and the savant Mesmer whom you still do not understand: I repeat, one must not assign anything to these sciences [86] contrary to the general order; but give them proper credit for their power. The Geometer approaches the finite with Figures of perfection, but will not get lost in the infinite which is not within his jurisdiction; and similarly, if he is not yet of the class of great Geometers, he does not, for all that speak of the theorems that have to do with proportions, treated in the last books of Euclid, as geometric fictions tht are impossible to solve. Similarly there was an absolutely wise Chemist who even after twenty years could not find the object of his research, the Divine science, the Sacred hermetic Art, is not persuaded that the great Hermes wished to deceive, & he is even more resistant to this idea, he sees the truth surrounding him on all sides, and it is said that he sees [?] it, or better, it communicates to him, if he reads carefully, not only the Emerald [87] Tablet, but the Pimander. Am I a Hermetician? Less than [?] a Diviner, I speak truly in the second Cahier of this work.

Not being able honestly to judge that Divination is not a science, despite a man known to surprise all of Europe by his specific predictions, never general, we testify, in danger of seeing downward or upward round about him the Harpies of Literature, and finally to speak simply, wanting to take me today at my word, other issues arise in geometric progression, that is to say, to infinity, and always in the spirit of the party to which the Enquirer is dedicated, the one believing what he has been told, all contrary to Divination, & the other in contrast no longer believing in anything, if we except his palpable existence, because I think there is not a man any more who doubts it [?]; the bundle on his back, he senses that another does (87) not carry his load, and that he is charged with it [?]; but as I respond to one side & the other readily enough to all, I say that the substance of any issues will focus on whether Divination as a human Science is real, it is this to which you will begin to render justice if you repudiate the old tales, and, on the other hand, this fanciful chance that you admit everywhere, when nothing has any movement without a cause which precedes it; & finally if you censider Divination as a study of particular effects present from causes that gave rise to them, and of effects that must necessarily follow: it is a very abstract study! yes, but it is neither a chimera nor a sorcery.
I do not know what the "G. C." is of which Etteilla speaks of predicting certain of its actions. I presume that it is a legislative body of the Monarchy, but that is just a guess.

After the foregoing, Etteilla starts discussing individual pages, starting with p. 4, with which this thread began.
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