(2) Divination hath been anciently and fitly divided into artificial and natural: whereof artificial is, when the mind maketh a prediction by argument, concluding upon signs and tokens; natural is, when the mind hath a presention by an internal power, without the inducement of a sign. Artificial is of two sorts: either when the argument is coupled with a derivation of causes, which is rational; or when it is only grounded upon a coincidence of the effect, which is experimental: whereof the latter for the most part is superstitious, such as were the heathen observations upon the inspection of sacrifices, the flights of birds, the swarming of bees; and such as was the Chaldean astrology, and the like. For artificial divination, the several kinds thereof are distributed amongst particular knowledges. The astronomer hath his predictions, as of conjunctions, aspects, eclipses, and the like. The physician hath his predictions, of death, of recovery, of the accidents and issues of diseases. The politique hath his predictions; O urbem venalem, et cito perituram, si emptorem invenerit! which stayed not long to be performed, in Sylla first, and after in Cæsar: so as these predictions are now impertinent, and to be referred over. But the divination which springeth from the internal nature of the soul is that which we now speak of; which hath been made to be of two sorts, primitive and by influxion. Primitive is grounded upon the supposition that the mind, when it is withdrawn and collected into itself, and not diffused into the organs of the body, hath some extent and latitude of prenotion; which therefore appeareth most in sleep, in ecstasies, and near
death, and more rarely in waking apprehensions; and is induced and furthered by those abstinences and observances which make the mind most to consist in itself. By influxion, is grounded upon the conceit that the mind, as a mirror or glass, should take illumination from the foreknowledge of God and spirits: unto which the same regiment doth likewise conduce. For the retiring of the mind within itself is the state which is most susceptible of divine influxions; save that it is accompanied in this case with a fervency and elevation (which the ancients noted by fury), and not with a repose and quiet, as it is in the other. (3) Fascination is the power and act of imagination intensive upon other bodies than the body of the imaginant, for of that we spake in the proper place. Wherein the school of Paracelsus, and the disciples of pretended natural magic, have been so intemperate, as they have exalted the power of the imagination to be much one with the power of miracle-working faith. Others, that draw nearer to probability, calling to their view the secret passages of things, and specially of the contagion that passeth from body to body, do conceive it should likewise be agreeable to nature that there should be some transmissions and operations from spirit to spirit without the mediation of the senses;
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 140 pages?
- Fall '19
- Francis Bacon, Sir Francis Bacon