Heinrich Khunrath: From The ‘Amphitheatrum Sapientiæ Æternæ’- About Divine Wisdom
The ‘Eagle or Phenix Spirit of Divine Wisdom’,
detail from the ‘Cosmic Rose’ plate
from the ‘Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Æternae’,
by Heinrich Khunrath,
copy from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Libraries.
Department of Special Collections : Flat Shelving Duveen D 897
Today’s sharing from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA, is an excerpt from Heinrich Khunrath’s ”Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Æternae‘, where he examines what is Divine Wisdom, Her special nature and Her actions. It is meant as a follow-up of our John Pordage post ‘About Divine Wisdom’s ART‘ and our Henry Corbin & Suhrawardi: From The ’Book Of The Temples of The Light’- The ‘Fifth Temple’ post and initiates a series devoted to Heinrich Khunrath, as we plan to excerpt more from his works, as God allows. 🌿 ‘The Amphitheatre is famed in occult circles for its inauguration of a “theosophy of the image” (Antoine Faivre, ARIES (15), 1993). It is bewildering that there is NO available Scholarly English translation of this seminal opus but only a French one crafted with loving care at the end of the nineteenth century (1898) for René Philippon’s ‘Bibliothèque Rosicrucienne’ by Émile-Jules Grillot de Givry. A case similar to the ‘Chymica Vannus’, which was translated in Italian from its original Latin around 1925-26 by Ercole Quadrelli, but STILL has no English or French scholarly editions! 🌿 So, here the English working translation from our Arche-Sebastiani 1975 French edition copy is graciously presented by Via-HYGEIA. From page 46 to 47.
Content of the Third Grade
The third grade is the one where, by the Grace of Iehovah, it is given to us to know and understand, how and how-much Beautiful, Glorious and Unfathomable is Eternal Wisdom, the only true, that is the unique root, foundation and principle, only universal and eternal, of the most sincere philosophy, the healthiest and truest, and of the whole Theosophy or right-way to philosophize; and also about what is said about the true philosophy.
Third preliminary and explanatory Grade-The Third Exposition
133.‘As for wisdom, what she is, and how she came up, I will tell you, and will not hide mysteries from you: but will seek her out from the beginning of her nativity, and bring the knowledge of her into light, and will not pass over the truth.‘ Wisdom, VI-22.
She was made. That is how She came into existence, how She was engendered during the night of time of the inscrutable and eternal Womb (Psalm 110, verse 3, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.”). God’s sacraments. That is the mysteries of God. Mot only the one that is the practical sign of grace-which is the very own meaning of the word ‘sacrament’-but everything that is necessary, beautiful and useful to know regarding God, Nature and Man is called ‘sacrament’. Because the true Wisdom is Thrice: Three times One, encompassing Theology, Medicine, and Astronomy; or like it is revealed in chapter VII and VIII of the ‘Book of Wisdom‘, the grasping of the divine mysteries, the prudence of civil administration and political rule, the order of the things of Nature, the causes, movements and virtues of the celestial things and the strength of the terrestrial things, through which burst the Omnipotence, the Wisdom, the Mercy, the Truth, Justice and Judgement of the Creator.
134. ‘For wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me: for in her is an understanding spirit holy, one only, manifold, subtle, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving good, sharp, which cannot be controlled, ready to do good…‘ Wisdom, VII-22.
In Wisdom dwells the Spirit. She is and is called ‘πνευμα μονογενες και πολυμερες‘-pneuma monogenes kai polymeres-monogenous and pluriform breath Uni-generated or Uni-engendered and Multiple Spirit, born as a product of the Unique and simple Nature of God, who, though, stretches throughout the World His innumerable parts, like branches. Multiplicity is in fact attributed to this Spirit of God, because of the variety of Her virtues and the strength contained in the vessels She uses to descend. “Thanks God“, says Augustine of Hippo, “unity is to be found in diversity“-in pluribus unitas-and I am adding that: in unity, plurality is found-in unitate pluralitas. Subtle. Tenuous, in no way weighted down by any coarse or corporeal duties, but feathery and swift, and for that, ‘ευχινητος’, which means Mobile, in which dwells sovereign celerity. Illustrious. Splendid and lucid, unsoiled, uncontaminated, that is, pure, stainless pure, un-smudged. Because Nature is lucid and splendid, it possesses a pure splendor, as I John I,5 says, “ This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.“ Prompt. What is not halted or that nothing can stop because its strength penetrates all things and brakes all impediments.
135. ‘Kind to man, steadfast, sure, free from care, having all power, overseeing all things, and going through all understanding, pure, and most subtle, spirits.” Wisdom, VII-23.
Certain, sure. In safety, free from all worries; calm and quiet. Having full powers. Who could do all things or gifted with Omnipotence. Because the Spirit of God is Omnipotent and can only be Omnipotent through God.
136. ‘For wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passes and goes through all things by reason of her purity. ‘ Wisdom, VII-24.
There is no movement. Wisdom is more mobile than any movement, which means that Her celerity overpowers any movement and penetrates all things due to Her purity and Her Subtlety. Consider this, my son. This is what the Wise Men meant when they were philosophizing over the ‘perpetual movement’. This movement (I would say with Hermès, in his Tablet, that the philosophers’ Venus, by the fecundity of Her blessed Viridity, instituted and composed to discuss about it, and for that was called, Emerald Tablet) is the strength of the mightiest among the mighty: and this is why it will vanquish any subtle thing, and will penetrate any solid thing. She moves wisely, potentially preserves, animates and vivifies all things. If you know Nature (that all the Ancients and the Orthodox Fathers have affirm in truth and very piously to be ‘θεου φωνην‘-theou photin-which mean God’s voice) Theosophically, and the abstract and the concrete, and universally and particularly, you comprehend (believe me) the perpetual movement of the Wise. Remember studying by praying God that by Theosophically co-operating He inspires and shows you the truth. I have known many, at the courts of Princes, who were searching mechanically (Ah! In vain!), a perpetual movement of wood or iron. If they would have studied the sacrosanct SCRIPTURES, NATURE and THEMSELVES, Theosophically, Physically, Physico-Medically, they would have truly found the movement, not only perpetual, but also truly Eternal, Divine and Natural, in this and in the world of the Wise. This Universal movement, only true, the frivolous vulgar person, hindered by the spirit of seduction will not discover it. It is the blind man leading the blind; this is why their labor will bear not fruits. It is a movement that has to be moved-not exhibited like by the sophists-and not a movement that moves.
Here the figure
of the Third Grade
is to be inserted
To be continued…
From the French