The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Monday, January 14, 2008

De auxilio divino


For since it is not possible to speak rightly about the Gods without the Gods, much less can any one perform works which are of an equal dignity with divinity, and obtain the foreknowledge of everything without [the inspiring influence of] the Gods. For the human race is imbecile, and of small estimation, sees but little, and posseses a connascent nothingness; and the only remedy of its inherent error, perturbation, and unstable mutation, is its participation, as much as possible, in the divine light. But he who excludes this, does the same thing as those who attempt to produce soul from things inanimate, or to generate intellect from things unintelligent. For without the cooperation of a cause, he constitutes divine works from things which are not divine.

-Iamblichus, De Mysteriis

By the way, I just got confirmation from my mother that both of my grandmothers were witches. Well, not really. They both used tricks from what is known in Mexico as "curanderismo". One of their prefered ones was used in particular when a child could not stop crying due to fever. The woman would say a Pater Noster over the child while rubbing her down with an egg. After the prayer, she would crack the egg and put it in a bowl under the crib. The baby would immediately sleep soundly through the night. In the morning, an eye would appear in the middle of the yoke. My mother claims to have seen this personally...

Another prefered egg-utilizing activity was rubbing an egg yoke on the back of the knees of an infant in order to help it learn to walk...

Anyway, call it quaint or call it superstition. But they claim that it worked.

10 Comments:

At 2:17 PM, Blogger AG said...

Your mother said to rub egg whites on the backs of the knees…and that people passing a child should touch him or her, or the child will cry all night.

I’ve always liked my paternal grandmother’s admonition to never follow an unidentifiable light at night, because it is probably a lost soul and you will become lost too. And her belief that the souls of loved one’s come to visit you in the darkness before the dawn of the day they die – she claims visions of her parents and brothers before their deaths. Why don’t people work to bring back practices and beliefs like that?

 
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