On 17 February 1600, Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake during the Roman Catholic Inquisition, on charges of heresy. He was found guilty of pantheism, a belief in the plurality of worlds, metempsychosis, and various other theories and beliefs considered contrary to the Catholic faith. He, among many “heretics” persecuted by the exoteric church throughout history, kept the flame of the Gnosis alive by always seeking the Truth. In honor of his most unfortunate death, here are some quotes from his writings, for your meditation on this somber day.
“Time is the father of truth, its mother is our mind.” –The Ash Wednesday Supper (1584)
“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.” -quoted in Life and Teachings of Giordano Bruno (1913)
“The Divine Light is always in man, presenting itself to the senses and to the comprehension, but man rejects it.” -quoted in Life and Teachings of Giordano Bruno, (1913)
“They dispute not in order to find or even to seek Truth, but for victory, and to appear the more learned and strenuous upholders of a contrary opinion. Such persons should be avoided by all who have not a good breastplate of patience.” –On the Infinite Universe and Worlds (1584)
“God is infinite, so His universe must be too. Thus is the excellence of God magnified and the greatness of His kingdom made manifest; He is glorified not in one, but in countless suns; not in a single earth, a single world, but in a thousand thousand, I say in an infinity of worlds.” –On the Infinite Universe and Worlds (1584)
“We delight in one knowable thing, which comprehends all that is knowable; in one apprehensible, which draws together all that can be apprehended; in a single being that includes all, above all in the one which is itself the all.” –Cause, Principle, and Unity (1584)
“I cleave the heavens and soar to the infinite.
And while I rise from my own globe to others
And penetrate ever further through the eternal field,
That which others saw from afar, I leave far behind me.”
–On the Infinite Universe and Worlds (1584)
“Unless you make yourself equal to God, you cannot understand God: for the like is not intelligible save to the like. Make yourself grow to a greatness beyond measure, by a bound free yourself from the body; raise yourself above all time, become Eternity; then you will understand God. Believe that nothing is impossible for you, think yourself immortal and capable of understanding all, all arts, all sciences, the nature of every living being. Mount higher than the highest height; descend lower than the lowest depth. Draw into yourself all sensations of everything created, fire and water, dry and moist, imagining that you are everywhere, on earth, in the sea, in the sky, that you are not yet born, in the maternal womb, adolescent, old, dead, beyond death. If you embrace in your thought all things at once, times, places, substances, qualities, quantities, you may understand God. ” -quoted in Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1999)
“All things are in the Universe, and the universe is in all things: we in it, and it in us; in this way everything concurs in a perfect unity.” –Cause, Principle, and Unity (1584)