GIORDANO BRUNO ))))))))))) by Ron McVan
“True religion should be without controversy and dispute, and is a direction of the soul. No one has the right to criticize or control the opinions of others, as to-day, as though the whole world were blind under Aristotle or some such leader. But we raise our heads towards the lovely splendor of light, listening to Nature who is crying aloud to be heard and following wisdom in simplicity of spirit and with an honest affection of the heart ..................Bruno
To understand the life of Giordano Bruno is to understand the essence of injustice found in the unbridled bigotry of both Church and State. The ruling factions today maintain power in not so different a manner as it has always been held, which is a combination of instilling fear among its subjects and sugar-coated lies to mask true intent. It is the method of a perpetual bread-and-circus that the conditioned herd, swallows, hook-line-and-sinker, every single time, without fail!
Evil has ruled the world under countless guises for as long as we can remember through history. It is apparent that evil is hungrier than good and tries harder, and will ever remain in power as long as it can convince its subjects that freedom and prosperity is just around the corner. Some are foolish enough to believe that they are free by the simple idea that they have a job which provides items to subsist, in the treadmill existence of their velvet-shackled lives.
The fear of a people is that which threatens their illusion of security. What the controlling powers fear is truth and, if need be, will go to any measure to discredit a truth and nullify its effective rationale. A free thinker is what a corrupt system views with much disdain. Free thinkers can inspire others to become free thinkers, much like Socrates, Galileo or Thomas Paine. And unless a free thinker fears death he cannot be threatened or controlled. Man lives within the confines of various societies and must conform to certain rules, but never should a man be restricted to express his own thoughts under penalty of death. Tyranny of any form must always be suppressed. If a man cannot speak his mind on any subject, then he is not free---he is a slave to an oppressive system and less than a man if he does not stand by his convictions.
Giordano Bruno was born at Nola, a small town at the foot of Vesuvius in 1548. As a child he exhibited tremendous learning capacity and entered the Dominican Order of Naples in 1563. Not one to be held to the restrictions of Christian thinking and dogma, by 1576, now at the age of 28, he had expounded some personal thoughts which hinted at heresy and found it necessary to abandon his Dominican habit and flee Naples. Thus was to begin his emancipation and a new life as an Hermetic thinker, philosopher, scientist and magician.
Bruno reached Paris sometime late in 1581. There he gave public lectures, amongst them, thirty readings on thirty divine attributes, attracting the favorable attention of King Henry III. It was in Paris where he published two books on the art of memory, which would reveal some of his practice in the magical arts. By this time in Bruno's life his foundations in Hermetic teachings provided much leverage in intellect and spiritual comprehension. This newly revealed reflection of man's divine potential within the infinite divinity of a vastly expanded universe did not win Bruno many friends among Christian theologians and pedant academes of the day. Like the early Hermetic Egyptians, Bruno believed that through the art of magic and divine rites, man could ascend to the very height of the divinity by that same scale of nature through which the divinity descends to the smallest things the communication of itself.
Unlike Lucretius, whom Bruno carefully studied, he was not an atheist. The infinite universe and the innumerable worlds are for him new revelations, intense accentuations of his over-powering sense of the divine. Or there are ways of figuring the infigurable, of grasping and holding within ourselves the infinite divine reality. This was a semi-magical Hermetic process used as a mode of reaching intuitive knowledge of the divine.
Throughout his life, Bruno was beset by a restless spirit. He was convinced that true philosophy was no different than poetry, music or painting, since the arts are bound to express divine wisdom. He believed in the infinite perfectibility of knowledge, and conceived of the universe as an imperfect mirror of God's essence in which God's infinity and unity are inadequately depicted.
Bruno accumulated his vast knowledge of the Mysteries from many sources aside from Hermes, such as Ficino Pico, Cornelius Agrippa and Telesio and Paracelsus. He considered Aristotle one to be pitied as a hopeless pedant who could not comprehend occult truths and was unable to grasp "profound magic". Bruno, also, viewed mathematics as a kind of pedantry, a stopping short of the deepest truth. The Copernican mathematics had to be transcended by the further insights of Hermetic thinking.
No stranger to the Cabalistic teachings , Giordano understood that this was a system of learning, created not from Jews, but from White Egypt. He made his point abundantly clear when he stated, "Do not suppose that the sufficiency of the Chalaic Magic derived from the Cabala of the Jew; for the Jews are without doubt the excrement's of Egypt, and no one could ever pretend with any degree of probability that the Egyptians borrowed any principle, good or bad, from the Hebrews. Whence we Greeks own, the grand monarchy of letters and nobility, to be the parent of our fables, metaphors and doctrines..."
The intense religious feeling that had inspired Pico to welcome magia and cabala as aids to religious insights, persisted very strongly in Bruno, who pursues his philosophical religion, or his religious philosophy, or his philosophical-religious magic, with the deepest earnestness and believed that it would one day become the instrument of religious reform, provided that it is understood naturally. The Orthodox Christian religion follows three theological virtues: love, hope and faith. Bruno avoided the three's, and his guides in religion become four: love, art, mathesis and magic. By following these four he believed the religious magus reaches the highest heights of perfection and power.
There are two kinds of magic, one bad, the other good. The bad, which is black magic, is a demonic magic known as the "magia desperatorum". The good, or white magic, by regulated faith and other laudable kinds of "contractions", corrects the erring, strengthens the weak and, through the greatest demon which is love, joins the soul to the divine power.
Giordano Bruno lived at the end of the 16th century with its terrible exhibitions of religious intolerance and brutality. Though there existed at that time various blends of Christian Hermeticism, both Catholic and Protestant, most of them firmly avoided the magic involved. Now enters the free thinking Giordano Bruno espousing and stressing full, magical, Egyptian Hermeticism as his basis, preaching a kind of Egyptian counter-reformation, prophesying a return to Egyptianism in which the religious difficulties will disappear in some new solution, preaching, too a moral reform with emphasis on social good works and an ethic of social utility. Added to that is the fact that he unabashedly denounced the doctors of Oxford for what they really were, "grammarian pedants", who arrogantly demonstrated their literal frivolity and do not understand philosophy. A careful study of Giordano Bruno's life reveals something more than just the man of great occult wisdom and intellect, he becomes the symbol of light in an age of darkness, the very essence of truth and intelligence seeking a place in a world of ignorance and pompous religious bigotry. His only crime was that his stratospheric I.Q. and intelligence could not be contained within the rigid confines of academia and the suffocating limitations of the opposing Protestant and Catholic religions.
Bruno viewed the Protestants as closed-minded heretics who could give no competent reason why their faith was the true one. Bruno could at least see some miraculous works done by the Catholics, but not by Protestants. Catholics see visions and Protestants do not; Catholics seemed to be all agreed as one in their faith at that time, whereas heretic Protestants are ever divided amongst themselves. Yet, Bruno could see the unmitigated evil which existed in both the Protestant and Catholic sects. Ironically, it would be the latter, which he had studied so well, who would single him out and burn him alive with fiendish abandon. No one religion should ever claim sole domination over the world; the concept alone is quite arrogant, if not frightening.
Loving Christian torture methods of the 16th century included; burning at the stake, hanging, beheading, disemboweling, breaking bones, trussing, gouging out the eyes cutting off the ears, drowning and flogging to name a few of the most popular.
Concerning the Catholic lust for power, Bruno stated: "Now, whoever does not wish to be a Catholic must endure punishment and pain, for force is used and not love; the world cannot go on like this, for there is nothing but ignorance and no religion which is good."
In the year 1591 a wealthy aristocrat in Venice, who had read some of Bruno's works, invited him to visit so that he might learn from Bruno some of the Hermetic arts. Bruno accepted the invitation and arrived in August of the year. Considering the religious-political climate of the time, one can only wonder what possessed Bruno to place himself so near the hot seat of the Inquisition. Bruno stepped into what would turn out to be a death-trap. The minute the aristocrat Zuan Mocenigo took offense to something Bruno said, he quickly reported him to the authorities. Bruno made plans to return to Frankfort immediately, but did not leave soon enough. Mocenigo locked him in his room until the Inquisition arrived to make the arrest. He was incarcerated on 26 May 1592. On that day began for Bruno eight long years of imprisonment in the basement dungeon of the Holy Office. It is not known what exact tortures were inflicted on Bruno to force him to recant at the Venetian trials. However, by law he had to be sent to Rome, where the case was dragged on. In 1599, eight heretical propositions were drawn up against him. But by the end of that year he withdrew all of his retractions, obstinately maintaining that he had never written or said anything heretical, and that the ministers of the Holy Office had wrongly interpreted his views. He was, therefore, hastily sentenced as an impenitent heretic and handed over to the secular arm for punishment. His final words to the nine Cardinals who condemned him were, "Per chance you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who received it."
On 17 February 1600, Bruno was led from his cell, chained at the neck, his tongue firmly gagged and escorted barefoot over the sharp cobblestones of their Roman streets. He was lashed to a stake before hundreds of excitement-seekers, while torches were laid to the kindling wood below him; a more fiendish spectacle and cruel hellish end one can hardly fathom. But, Bruno nobly met his death with a quiet calm, as the flames of Christian compassion consumed the life of one of the greatest, free thinking minds of the age.
Eight years before his death, Bruno penned a startling prophetic epitaph for himself. His De Monad, a philosophical poem written in 1592 contains the following lines:
"Much have I struggled. I thought I would be able to conquer... And both Fate and Nature, repressed my zeal and my strength. Even to have come forth is something, since I see that being able to conquer, is placed in the hands of fate. However, there was in me, whatever I was able to do, which no future century will deny to be mine, that which a victor could have for his own: not to have feared to die, not to have yielded to any equal in firmness of Nature, and to have preferred a courageous death, to a non-combatant life."