If you see anyone blinded by the illusions of his empty and Calypso-like imagination, seized by the desire of scratching and delivered over to the senses, it is a brute, not man that you see.

If you come upon a philosopher winnowing out all things by right reason, he is a heavenly, not an earthly animal.

If you come upon a pure contemplator, ignorant of the body, banished to the innermost places of the mind, he is not an earthly, nor a heavenly animal: he more superbly is a divinity clothed with human flesh

~ Pico della Mirandola, Orations on the Dignity of Man

 

We take trouble with this phrasing. Was not the Pharoah, the God-King, divinity clothed with human flesh? Why does life-abnegation have to be more divine? It doesn’t except from a gnostic perspective. Christianity and Buddhism are para-gnostic strains.

A look at the world of Tradition, predating Christianity and Buddhism, shews divinity clothed in human flesh, as kings, as emperors. Hardly banished to the innermost places of the mind, “ignorant” of the body.

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