Ficino, Marsilio – Selected Letters - From a letter to Francesco Bandini
Type of spiritual experience
A little pessimistic, but interesting nonetheless as an argument
A description of the experience
Ficino, Marsilio – Selected Letters
From a letter from Marsilio Ficino to Francesco Bandini, greetings.
O Bandini, how penetrating you are; for, in one moment of insight, you perceive what first took me ten years to discover, by way of long and tortuous paths, and then five years to write about in eighteen books!
The opening of this work begins to reveal, step by step, the divine nature of the soul, which you seem to understand already. lt starts with these words,
"Since Man, with his restless mind, feeble frame, and desire for everything, leads a harder life on earth than the very beasts, then, if nature were to appoint for him exactly the same limit of life as for other creatures, no animal could have a sadder lot than he. …. Therefore it is only after the death of the body that his greater happiness may be achieved; and it surely follows that when our souls leave this prison some measure of light survives."
But enough of this Bandini; continue as far as you can to look at the inner nature of everything. Then you will never be deluded. Just looking at the surface reveals only shadows and dreams. The centre is the pivot and substance of things.
You promise to honour us as soon as you can. Some while ago you honoured the divine Plato and his followers in magnificent style. With your promise you honour us already. For when a truthful man, such as Bandini, makes a promise, it is already fulfilled.
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
Observation contributed by: John Bryant