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Cicero - Treatises on Divination, Prophecy and Destiny



Type of Spiritual Experience


The argument here is that, if we use an analogy, since everything is a system and the system is as it were a programmed system, then if we knew the system and the programs we would be able to ‘divine’, prophesy.  In effect, we would be able to put in the inputs, execute the programs and get a known result – a form of simulation or ‘what if’ analysis.  Destiny is our part of the evolution of the universe, as such it too is the same in construct, a set of tasks that have to be executed here on earth in a set order – cause and effect. 

A description of the experience

Flammarion, C., Carroll, L, - Death and its mystery: before death

252 death and its mystery

As far back as the Romans, as far back as Cicero, for example, there is the view expressed that if we could penetrate into the soul of a man so that it will reveal itself by acts internal as well as external, if we could understand all its motives, even the slightest, and at the same time all the external influences, we could calculate the future conduct of a man with all the certainty of an eclipse of the sun or of the moon.  In Cicero’s treatise on  Divination, he has his brother, Quintus, explain the connection between the sight of the future and fatality. He says:

In order to account for divination, it is necessary to go back to the Divinity, to destiny, to nature. Reason obliges us to confess that everything is governed by destiny. I call destiny that which the Greeks named ‘eluapuern’ that is to say, an order, a series of causes joined together and, producing results. There is that perpetual truth the source of which is in eternity itself. According to this there is nothing in the future for which nature does not already contain sufficient causes. Thus destiny would be the eternal cause of all things, the cause which construes past, present, and future events.

It is thus by means of observation that we can learn what are usually the consequences of each cause. Without it is this chain of causes and effects which explains inspirations and dreams.

Let us add that since everything is ruled by destiny, if a mortal could exist capable of conceiving the connection between all causes he would never be mistaken. In fact, he who knew all the causes of events could not fail to understand all the future.

The source of the experience


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