Volume 1868
Georges Dodds'
The Ape-Man: his Kith and Kin
A collection of texts which prepared the advent of Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Hayy Ibn Yaqzân

Ibn Tufail

Rev. Simon Ockley, translator


Ibn Tufail, a.k.a. Abubacer (before 1110 to 1185 C.E.): 1, 2, 3
Simon Ockley (translator; 1678-1720): 1, 2

Link to Tarzan of the Apes

Altrocchi, Rudolph. 1944. "Ancestors of Tarzan." p. 74-124. Sleuthing in the Stacks. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

Edition(s) used

Modifications to the text

§ 1

Our virtuous ancestors (may God be gracious to them!) tell us, that there is an Indian island, situate under the Equinoctial, where men come into the world spontaneously without the help of father and mother. For this island enjoys the most equable and perfect temperature of all places on the Earth, because it receives its light from the highest possible point in the heavens; though it must be confessed that such an assertion is contrary to the opinion of the majority of philosophers and the most celebrated physicians, who affirm that the fourth clime has the most equable temperature of all inhabited regions. Now if they say this because they are convinced that there are no inhabited regions under the Equinoctial, by reason of some terrestrial impediment, their assertion that the fourth clime is the most equable of all places on the rest of the earth would have some appearance of reason. But if their reason be, because of the intense heat of those lands situate under the Equinoctial (which is that which most of them assign) it is absolutely false, and the contrary is proved by undeniable demonstration. For it is demonstrated in Natural Philosophy, that there is no other cause of heat than motion, or else the contact of hot bodies, or light. It is also proved that the Sun, in itself, is not hot, nor partakes of any quality of temperature: it is proved moreover, that the opaque and polished bodies receive light in the greatest degree of perfection; and next to them, the opaque which are not polished, and those which are entirely without opacity receive no light at all. (This was first demonstrated by Avicenna, never mentioned before by any of the Ancients.) From these premises, this consequence will necessarily follow, viz. that the Sun does not communicate his heat to the Earth, after the same manner as hot bodies heat those other bodies which are near them; because the Sun is not hot in itself. Nor can it be said that the Earth is heated by motion, because it stands still, and remains in the same posture, both when the Sun shines upon it, and when it does not, and yet it is evident to sense that there is a vast difference in it, in respect of heat and cold, at those several times. Nor does the Sun first heat the air, and so the Earth; because we may observe in hot weather, that the air which is nearest the Earth is hotter by much than that which is higher and more remote. It remains therefore that the Sun has no other way of heating the Earth but by its light, for heat always follows light, so that when its beams are collected, as in burning-glasses for instance, it fires all before it. Now it is established in the exact sciences by precise demonstration, that the Sun is a spherical body, and so is the Earth; and that the Sun is much greater than the Earth; and that part of the Earth which is at all times illuminated by the Sun is above half of it; and that in that half which is illuminated, the light is most intense in the midst, both because that part is the most remote from darkness, as also, because it offers a greater surface to the Sun; and that those parts which are nearer the circumference of the circle, have less light; and so gradually, till the circumference of the circle, which encompasses the illuminated part of the Earth, ends in darkness.

§ 2

Now that is the center of the circle of light, where the Sun is vertical to the inhabitants, and then in that place the heat is most extremely intense; and so those countries are the coldest, where the Sun is farthest from being vertical. And if there were any such place where the Sun was always vertical, it must needs be extreme hot. Now it is demonstrated in astronomy, that the Sun is vertical twice a year only, to those which live under the Equinoctial, viz. when he enters into Aries and Libra; and all the rest of the year he declines from them, six months northward, and six months southward; and for that reason they are neither too hot nor too cold, but of a moderate temper between both. Thereís much more to be said about this argument, in order to the explaining it fully, but it is not suitable to our purpose; I have only hinted it to you, because it makes it something more probable that a man might in that region be formed without the help of father and mother; and there are some which affirm positively that Hayy Ibn Yaqzân was so, others deny it, and tell the story thus:

§ 3

They say, that there lay, not far from this our island, another great island very fertile and well peopled; which was then governed by a prince of a proud and jealous disposition: he had a sister of exquisite beauty, which he confined and restrained from marriage, because he could not match her to one suitable to her quality. He had a near relation whose name was Yaqzân, that married her privately, according to a rite of matrimony then in use among them: it was not long before she proved with child, and was brought to bed of a son; and being afraid that it should be discovered, she took him in the evening, and when she had suckled him she put him into a little ark which she closed up fast, and so conveys him to the sea shore, with some of her servants and friends as she could trust; and there with an heart equally affected with love and fear, she takes her last leave of him in these words: "O God, you formed this child out of nothing,(1) and did cherish him in the dark recesses of my womb, till he was complete in all his parts; I, fearing the cruelty of this proud and unjust king, commit him to thy goodness, hoping that thou who art infinitely merciful will be pleased to protect him, and never leave him destitute of thy care."

§ 4

Then she set him afloat, and that very night the strong tide carried him ashore on that island we just now mentioned. It fortuned that the water, being high, carried the ark a great way on shore, farther than it would have done at another time (for it rises so high but once a year) and cast the ark into a grove, thick set with trees, a pleasant place, shielded from wind and rain and veiled from the Sun, which could not penetrate there neither when it rose nor when it set.(2) When the tide ebbed, the ark was left there, and the wind rising blew an heap of sand together between the ark and the sea, sufficient to secure him from any future danger of such another flood.

§ 5

The nails and timbers of the ark had been loosened when the waves cast it into that thicket; the child being very hungry wept and cried for help and struggled. It happened that a roe which had lost her fawn, heard the child cry, and following the voice (imagining it to have been her fawn) came up to the ark, and what with her digging with her hoofs from without, and the childís thrusting from within, at last between them both they burst open a board of the lid. Thereupon she was moved with pity and affection for him, and freely gave him suck; and she visited and tended him continually, protecting him from all harm. This is the account which they give of his origin, who are not willing to believe that a man can be produced without father or mother. We shall tell anon how he grew up and rose from one state to another, till at last he attained the state of highest perfection.

§ 6

On the other hand, those who affirm that Hayy Ibn Yaqzân was produced without father and mother, tell us, that in that island, in a piece of low ground, it chanced that a certain mass of earth was so fermented in some period of years, that the hot was so equally mixed with the cold, and the moist with the dry, that none of them prevailed over the other; and that this mass was of a very great bulk, in which, some parts were better and more equally tempered than others, and fitter to form the seminal humors; the middle part especially, which came nearest to the temper of manís body. This matter being in a fermentation, there arose some bubbles by reason of its viscousness, and it chanced that in the midst of it there was formed a very little bubble, which was divided into two with a thin partition, full of spirituous and aerial substance, and of the most exact temperature imaginable. The matter being thus disposed, there was, by the command of god, a spirit infused into it, which was joined so closely to it, that it can scarce be separated from it even so much as in thought. For this spirit emanates continually and abundantly from the most high and glorious God, and may be compared to the light of the Sun which is sent forth continually and abundantly over the world. Now there are some bodies from whence we perceive no reflection of this light, as the thin air: others from which we do but imperfectly; such are opaque bodies which are not polished (but there is a difference in these, and the difference of their colours arises from the different manner of their reception of the light); and others reflect the light in the highest degree, as bodies which are smooth and polished, such as looking-glasses and the like; so that those glasses when hollowed out after a particular manner will collect so much light as to produce fire. So that spirit which comes by the command of God, does at all times act upon all creatures, in some of which notwithstanding, there appears no impression of it, but the reason of that is because of their incapacity into whom it is infused; of which kind are things inanimate which are fitly represented in this similitude by the thin air. There is another sort again, in which there does appear something of it, as vegetables and the like, which are represented by the opaque bodies we mentioned, which are not polished. And then lastly, there are others, (represented by those polished bodies in our comparison) in which the influence of this spirit is very visible, and such we reckon all sorts of animals. Now, among those polished bodies, some besides having the eminent faculty of receiving the Sunís light, give an image resembling the Sun; so also among the animals, some not only have the eminent faculty of receiving the spirit, but resemble it and are formed in its image. Such is man particularly, and to him did the Prophet allude when he said, God created Adam in his own image.

§ 7

Now, when this image in Man prevails to such a degree that all others are nothing before it, but it remains alone, so as to consume, with the glory of its light, whatsoever stands in its way; then it is properly compared to those glasses, which reflect light upon themselves, and burn everything else; but this is a degree which is peculiar to the Prophets (the blessing of God be upon them!).

§ 8

But to return, and finish the account of those who describe this kind of generation: they tell us, that as soon as this spirit was joined to the receptacle, all the other faculties immediately, by the command of God, submitted themselves to it. Now, opposite to this receptacle, there arose another bubble divided into three ventricles by thin membranes, with passages from one to the other, which were filled with an aerial substance, not much unlike that which was in the first receptacle, only something finer than the first; and in each of these three ventricles, which were all taken out of one, were placed some of those faculties, which were subject to this governing spirit, and were appointed to take care of their respective stations, and to communicate everything, both great and small, to that spirit, which, we told you before was placed in the first receptacle. Right against this first receptacle, and opposite to the second, there arose another third bubble, filled with an aerial substance, which as grosser than that which was in the other two. This receptacle was made for the entertainment of some other of the inferior faculties.

§ 9

Thus these three receptacles were made in the same order which we have described, and these were the first part of that great mass which was formed. Now they stood in need of one anotherís assistance; the first wanted the other two as servants, and they again the assistance and guidance of the first, as their master and director; but both these receptacles (the former of which had more authority than the latter), though inferior to the first, were nevertheless superior to all those organs which were formed afterwards. The first receptacle of all, by the power of that spirit which was joined to it and its continual flaming heat, was formed into a conical figure, like that of fire, and by this means that thick body, which was about it, became of the same figure, being solid flesh covered with a thick protecting membrane. The whole of this organ is what we call the heart. Now considering the great destruction and dissolution of humours, which must needs be where there is so much heat, it was absolutely necessary that there should be some part formed, whose office it should be continually to supply this defect; otherwise it would have been impossible to have subsisted long. It was also necessary that this forming spirit should have a sense both of what was convenient for him, and what was hurtful, and accordingly attract the one and repel the other. For these services there were two parts formed, with their respective faculties, viz. the brain and the liver: the first of these presided over all things relating to sense, the latter over such things as belonged to nutrition: both of these depended upon the heart for a supply of heat, and the recruiting of their proper faculties. To supply these divers needs, there were ducts and passages interwoven, some bigger, some lesser, according as necessity required; and these are the arteries and veins.

Thus much for a taste; they that tell the story go on farther, and give you a particular account of the formation of all the parts, as the physicians do of the formation of the foetus in the womb, omitting nothing till he was completely formed, and just like an embryo ready for the birth. In this account they are forced to be beholding to this vast mass of fermented earth, which you are to suppose contained in it all manner of materials proper for the making manís body, those skins which cover it &c.; till at last, when he was complete in all his parts, as if the mass had been in labour, those coverings, which he was wrapped up in, burst asunder, and the rest of the dirt dried and cracked in pieces. The infant being thus brought into the world, and finding his nourishment fail him, cried for want of victuals, till the roe which had lost her fawn heard him. Now, both those who are of the other opinion and those who are for this kind of generation, agree in all the other particulars of his education: and what they tell us is this.

§ 10

They say that this roe lived in good and abundant pasture so that she was fat, and had such plenty of milk, that she was very well able to maintain the little child; she stayed by him and never left him, but when hunger forced her; and he grew so well acquainted with her, that if at any time she staid away from him a little longer than ordinary, he would cry pitifully, and she, as soon as she heard him; came running instantly; besides all this, he enjoyed this happiness, that there was no beast of prey in the whole island.

§ 11

Thus he went on, living only upon what he sucked till he was two years old, and then he began to step a little and breed his teeth. He always followed the roe, and she showed all the tenderness to him imaginable; and used to carry him to places where fruit trees grew, and fed him with the ripest and sweetest fruits which fell from the trees; and if they had hard shells, she used to break them for him with her teeth; still suckling him, as often as he pleased, and when he was thirsty she showed him the way to the water. If the Sun shined too hot, she shaded him; if he was cold she cherished him and kept him warm; and when night came she brought him home to his old place, and covered him partly with her own body, and partly with some feathers taken from the ark, which had been put in with him when he was first exposed. Now, when they went out in the morning, and when they came home again at night, there always went with them an herd of deer, which lay in the same place where they did, so that the boy being always amongst them learned their voice by degrees, and imitated it so exactly that there was scarce any sensible difference; nay, when he heard the voice of any bird or beast, he would come very near it. But of all the voices which he imitated, he made most use of the deers', and could express himself as they do, either when they want help, call their mates, when they would have them come nearer, or go farther off. (for you must know that the brute beasts have different sounds to express these different things.) Thus he contracted such an acquaintance with the wild beasts, that they were not afraid of him, nor he of them.

§ 12

12 By this time he began to have the ideas of a great many things fixed in his mind, so as to have a desire to some, and an aversion to others, even when they were absent. In the meanwhile he considered all the several sorts of animals, and saw that they were all clothed either with hair, wool, or feathers; he considered their great swiftness and strength, and that they were all armed with weapons defensive, as horns, teeth, hoofs, spurs, and nails; but that he himself was naked and defenceless, slow and weak, in respect of them. For whenever there happened any controversy about gathering of fruits, he always came off by the worst, for they could both keep their own, and take away his, and he could neither beat them off nor run away from them.

§ 13

He observed besides that his fellow-fawns, though their foreheads were smooth at first, yet afterwards had horns bud out, and though they were feeble at first, yet afterwards grew very vigorous and swift. All these things he perceived in them, which were not in himself; and when he had considered the matter, he could not imagine what should be the reason of this difference. Then he considered such animals as had any defect or natural imperfection, but amongst them all he could find none like himself. He took notice that the passages of the excrements were protected in all other creatures besides himself: that by which they voided their grosser excrements, with a tail; and that which served for the voiding of their urine, with hair or some such like thing. Besides, he observed that their genital organs were more concealed than his own were.

§ 14

All these things were matter of great grief to him, and when he had perplexed himself very much with the thoughts of them, and was now near seven years old, he despaired utterly of having those things grow upon him, the want of which made him so uneasy. He therefore got him some broad leaves of trees, of which he made two coverings, one to wear behind, the other before; and made a girdle of palm leaves and rushes, to hang his covering upon, and tied it about his waist. But alas it would not last long, for the leaves withered and dropt away; so that he was forced to get more, which he plaited in Layers one upon another, which made it a little more durable, but not much. Then having broke branches from a tree and fitted the ends of them to his mind, he stripped off the twigs and made them smooth; with these he began to attack the wild beasts, assaulting the weaker, and defending himself against the stronger. By this means he began a little to know his own powers, and perceived that his hands were better than their fore-feet; because by the help of them, he had provided wherewithal to cover his nakedness, and also gotten him a defensive weapon, so that now he had no need of a tail, nor of those natural weapons which he had so wished for at first.

§ 15

Meanwhile he was growing up and had passed his seventh year, and because the repairing of his covering of leaves so often, was very troublesome to him, he had a design of taking the tail of some dead beast, and wearing it himself; but when he perceived that all beasts did constantly avoid those which were dead of the same kind, it made him doubt whether it might be safe or not. At last, by chance he found a dead eagle, and observing that none of the beasts showed any aversion to that carcass, he concluded that this would suit his purpose: and in the first place, he cuts off the wings and the tail whole, and spreads the feathers open; then he drew off the skin, and divided it into two equal parts, one of which he wore upon his back, with the other he covered his navel and secrets: the tail he wore behind, and the wings were fixed upon each arm. This dress of his answered several ends; for in the first place it covered his nakedness, and kept him warm, and then it made him so frightful to the beasts, that none of them cared to meddle with him, or come near him; only the roe his nurse, which never left him, nor he, her; and when she grew old and feeble, he used to lead her where there was the best pasture, and pluck the sweetest fruits for her, and give her them to eat.

§ 16

Notwithstanding this she grew lean and weak, and continued a while in a languishing condition, till at last she dyed, and then all her motions and actions ceased. When the boy perceived her in this condition, he was ready to dye for grief. He called her with the same voice which she used to answer to, and made what noise he could, but there was no motion, no alteration. Then he began to peep into her ears and eyes, but could perceive no visible defect in either; in like manner he examined all the parts of her Body, and found nothing amiss, but every thing as it should be. He had a vehement desire to find that part where the defect was, that he might remove it, and she return to her former state. But he was altogether at a loss how to compass his design, nor could he possibly bring it about.

§ 17

That which put him upon this search, was what he had observed in himself. He had noticed that when he shut his eyes, or held anything before them, he could see nothing at all, till that obstacle was removed; and so when he put his fingers into his ears, that he could not hear, till he took them out again; and when he closed his nostrils together, he smelt nothing till they were opened; from whence he concluded that all his perceptive and active faculties were liable to impediments, upon the removal of which, their operations returned to their former course. Therefore, when he had examined every external part of her, and found no visible defect and yet at the same time perceived an universal cessation of motion in the whole body, not peculiar to one member but common to them all, he began to imagine that the hurt was in some organ which was remote from the sight and hidden in the inward part of the body; and that this organ was of such nature and use, that without its help, none of the other external organs could exercise their proper functions; and that if this organ suffer any hurt, the damage was general, and a cessation of the whole ensued.

§ 18

18 This made him very desirous to find that organ if possible, that he might remove the defect from it, that so it might be as it used to be, and the whole body might enjoy the benefit of it, and the functions return to their former course. He had before observed, in the bodies of wild beasts and other animals, that all their members were solid, and that there were only three cavities, viz. the skull, the breast, and the belly; he imagined therefore that this organ which he wanted must needs be in one of these cavities, and above all, he had a strong persuasion that it was in the middlemost of them. For he verily believed that all the members stood in need of this organ, and that from thence it must necessarily follow that the seat of it must be in the centre. And when he reflected upon his own body, he felt the presence of such an organ in his breast. Now since he was able to hinder the action of all his other organs, such as hands, feet, ears, nose and eyes, and deprive himself of it, he conceived that it might be possible to subsist without them; but when he considered this organ within his breast he could not conceive the possibility of subsisting without it, so much as the twinkling of an eye. And upon this account, whenever he fought with any wild beast, he always took particular care to protect his breast from being pierced by its horns, because of the apprehension which he had of that organ which was contained in it.

§ 19

Having, by this way of reasoning, assured himself that the disaffected organ lay in the breast; he was resolved to make a search in order to examine it, that whatsoever the impediment was, he might remove it if possible; but then again, he was afraid on the other side, lest his undertaking should be worse than the disease, and prove prejudicial. He began to consider next, whether or no he had ever remembered any wild beasts or other animals which he had seen in that condition, recover again, and return to the same state which they were in before, but he could call to mind no such instance; from whence he concluded that if she was let alone there would be no hopes at all, but if he should be so fortunate as to find that organ and remove the impediment, there might be some hope. Upon this he resolved to open her breast and make enquiry; in order to which he provided himself with fragments of flint, and splinters of dry cane almost like knives, with which he made an incision between the ribs, and cutting through the flesh, came to the diaphragma; which he finding very tough, assured himself that such a covering must needs belong to that organ which he looked for, and that if he could once get through that, he should find it. He met with some difficulty in his work, because his instruments were none of the best, for he had none but such as were made either of flint or cane.

§ 20

However, he sharpened them again and renewed his attempt with all the skill he was master of. At last he broke through, and the first part he met with was the lungs, which he at first sight mistook for that which he searched for, and turned them about this way and that way to see if he could find in them the seat of the disease. He first happened upon that lobe which lay next the side which he had opened and when he perceived that it did lean sideways, he was satisfied that it was not the organ he looked for, because he was fully persuaded that that must needs be in the midst of the body, as well in regard of latitude as longitude. He proceeded in his search, till at last he found the heart, which when he saw closed with a very strong cover, and fastened with stout ligaments, and covered by the lungs on that side which he had opened, he began to say to himself: "If this organ be so on the other side as it is on this which I have opened, then it is certainly in the midst, and without doubt the same I look for; especially considering the convenience of the situation, the comeliness and regularity of its figure, the firmness of the flesh, and besides, its being guarded with such a membrane as I have not observed in any other part." Upon this he searches the other side, and finding the same membrane on the inside of the ribs, and the lungs in the same posture which he had observed on that side which he had opened first, he concluded this organ to be the part which he looked for.

§ 21

Therefore he first attacks the pericardium, which, after a long trial and a great deal of pains, he made shift to tear; and when he had laid the heart bare, and perceived that it was solid on every side, he began to examine it, to see if he could find any apparent hurt in it; but finding none, he squeezed it with his hand, and perceived that it was hollow. He began then to think that what he looked for might possibly be contained in that cavity. When he came to open it, he found in it two cavities, one on the right side, the other on the left. That on the right side was full of clotted blood, that on the left quite empty. "Then (says he) without all doubt, one of those two cavities must needs be the receptacle of what I look for; as for that on this right side thereís nothing in it but congealed blood, which was not so, be sure, till the whole body was in that condition in which it now is" (for he had observed that all blood congeals when it flows from the body). "This blood does not differ in the least from any other; and I find it common to all the organs. What I look for cannot by any means be such a matter as this; for that which I seek is something which is peculiar to this place, which I find I could not subsist without, so much as the twinkling of an eye. And this is that which I looked for at first. As for this blood, how often have I lost a great deal of it in my skirmishes with the wild beasts, and yet it never did me any considerable harm, nor rendered me incapable of performing any action of life, and therefore what I look for is not in this cavity. Now as for the cavity on the left side, I find it is altogether empty, and I have no reason in the world to think that it was made in vain, because I find every organ appointed for such and such particular functions. How then can this ventricle of the heart, which I see is of so excellent a frame, serve for no use at all? I cannot think but that the same thing which I am in search of, once dwelt here, but has now deserted his habitation and left it empty, and that the absence of that thing has occasioned this privation of sense and cessation of motion which happened to the body." Now when he perceived that the being which had inhabited there before had left its house before it fell to ruin, and forsaken it when as yet it continued whole and entire, he concluded that it was highly probable that it would never return to it any more, after its being so cut and mangled.

§ 22

Upon this the whole body seemed to him a very inconsiderable thing, and worth nothing in respect of that being he believed once inhabited, and now had left it. Therefore he applied himself wholly to the consideration of that being. What it was and how it subsisted? What joined it to this body? Whither it went, and by what passage, when it left the body? What was the cause of its departure, whether it were forced to leave its mansion, or left the body of its own accord? And in case it went away voluntarily, what it was that rendered the body so disagreeable to it, as to make it forsake it? And whilst he was perplexed with such variety of thoughts, he laid aside all concern for the carcass, and banished it from his mind; for now he perceived that his mother, which had nursed him so tenderly and had suckled him, was that something which was departed; and from it proceeded all her actions, and not from this inactive body; but that all this body was to it only as an instrument, like his cudgel which he had made for himself, with which he used to fight with the wild beasts. So that now, all his regard to the body was removed, and transferred to that by which the body is governed, and by whose power it moves. Nor had he any other desire but to make enquiry after that.

§ 23

In the meantime the carcass of the roe began to putrefy and emit noisome vapours, which still increased his aversion to it, so that he did not care to see it. It was not long after that he chanced to see two ravens engaged so furiously, that one of them struck down the other stark dead; and when he had done, he began to scrape with his claws till he had dug a pit, in which he buried the carcass of his adversary. The boy observing this, said to himself: "How well has this raven done in burying the body of his companion, though he did ill in killing him! How much greater reason was there for me to have been forward in performing this office to my mother?" Upon this he digs a pit, and lays the body of his mother into it, and buries her. He proceeded in his enquiry concerning what that should be by which the body was governed, but could not apprehend what it was. When he looked upon the rest of the roes and perceived that they were of the same form and figure with his mother, he could not resist the belief that there was in every one of them something which moved and directed them, like that which had moved and directed his mother formerly; and for the sake of that likeness he used to keep in their company and show affection towards them. He continued a while in this condition, contemplating the various kinds of animals and plants, and walking about the coast of his island, to see if he could find any being like himself (as he observed that every individual animal and plant had a great many more like it). But all his search was in vain. And when he perceived that his island was encompassed by the sea, he thought that there was no other land in the world but only that island.

§ 24

It happened that by friction a fire was kindled among a thicket of canes, which scared him at first, as being a sight which he was altogether a stranger to, so that he stood at a distance a good while, strangely surprised. At last he came nearer and nearer by degrees, still observing the brightness of its light and marvellous efficacy in consuming every thing it touched and changing it into its own nature; till at last his admiration of it and that innate boldness and fortitude which God had implanted in his nature prompted him on, that he stretched out his hand to take some of it. But when it burnt his fingers and he found there was no dealing with it that way, he thought to take a stick which the fire had not as yet wholly seized upon; so taking hold on that end which was untouched he easily gained his purpose, and carried it home to his lodging (for he had found a cave which served as a convenient abode). There he kept this fire and added fuel to it, of dry grass and wood, admired it wonderfully, and tended it night and day; at night especially, because its light and heat supplied the absence of the Sun; so that he was extremely delighted with it and reckoned it the most excellent of all those things which he had about him. And when he observed that it always moved upwards, he persuaded himself that it was one of those celestial substances which he saw shining in the firmament, and he was continually trying of its power, by throwing all manner of things into it, which he perceived it always vanquished, sometimes sooner, sometimes slower, according as the bodies which he put into it were more or less combustible.

§ 25

Amongst other things which he put in to try its strength, he once flung in some sea animals which had been thrown ashore by the water, and as soon as ever he smelt the steam, it raised his appetite, so that he had a mind to taste of them; which he did, and found them very agreeable, and from that time he began to use himself to the eating of flesh, and applied himself to fishing and hunting till he understood those sports very well: upon this account he admired his fire more and more, because it helped him to several sorts of excellent provision which he was altogether unacquainted with before.

§ 26

And now when his affection towards it was increased to the highest degree, both upon the account of its beneficial effects and its extraordinary power, he began to think that the substance which was departed from the heart of his mother the roe, was, if not the very same with it, yet at least of a nature very much like it. He was confirmed in his opinion because he had observed in all animals, that as long as they lived, they were constantly warm without any intermission, and as constantly cold after death. Besides he found in himself, that there was a greater degree of heat by much in his breast, near that place where he had made the incision in the roe. This made him think that if he could dissect any animal alive, and look into that ventricle which he had found empty when he dissected his dam the roe, he might possibly find it full of that substance which inhabited it, and so inform himself whether it were of the same substance with the fire, and whether it had any light and heat in it or not. In order to this he took a wild beast and tied him down, and dissected him after the same manner he had dissected the roe, till he came to the heart; and essaying the left ventricle first, and opening it, he perceived it was full of an airy vapour which looked like a little mist or white cloud, and putting in his finger, he found it hotter than he could well endure it, and immediately the creature dyed. From whence he assuredly concluded that it was that hot vapour which communicated motion to that animal, and that there was accordingly in every animal of what kind soever, something like it upon the departure of which death followed.

§ 27

He was then moved by a great desire to enquire into the other parts of animals, to find out their order and situation, their quantity and the manner of their connexion one with another and by what means of communication they enjoy the benefit of that hot vapour, so as to live by it, how that vapour is continued the time it remains, from whence it has its supplies, and by what means its heat is preserved. The way which he used in this enquiry was the dissection of all sorts of animals, as well living as dead, neither did he leave off to make an accurate enquiry into them, till at length he arrived to the highest degree of knowledge in this kind which the most learned naturalists ever attained to.

§ 28

And now he apprehended plainly that every particular animal, though it had a great many limbs, and variety of senses and motions, was nevertheless one in respect of that spirit, whose original was from one firm mansion, viz. the heart, from whence its influence was diffused among all the members, which were merely its servants or instruments. And that this spirit made use of the body in the same manner as he himself did of his weapons; with some he fought with wild beasts, with others captured them, and with others cut them up; the first kind of weapons were either defensive or offensive; the second kind for the capture either of land or water animals; the third, his dissecting instruments, were some for fission, others for fraction, and others for perforation. His body, which was one, wielded those diverse instruments according to the respective uses of each, and the several ends which it proposed to obtain.

§ 29

Likewise he perceived that this animal spirit was one, whose action when it made use of the eye, was sight; when of the ear, hearing; when of the nose, smelling; when of the tongue, tasting; and when of the skin and flesh, feeling. When it employed any limb, then its operation was motion; and when it made use of the liver, nutrition and concoction. And that though there were members fitted to every one of these uses, yet none of them could perform their respective offices without having correspondence with that spirit by means of passages called nerves; and that if at any time it chanced that these passages were either broken off or obstructed, the action of the corresponding member would cease. Now these nerves derive this spirit from the cavities of the brain, which has it from the heart (and contains abundance of spirit, because it is divided into a great many partitions) and by what means soever any limb is deprived of this spirit, its action ceases and it is like a cast off tool, not fit for use. And if this spirit depart wholly from the body, or is consumed or dissolved by any means whatsoever, then the whole body is deprived of motion and reduced to that state which is death.

§ 30

Thus far had his observations brought him about the end of the third seventh year of his age, viz. when he was one and twenty years old. In which time he had made abundance of pretty contrivances. He made himself both clothes and shoes of the skins of such wild beasts as he had dissected. His thread was made of hair, and of the bark of the stalks of althwa, mallows, or hemp, or any other plants which afforded such strings as were fit for that purpose. He learned the making of these threads from the use which he had made of the rushes, before. He made awls of sharp thorns, and splinters of cane sharpened with flints. He learned the art of building from the observations he made upon the swallows' nests. He had built himself a store-house and a pantry, to lay up the remainder of his provision in, and made a door to it of canes bound together, to prevent any of the beasts getting in during his absence. He took birds of prey and brought them up to help him in his hunting, and kept tame poultry for their eggs and chickens. He took the tips of the buffaloís horns and fastened them upon the strongest canes he could get, and staves of the tree al-Zân and others; and so, partly by the help of the fire, and partly of sharp edged stones, he so fitted them that they served him instead of so many spears. He made him a shield of hides folded together. All this pains he took to furnish himself with artificial weapons, because he found himself destitute of natural ones.

§ 31

Now when he perceived that his hand supplied all these defects very well, and that none of all the various kinds of wild beasts durst stand against him, but ran away from him and were too nimble for him, he began to contrive how to be even with them, and thought there would be no way so proper as to chose out some of the swiftest beasts of the island, and bring them up tame, and feed them with proper food, till they would let him back them and then he might pursue the other kinds of Wild beasts. There were in that island both wild horses and asses; he chose of both sorts such as seemed fittest for his purpose, and by training he made them wholly obedient to his Wishes. And when he had made out of strips of skin and the hides of beasts such things as served him competently well in the room of bridles and saddles, he could very easily then overtake such beasts as he could scarce ever have been able to have caught any other manner of way. He made all these discoveries whilst he was employed in the study of anatomy, and the searching out of the properties peculiar to each part, and the difference between them; and all this before the end of that time I speak of, viz. of the age of 21 years.

§ 32

He then proceeded further to examine the nature of bodies in this world of generation and corruption, viz. the different kinds of animals, plants, minerals, and the several sorts of stones, and earth, water, vapour, ice, snow, hail, smoke, flame, and glowing heat; in which he observed many qualities and different actions, and that their motions agreed in some respects, and differed in others. And considering these things with great application, he perceived that their qualities also agreed in some things, and differed in others; and that so far as they agreed, they were one; but when considered with relation to their differences, a great many: so that when he came to consider the properties of things by which they were distinguished one from another, he found that they were innumerable and existence seemed to multiply itself beyond his comprehension. Nay, when he considered the difference of his own organs, which he perceived were all distinct from one another by some property and action peculiar to each, it seemed to him that there was a plurality in himself. And when he regarded any one organ, he found that it might be divided into a great many parts, from whence he concluded, that there must needs be a plurality not only in himself but in every other thing also.

§ 33

Then viewing the matter from another side, he perceived that though his organs were many, yet they were conjoined and compacted together so as to make one Whole, and that what difference there was between them consisted only in the difference of their actions, which diversity proceeded from the power of that animal spirit, the nature of which he had before searched into and found out. Now he remembered that that spirit was one in essence, and the true essence, and that all the organs serve that spirit as instruments; and so, viewing the matter from this side, he perceived himself to be one.

§ 34

He proceeded from hence to the consideration of all the species of animals and found that every individual of them was one. Next he considered them with regard to their different species, viz. as roes, horses, asses and all sorts of birds according to their kinds, and he perceived that all the individuals of every species were exactly like one another in the shape of their organs, both within and without, that their apprehensions, motions, and inclinations were alike, and that those little differences which were visible amongst them were inconsiderable in respect of those many things in which they agreed. From whence he concluded that the spirit which actuated any species was one and the same, only distributed among so many hearts as there were individuals in that species; so that if it were possible for all that spirit which is so divided among so many hearts to be collected into one receptacle, it would be all the same thing, just as if any one liquor should be poured out into several dishes and afterwards put all together again in one Vessel, this liquor would still be the same, as well when it was divided as when it was altogether, only in respect of that division it may be said in some sort to be multiplied. By this way of contemplation he perceived that a whole species was one and the same thing, and that the multiplicity of individuals in the same species is like the multiplicity of parts in the same person, which indeed is not a real multiplicity.

§ 35

Then he represented in his mind all the several kinds of animals, and perceived that sensation, and nutrition, and the power of moving freely where they pleased, were common to them all; which actions he was assured before, were all very proper to the animal spirit, and that those lesser things in which they differed (notwithstanding their agreement in these greater) were not so proper to that spirit. From this consideration he concluded that it was only one and the same animal spirit which actuated all living creatures whatsoever, though there was in it a little difference which each species claimed as peculiar to itself. For instance, suppose the same water be poured out into different vessels, that which is in this vessel may possibly be something colder than that which is in another, though it is the same Water still, and so all the portions of this water which are at the same degree of cold will represent the peculiar state of the animal spirit which is in all the animals of one species. And as that water is all one and the same, so is that animal spirit one, though there has occurred in it an accidental multiplicity. And so under this notion he looked upon the whole animal kingdom to be all One.

§ 36

Afterwards Contemplating the different Species of Plants, he perceived that the Individuals of every Species were alike, both in their Boughs, Leaves, Flowers, Fruits, and manner of Growing. And comparing them with Animals he found that there must needs be some one thing which they did all of them partake of, which was the same to them that the Animal Spirit was to the living Creature, and that in respect of That they were all One. Whereupon, taking a view of the Vegetable Kingdom, he concluded that it was One, by reason of that Agreement which he found in the Functions of Plants, viz. their Nourishment and Growing.

§ 37

Then he associated in his mind, the kingdoms of animals and plants together, and found that they were both alike in their nutrition and growing, only the animals excelled the plants in sensation and apprehension and movement, and yet he had sometimes observed something like it in plants, viz. that some flowers do turn themselves towards the sun, and that the plants extend their roots that way the nourishment comes, and some other such like things. From whence it appeared to him that plants and animals were one and the same, in respect of that one thing which was common to them both; which was indeed more perfect in the one, and more obstructed and restrained in the other; like water that is partly running and partly frozen. So that he concluded that plants and animals were all one.

§ 38

He next considered those bodies which have neither sense, nutrition nor growth, such as stones, earth, water, air, and flame, which he perceived had all of them three dimensions, viz. length, breadth, and thickness, and that their differences consisted only in this, that some of them were Coloured, others not, some were warm, others cold, and the like. He observed that those bodies which were Warm grew cold, and on the contrary, that those which were cold grew warm. He saw that water was rarefied into vapour, and vapour again condensed into water; and that such things as were burnt were turned into coals, ashes, flame and smoke, and if in its ascent smoke were intercepted by an arch of stone, it thickened there and became like certain earthy substances. From whence it appeared to him that all these things were in reality one, though multiplied and diversified accidentally as the plants and animals were.

§ 39

Then considering with himself what that thing must be which constituted the unity of plants and animals, he saw that it must be some body, like those bodies, which had a threefold dimension, viz. length, breadth, and thickness; and that whether it were hot or cold, it was like any of those other bodies which have neither sense nor nutrition, and differed from them only in those acts which proceeded from it by means of animal or vegetable organs. And that perchance those acts were not essential, but derived from something else, so that if those acts were to be produced in those other bodies, they would be like this body. Considering it therefore abstractedly, with regard to its essence only, as stripped of those acts which at first sight seemed to emanate from it, he perceived that it was a body, of the same kind, with those other bodies; upon which contemplation it appeared to him that, all bodies, as well those that had life, as those that had not, as well those that moved, as those that rested in their natural places were one; only there were some from which acts proceeded by means of organs; concerning which acts he could not yet determine whether they were essential, or derived from something without. Thus he continued, considering nothing but the nature of bodies, and by this means he perceived that whereas at first sight, things had appeared to him innumerable and not to be comprehended; Now, he discovered the whole mass and bulk of creatures were in reality only one.

§ 40

He continued in this State a considerable time. Then he considered all sorts of bodies, both animate and inanimate, which one while seemed to him to be One; and another, a great many. And he found that all of them had a tendency either upward, as smoke, flame, and air when detained under water; or else downward, as water, pieces of earth, or parts of animals and plants; and that none of these bodies were free from one or other of these tendencies, or would ever lie still unless hindered by some other body, and interrupted in their course; as when, for instance, a stone in its fall is stopped by the solidity and hardness of the Earth, when it is plain it would otherwise continue still descending; and if you lift it, you feel that it presses upon you by its tendency toward the lower place to which it seeks to descend. So smoke still continues going upwards, and if it should be intercepted by a solid arch, it would divide both to the right and left, and so soon as it was freed from the arch, would still continue ascending and pass through the air, which is not solid enough to restrain it. He perceived also that when a leathern bottle is filled with air and its neck tightly bound, if you hold it under Water it will still strive to get up till it returns to its place of air, and then it rests, and its resistance and its propensity to ascend ceases.

§ 41

He then enquired whether or no he could find any body that was at any time destitute of both these motions, or a tendency toward them, but he could find none such among all bodies which he had about him. The reason of this enquiry was, because he was very desirous to know the nature of body, as such, abstracted from all manner of properties, from whence arises multiplicity. But when he found this too difficult a task for him, and he had examined those bodies which had the fewest properties, and could find none of them void of one of these two, viz. Heaviness or lightness; he proceeded to consider the nature of these two properties, and to examine whether they did belong to body quatenus body, or else by reason of some property superadded to corporeity. It seemed to him that gravity and levity did not belong to body as such; for if so, then no body could subsist without them both: whereas on the contrary, we find that the heavy bodies are void of all lightness and the light bodies are void of all heaviness. Without doubt they are two Sorts of bodies, and each possesses an attribute which distinguishes it from the other, and which is superadded to its corporeity, otherwise they would be both one and the same thing, in every respect. From whence it appeared plainly that the essence both of an heavy and light body was composed of two attributes; one, which was common to them both, viz. corporeity; the other, by which they are distinguished one from the other, viz. gravity in the one, and levity in the other, which were superadded to corporeity.

§ 42

In like manner he considered other bodies, both animate and inanimate) and found their essence was composed of corporeity, and some thing or more superadded to it. And thus he attained a notion of the forms of bodies, according to their differences. these were the first things he found out, belonging to the spiritual world; for these forms are not the objects of sense, but are apprehended by intellectual speculation. Now among other things of this kind which he discovered, it appeared to him that the animal spirit which is lodged in the heart (as we have mentioned before) must necessarily have some attribute superadded to its corporeity, which rendered it capable of those wonderful actions, different sensations and ways of apprehending things, and various sorts of motions; and that this attribute must be its form, by which it is distinguished from other Bodies, which is the same that the philosophers call the animal soul. And so in plants, that which was in them the same that natural heat was in beasts, must have something proper to it, which was its form, which the philosophers call the vegetative soul And that there was also in inanimate things (viz. all rocks, besides plants and animals, which are in this sublunary world) something peculiar to them, by the power of which every one of them performed such actions as were proper to it, the form of every one of them, and this is the same which the philosophers call Nature.

§ 43

And when by this contemplation it appeared to him plainly that the true essence of that animal spirit on which he had been so intent, was compounded of corporeity and some other attribute superadded to that corporeity, and that it had its corporeity in common with other bodies; but that this other attribute which was superadded was peculiar to itself: immediately he despised and rejected the notion of corporeity, and applied himself wholly to that other superadded attribute (which is the same that we call the soul) the nature of which he earnestly desired to know. Therefore he fixed all his thoughts upon it, and began his contemplation with considering all bodies, not as bodies, but as endued with forms, from whence necessarily flow these properties by which they are distinguished one from another.

§ 44

Now by following up this notion and comprehending it in his mind, he perceived that all the bodies of a certain category had one form in common, from whence one or more actions did proceed. And that there was in this category a class whose members, though they agreed with all the rest in that one common form, had another form besides superadded to it, from whence some actions proceeded. And further, that there was in this class a group, which agreeing with the rest in those two forms which they had, was still distinguished from them by a third form, superadded to those other two, from whence also proceeded some actions. For instance, all terrestrial bodies, as earth, stones, minerals, plants, animals, and all other heavy bodies, do make up one category, and possess in common the same form, from whence flows downward movement, whilst there is nothing to hinder their descent; and whensoever they are forced to move upwards, if they are left to themselves, they immediately by virtue of their form tend downwards again. Now a class of this category, viz. plants and animals, though they do agree with all that multitude before mentioned, in that form, yet still have another form superadded to it, from whence flow nutrition and accretion. Now the meaning of nutrition is, when the body that is nourished, substitutes in the room of that which is consumed and wasted from itself, something of the like kind, which it draws to itself, and then converts into its own substance. Accretion, or growing, is a motion according to the three dimensions, viz. length, breadth, and thickness in a due proportion. And these two actions are common to plants and animals, and do without doubt spring from that form which is common to them both, which is what we call the vegetative soul. Now a group of this class, viz. animals, though they have the first and second Forms in common with the rest, have still a third form superadded, from which arise sensations and local motion. Besides, he perceived that every particular species of animals had some property which distinguished it and made it quite different from the rest, and he knew that this difference must arise from some form peculiar to that species, which was superadded to the notion of that form which it had in common with the rest of animals. And the like he saw happened to the several kinds of plants.

§ 45

And it was evident to him that the essences of those sensible bodies, which are in this sublunary world, had some of them more attributes superadded to their corporeity, and others, fewer. Now he knew that the Understanding of the fewer must needs be more easy to him than the understanding of those which were more in number. And therefore he endeavoured to get a true notion of the essence of some one thing which had the fewest essential attributes. Now he perceived that the essences of animals and plants were composed of a great many attributes, because of the great variety of their actions; for which reason he deferred the enquiring into their forms. As for the parts of the Earth, he saw that some of them were more simple than others, and therefore resolved to begin his enquiry with the most simple of all. So he perceived that Water was a thing far from complex, which appeared from the paucity of those actions which arise from its form. The same he likewise observed in the fire and air.

§ 46

Now he had already perceived that all these four might be changed one into another; and that there must be some one thing which they jointly participated of, and that this thing was corporeity. Now it was necessary that this one thing which was common to them all should be altogether free from those attributes by which these four were distinguished one from the other, and be neither heavy nor light; hot nor cold; moist nor dry; because none of these qualities were common to all bodies, and therefore could not appertain to body as such. And that if it were possible to find any such body, in which there was no other form superadded to corporeity, it would have none of these qualities, nor indeed any other but what were common to all bodies, with what form soever endued. He considered therefore with himself, to see if he could find any one adjunct or property which was common to all bodies, both animate and inanimate; but he found nothing of that nature, but only the notion of extension, and that he perceived was common to all bodies, viz. that they had all of them length, breadth, and thickness. Whence he gathered, that this notion belonged to body, as body. However, his sense could not represent to him any body existent in Nature, which had this only property, and was void of all other forms: For he saw that every one of them had some other notion superadded to the said extension.

§ 47

Then he considered further, whether this three-fold extension was the very Notion of Body, without the addition of another Notion; and quickly found that behind this Extension there was another Notion, in which this Extension did exist, and that Extension could not subsist by itself, as also the thing which was extended could not subsist by itself without extension. This he experimented in some of those sensible bodies which are endued with forms; for example, in clay: which he perceived, when moulded into any figure, (spherical suppose) had in it a certain proportion, length, breadth, and thickness. But then if you took that very same ball, and reduced it into a cubical or oval figure, the dimensions were changed, and did not retain the same proportion which they had before, and yet the clay still remained the same, without any change, only that it must always have a length, breadth, and thickness, in some proportion or other, and could not be deprived of these dimensions: Yet it was plain to him from the successive alterations of them in the same body, that they constituted a notion distinct from the clay itself; as also, that because the clay could not be altogether without them, it appeared to him that they belonged to its essence. And thus from this consideration it appeared to him that body regarded as body, was composed in reality of two notions: The one of which represents the clay, of which the sphere was made; the other, the threefold extension of it, when formed into a sphere, cube, or what other figure soever. Nor was it possible to conceive body, but as consisting of these two notions, neither of which could subsist without the other. But that one, (namely, that of extension) which was liable to change. and could successively put on different figures, did represent the form in all those bodies which had forms. And that other which still abode in the same state, (which corresponded to the clay, in our last Instance) did represent the notion of corporeity, which is in all bodies, of what forms soever. Now that thing which is represented by clay in the foregoing instance, is the same which the philosophers call matter, and ???, which is wholly destitute of all manner of forms.

§ 48

When his contemplation hid proceeded thus far, and he was got to some distance from sensible objects, and was now just upon the confines of the intellectual world, he was diffident, and inclined rather to the sensible world, which he was more used to. Therefore he retreated a little and left the consideration of abstracted body (since he found that his senses could by no means reach it, neither could he comprehend it) and applied himself to the consideration of the most simple sensible bodies he could find, which were those four about which he had been exercised. And first of all he considered the water, which he found, if let alone in that condition which its form required, had these two things in it, viz. sensible cold, and a propension to move downwards: But if heated by the fire or the sun, its coldness was removed, but its propension to move downwards still remained: But afterwards, when it came to be more vehemently heated, it lost its tendency downwards, and mounted upwards; and so it was wholly deprived of both those properties which used constantly to emanate from its form. Nor did he know any thing more of its form, but only that these two actions proceeded from thence; and when these two ceased, the nature of the form was altered, and the watery form was removed from that body, as soon as it manifested actions whose nature is to emanate from another form; and it received another form which had not been there before, from which arose those actions, which never used to appear in it whilst it had the first form.

§ 49

Now he knew that every thing that was produced anew must needs have some producer. And from this contemplation, there arose in his mind a sort of impression of the maker of that form, though his notion of him as yet was general and indistinct. Then he paused on the examining of these forms which he knew before, one by one, and found that they were produced anew, and that they must of necessity be beholden to some efficient cause. Then he considered the essences of forms, and found that they were nothing else, but only a disposition of body to produce such or such actions. For instance, water, when very much heated, is disposed to rise upwards, and that disposition is its form. For there is nothing present in all this, but a body, and some things which are observed to arise from it, which were not in it before (such as qualities and motions) and an efficient cause which produces them. And the fitness of a body for one motion rather than another, is its disposition and form. The same he concluded of all other forms, and it appeared to him that those actions which emanated from them were not in reality owing to them, but to the efficient cause which produced in them those actions which are attributed to them. Which notion of his is exactly the same with what the apostle of God says (may God bless him and grant him peace!): I am his Hearing by which he hears, and his seeing by which he sees; and in the Clear Book of Revelation: You did not kill them, but God killed them; when you threw the darts, it was not you that threw them, but God.(3)

§ 50

Now, when he had attained thus far, so as to have a general and indistinct notion of this agent, he had a most earnest desire to know it distinctly. And because he had not as yet withdrawn himself from the sensible world, he began to look for this agent among sensible things; nor did he as yet know whether it was one agent or many. Therefore he enquired strictly into all such bodies as he had about him, viz. those which he had been employed about all along, and he found that they were all liable to generation and corruption. And if there were any which did not suffer a total corruption, yet they were liable to a partial one, as water and earth, the parts of which, he observed, were consumed by fire. Likewise among all the rest of the bodies which he was conversant with, he could find none which were not produced anew and therefore dependent upon some agent. Upon which account he laid them all aside, and transferred his thoughts to the consideration of the heavenly bodies. And thus far he reached in his contemplations, about the end of the fourth septenary of his age, viz. when he was now eight and twenty years old.

§ 51

Now he knew very well that the heavens, and all the luminaries in them, were bodies, because they were all extended according to the three dimensions, length, breadth and thickness, without any exception; and that every thing that was so extended, was body; ergo, they were all bodies. Then he considered next, whether they were extended infinitely, as to stretch themselves to an endless length, breadth and thickness; or, whether they were circumscribed by any limits, and terminated by some certain bounds beyond which there could be no extension. But here he stopped a while, as in a kind of amazement.

§ 52

At last, by the strength of his apprehension and sagacity of his understanding, he perceived that the notion of infinite body was absurd and impossible, and a notion wholly unintelligible. He confirmed himself in this judgment of his by a great many arguments which occurred to him, and he thus argued with himself: That this heavenly body is terminated on this side which is next to me, is evident to my sight; and that it cannot be infinitely extended on that opposite side, which raised this scruple in me, I prove thus. Suppose two lines drawn from the extremity of this heavenly body, on that terminated side which is next to me, which lines should be produced quite through this body, in infinitum, according to the extension of the body; then suppose a long part of one of these lines cut off at this end which is next to me; then take the remainder of what was cut off, and draw down that end of it where it was cut off, and lay it even with the end of the other line from which there was nothing cut off; and let that line which was shortened lie parallel with the other; then follow these two lines in the direction in which we supposed them to be infinite. Either you will find both these lines infinitely extended, and then one of them cannot be shorter than the other, but that which had a part of it cut off will be as long as that which had not, which is absurd: Or else the line which was cut will not go on for ever like that other, but will stop and consequently be finite. Therefore if you add that part to it which was cut off from it at first, which was finite, the whole will be finite; and it will be no longer or shorter than that line which had nothing cut off from it, but equal to it. But this is finite, therefore the other is finite. And the body in which such lines are drawn is finite. But such lines may be drawn in all bodies. Therefore if we suppose an infinite body, we suppose an absurdity and impossibility.

§ 53

When by the singular strength of his genius (which he exerted in the finding out such a demonstration) he had satisfied himself that the body of Heaven was finite, he desired, in the next place, to know what figure it was of, and how it was limited by the circumambient superficies. And first he observed the Sun, Moon and stars, and saw that they all rose in the East, and set in the West; and those which went right over his head described a great circle, but those at a greater distance from the vertical point, either northward or southward, described a lesser circle. So that the least circles which were described by any of the stars, were those two which went round the two poles, the one North, the other South; the last of which is the Circle of Sohail or Canopus; the first, the Circle of those two Stars which are called Alpherkadâni. Now because he lived under the equinoctial line (as we showed before) all those circles did cut the horizon at right angles, and both North and South were alike to him, and he could see both the pole-stars. He observed that if a star arose at any time in a great circle, and another star at the same in a lesser circle, yet nevertheless, as they rose together, so they set together: and he observed it of all the stars, and at all times. From whence he concluded that the Heaven was of a spherical figure; in which opinion he was confirmed, by observing the return of the Sun, Moon and stars to the East, after their setting; and also, because they always appeared to him of the same bigness, both when they rose, and when they were in the midst of Heaven, and at the time of their setting; whereas, if their motions had not been circular, they must have been nearer to sight at some times than others, and consequently their dimensions would have appeared proportionally greater or lesser; but since there was no such appearance, he concluded that the Heaven was spherical. Then he considered the motion of the Moon and the planets from West to East, till at last he understood a great part of astronomy. Besides, he apprehended that their motions must be in different spheres, all which were comprehended in another which was above them all, and which turned about all the rest from East to West in the space of a day and a night. But it were too tedious to explain particularly how he advanced in this science; besides, it is taught in other books; and what we have already said is as much as is requisite for our present purpose.

§ 54

When he had attained to this degree of knowledge, he found that the whole orb of the heavens and whatsoever was contained in it was as one thing compacted and joined together; and that all those bodies which he used to consider before, as earth, water, air, plants, animals and the like, were all of them so contained in it, as never to go out of its bounds: and that the whole was like one animal, in which the luminaries represented the senses; the spheres so joined and compacted together, answered to the limbs; and in the midst, the world of generation and corruption, to the belly, in which the excrements and humours are contained, and which oftentimes breeds animals, as the greater world.

§ 55

Now when it appeared to him that the whole World was as one individual, and he had united all the parts of it by the same way of thinking which he had before made use of in considering the world of generation and corruption; he proposed to his consideration the world in general, and debated with himself whether it did exist in time, after it had not been; and came to be out of nothing; or whether it had been from eternity, without any privation preceding it. Concerning this matter he had very many and great doubts, so that neither of these two opinions did prevail over the other. For when he proposed to himself the belief of its eternity, there arose a great many objections in his mind; because he thought that the notion of infinite existence was pressed with no less difficulties than that of infinite extension: And that such a being as was not free from accidents produced a-new, must also itself be produced a-new, because it cannot be said to be more ancient than those accidents: And that which cannot exist before accidents produced in time, must needs itself be produced in time. Then on the other hand, when he proposed to himself the belief of its being produced a-new, other objections occurred to him; for he perceived that it was impossible to conceive any notion of its being produced a-new, unless it was supposed that there was time before it; whereas time was one of those things which belonged to the world, and was, inseparable from it; and therefore the world could not be supposed to be later than time. Then he considered, that a thing produced must needs have a producer: And if so, Why did this producer make the world now, and not as well before? Was it because of any new chance which happened to him? That could not be, for there was nothing existent besides himself. Was it then upon the account of any change in his own nature? But what should produce that change? Thus he continued for several Years, arguing pro and con about this matter; and a great many arguments offered themselves on both sides, so that neither of these two Opinions in his judgment over-balanced the other.

§ 56

This put him to a great deal of trouble, which made him begin to consider with himself what were the consequences which did follow from each of these Opinions, and that perhaps they might be both alike. And he perceived that if he held that the World was created in time, and had come into existence after a total privation, it would necessarily follow from thence that it could not have come into existence of itself, without the help of some agent to produce it. And that this agent must needs be such an one as cannot be apprehended by our senses; for if he should be the Object of sense, he must be body, and if body, then a part of the world, and consequently a created being; such an one as would have stood in need of some other cause to create him; and if that second creator was body, he would depend upon a third, and that third upon a fourth, and so ad infinitum, which is absurd. Therefore the world stands in need of an incorporeal creator: And if the creator thereof is incorporeal, it is impossible for us to apprehend him by any of our senses; for we perceive nothing by the help of them but body, or such accidents as adhere to bodies: And if he cannot be perceived by the senses, it is impossible he should be apprehended by the imagination; for the imagination does only represent to us the forms of things in their absence, which we have before learned by our senses. And if he is not body, we must not attribute to him any of the properties of body; the first of which is extension, from which he is free, as also from all those properties of bodies which flow from it. And if he is the maker of the world, doubtless he has the sovereign command and knowledge of it. Shall not he know it, that created it? He is wise, omniscient!(4)

§ 57

Furthermore, he saw that if he held the eternity of the world, and that it always was as it now is, without any privation before it; then it would follow that its motion must be eternal too; because there could be no rest before it, from whence it might commence its motion. Now all motion necessarily requires a mover; and this mover must be either a power diffused through some body, that is through the body of a being which moves itself, or through some other body without it, or else a certain power not diffused or dispersed through any body at all. Now every power which passes, or is diffused, through any body, is divided or doubled according as the body is divided or doubled. For instance; the gravity in a stone, by which it tends downwards, if you divide the stone into two parts, is divided into two parts also; and if you add to it another like it, the gravity is doubled. And if it were possible to add stones in infinitum, the gravity would increase in infinitum too. And if a stone should grow to a certain size and stop there, the gravity would also increase to such a pitch, and no farther. Now it is demonstrated that all body must necessarily be finite; and consequently, that power which is in body is finite too. If therefore we can find any power which produces an infinite effect, it is plain that it is not in body. Now we find that the Heaven is moved about with a perpetual motion, without any cessation, since we admit the Heaven to be eternal. Whence it necessarily follows that the power which moves it is not in its own body, nor in any other exterior body; but proceeds from something altogether abstracted from body, and which cannot be described by corporeal adjuncts or properties. Now he had learned from his first contemplation of the world of generation and corruption, that the true reality of body consisted in its form, which is its disposition to several sorts of motion; but that the reality which consisted in its matter was very mean, and scarce possible to be conceived. Therefore the reality of the whole world consists in its disposition to be moved by this mover, who is free from matter and the properties of body, abstracted from every thing which. we can either perceive by our senses or reach by our imagination. And if he is the efficient cause of the divers motions of the heavens, which he produces by an action in which there is no irregularity, no abatement, no cessation; without doubt he has power over them, and a knowledge of them.

§ 58

Thus his contemplation this way brought him to the same conclusion it did the other Way. So that doubting concerning the eternity of the world, and its existence de novo, did him no harm at all. For it was plain to him both ways, that there was an agent, which was not body, nor joined to body, nor separated from it, nor within it, nor without it, because conjunction and separation, and being within any thing, or without it, are all properties of body, from which that agent is altogether abstracted. And because the matter in all bodies stands in need of a form, as not being able to subsist without it, nor exist really, and the form itself cannot exist but by this agent; it appeared to him that all things owed their existence to this agent, and that none of them could subsist but through him: and consequently, that he was the cause, and they the effects, (whether they were newly created after a privation, or whether they had no beginning in time Ďtwas all one) and creatures whose existence depended upon that agent; and that without his continuance they could not continue, nor exist without his existing, nor have been eternal without his being eternal, but that he was essentially independent of them, and free from them. And how should it be otherwise, when it is demonstrated that his power and might are infinite, and that all bodies and whatsoever belongs to them are finite? Consequently, that the whole world and whatsoever was in it, the heavens, the Earth, the stars, and whatsoever was between them, above them, or beneath them, was all his Work and creation, and posterior to him in Nature, if not in time. As, if you take anybody whatsoever in your hand, and then move your hand, the body will without doubt follow the motion of your hand, with such a motion as shall be posterior to it in nature, though not in time, because they both began together. So all this World is caused and created by this agent, out of time, whose command is, when he would have anything done, be, and it is. (5)

§ 59

And when he perceived that all things which did exist were his workmanship, he looked them over again, considering in them attentively the power of their author, and admiring the Wonderfulness of the Workmanship, and such accurate Wisdom and subtle knowledge. And there appeared to him in the most minute creatures (much more in the greater) such footsteps of wisdom, and wonders of the work of creation, that he was swallowed up with admiration, and fully assured that these things could not proceed from any other than an agent of infinite perfection, nay, that was above all perfection; such an one " to whom the Weight of the least atom was not unknown, whether in Heaven or Earth; no, nor any other thing, whether lesser or greater than it." (6)

§ 60

Then he considered all the kinds of animals, and how this agent had given such a fabric of body to every one of them, and then taught them how to use it. For if he had not directed them to apply those members which he had given them, to those respective uses for which they were designed, they would have been so far from being of any service that they would rather have been a burden. From whence he knew that the creator of the world was supereminently bountiful and exceedingly gracious. And then when he perceived among the creatures, any that had beauty, elegance, perfection, strength, or excellence of any kind whatever, he considered with himself, and knew that it all emanated from that agent, and from his existence and operation. And he knew that what the agent had in his own nature, was greater than that which he saw in the creatures, more perfect and complete, more beautiful and glorious, and more lasting; and that there was no proportion between the one and the other. Neither did he cease to prosecute this search, till he had run through all the attributes of perfection, and found that they were all in this agent, and all flowed from him; and that he was most worthy to have them all ascribed to him, above all the creatures which were described by them.

§ 61

61 In like manner he enquired into all the attributes of imperfection, and perceived that the maker of the world was free from them all. And how was it possible for him to be otherwise, since the notion of imperfection is nothing but mere non-existence, or what depends upon it? And how can he any way partake of non-existence, who is the pure existence, necessarily by his essence; who gives being to every thing that exists, and besides whom there is no existence; but He is the being, He the perfection, He the plenitude, He the beauty, He the glory, He the power, He the knowledge? He is He, and besides Him all things are subject to perishing. (7)

§ 62

Thus far his Knowledge had brought him towards the end of the fifth septenary from his birth, viz. when he was 35 years old. And the consideration of this supreme agent was then so rooted in his heart, that it diverted him from thinking upon any thing else: and he so far forgot the consideration of the creatures, and the enquiring into their natures, that as soon as ever he cast his eyes upon anything of what kind soever, he immediately perceived in it the work of this agent; and in an instant his thoughts were taken off from the work, and transferred to the worker. So that he was inflamed with the desire of him, and his heart was altogether withdrawn from thinking upon this inferior world, which contains the objects of sense, and wholly taken up with the contemplation of the upper, intellectual world.

§ 63

Having now attained to the knowledge of this supreme being, which has no cause of his own existence, but is the cause why all things else exist; he was desirous to know by what means he had attained this Knowledge, and by which of his faculties he had apprehended this being. And first he examined all his senses, viz. his hearing, sight, smelling, tasting and feeling, and perceived that all these apprehended nothing but body, or what was in body. For the hearing apprehended nothing but sounds, and these came from the undulation of the air, when bodies are struck one against another; the sight apprehends colours; the smelling, odours; the taste, savours; and the touch, the temperatures and dispositions of bodies, such as hardness, softness, roughness and smoothness. Nor does the imagination apprehend anything but as it has length, breadth, and thickness. Now all these things which are thus apprehended are the adjuncts of bodies; nor can these senses apprehend anything else, because they are faculties diffused through bodies, and divided according to the division of bodies, and for that reason cannot apprehend anything else but divisible body. For such a faculty being diffused through something divisible, it is impossible, but that when it apprehends any thing whatsoever, that thing so apprehended must be divided as the faculty is divided. For which reason, no faculty which is seated in body can apprehend anything but what is body, or in it. Now it was already demonstrated that this necessarily existent being is free in every respect from all properties of body; and consequently not to be apprehended but by something which is neither body, nor any faculty inherent in body, nor has any manner of dependence upon it, nor is either within it, or without it, nor joined to it, nor separated from it. From whence it appeared to him that he had apprehended this being by that which was his essence, and that the notion of this being was grounded in him. And from hence he concluded that this essence wherewith he perceived this being was incorporeal, and free from all the properties of body; and that all the external and corporeal part which he perceived in his being, was not in reality his essence; but that his true essence was that, by which he apprehended that being of necessary existence.

§ 64

Having thus learned that his essence was not that corporeal mass which he perceived with his senses and was clothed with his skin, he began to entertain mean thoughts of his body, and set himself to contemplate that noble essence, by which he had reached the knowledge of that superexcellent and necessarily existent being; and began to consider whether this noble essence of his could possibly perish, or become corrupt and dissolve; or whether it were of perpetual duration. Now he knew that corruption and dissolution were accidents of body, and consisted in the putting off one form, and putting on another. As for instance: when water is changed into air, and air into water; or when plants are turned into earth or ashes, and earth again into plants (for this is the true notion of corruption). But an incorporeal thing, which has no dependence upon body, but is altogether free from the accidents proper to body, cannot be supposed to be liable to corruption.

§ 65

Having thus secured himself in this belief that his real essence could not be dissolved, he had a mind to know what condition it should be in when it had laid aside the body and was freed from it; which he already knew would not be, till the body ceased to continue a fit instrument for its use. Therefore he considered all his apprehensive faculties, and perceived that every one of them did sometimes apprehend potentially, and sometimes actually; as the eye when it is shut, or turned away from the object, sees potentially (for the meaning of apprehending potentially is, when it does not apprehend now, yet can do it for the time to come). And when the eye is open, and turned toward the object, it sees actually (for that is called actual, which is present). And so every one of these faculties is sometimes in power, and sometimes in act. And if any of them did never actually apprehend its proper Object, so long as it remains in power it has no desire to its particular object; because it knows nothing of it (as a man that is born blind). But if it did ever actually apprehend, and then be reduced to the power only: so long as it remains in that condition, it will desire to apprehend in act; because it has been acquainted with the Object, and is intent upon it, and lingers after it; as a man who could once see, and after is blind, continually desires visible Objects. And according as the object which he has seen is more perfect and glorious and beautiful, his desire towards it is proportionally increased, and his grief for the loss of it so much the greater. Hence it is that the grief of him who is deprived of that sight he once had, is greater than his who is deprived of smelling; because the objects of sight are more perfect and beautiful than those of smelling. And if there be any thing of boundless perfection, infinite beauty, glory and splendour, that is above all splendour and beauty, so that there exists no perfection, beauty, brightness, or comeliness, but flows from it; then certainly he that shall be deprived of the sight and knowledge of that thing, after he has once been acquainted with it, must necessarily, so long as he continues in that state, suffer inexpressible anguish; as on the contrary, he that continually has it present to him must needs enjoy uninterrupted delight, boundless felicity, and infinite joy and gladness.

§ 66

Now it had been already made plain to him that all the attributes of perfection belonged to that being which did necessarily self-exist, and that he was far from all manner of imperfection. He was certain withal, that the faculty by which he attained to the apprehension of this being was not like to bodies, nor subject to corruption, as they are. And from hence it appeared to him that whosoever had such an essence as was capable of apprehending this noble being, must, when he put off the body as the time of his death, have been formerly, during his governorship of the body, first, either one who was not acquainted with this necessarily self-existent being, nor ever was joined to him, nor ever heard any thing of him; and so would, at the separating with the body, never desire him, nor be concerned at the want of him; because all the corporeal faculties cease when the body dies, nor do they any longer desire or linger after their proper objects, nor are in any trouble or pain for their absence. (This is the condition of all animals deprived of reason, whether they be of human shape or no.) Or else, secondly, such an one, who during his governorship of the body, did acquire a notion of this being, and had a sense of his perfection, greatness, dominion, and power; but afterwards declined from him, and followed his carnal desires, till at length death overtook him whilst in this state; he shall be deprived of that vision, and yet be afflicted with the desire of enjoying it, and so remain in lasting punishment and inexpressible torture; whether he be to be delivered from his misery after long pain, and enjoy that vision which he used to desire, or, everlastingly to abide in the same torments, according as he was fitted and disposed for either of these two, during his continuance in the body. Or lastly, he were such an one, who while in the body acquired the notion of this necessarily self-existent being, and applied himself to it with the utmost of his ability, and has all his thoughts continually intent upon his glory, beauty, and splendour, and never turns from him, not forsakes him, till death seizes him in the act of contemplation and intuition: such a man as this shall, when separated from body, remain in everlasting pleasure and delight and joy and gladness, by reason of the uninterrupted vision of that self-existent being, and its entire freedom from all impurity and mixture; and because all those sensible things shall be removed from him, which are the proper objects of the corporeal faculties, and which, in regard of his present state, are no better than torments, evils and hindrances.

§ 67

Being thus satisfied that the perfection and happiness of his own being consisted in the actually beholding that necessarily self-existent being perpetually, so as not to be diverted from it so much as the twinkling of an eye, that death might find him actually employed in that vision, and so his pleasure might be continued, without being interrupted by any pain; he began to consider with himself by what means this vision might actually be continued, without interruption. So he was very intent for a time upon that being; but he could not stay there long, before some sensible object or other would present itself to his view, or the voice of some wild beast would rend his ears, or some fantasy affected his imagination, or he was touched with some pain in some part or other, or he was hungry, or dry, or too cold, or too hot, or was forced to rise to ease Nature; so that his contemplation was interrupted, and he removed from that state of mind; and then he could not, without a great deal of difficulty, recover himself to that state he was in before; and he was afraid that death should overtake him at such a time as his thoughts were diverted from the vision, and so he should fall into everlasting misery and the pain of separation.

§ 68

This put him into a great deal of anxiety, and when he could find no remedy, he began to consider all the several sorts of animals, and observe their actions, and what they were employed about; in hopes of finding some of them that might possibly have a notion of this being and an endeavour after him; that so he might learn of them which way to be saved. But he found that they were all wholly taken up in getting their provision, and satisfying their desires of eating and drinking and copulation, and choosing the shady places in hot weather, and the sunny ones in cold; and that all their life-time, both day and night, till they died, was spent after this manner, without any variation, or minding anything else at any time. From whence it appeared to him that they knew nothing of this being, nor had any desire towards it, nor became acquainted with it by any means whatsoever; and that they all tended toward a state of privation, or something very near a-kin to it. Having passed this judgment upon the animals, he knew that it was much more reasonable to conclude so of vegetables, which had but few of those apprehensions which the animals had; for if that whose apprehension was more perfect did not attain to this knowledge, much less could it be expected from that whose apprehension was less perfect; especially when he saw that all the actions of plants reached no farther than nutrition and generation.

§ 69

He next considered the stars and spheres, and saw that they had all regular motions, and went round in a due order, and that they were pellucid and shining, and remote from any approach to change or corruption. Which made him have a strong suspicion that they had essences distinct from their bodies, which were acquainted with this necessarily self-existent being; and that these understanding essences were neither bodies nor imprinted in bodies. And why might it not be supposed that they might have incorporeal essences, when he himself had, notwithstanding his weakness and extreme need of sensible things? For he partook of corruptible body, and yet nevertheless, all his defects did not hinder him from having an incorporeal incorruptible essence. From whence he concluded that the celestial bodies were much more likely to have it; and he was assured that they had a knowledge of that necessarily self-existent being, and did actually behold it at all times, because they were not at all encumbered with those hindrances, arising from the intervention of sensible things, which debarred him from enjoying the vision without interruption.

§ 70

Then he began to consider with himself, what should be the reason why he alone, above all the rest of living creatures, should be endued with such an essence as made him like the heavenly bodies. Now he understood before the nature of the elements, and how one of them used to be changed into another, and that there was nothing upon the face of the Earth which always remained in the same form, but that generation and corruption followed one another perpetually in a mutual succession; and that most of these bodies were mixed and compounded of contrary things, and were for that reason the more disposed to corruption; and that there could not be found among them all anything pure, but that such bodies as came nearest to purity, and had least mixture, are least subject to corruption, as gold and jacinth; and that the heavenly bodies were simple and pure, and for that reason far removed from corruption, and not subject to a succession of forms. Furthermore it was clear to him that the real essence of those bodies, which are in this sublunary world, consisted in some, of one single form added to the notion of corporeity, as the four elements; in others of more, as animals and plants; and that those, whose essence consisted of the fewest forms, had fewest actions, and were farther distant from life. And that if there were any body to be found, that was destitute of all form, it was impossible that it should live, but was next to nothing at all; also that those whose essence most forms, had the most operations, and had more ready and easy entrance to the state of life. And if this form were so disposed, that there were no way of separating it from the matter to which it properly belonged, then the life would be manifest, permanent and vigorous to the utmost degree; but on the contrary, whatsoever body was altogether destitute of a form, was ???, matter without life, and near a-kin to nothing. And that the four elements subsisted with one single form only, and are of the lowest rank of existence in the sublunary world, out of which other things endued with more forms are compounded. And that the life of these elements is very weak, both because they have no variety of motion, but always tend the same way; and because every one of them has an adversary which manifestly opposes the tendency of its nature, and endeavours to deprive it of its form; and therefore its existence lacks stability, and its life is weak. But that plants had a stronger life, and animals a life more manifest than the plants: the reason of which is, because that whenever it happened that in any of these compound bodies, the nature of one element prevailed, that predominant element would overcome the natures of the rest, and destroy their power, so that the compounded body would be of the same nature with that prevailing element, and consequently partake but of a small portion of life, because the element itself does so.

§ 71

On the contrary, if there were any of these compounded bodies, in which the nature of one element did not prevail over the rest, but they were all equally mixed, and a match one for the other; then one of them would not abate the force of the other, any more than its own force is abated by it, but they would work upon one another with equal power, and the operation of any one of them would not be more conspicuous than that of the rest; and this body would be far from being like to any one of the elements, but would be as if it had nothing contrary to its form, and consequently the more disposed for life; and the greater this equality of temperature was, and by how much the more perfect, and further distant from inclining one way or other, by so much the farther it is distant from having any contrary to it, and its life is the more perfect. Now since that animal spirit which is seated in the heart is of a most even temperature, as being finer than earth and water, and grosser than fire and air, it has the nature of a mean between them all, and which has no manifest opposition to any of the elements, and by this means is capable of the form of animality. And he saw that it followed from hence, that those animal spirits which were of the most even temperature, were the best disposed for the most perfect life in this world of generation and corruption, and that this spirit was very near having no opposite to its form, and did in this respect resemble the heavenly bodies which have no opposite to their forms; and that the spirit of such an animal, because it was a mean between all the elements, had no absolute tendency, either upwards or downwards; but that, if it were possible it should be placed in the middle space, between the centre and the highest bounds of the region of fire, and not be destroyed, it would continue in the same place, and move neither upwards nor downwards; but if it should be locally moved, it would move in a round, as the heavenly bodies do, and if it moved in its place, it would be round its own centre; and that it was impossible for it to be of any other figure but spherical, and for that reason it is very much like to the heavenly bodies.

§ 72

And when he had considered the properties of animals, and could not see any one among them, concerning which he could in the least suspect that it had any Knowledge of this necessarily self-existent Being; but he knew that his own Essence had the Knowledge of it; he concluded from hence that he was an animal, endued with a spirit of an equal temperature, as all the heavenly bodies are, and that he was of a distinct species from the rest of animals, and that he was created for another end, and designed for something greater than what they were capable of. And this was enough to satisfy him of the nobility of his nature, namely, that his viler part, i.e. the corporeal, was most like of all to the heavenly substances, which are without this world of generation and corruption, and free from all accidents that cause any defect, change or alteration; and that his nobler part, viz. that by which he attained the Knowledge of the necessarily self-existent being, was something sovereign and divine, not subject to corruption, nor capable of being described by any of the properties or attributes of bodies; not to be apprehended by any of the senses or by the imagination, nor to be known by the means of any other instrument but itself alone; and that it attained the knowledge of itself by it self, and was at once the knower, the knowledge, and the thing known; the faculty and the object. Neither was there any difference between any of these, because diversity and separation are properties and adjuncts of bodies; but body was no way concerned here, nor any property or adjunct of body.

§ 73

Having apprehended the manner by which the being like the heavenly bodies was peculiar to him above all other kinds of animals whatever, he perceived that it was a duty necessarily incumbent upon him to resemble them, and imitate their actions, and endeavour to the utmost to become like them. He perceived also that in respect of his nobler part, by which he had attained the Knowledge of that necessarily self-existent being he did in some measure resemble it, because he was separated from the attributes of bodies, as the necessarily selfexistent being is separated from them. He saw also that it was his duty to endeavour to make himself master of the properties of that being by all possible means, and put on his qualities, and imitate his actions, and labour in the doing his will, and resign himself wholly to him, and submit to his dispensations heartily and unfeignedly, so as to rejoice in him, though he should lay afflictions upon his body, and hurt, or even totally destroy it.

§ 74

He also perceived that he resembled the beasts in his viler part, which belonged to this generable and corruptible world, viz. this dark, gross body, which sought from that world a variety of sensible things, such as food, drink, and copulation. And he knew that his body was not created and joined to him in vain, but that he was obliged to preserve it and take care of it, which he saw could not be done without some of those actions which are common to the rest of the animals. Thus it was plain to him that there were three sorts of actions which he was obliged to, namely 1. those by which he resembled the irrational animals; or, 2. those by which he resembled the heavenly bodies; or, 3. those by which he resembled the necessarily self-existent being. And that he was obliged to the first, as having a gross body, consisting of several parts, and different faculties, and variety of motions; to the second, as having an animal spirit, which had its seat in the heart, and was the first beginning of the body and all its faculties; to the third, as he was what he was, viz. as he was that essence, by which he knew the necessarily self-existent being. And he was very well assured before, that his happiness and freedom from misery consisted in the perpetual vision of that necessarily self-existent being, without being averted from it so much as the twinkling of an eye.

§ 75

Then he weighed with himself, by what means a continuation of this vision might be attained, and the result of his contemplation was this, viz. That he was obliged to keep himself constantly exercised in these three kinds of assimilation. Not that the first of them did any way contribute to the helping him to the vision (but was rather an impediment and hindrance, because it was concerned only in sensible objects, which are all of them a sort of veil or curtain interposed between us and it) but because it was necessary for the preservation of the animal spirit, whereby the second assimilation, i.e. the assimilation to the heavenly bodies was acquired, and was for this reason necessary, though encumbered with those inconveniences. But as to the second assimilation, he saw indeed that a great share of that continued vision was attained by it, but that it was not without mixture; because, whatsoever contemplates the vision after this manner continually, does, together with it, have regard to, and cast a look upon his own essence, as shall be shown hereafter. But that the third assimilation was that by which he obtained the pure vision, and absolute absorption, without being diverted from it one way or other by any means whatsoever, but being still intent upon that necessarily self-existent being; which whosoever enjoys, has no regard to any thing else, and his own essence is altogether neglected, and vanished out of sight, and become as nothing; and so are all other essences both great and small, except only the essence of that one, true, necessarily self-existent, highest and all-powerful being.

§ 76

Now when he was assured that the utmost bound of all his desires consisted in this third assimilation, and that it was not to be attained without being a long time exercised in the second, and that there was no continuing so long as was necessary for that purpose, but by means of the first (which, how necessary soever, he knew was an hindrance in itself, and an help only by accident), he resolved to allow himself no more of that first assimilation than needs must, which was only just so much as would keep the animal spirit alive. Now, in order to this, he found there were two things necessary; the former, to help it inwardly, and supply the defect of that nourishment which was wasted; the latter, to preserve it from without, against the extremities of heat and cold, rain and sun, hurtful animals, and such like. And he perceived that if he should allow himself to use these things, though necessary, unadvisedly and at adventure, it might chance to expose him to excess, and by that means he might do himself an injury unawares. Whereupon he concluded it the safest way to set bounds to himself, which he resolved not to pass; both as to the kind of meat which he was to eat, and the quantity and quality of it, and the times of returning to it.

§ 77

And first he considered the several kinds of those things which were fit to eat, and found that there were three sorts, viz. either such plants as were not yet come to their full growth, nor attained to perfection, such as are several sorts of green herbs: or secondly, the fruits of plants which were fully ripe, and had seed fit for the production of more of the same kind (and such were the kinds of fruits that were newly gathered and dry): or lastly, living creatures, both fish and flesh. Now he knew very well that all these things were created by that necessarily self-existent being, in approaching to whom he was assured that his happiness did consist, and in desiring to resemble him. Now the eating of these things must needs hinder their attaining to their perfection, and deprive them of that end for which they were designed; and this would be an opposition to the working of the supreme agent, and such an opposition would hinder that nearness and conformity to him which he so much desired. Upon this he thought it the best way to abstain from eating altogether, if possible; but when he saw that this would not do, and that such an abstinence tended to the dissolution of his body, which was so much a greater opposition to the agent than the former, by how much he was of a more excellent nature than those things, whose destruction was the cause of his preservation; of two evils he resolved to choose the least, and do that which contained in it the least opposition to the creator; and resolved to partake of any of these sorts, if those he had most mind to were not at hand, in such quantity as he should conclude upon hereafter; and if it so happened that he had them all at hand, then he would consider with himself, and choose that in the partaking of which there would be the least opposition to the Work of the creator: such as the pulp of those fruits which were full ripe, and had seeds in them fit to produce others of the like kind, always taking care to preserve the seeds, and neither eat them, nor spoil them, nor throw them in such places as were not fit for plants to grow in, as on rocks, salt earth, and the like. And if such eatable pulpy fruits as apples, pears, plums, &c. could not easily be come at, he would then take such as had nothing in them fit to eat but only the seed, as walnuts and chestnuts, or such green herbs as were not fully grown; always observing this rule, that let him take of which sort he would, he still chose those that there was greatest plenty of, and which increased fastest, but so as to pull up nothing by the roots, nor spoil the seed. And if none of these things could be had, he would then take some living creature, or its eggs; but when he took any animal, he must choose that sort of which there was the greatest plenty, so as not totally to destroy any species.

§ 78

These were the rules which he prescribed to himself as to the kinds of his provision. As to the quantity, his rule was to eat no more than just what would satisfy his hunger; and as for the time of his meals, he designed, when he was once satisfied, not to seek any more till he found some disability in himself which hindered his exercise in the second assimilation (of which we are now going to speak). As for those things which necessity required of him towards the conservation of his animal spirit, in regard of defending it from external injuries, he was not much troubled about them, for he was clothed with skins, and had a house sufficient to secure him from those inconveniences from without, which was enough for him; and he thought it superfluous to take any further care about those things; and as for his diet, he observed those rules which he had prescribed to himself, namely, those which we have just now set down.

§ 79

After this he applied himself to the second operation, viz. the imitation of the heavenly bodies, and expressing their proper qualities in himself; which when he had considered, he found to be of three sorts. The first were such as had relation to those inferior bodies which are placed in this world of generation and corruption, as heat, which they impart by their essence, and cold by accident, illumination, rarefaction, and condensation, and all those other, things by which they influence these inferior bodies, whereby these bodies are disposed for the reception of spiritual forms from the necessarily self-existent agent. The second sort of properties which they had were such as concerned their own being, as that they were clear, bright and pure, free from all manner of turbidness, and whatsoever kinds of pollution; that their motion was circular, some of them moving round their own centre, and some again round the centre of another. The third kind of their properties were such as had relation to the necessarily self-existent agent, as their continually beholding him without any interruption, and having a desire towards him, being busied in his service, and moving agreeable to his will, and not otherwise, but as he pleased, and by his power. So he began to resemble them in every one of these three kinds to the utmost of his power.

§ 80

And as for his first conformity, his imitation of them consisted in removing all things that were obstructive or hurtful, either from animals or plants, if they could be removed. So that if he saw any plant which was deprived of the benefit of the sun by the interposition of any other body, or that its growth was hindered by its being twisted with any other plant, he would remove that which hindered it if possible, yet so as not to hurt either; or if it was in danger of dying for want of moisture, he took what care he could to water it constantly. Or if he saw any creature pursued by any wild beast, or entangled in a snare, or pricked with thorns, or that had gotten any thing hurtful into its eyes or ears, or was hungry or thirsty, he took all possible care to relieve it. And when he saw any watercourse stopped by any stone, or any thing brought down by the stream, so that any plant or animal was hindered of it, he took care to remove it. And thus he continued in this first kind of imitation of the heavenly bodies, till he had attained it to the very height of perfection.

§ 81

The second sort of imitation consisted in his continually obliging himself to keep his body clean from of manner of dirt and nastiness, and washing himself often, keeping his nails and his teeth clean, and the secret parts of his body, which he used to rub whenever possible with sweet herbs and perfume with odours. He used frequently to make clean his clothes, and perfume them, so that he was all over resplendent with beauty, cleanliness and fragrance, Besides this, he used different sorts of circular motion, sometimes walking round the island, compassing the shore and going round the utmost bounds of it; sometimes walking or running a certain number of times round about his house or some stone, at other times turning himself round so often that he was dizzy.

§ 82

The third sort of imitation consisted in confining his thoughts to the contemplation of that necessarily self-existent being. And in order to this, he removed all his affections from sensible things, shut his eyes, stopped his ears, and refrained himself as much as possible from following his imagination, endeavouring to the utmost to think of nothing besides him, nor to admit together with him any other object of contemplation. And he used to help himself in this by rapidly turning himself round, in which when he was very violently exercised, all manner of sensible Objects vanished out of his sight, and the imagination and all the other faculties which make any use of the organs of the body grew weak; and on the other side, the operations of his essence, which depended not on the body, grew strong, so that at some times his meditation was pure and free from any mixture, and he beheld by it the necessarily self-existent being. But then again the corporeal faculties would return upon him and spoil his contemplation, and bring him down to the lowest degree (8) where he was before. Now, when he had any infirmity upon him which interrupted his design, he partook of some food, but still according to the aforementioned rules; and then removed again to that state of imitation of the heavenly bodies, in these three respects which we have mentioned. And thus he continued for some time opposing his corporeal faculties, and they opposing him, and mutually struggling one against another; and at such times as he got the better of them, and his thoughts were free from mixture, he did apprehend something of the state of those who have attained to the third assimilation.

§ 83

Then he began to seek after this third assimilation, and took pains in the attaining it. And first he considered the attributes of the necessarily self-existent being. Now it had appeared to him during the time of his theoretical speculation, before he entered upon the practical part, that there were two sorts of them, viz. positive, as knowledge, power and wisdom; and negative, as immateriality, not only such as consisted in the not being body, but in being altogether removed from anything that had the least relation to body, though at never so great a distance. And that this was a condition not only required in the negative attributes, but in the positive too, viz. that they should be free from all attributes of body, of which multiplicity is one. Now the divine essence is not multiplied by these positive attributes, but all of them together are one and the same thing, viz. his real essence. Then he began to consider how he might imitate him in both these kinds; and as for the positive attributes, when he considered that they were nothing else but his real essence, and that by no means it could be said of them that they are many (because multiplicity is an attribute of body), and that the knowledge which he has of his essence is his essence; it appeared to him, that if he would know the divine essence, this knowledge would not be a notion superadded to the divine essence, but be the very being itself. And he perceived that his way to make himself like to him, as to what concerned his positive attributes, would be to know him alone, abstracted wholly from all attributes of body.

§ 84

This he applied himself to; and as for the negative attributes, they all consisted in the exemption from corporeity. He began therefore to strip himself of all bodily properties. This he had made some progress in before, during the time of the former exercise, when he was employed in the imitation of the heavenly bodies; but there still remained a great many relics, as his circular motion (motion being one of the most proper attributes of body) and his care of animals and plants, compassion upon them, and industry in removing whatever inconvenienced them (for this too belonged to corporeal attributes, since in the first place it was by a corporeal faculty that he saw them, and then by a corporeal faculty that he laboured to serve them). Therefore he began to reject and remove all those things from himself, as being in no wise consistent with that state which he was now in search of. So he continued, confining himself to rest in the bottom of his cave, with his head bowed down, and his eyes shut, and turning himself altogether from all sensible things and the corporeal faculties, and bending all his thoughts and meditations upon the necessarily self-existent being, without admitting any thing else besides him; and if any other object presented itself to his imagination, he rejected it with his utmost force, and exercised himself in this, and persisted in it to that degree, that sometimes he did neither eat nor stir for a great many days together. And whilst he was thus earnestly taken up in contemplation, sometimes all manner of beings whatsoever would be quite out of his mind and thoughts, except his own essence only.

§ 85

But he found that his own essence was not excluded his thoughts, no not at such times when he was most deeply immersed in the contemplation of the true, necessarily self-existent being. Which concerned him very much, for he knew that even this was a mixture in the pure vision and the admission of an extraneous object in that contemplation. Upon which he endeavoured to disappear from himself and be wholly taken up in the vision of that true being; till at last he attained it; and then both the heavens and the earth, and whatsoever is between them, and all spiritual forms, and corporeal faculties, and all those faculties which are separate from matter (namely the essences which know the necessarily self-existent being) all disappeared and vanished " like "scattered dust" (9)and amongst these his own Essence disappeared too, and there remained nothing but this One, True, Perpetually Selfexistent Being, who spoke thus in that Saying of his (which is not a Notion superadded to his Essence) To whom now belongs the Kingdom? To God, the One, the Almighty. (10) Which words of his Hayy Ibn Yaqzân understood, nor was his being unacquainted with words, and not being able to speak, any hindrance at all to the understanding them. Wherefore he deeply immersed himself into this state, and witnessed that which neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it ever entered into the heart of Man to conceive.

§ 86

And now, let not thy heart crave a description of that which the heart of man cannot conceive. For if a great many of those things which the heart doth conceive are nevertheless hard to be explained, how much more difficult must those be which cannot be conceived by the heart, nor are circumscribed in the limits of that world in which it converses. Now, when I say the heart, I donít mean the substance of it, nor that spirit which is contained in the cavity of it; but I mean by it, the form of that spirit which is diffused by its faculties through the whole body of man. Now every one of these three is sometimes called the heart, but it is impossible that this thing which I mean should be comprehended by any of these three, neither can we express any thing by words, which is not first conceived in the heart. And whosoever asks to have that state explained, asks an impossibility; for it is just as if a man should have a mind to taste colours, quatenus colours, and desire that black should be either sweet or sour. However, I shall not dismiss you without some indications whereby I shall convey to you in some measure what wonderful things he saw when in that station, but all figuratively and by way of parable, without knocking upon the door of truth; for there is no means to the knowledge of that station, but by coming thither. Attend therefore with the ears of thy heart and look sharply with the eyes of thy understanding upon that which I shall show you; it may be you may'st find so much in it as may serve to lead you into the right way. But I make this bargain, that you shall not at present require any further explication of it by word of mouth, but rest thy self contented with what I shall commit to these leaves. For it is a narrow field, and it is dangerous to attempt the explaining of that with words, the nature of which admits no explication.

§ 87

I say then, when he had abstracted himself from his own and all other essences, and beheld nothing existing but only that one, permanent being: when he saw what he saw, and then afterwards returned to the beholding of other things; upon thus coming to himself from that state,(which was like drunkenness) he began to think that his own essence did not at all differ from the essence of that true being, but that they were both one and the same thing, and that the thing which he had taken before for his own essence, distinct from the essence of the true one, was in reality nothing at all, and that nothing existed but the essence of this true one. And that this was like the light of the Sun, which, when it falls upon solid bodies, shines there; and though it be attributed, or may seem to belong to that body upon which it appears, yet it is nothing else in reality but the light of the sun. And if that body disappear, its light also disappears; but the light of the sun remains in its integrity and is neither diminished by the presence of that body nor increased by its absence. Now when there happens to be a body which is fitted for such a reception of light, it receives it; if such a body be absent, then there is no such reception, and it signifies nothing at all.

§ 88

He was the more confirmed in this opinion, because it had appeared to him before that the essence of this true, powerful and glorious being was not by any means capable of multiplicity, and that his knowledge of his essence was his very essence; from whence he argued thus:

He that has the knowledge of this essence, has the essence itself, but I have the knowledge of this essence. Ergo, I have the essence itself.

Now this essence can be present nowhere but with itself, and its very presence is the essence, and therefore he concluded that he was that very essence. And so all other essences which were separate from matter, which had the knowledge of that true essence, though before he had looked upon them as many, by this way of thinking, appeared to him to be only one thing. And this misgrounded conceit of his had like to have firmly rooted itself in his mind, unless God had pursued him with his mercy and directed him by his gracious guidance; and then he perceived that it arose from the relics of that obscurity which is natural to body and the dregs of sensible objects. Because that much and little, unity and multiplicity, collection and separation, are all of them attributes of body. But we cannot say of these separate essences which know the essence of this true one, that they are many or one, because they are immaterial. For multiplicity is because of the separation of one essence from another, and there can be no unity but by conjunction, and none of these can be understood without compound notions which are mixed with matter. But the explication of things in this place is very straight and difficult; because if you go about to express what belongs to these separate essences, by way of multitude, or in the plural, according to our present way of speaking, this insinuates a notion of multiplicity, whereas they are far from being many; and if you speak of them by way of separation, or in the singular, this insinuates a notion of unity, whereas they are far from being one.

§ 89

And here methinks I see one of those bats, whose eyes the Sun dazzles, moving himself in the chain of his folly, and saying, "This subtlety of yours exceeds all bounds, for you have withdrawn yourself from the state and condition of understanding men, and indeed rejected the authority of reason, for this is a decree of reason, that a thing must be either one or more than one." Soft and fair; let that gentleman be pleased to consider with himself, and contemplate this vile, sensible world, whereof he is a part, after the same manner which Hayy Ibn Yaqzân did, who, when he considered it one way, found such a multiplicity in it, as was incomprehensible; and then again considering it another way, perceived that it was only one thing; and thus he continued fluctuating and could not determine on one side more than another. Now if it were so in this sensible world, which is the home of multiplicity and singularity, and the place where the true nature of them is understood, and in which are separation and union, aggregation and distinction, agreement and difference, what would he think of the divine world, concerning which we cannot justly say, all, nor some, nor express any thing belonging to it by such words as our ears are used to, without insinuating some notion which is contrary to the truth of the thing, which no man knows but he that has had the vision of it, nor truly understands, but he that has attained to it.

§ 90

And as for his saying, "That I have withdrawn myself from the state and condition of understanding men, and rejected the authority of reason": I grant it, and leave him to his understanding, and his understanding men he speaks of. For that understanding which he, and such as he, mean, is nothing else but that logical faculty which examines the individuals of sensible things, and from thence gets an universal notion; and those understanding men he means, are those which make use of this sort of speculation. But that kind, which we are now speaking of, is above all this; and therefore let every one that knows nothing but sensible things and their universals, shut his ears, and pack away to his company, who know the outside of the things of this world, but take no care of the next. (11) But if thou art one of them to whom these allusions and signs by which we describe the divine world are sufficient, and dost not put that sense upon my words, in which they are commonly used, I shall give thee some farther account of what Hayy Ibn Yaqzân saw, when he was in the state of those who have attained to the truth, of which we have made mention before, and it is thus:

§ 91

Having attained this total absorption, this complete annihilation, this veritable union, he saw that the highest sphere, beyond which there is no body, had an essence free from matter, which was not the essence of that one, true one, nor the sphere itself, nor yet anything different from them both; but was like the image of the Sun which appears in a well polished looking-glass, which is neither the Sun nor the looking-glass, and yet not distinct from them. And he saw in the essence of that sphere, such perfection, splendour and beauty, as is too great to be expressed by any tongue, and too subtle to be clothed in words; and he perceived that it was in the utmost perfection of delight and joy, exultation and gladness, by reason of its beholding the essence of that true one, whose glory be exalted.

§ 92

He saw also that the next sphere to it, which is that of the fixed stars, had an immaterial essence, which was not the essence of that true one, nor the essence of that highest sphere, nor the sphere itself, and yet not different from these; but is like the image of the Sun which is reflected upon a looking-glass from another glass placed opposite to the Sun; and he observed in this essence also the like splendour, beauty, and felicity, which he had observed in the essence of the other highest sphere. He saw likewise that the next sphere, which is the sphere of Saturn, had an immaterial essence, which was none of those essences he had seen before, nor yet different from them; but was like the image of the Sun, which appears in a glass, upon which it is reflected from a glass which received that reflection from another glass placed opposite to the Sun. And he saw in this essence too, the same splendour and delight which he had observed in the former. And so in all the spheres he observed distinct, immaterial essences, every one of which was not any of those which went before it, nor yet different from them; but was like the image of the Sun reflected from one glass to another, according to the order of the spheres. And he saw in every one of these essences, such beauty, splendour, felicity and joy, as eye hath not seen nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive; and so downwards, till he came to the lower world, subject to generation and corruption, which comprehends all that which is contained within the sphere of the Moon.

§ 93

This World he perceived had an immaterial essence, as well as the rest; not the same with any of those which he had seen before, nor different from them; and that this essence had seventy thousand faces, and every face seventy thousand mouths, and every mouth seventy thousand tongues, with which it praised, sanctified and glorified incessantly the essence of that one, true being. And he saw that this essence (which seemed to be many, though it was not) had the same perfection and felicity, which he had seen in the others; and that this essence was like the image of the Sun, which appears in fluctuating water, which has that image reflected upon it from the last and lowermost of those glasses, to which the reflection came, according to the forementioned order, from the first glass which was set opposite to the Sun. Then he perceived that he himself had a separate essence, which one might call a part of that essence which had seventy thousand faces, if that essence had been capable of division; and if that essence had not been created in time, one might say it was the very same; and had it not been joined to its body so soon as it was created, we should have thought that it had not been created. And in this order he saw essences like his own, which had belonged to bodies existing heretofore but since dissolved, and essences belonging to bodies which existed together with himself; and that they were so many as could not be numbered, if we might call them many; or that they were all one, if we might call them one. And he perceived both in his own essence, and in those other essences which were in the same order with him, infinite beauty, splendour and felicity, such as neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man; and which none can describe nor understand, but those which have attained to it, and experimentally know it.

§ 94

Then he saw a great many other immaterial essences, which resembled rusty looking glasses, covered over with filth, and besides, turned their backs upon, and had their faces averted from those polished looking-glasses that had the image of the Sun imprinted upon them; and he saw that these essences had so much filthiness adhering to them, and such manifold defects as he could not have conceived. And he saw that they were afflicted with infinite pains, which caused incessant sighs and groans, and that they were compassed about with torments, as those who lie in a bed are with curtains; and that they were scorched with the fiery veil of separation, and sawn asunder by the saws of repulsion and attraction. And besides these essences which suffered torment, he beheld others there which appeared and straightway vanished, which: took form and soon dissolved. And he stayed a while regarding them intently, and he beheld an immensity of fear and vastness of operation, an incessant creation and ordaining wisdom, construction, and inspiration, production and dissolution. But after a very little while his senses returned to him again, and he came to himself out of this state, as out of a swoon; and his foot sliding out of this place, he came within sight of this sensible world, and lost the sight of the divine world, for there is no joining them both together in the same state. For this world in which we live, and that other are like two wives belonging to the same husband; if you please one, you displease the other.

§ 95

Now, if you should object, that it appears from what I have said concerning this vision that these separated essences, if they chance to be united to bodies of perpetual duration, a the heavenly bodies are, shall also remain perpetually, but if they be united to a body which is liable to corruption (such an one as belongs to us reasonable creatures) that then they must perish too, and vanish away, as appears from the similitude of the looking-glasses which I have used to explain it; because the Image there has no duration of itself, but what depends upon the duration of the looking-glass; and if you break the glass, the image is most certainly destroyed and vanishes. In answer to this I must tell you that you have soon forgot the bargain I made with you. For did not I tell you before that it was a narrow field, and that we had but little room for explication; and that words however used, would occasion men to think otherwise of the thing than really it was? Now that which has made you imagine this, is, because you thought that the similitude must answer the thing represented in every respect. But that will not hold in any common discourse; how much less in this, where the Sun and its light, and its image, and the representation of it, and the glasses, and the forms which appear in them, are all of them things which are inseparable from body, and which cannot subsist but by it and in it, and therefore depend upon Body, and perish together with it.

§ 96

But as for the divine wssences and sovereign spirits, they are all free from body and all its adherents, and removed from them at the utmost distance, nor have they any connection or dependence upon them. And the existing or not existing of body is all one to them, for their sole connection and dependence is upon the essence of that one true necessary self-existent being, who is the first of them, and the beginning of them, and the cause of their existence, and he perpetuates them and continues them for ever; nor do they want the bodies, but the bodies want them; for if they should perish, the bodies would perish, because these essences are the principles of these bodies. In like manner, if a privation of the essence of that one true being could be supposed (far be it from him, for there is no God but him (12)) all these essences would be removed together with him, and the Bodies too, and all the sensible World, because all these have a mutual Connection.

§ 97

Now, though the sensible world follows the divine world, as a shadow does the body, and the divine world stands in no need of it, but is free from it and independent of it, yet notwithstanding this, it is absurd to suppose a possibility of its being annihilated, because it follows the divine world: but the corruption of this world consists in its being changed, not annihilated. It is this that the glorious book expresses where it speaks of moving the mountains and making them like tufts of wool, and men like moths, and darkening the Sun and Moon; and eruption of the sea, in that day when the Earth, shall be changed into another Earth, and the Heavens likewise. (13) And this is the sum of what I can hint to you at present, concerning what Hayy Ibn Yaqzân saw, when in that glorious state. Donít expect that I should explain it any farther with words, for that is even impossible.

§ 98

But as for what concerns the finishing his history, that I shall tell you, God willing. After his return to the sensible world from the excursion which he had made, he loathed this present life, and most earnestly longed for the life beyond; and he endeavoured to return to the same state, by the same means he had sought it at first, till he attained to it with less trouble than he did at first, and continued in it the second time longer than at the first. Then he returned to the sensible world; and then again endeavoured to recover his station, which he found easier than at the first and second time, and that he continued in it longer; and thus it grew easier and easier, and his continuance in it longer and longer, time after time, till at last he could attain it when he pleased, and stay in it as long as he pleased. In this state he firmly kept himself, and never retired from it, but when the necessities of his body required it, which he had brought into as narrow a compass as was possible. And whilst he was thus exercised, he used to wish that it would please God to deliver him altogether from this body of his, which detained him from that state; that he might have nothing to do but to give himself up wholly and perpetually to his delight, and be freed from all that torment with which he was afflicted as often as he was forced to avert his mind from that state by attending on the necessities of the body. And thus he continued, till he was past the seventh septenary of his age, that is, till he was about fifty years of age. And then he happened to be acquainted with Asâl, the narrative of which meeting of theirs, we shall now (God willing) relate.

§ 99

They say that in that island where Hayy Ibn Yaqzân was born (according to one of the two different accounts of his birth) there had arrived one of those good sects founded by some one of the ancient prophets (upon whom be the blessings of God!). A sect which used to discourse of all the true realities by way of parable and similitude, and by that means represent the images of them to the imagination, and fix the impressions of them in menís souls, as is customary in such discourses as are made to the vulgar. This sect so spread itself in this island, and prevailed and grew so eminent, that at last the king not only embraced it himself, but induced his subjects to do so too.

§ 100

Now there were born in this Island two Men of extraordinary Endowments and Lovers of that which is Good; the Name of the one was Asâl, and the other Salâmân, who meeting with this sect, embraced it heartily, and obliged themselves to the punctual observance of all its ordinances, and the daily exercise of what was practised in it; and to this end they entered into a league of friendship with each other. Now among other passages contained the law of that sect, they sometimes made enquiry into these words, wherein it treats of the description of the most high and glorious God, and his angels, and the resurrection, and the rewards and punishments of a future. Now Asâl used to make a deeper search into the inside of things, and was more inclined to study mystical meanings and interpretations. But as for his friend Salâmân, he kept close to the literal sense, and never troubled himself such interpretations, but refrained from such free examination and speculation of things. However, notwithstanding this difference, they both were constant in performing those ceremonies required, and in calling themselves to an account, and in opposing their passions.

§ 101

Now there were in this law some passages which seemed to exhort men to retirement and a solitary life, intimating that happiness and salvation were to be attained by it; and others which seemed to encourage men to conversation, and the embracing human society. Asâl gave himself up wholly to retirement, and those expressions which favoured it were of most weight with him, because he was naturally inclined to contemplation, and searching into the meanings of things; and his greatest hope was, that he should best attain his end by a solitary life. Salâmân, on the other side, applied himself to conversation, and those sayings of the law which tended that way, went the farthest with him; because he had a natural aversion to contemplation and free examination of things. And "he thought that conversation did drive away temptation, and banished evil thoughts, and afforded a refuge from the promptings of devils. In short, their disagreement in this particular was the occasion of their parting.

§ 102

Now Asâl had heard of that island, in which we have told you that Hayy Ibn Yaqzân had his breeding. He knew also its fertility and conveniences, and the healthful temper of the air, so that it would afford him such a retirement as would serve the fulfilment of his wishes. Thither he resolved to go, and withdraw himself from mankind the remaining part of his days. So he took what substance he had, and with part of it he hired a ship to convey him thither, the rest he distributed among the poor people, and took his leave of his friend Salâmân, and went aboard. The mariners transported him to the island, and set him ashore and left him. There he continued serving God, and magnifying him, and sanctifying him, and meditating upon his glorious names and attributes, without any interruption or disturbance. And when he was hungry, he took what he had occasion for to satisfy his hunger, of such fruits as the island afforded, or what he could hunt. And in this state he continued a while, in the mean time enjoying the greatest pleasure imaginable, and the most entire tranquillity of mind, arising from the converse and communication which he had with his lord; and every day experiencing his benefits and precious gifts, and his bringing easily to his hand such things as he wanted and were necessary for his support, which confirmed his belief in him, and refreshed his heart.

§ 103

Hayy Ibn Yaqzân, in the mean time, was wholly immersed in his sublime ecstasies, and never stirred out of his cave but once a week, to take such provision as first came to hand. So that Asâl did not light upon him at first, but walked round the island, and explored its various parts, without seeing any man, or so much as the footsteps of any: upon which account his joy was increased, and his mind exceedingly pleased, in regard of his compassing that which he had proposed to himself, namely, to lead the most retired life that was possible.

§ 104

At last it happened, one time that Hayy Ibn Yaqzân coming out to look for provision in the same place whither Asâl was retired, they spied one another. Asâl, for his part, did not question but that it was some religious person, who for the sake of a solitary life, had retired into that island, as he had done himself, and was afraid, lest if he should come up to him and make himself known, it might spoil his meditation, and hinder his attaining what he hoped for. Hayy Ibn Yaqzân on the other side could not imagine what it was, for of all the animals he had ever beheld in his whole life, he had never seen any thing like it. Now Asâl had a black coat on, made with hair and wool, which Hayy Ibn Yaqzân fancied was natural, and stood wondering at it a long time. Asâl turned and fled, for fear he should disturb his meditation; Hayy Ibn Yaqzân ran after him, out of an innate desire he had to know the truth of things. But when he perceived Asâl make so much haste, he retired a little and hid himself from him; so that Asâl thought he had been quite gone off, and then he fell to his prayers, and reading, and invocation, and weeping, and supplication, and lamenting, till he was altogether taken up, so as to mind nothing else.

§ 105

In the mean time Hayy Ibn Yaqzân stole upon him by degrees, and Asâl was unaware of him, till he came so near as to hear him read and praise God, and observed his humble behaviour, and his weeping, and heard a pleasant voice and measured words, such as he had never observed before in any kind of animals. Then he looked upon his shape and lineaments, and perceived that he was of the same form with himself, and was satisfied that the coat he had on was not a natural skin, but an artificial habit like his own. And when he observed the decency of his humble behaviour, and his supplication and weeping, he did not at all question but that he was one of those essences which had the knowledge of the true one; and for that reason he had a desire to be acquainted with him, and to know what was the matter with him, and what caused this weeping and supplication. Whereupon he drew nearer to him, till Asâl perceiving it, betook himself to his heels again, and Hayy Ibn Yaqzân (answerably to his vigour and power both of knowledge and body, which God had bestowed upon him) pursued him with all his might, till at last he overtook him and seized on him, and held him fast, so that he could not get away.

§ 106

When Asâl looked upon him, and saw him clothed with the skins of wild beasts with the hair on, and his own hair so long as to cover a great part of his body, and observed his great swiftness and strength, he was very much afraid of him, and began to pacify and entreat him. But Hayy Ibn Yaqzân did not understand one word he said, nor knew any thing of his meaning, only he perceived that he was afraid, and endeavoured to allay his fear with such voices as he had learned of some of the beasts, and stroked his head, and both sides of his neck, and showed kindness to him, and expressed a great deal of gladness and joy; till at last Asâlís fear was laid aside, and he knew that he meant him no harm.

§ 107

Now Asâl long before, out of his earnest desire of searching into the meaning of things, had studied most languages, and was well skilled in them. So he began to speak to Hayy Ibn Yaqzân in all the languages which he understood, and ask him questions concerning his way of life, and took pains to make him understand him; but all in vain, for Hayy Ibn Yaqzân stood all the while wondering at what he heard, and did not know that was the meaning of it, only he perceived that Asâl was pleased and well-affected towards him. And thus they stood wondering one at another.

§ 108

Now Asâl had by him some remainder of the provision which he had brought along with him from the inhabited island from whence he came; and he offered it to Hayy Ibn Yaqzân, who did not know what to make on it, for he had never seen any such before. Then Asâl ate some of it himself, and invited Hayy Ibn Yaqzân by signs to eat too. But Hayy Ibn Yaqzân bethought himself of those rules which he had prescribed to himself, as to matter of diet; and not knowing the nature of that which he offered him, nor whether it was lawful for him to partake of it or not, he refused it. Asâl still continued urgent, and invited him kindly: Now Hayy Ibn Yaqzân had a great desire to be acquainted with him, and was afraid that his continuing too stiff in his refusal, might vex him; so he ventured upon it, and ate some. And when he had tasted of it, and liked it, he perceived that he had done amiss, in breaking those promises which he had made to himself concerning diet. And he repented himself of what he had done, and had thoughts of withdrawing himself from Asâl, and retreating to his former state of sublime contemplation.

§ 109

But the vision did not easily appear to him at first, upon which he resolved to continue with Asâl in the sensible world, till he had thoroughly satisfied himself concerning him, that so when he had no further desire towards him, he might apply himself to his former contemplations without any interruption. Wherefore he applied himself to the society of Asâl, who perceiving that he could not speak, was secure of any damage that might come to his religion by keeping company with him; and besides, had hopes of teaching him speech, knowledge and religion, and by that means, of obtaining a great reward, and a nearer approach to God. He began therefore to teach him how to speak; first, by showing him particular things, and pronouncing their names, and repeating them often, and persuading him to speak them; which he did, pointing to each object as he spoke the word. Thus he continued till he had taught him all the nouns, and so improved him by degrees, that he could speak in a very short time.

§ 110

Then Asâl began to enquire of him concerning his way of living, and from whence he came into that island. And Hayy Ibn Yaqzân told him that he knew nothing of his own original, nor any father or mother that he had, but only that roe which brought him up. Then he described to him his manner of Living, from first to last, and by what degrees he advanced in knowledge, till he attained the union with God. When Asâl heard him give an account of those truths, and those essences which are separate from the sensible world, and which have the knowledge of the essence of that true one, (whose name be praised); and heard him give an account of the essence of that true one with its sublime attributes, and describe, as far as was possible, what he witnessed (when he had attained to that union) of the joys of those who are near united to God, and the torments of those whom the veil separates from him; he made no doubt but that all those things which are contained in the religious law concerning God, his angels, books and messengers, the Day of Judgment, Paradise and Hell, were symbols of what Hayy Ibn Yaqzân had seen. The eyes of his heart were opened, the fire of his mind was kindled, and he found that the teaching of reason and tradition did exactly agree together. And the ways of mystical interpretation became easy to him, and there remained nothing difficult to him in the divine law, but all was clear; nor any thing shut up, but all was open; nor any thing obscure, but all was plain; and he began to be of those who truly understand. Thenceforth he looked upon Hayy Ibn Yaqzân with admiration and respect, and assured himself that he was one of the saints of God, which have no fear upon them, neither shall they suffer Pain. (14) Upon which he addressed himself to wait upon him, and imitate him, and to follow his Direction in the Performance of those Works ordained by the revealed Law which he had occasion to make use of, and which he had formerly learned from his Religion.

§ 111

Then Hayy Ibn Yaqzân began to enquire of him concerning his condition and manner of living, and Asâl gave him an account of the island from whence he came, and what manner of people inhabited it, and what sort of life they led before that religious sect, which we mentioned, came among them, and how it was now, since the coming of that sect. He also gave him an account of what was delivered in the law relating to the description of the divine world, Paradise and Hell, and the awakening and resurrection of mankind, and their gathering together to judgment, and the balance and the bridge. All which things Hayy Ibn Yaqzân understood very well, and did not find any of them disagreeable to what he had seen when in that sublime station; and he recognised that the describer of these things was true in his description and sincere in his words, and was a messenger sent from his Lord; and he believed him and affirmed his veracity and bore witness to his divine mission.

§ 112

Then he began to ask him concerning the precepts which the messenger of God had delivered, and the rites of worship which he had ordained. And Asâl told him of prayer, alms, fasting and pilgrimage, and such other external observances. These Hayy Ibn Yaqzân accepted and took upon himself and practised, in obedience to his command, of whose veracity he was very well assured. Only there were two things stuck in his mind, which he wondered at, and could not comprehend wherein the wisdom of them did consist. The one was, why this messenger of God, in describing most things which relate to the divine world, used to express them to men by parables or similitudes, and waived a clearer revelation of them; which occasioned men to fall into that grave error of asserting a corporeity in God, and attributing to the essence of that true one things from which it is absolutely free; and so in like manner, concerning those things which relate to the rewards and punishments of a future state. The other was, why he went no farther than these precepts and rites of worship, but gave men leave to gather riches, and allowed them a liberty as to matter of food; by which means they employed themselves about vain things, and turned away from the truth. Whereas his judgment was, that nobody ought to eat any thing, but only just to keep him alive; and as for riches, he had no opinion of them at all. And when he saw what was set down and prescribed in the law with relation to wealth, as alms, and the distribution of them, and trading and usury, restrictions and punishments, these things seemed all very odd to him, and he judged them superfluous; and said that if men understood things aright, they would lay aside all these vain things and follow the truth, and content themselves without any thing of all this; and that no man would challenge such a propriety in riches as to have alms asked of him, or to cause his hands to be cut off who privily stole them, or their lives to be taken away who had openly robbed him.

§ 113

Now that which prompted him to this persuasion, was this, that he thought all men were endued with an ingenuous temper, and penetrating understanding, and a mind constant to itself; and was not aware how stupid and deficient they were, how ill-advised, and inconstant in their resolutions, insomuch that they are like brute cattle, nay, more apt to wander out of the way. Since therefore he was greatly affected with pity towards mankind, and desired that he might be an instrument of their salvation; a resolution came into his mind of going over to them, to declare and lay before them the truth. This intention of his he communicated to his friend Asâl, and asked him if there could possibly be any way contrived to come at them.

§ 114

But Asâl told him what sort of people they were, and how far from an ingenuous temper, and how averse from obeying the commands of God; but this he could not fully comprehend, and his mind was still intent upon that which he hoped to compass. So Asâl, being desirous that it might please God, by his means, to direct some of his acquaintance which were of a more pliable temper than the rest, and more capable of salvation, into the right way, at last agreed to further the design of Hayy Ibn Yaqzân. Upon which they resolved to keep close to the seashore, without stirring from it either day or night, till God should please to afford them an opportunity of crossing the sea. And all the while they were intent upon this, they continued praying to God to direct them in this their business.

§ 115

At last, as God (whose name be praised) would have it, it happened that a ship which had lost her course was driven by the wind and water upon the shore of that island; and as it drew nearer to land, they who were in it, seeing two men upon the shore, made towards them. Then Asâl spoke to them, and desired them to carry him and his companion along with them in the ship; to which they consented and took them into the ship, and it pleased God to send them a fair wind, which, in a short time, carried them to the isle which they desired. There they landed, and went into the city; and Asâlís friends came all about him, and he gave them an account of Hayy Ibn Yaqzân, and his manner of living; so that people flocked to him from every side, and admired and reverenced him. Then Asâl told him that this class was superior to all other sorts of men in knowledge and sagacity; and that if he could not work upon them, there were much lesser hopes of doing any good upon the vulgar.

§ 116

116 Now Salâmân (Asâlís friend, who we told you chose conversation, rather than solitude and retirement which he judged unlawful) was prince and sovereign of this island. So Hayy Ibn Yaqzân began to teach them, and explain the mysteries of wisdom to them; but so soon as ever he began to raise his discourse above external things a little, and to inculcate that, the contrary whereof had been settled in their minds; they began to withdraw themselves from him, and their minds had an abhorrence for what he spoke. And though they carried themselves civilly to him, both because he was a stranger, and out of the observance which they thought due to their friend Asâl, yet they were angry with him inwardly in their hearts. However, he continued reasoning with them mildly night and day, and teaching them the truth, both in private and public; which only increased their hatred towards him, and made them avoid his company, though otherwise they were lovers of goodness and desirous of truth. However, through the defect of their nature, they did not pursue it by the right path, nor ask for it at the right door, nor take it in the right manner; but sought the knowledge of it after the common way, like the rest of the world. So that he despaired of doing any good upon them, and all his hopes of amending them were defeated, because they were not willing to receive what he taught them.

§ 117

And afterwards, taking a view of the several ranks and orders of men, he perceived that every sort of them placed their delight in those things which they possessed at present, (15) and that their appetites were their God, (16) and that they lost themselves in gathering up the crumbs of this world; and that the desire of getting more kept them employed till they came to their graves; (17) and that all good counsel was lost upon them; and that disputing with them had only this effect, that it made them the more obstinate. And as for wisdom, there was no way for them to attain it, neither had they any share in it. For folly had overwhelmed them, and what they have sought after has covered their hearts like rust; (18) God has sealed up their hearts and their ears, and a dimness covers their eyes, and a sore punishment awaits them, (19)

§ 118

When therefore he saw them compassed about with the curtains of punishment, and covered with the darkness of the veil; and that all of them (a few only excepted) minded their religion no otherwise, but with regard to this present world; and cast the observance of religious performances behind their backs, notwithstanding the easiness of them, and sold them for a small Price; (20) and that their Merchandize and Trading diverted them from thinking upon God, so that they had no fear of that day in which both their hearts and eyes shall be turned round; (21) he was fully satisfied that it was to no purpose to speak to them of the pure truth, neither that it was expedient any works should be enjoined them beyond. this measure; and that the greatest benefit which accrued to the generality of men by the law, was wholly placed in relation to things of this world, viz. that they might be in a comfortable way of living, and that no man might invade anotherís property; and that there was but here and there one that attained to happiness hereafter, namely, such an one as had a longing for that future life and laboured earnestly to obtain it, and was a believer; (22) but that Hell would be the habitation of the impious who preferred the life of this present world. (23) And what weariness can be greater, or what misery more complete than his, among whose works, if you observe, from the time he awakes, till he goes to sleep again, you will find nothing but what tends to the attaining of some one or other of these vile sensible things; namely, either riches, to heap them up; or pleasure, which he may take; or lust, which he may satisfy; or revenge, whereby he may pacify his mind; or power, to defend himself; or some outward work commanded by the law, whereof he may make a vain-glorious show, or whereby he may save his own neck? Now all these things are darkness upon darkness in the depth of the sea, (24) neither is there any of you that doth not enter in thither, for such is the unchangeable decree of your Lord. (25)

§ 119

And when he understood the condition of mankind, and that the greatest part of them were like brute beasts, he knew that all wisdom, direction and good success, consisted in what the messengers of God had spoken, and the divine Law delivered; and that there was no other way besides this, and that there could be nothing added to it; and that there were men appointed to every work, and that every one was best capable of doing that unto which he was appointed by Nature; that this was Godís way of dealing with those which were gone before, and you shall find no change in his way. (26) Whereupon returning to Salâmân and his Friends, he made Excuses for what he had said to them, and desired to be forgiven, and told them that he had come to the same opinion with them, and had adopted their rule of conduct. And he exhorted them to stick firmly to their resolution of keeping within the bounds of the law, and the performance of the external rites; and that they should not much dive into the things that did not concern them, but that in obscure matters they should give credit and yield their assent readily; and that they should abstain from novel opinions, and from their appetites, and follow the examples of their pious ancestors and forsake novelties; and that they should avoid that neglect of religious performances which was seen in the vulgar sort of men, and the love of the world, which he principally cautioned them against. For both he and his friend Asâl knew that this tractable, but defective sort of men, had no other way of salvation; and that if they should be raised above this to the realms of speculation, it would be worse with them, and they would not be able to attain to the degree of the blessed, but would waver and fall headlong, and make a bad end. But on the contrary, if they continued in that state in which they were till death overtook them, they should find safety, and stand on the right hand: but as for those that out-went them, they should also take place of them, and be the nearest to God.

§ 120

So they took their leave and left them, and sought for an opportunity of returning to their island, till it pleased God to help them to a convenience of passing. And Hayy Ibn Yaqzân endeavoured to attain to his lofty station by the same means he had sought it at first, till he recovered it; and Asâl followed his steps, till he came up with him, or wanted but very little of it; and thus they continued serving God in this island till they died.

§ 121

And this is that (God assist thee and us by his spirit) which we have received of the history of Hayy Ibn Yaqzân, Asâl and Salâmân; which comprehends such choice of words as are not found in any other book, nor heard in common discourse. And it is a piece of hidden knowledge which none can receive, but those which have the knowledge of God, nor can any be ignorant of it, but those which have not. Now we have taken a contrary method to our pious ancestors as to their reservedness in this matter, and sparingness of speech. And the reason which did the more easily persuade us to divulge this secret, and tear the veil, was, because of the corrupt notions which some pretenders to philosophy in our age have broached and scattered, so that they are diffused through several countries, and the mischief which arises from thence is become epidemical. Fearing therefore lest those weak ones, who reject the authority of the prophets (of blessed memory) and make choice of that which is delivered them by fools, should imagine those corrupt notions to be that secret which ought to be hidden from the unworthy, and so should the more eagerly incline toward them; we have thought good to give them a glimpse of the secret of secrets, that we might draw them into the way of truth, and avert them from this other. Nevertheless, we have not so delivered the secrets which are comprehended in these few leaves, as to leave them without a thin veil or cover over them, which will be easily rent by those who are worthy of it, but will be so thick to him that is unworthy to pass beyond it, that he shall not be able to get through it. And I desire of those my brethren who shall see this discourse, that they would excuse me from being so careless in my exposition and so free in my demonstration; seeing I had not done so, if I had not been elevated to such heights as transcend the reach of human sight, and wished to express the matter in easy terms that I might dispose men and raise a desire in them to enter into the right way. And I beg of God mercy and forgiveness, and that he would please to lead us to the well of the pure knowledge of himself, for he is gracious and liberal of his favours. Peace be to thee, my brother, whom it is my duty to assist, and the mercy and blessing of God be upon thee.

The End


(1) Koran lxxvi, 1.
(2) cf. Koran xviii, 16.
(3) Koran viii, 17.
(4) Koran lxvii, 14.
(5) Koran xxxvii, 82.
(6) Koran xxxiv, 3.
(7) Koran xxviii, 88.
(8) cf. Koran xcv, 5.
(9) Koran lvi, 6.
(10) Koran xl, 16.
(11) Koran xxx, 6.
(12) Koran ii, 256.
(13) cf Koran ci, 4, 5; lxxxi, 1; lxxxii, 3; xiv, 49.
(14) Koran ii, 36.
(15) Koran xxiii, 55; xxx, 31.
(16) cf. Koran xxv, 45.
(17) cf. Koran cii, 1, 2.
(18) Koran lxxxiii, 14.
(19) Koran ii, 6.
(20) cf. Koran iii, 184.
(21) cf. Koran xxiv, 37.
(22) Koran xvii, 20.
(23) Koran lxxix, 37-39.
(24) Koran lxxix, 37-39.
(25) Koran lxxix, 37-39.
(26) Koran lxxix, 37-39.

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William Hillman

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