In the 5th century AD, Martianus Capella defined the Seven Liberal Arts: Grammar, Dialectic, Rhetoric, Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy, and (Musical) Harmony. The System of Capella became the model of the Medieval University.
The Number Seven was not taken by Accident. This number represented the Seven Days of the Week, the Seven Spheres, the Seven Planets, the Seven Notes and the Seven Colors.The Seven Planets of the old cosmology included the Sun (Sol) and the Moon (Luna), which we now don’t regard as planets at all. The other Five were Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, the 7th planet and the Son of the Sun.
In Ancient Babylonia, the Seven Spheres were represented by a Building , A Ziggurat, that looked like the Tower of Bable. This Babylonian Step Tower was a Visual Model of the StairWay to Heaven. The Seven Spheres were divided in three Heavens and three Hells with the Earth in the Middle. The Pyramids in Egypt are based on the same model.
The Three Heavens contained Three Hierarchies of Angels, Nine in total. At the Top, the Eight Step, the Creator was situated. Again the Creator consisted of three Entities, The Father, The Son and The Holy Gost (The Trinity).
As You can See the Number Three plays a very important role in the Ancient Models. The main reason could be that this number is the most efficient number when you want to create a Number System.
If you use this number as the Base System the Universe could be explained as Triangels within Triangels. With the help of the Trinity-Fractal Ancient models like the Tree of Life, and the Egyptian Pesedjet are easy to understand. The Trinity-Fractal comes back in modern Physics as the Triangel of Pascal. In Ancient China the Triangel of Pascal was called the Wei Chi. The Wei Chi was used to play the Game of GO.
In 1275 Raymond Lull designed a tool to Classify and Generate all the Knowledge of the Universe based on a Set of Nine (3×3) Concepts. His invention was described in his book Ars Magna (“The Ultimate General Art”).
Lull’s logic machine consisted of a stack of concentric disks mounted on an axis where they could rotate independently. The disks, made of card stock, wood, or metal, were progressively larger from top to bottom. As many as 16 words or symbols were visible on each disk. By rotating the disks, random statements were generated from the alignment of words. Lull’s most ambitious device held 14 disks.
The disk contained the Nine most important (Christian) Concepts of the Universe: Bonitas (Goodness), Magnitudo (Greatness), Eternitas (Eternity), Potestas (Power), Sapientia (Wisdom), Voluntas (Will), Virtus (Virtue), Veritas (Truth), and Gloria (Glory).
Lull’s fame as a Mystic spread throughout Europe during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Centuries later, the German
mathematician Leibniz acknowledged the importance of Lull’s Machine.
The idea for the machine came to Lull in a Mystical Vision that appeared to him after a period of fasting and contemplation. In reality, Lull may owe his Divine Inspiration to the Magi. They used a Device called the Zairja, an Idea Generator that used the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet to represent the 28 Categories of Thought in Arab Philosophy.
In 1516 Thomas Moore published his book Utopia, a description of an Ideal State. Much later Tommaso Campanella (The City of the Sun), Francis Bacon (The New Atlantis) and Johannes Valentinus Andreae (Description of the Republic of Christianopolis) wrote comparable books. The books were based on Plato’s Republic. All of the books contained Architectual Designs based on Ancient Geometries.
Around 1300 Wealthy and Powerfull Merchants (de Medici) in Italy regained interest in the Ancient Knowledge of the Egyptians, the Arab, the Greek and the Romans. This knowledge was almost completely destroyed by the Church of Rome.
Scientists, Poets and Artists (Petraca, Dante, Boccaccio) visited Byzantium and discovered ancient manuscripts written in Greek and Latin. Greek scholars were encouraged to come from Byzantium to Italy. Byzantium and Europe was ransacked for copies of the long unused Latin classics and copyists multiplied them.
Libraries were founded, and schools for the study of both Greek and Latin in their classic forms were opened at Rome, Mautua, Verona, and many other towns. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453 the proces gained a further impetus because of a number of Greek humanists who moved from Byzantium to Italy.
In 1462 the Platonic Academy was opened in Florence under the patronage of Florentine Duke Cosimo de’ Medici. Its leader became Marcilio Ficino.
Around 1463 Cosimo de’ Medici commissioned Marsilio Ficino to translate a book called the Pimander with high priority into Latin from a Greek manuscript brought from Macedonia. This book contained the Corpus Hermeticum that was attributed to Hermes Trismegistus.
Hermes Trismegistus “Thrice-Wise“was named Thoth or Djehuti in Ancient Egypt. The Djed of Djehuti represents the Power of the Snake (the Kundalini) in the Spinal Column. Thoth was the Scribe of the Gods, the inventor of writing, and was usually depicted in hieroglyphics with the head of an Ibis Bird. This head of the IBIS carried the Moon, the Planet of the Mother God, The Night and of Magic.
At that time Scientists believed that the Older the Truth the Bettter. They believed there was once a Golden Age in which the Eternal Truth was known. From that time on History was in a Downfall until the time of the Resurrection.
Marsilio Fucino dated Hermes Trismegistus “long before the sages and philosophers of Greece, but yet after Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph“. His dating of the Corpus “proved” that the writings of Hermes contained the Primal Source of Wisdom.
At this moment we know that the Corpus Hermeticus just like the Emerald Tablet ,another text dedicated to Hermes, was written in Alexandria around 200 BC.
Alexandria, created by Alexander the Great, was the place where the Ancient Knowledge of Heliopolis ,the City of the Sun, was stored in its immense libraries after its destruction. A part of this library was later moved to Byzantium, the Center of the East when the library of Alexandria was destructed.
The most important message of Hermes is that the Physical World is the Manifestation of the Spiritual World. This is summarized in the Hermetic adage “As above, so below.” At this moment we would name the concept of “As Above, So Below” a Self-Reference or a Fractal. The old Scientists knew that one Concept returned on every Level of Our Inside and Outside Reality.
The Corpus Hermeticus provided a seminal force in the development of Renaissance thought and culture. After the Dark Middle Ages, controlled by the Rule System of the Church of Rome, the Scientists started to do their Own Research and Thinking.
The Cycle of Culture moved from the Stage of Order to the Stage of Imagination.
One of these Scientists was Giordano Bruno. Bruno was born in 1548. At the age of 17, he entered the Dominican Order, was trained in the Liberal Arts of that time and became an ordained priest in 1572 at age 24. During his time in Naples he became known for his skill with the Art of Memory and on one occasion traveled to Rome to demonstrate his System before Pope Pius V and Cardinal Rebiba.
The Art of Memory belonged to the rhetoric tradition as a technique which enabled the orator to deliver long speeches from memory with unfailing accuracy.
At that time people had to Learn a lot of information by Heart. To do this they used a Mnemonic System called a Memory Palace. The memory images were linked with visualized locations that could be found in architecture, books, sculpture and painting, which were seen by practitioners of the Art of Memory as Externalizations of Internal Memory.
Artists used the Images that were part of the Memory Palace as a reference. The Images were linked with Universal Concepts. In the time of Middle Ages and the Renaissance people knew the Meaning of every Image that was used. Geometric Structures, Paintings, Poems and Buildings were carriers of many Levels of Meaning. Some of these levels were only known by the Inner Circle of Ancient Secret Societies.
In the old days the Inside World was seen as the most important place to Explore. The Outside was nothing but a Projection of the Inside.
Examples of Ancient Memory Palaces are Ancient Egypt, the City of Meru (Sri Yantra), the City of Heliopolis, the Babylonian Ziggurat, the Egyptian Pyramid, The Temple of Solomon, and the most important Memory Palace, the Zodiac. In the Middle Ages Cathedrals (Chartres), Palaces (Alhambra) and Temples (Taj Mahal) were designed and used as Memory Palaces.
“Some place is chosen of the largest possible extent and characterised by the utmost possible variety, such as a space house divided into a number of rooms. Everything of note therein is carefully committed to the memory…The next step is to distinguish something [to be remembered] by some particular symbol which will serve to jog the memory…. These symbols are then arranged as follows. The first thought is placed, as it were, in the forecourt; the second, let us say, in the living-room; the remainder are placed in due order all round… and entrusted not merely to bedrooms and parlours, but even to the care of statues and the like. This done, as soon as the memory of the facts requires to be revived, all these places are visited in turn and the various deposits are demanded from their custodians, as the sight of each recalls the respective details” (Quintilian Institutio Oratoria, Book XI).
The Art of Memory was a very important Art because Manuscripts were very rare and the use of Manuscripts and Symbols was seen as the major cause of the detoriation of society. Books produced “fake” scientists who are not wise but only appear to be wise.
“For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practise their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are not part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise” (Plato, Phaedrus).
Giulio Camillo was one of the most famous men of the 16th century. With a commission of 1200 ducats from the King of France, Francois I, he created a theatre that contained divine powers: whoever entered the theatre would emerge with a complete memory of all the knowledge that had ever existed. The design of his theatre is described in his book L’idea del teatro written in 1554, the last year of his life. The theatre consisted of Seven Levels and contained the complete Knowledge of the Corpus Hermeticum.
“Following the order of the creation of the world, we shall place on the first levels the more natural things…those we can imagine to have been created before all other things by divine decree. Then we shall arrange from level to level those that followed after, in such a way that in the seventh, that is, the last and highest level shall sit all the arts… not by reason of unworthiness, but by reason of chronology, since these were the last to have been found by men” (Guilio Camillo).
At the time of Gordiano Bruno Copernicus detected that the Sun was the Center of our Planetary System. His discovery was in conflict with the Theories that were educated at the Universities that were controlled by the Church of Rome.
Gordiano Bruno saw that the new theories were in line with the teachings of the Corpus Hermeticum in which the Sun (of Heliopolis) was in the Center. Bruno started to Fuse the Knowlegde of the Corpus Hermeticum with his already highly advanced Memory System.
At that time the power of the Church of Rome was going down rapidly. Europe was divided by religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. The merchants, bankers and artisans of Europe’s largest cities and towns resented the fact that local bishops of the Church controlled all of their commercial and economic activities.
Priests married and then took mistresses, holy offices were bought and sold for the highest price, incompetence among the clergy became the rule, the congregation of more and more people in towns and cities perhaps exposed the amorality and immorality of the clergy.
Gordiano Bruno believed he had to create a new Religion based on the Ancient foundation of Religion he found in Egypt.
Gordiano was a free-thinker and he never stopped expressing his own believes. When he learned that an indictment was being prepared against him in Naples he fled the convent and started to travel Europe. He visited the French King Henry III, the English Queen Elizabeth, Wittenburg , the Center of the Protestant Movement, the city of Prague and Emperor Rudolf II.
At every place he came he started to educate the others in his Expanding (forbidden) Vision of the Infinite Universe. At every place his free-thinking brought him into a conflict and he had to move on.
In 1592 he was lured to Venice, arrested by the Inquisition and transported to Rome. In 1600 he was convicted and publicly burned at the Campo de’ Fiori in Rome. In 1889 a Statue was erected at the place of his execution.
There is no evidence that Giordiano Bruno met John Dee when he was in England but he was in contact with the most important people that were part of the “Hermetic Circle” of John Dee. There is a lot of evidence that Bruno was the creator of the Rosicrusians.
Bruno’s books on the Art of Memory were in reality Courses in the Solar Magic taught by Hermes Trismegistus.
Bruno knew that the most important tools of the Magician are the Power of his Imagination and the Connection with the Major Powers in the Hierarchy in the Heavens, the ArchAngels and the Demiurg, the Creator of the Matrix.
The System of Bruno was created to make is possible to generate powerfull images and Magical Rituals to make the Right Connection (Bonding) with the Major Creators of the Universe we live in.
“There are three gates through which the hunter of souls (the Magician) ventures to bind: vision, hearing and mind or imagination. If it happens that someone passes through all three of these gates, he binds most powerfully and ties down most tightly.” “He who enters through the gate of hearing is armed with his voice and with speech, the son of voice. He who enters through the gate of vision is armed with suitable forms, gestures, motions and figures. He who enters through the gate of the imagination, mind and reason is armed with customs and the arts.” (Giordano Bruno, Theses de Magia, Vol. LVI).
Robert Fludd was born in England in 1574, thirty years after Giordano Bruno was born. Between 1598 and 1604, Fludd studied the Liberal Arts on the European mainland. Robert Fludd was one of the last Hermetic Scientists of the Renaissance. In his life he tried to describe everything that was known until that day. Robert Fludd was a Rosicrucian.
One of his products is a Musical Memory Palace and a Memory Theatre, the Globe, that was used by Lord Chamberlain’s company to which Shakespeare belonged. In the view of Fludd a theatrical play was a Projection of a part of a Memory Palace. The Theatre was a tool to educate the Elite (and the Masses) into the Hermetic Whole.
The work of Bruno and Fludd was taken over by many other Scientists but the relationship between the Art of Memory and Magic slowly faded away.
At the end of the Renaissance Reason, Logic, became much more important than the Seven Liberal Arts. The Scientists of the Age of Enlightment wanted to get rid of the Delusions of the Imagination. The only thing that counted were Facts observed by the Senses.
Leibniz (1646-1716) was one of the exceptions. He was an Old Fashioned Renaissance Magician and believed in the Harmony of the Spheres. He invented many theories that proved his Point of View and are now proven to be Right.
He believed that scholarship or “perfect knowledge of the principle of all sciences and the art of applying them ” could be divided into three equally important parts : the Art of Reasoning, the Art of Inventing (Combinatorics) and the Art of Memory and the Imagination (Magic). He even wrote an unpublished manuscript about the Art of Memory.
Leibniz got into a big conflict with Newton about the Role of the Imagination and Scientific Discovery in Society. Afther his death Newton and his Protectors, the Medici of Florence, started an effective campaign to prove that Newton was the inventor of the Theories of Leibniz. This is the reason why Newton became the major Scientist of his time.
After the Renaissance, the Stage of the Imagination, the Cycle of Culture moved to the Stage of the Emotions, the Time of the French Revolution. The Old Social Structures of Europe started their big Transformation.
Around 1740 the Industrial Revolution started in England and the Theories of Newton, Descartes and Kant about the Cold Mechanical Reasoner without Feeling and Imagination took the Lead. The ultimate products of the Industrial Revolution, the Computer and the related Factory-Model are now the Leading Paradigm.
The link between the Machine that Controls and Generates our Universe (the Yantra), the Ideas/Concepts that govern our Universe and the related mostly Astronomical Symbols is now completely lost.
Almost nobody is able to understand and value the Ancient Knowledge of Heliopolis that Scientists like Gordiano Bruno and Robert Fludd were trying to reconstruct during the Renaissance.
The Medici and their Successors, the Big Bankers and Merchants, finally succeeded in the Destruction of the Imagination and the Emotions.
Starting 1950 the Cycle is moving into a new Renaissance.
After the Invention of Quantum Mechanics (inspired by Robert Fludd) it becomes clearer and clearer that The Imagination is the Major Power that Creates and Sustains our Universe.
The Ideas of Bruno, Fludd, Plato, the Corpus Hermeticum and the Ancient Knowledge of Heliopolis are coming Back.
One of the most interesting scientists of the Art of Memory is Alan Turing. He constructed a very simple machine now called a Turing Machine that contained a Memory and a Writing Device that could move backwards and forwards. With the help of this simple Device Turing was able to solve many Mathematical Problems. At the end of his Life just before he committed suicide he started to research Morphology, the Science of the Forms.
What to Do?
The Current University System is highly fragmented. It needs a general principle to Unite all the now diverging Subjects of Investigation. The complexity of our Science is enormous. The link between Science, Art and Religion is gone. We are in the same state as the World was at the end of the Middle Ages.
Perhaps we could introduce the Memory Palace again. It would certainly help to improve the Memory of the Students who are now Copying and Pasting the Internet.