De Divinis Numeris, Robert Fludd: Vidi Jehovam in altissimo throno super palatium mundanum elevato sedentem…

Vidi Jehovam in altissimo throno super palatium munanum elevato sedentem...

Commentary on Vidi Jehovam in altissimo throno super palatium mundanum elevato sedentem…

  1. Ambrose Mnemopolous Post author

    This engraving depicts the ascending and descending scales of Creation, derived from the Divine Mind as a trinity of mens, intellectus, and ratio. The trinity is treated visually in Pythagorean terms, where the one generates the two, the one and the two are a trinity, these three generate the four elements, and from the combinations of the preceding ten, the myriad things emerge. The Chaldaean Oracles attributed to Zoroaster treated the same material in similar terms.

  2. Ambrose Mnemopolous Post author

    Fludd here borrows the abstract notation from Ramon Lull’s combinatory wheels, which has become standard in modern geometry.

    Figure A-B represents the descending scale from the Divine Mind, down through the super-celestial realm (in the Empyrean beyond the primum mobile, where the Platonic Ideas reside), down through the celestial realm (the spheres of the seven planets or Archons that the Demiurge set up to govern Creation), into the elemental world (composed of the various combinations of hot, cold, wet, and dry, such as elemental fire, air, water, and earth), where the Divine Emanation eventually reaches the sphere of planet Earth (as Divine light).

    Figure C-D represents the ascending scale from earthly contemplation to the transcendent reality of the Divinity, by which the soul frees itself from heimarmene (fate, or, the government of the rulers of Creation).

    Figure E-F depicts the interpenetration of Divinity and Creation (the manifestations, operations and government of an immanent deity responsible for Creation).

    Across each of the three figures, the supreme trinity remains unchanged, illustrating the Kabbalistic doctrine of an eternal and ineffable deity outside of time and creation, veiled by the sephirot (the active principle of the Divinity within the Creation).

  3. Ambrose Mnemopolous Post author

    The dynamic character of the above process was thus described by Moses Cordovero in the 16th Century: “This process is like a revolving wheel, first descending, then ascending. It is all one and the same, nothing is separate from it” (Shi’ur Qomah, Warsaw, 1883).

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Robert Fludd’s De Divinis Numeris (1619), or, On Divine Mathematics, is a treatise on numerical symbolism. The treatise expounds on the explorations of number found in the Macrocosm volume, which proceeds according to a variety of methods derived from the combinatoria of Abraham Abulafia and Ramon Lull, and Pico della Mirandola's Christianized Kabbalah. Fludd’s Divine Mathematics is found in the Technical History of the Microcosm Tractatus I, Sectionis I, Liber I.