Observations Upon a Blazing World

Blazing World: Hermaphroditical

the Emperess asked them further, whether there was not a World of Spi∣rits, as well as there is of material Creatures? No, answered they; for the word World implies a quan∣tity or multitude of corporeal Creatures, but we being Immaterial, can make no world of Spirits. Then she desired to be informed when Spirits were made? We do not know, answered they, how and when we were made, nor are we much inquisitive after it; nay, if we did, it would be no benefit, neither for us, nor for you mortals to know it. The Emperess replied, That Cabbalists and Divine Philosophers said, mens ra∣tional Souls were Immaterial, and stood as much in need of corporeal Vehicles, as Spirits did. If this be so, answered the Spirits, then you are Hermaphrodites of Nature; but your Cabbalists are mistaken, for they take the purest and subtillest parts of Matter for Imma∣terial Spirits. Then the Emperess asked, when the souls of Mortals went out of their bodies, whether they went to Heaven or Hell, or whether they re∣mained in airy Vehicles? God's Justice and Mercy, answered they, is perfect, and not imperfect; but if you mortals will have Vehicles for your Souls, and a place that is between Heaven and Hell, it must be Pur∣gatory, which is a place of Purification, for which acti∣on Fire is more proper then Air, and so the Vehicles of those souls that are in Purgatory cannot be airy, but fi∣ery; and after this rate there can be but four places for humane souls to be in, viz. Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and this World; but as for Vehicles, they are but fan∣cies, not real truths. Then the Emperess asked them, where Heaven and Hell was? Your Saviour Christ, answered the Spirits, has informed you, that there is Heaven and Hell, but he did not tell you what, nor where they are; wherefore it is too great a presumption for you Mortals to inquire after it; if you do but strive to get into Heaven, it is enough, though you do not know where or what it is, for it is beyond your know∣ledg and understanding. I am satisfied, replied the Emperess, and asked further, whether there were any figures or characters in the Soul? They answered, where there was no body, there could be no figure. Then she asked them, whether Spirits could be naked? and whether they were of a dark, or a light colour? As for our nakedness, it is a very odd question, an∣swered the Spirits; and we do not know what you mean by a naked Spirit; for you judg of us as of cor∣poreal Creatures; and as for Colour, said they, it is according to our Vehicles; for Colour belongs to Body, and as there is no Body that is colourless, so there is no Colour that is bodiless. Then the Empe∣ress desired to be informed, whether all souls were made at the first Creation of the World? We know no more, answered the Spirits, of the origine of humane souls, then we know of our selves. She asked fur∣ther, whether humane bodies were not burthensome to humane souls? They answered, That bodies made Souls active, as giving them motion; and if action was troublesome to souls, then bodies were so too. She asked again, whether souls did chuse bo∣dies? They answered, That Platonicks believed, the souls of Lovers lived in the bodies of their Beloved; but surely, said they, if there be a multitude of souls in a world of Matter, they cannot miss bodies; for as soon as a soul is parted from one body, it enters into another; and souls having no motion of themselves, must of necessity be cloathed or imbodied with the next parts of Matter. If this be so, replied the Em∣peress, then I pray inform me, whether all matter be soulified? The Spirits answered, They could not exactly tell that; but if it was true, that Matter had no other motion but what came from a spiritual power, and that all matter was moving, then no soul could quit a body, but she must of necessity enter into another soulified body, and then there would be two im∣material substances in one body. The Emperess asked, whether it was not possible that there could be two souls in one body? As for immaterial souls, an∣swered the Spirits, it is impossible; for there cannot be two immaterials in one inanimate body, by reason they want parts, and place, being bodiless; but there may be numerous material souls in one composed body, by reason every material part has a material natural soul; for Nature is but one Infinite self-moving, li∣ving and self-knowing body, consisting of the three de∣grees of inanimate, sensitive and rational Matter, so intermixt together, that no part of Nature, were it an Atome, can be without any of these three degrees; the sensitive is the life, the rational the soul, and the ina∣nimate part, the body of Infinite Nature. The Em∣peress was very well satisfied with this answer, and asked further, whether souls did not give life to bo∣dies? No, answered they; but Spirits and Divine Souls have a life of their own, which is not partable, being purer then a natural life; for Spirits are incor∣poreal, and consequently individable. But when the Soul is in its Vehicle, said the Emperess, then me thinks she is like the Sun, and the Vehicle like the Moon. No, answered they, but the Vehicle is like the Sun, and the Soul like the Moon; for the Soul hath motion from the Body, as the Moon has light from the Sun. Then the Emperess asked the Spirits, whether it was an evil Spirit that tempted Eve, and brought all the mischiefs upon Mankind, or whether it was the Serpent? They answered, That Spirits could not commit actual evils. The Emperess said they might do it by perswasions. They answered, That Perswasions were actions; but the Emperess not being contented with this answer, asked whether there was not a supernatural Evil? The Spirits answered, That there was a supernatural Good, which was God; but they knew of no supernatural Evil that was equal to God. Then she desired to know, whether Evil Spi∣rits were reckoned amongst the Beasts of the Field? They answer'd, That many Beasts of the field were harmless Creatures, and very serviceable for Man's use; and though some were accounted fierce and cruel, yet did they exercise their cruelty upon other Creatures, for the most part, to no other end, but to get themselves food, and to satisfie their natural appetite; but cer∣tainly, said they, you men are more cruel to one ano∣ther, then evil Spirits are to you; and as for their ha∣bitations in desolate places, we having no communion with them, can give you no certain account thereof. But what do you think, said the Emperess, of Good Spirits? may not they be compared to the Fowls of the Air? They answered, There were many cruel and revenous Fowls as well in the Air, as there were fierce and cruel Beasts on Earth; so that the good are al∣ways mixt with the bad.

This page has paths:

This page references: