Plains Songtext - Tycho

Plains - Tycho


From the celestial music to the hearer, from the Muses to Apollo the leader of the Dance, from the six planets revolving and making consonances to the Sun at the centre of all the circuits, immovable in place but rotating into itself. For although the harmony is most absolute between the extreme planetary movements, not with respect to the true speeds through the ether but with respect to the angles which are formed by joining with the centre of the sun the termini of the diurnal arcs of the planetary orbits; while the harmony does not adorn the termini, i.e., the single movements, in so far as they are considered in themselves but only in so far as by being taken together and compared with one another, they become the object of some mind; and although no object is ordained in vain, without the existence of some thing which may be moved by it, while those angles seem to presuppose some action similar to our eyesight or at least to that sense-perception whereby, in Book IV, the sublunary nature perceived the angles of rays formed by the planets on the Earth: still it is not easy for dwellers on the Earth to conjecture what sort of sight is present in the sun, what eyes there are, or what other instinct there is for perceiving those angles

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even without eyes and for evaluating the harmonies of the movements entering into the antechamber of the mind by whatever doorway, and finally what mind there is in the sun. None the less, however those things may be, this composition of the six primary spheres around the sun, cherishing it with their perpetual revolutions and as it were adoring it (just as, separately, four moons accompany the globe of Jupiter, two Saturn, but a single moon by its circuit encompasses, cherishes, fosters the Earth and us its inhabitants, and ministers to us) and this special business of the harmonies, which is a most clear footprint of the highest providence over solar affairs, now being added to that consideration, [324] wrings from me the following confession: not only does light go out from the sun into the whole world, as from the focus or eye of the world, as life and heat from the heart, as every movement from the King and mover, but conversely also by royal law these returns, so to speak, of every lovely harmony are collected in the sun from every province in the world, nay, the forms of movements by twos flow together and are bound into one harmony by the work of some mind, and are as it were coined money from silver and gold bullion; finally, the curia, palace, and praetorium or throne-room of the whole realm of nature are in the sun, whatsoever chancellors, palatines, prefects the Creator has given to nature: for them, whether created immediately from the beginning or to be transported hither at some time, has He made ready those seats. For even this terrestrial adornment, with respect to its principal part, for quite a long while lacked the contemplators and enjoyers, for whom however it had been appointed; and those seats were empty. Accordingly the reflection struck my mind, what did the ancient Pythagoreans in Aristotle mean, who used to call the centre of the world (which they referred to as the "fire" but understood by that the sun) "the watchtower of Jupiter," ???? ???????; what, likewise, was the ancient interpreter pondering in his mind when he rendered the verse of the Psalm as: "He has placed His tabernacle in the sun."

But also I have recently fallen upon the hymn of Proclus the Platonic philosopher (of whom there has been much mention in the preceding books), which was composed to the Sun and filled full with venerable mysteries, if you excise that one ???? (hear me) from it; although the ancient interpreter already cited has explained this to some extent, viz., in invoking the sun, he understands Him Who has placed His tabernacle in the sun. For Proclus lived at a time in which it was a crime, for which the rulers of the world and the people itself inflicted all punishments, to profess Jesus of Nazareth, God Our Savior, and to contemn the gods of the pagan poets (under Constantine, Maxentius, and Julian the Apostate). Accordingly Proclus, who from his Platonic philosophy indeed, by the natural light of the mind, had caught a distant glimpse of the Son of God, that true light which lighteth every man coming into this world, and who already knew that divinity must never be sought with a superstitious mob in sensible things, nevertheless preferred to seem to look for God in the sun rather than in Christ a sensible man, in order that at the same time he might both deceive the pagans by honoring verbally the Titan of the poets and devote himself to his philosophy, by drawing away both the pagans and the Christians from sensible beings, the pagans from the visible sun, the Christians from the Son of Mary, because, trusting too much to the natural light of reason, he spit out the mystery of the Incarnation; and finally that at the same time he might take over from them and adopt into his own philosophy whatever the Christians

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had which was most divine and especially consonant with Platonic philosophy. 1 And so the accusation of the teaching of the Gospel concerning Christ is laid against this hymn of Proclus, in its own matters: let that Titan keep as his private possessions ????? ???? [golden reins] and ???????? ?????, ?????????, ??????? ?????, ?????? ????????? ????????? ?????? [a treasury of light, a seat at the midpart of the ether, a radiant circle at the heart of the world], which visible aspect Copernicus too bestows upon him; let him even keep his ???????????? ??????? [cyclical chariot-drivings], although according to the ancient Pythagoreans he does not possess them but in their place ?? ???????, ???? ??????? [the centre, the watchtower of Zeus]

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