Tuesday, October 21, 2008
An excellent in depth answer to the question of what Ficino's theory of beauty was can be found in Speech V of his Commentary on Plato's Symposium on Love, translated by Sears Jayne (Spring Publications, 1985) beginning on page 83.
Briefly, however, Ficino says that the Face of God can be glimpsed in three mirrors, the three worlds of the Angels and Archetypes, the Anima Mundi or Soul of the World, and in the Material World. "The grace of that divine face" says Ficino, "we call beauty" and the desire and longing produced by that beauty is love.
Ficino goes on later to link love and magic,
"But why do we think that Love is a magician? Because the whole power of magic consists in love. The work of magic is the attraction of one thing by another because of a certain affinity of nature. But the parts of this world, like the parts of a single animal, all deriving from a single author, are joined to each other by the communion of single nature...From this common relationship is born a common love; from love, a common attraction. And this is the true magic."
Commentary on Plato's Symposium on Love, page 127.
More on Marsilio Ficino and Astrological Magic.