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Psychozoia: The Journey of the Soul

  • Robert Crocker
Chapter
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas / Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Idées book series (ARCH, volume 185)

Abstract

More’s Psychodia Platonica (1642) is in many respects a profoundly religious document, a ‘confession’ in verse, describing in sometimes obscure allegorical detail a quite unique illuminist revelation. More’s interest in philosophy was framed and inspired by specific spiritual and apologetic concerns, as both Ward’s biography, and the little autobiography included in the General Preface to More’s Opera Omnia (1679), make clear.1 For More the end of all ‘true’ philosophy was the defence and explication of Christian religion, and the end of all religion was the believer’s ‘Second Birth’, and his or her illumination or ‘deification’:2

our endeavour must be not onely to be without sin, but to become God, that is, impassible, immaterial, quit of all sympathy with the body, drawn up wholly into the intellect, and plainly devoid of all perturbation.

Keywords

Mystical Experience Christian Religion Divine Life Base Affection Vital Spirit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See my article, “Illuminism”, in Rogers (1997): 129–144.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    PP: 371. See also Discourses: 19.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See Cudworth, TIS: 584–87; More, IS: I, iv. See also Dockrill, “The Heritage of Patristic Platonism ” in Rogers et al, Cambridge Platonists (1997): 57–59.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See Ward: 31 ff.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See IS, III,xv,7 ff.; and Walker, “Medical Spirits, God and the Soul”, in M. Fattori and M. Bianchi (eds.), Spiritus (1984):225 and 237–9.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ward: 33. See also DD: 293-5; and EE: III,v,10. Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ward: 33.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    More was careful in the CC (1653) to emphasise that this `separation’ of the body from the soul was not a denial of the `natural pleasures’ of physical life, but only of the `inordinate desire for pleasure’ and the consequent dominance of the intellect by sense-impressions and the humours of the constitution. See The Moral Cabbala, iii,4.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    “Psychathanasia”, I,ii,47.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Compare Smith (1660): 100 ff.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Discourses (1692): 188. Compare Smith (1660): 75–6.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    See “Psychathanasia”, I,ii,27–31, and IS, II,xiv,10. But see below, Chapter 5 on the later development of More’s ideas about Matter under the influence of Cartesianism.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Discourses: 188. See also GMG: II,xi,1–3; IS: II,xiv,5–6.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    See D.P. Walker, “Medical Spirits”, in M. Fattori, Spiritus (1984): 225 and 237–9.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    See IS: Il,xiv,5–6; Discourses: 188; and GMG: II,xi,1–4.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    ’Eve’ was the ‘innocent pleasure of the body’, especially the delight of the soul in the aetherial realm. See The Defence of the Moral Cabbala (1712): 223–4.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    It was ‘the inordinate desire for pleasure’ which had first attached the soul to the body. See IS: II,xiv,10. Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Discourses: 187. Compare Smith: 16.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Discourses: 66. This image of the two `eyes’ of the soul here is traditional, and derives from Matthew, vi, 22–3: “The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness…”. The Christian Platonists interpreted it via Plato, Republic: 508c ff. and Plotinus, Enneads: I,vi,8. More’s immediate source here is probably the Theologia Germanica (1854): vii. Compare also Smith (1660): 16.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    See More, PP: Preface, and EE: I,iii,4.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    IS: III,xviii,5 ff.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    See Theologia Germanica (1854): vii.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    EE: I,iii,4. See also DD: 303–9.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Discourses: 39; EE: III,v,10–13. Compare Smith (1660): 17; and see below.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Discourses: 39; and see Smith, Ibid: 9.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    More, DD: 304–7.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    PP: 363. See DD: 305–9.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    “Psychozoia” in PP (1647): ii,147. More is referring to the final interiorization of self-denial, humility (Simon’s parents) and the spirit, or `eye’ of inner obedience (Simon). This is the union of the two `eyes’ of the soul. See below.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Discussed in detail, below, next chapter.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    See Bullough (1931): li and lvi.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    See for example Discourses: 10 ff. The main biblical reference is I Peter: 2,11: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” See Clement on this, in Tollinton, Clement of Alexandria (1914): II, 312. For the Puritan background, see Kaufmann, Pilgrim’s Progress and Traditions of Puritan Meditation (1966): 136 ff.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Discourses: 123. See also Kaufmann (1966): 139–40.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Discourses: 129–30.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Compare Smith (1660): 17–8.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Op.cit, The Moral Cabbala: i,2.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    “Psychozoia”: ii,42.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ibid: ii,45–50.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    This is a common theme in Puritan literature - the unregenerate, because ignorant of the truth, are inevitably hypocritical. See Alpaugh, “Emblem Interpretation”: 305, who points out that Bunyan’s Atheist, for instance, reads the world as reality rather than emblem. Bunyan, (ed Sharrock), Pilgrim’s Progress (1965): 174.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Smith (1660): 466–7. See also Cudworth, Sermon (1647), in Patrides (1969): 100; and B. Whichcote, Aphorisms (1753): # 388.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    “Psychozoia” in PP (1647 only): ii,57–125.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    “Psychozoia” (1647): ii,58. See also Bullough: liv-lv; and Nicolson, “More’s Psychozoia”, Modern Language Notes 37 (1922): 141–8.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    “Psychozoia” in PP (1647): ii, 77–80. See also Bullough: lvüi.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    “Psychozoia” in PP (1647): ü,87–8.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    “Psychozoia” in PP (1647): ii,89–92 and 99. See also Smith (1660): 426–7.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    See below, and also “Psychozoia” in PP (1647): 0,90, where Corvino makes this accusation specific.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Compare Discourses: 75.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    “Psychozoia”: ii,72, and in PP (1647), 0,141. See Smith (1660): 15–6, and 469–74; and B. Whichcote, in Patrides (1969): 77 ff.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    See “Psychozoia” in PP (1647), ü,146–7, and the discussion, below, next chapter.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    See for instance “Psychozoia”: 0,136–7; and also CC, The Moral Cabbala: i,1 and i,2.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    See Discourses: 79.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    PP: 359–60. See also CC, The Philosophical Cabbala: iii,3; and Cudworth on the “Magick of Nature”, Sermon (1647), in Patrides (1969): 112.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    “Psychozoia”: iii,10–22; and compare Spenser, Fairie Queene: VI,i,9–22. See also PP: 364–6; and Smith (1660): 353–9, and 472–4.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    “Psychozoia”: iii,22, and Discourses: 164 and 171 ff.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    “Psychozoia”: iii,55–62. Compare Spenser, Fairie Queene: VI,viii. Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    “Psychozoia”: iii,58–9. See also Theologia Germanica (1854): xix, and S. Castellio, Conference (1679): 54.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    “Psychozoia”: iii,61.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Discourses: 52–3 and p.101–3. See Cudworth, Sermon, in Patrides (1969): 102, and Smith (1660): 3. See also Clement on the `preparatory role of philosophy’ in Tollinton (1914): II, 295.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    See above and also Theologia Germanica (1854): xiv; and compare the four types of men in Smith (1660): 17–21, and his similar rejection of `assurance’ as the goal of devotional life, in Ibid: 426–7.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    On Hallywell, see Peile: I, 577–8. Hallywell was the pupil of George Rust, perhaps More’s most intellectually gifted pupil. All of Hallywell’s published works show a close dependence on More’s ideas. See below, Appendix, for their correspondence.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    See particularly Discourses: 46 ff.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    [Hallywell], Deus Justificatus (1668): 177. This work was thought by some contemporaries to be by Cudworth. See More to Anne Conway, Nicolson: 293, note.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    [Hallywell], Deus Justificatus (1668): 180.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Ibid: 182.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Ibid: 180. Compare Smith (1660): 476.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Malachi: iv,2:“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing wings: and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” The image is also Platonic. See Plato, Republic, 508d ff.; and Plotinus: VI,vii,22; and the discussion in V. Lossky, Image and Likeness of God (1967): 45–69. See also Cudworth, Sermon, in Patrides (1969): 111; Smith (1660), The Excellency and Nobleness of True Religion, which forms an extended commentary on this kind of `light’ imagery. On the `scarcity’ of More’s poems, see Rust’s reported request from Ireland that More reissue them in folio, Ward: 232.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    “Psychozoia”: iii,27. The two wings of the soul were faith in God’s power to destroy sin, and the soul’s love of God. See PP: 368.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    See below.Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    [Hallywell], Deus Justificatus (1668): 183.Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    “Psychozoia”: iii,67 ff. Compare Discourses: 54; and DD: 303–6. See also Tollinton, Clement: II, 86 ff.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    This controversial rejection of a purely physical resurrection was one of the main reasons More was later accused of heresy. See below, Chapter 7.Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    CC., Defence of the Moral Cabbala (1712): 222. See also GMG: VI,v,4–6.Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    GMG: VI,v,4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Crocker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AustraliaAustralia

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