Earths in the Universe (Chadwick) n. 62

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62. The inhabitants of the world of Jupiter define wisdom as good and fair thinking about the events which happen in the course of living. This wisdom they absorb from their parents as children, and this is successively handed on to their descendants. The love of wisdom also contributes to it, since this increases when they become parents. They neither know nor wish to know anything about the sciences we have in our world. They call these shadows and liken them to the clouds which obscure* the sun. They formed this idea of the sciences from some spirits of our world, who boasted to them of the wisdom the sciences had given them.

[2] The spirits from our world who made such boasts were those who regarded wisdom as merely a matter of memory, for instance, a knowledge of languages, particularly Hebrew, Greek and Latin, of experiences recorded in literature, of criticism, of experimental data, of technical terms, especially those of philosophy, and other things of the same sort. They had not used such knowledge as a means of acquiring wisdom, but regarded wisdom as consisting in the possession of such knowledge. Since they had not employed their knowledge as a means of improving their rational faculty, they have limited powers of perception in the next life. They can only discern technical terms and argue from them, and to those who see nothing else, such things are like dust or clouds obscuring the sight of the intellect (see 38 above). Those who were proud of this kind of learning are still less perceptive, while those who used their scientific knowledge as a means to undermine and annihilate the beliefs of the church have totally destroyed their intellectual faculty, so that their vision is like that of owls in pitch darkness, when they mistake falsity for truth and evil for good.

[3] Talking with such spirits made the spirits of Jupiter conclude that sciences produce obscurity and blindness. However, they were told that in this world sciences are the means of opening up the sight of the intellect, which depends on the light of heaven. But because of the dominance of matters concerned only with natural life, the life of the senses, these sciences serve them rather as means to madness, that is, proofs which favour Nature rather than God, and the world rather than heaven.

[4] They were further told that sciences are in themselves spiritual riches, and their possessors resemble the possessors of worldly riches; for these are likewise the means of performing services to oneself, one's neighbour and one's country, and also the means of doing evil. They can also be compared with clothes, which are both useful and ornamental, and are also a matter of pride to those who want to be respected for them alone. The spirits of the world of Jupiter quite understood this, but they were surprised that, while still living as human beings, they had stopped at the means, and preferred the things which lead to wisdom to wisdom itself, failing to see that plunging the mind into means without rising beyond them is putting it in the shade and blinding it. [* Reading intercipiunt for inter. -TR.]

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