Giordano Bruno, born Filippo Bruno

Bruno, born Filippo Bruno

Italian Dominican Friar, Philosopher, Mathematician and Astronomer

Author Quotes

To that I would say that there exists in the sense and in the intellect an appetite and impulse towards the sensible in general. This is because the intellect desires to know all of the truth, in order to grasp all that is beautiful and good in the intelligible world.

Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.

Unless you make yourself equal to God, you cannot understand God: for the like is not intelligible save to the like. Make yourself grow to a greatness beyond measure, by a bound free yourself from the body; raise yourself above all time, become Eternity; then you will understand God. Believe that nothing is impossible for you, think yourself immortal and capable of understanding all, all arts, all sciences, the nature of every living being. Mount higher than the highest height; descend lower than the lowest depth. Draw into yourself all sensations of everything created, fire and water, dry and moist, imagining that you are everywhere, on earth, in the sea, in the sky, that you are not yet born, in the maternal womb, adolescent, old, dead, beyond death. If you embrace in your thought all things at once, times, places, substances, qualities, quantities, you may understand God.

We delight in one knowable thing, which comprehends all that is knowable; in one apprehensible, which draws together all that can be apprehended; in a single being that includes all, above all in the one which is itself the all.

We find that everything that makes up difference and number is pure accident, pure show, pure constitution. Every production, of whatever kind, is an alteration, but the substance remains always the same, because it is only one, one divine immortal being.

What a tragicomedy! What act, I say, more worthy of pity and laughter can be presented to us upon this world's stage, in this scene of our consciousness, than of this host of individuals who became melancholy, meditative, unflinching, firm, faithful, lovers, devotees, admirers and slaves of a thing without trustworthiness, a thing deprived of all constancy, destitute of any talent, vacant of any merit, without acknowledgment or any gratitude, as incapable of sensibility, intelligence or goodness, as a statue or image painted on a wall; a thing containing more haughtiness, arrogance, insolence, contumely, anger, scorn, hypocrisy, licentiousness, avarice, ingratitude and other ruinous vices, more poisons and instruments of death than could have issued from the box of Pandora? For such are the poisons which have only too commodious an abode in the brain of that monster!

When the end comes, you will be esteemed by the world and rewarded by God, not because you have won the love and respect of the princes of the earth, however powerful, but rather for having loved, defended and cherished one such as I ... what you receive from others is a testimony to their virtue; but all that you do for others is the sign and clear indication of your own.

When we consider the being and substance of that universe in which we are immutably set, we shall discover that neither we ourselves nor any substance doth suffer death. for nothing is in fact diminished in its substance, but all things, wandering through infinite space, undergo change of aspect.

While I venture out beyond this tiny globe into reaches past the bounds of starry night I leave behind what others strain to see afar.

Wise men know that God is in things and that divinity is latent in nature.

With luck on your side you can do without brains.

Yet (that there be no mistake) I do not wish that here should be taxed the dignity of those ladies who have been worthily praised and who are praiseworthy: and those, especially, who may and do reside in this British land, to whom we owe the love and fidelity of the guest; for even if one were to find fault with the whole world, one could not find fault with this nation, which in this respect is not the terrestrial world, nor a part of it, but is entirely separated from it, as you know: so that any discourse regarding the whole feminine sex could not and would not include any of your women, who must not be considered part of that sex; because they are not women, they are not ladies, but, in the guise of ladies, they are nymphs, goddesses and of celestial substance, among whom it is permitted to contemplate that unique Dianba, whom I do not desire to name in the rank or category of women.

You explain right well, and you shew that you understand argument and are not a mere sophist since you accept that which cannot be denied.

You pronounce sentence upon me with greater fear than I receive it.

Even to have come forth is something, since I see that being able to conquer is placed in the hands of fate. However, there was in me, whatever I was able to do, that which no future century will deny to be mine, that which a victor could have for his own: Not to have feared to die, not to have yielded to any equal in firmness of nature, and to have preferred a courageous death to a noncombatant life.

I shall give you some clarification of the above. As one can see, the presence of the flame warms the globe, in which water is contained, and causes this humid element, rendered lighter and less dense by virtue of the heat, to resolve itself into vapor and consequently to demand a much greater space to contain it. If the water does not find an easy exit, it bursts forth with the greatest force and destruction to crack the vessel; but if an easy exit is procured for it, it issues out little by little with less violence and according to the extent of its evaporation exhales and expands into air. This figure represents the frenzied one's heart whose organization has been well disposed to the contact of love's flame, and consequently from its vital substance one part (of the heart) sparkles in flames, another part is transformed into abundant weeping rising from the breast, and still another sends up a wind of sighs to incense the air.

It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.

Since I have spread my wings to purpose high, the more beneath my feet the clouds I see, the more I give the winds my pinions free, spurning the earth and soaring to the sky.

There is in nature a revolution and a circle in virtue of which, for the perfection and aid of others, superior things incline toward the inferior, and for their own excellence and felicity inferior things are raised to the superior.

All the intelligences are represented by the moon, inasmuch as they participate in potentiality and act, and inasmuch, I say, as they have the light unrefined and according to participation because they receive it from another. And these intelligences do not have the light of themselves and by their nature but have it by the view of the sun, the first intelligence, pure and absolute light, pure and absolute act.

Everything that makes diversity of kinds, of species, differences, properties… everything that consists in generation, decay, alteration and change is not an entity, but a condition and circumstance of entity and being, which is one, infinite, immobile, subject, matter, life, death, truth, lies, good and evil.

I understand when he says, It is enough that I have been raised to the sky; but not when he says, and delivered from the ignoble number; unless he means that he has come out of the Platonic cavern, removed from the condition of the stupid and most vile multitudes; for it is understood that those who profit from this contemplation can be only a very small number.

It is then unnecessary to investigate whether there be beyond the heaven Space, Void or Time. For there is a single general space, a single vast immensity which we may freely call Void; in it are innumerable globes like this one on which we live and grow. This space we declare to be infinite, since neither reason, convenience, possibility, sense-perception nor nature assign to it a limit. In it are an infinity of worlds of the same kind as our own.

That I shall sink in death, I know must be; but with that death of mine what life will die? Across the air, I hear my heart's voice cry: where dost thou bear me reckless one? Descend! Such rashness seldom ends but bitterly' "fear not the lofty fall" I answer "rend with might the clouds, and be content to die, if God such a glorious death for us intend."

There is in the universe neither center nor circumference.

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Bruno, born Filippo Bruno
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Italian Dominican Friar, Philosopher, Mathematician and Astronomer