DANTE ALIGHIERI, one of the greatest of Italian poets, was born in Florence, May 1265, a descendant of a very ancient family whose real name was Durante. He was a great lover of literature, music and the fine arts and through his family heritage, at least, was greatly inclined towards religion, philosophy, and mysticism, and early in his youth began to master all of the philosophies of his time while maintaining a part in the social life and in touch with every aspect of Italian social activities.
"By study of philosophy, of theology, astrology, arithemetic, and geometry, by reading of history, by the turning over many curious books, watching and sweating in his studies, Dante acquired the science which he was to adorn and explain in his verses." (Leonardo Bruni)
Dante describes himself in the Paradiso as one who, while still in the flesh, all' eterno dal tempo era venuto, "had come from time to the eternal - i.e he had experienced the Spiritual Fires of Genius", or The Cosmic Order.
For, among the many things to which Dante is heir, he is heir to the troubadour tradition. The Vita Nova or New Life ends with:
"After this sonnet there appeared to me a wondrous vision, in which I saw things which made me resolve to speak no more of this blessed one,(Beatrice) until such time as I could treat of her more worthily. And, to come to that, I labour all I can, even as she knoweth verily. So that, if it shall be the pleasure of Him, through whom all things live, that my life continue for some years, I hope to say of her what was never said of any woman. And then may it please Him, who is the lord of courtesy, that my soul may go hence to see the glory of her lady, to wit, of that blessed Beatrice, who gloriously looketh upon the face of Him who is blessed through all ages."
This vision with which the Vita Nuova ends, is clearly no mere poetical phantasy, but "The Spiritual Fires of Genius", foreshadowing that greater vision which was to become the subject of the Divine Comedy.
Beatrice says to Dante:
"Thou shallt be with me without end a citizen of that Rome whereof Christ is a Roman - "The Spiritual Fire of Genius".
Having now entered into the heavenly state or The Spiritual Fires of Genius, Dante says:
"The glory of Him who moves everything penetrates through the universe and shines in one part more and in another less. In the heaven that receives most of its light I have been, and have seen things which he who descends from there above neither knows how nor is able to recount.
In the case of Dante, there is a strong subjective light. There is moral and intellectual elevation. His entry into the heavenly state is sudden taking place on a given day and time. He has a definite sense of immortality, and after this expereince has no sense of sin and shame or fear of death.
Plotinus tells us he had three periods of illumination at the time of writing his letter to Flaccus - that is by the time he was 56 yrs old.Porphyry tells that during their 6 year period of correspondence wheb Plotinus was between 59 and 64 years of age that Plotinus had four periods of illumination making a total of 7 as far as we know. Plotinus tells us what helps us to reach up to "Cosmic Consciousness".
"All that tends to purify and elevate the mind will assist you in this attainment, and facilitate the approach and the recurrence of these happy intervals. There are the, different roads by which this end may be reached. The love of beauty which exalts the poet; that devotion to the One and that ascent of science which makes the ambition of the philosopher, and that love and those prayers by which some devout and ardent soul tends in its moral purity towards perfection. These are the great highways conducting to that height above the actual and the particular, where we stand in the immediate presence of the Infinite, who shines out as from the deeps of the Soul."
Bucke tells us that considering his own description of his "happy intervals" and his philosophy that it is certain that Plotinus attained to "The Spiritual Fires of Genius" or to The "Cosmic Order".
William Wordsworth - on "That blessed mood "In which the burden of the mystery, In which the heavy and the weary weight Of all this unintelligible world, Is lightened - that serene and blessed mood In which the affections gently lead us on - Until, the breath of this corporeal frame And even the motion of our human blood Almost suspended, we are laid asleep In body, and becomes a living soul. While with an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, We see into the life of things." (from 'Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth, (1770 - 1850)
Like Dante, Shakespeare, and Whitman who did likewise for their own worlds: "Balzac proposed to himself to illustrate by a tale or a group of tales every phase of French life and manners during the first half of the nineteenth century. To colossaly and exhaustively complete - complete not only in the generals but in the particulars - to touch upon every salient point, to illuminate every typical feature, to reproduce every sentiment, every idea, every person, every place, every object, that has played a part, however minute, however obscure, in the life of the French people."
About the age of 32 Honore de Balazac would appear to have entered into "Cosmic Consciousness", since he wrote "Louis Lambert" during 1832, where so many of the characteristics of one who has entered into this awakened state of "The Spiritual Fires of Genius" are described.
"A desire," he (Louis Lambert) said, "is a fact complerely accomplished in our will before it is accomplished externally.Hence the sum-total of our Wishes and and our Ideas constitutes ACTION, and the sum-total of our external acts he called Reaction."
"In each of us there are two distinct beings. According to Swedenborg, the angel is an individual in whom the inner being conquers the external being. If a man desires to earn his call to be an angel, as soon as his mind reveals to him his twofold existence, he must strive to foster the delicate angelic essence that exists within him. If, for a lack of a lucid appreciation of his destiny, he allows bodily action to predominate, instead of confirming his intellectual being, all his powers will be absorbed in the use of his external senses, and the angel will slowly perish by the materialization of both natures. In the contrary case, if he nourishes his inner being with the food necessary to it, the soul triumphs over matter and strives to get free.
When they separate by the act of what we call death, the angel, strong enough then to cast off its wrappings, survives and begins its real life....In point of fact, the wide distance between a man whose torpid intelligence condemns him to evident stupidity, and one who, by the exercise of his inner life, has acquired the gift of some power, allows us to suppose that there is as great a difference between men of genius and other beings as there is between the blind and those who see. This hypothesis, since it extends creation beyond all limits, gives us as it were, the clue to heaven. The beings who, here on earth, are apparently mingled without distinction, are there distributed, according to their inner perfection, in distinct spheres whose speech and manners have nothing in common. In the invisible world, as in the real world, if some native of the lower spheres comes, all unworthy, into a higher sphere, not only can he never understand the customs and language there, but his mere presence paralyzes the voice and hearts of those who dwell therein." Turn Your Speakers Up!