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Curiositas Amoris [77]


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Curiositas Amoris.translation
O Anima, quæ nunc tam pretiosum thesaurum
detexisti! quæ Deum in intimis cordis pene-
tralibus inuenisti, quæ sponsum tuum dilectissi-
mum in fundo animæ possides, omni naturali in-
uestigationi renuntia; operationes sensuum &
cognitionem rerum tum sensibilium tum intelli-
gibilium derelinque; & ignotè ad eius visionem
consurge, qui est super omnem substantiam &
cognitionem. translation

Quid tractare manu, quid cernere, virgo, requiris?
Quæque tenere manu, quæque videre nefas.
Sacra Dei reuerenter habe;quid fæderis arcam
Tangis? iô, cohibe stulta puella manus.
In multis nescire iuuat sciuisse nocebit,
Sæpe perire fuit, quod reperire vocant. translation

Quemadmodum omnium rerum, sic & scien-
tiæquoque intemperantiâ laboramus. Deus me-
lius scitur nesciendo, quæque illi occulta esse vo-
luit, minimè scrutanda sunt. absit ergo illicita ac
otiosa curiositas, sobrius intellectus in omnibus
aptior est, reficit quippe animam nec grauat
mentem. translation

Tegenda non detegenda. translation

Le curieus desir qui ton esprit incite,
Pour veoir ce q'uil ne doit; trouuant en sera quite.

Mich. Snyders excudit.

Curiositéde l'Amour.
Ainsy veoit on souuent, que le bien qu' on possede,
Par vn desir trop vain se perdant sans remede,
Instruit l'ame à ses frais, l'apprend à ses despens;
Si nous ne croyons pas, ce que la foy asseure
D'autant qu' on ne le veoit, n'est ce pas à mesme heure
Faire mourir la foy, pour animer les sens?

De los misterios de amor,
Quien apelare al sentido,
Perdera lo posseïdo,

Siende naer den verborghen schat/
Verloos ick al dat ick besat.

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Curiosity of love.1
O soul, that has now uncovered a treasure so precious! That has found God in the deepest recesses of the heart, that possesses your most beloved future husband in the depth of the soul, renounce all investigation of nature. Take leave of the operations of the senses and cognition of matters both sensible and intelligible. And rise up unknowingly to the vision of Him, who is above all substance and cognition.
What do you wish touch with your hand, what to see, maiden?
What is forbidden to hold in the hand and to see.
Hold God's sacred matters in reverence. Why do you
touch the Arc of the Covenant? Dear me, girl, watch you hand.
In many cases it is fine not to know, to have sought knowledge will harm.
Often what they call "to go into" means "to go down".2
As with all things we labour under the intemperance of knowledge. God is known better by not knowing, and what He wanted to be hidden about Him is not to be scrutinised in the least degree. Let therefore illicit and superfluous curiosity be absent; in everything sober understanding is more fitting, for it refreshes the soul and does not weigh down the mind.
What has to remain covered is not to be uncovered.

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    Sources and parallels

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    The soul opens a box, releasing a dove; sacred love admonishes her

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    Curiositas, Curiosity (in this sense a translation of the Neoplatonic polypragmosunê) has a strong religious or philosophico-religious connotation. It happens when "a mortal thinks immortal things" (Sophocles), seeks to know things that should not be known. It is deemed sacrilegious, and in ancient Greek thought a form of hybris.
    'Often what they call "to go into" means "to go down"': the play with 'perire' and 'reperire', 'to perish' and 'to find (out)', is practically untranslatable.