Pedro Góis Nogueira
4 min readSep 8, 2021

Nothing great can be possessed by us on earth, unless we men, for whose benefit all earthly things were created, possess ourselves; man can be taken by no other bait whatsoever than their own nature.

The cosmos is itself an animal more unified than any other animal, the most perfect animal, provided that is an animal. Therefore, just as in us the quality and motion of any member, in particular a principal member, extend to our other members, so in the cosmos the acts of the principal members moves all the rest, and the inferior members easily receive from the highest, which are ready of their own accord to give. For the more powerful the cause, the more ready it is to act and therefore the more inclined to give.

There are two kinds of people who are unfortunate beyond the rest: those who, having professed nothing, do nothing at all; others who subject themselves to a profession unsuited to their natural bent, contrary to their Genious. The do-nothings vegetate lazily when all the time the ever-moving heavens are continually inciting them to activity. The misfits, while they do things unsuited to their celestial patrons, labor in vain, and their superna patrons desert them. The first sort confirms the ancient proverb; ‘The gods help those who are doing something; they are hostile to the lazy’, the second confirms another ancient proverb: ‘Do nothing with Minerva unwilling’.

Remember to flee away from the unbridled, the impudent, the malicious, and the unlucky. For these, being full of bad daemons or rays, are maleficient, and like lepers and people stricken with the plague, they harm not only by touch but even by proximity or sight. Indeed, mere proximity of animate bodies is thought to constitute contact on account of the powerful exhalation of vapors emanating outward from bodily heat from spirit, and from emotions. But most pestilent of all will be the company of the profligate and the cruel.

Prepare yourself daily for receiving the light of the Sun so that you live in the light as continually as possible without sweating and dehidratation, or at least in sight of the light, both at a distance and near, both covered and open to the sky, everywhere tempering the vital power of the Sun to your use, and in the night recalling the Sun by fire, meanwhile not forgetting the lute and song. Whether waking or sleeping, always breathe living air, air living with light.

Since stillness, as the first principle and end of movement is the most perfect of all movements, God, beginning and regulator of everything, cannot himself be in movement.

The first principle of the universe operates everything always, everywhere and in everything.

As long as the intellect is only potentially prepared to know, it is not yet united with the object potentially to be known; but when it is actually knowing, it is united with it… since the form of that object is inherent in the mind… Thus the knowing mind and the thing known become one, since the form of that thing, as such, molds the mind.

Just as the foods we eat in the right way, altough not themselves alive, are converted through our spirit to the form of our life, so also our bodies rightly accomodated to the body and spirit of the world (that is, through cosmic things and through our spirit) drink in as much as possible from the life of the world.

You will bend your efforts to insinuate into yourself this spirit of the world above all, for by this an intermediary you will gain certain natural benefits not only from the world body but from its soul, and even from the stars and daemons. For this spirit is an intermediary between the gross body of the world and its soul; and the stars and daemons exist in it and by means of it.

Celestial figures by their own motion dispose themselves for acting, for by their harmonious rays and motions penetrating everything, they daily influence our spirit secretly just as overpowering music generally does openly.

As Plato teaches, echoing Timaes the Pythagorean, the world has been produced by the Good itself the best it could possibly have been. It is therefore not only corporeal but participating in life and intelligence as well. Accordingly, besides this body of the world, manifest habitually to our senses, a body that is spirit hides within it which escapes the capacity of our weak senses. In this Spirit flourishes a soul; and in this soul shines an intelligence. And just as in this sublunary realm air is not mixed with earth except through water, nor fire with water except through air, so in the universe a sort of bait or kindling for linking soul to body is that very thing which we call spirit. Soul too is a sort of kindling in both the spirit and the body of the world so that they can attain to a divinely given intellect just as extreme dryness in wood prepares it to be penetrated by oil.

Everywhere Nature is a sorceress.

The intelible light is in the incorporeal world above us, that is, extremely pure intellect. However, the sensible light is in the corporeal world, that is, the solar light itself. But light in the first stage, was established simply to shine within and illuminate without.

According to the Platonists there are three principles: the good itself, the divine intellect and the world-soul. Only light clearly contains all of them in itself.



Pedro Góis Nogueira

Poems, short stories, essays and aphorisms | Lisbon, Portugal, 1974