Marsilio Ficino’s prescription for Nerds and Scholars

“The Spirits of the studious is especially likely to need care, because their constant use of it in thinking and imagining consumes it. It has to be replaced from the subtler part of the blood, and this renders the remaining blood dense, dry and black. In consequence such persons are always of a melancholy temperament. The Spirits which derive from the  humour melancholy (black bile) are exceptionally fine, hot, agile and combustible, like brandy. They are, therefore, liable to ignite and produce a temporary state of mania or exaltation, followed by extreme depression and lethargy, caused by the black smoke left after the fire. If, however, melancholy is properly tempered with a little phlegm and bile, and a lot of blood, then the Spirit will glow, not burn… we shall see the importance for scholars of attracting the influence of the benign planets: the Sun, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury. Marsilio Ficino, translated by D. P. Walker, Spiritual & Demonic Magic – from Ficino to Campanella (aka Tommaso Campanella) 2003, pg. 4-5

Remember the Four Humours and Four Biles based on Aristotle; (AIR-blood-sanguine, EARTH- black bile-melancholic, FIRE  – yellow bile-choleric, and WATER- phlegm-phlegmatic) as perfected by Galen the ancient physician, so to counteract the crash after an exciting burn, the Scholar should take time to balance out the inner temperament by inviting in other aspects of their Life, to take a break, and remember the outside world is as real as the inner reality. The crash is NOT A BUG, it is a Feature of the Nerdy Life, designed to disconnect inner and reconnect outer perceptions so the body is well called for, material pay is earned, take time to Love, and be an Agent of Change, then contemplate the effect, revise, and Change Again.

Recommend gardening, or taking a dog for a walk, or playing with a kitten or baby to reconnect to Life, as circumstances permit.


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