spirit of the sorcerer---reaches right into the heart of
the bewitched. The instrument of fascination is the
spirit, i.e. a certain pure, clear, fine vapor created from
the purer blood by the heat of the heart, which continually
sends rays that are similar to itself through the eyes.
These projected rays carry the spiritual vapor in
them. . .Thus the open and animated eye, when fixed
on someone, shoots its piercing rays, which are the
conductors of the spirit, into the eyes of the facing
person; and the spirit impelled by the will of the sorcerer
strikes the eyes of the subject, enters them, takes possession
of his heart and infects that bewitched person with an
alien spirit. . .So the most passionate love is kindled solely
by the rays of the eyes; quite often by no more than a quick
glance which pierces the whole body like an arrow.
And when, in the part we have omitted, we read of "steady eye
contact," it is obvious that what is being described is some form
of hypnosis. Incidentally, it appears from the text that Agrippa
adopts the opinion of ARISTOTLE that sight is produced by light
emanations from the eyes.
The power of the melancholic disposition is said to be so
great that heavenly spirits are sometimes attracted into the
human body by it. . .and this is believed to happen in three
different ways: by imagination, understanding, and reason. . . .
If the soul is driven by the melancholy humor, the restraints
of the body and its members being shaken off and everything passing
into the imagination, it immediately becomes the dwelling place of
demons of the lower rank, which often confer on it a wonderful facility
in arts of every kind. Thus we see the most uneducated person suddenly
becoming a splendid painter or architect or a master in some other art
. . . .But if the soul is converted quite into understanding, it becomes
the dwelling place of middle-ranking entities and obtains knowledge and
understanding of natural and human things. And so the individual speedily
becomes an eminent philosopher, physician or public speaker. . . . Lastly,
if the soul completely elevates itself to pure reason (to the understanding,
to divine thoughts), it becomes the dwelling place of higher spirits and
learns divine secrets from them, a comprehension of the moral and the divine.