The View from Above and the Vision of the Heart

Jason M. Baxter

…an act of gazing downward and taking in the whole of the cosmos (what William of Conches called “comprehensio”) results in a greater “burning” and a more joyful “heart”…

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The music created by the spheres, to which we have become deaf, can be regained through study or through music that imitates the same harmonic proportions which space out the heavenly bodies. The universe is a piece of visual music, whose proportions are evident, but only when viewed from above or recovered through study.

Original publication: The infinite beauty of the world: Dante’s encyclopedia and thenames of God. Oxford; New York: Peter Lang, 2020.