Source:

Textes inédits tome 1
Gaston Grua (ed)
p 147



Date: 1694 - 1697?

Translated from the Latin



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LEIBNIZ: ON REASON AND DIVINATION


[Gr p147]

     Man transcends beast as genii transcend man. And just as beasts' instinct sometimes imitates men's reason, so men's instinct (which is not seldom prophetic) sometimes imitates the divinatory power of genii. Therefore we have three degrees of substance, and in those we have presentiment:

  Beast
Instinct
Man
Reason
Genie
Divination

For neither should it be doubtful that intelligences are so superior to man that they perceive by some kind of external sense, and so to speak they sniff out those things which we hardly and not even hardly acquire by a long chain of reasonings. And this is what mystics sometimes want to uncover in that very silence of reason, a sort of divine power in us. For even if reason never ceases in us, nevertheless the exercise of reason is sometimes free from the appetite, and so to speak from the care of its special nature, just as in dreams when, free from affections, we sometimes see things that are indifferent to us, as it were, and located far below us.


© Lloyd Strickland 2005
With gratitude to John Thorley for advice and suggestions