bacon: instauratio magna

” for we are not to imagine or suppose, but to discover, what nature does or may be able to do.”  Francis bacon’s gist for condensation is so remarkable that it is easy , almost four centuries later, in a different intellectual climate, to overlook the significance of his words. His remark lies at the root of the modern scientific method. Distilled into one brief phrase, it is the very essence of science as we know it today. The course of philosophy circa. 1620 ventured past the old pillars of Hercules, the limits of the old Aristotelian world, and into the bold, tough minded new age of science…

Other men of Sir Francis Bacon’s period were beginning to grope with the tools of science. Only he, however, would clearly perceive its role and the changes and dangers it would introduce into the life of people. In the years left to him, and particularly after his fall from office in 1621, a flood of works poured from his pen. It was almost as if he foresaw that this would be his last chance to speak “to the next ages.”

Read More: title page of Sir Francis Bacon’s Instauratio Magna (Great Instauration, 1620) bears one of the most famous and most often reproduced representations of scientific discovery of the Renaissance—a period fascinated by novelty and the discovery of whatever was new. The image depicts a ship traversing the Pillars of Hercules, which were thought to lie at the strait of Gibraltar and believed to mark the end of the known world. A second ship, off in the distance, sails toward the undiscovered lands of the New World.------Beneath the image is inscribed a biblical passage from Daniel: “Many will pass through, and their knowledge will become ever greater.” The picture implies that learning comes only from taking chances; but for those daring enough to pass through the metaphorical Pillars of Hercules and brave the treacherous waters of the unknown Atlantic, the rewards would be great. The image evokes the confident aspirations of those who promoted the advancement of scientific learning in the Renaissance.---

There is no doubt that his concentration upon philosophy contributed to his political downfall. It closed his ears to signs of public danger; it closed his eyes to the machinations of his enemies. His single minded devotion to duty, his curious ebullience of temperament, would make him the easy victim of a political ambush. Nevertheless, the forces that brought about Bacon’s fall might well have achieved their purpose even against a more unscrupulous and cunning man. The times were running against the King, and Bacon was expendable. In a weird way he would be trapped in a portion of his own political philosophy.

Image: Read More:'s secret society membership was not limited to England; it was most powerful in Germany, in France, and in the Netherlands, and most of the leaders of European thought were involved in the vast pattern of his purpose. The mystic empire of the wise had no national boundaries and its citizenry was made up of men of good purpose in every land. The Alchemists, Cabalists, Mystics, and Rosicrucians were the incisive instruments of Bacon's plan. Representatives of these groups migrated to the colonies at an early date and set up their organization in suitable places. "Francis Bacon modelled his life's work, The Great Instauration, on the Bible. The 6 Parts of the Instauration are structured exactly on the pattern of the 6 Days of Creation described in the Book of Genesis. This 6-fold norm is central to other parts of Bacon's philosophy." -- J. North, 2009---

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