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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Albertus Magnus

(c. 1200-1280). A very influential philosopher, theologian and scientist of the 13th century. He was born at Lauingen in Swabia. He joined the Dominican order at Padua in 1223. Albertus graduated doctor in the theological faculty at the University of Paris. He was canonized as recently as 1931.

Helena P. BLAVATSKY considered him to be an outstanding Hermetic philosopher and magician.

Albertus is of some interest to students of Rāja Yoga, since his approach to meditation is quite similar, as the following precis of part of his De Adhaerendo Deo (On Cleaving to God) reveals:

Let us agree that God is a spirit and should be worshiped spirit to spirit. If this is to be then the mind must be made clear of all images and must turn away from the senses. The mind thus freed from distractions is in a certain sense, transformed into God. The person who is turned entirely inwards and has penetrated into the essential self will have transcended himself or herself — will ascend to God. It is through darkness of mind that we reach the uncreated light. To find union with God we must detach ourselves from the world, and then strip from our idea of God, first physical attributes, then intellectual qualities, and above all the very idea of being, for that would place Him among created beings.

Albertus was the teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas and, unusual for the time, it seems that his scientific claims were based on observation, not theology.

P.S.H.

 

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