Giovanni Pico della Mirandola Quotes

To [man] it is granted to have whatever he chooses, to be whatever he wills.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)
Spiritual beings, either from the beginning or soon thereafter, become what they are to be for ever and ever.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)
If you see a philosopher determining all things by means of right reason, him you shall reverence: he is a heavenly being and not of this earth.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)
God the Father, the supreme Architect, had already built this cosmic home we behold, the most sacred temple of His godhead, by the laws of His mysterious wisdom.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)
But, when the work was finished, the Craftsman kept wishing that there were someone to ponder the plan of so great a work, to love its beauty, and to wonder at its vastness.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)
Thus we have reached the point, it is painful to recognize, where the only persons accounted wise are those who can reduce the pursuit of wisdom to a profitable traffic.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)
Man's place in the universe is somewhere between the beasts and the angels, but, because of the divine image planted in him, there are no limits to what man can accomplish....
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)
In natural magic nothing is more efficacious than the Hymns of Orpheus, if there be applied to them a suitable music, and disposition of soul, and the other circumstances known to the wise.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Apologia)
Philosophy has taught me to rely on my own convictions rather than on the judgements of others and to concern myself less with whether I am well thought of than whether what I do or say is evil.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)
And if, happy in the lot of no created thing, he withdraws into the center of his own unity, his spirit, made one with God, in the solitary darkness of God, who is set above all things, shall surpass them all
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)
Divine Providence ... caused certain books to fall into my hands. They are Chaldean books ... of Esdras, of Zoroaster and of Melchior, oracles of the magi, which contain a brief and dry interpretation of Chaldean philosophy, but full of mystery
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Letter to Marsilius Ficino)
Human vocation is a mystical vocation that has to be realized following a three stage way, which comprehends necessarily moral transformation, intellectual research and final perfection in the identity with the absolute reality. This paradigm is universal, because it can be retraced in every tradition.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)
We have set thee at the world’s center that thou mayest from thence more easily observe whatever is in the world. We have made thee neither of heaven nor of earth, neither mortal nor immortal, so that with freedom of choice and with honor, as though the maker and molder of thyself, thou mayest fashion thyself in whatever shape thou shalt prefer. Thou shalt have the power to degenerate into the lower forms of life, which are brutish. Thou shalt have the power, out of thy soul’s judgment, to be reborn into the higher forms, which are divine.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Oration on the Dignity of Man, 1486)

Quotes about Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

The third crucial innovator next to Plethon and Ficino was Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–94). An intellectual prodigy, he created sensation in 1486 by inviting intellectuals from all over Europe to engage with him in public debate, presided over by the pope, about no less than 900 theses written by him. The theses reflected Pico’s wide-ranging familiarity with all the major traditions of learned speculation in philosophy, theology and science, including the ‘ancient wisdom’ and, most innovatingly, the Jewish kabbalah. But nothing ever came of the project. To Pico’s alarm and disappointment, Pope Innocent VIII responded by censoring 13 theses and eventually condemning all of them, with special emphasis on those ‘renovating the errors of pagan philosophers’ and those ‘cherishing the deceits of the Jews’. Pico’s ambition had been to demonstrate that all the conflicts between the different philosophical and theological schools, including the systems of Platonism and Aristotelianism, could be resolved in a grand harmony of universal wisdom and truth. His project culminated in the sensational claim that all the fundamental truths of Christianity were already contained not only in the various traditions of the pagan nations but, most surprisingly and controversially, in the secret tradition of kabbalah that God had revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai. As a result, the true Christian tradition would rule supreme: not only would the pagan sages be seen as bowing down symbolically before the truth of the gospel, but the Jews would have to convert quite literally, as it dawned on them that Jesus had been the true secret of their own ancient traditions all along. Pico’s grand debate never took place, and even his famous opening speech, later known as the ‘Oratio on the dignity of man’, was never published during his lifetime. With prominent references to the Hermetic literature and emphasizing man’s unique freedom to choose his own destiny, it has been hailed as an ultimate statement of the Renaissance mentality.
Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed - Chapter 2, 2013)

Relevant Pages

Western Esotericism



Giovanni Pico della Mirandola Biography

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola portrait

Born: 1463
Died: 1494

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola was a Italian Renaissance nobleman and philosopher. He is best known for a series of events in late 15th century, wherein he defended a number of theses on spirituality and natural philosophy.

Notable Works

Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486)
De animae immortalitate (Late 15th Century)

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