The Magnetic Gaze

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The Magnetic Gaze

Giordano Bruno (1548–1600)

“Fascination is actualized by a lucid and subtle virtue which the heat of the heart gives birth to as one equipped with a purer blood. This heat is emanated in the form of rays which, emitted by open eyes fixing their gaze with strong imaginative power, ultimately produce a wound in the object of their look, touch the heart, and succeed in afflicting the other person’s heart and spirit, either with love or hatred, with envy, melancholia, or some other kindred emotional  force. Feeling the attraction of love is a phenomenon which takes place when two people frequently eye one another through a direct, intense look. In that case, visual rays, mutually radiating, meet one another, and light is wedded to light. It is at that point that spirits are conjoined together, and that the superior light, by indoctrinating the lower one, shimmers through the eyes, and races to penetrate into the inner spirit, the one that is rooted in the heart; it is in that  fashion that an amorous conflagration is stirred into being.  If, however, you do not want to fall into the spell of fascination, you must be extremely cautious, and guard your eyes specifically, as the eyes are largely the only windows of the soul when it comes to love. That is the reason behind the famous saying: “Averte, averte oculos tuos!” Let this instruction suffice for now!”


On the Composition Of Images, Signs & Ideas
by Giordano Bruno
Translated by Charles Doria (1991)

“There is another light, invisible in itself, and diffused throughout the cosmos and seeded everywhere.
With that light which is some sort of spiritual substance, with no sun or fire providing light, no object
from without instructing our sense’s faculty, soul was given, not just ours, but a universal one spreading
itself through the immense cosmos. This, I say, is the light which visibly pours forth over the species of
absent invisible things, and is that light by which, while we sleep, we see and learn about the species of
sensible things.”




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