Of the proportion measure and Harmony of mans body

Seeing man is the most beautifull and perfectest work of God, and his Image, and also the lesser world; therefore he by a more perfect composition, and sweet Harmony, and more sublime dignity doth contain and maintain in himself all numbers, measures, weights, motions, Elements, and all other things which are of his composition; and in him as it were in the supreme workmanship, all things obtain a certain high condition, beyond the ordinary consonancy which they have in other compounds. From hence all the Ancients in time past did number by their fingers, and shewed all numbers by them; and they seem to prove that from the very joynts of mans body all numbers measures, proportions, and Harmonies were invented; Hence according to this measure of the body, they framed, and contrived their temples, pallaces [palaces], houses, Theaters; also their ships, engins [engines], and every kind of Artifice, and every part and member of their edifices, and buildings, as columnes, chapiters of pillars, bases, buttresses, feet of pillars, and all of this kind. Moreover God himself taught Noah to build the Arke according to the measure of mans body, and he made the whole fabrick of the world proportionable to mans body; from whence it is called the great world [macrocosm], mans body the less [microcosm]; Therefore some who have written of the Microcosme or of man, measure the body by six feet, a foot by ten degrees, every degree by five minutes; from hence are numbred sixty degrees, which make three hundred minutes, to the which are compared so many Geometrical cubits, by which Moses describes the Arke; for as the body of man is in length three hundred minutes, in breath fifty, in hight thirty; so the length of the Arke was three hundred cubits, the breadth fifty, and the height thirty; that the proportion of the length to the breadth be six fold, to the heighth ten fold, and the proportion of the breadth to the height about two thirds. In like manner the measures of all the members are proportionate, and consonant both to the parts of the world, and measures of the Archetype, and so agreeing, that there is no member in man which hath not correspondence with some sign, Star, intelligence, divine name, sometimes in God himself the Archetype. But the whole measure of the body may be turned, and proceeding from roundness, is knowen to tend to it again.

Also the four square measure is the most proportionated body; for, if a man be placed upright with his feet together, and his arms stretched forth, he will make a quadrature equilateral, whose center s in the botom [bottom] of his belly.

But if on the same center a circle be made by the crown of the head, the arms being let fall so far till the end of the fingers tough the circumference of that circle, and the feet spread abroad in the same circumference, as much as the fingers ends are distant from the top of the head; Then they divide that circle, which was drawn from the center of the lower belly, into five equale parts, and do constiturte a perfect Pentagon; and the Heels of the feet, having reference to the navile [navel], make a triangle of equal sides.

But if the Heels being unmoved, the feet be stretched forth on both sides to the right and left, and the hands lifted up to the line of the head, them the ends of the fingers and Toes do make a square of equall sides, whose center is on the navile [navel], in the girdling of the body.

But if the hands be thus elevat4ed, and the feet and Thighes extended in this manner, by the which a man is made shorter by the fourteenth part of his upright stature, then the distance of his feet heving reference to the lower bellu, they will make an equilaterall Triangle; and the center being placed in his navile [navel], a circle being brought about, will touch the ends of the fingers and toes.

But if the hands be lifted up as high as can be, above the head, then the elbow will be equal to the crown of the head, and if then the feet being put together, a man stand thus, he may be put into an equilaterall square brought by the extremities of the hands and feet; the center of this square is the navel, which is the middle betwixt the top of the head and the knees.

Now let us proceed to particular measures. The compass of a man under the armpits contains the middle of his length, whose middle is the bottom of his breast: and from thence upward to the middle of his breast betwixt both dugges, and from the middle of his breast unto the crown of his head, on every side the fourth part; also from the bottom of his breast to the bottom of the knees, and from thence to the bottom of the ankles the fourth part of man. The same is the latitude of his shoulder-blades, from one extream [extreme] to the other: The same is the length from the elbow to the end of the longest finger, and therfore this is called a cubit. Hence four cubits make the length of man, and one cubit the bredth which is in the shoulder-blades, but that which is in the compass, one foot; now six hand-bredths make a cubit, four a foot, and four fingers bredths make a hand-bredth, and the whole length of man is twenty four hand bredths, of six foot, of ninty six fingers bredths. From the bottom of his breast to the top of his breast, is the sixth part of his length, from the top of his breast to the top of his forehead, and lowermost root of his hairs, the seventh part of his length; of a strong, and well set body, a foot is the sixth part of the length, but of a tall the seventh. Neither can (as Varro, and Gellius testifie) the tallness of mans body exceed seven feet. Lastly, the Diameter of his compass is the same measure as is from the hand, being shut unto the inward bending of the elbow, and as that which is from the breast to both dugs, upward to the upward lip, or downward to the navel; and as that which is from the ends of the bones of the uppermost part of the breast compassing the gullet; and as that which is from the sole of the foot to the end of the calf of the legg, and from thence to the middle whirle bone of the knee. All these measures are co-equall, and make the seventh part of the whole height. The head of a man from the bottom of the chin to the crown of his head is the eighth part of his length, as also from the elbow to the end of the shoulder-blade; So great is the Diameter of the compass of a tall man. The compass of the head drawn by the top of the forehead, and the bottom of the hinder part of the head, make the fift part of his whole length; So much also doth the bredth of the breast. Nine face-bredths make a square well set man, and ten a tall man. The length of man therefore being divided into nine parts, the face from the top of the forehead to the bottome of the chin is one; then from the bottom of the throat, or the top of the breast unto the top of the stomack [stomach] is another; from thence to the navell is a third; from thence to the bottom of the thigh, a fourth; from thence the hipp, to the top of the calf of the leg, makes two; from thence to the joynt of the foot the leggs make two more; all which are eight parts. Moreover the space from the top pf the forehead to the crown of the head & that which is from the chin to the top of the breast, and that which is from the joynt of the foot to the sole of the foot, I say these three spaces joyned together make the ninth part. In bredth the breast hath two parts, and both Arms seven. But that body which ten face bredths make, is the most exactly proportioned. Therefore the first part of this is from the crown of the head to the bottome of the nose; from thence to the top of the breast, the second; and then to the top of the stomack [stomach] the third; and from thence to the navel, the fourth; from thence to the privy members [genitals], the fifth; where is the middle of the length of man, from whence to the soles of his feet are five other parts, which being joyned to the former, make ten whole, by which every body is measured by a most proportioned measure. For the face of a man from the bottom of his chin, to the top of his foreheadm and bottom of the hair is the tenth part. The hand of a man from the shutting, to the end of the longest finger is also one part; also betwixt the middle of both dugs is one part and from both to the top of the gullet is an equilaterall triangle. The latitude of the lower part of the forehead from one eare to the other is another part; the latitude of the whole breast, viz. from the top of the breast to the joynts of the shoulder-blades, is on both sides one part, which make two. The compass of the head cross-wise from the distance of the eye-brows by the top of the forehead unto the bottom of the hinder part of the head, where the hair ends, hath also two parts; from the shoulders on the outside unto the coupling together of the joynts of the hand, and on the inside from the arm-pits unto the beginning of the palm of the hand, and of the fingers, are three parts. The compass of the head by the middle of the forehead hath three parts; the compass of the girdling place hath four parts in a well set man, but in a thin body three parts and a half, or as much as is from the top of the breast to the bottom of the belly. The compass of the breast by the arm-pit to the back hath five parts, viz. as much as half the whole length. From the crown of the head, to the knurles of the gullet is the thirteenth part of the whole altitude. The arms being stretched upward, the elbow is even to the crown of the head. But now, let us see how equal the other commensurations are to one the other. As much as the distance is from the chin to the top of the breast, so great is the latitude of the mouth; as much as is the distance betwixt the top of the breast, to the navell, so great is the compass of the mouth; as much as the distance is from the chin to the crown of the head, so great is the latitude of the girdling place; as is the distance from the top of the nose to the bottom, such is the distance betwixt the chin, and the throat. Also the cavity of the eyes from the place betwixt the eye-brows unto the inward corners, and the extension of the bottom of the nose, and the distance from the bottom of the nose to the end of the upper lip; I say these three are equals amongst themselves; and as much as from the top of the nail of the forefinger to the lowermost joynt thereof.

And from thence where the hand is joyned to the arm on the outside, and in the inside from the top of the naile of the middle finger unto the lowermost joynt, and from thence to the shutting of the hand; I say all these parts are equall amongst themselves. The greater joynt [joint] of the forefinger equals the height of the forehead; the other two to the top of the naile equall the nose, from the top to the bottom; the first and the greater joynt [joint] of the middle finger equals that space which is betwixt the end of the nose to the end of the chin; and the second joynt of the middle finger is as much as the distance from the bottom of the chin to the top of the lower lip; but the third as from the mouth to the end of the nose, but the whole hand as much as the whole face. The greater joynt of the thumb is as much as the widness [width] of the mouth, and as the distance betwixt the bottom of the chin, and the top of the lower lip; but the lesser joynt is as much as the distance betwixt the top of the lower and the end of the nose; the nailes are half as much as those joynts which they call the naile joynts. The distance betwixt the middle of the eye brows to the outward corners of the eyes is as much as betwixt those corners and the ears. The hight of the forehead, the length of the nose, and the widness of the mouth are equall. Also the bredth of the hand, and foot are the same. The distance betwixt the lower part of the ankle to the top of the foot is the same as that betwixt the top of of the foot and the end of the nailes. The distance from the top of the forehead to the place betwixt the eyes, and from that to the end of the nose, and from thence to the end of the chin is the same. The eye-brows joyned together are as much as the circle of the eyes, and the half circle of the ears equals the widness of the mouth: Whence the circles of the eyes, ears, and mouth opened are equall. The bredth of the nose is as much as the length of the eye; Hence the eyes have two parts of that space which is betwixt both extremities of the eyes; a third part the nose that is betwixt takes up. From the crown of the head to the knees the navel is the middle; from the top of the breast to the end of the nose the knurle of the throat makes the middle; from the crown of the head to the bottom of the chin, the eyes are the middle; from the space betwixt the eyes to the bottom of the chin, the end of the nose is the middle: from the end of the nose to the bottom of the chin, the end of the lower lip is the middle; a third part of the same distance is the upper lip. Moreover all these measures are through manifold proportions, and harmoniacall contents consonant one to the other; for the thumb is to the wrest in a circular Measure in a double proportion and half; For it contains it twice and a half as five is to two; But the proportion of the same to the brawn of the Arm neer the shoulder is triple; The greatnesse of the leg is to that of the Arm, a proportion half so much again as of three to two; And the same proportion is of the neck to the leg, as of that to the Arm. The proportion of the thigh is triple to the Arm; The proportion of the whole Body to the Trunk, is eigth and a half; From the Trunk or Brest to the legs, and from thence to the soles of the Feet, a Third and a half; From the neck to the navell, and to the end of the trunk a Double. The latitude of them to the latitude of the thigh, is half so much again; of the head to the neck triple, of the head to the knee triple, the same to the leg. The length of the forehead betwixt the temples is fourfold to the height thereof; These are those measures which are everywhere found; by which the members of mans body according to the length, bredth, height, and circumference thereof agree amongst themselves, and also with the Celestials themselves: all which measures are divided by manifold proportions either upon them that divide, or are mixed, from whence there results a manifold Harmony. For a double proportion makes thrice a Diapason; four times double, twice a Diapason, and Diapente. After the same manner are Elements, qualities, complexions, and humors proportioned. For these weights of humors and complexions are assigned to a sound and well composed man, viz. the eight weights of blood, of flegm [phlegm] four, of choler two, of melancholy one, that on both sides there be by order a double proportion; but of the first to the third, and of the second to the fourth, a four times double proportion; but of the first to the last an eightfold. Dioscorides saith, that the heart or a man in the first yeer hath the weight of two Dram, in the second four, and so proportionably in the fiftyeth yeer to have the weight of a hundred Drams, from which time the decreases are again reckoned to an equilibrium, which, the course being ended, may return to the same limit, and not exceed the space of life by the decay of that member: by which account of a hundred years, he circumscribed the life of man. And this saith Pliny was the heresie of the Egyptians. The motions also of the members of mens bodies answer to the Celestial motions, and every man hath in himself the motion of his heart, which answers to the motion of the Sun, and being diffused through the Arteries into the whole body, signifies to us by a most sure rule, years, moneths, dayes, hours, and minutes. Moreover, there is a certain Nerve found by the Anatomists about the nod of the neck, which being touched doth so move all the members of the body, that every one of them move according to its proper motion; by which like touch Aristotle thinks the members of the world are moved by God. And there are two veines in the neck, which being held hard presently the mans strength failes, and his senses are taken away untill they be loosened. Therefore the eternal Maker of the world when he was to put the soul into the body, as into its habitation, first made a fit lodging worthy to receive it, and endows the most excellent soul with a most beautiful body, which then the soul knowing its own divinity, frames and adorns for its own habitation. Hence the people of Ethiopia [Ethiopia], which were governed by the wisdom of Gymnosophists, as Aristotle witnesseth, did make them Kings, not of those which were most strong, and wealthy, but those onely which were most proper and beautiful; for they conceived that the gallantry of the minde did depend upon the excellencie of the body. Which many Philosophers, as well ancient as modern, considering, such as searched into the secrets of causes hid in the very Majesty of Nature, were bold to assert, that there was no fault of, and no disproportion of the body, which the vice and intemperance of the minde did not follow, because it is certain that they do increase, thrive, and operate by the help one of the other.

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