Wednesday, May 25, 2005

ILLUSTRIOUS DEATH Reflections of Bruno as explored by Guiliana Conforto

Bruno was aware that death doesn't exist. He was convinced of his own and human immortality, and showed it in his writings and by his example, even though, despite his exceptional powers of perception, he sometimes wavered and did not hide his very human fear of pain and death. In the end, however, he was unwavering in the face of his own destiny. When he was sentenced, he said to the judges: "maybe you are more afraid of pronouncing your sentence than I am of receiving it". Bruno faced his death courageously despite the fact he was fond of Life and had tried to retract his statements in order to avoid it. Finally, after many years in that terrible jail, he was once again given the opportunity of retracting all his words; if he had, he would have been "forgiven" by "mother" church, and stayed alive. For many days he went without eating, listening to his inner voiceÂ… ILLUSTRIOUS DEATH Whenever I spread my wings out towards God I feel the air beneath my feet more keenly I offer my swift wings to the wind and, Contemptuous of the world, fly towards the heavens. I do not bend downward at the thought of Dedalus' sad end - but soar even higher I am conscious that I will fall down to earth, dead. But which life is equal to my dying? In the air, I hear the voice of my heart: Where are you leading me, oh rash one? Bow your head As so much challenge is rare without pain. Fear not high ruin, I answer Cleave straight through the clouds And die content If such an illustrious death is destined for you. (From Giordano Bruno's "The Heroic Furies", 1585) C