Here we have the first issue in the ‘VisionCon 2004 Special Edition Series’. As with other texts in the series, it is a spiritual alchemical text, poetically written and with a heavy alchemical symbolism.
Written in 1508, published far after his death, this is Trithemius well-known astrological history-lesson in the translation of William Lilly (1647). Trithemius starts at the year 0 and writes all the way to the year 6732. Trithemius says what angel rules over which period of 354 years and 4 months and this what is the nature of that period.
FBN also seems to have the (more interesting) Steganographia of Trithemius in three parts, but I don’t know if that is an English translation or not. I need to get it anyway, even though I have the Latin version already.
This booklet caused me to find the FBN Ebay page. There are very luxery editions of this text, but here we have one of only $ 5,-. The “Arbathel” (in the Hebrew letters on the cover) “of the magic of the ancients”, “the greatest studie of wisdom” is of course a well-known late Medieval magical text. Here we have the 1655 Robert Turner translation who also wrote an introduction. In 7×7 aphorisms you get a theoretical lesson in Medieval magic with a thick Christian sauce.
The chapbooks have different series. There are folk stories & fairytales (series “F”), literature of the 19th century (series “19-L”) and this book by the French early scientist and philosopher Descartes (1596-1650) is part of the 17th century science & technology series. This is the discourse in which Descartes came to his famous saying “cogito ergo sum”, “I think, therefor I am”. I am not too well read in philosophy, but I of course knew about Descartes and his famous line. It has always been quite clear to me what it meant, but reading this discourse, I truely can’t follow the man himself. Descartes starts with saying what he studied and learned. Then he goes on saying that he believes that everything you can reason (including ancient texts) about can’t be the thruth, but because one can reason, one excists. I miss something there. The second half of the book is filled with the notion that investigating should be done with the senses and then I’m totally lost. Not because I can’t follow, but the lenghty blabla that soon makes me drop out off by lack of interest. Nope, this very philosophical writing is not my thing. But for those who like this kind of literature better, here is an English translation of Descartes’ most famous text available for only $ 5,- in a nicely printed A5 booklet.