"To attain the highest.”

“A sacred pride should grip us of not being satisfied with the mediocre but to strive (for we can do it, if we want to) with the exertion of all our strength to attain the highest. Let us scorn what is of this earth, let us ignore what is of heaven, let us leave absolutely everything worldly behind us in order to hasten to the abode out of this world, in the proximity of the sublime deity. We do not need to think of stepping back. Of being satisfied with second rank, let us strive for dignity and glory. To attain the highest.” (Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola, "Oration on the Dignity of Man")

24 February 1463: Today, 550 years ago, Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola was born near Modena in in the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy.

Cristofano dell'Altissimo (1525 – 1605): Posthumous portrait of Pico della Mirandola

The early ripened philosopher formulated his iconic "Oration on the Dignity of Man" on the cusp of an emerging anthropocentric worldview, a key text of the renaissance, placing man "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".

Under the aegis of Cosimo de Medici in Florence, Giovanni arranged insights from theology, antique philosophy, Hermeticsm and the Kabbala as well as natural science into an entity known as "Hermetic Reformation" a parallel development predating the Northern reformation by several decades... but without the impact. Nonetheless, man as the centre of the universe stands in the nave of the Renaissance.

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