Thursday, July 30, 2009

Q111 A3: Whether an angel can change man's imagination?

Yes. An angel can move the imagination because corporeal nature obeys the angel as regards local movement, so that whatever can be caused by the local movement of bodies is subject to the natural power of the angels. Now it is manifest that imaginative apparitions are sometimes caused in us by the local movement of animal spirits and humors.

Angelus potest imaginationem movere quia natura corporalis obedit Angelo ad motum localem. Illa ergo quae ex motu locali aliquorum corporum possunt causari, subsunt virtuti naturali Angelorum. Manifestum est autem quod apparitiones imaginariae causantur interdum in nobis ex locali mutatione corporalium spirituum et humorum.

So, as this happens by a natural disturbance of the humors, and sometimes also by the will of man who voluntarily imagines what he previously experienced, so also the same may be done by the power of a good or a bad angel, sometimes with alienation from the bodily senses, sometimes without such alienation.

Sicut igitur hoc fit per naturalem commotionem humorum, et quandoque etiam per voluntatem hominis, qui voluntarie imaginatur quod prius senserat, ita etiam hoc potest fieri virtute Angeli boni vel mali, quandoque quidem cum alienatione a corporeis sensibus, quandoque autem absque tali alienatione.

The first principle of the imagination is from the sense in act. For we cannot imagine what we have never perceived by the senses, either wholly or partly; as a man born blind cannot imagine color. Sometimes, however, the imagination is informed in such a way that the act of the imaginative movement arises from the impressions preserved within.

Primum principium phantasiae est a sensu secundum actum, non enim possumus imaginari quae nullo modo sensimus, vel secundum totum vel secundum partem; sicut caecus natus non potest imaginari colorem. Sed aliquando imaginatio informatur, ut actus phantastici motus consurgat, ab impressionibus interius conservatis.

An angel causing an imaginative vision, sometimes enlightens the intellect at the same time, so that it knows what these images signify; and then there is not deception. But sometimes by the angelic operation the similitudes of things only appear in the imagination; but neither then is deception caused by the angel, but by the defect in the intellect to whom such things appear. Thus neither was Christ a cause of deception when He spoke many things to the people in parables, which He did not explain to them.

Angelus causans aliquam imaginariam visionem, quandoque quidem simul intellectum illuminat, ut cognoscat quid per huiusmodi similitudines significetur, et tunc nulla est deceptio. Quandoque vero per operationem Angeli solummodo similitudines rerum apparent in imaginatione, nec tamen tunc causatur deceptio ab Angelo, sed ex defectu intellectus eius cui talia apparent. Sicut nec Christus fuit causa deceptionis in hoc quod multa turbis in parabolis proposuit, quae non exposuit eis.