Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

4/18/2003

On Soothsayers



The souls of such persons are inferior by nature and unable to attain perfection. Therefore, they have a better perception of particulars than of universals. They get involved with the former and neglect the latter. Therefore, the power of imagination is most strongly developed in those persons, because it is the organ of the particulars. The particulars completely pervade the power of the imagination, both in the sleeping and the waking state. They are ever ready and present in it. The power of imagination brings the particulars to the attention of those persons and serves as a mirror in which they are seen constantly...

The highest state this type of person can reach is to achieve disregard for the senses with the help of rhymed prose...

The soothsayer, thus, often speaks the truth and agrees with reality. Often, however, what he says are falsehoods, because he supplements his deficiency with something foreign to, different from, and incompatible with, his perceptive essence.

--Ibn Khaldun, The Muquaddimah

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