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Date: c. 43 AD

"Those things that men's untutored hearts revere, sunk in the bondage of their bodies--jewels, gold, silver, and polished tables, huge and round--all these are earthly dross, for which the untainted spirit, conscious of its own nature, can have no love, since it is itself light and uncumbered, wa...

— Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (c. 4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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Date: 1651, 1668

"And on the contrary, metaphors, and senseless and ambiguous words, are like ignes fatui; and reasoning upon them is wandering amongst innumerable absurdities; and their end, contention and sedition, or contempt."

— Hobbes, Thomas (1588-1679)

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Date: 1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706

"GOD I own cannot be denied to enlighten the Understanding by a Ray darted into the Mind immediately from the Fountain of Light"

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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Date: 1691

"As the Eyes are the Windows to let in the Species of all exterior Objects into the dark Cels of the Brain, for the information of the Soul; so are they flaming Torches to reveal to those abroad how the Soul within is moved or affected."

— Ray [formerly Wray], John (1627–1705)

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Date: 1702

"My Heart beats higher, and my nimble Spirits / Ride swiftly thro' their purple Channels round: / 'Tis the last blaze of Life: Nature revives / Like a dim, winking Lamp, that flashes brightly / With parting Light, and strait is dark for ever."

— Rowe, Nicholas (1674-1718)

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Date: November 25, 1707; 1708

"No!--'tis my Glory that the Christian Light / Has dawn'd, like Day, upon my darker Mind, / And taught my Soul the noblest use of Reason; / Taught her to soar aloft, to search, to know / The vast eternal Fountain of her Being."

— Rowe, Nicholas (1674-1718)

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Date: April 26, 1695; 1708

"Meditating by one's self is like digging in the Mine; it often, perhaps, brings up maiden Earth, which never came near the Light before; but whether it contain any Metal in it, is never so well tried as in Conversation with a knowing judicious Friend, who carries about him the true Touch-stone, ...

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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Date: 1712

"When she to foreign Objects Audience gives, / Their Strokes and Motions in the Brain perceives, / As these Perceptions we Ideas name, / From her own Pow'r and active Nature came, / So when discern'd by Intellectual Light, / Her self her various Passions does excite, / To Ill her Hate, to Good he...

— Blackmore, Sir Richard (1654-1729)

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Date: 1712

"Quick, as a darted Beam of Light, they [the spirits] go, / Thro' diff'rent Paths to diff'rent Organs flow, / Whence they reflect as swiftly to the Brain, / To give it Pleasure, or to give it Pain."

— Blackmore, Sir Richard (1654-1729)

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Date: 1712

"Strong as the Winds, and sprightly as the Light? / She [the mind] moves unweary'd, as the active Fire, / And, like the Flame, her Flights to Heav'n aspire."

— Blackmore, Sir Richard (1654-1729)

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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.