Initiates of Isis Now, Come, Enter into the Temple!: Masonic and Enlightenment Thought in The Magic Flute

Habakkuk exclaimed that in the presence of Lord the “sun and moon stood still in their habitation.” The Empryean (Canto XXXII) of Dante’s Paradiso concludes with the splendid phrase “l’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle” (the Love which moves the sun and the other stars). And in 1945 when Harry S Truman realized the weight of the office he would inherit upon the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he declared, “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.” It seems that when prophets, poets, and presidents have the need to express the inexpressible, destabilizing the heavens, if in language only, signals their sense of wonder.

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