THE PICTORIAL LANGUAGE OF HIERONYMUS BOSCH
Fig. 121. HIERONYMUS BOSCH: X-ray picture of the signature on the right inner wing if The Temptations of St. Anthony.
Fig. 122. Hare-Peru. The Aztecs like the Indians and Chinese, saw the Hare in the moon. According to the experts of the Museo National, Mexico City, this illustration has come from the Borgia Codex.
Fig. 123. Sicilian coin. If the hare stands erect the dolphin appears "upside down", so that the hare (ego-principle) and the dolphin (principle of growth) alternately stand "erect".
Fig. 124. 10 Drachma coin. Akragas. The soul as the picture of the eagle is shown, which can raise itself high into the air, but also raises its prey from the ground. It appears twice; the mood of soul which is directed downwards, shown in the eagle with downbent beak, has a destructive effect, like the locust. That soul which is turned upwards, shown in the picture of the other eagle, takes the hare-lepus-the Ars Chymia-upwards with itself. This hare is the symbol of the ego-strength of the spirit which can transmute all. In this hare we should not see prey that has been seized.
Fig. 125. Hare [xi] Asia. In the far East too the hare represented the image of the ego of man who, in the spiritual world (shown through symbolic clouds) formed his own elixir of life from the general etheric world (the tree of life).
Fig 126. Hare (the ego) hidden in a tree-trunk -- the picture for the living physical body. A Chinese netsuke owned by the author.
Fig. 127. Hare attacked by an eagle (Chinese netsuke). Here the eagle represents the lower soul-forces which darken the ego; in other words a darkening mood of soul overcomes the strength of the ego. Owned by the author.
In true symbolism, wherever a mammal is represented, it points to an activity of the human physical body. The hare represents man's ego-activity in the physical body. It is found everywhere as an emblem from the far east to the remotest west, in the north and the south; there is even a constellation called "Lepus" in the southern hemisphere which was already known to the ancient Greeks. The Buddha in the moon was experienced as a hare; the hare appears in Peru (Fig. 122) and on coins from areas under Greek influence (Fig. 123 and Fig. 124), also in Chinese art (Fig. 125, Fig. 126, Fig. 127). Fairy tales of many lands tell of the hare in old and new languages, illuminating various aspects of his influence, but always the same undercurrent of meaning can be detected: a supersensible being is striving to manifest as thoroughly as possible in physical form on earth, while the good astral forces are helping and evil astral forces are working to hinder this effort. Lurker  writes as follows (p. 92) "In the fairy tales of China the hare is a friendly animal: he sits beside the Cassia tree on the moon and prepares the elixir of life in a mortar. On earlier cult garments that belonged to the emperors of China, the moon was depicted with a hare beside a tree on it." (Fig. 125.) So we can see that the hare as the emblem of the ego, and the tree of life, belong to these ancient traditions, and that our ideas coincide with insights gained in times long past.
Jung  wrote in connection with all that he included under the term archetype "Living in the West, instead of 'self' I should say, Christ, in the Near East possibly Chadir, in the Far East Atman or Tao or Buddha, and in the Far West perhaps 'hare' or 'mondamin', and in cabbalistic language 'Tifereth'.'
Before we go further into the symbol of what is here briefly called "the self" in order to explain its appearance as a hare in Bosch's pictures and those of his contemporaries, we must first consider the question: why should the hare be the representation for the self that is trying to find its way into its human physical organisation? No immediate answer can be expected to this question, but it gradually becomes clear that all the other forms of life that appear in nature must be excluded. The ego of a man living upon the earth exists in the warmth of the blood, so the symbol must be a warm-blooded animal. In the course of life the ego uses up the vital forces, it gnaws at the life-forces, so this creature must be a rodent. So long as the ego has not been taken over by evil forces it is defenceless and harms no-one. Therefore only a vegetarian rodent is suitable. In addition there is ascribed to the hare a trait that further determines the symbol. If a hare is hunted and can go no further, another will take his place in the field. He gives his life for his kind. Further, he has especially sensitive hearing, he is all ear and very alert. It is said of him that the hare sleeps with open eyes, and he imitates the human habit of standing erect. Plutarch says that the Egyptians regarded the speed of the hare and the accuracy of his senses as something divine.
All this makes the hare suitable as a symbol for the ego. The selfless ego harms none, springs into action for its brothers, is homeless as the hare, and is always awake. As the lower ego absorbs the world of sense-perception, so the higher ego absorbs percepts from a higher world. It experiences the higher world in the imagination (the inner picture of truth), and inspiration (the inner word). The ego is always active, brings spiritual vision and hearing, and makes men alert. (Goethe in his tale "The New Paris" calls the wakefulness of the ego "Alerte".)
While the hare is a symbol of the ego which has not quite permeated the physical organisation, the rabbit represents the complete permeation. For the rabbit digs his burrow in the solid ground, while the hare only has a form and does not penetrate into the earth. It can be said that the ego-consciousness penetrates into the very marrow of the bones. Early on, the hare and the rabbit were clearly differentiated, but in later times they were often confused. It was said in the Introduction that the imagination cannot produce anything but images from natural phenomena, it is only at liberty to combine these natural forms. The Greek word "symbol" merely means "rolled together" or "compressed" (symballesthai).
Other rodents that are connected in imagination with darker aspects of the ego can only be mentioned briefly here; e.g. the squirrel is connected with egoism in the sense of the Diabolos (Lucifer) and the rat more with Satan (Ahriman). Mice represent everyday little wickednesses, but it must always be remembered that each picture has a positive aspect too. Zoologically mice are far more prolific than hares; this needs to be said here because the hare is so often regarded merely as a symbol of fertility. This view would be justified if only the earthly side of this symbol were to be taken into account (cf. Note 10, where the physical aspect of the porcupine is mentioned). In the image of the hare the process of creation can be seen on two levels, on the one hand as spiritual creativity, on the other as procreation, which is also a creative activity. Mice, rats and squirrels have long tails; devils too are always depicted with long tails (see Fig. 99.) None of these are vegetarians, they defend themselves with their teeth, and for this alone are unsuitable as emblems of the highest principle in man. If one studies all the rodents in turn only the beaver, the porcupine, the hare and the rabbit can be taken into account. It is known that the beaver is a symbol of the overcoming of sexuality in man, the porcupine has already been discussed, and there only remain the hare and the rabbit which also occur in nature in white coats, are harmless and gentle, only scream if in terror of death, and otherwise behave modestly and quietly.
Now the meaning of the Easter rabbit can become clearer. Many centuries before the Birth of Christ, the awakening of nature in spring was regarded by the people of the north of Europe as the work of the goddess of spring, Ostara (Astarte). She gave the animals and plants new life; the spirit form of all living beings on the earth could gain new life in her domain; these spiritual ego forms were seen as hares which brought the new germs (in other words, the hidden eggs). In later times the feast of Ostara, the rejuvenation of nature, became more or less incorporated into the Christian feast of the Resurrection; it was united with the Resurrection of Christ, and of the heathen goddess Ostara there remained, only her name, Easter, and also her hares which hide the eggs.
On the Munster in Basel the symbol of the hare can be seen in a Christian context, carved in stone (Fig. 128).
Fig. 128. A horn blower who is standing upon a hare (reproduction Peter Heman, Basel). Basel Munster, outer wall.
We have already met the man who blows on a horn in the Prodigal Son (Section 16, Fig. 22, and Fig. 36. Here he is standing on a hare which is feeding from a grape. As grapes do not form the normal diet of hares, this clearly means that the hare, the symbol of the ego, is nourishing itself from the fruit of the true vine (from the Christ), and that the man who has a firm footing on this knowledge is telling the whole world what his ego has received from the Christ. That courage is needed for this can be seen by his club, which expresses his will, and his commitment to what is divine can be recognised in his knotted belt.
Two examples will further illustrate the meaning of the hare: Fig. 129, which can also be found reproduced in Jung (Psychology and Alchemy ), shows two men who have not yet penetrated into the temple, i.e. their physical organism. One of them is still totally blind to the spiritual realities about him, i.e., his eyes are still bound; his hare is still straying about, i.e., his ego has not yet taken over the inner direction of himself; the other man has gained vision, we can see his hare, now turned into a rabbit, slipping into the interior of the earth. The rest of the picture makes plain that this interior is the physical body: seen from without it is surrounded by the four elements, earth, water, air and fire: seen from within it is built up through the influences of the Zodiac and the planets. The stair of inner development, which consists of many stages, leads up to the actual sanctuary crowned by the Phoenix. The spherical roof is made of sun, moon and stars. The King (the true ego), and the Queen (the eternal soul), are enthroned in the innermost chamber, which is transparent in all directions, and could also represent a philosopher's stone. As the Phoenix appears high above all, like a flag, a rebirth out of the spirit is indicated here (St. John 3, verse 3) or more explicitly, the Resurrection. This gives a general idea of the content of this picture. Let us now turn to the Rosicrucian picture, taken from the Teachings of the Rosicrucians of the 16th and 17th centuries, entitled Mons Philosophorum, which is reproduced in Fig. 130 .
Fig. 129. Mountain of the adepts. Alchemists' picture.
Fig. 130. Mons Philosophourum from "Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians from the 16th and 17th centuries", or "the innocent ABC for young students who practise daily in the School of the Holy Ghost in the light of nature and theology" . (The book has been reprinted and is again obtainable.)
Here too men can be seen who have not yet been able to penetrate to the temple; a hare is straying about outside, purposeless for the moment, another is already within the temple. In this book we must dispense with further discussion of this picture and can only quote a few lines belonging to the text for this picture:
This says clearly that the hare indicates the art of transforming the human body as it was given to man by nature, and that the white hare and its way of working can be recognised in the intensity, the heat-force, of the ego. In other words, the human spirit can alter his earthly sheaths if his hare begins to work his special alchemy to combine spirit and matter in his own way; a new creative process. Creuzer  found painted on a Greek vase the figure of "Tragedy, with the hare on her hand", fortunately this name was on it in the language of ancient Greece (see Fig. 131). Tragedy without human self-consciousness is unthinkable, for tragedy only begins when the ego wills something that conflicts with the natural instincts and passions, so that tensions arise within the soul. In section 16 of the Prodigal Son where the bandage of dedication was discussed, reference was made to a picture from Creuzer's  book. It is appropriate to reproduce this picture here, as the hare also appears on it, together with bandage (Fig. 132). The meaning of this picture, which Creuzer entitled Liber and Libera, appears to us as follows: a virgin can unite with a man in two different ways. She can unite herself either with a satyr, or with a demi-god. From union with the faunlike creature, who is offering her an egg, an orgiastic organism would develop. The symbol for an orgasm can be seen drawn under the ground where the Panhuman is standing. The virgin however chooses to unite herself with the demi-god, towards whom she has turned. Underneath them both, in the ground, the hare is prepared and ready: this signifies that an ego-bearer, a human being, will result from this copulation. The hare bears this meaning not only in Greece, but also in Asia Minor (see Fig. 133). On this picture the lower half of the human being is indicated as a collection of small balls, which in coptic writings signify salt, or precipitated matter. If we regard them as large grains of sand, their symbolic weight becomes plain: man bears within him earthly matter as his lowest element or region. Upon his tall hat, which is shaped like a boat, there are perched the sun (etheric forces), and moon (astral forces). But a man who possesses a body, life, and the ability for both physical and inner soul movement, also possesses an ego. Hence the alert hare appears as if of itself, upon his hand.
Fig. 131. Tragedia with a white hare and the Thyrsus rod on a Greek vase, from F. CREUZER .
Fig. 132. Liber and Libera from F. CREUZER  (Plate VM).
Fig. 133. Probably the seal of a Hittite priest-king.
So great is the force of this imagination that we have been discussing, that even today magicians on the stage conjure forth white rabbits from their hats. Such a genuine compression of spiritual ideas, as the symbol of the hare or rabbit, has proved so powerful that it can even survive our materialistic age! Does it not say in Proverbs, 30/26, [xii] "The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks:" this proverb can lead to the insight that when the ego has so far permeated the physical organisation that it meets with the bones, the consciousness-soul will arise: when however the ego penetrates yet further, and has entered the very marrow, the possibility arises that the individual can become conscious not only of himself, but also of the spiritual world that surrounds him. Thus the metamorphosis of the hare into the rabbit which makes his house in the rock becomes more comprehensible.
In the church at Dorlisheim, Alsace, a sea-hare has been carved in the stone (Fig. 134). A fairytale of the Rosicrucians tells of this hare (Grimm No. 191 ). Other fairytales gathered by the brothers Grimm, cf. Nos. 187, The Hare and the Hedgehog, and No. 66 The Hare's Bride, also show different aspects of the ego.
Fig. 134. The sea-hare. Capital in the church of Dorlisheim (Alsace). It is an imaginative picture of the ego which is still partially living in the soul world (the water) i.e. has not yet become terrestrial.
On an outer wall of the cathedral at Amiens there is a figure of a knight, who suddenly has become aware of his hare, his true identity. He drops his weapons and becomes a worshipper. Jurgis Baltrusaitis also mentions this picture  and reproduces it as Fig. 40 page 94 in his book. Baltrusaitis also demolished the recurrent misconception that the three hares at Paderborn (see Fig. 137) represent the Trinity (see Fig. 135). He shows a Chinese picture of three hares dating from the 10th century (Toueng-huoang, page 136 op. cit). However in later times the three hares can be found on drinking vessels, bowls, keys etc.: their deeper meaning had been forgotten.
Fig. 135. Hares. See ref. 4.
Fig. 136. Madonna with the Hare. Tungental.
Fig. 137. Hares. Symbolic language in the cathedral of Paderborn. The collaboration of three human individualities.
In Tungental there was a statue of Mary with a hare at her feet; unfortunately the image was lost during the second World War (see Fig. 136). In the Munster at Freiburg there stands a wooden statue of Mary with the child Jesus (1515); not only is there a white rabbit at her feet, but in the background we can distinguish two goldfinches on a cross surrounded by roses. The emblem of the Rosicrucians is presented in a disguised form (see Fig. 138). In the art of the 14th and 15th centuries many hare and rabbit symbols can be found that have been properly understood and used; with the onset of the 16th century this deeper understanding was gradually lost, and only here and there is the symbol used correctly, as by Titian (1480-1576) (see Fig. 139). This also applies to painting by Santa Groce (1455-1508) Giovanni di Paola (1403-1483), Hans Leu (1490-1531), Hans Baldung Grien (1485-1545) and Johannes Holbein (his Well of Life 1519, in Lisbon) to name but a few. A very early picture which is reproduced in Janson  and which appears in the Moralia in Job, Citeaux, 12th century, is very illuminating on the significance of the hare (see Fig. 140). It could be entitled "The Initiation".
Fig. 138. White rabbit with Mary and the Jesus Child. The Munster Freiburg 1515, also a cross with roses and two goldfinches (see text).
Fig. 139. TITIAN. Mary with the Jesus Child. Paris, Musee du Louvre.
Fig. 140. The Initiation [xiii]. Quoted in "Apes and ape-lore". H. W. JANSON  Natural man, who still bears an ape-like creature on (in) his head, as a sign that the ape still dwells in his imaginative life, is initiated by a "great" initiate. The ape must vanish, the white hare is leaping towards him. By kind permission of the conservateur Bibliotheque Publique de Dijon.
Finally we should like to discuss a picture by the Master with the Carnation of Baden, which is to be found in Dijon (see plate M) and another that is less well known. The picture in Dijon shows the Visitation the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth, the future mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist. It is important for our study because the symbols that were also used by Jeroen [xiv] Bosch are used here in exactly the same way. The two white hares tell clearly that here two extraordinarily pure and highly developed egos are striving towards incarnation; on the mothers' other side harts are painted, signs that a transition into another world is taking place -- the dwelling place of the soul is to be changed. The symbol of the boat, which we have already seen on the Hittite seal (Fig. 133), and which Bosch painted on the right next to Saturn on the central panel of The Garden of Heavenly Delights, is also to be found here, floating in the water, beside both Mary and Elizabeth, and here too it signifies the living body. The duck, the symbol of education that has here been inspired by the Holy Spirit, which is handed on from parents to children, is near Mary: this event will continue to be taught to future generations. The two towers in the backgrounds of both the women have the same symbolic value as the tower on the right inner wing of The Hay Wain triptych: the form of the physical body, which, at the time of the development of the ego was experienced as a prison, but which also provided the vertical direction. Beside Mary there stands the ibex, as a symbol of that spirituality that can only feel at home in the highest regions.
Plate M. MASTER OF THE CARNATION OF BADEN. The Visitation. Meeting of Mary (L) and Elizabeth (R) Dijon, Musee (Ancien Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne). See Note 14.
Let us now discuss our final example of the use of the following symbols, which can also be found in Bosch; (i) hare, (ii) holy stork, (iii) hart, (iv) reeds (see Fig. 141). Simon Peter, in the centre, and Andrew, on the left, are called by the Christ, as described in Matthew 4/18-20: "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him." On the left two hares indicate that the two brothers were already endowed with spiritual vision and hearing; otherwise both would have needed more than the sparse words of Christ to make them follow Him, nor would they have recognised Him. The holy bird, probably here an ibis (above the hares, behind the disciples), represents the sacred mood of soul. The hart is standing between Jesus and the two brothers. From now on their souls will live in two worlds, on the earth and in the spiritual world. Behind the hart (the psychopompos with the nature of Mercury-Gabriel), appear two reed plants, which grow on the shore of the ocean of the spirit (see also Fig. 55, and The Prodigal Son). Bosch uses the symbol of the hare in The Garden of Heavenly Delights on the right and left inner wings, as well as several times on the central panel, and also on the right inner wing of the picture of The Temptations of St. Anthony. As our notes have shown, he is by no means alone in his use of this symbol, nor of the others. Because the symbol of the hare or the rabbit is such an important one it has been exceptionally extensively discussed; it is not possible in the framework of this book to treat every implication and reference equally thoroughly.
Fig. 141. Christ calling upon Simon Peter and Andrew to follow Him. MONTE DI GIOVANNI and his studio. From a psalter Fol. 2 verso. Cod. -- no number Florence. Library of the old convent S. Marco.
Even at the beginning of the 20th century the goldfinch was still kept in cages without drink or food. Yet outside the immediate reach of the bird, at the side of the cage and below, was fastened a container with water, into which a thimble was suspended by a thread. The place from which the bird could draw water was in an annexe to the cage in one of the upper sides whence the thread could be reached by the bird. If the clever goldfinch became thirsty he sat in this annexe, grasped the thread in his beak, and drew it towards him. He held the thread in his claws, so that it could not fall back, and continued until the thimble filled with water came within reach of his beak. He held onto the thread until he had slaked his thirst, then let the thimble fall back into the water container. On the other side of the cage a little board with a gutter in the centre was fixed at a slope. Outside, at the end of the board there stood a little wagon with seed and other food. This too was fastened by a thread in another annexe to the cage. If the goldfinch was hungry he pulled this thread with his beak. The gutter in the centre of the board prevented the little wagon from falling off and it travelled towards the bird. The bird had to use beak and claws at least three times to prevent the little wagon from slipping back and to be able to get food from it through a hole in the cage. This undertaking, rather a difficult one for a bird, never miscarried, as people in Holland who watched it for years could bear witness. It is therefore understandable that the goldfinch was also called by illustrative names, among them "drawer of water". This brings him into relationship with the human soul which is stuck in the prison (cage) of the body and can only find spiritual nourishment and the water of life outside its immediate surroundings, and must win these for itself day by day, which requires much practice, patience and deliberation. Small wonder that painters gave the goldfinch to the Jesus child as a symbol.
Georgio Vasari tells that Leonardo da Vinci played the lute for the Duke of Milan about the year 1494, and brought his own instrument. He had made this lute himself; it was made of silver in the form of a horse's skull, to produce music with a sweeter sound.
Whether Bosch or Leonardo was the inventor, or whether both recognised the horse's skull as a symbol of dead fantasy which can be brought back to life through the harmony of the spheres -- whose reflection is music -- must remain an open question.
The ancient symbol of the duck has already been discussed in reference  and The Prodigal Son. We would only note here that the tradition persisted, e.g. in Jan Steen. This painter still drew the duck on the shoulder of a schoolmaster (see Fig. 142). Bosch uses this combination in the same sense.
Fig. 142. JAN STEEN: "In Weelde Ziet Toe" (in the midst of plenty beware!). Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Note duck on the shoulder of the schoolmaster.
We have been informed that these spectacles, which at that time were a very expensive item, had been presented to Bosch by the Emperor Maximilian so that the painter should be able from then on to paint more finely and accurately. The enlarging spectacles, with which it becomes possible for the artist to paint minute objects with a marten-hair brush, are supposed to have come from the Beryllium factories of Lombardy.
Something about the romantic rediscovery of this painting was published in the Swiss illustrated paper "Die Woche" No. 42 (8-14th Oct. 1956). The Dutch paper "Revue" No. 49 8-12 Dec. 1956 also published an article on it and names Frau H.M. von Seidel as the representative of the owner.
The signature which appears on The Temptations of St. Anthony has already been mentioned in the Introduction in relation to Jacob van Almaengien. In the picture in Zurich (which might well be original apart from the faces and is reproduced in Fig. 143) an X-ray picture also yielded a signature which is here reproduced in Fig. 144 and Fig. 145 as it was published. Fig. 144 should be compared with Fig. 121. In the above article it was said that Mosmans, who is the archivist of the church of St. Jan in s'Hertogenbosch explains the initials I.A.B. as follows:
Fig. 143. HIERONYMUS BOSCH: The Temptations of St. Anthony. The picture found in Zurich which consists only of the central panel.
Fig. 144. HIERONYMUS BOSCH: Signature. X-ray enlargement of the Zurich painting.
Fig. 145. HIERONYMUS BOSCH: Signature. See Introduction and Note 19 on the discovery of the Zurich picture.
We do not think that our painter, who never signed himself with his full name Iheronymus Antoniszoon van Aeken had any reason suddenly to do so, with initials that come partly from his full name and partly from his pseudonym. It is far likelier that these initials can be read as follows:
From this idea it also becomes understandable why the A appears in inverted commas which would make no sense if it stood for Antoniszoon. It could also be rightly supposed that the A stands for (van) Aeken.
Double meanings are typical of Bosch. Does it not seem plausible that the painter reserved the excuse that 'it only means his name' for a possible discovery and enquiry from the Inquisition? Then he could always have insisted that Jacob had nothing to do with the signature; he himself was known anyway as the "Painter of Devils" who was not quite right in the head, so that he too would go free .
The symbols for the well of life as the source from which the ideas were drawn, and the horned head of an ox as sign for etheric-life, of formative-forces fit in with the meaning now generally familiar to us and tell clearly that the source was "the knowledge of higher worlds ".
NOTE 20, taken from Hieronymus Bosch an Introduction to his Occult Symbolism by C. A. Wertheim-Aymes. Page 26, Fig. 16. (Not translated).
Commentary on this picture: (see Fig. 91). A man is attacked by three monsters. His posture shows that he has already lost his balance, his clothing is minimal, i.e., his physical and life bodies are so weak that he can barely manage to cling to life on earth.
The monster on the right in the fool's garment has a pig's head. The Dutch verb "schweinen" (i.e., to give oneself to licentious living) and the expression "Lui varken" (pig or lazybones) can be adduced to make the interpretation that here the measureless abandonment to man's lower nature is represented, which in demonic fashion threatens the ability of the ego to keep to its aim in life. The demon with the pig's head is a picture for the will that has become dedicated to Mephistopheles.
The second aggressive demon immediately beside the pigheaded one has the head of a long-tailed monkey. In the scene in the witch's kitchen in Faust Part I the long-tailed monkeys, under the supervision of the witch, who is a creature of Mephistopheles, are brewing a drink for the striving, seeking Faust. They say in their spell "When you have taken this drink you will see a Helen in every woman". In other words the deep longing of the striving human individual for a single woman is to be lowered to an undiscriminating sexual drive which seeks its pleasure and satisfaction generally in the opposite sex. Thus the figure of the long-tailed monkey generally stands for the shameless exposure of lower feelings and emotions; in this round picture where its mouth is distorted with passion the figure stands for the Luciferic degeneration of man's whole feeling-life. Generally speaking those faces in Bosch's pictures which are intended to express disturbed feelings have a similarity to the faces of the long-tailed monkey. The form of the mouth and the moustache, with its hairs extended like antennae, give away the fact that the soul is seeking outside itself for its content instead of within itself.
The long beak is the first noticeable thing about the third monster in the round picture. It is the beak of the spoonbill. At the time of Bosch this bird was commonly found in the swampy country about s'Hertogenbosch in Biesbosch. The behaviour of this bird, which stalks through the mud on its tall thin legs, gives a telling picture for the highly intellectual individual who likes to keep his distance from the dirt of this evil world. A standing spoonbill appears deeply sunk in thought. Yet suddenly he can fish all sorts of vermin from the mud with his beak. His philosophical calm reveals itself as a hunting posture. Thus an apparently self-sufficient intelligence often turns out to nourish itself on all sorts of strange animals.
To the demon with the spoonbill Bosch has given a suit of armour -- the abstract intellectualist also wears an invisible armour against the world surrounding him. On his head he wears a reversed funnel. Why? A funnel gathers substance flowing into it from above, and leads it into a vessel. Here however the funnel that should gather what comes from the heights is perverted into an instrument for defence, an umbrella against the rain of ideas from heaven. The bat's wings too are meant to show that here there is a perversion of the senses. The bat awakens in the twilight and only becomes active at night. By day while the sun radiates light and warmth the bat is asleep. So with this third animal, the spoonbill, we have here an imaginative picture of the thinking that has become dimmed and rigidified by Ahriman; and appropriately this demon is here reaching for the head of the man, the seat of the organs of thinking.
The second animal which, as a long-tailed monkey symbolises perverted feelings, is trying with its left paw, to claw its way into the heart region, the site of human feeling. On the other hand the first monster with the pig's head, symbol of the mephistophelean will, has grasped the arm of his victim and is trying to dislodge his foot from the ground. Arms and legs however are organic bearers of the will life of man.
Here Bosch has shown in the form of a painting how human thinking has become rigid through the influence of Ahriman, how Lucifer has contaminated his feeling, and how his will has become paralysed through Mephistopheles. The soul functions of thinking, feeling and will which have degenerated since the Fall of Man often appear in Bosch's pictures and always in the same sense .
The similarity between the gestures of the dancers on the pillar of the Old Testament in the Lisbon altarpiece [xv] and Grasser's dancing figures can be seen clearly in the reproduction shown here, Fig. 146 and Fig. 147. In the book by Halm  and in that of Tietze-Conrad  we find that the Moorish (Morris) dance was danced at the Burgundian court during the second half of the 15th century, where Bosch as well as Grasser and Durer could have seen it. Further, the Emperor Maximilian, the patron of Bosch and Durer also gave commissions to Erasmus Grasser. It would seem that the same world philosophy was not unfamiliar to both Grasser and Durer. From Arnold's book Esoterisme de Shakespeare  we know that Shakespeare too was familiar with the ideas of the Rosicrucians.
Fig. 146. Statuette by ERASMUS GRASSER. A Morija dancer with the bandage of dedication at his knee. Munich, Munchener Stadtmuseum.
Fig. 147. Statuette by ERASMUS GRASSER. Morija dancer with bandage of dedication over the hips. Munich, Munchener Stadtmuseum.
How can we explain the names "Moris" (Shakespeare) "Morres", "Moresque", "Morisken" and others that are found for these dances, which are wrongly supposed to derive from the word "Moor" or from the Hungarian language? It has already been said that it may be permissible to think of those dances which David performed when the Ark of the Covenant was brought to the Temple Sanctuary on the Mountain of Morija or Moria (I, Chronicles chapter 15, 25-29). Here we refer to the Bijbelsch Handbock en Concordantie, p. 133 (ref. 15) where it says of the Mount of Moria "As the Tabernacle was built upon the Mount of Zion and David controlled the whole Temple ritual and composed many psalms during his 40-year reign, the name Zion has become embedded in the books and language of the Israelites; therefore after the building of the Temple of Solomon the name Zion was transferred to the Temple together with the rituals of the tabernacle, the name Moria fell into disuse and the two hills, united by a bridge, have since then only had the one name."
It is true that there is only a similarity of sound uniting the words Morisque, Morris and Morija, but still it is evident that the Moor's dances were originally connected with dances and dance forms belonging to the rituals of a cult. Leinberger (1480/5-1531/5) (see also ref. 33) and others still show traces of this.
i. Translator's note: for a full discussion of the authenticity of this picture see the museum catalogue.
ii. The Garden of Heavenly Delights.
iii. Hieronymus Bosch.
iv. The Temptations of St. Anthony.
v. The Garden of Heavenly Delights.
vi. Reproduced by permission of the publishers, Pitman Publishing, London.
vii. Translator's note: Isaiah 17/10-11.
viii. By kind permission of the publishers, Valentin Korner, Baden Baden.
ix. By kind permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
x. Asmodeus is the demon of dissent.
xi. By Kind permission of Valentin Koerner G.m.h.H., Baden Baden.
xii. These are given as "rabbits" in the German version.
xiii. Trans note entitled Two Conjurers in library catalogue.
xv. The Temptations of St. Anthony.