Attaining the end. Various aspects of discovery


In the last chapter of the Itinerarium, Bonaventure speaks of the need to reach a “transport of contemplation on the mountain height,” a point of rest and the state of inner peace after the journey (cf. the mention of peace in Step 1). According to Bonaventure, the end of our intellectual journey when we attain the end of contemplation is accompanied by joy and crowned by the state of rest, which is the height of learning. This step embraces those instances in intellectual, religious, and cultural experience that best illustrate the joy of discovery. The general theme of this step can be described as the journey or way towards some spiritual perfection, attaining the goal, and the joy experienced from it. 

Simple discovery

Bonaventure, Itinerarium 7.1-3 

Text of Step 7, transl. by O. Bychkov


A real journey

Petrarch. “The Ascent of Mount Ventoux.” In The Renaissance Philosophy of Man, ed. Cassirer, Kristeller, Randall. Chicago: University of  Chicago Press, 1948, pp. 36-46.


A symbolic journey

Dante. Inferno, canto 1; Paradiso, canto 33. Trans. Geoffrey L. Bickersteth. London: Basi Blackewell, 1981.


Uncertainties on the way

Merton, Thomas. The Seven Storey Mountain. NY: Harcourt Brace: 1976 (rpt.). Pp. 402-15.

A dreadful discovery

Euripides, The Bacchae.  Trans. William Arrowsmith. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959.