And it came to pass, when the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods.
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Augustine of Hippo
Again, Jacob was in no sense the creator of the piebald colors of the flocks he managed, just because he put the peeled and particolored rods in the drinking troughs for the ewes to gaze at as they conceived. Nor for that matter were the ewes creators of the piebald effects in their young, just because the vivid impressions of piebaldness they received from looking at the particolored rods remained embedded in their souls. And so [these impressions] could not help having a sympathetic effect on their bodies, which were animated by these souls thus affected, so that the impression was passed on to color the progeny in their sensitive and impressionable beginnings. That soul and body should thus psychosomatically react upon each other is due to those archetypal harmonies of reason which live immutably in the very wisdom of God, something that is not localized within the limits of space. While this wisdom is unchanging in itself, it does not hold itself aloof from anything that is, even in a changing mode of existence, because there is nothing that was not created by it. That the ewes gave birth to lambs and not to rods is due to the unchangeable and invisible disposition of God’s wisdom by which all things were created. And that the lambs conceived were colored as an effect of the particolored rods was due to the souls of their pregnant mothers being affected from the outside through their eyes and having inside them their own proper “program” of embryo formation which they received from their Creator, whose power was active at the inner roots of their being. .