The Virgin of the World

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The Virgin of the World

By Hermes Mercurius Trismagistus tr. A. Kingsford, E Maitland

Fragments of the Book of Hermes to his Son Tatios – Part VI

O MY son, matter becomes; formerly it was, for matter is the vehicle of becoming. 1 Becoming is the mode of activity of the uncreate and foreseeing God. Having been endowed with the germ of becoming, matter is brought into birth, for the creative force fashions it according to the ideal forms. Matter not yet engendered, had no form; it becomes when it is put into operation.

133:1 Dr. Menard observes that in Greek, the same word signifies p. 134 to be born and to become. The idea here is that the material of the world is in its essence eternal, but that before creation or "becoming," it is in a passive and motionless condition. Thus it "was" before being "put into operation;" now, it "becomes," that is, it is mobile and progressive. Creation is thus the period of activity of God, who, according to Hermetic thought, has two modes--Activity, or existence, God evolved (Deus explicitus); and Passivity of Being--God involved (Deus implicitus). Both modes are perfect and complete, as are the waking and sleeping states of man. Fichte, the German philosopher, distinguished Being (Seyn) as One, which we know only through existence (Daseyn) as the Manifold. This view is thoroughly Hermetic. The "Ideal Forms," mentioned in the above fragment, are the archetypal or formative ideas of the Neo-Platonists; the eternal and subjective concepts of things subsisting in the Divine Mind prior to "creation" or "becoming."



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