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 Writings of Hermes to Ammon – Part VI

THE soul is, then, an eternal and intelligent essence; having for thought her own reason. She enters into association with the concept of harmony. Separated from the physical body, she endures in herself, she is independent in the Ideal world. She controls her reason, and confers on the entity emerging into life a movement analogous to her own thought, that is being; for the property of the soul is to assimilate other things to her own character. There are two kinds of vital movement: the one conform-able to the essence of the soul, the other to the nature of the body. The first is general, the second particular; the first is independent, the second is subject to necessity. For everything moved is subject to the necessary law of the mover. But the motor movement is united by affinity to the intelligent principle. It behoves the soul to be incorporeal, and to be essentially different from the physical body, for if she had a body she would have neither reason nor thought. All bodies are unintelligent, but in receiving the spirit they become animated and breathe. The breath belongs to the body, but reason contemplates the beauty of the essential. The sensible spirit discerns appearances. It is distributed into organic sensations; mental perception is a part of it, as also is the acoustic, olfactive, gustative, and tactile sense. This spirit, attracted by thought, discerns sensations, otherwise it creates only phantoms, for it belongs to the body, and receives all things. The reason of the essential is the judgment. To the reason belongs the cognizance of lofty things; but to the sensible spirit, opinion. This last receives its energy from the external world; but the former from within itself.

[The foregoing fragments are from the "Physical Eclogues" of Stobæus.]



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