The Virgin of the World

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The Virgin of the World

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

The Definitions of Asclepios – Part II

IF thou reflectest, O King, thou wilt perceive that there are incorporeal corporealites. Which are they? says the King. Corporealites which appear in mirrors; are they not incorporeal?

It is true, Tat, says the King; thou hast a marvellous fancy!

There are yet other incorporealities; for instance, abstract forms, what say you to them? Are they not in themselves incorporeal? yet they are manifest in animated and inanimated corporealities.

True again, Tat.

So then there is a reflexion of incorporealities upon corporealities, and of corporealities on incorporealities. In other words, the Sensible World and the Ideal World reflect each other. Adore, then, the sacred images, O King, for they also are reflective forms of the Sensible World.

Then the King rose and said, Methinks, prophet, it is time to look after our guests; to-morrow, we can continue this theological controversy.


107:1 As I read the above fragment, it is written in a spirit of mirth. Tat is quibbling with the King, as the manner of their talk plainly shows. Nevertheless, an undercurrent of occult meaning runs through the speech of the son of Trismegistos. When he names the sacred images, the allusion intended is to the cultus of the Mysteries.--A.K.



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