The Virgin of the World

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The Virgin of the World

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

Various Hermetic Fragments – Part I

THERE are, then, essential spirit, reason, intelligence, perception. Opinion and sensation tend towards perception, reason towards the essential spirit; thought advances independently. Thought is associated with perception. Conjoined, all these become a single form, which is that of the soul. Opinion and sensation tend also towards perfection, but they do not continue in the same condition, they exhibit excess, failure, or variation. Separated from perception, they deteriorate; approximating to and following it, they participate in the intellectual reason through the sciences. We have the power of choice; it depends on us to choose either the best or the worst by our will. The choice of evil approximates us to the corporeal nature, and subjects us to Destiny. The intellectual spirit which is in us, being free, the intellectual reason is free also, always identical with itself, and independent of Destiny. Therefore, in following this higher and intelligent reason, ordained by the supreme God, the spirit is superior to the order of Nature over creatures; but the soul which attaches herself to these creatures participates in their destiny, though foreign to their nature. 

Footnotes
150:1 In the above fragment the power of the human will is clearly asserted as the only instrument by which Destiny may be controlled. By continued and ardent striving towards the purely spiritual and intelligent, the soul frees herself from the power of Destiny (Karma), and at length passes into beatitude. She transcends natural order, and enters into the divine. This is Saintship. Inversely, by attaching herself to sensible things, and by suffering herself to be borne away by passion and desire towards illusory existence, she becomes caught on the ever-rolling wheel of Destiny, and made subject to the order of Nature, which is that of Metamorphosis. Whereas her true duty and happiness are to aspire continually upwards, addressing herself by means of purified passion and desire towards the One, and away from the Manifold.

A.K.

 

 

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