The Divine Pymander, by Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus
THE SIXTEENTH BOOK, THAT NONE OF THE THINGS THAT ARE CAN PERISH
WE must now speak of the Soul and body, O Son, after what manner the soul is Immortal, and what operation that is, which constitutes the Body, and dissolves it.
2. But in none of these is Death, for it is a conception of a name, which is either an empty word, or else it is wrongly called Death ..., by taking away the first letter, instead of Immortal ....
3. For Death is destruction, but there is nothing in the whole World that is destroyed.
4. For if the World be a second God, and an Immortal living Wight, it is impossible that any part of an Immortal living Wight should die.
5. But all things that are in the World, are members of the World, especially man, the reasonable living Wight.
6. For the first of all is God, the Eternal, the Unmade, and the Workman of all things.
7. The second is the World, made by him, after his own Image, and by him holden together, and nourished, and immortalized, and as from its own Father, ever living.
8. So that as Immortal, it is ever living, and ever immortal.
9. For that which is ever living, differs from that which is eternal.
10. For the Eternal was not begotten, or made by another, and if it were begotten or made, yet it was made by itself, not by any other, but it is always made.
11. For the Eternal, as it is Eternal, is the Universe.
12. For the Father himself, is Eternal of himself, but the World was made by the Father, ever living, and immortal.
13. And as much Matter as there was laid up by him, the Father made it all into a Body, and swelling it, made it round like a Sphere, endued it with Quality, being itself immortal, and having Eternal Materiality.
14. The Father being full of Ideas, sowed qualities in the Spheres, and shut them up as in a Circle, deliberating to beautify with every Quality, that which afterwards should be made.
15. Then clothing the Universal Body with Immortality, lest the Matter, if it would depart from this Composition, should be dissolved into its own disorder.
16. For when the Matter was Incorporated, O Son, it was disordered, and it hath here the same confusion daily revolved about other little things, endued with Qualities, in point of Augmentation, and Diminution, which men call Death, being indeed a disorder happening about earthly living Wights.
17. For the Bodies of Heavenly things, have one order, which they have received from the Father at the beginning, and is by the instauration of each of them, kept indissolveable.
18. But the instauration of earthly Bodies is their consistence, and their dissolution restores them into indissolveable, that is, Immortal.
19. And so there is made a privation of Sense, but not a destruction of Bodies.
20. Now the third living Wight is Man, made after the Image of the World, and having by the will of the Father, an mind above other earthly Wights.
21. And he hath not only a sympathy with the second God, but also an understanding of the first.
22. For the Second God, he apprehends as a Body, but the first, he understands as Incorporeal, and the Mind of the Good.
23. Tat. And doth not this living Wight perish?
24. Herm. Speak advisedly, O Son, and learn what God is, what the World, what an Immortal Wight, and what a dissolveable one is.
25. And understand that the World is of God, and in God, but Man of the World, and in the World.
26. The Beginning, and End, and Consistence of all, is God.
The End of the Sixteenth Book,
THAT NONE OF THE THINGS THAT ARE CAN PERISH.
THE SEVENTEENTH BOOK, TO ASCLEPIUS, TO BE TRULY WISE
BECAUSE, my Son, Tat, in thy absence, would needs learn the Nature of the things that are, he would not suffer me to give over (as coming very young to the knowledge of every individual), till I was forced to discourse to him many things at large, that his contemplation might, from point to point, be more easy and successful.
2. But to thee, I have thought good to write in few words, choosing out the principal heads of the things then spoken, and to interpret them more mystically, because thou hast both more years, and more knowledge of Nature.
3. All things that appear, were made, and are made.
4. Those things that are made, are not made by themselves, but by another.
5. And there are many things made, but especially all things that appear, and which are different, and not like.
6. If the things that be made and done, be made and done by another, there must be one that must make, and do them, and he, unmade, and more ancient than the things that are made.
7. For I affirm the things that are made, to be made by another, and it is impossible, that of the things that are made, any should be more ancient than all, but only that which is not made.
8. He is stronger, and one, and only knowing all things indeed, as not having anything more ancient than himself.
9. For he bears rule, both over multitude and greatness, and the diversity of the things that are made, and the continuity of the Facture, and of the Operation.
10. Moreover, the things that are made, are visible, but he is invisible, and for this cause, he maketh them, that he may be visible, and therefore he makes them always.
11. Thus, it is fit to understand, and understanding to admire, and admiring to think thyself happy, that knowest thy natural Father.
12. For what is sweeter than a natural Father?
13. Who, therefore, is this, or how shall we know him?
14. Or is it just to ascribe unto him alone, the Title and Appellation of God, or of the Maker or of the Father, or all Three? That of God because of his Power; the Maker, because of his Working and Operation; and the Father because of his Goodness.
15. For Power is different from the things that are made, but Act or Operation in that all things are made.
16. Wherefore, letting go all much and vain talking, we must understand these two things: That which is made, and him which is the Maker; for there is nothing in the Middle, between these Two, nor is there any third.
17. Therefore, understanding All things, remember these Two; and think that these are All things, putting nothing into doubt; neither of the things above, nor of the things below; neither of things changeable, nor things that are in darkness or secret.
18. For All things, are but Two things, That which maketh, and that which is made; and the One of them cannot depart, or be divided from the other.
19. For neither is it possible that the Maker should be without the thing made, for either of them is the self-same thing; therefore cannot the one of them be separated from the other, no more than a thing can be separated from itself.
20. For if he that makes be nothing else but that which makes alone, simple, uncompounded, it is of necessity, that he makes the same thing to himself, to whom it is the Generation of him that maketh to be also All that is made.
21. For that which is Generated or made, must necessarily be generated or made by another, but without the maker, that which is made, neither is made, nor is; for the one of them without the other, has lost his proper Nature by the privation of the other.
22. So if these Two be confessed, That which maketh, and that which is made, then they are One in Union, this going before, and that following.
23. And that which goeth before, is, God the Maker; and that which follows, is, that which is made, be it what it will.
24. And let no man be afraid because of the variety of things that are made or done, lest he should case an aspersion of baseness, or infamy upon God; for it is the only Glory of him to do, or make all things.
25. And this making, or Facture, is as it were the Body of God; and to him that maketh, or doth, there is nothing evil or filthy to be imputed, or there is nothing thought evil, or filthy.
26. For these are Passions that follow Generation, as Rust doth Copper, or as Excrements do the Body.
27. But neither did the Coppersmith make the Rust, nor the Maker of the Filth, nor God the Evilness.
28. But the vicissitude of Generation doth make them, as it were, to blossom out; and for this cause did make change to be, as one should say, The Purgation of Generation.
29. Moreover, is it lawful for the same Painter to make both Heaven, and the Gods, and the Earth, and the Sea, and Men, and brute Beasts, and inanimate things, and Trees; and is it impossible for God to make these things? O the great madness, and ignorance of men in things that concern God!
30. For men that think so, suffer that which is most ridiculous of all; for professing to bless, and praise God, yet in not ascribing to him the making or doing of All things, they know him now.
31. And besides their not knowing him, they are extremely impious against him, attributing unto him Passions, as Pride, or Oversight, or Weakness, or Ignorance, or Envy.
32. For if he do not make, or do all things, he is either proud, or not able, or ignorant, or envious, which is impious to affirm.
33. For god hath only one Passion, namely, Good; and he that is good, is neither proud, nor impotent, nor the rest, but God is Good itself.
34. For Good is all Power, to do or make all things, and everything that is made, is made by God, that is, by the Good, and that can make or do all things.
35. See, then, how he maketh all things, and how the things are done, that are done, and if thou wilt learn, thou mayest see an Image thereof, very beautiful and like.
36. Look upon the Husbandman, how he casteth seeds into the Earth, here wheat, there barley, and elsewhere some other seeds.
37. Look upon the same Man, planting a vine, or an apple tree, or a fig tree, or some other tree.
38. So doth God in Heaven sow Immortality in the Earth, Change in the whole Life and Motion.
39. And these things are not many, but few, and easily numbered; for they are all but four, God and Generation, in which are all things.
The End of the Seventeenth Book,
TO ASCLEPIUS, TO BE TRULY WISE.
(End of the Divine Pymander--1650)