The Divine Pymander, by Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus


ALL that is moved, O Asclepius, is it not moved in something and by something?

2. Asclep. Yes, indeed.

3. Herm. Must not that in which a thing is moved, of necessity be greater than the thing that is moved?

4. Of necessity.

5. And that which moveth, is it not stronger than that which is moved?

6. Asclep. It is stronger.

7. Herm. That in which a thing is moved, must it not needs have a Nature contrary to that of the thing that is moved?

8. Asclep. It must needs.

9. Herm. Is not this great World a Body, than which there is no greater?

10. Asclep. Yes, confessedly.

11. Herm. And is it not solid, as filled with many great bodies, and indeed with all the Bodies that are?

12. Asclep. It is so.

13. Herm. And is not the World a Body, and a Body that is moved?

14. Asclep. It is.

15. Herm. Then what a kind of place must it be, wherein it is moved, and of what Nature? Must it not be much bigger, that it may receive the continuity of Motion? And lest which is moved, should for want of room, be stayed, and hindered in the Motion?

16. Asclep. It must needs be an immense thing, Trismegistus, but of what Nature?

17. Herm. Of a contrary Nature, O Asclepius. But is not the Nature of things unbodily, contrary to a Body?

18. Asclep. Confessedly.

19. Herm. Therefore the place is unbodily; but that which is unbodily is either some Divine thing, or God himself. And by something Divine, I do not mean that which was made or begotten.

20. If therefore it be Divine, it is an Essence or Substance; but if it be God, it is above Essence; but he is otherwise intelligible.

21. For the first, God is intelligible, not to himself, but to us; for that which is intelligible is subject to that which understandeth by Sense.

22. Therefore, God is not intelligible to himself; for not being any other thing from that which is understood, he cannot be understood by himself.

23. But he is another thing from us, and therefore he is understood by us.

24. If therefore Place be intelligible, it is not Place but God; but if God be intelligible, he is intelligible not as Place, but as a capable Operation.

25. Now, everything that is moved, is moved not in or by that which is moved, but in that which standeth or resteth, and that which moveth standeth or resteth; for it is impossible it should be moved with it.

26. Asclep. How, then, O Trismegistus, are those things that are here moved with the things that are moved? for thou sayest that the Spheres that wander, are moved by the sphere that wanders not.

27. Herm. That, O Asclepius, is not a moving together, but a counter motion; for they are not moved after a like manner, but contrary one to the other; and contrariety hath a standing resistance of motion, for the ..., or resistance, is a staying of Motion.

28. Therefore, the wandering spheres being moved contrarily to that Sphere which wandereth not, shall have one from another contrarily standing of itself.

29. For this Bear thou seest neither rise nor go down, but turning always about the same; dost thou think it moveth or standeth still?

30. Asclep. I think it moves, Trismegistus.

31. What motion, O Asclepius?

32. Asclep. A motion that is always carried about the same.

33. But the Circulation which is about the same, and the motion bout the same, are both hidden by Station; for that which is about the same, forbids that which is above the same, if it stand to that which is about the same.

34. And so the contrary motion stands fast always, being always established by the contrariety.

35. But I will give thee concerning this matter, an Earthly Example, that may be seen with eyes.

36. Look upon any of these living Creatures upon Earth, as Man, for example, and see him swimming; for as the Water is carried one way, the reluctation or resistance of his feet and hands is made a station to the Man, that he should not be carried with the Water, nor sink underneath it.

37. Asclep. Thou hast laid down a very clear example, Trismegistus.

38. Herm. Therefore, every motion is in station, and is moved of station.

39. The motion, then, of the World, and of every material living thing, happeneth not to be done by those things that are without the World, but by those things within it, a Soul, or Spirit, or some other unbodily thing, to those things that are without it.

40. For an inanimate Body doth not know, much less a Body if it be wholly inanimate.

41. Asclep. What meaneth thou by this, O Trismegistus, wood and stones, and all other inanimate things, are they not moving Bodies?

42. Herm. By no means, O Asclepius, for that within the Body, which moves the inanimate thing, is not the Body, that moves both as well the Body of that which beareth, as the Body of that which is born; for one dead or inanimate thing cannot move another; that which moveth, must needs be alive if it move.

43. Thou seest therefore how the Soul is surcharged, when it carrieth two Bodies.

44. And now it is manifest that the things that are moved in something, and by something.

45. Asclep. The things that are moved, O Trismegistus, must needs be moved in that which is void, or empty vacuum, ....

46. Be advised, O Asclepius, for all the things that are, there is nothing empty, only that which is not, is empty and a stranger to existence or being.

47. But that which is could not be if it were not full of existence; for that which is in being or existence, can never be made empty.

48. Asclep. Are there not therefore some things that are empty, O Trismegistus, as an empty Barrel, an empty Hogshead, an empty Will, an empty Wine-press, and many such like?

49. Herm. O the grossness of thy error, O Asclepius; those things that are most full and replenished, dost thou account them void and empty?

50. Asclep. What may be thy meaning, Trismegistus?

51. Herm. Is not the Air a Body?

52. Asclep. It is a Body.

53. Herm. Why then this Body, does it not pass through all things that are? And passing through them, fill them? and that Body, doth it not consist of the mixture of the four? therefore, all those things which thou callest empty are full of Air.

54. Therefore, those things thou callest empty, thou oughtest to call them hollow, not empty; for they exist and are full of Air and Spirit.

55. Asclep. This reason is beyond all contradiction, O Trismegistus, but what shall we call the place in which the whole Universe is moved?

56. Herm. Call it incorporeal, O Asclepius.

57. Asclep. What is that, incorporeal or unbodily?

58. Herm. The Mind and Reason, the whole, wholly comprehending itself, free from all Body, undeceivable, invisible, impassible from a Body itself, standing fast in itself, capable of all things, and that Savour of the things that are.

59. Whereof the Good, the Truth, the Archetypal Light, the Archetype of the Soul, are, as it were, Beams.

60. Asclep. Why, then, what is God?

61. Herm. That which is none of these things, yet is, and is the cause of being to all, and every one of the things that are; for he left nothing destitute of Being.

62. And all things are made of things that are, and not of things that are not; for the things that are not, have not the nature to be able to be made; and again, the things that are, have not the nature never to be, or not to be at all.

63. Asclep. What dost thou then say at length that God is?

64. Herm. God is not a Mind, but the Cause that the Mind is; not a spirit, but the Cause that the Spirit is; not Light, but the Cause that Light is.

65. Therefore, we must worship God by these two Appellations, which are proper to him alone, and to no other.

67. And this he is and nothing else; but all other things are separable from the nature of Good.

68. For the Body and the Soul have no place that is capable of or can contain the Good.

69. For the greatness of Good is as great as the Existence of all things that are, both bodily and unbodily, both sensible and intelligible.

70. This is the Good, even God.

71. See, therefore, that thou do not at any time call ought else Good, for so thou shalt be impious; or any else God, but only the Good, for so thou shalt again be impious.

72. In Word it is often said by all men the Good, but all men do not understand what it is; but through Ignorance they call both the Gods, and some men, Good, that can never be, or be made so.

73. Therefore all the other Gods are honoured with the title or appellation of God, but God is the Good, not according to Heaven, but Nature.

74. For there is one Nature of God, even the Good, and one kind of them both, from whence all are kinds.

75. For he that is Good, is the giver of all things, and takes nothing; and, therefore, God gives all things, and receives nothing.

76. The other title and appellation, is the Father, because of his making all things; for it is the part of a Father to make.

77. Therefore, it hath been the greatest and most Religious care in this life, to them that are Wise, and well-minded, to beget children.

78. As likewise it is the greatest misfortune and impiety, for any to be separated from men, without children; and this man is punished after Death by the Demons, and the punishment is this: To have the Soul of this childless man, adjudged and condemned, to a Body that neither hath the nature of a man, nor of a woman, which is an accursed thing under the Sun.

79. Therefore, O Asclepius, never congratulate any man that is childless; but on the contrary pity his misfortune, knowing what punishment abides, and is prepared for him.

80. Let so many, and such manner of things, O Asclepius, be said as a certain precognition of all things in Nature.

The End of the Ninth Book,


FORBEAR thy Speech, O Hermes Trismegistus, and call to mind to those things that are said; but I will not delay to speak what comes into my mind, sithence many men have spoken many things, and those very different, concerning the Universe, and Good; but I have not learned the Truth.

2. Therefore, the Lord make it plain to me in this point; for I will believe thee only, for the manifestation of these things.

3. Then said the Mind how the case stands.

4. God and All.

5. God, Eternity, the World, Time, Generation.

6. God made Eternity, Eternity the World, the world Time, and Time Generation.

7. Of God, as it were, the Substance, is the Good, the Fair, Blessedness, Wisdom.

8. Of Eternity, Identity, or Selfness.

9. Of the World, Order.

10. Of Time, Change.

11. Of Generation, Life and Death.

12. But the Operation of God, is Mind and Soul.

13. Of Eternity, Permanence, or Long-lasting, and Immortality.

14. Of the World, Restitution, and Decay, or Destruction.

15. Of Time, Augmentation and Diminution.

16. And of Generation qualities.

17. Therefore, Eternity is in God.

18. The World in Eternity.

19. Time in the World.

20. And Generation in Time.

21. And Eternity standeth about God.

22. The World is moved in Eternity.

23. Time is determined in the World.

24. Generation is done in Time.

25. Therefore, the Spring and Fountain of all things is God.

26. The Substance Eternity.

27. The Matter is the World.

28. The Power of God is Eternity.

29. And the Work of Eternity, is the World not yet made, and yet ever made by Eternity.

30. Therefore, shall nothing be at any time destroyed, for Eternity is incorruptible.

31. Neither can anything perish, or be destroyed in the World, the World being contained and embraced by Eternity.

32. But what is the Wisdom of God? Even the Good and the Fair, and Blessedness, and every Virtue, and Eternity.

33. Eternity, therefore, put into the Matter Immortality and Everlastingness; for the Generation of that depends upon Eternity, even as Eternity doth of God.

34. For Generation and Time, in Heaven and in Earth, are of a double Nature; in Heaven they are unchangeable and incorruptible; but on Earth they are changeable and corruptible.

35. And the Soul of Eternity is God; and the Soul of the World, Eternity; and of the Earth, Heaven.

36. God is in the Mind, the Mind in the Soul, the Soul in the Matter, all things by Eternity.

37. All this Universal Body, in which are all Bodies, is full of Soul, the Soul full of Mind, the Mind full of God.

38. For within he fills them, and without he contains them, quickening the Universe.

39. Without, he quickens this perfect living thing the World, and within all living Creatures.

40. And above in Heaven he abides in Identity or Selfness, but below upon Earth he changeth Generation.

41. Eternity comprehendeth the World either by necessity, or Providence, or Nature.

42. And if any man shall think any other thing, it is God that actuateth, or operateth this All.

43. But the operation or Act of God, is Power insuperable, to which none may compare anything, either Humane or Divine.

44. Therefore, O Hermes, think none of these things below, or the things above, in anywise like unto God; for if thou dost, thou errest from the Truth.

45. For nothing can be like the unlike, and only, and One; nor mayest thou think that he hath given of his Power to any other thing.

46. For who after him can make anything, either of Life or Immortality: of Change or of Quality? and himself, what other things should he make?

47. For God is not idle, for then all things would be idle; for all things are full of God.

48. But there is not anywhere in the World, such a thing as Idleness; for Idleness is a name that implieth a thing void or empty, both of a Doer, and a thing done.

49. But all things must necessarily be made or done both always, and according to the nature of every place.

50. For he that maketh or doth, is in all things, yet not fastened or comprehended in anything; nor making or doing one thing, but all things.

51. For being an active or operating Power, and sufficient of himself for the things that are made, and the things that are made are under him.

52. Look upon, through me, the World is subject to thy sight, and understand exactly the Beauty thereof.

53. A Body perpetual, than the which there is nothing more ancient, yet always vigorous and young.

54. See also the Seven Worlds set over us, adorned with an everlasting order, and filling Eternity with a different course.

55. For all things are full of Light, but the Fire is nowhere.

56. For the friendship and commixture of contraries and unlike, become Light shining from the Act or Operation of God, the Father of all Good, the Prince of all Order, and the Ruler of the Seven Worlds.

57. Look also upon the Moon, the forerunner of them all, the Instrument of Nature, and which changeth the matter here below.

58. Behold the Earth the middle of the Whole, the firm and stable Foundation of the Fair World, the Feeder and Nurse of Earthly things.

59. Consider, moreover, how great the multitude is of immortal living things, and of mortal ones also; and see the Moon going about in the midst of both, to wit, of things immortal and mortal.

60. But all things are full of Soul, and all things are properly moved by it; some things about the Heaven, and some things about the Earth; and neither of those on the right hand to the left; nor those on the left hand to the right; nor those things that are above, downward; nor those things that are below, upwards.

61. And that all these things are made, O beloved Hermes, thou needst not learn of me.

62. For they are Bodies, and have a Soul, and are moved.

63. And that all these should come together into one, it is impossible without something to gather them together.

64. Therefore, there must be some such ones, and he altogether One.

65. For seeing that the motions are divers, and many, and the Bodies not alike, and yet one ordered swiftness among them all; It is impossible there should be two or more Makers.

66. For one order is not kept by many.

67. But in the weaker there would be jealousy of the stronger, and thence also contentions.

68. And if there were one Maker, of mutable mortal living Wights, he would desire also to make immortal ones, as he that were the Maker of immortal ones, would do to make mortal.

69. Moreover, also, if there were two, the Matter of being one, who should be chief, or have the disposing of the future?

70. Or if both of them, which of them the greater part?

71. But thinks thus that every living Body hath its consistence of Matter and soul; and of that which is immortal, and that which is mortal and unreasonable.

72. For all living Bodies have a Soul; and those things that are not living, are only matter by itself.

73. And the Soul likewise of itself drawing near her Maker, is the cause of Life and Being, and Being the cause of Life is, after a manner, the cause of immortal things.

74. How then are mortal Wights other from immortal?

75. Or how cannot he make living Wights, that causeth immortal things and immortality?

76. That there is some Body that doth these things it is apparent, and that he is also one, it is most manifest.

77. For there is one Soul, one Life, and one matter.

78. Who is this? who can it be, other than the One God?

79. For whom else can it benefit to make living things, save only God alone?

80. There is therefore One God.

81. For it is a ridiculous thing to confess the World to be one, one Sun, one Moon, one Divinity, and yet to have, I know not how many gods.

82. He therefore being One, doth all things in many things.

83. And what great thing is it for God, to make Life, and Soul, and Immortality, and Change, when thyself dost so many things?

84. For thou both seest, speaketh, and hearest, smellest, tastest, and touchest, walkest, understandest, and breathest.

85. And it is not one that sees, and another that heareth, and another that speaketh, and another that toucheth, and another that smelleth, and another that walketh, and another that understandeth, and another that breatheth; but one that doth all these things.

86. Yet neither can these things possibly be without God.

87. For as thou, if thou shouldest cease from doing these things, were not a living wight, so if God should cease from those, he were not (which is not lawful to say) any longer God.

88. For if it be already demonstrated that nothing can be idle or empty, how much more may be affirmed of God?

89. For if there be anything which he doth not do, then is he (if it were lawful to say so) imperfect.

90. Whereas, seeing he is not idle, but perfect, certainly he doth all things.

91. Now give thyself unto me, O Hermes, for a little while, thou shalt the more easily understand, that it is the necessary work of God, that all things should be made or done that are done, or were once done, or shall be done.

92. And this, O best beloved, is Life.

93. And this is the Fair.

94. And this is the Good.

95. And this is God.

96. And if thou will understand this by work also, mark what happens to thyself when thou will generate.

97. And yet this is not like unto him, for he is not sensible of pleasure, for neither hath he any other Fellow Workman.

98. But being himself the only Workman, he is always in the work, himself being that which he doth or maketh.

99. For all things, if they were separate from him, must needs fall and die, as there being no life in them.

100. And again, if all things be living wights, both which are in heaven, and upon earth, and that there be one Life in all things which are made by God, and that is God, then certainly all things are made or done by God.

101. Life is the union of the Mind and the Soul.

102. But death is not the destruction of those things that were gathered together, but a dissolving of the Union.

103. The Image therefore of God, is Eternity; of Eternity, the World; of the World, the Sun: of the Sun, Man.

104. But the people say, That changing is Death, because the body is dissolved, and the Life goeth into that which appeareth not.

105. By this discourse, my dearest Hermes, I affirm as thou hearest. That the World is changed, because every day part thereof becomes invisible, but that it is never dissolved.

106. And these are the Passions of the World, Revolutions and Occultations, and Revolution is a turning, but Occultation is Renovation.

107. And the World being all formed, hath not the forms lying without it, but itself changeth in itself.

108. Seeing then the World is all formed, what must he be that made it! for without form, he cannot be.

109. And if he be all formed, he will be kept like the World, but if he have but one form, he shall be in this regardless of the world.

110. What do we then say that he is? We will not raise any doubts by our speech, for nothing that is doubtful concerning God is yet known.

111. He hath therefore one Idea, which is proper to him, which, because it is unbodily, is not subject to the sight, and yet shows all forms by the Bodies.

112. And do not wonder if there be an incorruptible Idea.

113. For they are like the Margents of the Speech, which is in writing; for they seem to be high and swelling, but they are by nature smooth and even.

114. But understand well this that I say, more boldly, for it is more true: As man cannot live without life, so neither can God live not doing good.

115. For this is, as it were, the Life and Motion of God, to Move all things, and Quicken them.

116. But some of the things I have said, must have a particular explanation; Understand then what I say.

117. All things are in God, not as lying in a place, for Place is both a body and immoveable, and those things that are placed, have no motion.

118. For they lie otherwise in that which is unbodily, than in the fantasie, or to appearance.

119. Consider him that contains all things, and understand that nothing is more capacious, than that which is incorporeal, nothing more swift, nothing more powerful, but it is most capacious, most swift, and most strong.

120. And judge of this by thyself, command thy Soul to go into India, and sooner than thou canst bid it, it will be there.

121. Bid it likewise pass over the Ocean, and suddenly it will be there; not as passing from place to place, but suddenly it will be there.

122. Command it to fly into Heaven, and it will not need no wings, neither shall anything hinder it, not the fire of the Sun, not the Aether, not the turning of the Spheres, not the bodies of any other Stars, but cutting through all, it will fly up to the last and furthest body.

123. And if thou wilt even break the whole, and see those things that are without the world (if there be anything without), thou mayest.

124. Behold, how great power, how great swiftness thou hast! Canst thou do all thee things, and cannot God?

125. After this manner, therefore, contemplate God to have all the whole world to himself, as it were, all thoughts, or intellections.

126. If therefore thou wilt not equal thyself to God, thou canst not understand God.

127. For the like is intelligible by the like.

128. Increase thyself unto an immeasureable greatness, leaping beyond every Body, and transcending all Time, become Eternity, and thou shalt understand God: If thou believe in thyself, that nothing is impossible, but accountest thyself immortal, and that thou canst understand all things, every Art, every Science, and the manner and custom of every living thing.

129. Become higher than all height, lower than all depths, comprehend in thyself the qualitites of all the Creatures, of the Fire, the Water, the Dry, and Moist, and conceive likewise, that thou canst at once be everywhere, in the Sea, in the Earth.

130. Thou shalt at once understand thyself, not yet begotten in the Womb, young, old, to be dead, the things after death, and all these together, as also times, places, deeds, qualities, quantities, or else thou canst not yet understand God.

131. But if thou shut up thy Soul in the Body, and abuse it, and say, I understand nothing, I can do nothing, I am afraid of the Sea, I cannot climb up to Heaven, I know not who I am, I cannot tell what I shall be: What hast thou to do with god? for thou canst understand none of those Fair and Good things, and be a lover of the body and Evil.

132. For it is the greatest Evil, not to know God.

133. But to be able to know, and to will, and to hope, is the straight way, and Divine way, proper to the Good, and it will everywhere meet thee, and everywhere be seen of thee, plain and easy, when thou dost not expect or look for it; it will meet thee waking, sleeping, sailing, travelling, by night, by day, when thou speakest, and when thou keepest silence.

134. For there is nothing which is not the Image of God.

135. And yet thou sayest, God is invisible; but be advised, for who is more manifest than He?

136. For therefore hath he made all things, that thou by all things mayest see Him.

137. This is the Good of God, this is the Virtue, to appear, and to be seen in all things.

138. There is nothing invisible, no, not of those things that are incorporeal.

139. The Mind is seen in understanding, and God is seen in doing or making.

140. Let these things thus far forth, be made manifest unto thee, O Trismegistus.

141. Understand in like manner, all other things by thyself, and thou shalt not be deceived.

The End of the Tenth Book,


THE Mind, O Tat, is of the very Essence of God, if yet there be any Essence of God.

2. What kind of Essence that is, he alone knows himself exactly.

3. The Mind therefore is not cut off, or divided from the essentiality of God, but united as the light of the Sun.

4. And this Mind in men, is God, and therefore are some men Divine, and their Humanity is near Divinity.

5. For the good Demon called the Gods, immortal Men, and men mortal Gods.

6. But in the brute Beast, or unreasonable living Wights, the Mind is their Nature.

7. For where there is a Soul, there is the Mind, as where there is Life there is also a Soul.

8. In living Creatures, therefore, that are without Reason, the Soul is Life, void of the operations of the Mind.

9. For the Mind is the Benefactor of the Souls of men, and worketh to the proper Good.

10. And in unreasonable things it co-operateth with the nature of everyone of them, but in men it worketh against their Natures.

11. For the Soul being in the body, is straightway made Evil by Sorrow, and Grief, and Pleasure, or Delight.

12. For Grief and Pleasure, flow like juices from the compound Body, whereinto when the Soul entereth or descendeth, she is moistened and tinctured with them.

13. As many Souls, therefore, as the Mind governeth, or overruleth, to them it shows its own Light, resisting their prepossessions or presumptions.

14. As a good Physician grieveth the Body, prepossessed of a disease, by burning or lancing it for health's sake;

15. After the same manner also the Mind grieveth the Soul, by drawing it out of Pleasure, from whence every disease of the Soul proceedeth.

16. But the Great Disease of the Soul is Atheism, because that opinion followeth to all Evil, and no Good.

17. Therefore, the Mind resisting, it procureth Good to the Soul, as a Physician to the Body.

18. But as many Souls of Men, as do not admit or entertain the Mind for their Governor, do suffer the same thing that the Soul of unreasonable living things.

19. For the Soul being a Co-operator with them, permits or leaves them to their concupiscences, whereunto they are carried by the torrent of their Appetite, and so tend to brutishness.

20. And as brute Bests, they are angry without reason, and they desire without reason, and never cease, nor are satisfied with evil.

21. For unreasonable Angers and Desires are the most exceeding Evils.

22. And therefore hath God set the Mind over there, as a Revenger and Reprover of them.

23. Tat. Here, O Father, that discourse of Fate of Destiny, which thou madest to me, is in danger of being overthrown; for if it be fatal for any man to commit Adultery or Sacrilege, or do any evil, he is punished also, though he, of necessity, do the work of the Fate or Destiny.

24. Herm. All things, O Son, are the work of Fate, and without it can no bodily thing, either Good or Evil, be done.

25. For it is decreed by Fate, that he that doth any evil, should also suffer for it.

26. And therefore he doth it, that he may suffer that which he suffereth because he did it.

27. But for the present, let alone that speech, concerning Evil and Fate, for at other times we have spoken of it.

28. Now, our discourse is about the Mind, and what it can do, and how it differs, and is in men such a one, but in brute Beasts changed.

29. And again in brute Beasts it is not beneficial, but in men by quenching both their Anger and Concupiscences.

30. And of man, thou must understand, some to be rational, or governed by reason, and some irrational.

31. But all men are subject to Fate, and to Generation, and Change, for these are the beginning and end of Fate or Destiny

32. And all men suffer those things that are decreed by Fate.

33. But rational men, over whom, as we said, the mind bears rule, do not suffer like unto other men; but being free from viciousness, and being not evil, they do suffer evil.

34. Tat. How sayest thou this again, Father? An Adulterer, is he not evil? A Murderer, is he not evil? and so of others.

35. Herm. But the rational man, O Son, will not suffer for Adultery, but as the Adulterer not for Murder, but as the Murderer.

36. And it is impossible to escape the Quality of change as of Generation, but the Viciousness, he that hath the Mind, may escape.

37. And therefore, O Son, I have always heard the good Demon say, and if he had delivered it in writing, he had much profited all mankind. For he alone, O So, as the first born, God seeing all things, truly spake Divine words. I have heard him sometimes, That all things are one thing, especially intelligible Bodies, or that all especially intelligible Bodies are one.

38. We live in Power, in Act, and in Eternity.

39. Therefore, a good mind is that which the soul of him is.

40. And if this be so, then no intelligible thing differs from intelligible things.

41. As, therefore, it is possible that the Mind, the Prince of all things; so likewise, that the soul that is of God, can do whatsoever it will.

42. But understand thou well, for this Discourse I have made to the Question which thou askest of me before, I man concerning Fate and the Mind.

43. First, if, O Son, thou shalt diligently withdraw thyself from all contentious speeches, thou shalt find that in Truth, the Mind, the Soul of God bears rule over all things, both over Fate, and Law, and all other things.

44. And nothing is impossible to him, no, not of the things that are of Fate.

45. Therefore, though the Soul of Man be above it, let it not neglect the things that happen to be under Fate.

46. And these, thus far, were the excellent sayings of the good Demon.

47. Tat. Most divinely spoken, O Father, and truly and profitably, yet clear this one thing unto me.

48. Thou sayest, that in brute Beasts the Mind worketh or acteth after the manner of Nature, co-operating also with their )... impetus) inclinations.

49. Now, the impetuous inclinations of brute Beasts, as I conceive, are Passions. If, therefore, the Mind do co-operate with these impetuous Inclinations, and that they are the Passions in brute Beasts, certainly the Mind is also a Passion, conforming itself to Passions.

50. Herm. Well done, Son, thou askest nobly, and yet it is just that I should answer thee.

51. All incorporeal things, O Son, that are in the Body, are passible, nay, they are properly Passions.

52. Everything that moveth is incorporeal; everything that is moved is a Body; and it is moved into the Bodies by the Mind. Now, Motion is passion, and there they both suffer; as well that which moveth, as that which is moved, as well that which ruleth, as that which is ruled.

53. But being freed from the Body, it is freed likewise from Passion.

54. But especially, O Son, there is nothing impassible, but all things are passible.

55. But Passion differs from that which is passible; for that (Passion) acteth, but this suffers.

56. Bodies also of themselves do act; for either they are unmoveable, or else are moved; and which soever it be, it is a Passion.

57. But incorporeal things do always act, or work, and therefore they are passible.

58. Let not, therefore, the appellations or names trouble thee, for Action and Passion are the same thing, but that it is not grievous to use the more honorable name.

59. Tat. O Father, thou hast delivered this discourse most plainly.

60. Herm. Consider this also, O Son, that God hath freely bestowed upon man, above all other living things, these two, to wit, Mind and Speech, or Reason ..., equal to immortality.

61. These, if any man use, or employ upon what he ought, he shall differ nothing from the Immortals.

62. Yea, rather going out of the Body, he shall be guided and led by them, both into the Choir and Society of the God, and blessed ones.

63. Tat. Do not other living creatures use speech, O Father?

64. Herm. No, Son, but only voice. Now, speech and voice do differ exceeding much; for speech is common to all men, but voice is proper unto every kind of living thing.

65. Tat. Yea, but the Speech of men is different, O Father; every man according to his Nation.

66. Herm. It is true, O Son, they do differ: yet as Man is one, so is Speech one also, and it is interpreted and found the same, both in Egypt, Persia, and Greece.

67. But thou seemest unto me, Son, to be ignorant of the Vertue, or Power and greatness of Speech.

68. For the blessed God, the good Demon said or commanded the Soul to be in the Body, the Mind in the Soul ..., the Word, or Speech, or Reason in the Mind, and the Mind in God, and that God is the Father of them all.

69. Therefore, the Word is the Image of the Mind, and the Mind of God, and the Body of the Idea, and the Idea of the Soul.

70. Therefore, of the Matter, the subtilest or smallest part is Air, of the Air the Soul, of the Soul the Mind, of the Mind God.

71. And God is about all things, and through all things, but the Mind about the Soul, the Soul about the Air, and the Air about the Matter.

72. But Necessity, and Providence, and Nature, are the Organs or Instruments of the World, and of the Order of Matter.

73. For of those things that are intelligible, everyone is; but the essence of them is Identity.

74. But of the Bodies of the whole, or universe, every one is many things.

75. For the Bodies that are put together, and that have, and make their changes into other, having this Identity, do always and preserve the incorruption of the Identity.

76. But in every one of the compound Bodies there is a Number

77. For without Number it is impossible there should be consistence or constitution, or composition, or dissolution.

78. But Unities do both beget and increase Numbers, and again being dissolved, come into themselves.

79. And the Matter is One.

80. But this whole World, the great God, and the Image of the Greater, and united unto him, and concerning the Order, and Will of the Father, is the fulness of Life.

81. And there is nothing therein, through all the Eternity of the Revolution, neither of the whole, nor of the parts which doth not live.

82. For there is nothing dead, that either hath been, or is, or shall be in the World.

83. For the Father would have it, as long as it lasts, to be a living thing; and therefore it must needs be God also.

84. How, therefore, O Son, can there be in God in the image of the Universe, in the fulness of Life, any dead things?

85. For dying is Corruption, and corruption is destruction.

86. How, then, can any part of the incorruptible be corrupted, or of God be destroyed?

87. Tat. Therefore, O Father, do not the living things in the World die, though they be parts thereof?

88. Herm. Be wary in thy speech, O Son, and not deceived in the names of things.

89. For they do not die, O Son, but as Compound bodies they are dissolved.

90. But dissolution is not death; and they are dissolved, not that they may be destroyed, but that they may be made new.

91. Tat. What, then, is the operation of Life? Is it not Motion?

92. Herm. And what is there in the World unmoveable? Nothing at all, O Son.

93. Tat. Why, doth not the Earth seem immoveable to thee, O Father?

94. Herm. No, but subject to many Motions, though after a manner, it alone be stable.

95. What a ridiculous thing it were that the nurse of all things should be immoveable which beareth and bringeth forth all things.

96. For it is impossible that anything that bringeth forth, should bring forth without Motion.

97. And a ridiculous question it is, whether the fourth part of the whole, be idle; for the word immoveable, or without motion, signifies nothing else, but idleness.

98. Know generally, O Son, that whatsoever is in the World is moved either according to Augmentation or Diminution.

99. But that which is moved, liveth also, yet it is not necessary that a living thing should be or continue the same.

100. For while the whole world is together, it is unchangeable, O Son, but all the parts thereof are changeable.

101. Yet nothing is corrupted or destroyed, and quite abolished, but the names trouble men.

102. For Generation is not Life, but Sense, neither is Change Death, but Forgetfulness, or rather Occultation, and lying hid. Or better thus:--

103. For Generation is not a Creation of Life, but a production of things to Sense, and making them manifest. Neither is Change Death, but an Occultation of hiding of that which was.

104. These things being so, all things are Immortal, Matter, Life, Spirit, Soul, Mind, whereof every living thing consisteth.

105. Every living thing therefore is Immortal, because of the Mind, but especially Man, who both receiveth God, and converseth with him.

106. For with this living wight, alone is God familiar; in the night by dreams, in the day by Symbols or Signs.

107. And by all things doth he foretell him of things to come, by Birds, by Fowls, by the Spirit, or Wind, and by an Oak.

108. Wherefore, also, Man professeth to know things that have been, things that are present, and things to come.

109. Consider this also, O Son, that every other living Creature goeth upon one part of the World, Swimming things in the Water, Land wights upon the Earth, Flying Fowls in the Air.

110. But Man useth all these, the Earth, the Water, the Air, and the Fire, nay, he seeth and toucheth Heaven by his senses.

111. But God is both about all things, and through all things, for he is both Act and Power.

112. And it is no hard thing, O Son, to understand God.

113. And if thou wilt also see him, look upon the Necessity of things that appear, and the Providence of things that have been, and are done.

114. See the Matter being most full of Life, and so great a God moved, with all good, and Fair, both Gods, and Demons, and Men.

115. Tat. But these, O Father, are wholly Acts, or Operations.

116. Herm. If they be, therefore, wholly acts or operations, O Son, by whom are they acted or operated, but by God?

117. Or art thou ignorant, that as parts of the World, are Heaven, and Earth, and Water, and Air; after the same manner, the Members of God, are Life, and Immortality, and Eternity, and Spirit, and Necessity, and Providence, and Nature, and Soul, and Mind, and the Continuance or Perseverance of all these which is called Good.

118. And there is not anything of all that hath been, and all that is, where God is not.

119. Tat. What, in Matter, O Father?

120. Herm. The Matter, Son, what is it without God, that thou shouldst ascribe a proper place to it?

121. Or what dost thou think it to be? Peradventure, some heap that is not actuated or operated.

122. But if it be actuated, by whom is it actuated? for we have said, that Acts or Operations, are the parts of God.

123. By whom are all living things quickened? and the Immortal, by whom are they immortalized? the things that are changeable, by whom are they changed?

124. Whether thou speak of Matter or Body, or Essence, know that all these are Acts of God.

125. And that the Act of Matter is materiality, and of the Bodies corporality, and of essence essentiality, and this is God the whole.

126. And in the whole, there is nothing that is not God.

127. Wherefore, about God, there is neither Greatness, Place, Quality, Figure, or time, foe he is All, and the All, through all, and about all.

128. This Word, O Son, worship and adore. And the only service of God, is not to be evil.

The End of the Eleventh Book

The Divine Pymander, by Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus, tr. by John Everard, [1650], at


THE Workman made this Universal World, not with his Hands, but his Word.

2. Therefore thus think of him, as present everywhere, and being always, and making all things; and one above, that by his Will hath framed the things that are.

3. For that is his Body, not tangible, nor visible, nor measurable, nor extensible, nor like any other body.

4. For it is neither Fire, nor Water, nor Air, nor Wind, but all these things are of him; for being Good, he hath dedicated that name unto himself alone.

5. But he would also adorn the Earth, but with the Ornament of a Divine Body.

6. And he sent Man, an Immortal, and a mortal wight.

7. And Man had more than all living Creatures, and the World; because of his Speech, and Mind.

8. For Man became the Spectator of the Works of God, and wondered, and acknowledged the Maker.

9. For he divided Speech among all Men, but not Mind, and yet he envied not any; for Envy comes not thither, but is abode here below in the Souls of men, that have not the Mind.

10. Tat. But wherefore, Father, did not God distribute the Mind to all men?

11. Herm. Because it pleased him, O Son, to set that in the middle among all souls, as a reward to strive for.

12. Tat. And where hath he set it?

13. Herm. Filling a large Cup or Bowl therewith, he sent it down, giving also a Cryer or Proclaimer.

14. And he commanded him to proclaim these things to the souls of men.

15. Dip and wash thyself, thou that art able in this Cup or Bowl: Thou that believeth that thou shalt return to him that sent this Cup; thou that acknowledgest whereunto thou wert made.

16. As many, therefore, as understood the Proclamation, and were baptized, or dowsed into the Mind, these were made partakers of knowledge, and became perfect men, receiving the Mind.

17. But as many as missed of the Proclamation, they received Speech, but not Mind; being ignorant whereunto they were made, or by whom.

18. But their Senses are just like to brute Beasts, and having their temper in Anger and Wrath, they do not admire the things worthy of looking on.

19. But wholly addicted to the pleasures and desires of the Body, they believe that man was made for them.

20. But as many as partake of the gift of God; these, O Tat, in comparison of their works, are rather immortal, than mortal men.

21. Comprehending all things in their Mind, which are upon Earth, which are in Heaven, and if there be anything above Heaven.

22. And lifting up themselves so high, they see the Good, and seeing it, they account it a miserable calamity to make their abode here.

23. And despising all things bodily and unbodily, they make haste to the One and Only.

24. Thus, O Tat, is the knowledge of the Mind, the beholding of Divine things, and the Understanding of God, the Cup itself, being Divine.

25. Tat. And I, O Father, would be baptized and drenched therein.

26. Herm. Except thou first hate thy body, O Son, thou canst not love thyself, but loving thyself, thou shalt have the Mind, and having the Mind, thou shalt also partake the Knowledge or Science.

27. Tat. How meanest thou, O Father?

28. Herm. Because it is impossible, O Son, to be conversant about things Mortal and Divine.

29. For the things that are, being two Bodies, and things incorporeal, wherein is the Mortal and the Divine, the Election or Choice of either is left to him that will choose: For no man can choose both.

30. And of which soever the choice is made, the other being diminished or overcome, magnifieth the act or operation of the other.

31. The choice of the better, therefore, is not only best for him that chooseth it, by deifying man, but it also shewth Piety and Religion towards God.

32. But the choice of the worst destroys a man, but doth nothing against God, save that as Pomps or Pageants, when they come abroad, cannot do anything themselves but hinder; after the same manner also do these make Pomps and Pageants in the World, being seduced by the pleasures of the Body.

33. These Things being so, O Tat, that things have been, and are so plenteously ministered to us from God, let them proceed also from us, without any scarcity or sparing.

34. For God is innocent or guiltless, but we are the causes of Evil, preferring them before the Good.

35. Thou seest, O Son, how many Bodies we must go beyond, and how many Choirs of Demons, and what continuity and courses of Stars, that we may make haste to the One, and only God.

36. For the Good is not to be transcended, it is unbounded and infinite, unto itself, without beginning, but unto us, seeming to have a beginning, even our knowledge of it.

37. For our Knowledge is not the beginning of it, but shews us the beginning of its being known unto us.

38. Let us, therefore, lay hold of the beginning, and we shall quickly go through all things.

39. It is indeed a difficult thing to leave those things that are accustomable and present, and turn us to those things that are ancient, and according to the original.

40. For these things that appear, delight us, but make the things that appear not, hard to believe, or the things that appear not, are hard to believe.

41. The things most apparent are Evil, but the Good is secret, or hid in, or to the things that appear, for it hath neither Form nor Figure.

42. For this cause it is like to itself, but unlike everything else, for it is impossible that anything incorporeal should be made know, or appear to a Body.

43. For this is the difference between the like and the unlike, and the unlike wanteth always somewhat of the like.

44. For the Unity, Beginning, and Root of all things, as being the Root and Beginning.

45. Nothing is without a beginning, but the Beginning is of nothing, but of itself, for it is the Beginning of all other things.

46. Therefore it is, seeing it is not from another beginning.

47. Unity therefore being the Beginning, containeth very number, but itself is contained of none, and begetteth every number, itself being begotten of no other number.

48. Everything that is begotten (or made), is imperfect, and may be divided, increased, diminished.

49. But to the perfect, there happeneth none of these.

50. And that which is increased, is increased by Unity, but is consumed and vanished through weakness, being not able to receive the Unity.

51. This Image of God, have I described to thee, O Tat, as well as I could, which if thou do diligently consider, and view by the eyes of they Mind, and hear, believe me, Son, thou shalt find the way to things above, or, rather, the Image itself will lead thee.

52. But the spectacle or sight, hath this peculiar and proper: Them that can see, and behold it, it holds fast and draws unto it, as they say, the Loadstone doth Iron.

The End of the Twelfth Book,


YESTERDAY, Asclepius, I delivered a perfect Discourse, but now I think it necessary, in suite of that, to dispute also of Sense.

2. For Sense and Understanding seem to differ, because the one is material and the other essential.

3. But unto me, they appear to be both one, or united, and not divided in men, I mean.

4. For in other living Creatures, Sense is united into Nature, but in men to Understanding.

5. But the Mind differs from Understanding, as much a God from Divinity.

6. For Divinity is... from under God, and Understanding from the Mind, being the Sister of the Word or Speech, and they the Instruments one of another.

7. For neither is the Word pronounced without Understanding, neither is Understanding manifested without the Word.

8. Therefore, Sense and Understanding do both flow together into a man, as if they were infolded one within another.

9. For neither is it possible without Sense to Understand, nor can we have Sense without Understanding.

10. And yet it is possible (for the time being), that the Understanding may understand without Sense, as they that fancy visions in their Dreams.

11. But it seems unto me, that both the operations are in the Visions of Dreams, and that the Sense is stirred up out of sleep, into awakening.

12. For Man is divided into a Body and a Soul, when both parts of the Sense accord one with another, then is the Understanding childed, or brought forth by the Mind pronounced.

13. For the Mind brings forth all Intellections or Understandings, Good ones when it receiveth good seed from God, and the contrary, when it receives them from Devils.

14. For there is not part of the World void of the Devil, which entering in privately, sowed the seed of his own proper operation, and the mind did make pregnant, or did bring forth that which was sown. Adulteries, Murders, Striking of Parents, Sacrileges, Impieties, Stranglings, throwing down headlong, and all other things, which are the works of Evil Demons.

15. And the seeds of God are few, but great and Fair, and Good, Virtue, and Temperance, and Piety.

16. And the Piety is the knowledge of God, whom whosoever knoweth, being full of all good things, hath Divine Understanding, and not like the many.

17. And therefore they that have that knowledge, neither please the multitude, nor the multitude them, but they seem to be mad, and to move laughter, hated and despised, and many times also murdered.

18. For we have already said, That wickedness must dwell here, being in her own region.

19. For her region is the Earth, and not the World, as some will sometimes say, Blaspheming.

20. But the Godly or God-worshipping Man, laying hold on knowledge, will despise or tread under all these things, for though they be evil to other men, yet to him all things are good.

21. And upon mature consideration, he refers all things to knowledge, and that which is most to be wondered at, he alone makes Evil things good.

22. But I return again to my Discourse of Sense.

23. It is, therefore, a thing proper to man, to communicate and conjoin Sense and Understanding.

24. But every man, as I said before, doth not enjoy Understanding, for one man is material, another Essential.

25. And he that is material with wickedness, as I said, received from the Devils the seed of Understanding, but they that are with the Good essentially, are eared with God.

26. For God is the workman of all things, and when he worketh, he useth Nature.

27. He maketh all things good like himself.

28. But these things that are made good, are in the use of operation, unlawful.

29. For the Motion of the World, stirring up Generations, makes Qualities; infesting some with evilness, and purifying some with good.

30. And the World, Asclepius, hath a peculiar Sense and Understanding, not like to Man's, nor so various or manifold, but a better and more simple.

31. For the Sense and Understanding of the World is One, in that it makes all things, and unmakes them again into itself, for it is the Organ of Instrument of the Will of God.

32. And it is so organized or framed, and made for an Instrument by God, that receiving all Seeds into itself from God, and keeping them in itself, it maketh all things effectually, and dissolving them, reneweth all things.

33. And therefore like a good Husbandman of Life, when things are dissolved or loosened, he affords, by the casting of Seed, renovation to all things that grow.

34. There is nothing that it (the World) doth not beget or bring forth alive, and by its Motion, it makes all things alive.

35. And it is at once, both the Place and the Workman of Life.

36. But the Bodies are from the Matter, in a different manner, for some are of Earth, some of Water, some of Air, some of Fire, and all are compounded, but some are more compounded, and some are more simple.

37. They that are compounded, are the heavier, and they that are less, are the higher.

38. And the swiftness of the Motion of the World, makes the varieties of the qualities of Generation, for the Spiration of Influence being most frequent, extendeth unto the Bodies' qualities, with infulness, which is of Life.

39. Therefore, God is the Father of the World, but the World is Father of the things in the World.

40. And the World is the Son of God, but things in the World, are the Sons of the World.

41. And, therefore, it is well called ... the World, that is, an Ornament, because it adorneth and beautifieth all things with the Variety of Generation, and indeficiency of Life, which the unweariedness of Operation, and the swiftness of Necessity, with the mingling of Elements, and the order of things done.

42. Therefore, it is necessarily and proper called ... the World.

43. For all living things, both the sense and the Understanding, cometh into them from without, inspired by that which compasseth them about, and continueth them.

44. And the World receiving it once from God as soon as it was made, has it still, whatever it once had.

45. But God is not as it seems to some who Blaspheme through superstition, without Sense, and without Mind, or Understanding.

46. For all things that are, O Asclepius, are in God, and made by him, and depend of him, some working by bodies, some moving by a Soul, like Essence, some quickening by a Spirit, and some receiving the things that are weary, and all very fitly.

47. Or rather, I say, that he hath them not, but I declare the Truth, he is all things, not receiving them from without, but exhibiting them outwardly.

48. And this is the Sense and Understanding of God, to move all things always.

49. And there shall never be any time, when any of these things that are, shall fail, or be wanting.

50. When I say the things that are, I mean God, for the things that are, God hath, and neither is there anything without him, nor he without anything.

51. These things, O Asclepius, will appear to be true, if thou understand them, but if thou understand them not, incredible.

52. For to understand, is to believe, but not to believe, is not to understand; For my speech or words reach not unto the Truth, but the Mind is great, and being led or conducted for a while by Speech, is able to attain to the Truth.

53. And understanding all things round about, and finding them consonant, and agreeable to those things that were delivered, and interrupted by Speech, believeth, and in that good belief resteth.

54. To them, therefore, that understand the things that have been said of God, they are credible, but to them that understand them not, incredible.

55. And let these, and thus many things, be spoken concerning Understanding and Sense.

The End of the Thirteenth Book,


THOU has well explained these things, Father. Teach me furthermore these things, for thou sayest, that Science and Art were the operations of the Rational, but now thou sayest, that Beasts are unreasonable, and for want of Reason, both are, and are called Brutes, so that by this reason, it must needs follow, that unreasonable Creatures partake not of Science, or Art, because they come short of Reason.

2. Herm. It must needs be so, Son.

3. Tat. Why then, O Father, do we see some unreasonable living Creatures use both Science and Art; as the Pismires treasure up for themselves food against Winter, and Fowls of the Air likewise make them Nests, and four-footed Beasts know their own Dens?

4. These things they do, O Son, not by Science or Art, but by Nature; For Science and Art are things that are taught, but none of these Brute Beasts are taught any of these things.

5. But these things being Natural unto them, are wrought by Nature, whereas, Art and Science do not happen unto all, but unto some.

6. As Men are Musitians, but not all; neither are all Archers, or Huntsmen, or the rest, but some of them have learned something by the working of Science, or Art.

7. After the same manner also, if some Pismires did so, and some not, thou mightest well say, they gather their Food according to Science and Art.

8. But being, they are all led by Nature, to the same thing, even against their Wills, it is manifest they do not do it by Science or Art.

9. For operations, O Tat, being unbodily are in Bodies, and work by bodies.

10. Wherefore, O Tat, in as much as they are unbodily, thou must needs say, they are immortal.

11. But inasmuch as they cannot act without Bodies, I say they are always in a Body.

12. For those things that are to anything, or for the cause of anything made subject to Providence or Necessity, cannot possibly remain idle of their own proper operation.

13. For that which is, shall ever be, for both the Body, and the Life of it, is the same.

14. And by this reason, it follows, that the Bodies also are always, because I affirm: That this corporeity is always by the Act and Operation, or for them.

15. For although Earthly Bodies be subject to dissolution, yet these bodies must be the Places, and the Organs, and Instruments of Acts or Operations.

16. But acts or Operations are immortal, and that which is Immortal is always in Act, and therefore also Corporification if it be always.

17. Acts or operations do follow the Soul, yet come not suddenly or promiscuously; but some of them come together with being made man, being about brutish or unreasonable things.

18. But the purer operations do insensibly in the change of time, work with the oblique part of the Soul.

19. And these operations depend upon Bodies, and truly they that are Corporifying, come from the Divine Bodies into Mortal ones.

20. But every one of them acteth both about the Body and the Soul, and are present with the Soul, even without the Body.

21. And they are always Acts or operations, but the Soul is not always in a Mortal Body, for it can be without a Body, but Acts or Operations cannot be without Bodies.

22. This is a sacred Speech, Son; the Body cannot consist without a Soul.

23. Tat. How meanest thou that, Father?

24. Herm. Understand it thus, O Tat: When the Soul is separated from the Body, there remaineth that same body.

25. And this same Body, according to the time of its abode, is actuated, or operated in that it is dissolved and becomes invisible.

26. And these things the Body cannot suffer without act or operation, and consequently there remaineth with the Body, the same act or operation.

27. This then is the difference between an Immortal Body and a Mortal one, that the Immortal one consists of one Matter, and so doth not the Mortal one, and the immortal one doth, but this suffereth.

28. And every thing that acteth or operateth is stronger, and ruleth, but that which is actuated or operated, is ruled.

29. And that which ruleth, directeth, and governeth as free, but the other is rules, a servant.

30. Acts or Operations, do not only act or operate, living or breathing, or insouled ... Bodies, but also Breathless Bodies, or without Souls, Wood and Stones, and such like, encreasing and bearing fruit, ripening, corrupting, rotting, putrifying and breaking, or working such like things, and whatsoever inanimate Bodies can suffer.

31. Act or Operation, O Son, is called, whatsoever is, or is made or done, and there are always many things made, or rather all things.

32. For the World is never widowed or forsaken of any of those things that are, but being always carried or moved in itself, it is in labour to bring forth the things that are, which shall never be left by it to corruption.

33. Let, therefore, every act or operation be understood to be always immortal, in what manner of Body soever it be.

34. But some Acts or Operations be of Divine, some of corruptible bodies, some universal, some peculiar, and some of the generals, and some of the parts of everything.

35. Divine Acts or Operations, therefore, there be, and such as work or operate upon their proper Bodies, and these also are perfect, and being upon or in perfect Bodies.

36. Particular are they which work by any of the living Creatures.

37. Proper be they that work upon any of the things that are.

38. By this Discourse, therefore, O Son, it is gathered that all things are full of Acts or Operations.

39. For if necessarily they be in every Body, and that there be many Bodies in the World, I may very well affirm, that there be many other Acts or Operations.

40. For many items in one Body, there if one, and a second, and a third, besides these universal ones that follow.

41. And universal operations, I call them that are indeed bodily, and are done by the Senses and Motions.

42. For without these, it is impossible that the Body should consist.

43. But other operations are proper to the Souls of Men, by Arts, Sciences, Studies, and Actions.

44. The Senses also follow these Operations, or rather are the effects or perfections ... of them.

45. Understand, therefore, O Son, the difference of Operations, it is sent from above.

46. But Sense being in the Body, and having its essence from it, when it receiveth Act or Operation, manifesteth it, making it as it were corporeal.

47. Therefore, I say, that the Senses are both corporeal and mortal, having so much existence as the Body, for they are born with the Body, and die with it.

48. But mortal things themselves have not Sense, as not consisting of such an Essence.

49. For Sense can be of no other than a corporeal apprehension, either of Evil or Good, that comes to the Body.

50. But to External Bodies there is nothing comes, nothing departs, therefore there is no Sense in them.

51. Tat. Doth the Sense therefore perceive or apprehend in every Body?

52. Herm. In every Body, O Son.

53. Tat. And do the Acts or Operations work in all things?

54. Herm. Even in things inanimate, O Son, but there are differences of Senses.

55. For the Senses of things rational, are with Reason, of things unreasonable, Corporeal only; but the Senses of things inanimate, are passive only, according to Augmentation and Diminution.

56. But Passion and Sense depend both upon one head, or hight, and are gathered together into the same, by Acts or Operations.

57. But in living Wights, there be two other Operations that follow the Senses and Passions, to wit, Grief and Pleasure.

58. And without these, it is impossible that a living Wight, especially a reasonable one, should perceive or apprehend.

59. And, therefore, I say, that these are the Ideas of Passions that bear rule, especially in reasonable living wights.

60. The Operations work indeed, but the Senses do declare and manifest the operations, and they being bodily, are moved by the brutish parts of the Soul; therefore, I say, they are both malificial, or doers of evil.

61. For that which affords the Sense to rejoice with Pleasure, is strightway the cause of many evils, happening to him that suffers it.

62. But sorrow gives stronger torments and Anguish, therefore, doubtless, are they both malificial.

63. The same may be said of the Sense of the Soul.

64. Tat. Is not the soul incorporeal, and the sense a Body, Father? Or is it rather in the Body?

65. Herm. If we put it in a Body, O So, we shall make it like the Soul, or the Operations; for these being unbodily, we say are in Bodies.

66. But Sense is neither Operation, nor Soul, nor anything else that belongs to the Body, but as we have said, and, therefore, it is not incorporeal.

67. And if it be not incorporeal, it must needs be a Body, for we always say, that of things that are, some are Bodies, and some incorporeal.

The End of The Fourteenth Book,



OF TRUTH, O Tat, it is not possible that man, being an imperfect Wight, compounded of Imperfect members, and having his Tabernacle, consisting of different, and many Bodies, should speak with any Confidence.

2. But as far as it is possible and just (I say). That Truth is only in Eternal Bodies, whose very Bodies are also True.

3. The Fire is fire itself only, and nothing else; the Earth is earth itself, and nothing else; the Air is air itself, and nothing else; the Water, water itself, and nothing else.

4. But our Bodies consist of all these, for they have of the Fire, they have of the Earth, they have of the Water, and Air, and yet there is neither Fire, nor Earth, nor Water, nor Air, nor anything true.

5. And if at the beginning, our Constitution had not Truth, how could men either see the Truth, or speak it, or understand it, only except God would?

6. All things, therefore, upon Earth, O Tat, are not Truth, but imitations of the Truth, and yet not all things neither, for they are but few that are so.

7. But the other things are Falsehood and Deceit, O Tat, and opinions, like the Images of the fancy of appearance.

8. And when the fancy hath an influence from above, then it is an imitation of Truth, but without the operations from above, it is left a lie.

9. And as an Image shews the Body described, and yet it is not the Body of that which is seen, as it seems to be, and it is seen to have eyes, but it sees nothing, and ears, but it hears nothing at all, and all other things hath the picture, but they are false, deceiving the eyes of the beholder, whilst they think they see the Truth, and yet they are indeed but lies.

10. As many, therefore, as see not falsehood, see the Truth.

11. If, therefore, we do so understand, and see every one of those things as it is, then we see and understand true things.

12. But if we see or understand anything besides, or otherwise, than that which is, we shall neither understand, nor know the Truth.

13. Tat. Is Truth, therefore, upon Earth, O Father?

14. Herm. Thou dost not miss the mark, O Son; Truth indeed is nowhere at all upon Earth, O Tat, for it cannot be generated, or made.

15. But concerning the Truth, it may be that some men, to whom God will give the Good seeing power, may understand it.

16. So that unto the Mind and Reason, there is nothing true indeed upon earth.

17. But unto the true Mind and Reason, all things are fancies, or appearances, and opinions.

18. Tat. Must we not, therefore, call it Truth, to understand and speak the things that are?

19. Herm. But there is nothing true upon Earth.

20. Tat. How then is this true: that we do not know anything true? How can that be done here?

21. Herm. O Son, Truth is the most perfect Virtue, and the highest Good itself, not troubled by Matter, not encompassed by a Body, naked, clear, unchangeable, venerable, unalterable Good.

22. But the things that are here, O Son, are visible, incapable of Good, corruptible, passible, dissolvable, changeable, continually altered, and made of another.

23. The things therefore that are not true to themselves, how can they be true?

24. For everything that is altered, is a lie, not abiding in what it is, but being changed it shews us always, other and other appearances.

25. Tat. Is not man true, O Father?

26. Herm. As far forth as he is a man, he is not true, Son, for that which is true, hath of itself alone its constitution, and remains and abides according to itself, such as it is.

27. But man consists of many things, and doth not abide of himself, but is turned and changed, age after age, Idea after Idea, or form after form, and this while he is yet in the Tabernacle.

28. And many have not known their own children after a little while, and many children likewise have not known their own Parents.

29. Is it then possible, O Tat, that he who is so changed, as is not to be known, should be true? No, on the contrary, he is Falsehood, being in many Appearance of changes.

30. But do thou understand the True to be that which abides the Same, and is Eternal, but man is not ever, therefore not True, but man is a certain appearance, and Appearance is the highest Lie or Falsehood.

31. Tat. But these eternal bodies, Father, are they not true, though they be changed?

32. Herm. Everything that is begotten, or made, and changed, is not true; but being made by our Progenitor, they might have had true matter.

33. But these also have in themselves, something that is false, in regard to their change.

34. For nothing that remains not in itself, is true.

35. Tat. What shall one say then, Father, that only the sun, which besides the Nature of other things, is not changed, but abides in itself, is Truth?

36. Herm. It is Truth, and therefore is he only intrusted with the Workmanship of the World, ruling and making all things, whom I do both honour, and adore his Truth; and after the One, and First, I acknowledge him the Workman.

37. Tat. What, therefore, dost thou affirm to be the first Truth, O Father?

38. Herm. The One and Only, O Tat, that is not of Matter, that is not in a Body, that is without colour, without Figure, or Shape, Immutable, Unalterable, which always is, but Falsehood, O Son, is corrupted.

39. And corruption hath laid hold upon all things on Earth, and the Providence of the True encompasseth, and will encompass them.

40. For without corruption there can no generation consist.

41. For corruption followeth every generation, that it may again be generated.

42. For those things that are generated, must of necessity be generated of those things that are corrupted, and the things generated must needs be corrupted, that the Generation of things being, may not stand still or cease.

43. Acknowledge, therefore, the first Workman, by the Generation of things.

44. Consequently the things that are generated of Corruption are false, as being sometimes one thing, sometimes another: For it is impossible, they should be made the same things again, and that which is not the same, how is it true?

45. Therefore, O Son, we must call these things fancies or appearances.

46. And if we will give a man his right name, we must call him the appearance of Manhood; and a child, the fancy or appearance of a child; an old man, the fancy or appearance of an old man; a young man, the appearance of a young man; and a man of ripe age, the appearance of a man of ripe age.

47. For neither is a man, a man, nor a child, a child, nor a young man, young man, nor an old man, an old man.

48. But the things that pre-exist, and that are, being changed, are false.

49. These things, understand thus, O Son, as these false operations, having their dependence from above, even of the Truth itself.

50. Which being so, I do affirm, that Falsehood is the Work of the Truth.

The End of the Fifteenth Book,


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