Category Archives: Hermeticism

From Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius: Definitions (Part 1)

Translated by Jean-Pierre Mahe and presented in The Way of Hermes.

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1. God: an intelligible world; world: a sensible God; man: a destructible world; God: an immovable world; heaven: a movable world; man: a reasonable world. Then there are three worlds. Now the immovable world is God, and the reasonable world is man: for both of these units are one: God and man after the species.

2. Consequently there are three worlds on the whole: two units make up the sensible and one is the intelligible; one is after the species, and the third one is after its fullness. All of the multiple belongs to the three worlds; two of them are visible: namely the sensible and man, that destructible world; and the intelligible is this God: he is not visible, but evident within the visible things.

3. Just as soul keeps up the figure while being within the body, which cannot possibly be constituted without a soul, likewise all of the visible cannot possibly be constituted without the invisible.

4. Now man is a small world because of soul and breath, and a perfect world whose magnitude does not exceed the sensible god, i.e. the world. The world is intelligible and God is Nous; he is the truly uncreated, the intelligible; by essence, the uncreated and the ineffable, the intelligible good. In a word, God is the intelligible world, the immovable Monad, the invisible world, the intelligible, invisible and ineffable good.

5. God is eternal and uncreated; man is mortal although he is ever-living. Continue reading

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Seed Stock – Frank Herbert

When the sun had a sunk almost to the edge of the purple ocean, hanging there like a giant orange ball- much larger than the sun of Mother Earth which he remembered with such nostalgia- Kroudar brought his fishermen back to the harbor.

A short man, Kroudar gave the impression of heaviness to some, but to others all bone and stringy muscle. It was the sickness of this planet, the doctors told him. They called it “body burdens,” a subtle thing of differences in chemistry, gravity, diurnal periods and even a lack of tidal moon.

Kroudar’s yellow hair, his one good feature, was uncut and contained in a protective square of red cloth. Beneath this was a wide low forehead, deeply sunken large eyes of a washed out blue, a crooked nose that was splayed and pushed in, thick lips over large and unevenly spaced yellow teeth, and a chin receding into a short ridged neck.

Dividing his attention between sails and shore, Kroudar steered with one bare foot on the tiller.

They had been all day out in the up coast netting the shrimp-like trodi which formed the colony’s main source of edible protein. There were 9 boats and the men in all of them were limp with fatigue, silent, eyes closed or open and staring at nothing.

The evening breeze rippled its dark lines across the harbor, moved the matted yellow hair on Kroudar’s neck. It bellied the shipcloth sails and gave the heavily loaded boats that last necessary surge to carry them up into the strand.

Men moved then. Sails dropped with a slatting and rasping. Each thing was done with sparse emotion in the weighted slowness of their fatigue. Continue reading

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On Alchemy – Jacob Needleman

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The Cock, the Angel, and the Eagle (Melito’s Story) – Gene Wolfe

Once not very long ago and not very far from the place where I was born, there was a fine farm. It was especially noted for its poultry: flocks of ducks white as snow, geese nearly as large as swans and so fat they could scarcely walk, and chickens that were as colorful as parrots. The farmer who had built up this place had a great many strange ideas about farming, but he had succeeded so much better with his strange ideas than any of his neighbors with their sensible ones, that few had the courage to tell him what a fool he was.

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Table Talk 161-81

From Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery by Mary Anne Atwood:

161. I am perfectly sure that the Hermetic is the only true key to the old myths, and to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, because the solution which it gives is entirely adequate to the subject. Proclus develops the ontological basis of the Iliad; Virgil wrote on the same initiated ground; the Georgic’s are an allegory all through, an analogical instruction in celestial and spiritual agriculture. I regard the whole of the Aeneid as illustrative of the same truths in another form, — the 6th Book markedly so.

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Table Talk 141-60

From Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery by Mary Anne Atwood:

141. If you seek a finite end first, i.e., before you seek the Universal — the Kingdom of God — which you are ordered to do, you will have to give up the former at every stage, if a right seeker; and unless you are wicked, and steal the first fruits of the spirit’s offering, all sorts of gifts are offered; you may stop in any of them; if you do, you commit idolatry. It is against God’s ordinance; that the real truth as expressed in the 1st and 2nd Commandments especially; though it is a breach of all, in the higher spiritualistic sense.

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Table Talk 121-40

From Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery by Mary Anne Atwood:
121. “Man is the servant and interpreter of Nature”, says Bacon, and truly, so long as he goes outwardly and away from himself and from God to find knowledge; but when he returns within according to the Divine Ordinance and law of Reason, but that he has a capacity in his own principle of being and life, when allied to God, to become, next to Him, her revealer and master.

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