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The Corpus Hermeticum

8. But as I was in great astonishment, He saith to me again: Thou didst behold in Mind the Archetypal Form 
whose being is before beginning without end. Thus spake to me Man−Shepherd.

And I say: Whence then have Nature's elements their being?

To this He answer gives: From Will of God. [Nature] received the Word (Logos), and gazing upon the 

Cosmos Beautiful did copy it, making herself into a cosmos, by means of her own elements and by the births 
of souls.

9. And God−the−Mind, being male and female both, as Light and Life subsisting, brought forth another Mind 
to give things form, who, God as he was of Fire and Spirit, formed Seven Rulers who enclose the cosmos that 

the sense perceives. Men call their ruling Fate.

10. Straightway from out the downward elements God's Reason (Logos) leaped up to Nature's pure 

formation, and was at−oned with the Formative Mind; for it was co−essential with it. And Nature's 

downward elements were thus left reason−less, so as to be pure matter.

11. Then the Formative Mind ([at−oned] with Reason), he who surrounds the spheres and spins them with his 

whorl, set turning his formations, and let them turn from a beginning boundless unto an endless end. For that 
the circulation of these [spheres] begins where it doth end, as Mind doth will.

And from the downward elements Nature brought forth lives reason−less; for He did not extend the Reason 
(Logos) [to them]. The Air brought forth things winged; the Water things that swim, and Earth−and−Water 

one from another parted, as Mind willed. And from her bosom Earth produced what lives she had, 

four−footed things and reptiles, beasts wild and tame.

12. But All−Father Mind, being Life and Light, did bring forth Man co−equal to Himself, with whom He fell 

in love, as being His own child; for he was beautiful beyond compare, the Image of his Sire. In very truth, 
God fell in love with his own Form; and on him did bestow all of His own formations.

13. And when he gazed upon what the Enformer had created in the Father, [Man] too wished to enform; and 
[so] assent was given him by the Father.

Changing his state to the formative sphere, in that he was to have his whole authority, he gazed upon his 
Brother's creatures. They fell in love with him, and gave him each a share of his own ordering.

And after that he had well learned their essence and had become a sharer in their nature, he had a mind to 
break right through the Boundary of their spheres, and to subdue the might of that which pressed upon the 


14. So he who hath the whole authority o'er [all] the mortals in the cosmos and o'er its lives irrational, bent 

his face downwards through the Harmony, breaking right through its strength, and showed to downward 

Nature God's fair form.

And when she saw that Form of beauty which can never satiate, and him who [now] possessed within himself 

each single energy of [all seven] Rulers as well as God's own Form, she smiled with love; for 'twas as though 
she'd seen the image of Man's fairest form upon her Water, his shadow on her Earth.

He in turn beholding the form like to himself, existing in her, in her Water, loved it and willed to live in it; 
and with the will came act, and [so] he vivified the form devoid of reason.

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