Tradition declares that on the dead body of Hermes, at Hebron, was found by an Isarim, an initiate, the tablet known as the Smaragdine. It contains, in a few sentences, the essence of the Hermetic wisdom. To those who read but with their bodily eyes, the precepts will suggest nothing new or extraordinary, for it merely begins by saying that it speaks not fictitious things, but that which is true and most certain.
“What is below is like that which is above, and what is above is similar to that which is below to accomplish the wonders of one thing.
“As all things were produced by the mediation of one being, so all things were produced from this one by adaptation.
“Its father is the sun, its mother is the moon.
“It is the cause of all perfection throughout the whole earth.
“Its power is perfect if it is changed into earth.
“Separate the earth from the fire, the subtile from the gross, acting prudently and with judgment.
“Ascend with the greatest sagacity from the earth to heaven, and then descend again to earth, and unite together the power of things inferior and superior; thus you will possess the light of the whole world, and all obscurity will fly away from you.
“This thing has more fortitude than fortitude itself, because it will overcome every subtile thing and penetrate every solid thing.
“By it the world was formed.”