Those valiant defenders of the mystic Faith, to whom we are indebted for the present universal
awakening of Idealism, have not failed to recognize the important rôle which Hermetic Philosophers
have played in the preservation and transmission of the sacred tradition regarding the rapports
existing between God, Man and Nature. Unhappily they have found themselves face to face with the
Sphinx, unable to solve the enigma; they have lost their way in the inextricable labyrinth of
apparently contradictory symbols and signs, and in the darkness of their ignorance, they have been
incapable of distinguishing Truth from the rubbish that surrounds it, or of separating pure physical
facts from mere mystical speculations. Having a vague intuition that Hermetism was not solely
concerned with the transmutation of metals, but also with the spiritual emancipation of Man, they
have profited by a few analogies which presented themselves, and have created a mystical Alchemy
in which the inner man is the exclusive subject. But while such interpretation may, in many instances,
be applied to alchemical symbolism, and while we may believe that in this we follow the traditions of
the Rosicrucians (who founded a system in which Alchemy and Kabbalah were indissolubly
blended), modern commentators, borrowing the jargon of the Alchemists.


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A Treatise on The Great Art According to Hermetics - Antoine Joseph Pernety