Explanation of the Elemental Figure by Bl. Raymond Lull

bullet1 3 - Simplicity and Composition of the Elements

1. In a plant in which red fire is hot in the fourth degree, there are simple and compound elements, present in different ways. Now the six points into which fire divides itself in order to ignify the other elements are compound fire which activates the other parts into which the other elements divide themselves so that they can receive the action of fire; and as described above, they divide themselves into a diversity of parts according to greater and lesser activity and passivity where each and every one of them is active and passive substantially and accidentally so that essential mixture can take place in the plant; each element is thus mixed with every other element, and therefore it is compound, and consequently every part of every element is mixed with every part of each of the other elements; now as fire instills its heat into the other elements, it also instills part of itself as it is the subject of the heat, for heat cannot transit into the other elements without its fiery subject, or fiery essence; and the things said about fire also apply to the other elements: therefore these things show how the elements enter into composition with one another substantially and accidentally, as the substantial parts enter into one another, and likewise as the accidental parts enter into one another.

2. In the same plant there is simple fire with the other simple elements so that the six points into which fire divides itself, if they are considered as one and indivisible in their origin, are but one point, namely simple fire; now this seventh point rules over the said six points and flows into them; and this single seventh point, inasmuch as it is one, indivisible and simple, cannot enter into composition, nor consequently can it be a vegetated body, but it is merely the simple subject of compound fire. Now this seventh point in the said fourth degree fiery plant is stronger and more vehement than the other simple points of the other elements, given that it is in the fourth degree and its effect, namely compound fire, is in a higher degree than the other elements.

3. Just as compound fire in the said plant has one seventh point as we just said, so likewise compound earth has one seventh point which is simple earth, and this one is worth a fourth point of earth, as described in Liber Chaos in the Chapter on the Four Degrees of the Elements, but this one has neither the quantity nor the virtue of the single point of fire, given that it only produces the third degree of terreity.

4. Likewise, compound air in the same plant has a sixth simple point, which is simple air that actively rules compound air.

5. Likewise, compound water also has a fourth simple point, and this is simple water which actively conserves compound water.

6. Now these simple points, namely the seventh of fire, the seventh of earth, the fifth of air and the fourth of water are active in the elemented body, namely in the same said plant, so that they all act immediately in their compound, through the sole intermediary of their parts all compounded with each other, as each part acts in every other part.

These simple points flow into one another in the same elemented compound according to the proportioned concordance of one point with another, or contrariety in their composition by way of generation, corruption, rulership and conservation, while the compound points flow back to them. And the simple points are insensible and universal whereas the compound points are sensible and particular; and note that the entire essence of the seventh point of simple fire in this elemented body has one single numerical identity which is the same as that of the essence of the compound points of fire, although there is an accidental difference between them, inasmuch as the seventh simple point rules over the compound points it generates, while the compound points act in one way in earth, in another way in air and in another way in water; and thus, likewise, each one of the six points is different from the others according to the diversity of their passive parts, although all are one and the same essence; and the same applies to the other elements in their different ways, which is clearly shown by the fact that the Sun's virtue is one and the same, and yet it melts wax at the same time as it hardens clay. Thus, the differences between them are due to the differences between one passive part and another.