Explanation of the Elemental Figure Bl. Raymond Lull

bullet1 5 - Elemental Mixture and Digestion

Mixture and digestion can be understood in many ways, but here we intend to deal with the elemental mixture and digestion which proceeds in a plant in the fourth degree of fire, in which plant the elements are present as it has been produced from their mixture and digestion.

1. Therefore the elements are in the plant and the plant is in the elements, like parts in their whole and the whole in its parts, and this is because fire is divided into six parts  in which the other parts of the other elements in this plant are mixed, where each part exists in unity with every other part so that they make up one plant as they are mixed, digested and aggregated as one.

2. The similitudes of the elements are mixed in this plant, namely the goodness, greatness, duration, power etc. of fire with the goodness, greatness, duration etc. of earth, air and water, and the same applies to the other elements so that one goodness is mixed with another, one greatness with another, one duration with another and so forth; and all of these mixed together in this way are digested into one common goodness, greatness, duration etc. of the plant, so that this plant is good, great, durable, powerful etc. Nonetheless, each goodness, greatness etc. remains in its own universal subject, i.e. in its whole, which is fire, or any other element, and exists in its proper degree, and so, this universality convenes with the goodness etc. of fire in the fourth degree, and then the goodness etc. of earth in the third degree, and so forth.

3. According to what was just said, it is clear how the elemental degrees exist in things made of mixture, and how, once digested, they constitute a plant, and this must be so because each similitude is in every other, and consequently, one degree is essentially and accidentally mixed with and united to every other degree; now the essential parts of each degree are mixed with the essential parts of every other degree, and likewise with quantity and quality, as the heat and cold etc. of each degree are mixed together in on final subject, which is a plant. So the parts of each degree, by expanding and enlivening themselves as much as they can, mortify the remaining parts of the other degrees so that each element can be more active formally and passive materially in this plant, and this seems self evident, or else the plant would not have one continuous quantity constituted of many integral parts, namely the parts of fire, earth, air etc. These integral parts are distinct inasmuch as they have different essences and properties, and in the same way, the said degrees and similitudes are different from one another in their essence and properties; but given that they make up one plant, they are mixed and digested together in unity, so that one continuous quantity can arise from all the things mentioned above.

4. Therefore, by what was just said, we understand how the elements exist in the mixture of a plant formally and materially as well as accidentally, which is because, as indicated above, each element formally and materially divides itself into its points so that each of these points is active in form and passive in matter; and so these points remain undivided in the essence, nature and virtue of form and matter; but they are divided insofar as they are mixed with the other points of the remaining elements, and each element's form and matter are confused together and spread out as they are totally mixed in a mixture in which their parts are distinct insofar as one part in the mixture is not another in essence and nature; and they also oppose each other through heat and cold, dryness and moisture, and through lightness and heaviness, digestion and restriction, evacuation and repletion, as well as appetite and so forth. But even though each of these elements, together with the other elements, transits into another species, namely a plant, the essence and nature of each element nonetheless remains whole.

5. In the said plant, simple fire as well as each of the remaining simple elements is identical in the essence and nature whereby fire (like the other elements) remains in its own fiery form, matter and virtue; and in its essence and properties, fire is distinct from the form, matter and properties of the other elements, and the same applies to all the remaining elements in this plant, and this kind of element can be perceived neither in mixture nor in digestion in the plant; but what can be perceived in the mixture and digestion in this plant are the compounded elements. Now inasmuch as each and every one of them is mixed with every other, there is consequently a medium, i.e. something other than these elements, or a species which is different from the species of any of the elements and which is composed from the four elemental species: therefore this medium is something mixed, digested and composed from simple principles, and the essence and nature of each of these elemental principles exists habitually in this compound; now in this compound, the principles flow back and forth as they mix with each other and as they are digested, to bring into being one thing, which is this plant.

6. Therefore, each simple element habitually has its own simplicity in this plant, like simple parts habituated with their compound whole, so that this simplicity is in potentiality together with habit, and is brought into act in the consummation and privation of this plant, and in this habit consists the virtue in which, with which and from which the simple elements together move the compound elements, to bring into act the elements from which this plant is produced and originated.