This is a continuing series of explanations of Hermes Trismegistus’ “First Book”. I am attempting to separate out the lessons listed in Hermes first book, explaining each statement made by Hermes to the best of my ability and offering it to those who want my own personal interpretation. Of course, it becomes obvious that my answers are perceptions based on my own reasoning power, but I hope that some of these answers will spread some enlightenment to those who seek the answers from themselves.
10. But the victory of both is not like; for the one hasteth to that which is Good, but the other is a neighbor to the things that are Evil; and that which is Good, desireth to be set at Liberty; but the things that are Evil, love Bondage and Slavery.
The spirit seeks its’ freedom. Once the spirit has accepted goodness there is no turning from the enlightenment offered by being good. Freedom comes by accepting that good cannot exist without evil. That evil must be learned from and one must attempt to educate the evil that exists. The spirit will always strive to remain a part of goodness because of the peace brought to the soul. The body and the mind are deterred to evil because of the nature of the animal instinct of survival, which dictates that any action is a natural action. The body and the mind seeks power and dominance over others to ensure a continued safety. The spirit relies on the spirit of others to be good and wholesome. The spirit will not attempt to destroy evil, but only to learn from it. Goodness does not destroy evil because it is a counterpart and the spirit realizes that without evil goodness cannot exist. Evil on the other hand will attempt to stand alone and destroy any that try to hold power or dominance over it. Both cannot exist together. The spirit must overcome the mind and the body for goodness to reign, while evil will hold control if the mind and the body are allowed full authority.
11. And if the two parts be overcome, they become quiet, and are content to accept of it as their Ruler; but if the one be overcome of the two, it is by them led and carried to be punished by its being and continuance here.
Once the body and the mind are overcome by the spirit they will give leeway to the soul. A state of enlightenment will ensue and bring peace. However, if the mind and body gain control one will seek ones’ own destruction. Destruction will come by seeking to dominant others and surround oneself with the illusion of safety. Evil wields a powerful sword and holds it aloft to strike fear into the hearts of those who oppose the continued safety of the mind and the body. This comes from the human animal assuming that all individuals are alike and if the human animal feels that it must hold power and authority then the human animal will assume that all people seek to hold power and authority over each other. A war will be fought for superiority. There will come a time when that sword is left sitting by the human animals side. One of those that are seeking authority and power will gain the upper-hand and strike at the one who held authority before them. This is working towards ones own destruction, because those who stand aside and allow the power and authority to reign will have a goodness in their hearts and soul and will assume that evil will eventually recognize the useless quest for power or be destroyed on that quest for complete control. Evil will destroy itself.
12. This is, O Son, the Guide in the way that leads thither for thou must first forsake the Body before thy end, and get the victory in this Contention and Strifeful life, and when thou hast overcome, return.
The guide is an incorruptible power. The incorruptible power is understanding and acceptance. Either one will accept this power or will end up destroying themselves through a quest for a physical power. Eventually one will see the truth of the matter, hopefully before the end of the human animals life and their soul will return to a state of goodness that will not be turned from. When goodness has overcome then the soul will be at peace.