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materials --- so much chalk, so much carbon, so much water, etc. Obviously these substances cannot be deceived because they have no intelligence, and any deception that occurs must be accepted by the soul or intellectual principle, which is Eve, the mother of the individual life. New Thought readers will have no difficulty in following the meaning of the poet Spenser when he says:
"For the soul of the body form doth take,
For soul is form and doth the body make."
And since the soul is "the builder of the body", the deception which causes wrong thinking on the part of the intellectual man reproduces itself in physical imperfection and in adverse external circumstances.
What, then, is the deception which causes the "Fall"? This is figured by the Serpent. The serpent is a very favourite emblem in all ancient esoteric literature and symbolism and is sometimes used in a positive and sometimes in a negative sense. In either case it means life --- not the Originating Life-Principle, but the ultimate outcome of that Life-Principle in its most external form of manifestation. This, of course, is not bad in itself. Recognised in full realisation of the fact that it comes from God, it is the completion of the Divine work by outward manifestation; and in this sense it becomes the serpent which Moses lifted up in the wilderness.
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