and that virtually it is contained in all things, but more in some than inothers. Again, they say that its simplicity is so great that if openly declaredit would be utterly incredible.Pythagoras, in his Fourth Table, says: "How wonderful is the agreement of the Sages in the midst of difference! They all say that they have preparedthe Stone out of the substance which by the vulgar is looked upon as thevilest thing on earth. Indeed, if we were to tell the vulgar herd the ordinaryname of our substance, they would look upon our assertion as a daringfalsehood. But if they were acquainted with its virtue they would notdespise that which is, in reality, the most precious thing in the world. Godhas concealed this mystery from the wicked and the scornful, in order thatthey may not use it for evil purposes." Such statements as these only addto the baffling nature of the mystery itself, since they carry completeconfirmation of its reality, but throw little or no light upon its nature or means for its discovery. They serve to whet the zeal of those aspirants tothe attainment of this wonderful Stone, but do not greatly aid them infinding it.People in general, may be divided into two classes, viz., those who never heard of such a thing as the Philosophers' Stone, and they are the mass,and, those who have heard it mentioned, but who regard it as somemedieval fake or fairy-tale. Just a rare few there are who take the subjectseriously and believe in the existence of the Stone, and the possibility of itsproduction. But of those who believe, we have two distinct classes. 1st;those who construe it as metaphysical, and 2nd, those who hold to thepurely physical conception.The former class, and they include probably the mass of our thinkers andwriters, interpret the Philosopher's Stone of Hermetic Science to be somepeculiar and abnormal psychic development of the individual, by andthrough which he acquires unusual powers, not only in the extension of theordinary sense-faculties, but also in the acquisition of magical ability indealing with the elements themselves.The latter class, only a few of whom exist on this planet at the present time,read the writings of the Sages more literally, and see the Stone for what itpurports to be, viz., a menstruum or means for prolonging life, as well as for the conversion of the baser metals into Silver and Gold.