As already mentioned, the constitution of the lapis rests on the union of the four elements, which in their turn represent an unfolding of the unknowable inchoate state, or chaos.
This is the prima materia, the arcanum, the primary substance, which in Paracelsus and his followers is called the increatum and is regarded as coeternal with God—a correct interpretation of the Tehom in Genesis 1:2: “And the [uncreated] earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God [brooded] over the face of the waters.”
This primary substance is round (massa globosa, rotundum,), like the world and the world-soul; it is in fact the world-soul and the world substance in one. It is the “stone that has a spirit,” in modern parlance the most elementary building-stone in the architecture of matter, the atom, which is an intellectual model. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 372
Here are a few of them: the king is in danger of drowning in the sea; he is a prisoner under the sea; the sun drowns in the mercurial fountain; the king sweats in the glass-house; the green lion swallows the sun; Gabricus disappears into the body of his sister Beya, where he is dissolved into atoms; and so forth. Interpreted on the one hand as a harmless bath and on the other hand as the perilous encroachment of the “sea,” the earth-spirit Mercurius in his watery form now begins to attack the royal pair from below, just as he had previously descended from above in the shape of the dove.
The contact of left hands in Figure 2 has evidently roused the spirit of the deep and called up a rush of water. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 453