Anda di halaman 1dari 58

AnIntroductiontotheCorpusHermeticum byJohnMichaelGreer The fifteen tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum, along with the Perfect Sermon or Asclepius, are

the foundation documents of the Hermetic tradition. Written by unknown authors in Egypt sometime before the end of the third century C.E., they were part of a once substantial literature attributed to the mythic figure of Hermes Trismegistus,aHellenisticfusionoftheGreekgodHermesandtheEgyptiangodThoth. Thisliteraturecameoutofthesamereligiousandphilosophicalfermentthatproduced Neoplatonism, Christianity, and the diverse collection of teachings usually lumped togetherunderthelabel"Gnosticism":afermentwhichhaditsrootsintheimpactof Platonic thought on the older traditions of the Hellenized East. There are obvious connectionsandcommonthemeslinkingeachofthesetraditions,althougheachhad itsownanswertothemajorquestionsofthetime. ThetreatiseswenowcalltheCorpusHermeticumwerecollectedintoasinglevolume in Byzantine times, and a copy of this volume survived to come into the hands of Lorenzo de Medici's agents in the fifteenth century. Marsilio Ficino, the head of the Florentine Academy, was pulled off the task of translating the dialogues of Plato in ordertoputtheCorpusHermeticumintoLatinfirst.Histranslationsawprintin1463, andwasreprintedatleasttwentytwotimesoverthenextcenturyandahalf. Thetreatisesdivideupintoseveralgroups.Thefirst(CHI),the"Poemandres",isthe account of a revelation given to Hermes Trismegistus by the being Poemandres or "ManShepherd", an expression of the universal Mind. The next eight (CH IIIX), the "General Sermons", are short dialogues or lectures discussing various basic points of Hermetic philosophy. There follows the "Key" (CH X), a summary of the General Sermons, and after this a set of four tractates "Mind unto Hermes", "About the CommonMind","TheSecretSermonontheMountain",andthe"LetterofHermesto Asclepius" (CH XIXIV) touching on the more mystical aspects of Hermeticism. The collectionisroundedoffbythe"DefinitionsofAsclepiusuntoKingAmmon"(CHXV), whichmaybecomposedofthreefragmentsoflongerworks. ThePerfectSermon ThePerfectSermonorAsclepius,whichisalsoincludedhere,reachedtheRenaissance by a different route. It was translated into Latin in ancient times, reputedly by the same Lucius Apuleius of Madaura whose comicserious masterpiece The Golden Ass provides some of the best surviving evidence on the worship of Isis in the Roman world.AugustineofHippoquotesfromtheoldLatintranslationatlengthinhisCityof God, and copies remained in circulation in medieval Europe all the way up to the Renaissance. The original Greek version was lost, although quotations survive in severalancientsources. The Perfect Sermon is substantially longer than any other surviving work of ancient Hermeticphilosophy.ItcoverstopicswhichalsooccurintheCorpusHermeticum,but

touches on several other issues as well among them magical processes for the manufacture of gods and a long and gloomy prophecy of the decline of Hermetic wisdomandtheendoftheworld. TheSignificanceoftheHermeticWritings TheCorpusHermeticumlandedlikeawellaimedbombamidthephilosophicalsystems of late medieval Europe. Quotations from the Hermetic literature in the Church Fathers(whowerenevershyofleaningonpagansourcestoproveapoint)accepteda traditionalchronologywhichdated"HermesTrismegistus,"asahistoricalfigure,tothe time of Moses. As a result, the Hermetic tractates' borrowings from Jewish scripture and Platonic philosophy were seen, in the Renaissance, as evidence that the Corpus Hermeticumhadanticipatedandinfluencedboth.TheHermeticphilosophywasseen as a primordial wisdom tradition, identified with the "Wisdom of the Egyptians" mentioned in Exodus and lauded in Platonic dialogues such as the Timaeus. It thus served as a useful club in the hands of intellectual rebels who sought to break the strangleholdofAristotelianscholasticismontheuniversitiesatthistime. Italsoprovidedoneofthemostimportantweaponstoanothermajorrebellionofthe age the attempt to reestablish magic as a socially acceptable spiritual path in the Christian West. Another body of literature attributed to Hermes Trismegistus was made up of astrological, alchemical and magical texts. If, as the scholars of the Renaissancebelieved,Hermeswasahistoricalpersonwhohadwrittenallthesethings, andifChurchFathershadquotedhisphilosophicalworkswithapproval,andifthose same works could be shown to be wholly in keeping with some definitions of Christianity,thenthewholestructureofmagicalHermeticismcouldbegivenasecond handlegitimacyinaChristiancontext. This didn't work, of course; the radical redefinition of Western Christianity that took placeintheReformationandCounterReformationhardeneddoctrinalbarrierstothe pointthatpeoplewerebeingburnedinthesixteenthcenturyforpracticesthatwere consideredevidencesofdevoutnessinthefourteenth.Theattempt,though,madethe language and concepts of the Hermetic tractates central to much of postmedieval magicintheWest. TheTranslation The translation of the Corpus Hermeticum and Perfect Sermon given here is that of G.R.S.Mead(18631933),originallypublishedasVol.2ofhisThriceGreatestHermes (London,1906).MeadwasacloseassociateofHelenaPetrovnaBlavatsky,thefounder andmovingspiritoftheTheosophicalSociety,andmostofhisconsiderablescholarly outputwasbroughtoutunderTheosophicalauspices.Theresult,predictably,wasthat mostofthatoutputhaseffectivelybeenblacklistedinacademiccircleseversince. Thisisunfortunate,forMead'stranslationsoftheHermeticliteraturewereuntilquite recentlythebestavailableinEnglish.(Theyarestillthebestinthepublicdomain;thus theirusehere.)TheEverardtranslationof1650,whichisstillinprint,reflectsthestate ofscholarshipatthetimeitwasmadewhichisonlyacriticismbecauseafewthings

havebeenlearnedsincethen!TheWalterScotttranslationdespitethecoverblurb on the recent Shambhala reprint, this is not the Sir Walter Scott of Ivanhoe fame whilemorerecentthanMead's,isaproductofthe"NewCriticism"ofthefirsthalfof this century, and garbles the text severely; scholars of Hermeticism of the caliber of Dame Frances Yates have labeled the Scott translation worthless. By contrast, a comparison of Mead's version to the excellent modern translation by Brian Copenhaver, or to the translations of CH I (Poemandres) and VII (The Greatest Ill Among Men is Ignorance of God) given in Bentley Layton's The Gnostic Scriptures, showsMeadasacapabletranslator,withausuallysolidgraspofthemeaningofthese sometimesobscuretexts. ThereisadmittedlyoneproblemwithMead'stranslation:theaestheticsoftheEnglish text. Mead hoped, as he mentioned at the beginning of Thrice Greatest Hermes, to "render...these beautiful theosophic treatises into an English that might, perhaps, be thought in some small way worthy of the Greek originals." Unfortunately for this ambition,hewaswritingatatimewhenthelastremnantsofthefloridandpompous Victorianstylewerefightingitoutwiththemorestraightforwardcolloquialprosethat becamethestyleofthenewcentury.Caughtinthistanglelikesomanywritersofthe time, Mead wanted to write in the grand style but apparently didn't know how. The result is a sometimes bizarre mishmash in which turnofthecentury slang stands cheek by jowl with overblown phrases in King James Bible diction, and in which mishandledarchaicisms,invertedwordorder,andpoeticcontractionsrenderthetext less than graceful and occasionally less than readable. Seen from a late twentieth century sensibility, the result verges on unintentional selfparody in places: for example,whereMeadusestheScotscontraction"ta'en"(for"taken"),apparentlyfor sheerpoeticcolor,callingupanimageofHermesTrismegistusinkiltandsporran. The"poetic"wordorderisprobablythemostseriousbarriertoreadability;it'sagood rule, whenever the translation seems to descend into gibberish, to try shuffling the wordsofthesentenceinquestion.ItmayalsobeworthnotingthatMeadconsistently uses"forthat"inplaceof"because"and"aught"inplaceof"any",andleavesoutthe word"the"moreorlessatrandom. Finally, comments in (parentheses) and in [square brackets] are in Mead's original; thosein<anglebrackets>aremyownadditions. TheCorpusHermeticum translatedbyG.R.S.Mead I.Poemandres,theShepherdofMen <ThisisthemostfamousoftheHermeticdocuments,arevelationaccountdescribinga vision of the creation of the universe and the nature and fate of humanity. Authors

fromtheRenaissanceonwardhavebeenstruckbythewayinwhichitscreationmyth seemspartlyinspiredbyGenesis,partlyreactingagainstit.TheFallhasherebecome the descent of the Primal Man through the spheres of the planets to the world of Nature,adescentcausednotbydisobediencebutbylove,anddonewiththeblessing ofGod. <The seven rulers of fate discussed in sections 9, 14 and 25 are the archons of the seven planets, which also appear in Plato's Timaeus and in a number of the ancient writingsusuallylumpedtogetheras"Gnostic".Theirrolehereisanoddlyambivalent one,powersofHarmonywhoarenonethelessthesourcesofhumanity'stendenciesto evil.JMG> 1. It chanced once on a time my mind was meditating on the things that are, my thoughtwasraisedtoagreatheight,thesensesofmybodybeingheldbackjustas menwhoareweigheddownwithsleepafterafilloffood,orfromfatigueofbody. MethoughtaBeingmorethanvast,insizebeyondallbounds,calledoutmynameand saith: What wouldst thou hear and see, and what hast thou in mind to learn and know? 2.AndIdosay:Whoartthou? He saith: I am ManShepherd (Poemandres), Mind of allmasterhood; I know what thoudesirestandI'mwiththeeeverywhere. 3.[And]Ireply:Ilongtolearnthethingsthatare,andcomprehendtheirnature,and knowGod.Thisis,Isaid,whatIdesiretohear. Heansweredbacktome:Holdinthymindallthouwouldstknow,andIwillteachthee. 4. E'en with these words His aspect changed, and straightway, in thetwinkling of an eye, all things were opened to me, and I see a Vision limitless, all things turned into Lightsweet,joyous[Light].AndIbecametransportedasIgazed. ButinalittlewhileDarknesscamesettlingdownonpart[ofit],awesomeandgloomy, coilinginsinuousfolds,sothatmethoughtitlikeuntoasnake. And then the Darkness changed into some sort of a Moist Nature, tossed about beyond all power of words, belching out smoke as from a fire, and groaning forth a wailingsoundthatbeggarsalldescription. [And]afterthatanoutcryinarticulatecameforthfromit,asthoughitwereaVoiceof Fire. 5.[Thereon]outoftheLight[...]aHolyWord(Logos)descendedonthatNature.And upwardstotheheightfromtheMoistNatureleapedforthpureFire;lightwasit,swift andactivetoo.

TheAir,too,beinglight,followedaftertheFire;fromoutoftheEarthandWaterrising uptoFiresothatitseemedtohangtherefrom. ButEarthandWaterstayedsomingledwitheachother,thatEarthfromWaternoone could discern. Yet were they moved to hear by reason of the SpiritWord (Logos) pervadingthem. 6.ThensaithtomeManShepherd:DidstunderstandthisVisionwhatitmeans? Nay;thatshallIknow,saidI. ThatLight,Hesaid,amI,thyGod,Mind,priortoMoistNaturewhichappearedfrom Darkness;theLightWord(Logos)[thatappeared]fromMindisSonofGod. Whatthen?sayI. KnowthatwhatseesintheeandhearsistheLord'sWord(Logos);butMindisFather God. Not separate are they the one from other; just in their union [rather] is it Life consists. ThanksbetoThee,Isaid. So,understandtheLight[Heanswered],andmakefriendswithit. 7.AndspeakingthusHegazedforlongintomyeyes,sothatItrembledatthelookof him. But when He raised His head, I see in Mind the Light, [but] now in Powers no man couldnumber,andCosmosgrownbeyondallbounds,andthattheFirewascompassed roundaboutbyamostmightyPower,and[now]subduedhadcomeuntoastand. AndwhenIsawthesethingsIunderstoodbyreasonofManShepherd'sWord(Logos). 8.ButasIwasingreatastonishment,Hesaithtomeagain:ThoudidstbeholdinMind theArchetypalFormwhosebeingisbeforebeginningwithoutend.Thusspaketome ManShepherd. AndIsay:WhencethenhaveNature'selementstheirbeing? To this He answer gives: From Will of God. [Nature] received the Word (Logos), and gazingupontheCosmosBeautifuldidcopyit,makingherselfintoacosmos,bymeans ofherownelementsandbythebirthsofsouls. 9. And GodtheMind, being male and female both, as Light and Life subsisting, broughtforthanotherMindtogivethingsform,who,GodashewasofFireandSpirit, formedSevenRulerswhoenclosethecosmosthatthesenseperceives.Mencalltheir rulingFate.

10.StraightwayfromoutthedownwardelementsGod'sReason(Logos)leapedupto Nature's pure formation, and was atoned with the Formative Mind; for it was co essentialwithit.AndNature'sdownwardelementswerethusleftreasonless,soasto bepurematter. 11.ThentheFormativeMind([atoned]withReason),hewhosurroundsthespheres and spins them with his whorl, set turning his formations, and let them turn from a beginning boundless unto an endless end. For that the circulation of these [spheres] beginswhereitdothend,asMinddothwill. And from the downward elements Nature brought forth lives reasonless; for Hedid not extend the Reason (Logos) [to them]. The Air brought forth things winged; the Water things that swim, and EarthandWater one from another parted, as Mind willed.AndfromherbosomEarthproducedwhatlivesshehad,fourfootedthingsand reptiles,beastswildandtame. 12.ButAllFatherMind,beingLifeandLight,didbringforthMancoequaltoHimself, with whom He fell in love, as being His own child; for he was beautiful beyond compare,theImageofhisSire.Inverytruth,GodfellinlovewithhisownForm;and onhimdidbestowallofHisownformations. 13.AndwhenhegazeduponwhattheEnformerhadcreatedintheFather,[Man]too wishedtoenform;and[so]assentwasgivenhimbytheFather. Changinghisstatetotheformativesphere,inthathewastohavehiswholeauthority, hegazeduponhisBrother'screatures.Theyfellinlovewithhim,andgavehimeacha shareofhisownordering. And after that he had well learned their essence and had become a sharer in their nature, he had a mind to break right through the Boundary of their spheres, and to subduethemightofthatwhichpressedupontheFire. 14.Sohewhohaththewholeauthorityo'er[all]themortalsinthecosmosando'erits livesirrational,benthisfacedownwardsthroughtheHarmony,breakingrightthrough itsstrength,andshowedtodownwardNatureGod'sfairform. AndwhenshesawthatFormofbeautywhichcanneversatiate,andhimwho[now] possessedwithinhimselfeachsingleenergyof[allseven]RulersaswellasGod'sown Form,shesmiledwithlove;for'twasasthoughshe'dseentheimageofMan'sfairest formuponherWater,hisshadowonherEarth. Heinturnbeholdingtheformliketohimself,existinginher,inherWater,loveditand willedtoliveinit;andwiththewillcameact,and[so]hevivifiedtheformdevoidof reason. AndNaturetooktheobjectofherloveandwoundherselfcompletelyaroundhim,and theywereintermingled,fortheywerelovers.

15.Andthisiswhybeyondallcreaturesontheearthmanistwofold;mortalbecause ofbody,butbecauseoftheessentialmanimmortal. Thoughdeathlessandpossessedofswayo'erall,yetdothhesufferasamortaldoth, subjecttoFate. ThusthoughabovetheHarmony,withintheHarmonyhehathbecomeaslave.Though malefemale,asfromaFathermalefemale,andthoughhe'ssleeplessfromasleepless [Sire],yetisheovercome[bysleep]. 16.Thereon[Isay:Teachon],OMindofme,forImyselfaswellamamorousofthe Word(Logos). TheShepherdsaid:Thisisthemysterykepthiduntilthisday. NatureembracedbyManbroughtforthawonder,ohsowonderful.Forashehadthe nature of the Concord of the Seven, who, as I said to thee, [were made] of Fire and Spirit Nature delayed not, but immediately brought forth seven "men", in correspondencewiththenaturesoftheSeven,malefemaleandmovingintheair. Thereon[Isaid]:OShepherd,...,fornowI'mfilledwithgreatdesireandlongtohear; donotrunoff. The Shepherd said: Keep silence, for not as yet have I unrolled for thee the first discourse(logoi). Lo!Iamstill,Isaid. 17.Insuchwisethan,asIhavesaid,thegenerationofthesesevencametopass.Earth wasaswoman,herWaterfilledwithlonging;ripenessshetookfromFire,spiritfrom Aether.NaturethusbroughtforthframestosuittheformofMan. AndManfromLightandLifechangedintosoulandmindfromLifetosoul,fromLight tomind. Andthuscontinuedallthesenseworld'spartsuntiltheperiodoftheirendandnew beginnings. 18.Nowlistentotherestofthediscourse(Logos)whichthoudostlongtohear. Theperiodbeingended,thebondthatboundthemallwasloosenedbyGod'sWill.For all the animals being malefemale, at the same time with Man were loosed apart; somebecamepartlymale,someinlikefashion[partly]female.AndstraightwayGod spakebyHisHolyWord(Logos): "Increase ye in increasing, and multiply in multitude, ye creatures and creations all; andmanthathathMindinhim,lethimlearntoknowthathehimselfisdeathless,and thatthecauseofdeathislove,thoughLoveisall."

19.WhenHesaidthis,HisForethoughtdidbymeansofFateandHarmonyeffecttheir couplingsandtheirgenerationsfounded.Andsoallthingsweremultipliedaccording totheirkind. Andhewhothushathlearnedtoknowhimself,hathreachedthatGoodwhichdoth transcendabundance;buthewhothroughalovethatleadsastray,expendshislove upon his body he stays in Darkness wandering, and suffering through his senses thingsofDeath. 20.Whatisthesogreatfault,saidI,theignorantcommit,thattheyshouldbedeprived ofdeathlessness? Thouseem'st,Hesaid,Othou,nottohavegivenheedtowhatthouheardest.DidInot bidtheethink? YeadoIthink,andIremember,andthereforegiveTheethanks. Ifthoudidstthink[thereon],[saidHe],tellme:Whydotheymeritdeathwhoarein Death? ItisbecausethegloomyDarknessistherootandbaseofthematerialframe;fromit came the Moist Nature; from this the body in the senseworld was composed; and fromthis[body]DeathdoththeWaterdrain. 21. Right was thy thought, O thou! But how doth "he who knows himself, go unto Him",asGod'sWord(Logos)hathdeclared? AndIreply:theFatheroftheuniversalsdothconsistofLightandLife,fromHimMan wasborn. Thousayestwell,[thus]speaking.LightandLifeisFatherGod,andfromHimManwas born. IfthenthoulearnestthatthouartthyselfofLifeandLight,andthatthou[happen'st]to beoutofthem,thoushaltreturnagaintoLife.ThusdidManShepherdspeak. Buttellmefurther,Mindofme,Icried,howshallIcometoLifeagain...forGoddoth say: "The man who hath Mind in him, let him learn to know that he himself [is deathless]." 22.HavenotallmenthenMind? Thousayestwell,Othou,thusspeaking.I,Mind,myselfampresentwithholymenand good,thepureandmerciful,menwholivepiously. [To such] my presence doth become an aid, and straightway they gain gnosis of all things,andwintheFather'slovebytheirpurelives,andgiveHimthanks,invokingon Himblessings,andchantinghymns,intentonHimwithardentlove.

Anderetheygiveupthebodyuntoitsproperdeath,theyturnthemwithdisgustfrom itssensations,fromknowledgeofwhatthingstheyoperate.Nay,itisI,theMind,that willnotlettheoperationswhichbefallthebody,worktotheir[natural]end.Forbeing doorkeeperI'llcloseup[all]theentrances,andcutthementalactionsoffwhichbase andevilenergiesinduce. 23. But to the Mindless ones, the wicked and depraved, the envious and covetous, and those who mured do and love impiety, I am far off, yielding my place to the Avenging Daimon, who sharpening the fire, tormenteth him and addeth fire to fire upon him, and rusheth upon him through his senses, thus rendering him readier for transgressions of the law, so that he meets with greater torment; nor doth he ever ceasetohavedesireforappetitesinordinate,insatiatelystrivinginthedark. 24.Wellhastthoutaughtmeall,asIdesired,OMind.Andnow,pray,tellmefurtherof thenatureoftheWayAboveasnowitis[forme]. To this ManShepherd said: When the material body is to be dissolved, first thou surrenderestthebodybyitselfuntotheworkofchange,andthustheformthouhadst dothvanish,andthousurrenderestthywayoflife,voidofitsenergy,untotheDaimon. Thebody'ssensesnextpassbackintotheirsources,becomingseparate,andresurrect asenergies;andpassionanddesirewithdrawuntothatnaturewhichisvoidofreason. 25. And thus it is that man doth speed his way thereafter upwards through the Harmony. TothefirstzonehegivestheEnergyofGrowthandWaning;untothesecond[zone], Device of Evils [now] deenergized; unto the third, the Guile of the Desires de energized;untothefourth,hisDomineeringArrogance,[also]deenergized;untothe fifth, unholy Daring and the Rashness of Audacity, deenergized; unto the sixth, StrivingforWealthbyevilmeans,deprivedofitsaggrandizement;andtotheseventh zone,EnsnaringFalsehood,deenergized. 26. And then, with all the energisings of the harmony stript from him, clothed in his proper Power, he cometh to that Nature which belongs unto the Eighth, and there withthosethatarehymneththeFather. Theywhoaretherewelcomehiscomingtherewithjoy;andhe,madeliketothemthat sojourn there, doth further hear the Powers who are above the Nature that belongs untotheEighth,singingtheirsongsofpraisetoGodinlanguageoftheirown. And then they, in a band, go to the Father home; of their own selves they make surrenderofthemselvestoPowers,and[thus]becomingPowerstheyareinGod.This thegoodendforthosewhohavegainedGnosistobemadeonewithGod. Whyshouldstthouthendelay?Mustitnotbe,sincethouhastallreceived,thatthou shouldst to the worthy point the way, in order that through thee the race of mortal kindmayby[thy]Godbesaved?

27.ThiswhenHe'dsaid,ManShepherdmingledwiththePowers. ButI,withthanksandbelssingsuntotheFatheroftheuniversal[Powers],wasfreed, fullofthepowerhehadpouredintome,andfullofwhatHe'dtaughtmeofthenature oftheAllandoftheloftiestVision. AndIbegantopreachuntomentheBeautyofDevotionandofGnosis: Oyepeople,earthbornfolk,yewhohavegivenyourselvestodrunkennessandsleep andignoranceofGod,besobernow,ceasefromyoursurfeit,ceasetobeglamoured byirrationalsleep! 28.Andwhentheyheard,theycamewithoneaccord.WhereonIsay: Yeearthbornfolk,whyhaveyegivenyourselvesuptoDeath,whileyetyehavethe power of sharing Deathlessness? Repent, O ye, who walk with Error arm in arm and makeofIgnorancethesharerofyourboard;getyeoutfromthelightofDarkness,and takeyourpartinDeathlessness,forsakeDestruction! 29. And some of them with jests upon their lips departed [from me], abandoning themselvesuntotheWayofDeath;othersentreatedtobetaught,castingthemselves beforemyfeet. ButImadethemarise,andIbecamealeaderoftheRacetowardshome,teachingthe words (logoi), how and in what way they shall be saved. I sowed in them the words (logoi)ofwisdom;ofDeathlessWaterweretheygiventodrink. Andwhenevenwascomeandallsun'sbeamsbegantoset,Ibadethemallgivethanks to God. And when they had brought to an end the giving of their thanks, each man returnedtohisownrestingplace. 30.ButIrecordedinmyheartManShepherd'sbenefaction,andwithmyeveryhope fulfilledmorethanrejoiced.Forbody'ssleepbecamethesoul'sawakening,andclosing oftheeyestruevision,pregnantwithGoodmysilence,andtheutteranceofmyword (logos)begettingofgoodthings. All this befell me from my Mind, that is ManShepherd, Word (Logos) of all masterhood,bywhombeingGodinspiredIcameuntothePlainofTruth.Wherefore withallmysoulandstrengththanksgivinggiveIuntoFatherGod. 31.HolyartThou,OGod,theuniversals'Father. HolyartThou,OGod,whoseWillperfectsitselfbymeansofitsownPowers. HolyartThou,OGod,whowillethtobeknownandartknownbyThineown. HolyartThou,whodidstbyWord(Logos)maketoconsistthethingsthatare.

HolyartThou,ofwhomAllnaturehathbeenmadeanimage. HolyartThou,whoseFormNaturehathnevermade. HolyartThou,morepowerfulthanallpower. HolyartThou,transcendingallpreeminence. HolyThouart,Thoubetterthanallpraise. Acceptmyreason'sofferingspure,fromsoulandheartforayestretcheduptoThee,O Thouunutterable,unspeakable,WhoseNamenaughtbuttheSilencecanexpress. 32. Give ear to me who pray that I may ne'er of Gnosis fail, [Gnosis] which is our common being's nature; and fill me with Thy Power, and with this Grace [of Thine], thatImaygivetheLighttothoseinignoranceoftheRace,myBrethren,andThySons. ForthiscauseIbelieve,andIbearwitness;IgotoLifeandLight.BlessedartThou,O Father. Thy Man would holy be as Thou art holy, e'en as Thou gave him Thy full authority[tobe].

II.ToAsclepius
<Thisdialoguesetsforththedifferencebetweenthephysicalandmetaphysicalworlds inthecontextofGreeknaturalphilosophy.Someofthelanguageisfairlytechnical:the "errant spheres" of sections 6 and 7 are the celestial spheres carrying the planets, whilethe"inerrantsphere"isthatofthefixedstars.It'susefultokeepinmind,also, that "air" and "spirit" are interchangeable concepts in Greek thought, and that the conceptoftheGoodhasarangeofimplicationswhichdon'tcomeacrossintheEnglish word: one is that the good of any being, in Greek thought, was also that being's necessarygoal. <Thecriticismofchildlessnessinsection17shouldprobablybereadasaresponseto the Christian ideal of celibacy, which horrified many people in the ancient world. JMG> 1. Hermes: All that is moved, Asclepius, is it not moved in something and by something? Asclepius:Assuredly. H:Andmustnotthatinwhichit'smovedbegreaterthanthemoved? A:Itmust. H:Mover,again,hasgreaterpowerthanmoved? A:Ithas,ofcourse.

H:Thenature,furthermore,ofthatinwhichit'smovedmustbequiteotherfromthe natureofthemoved? A:Itmustcompletely. 2.H:Isnot,again,thiscosmosvast,[sovast]thatthanitthereexistsnobodygreater? A:Assuredly. H: And massive, too, for it is crammed with multitudes of other mighty frames, nay, ratheralltheotherbodiesthatthereare? A:Itis. H:Andyetthecosmosisabody? A:Itisabody. H:Andonethat'smoved? 3.A:Assuredly. H:Ofwhatsize,then,mustbethespaceinwhichit'smoved,andofwhatkind[must be] the nature [of that space]? Must it not be far vaster [than the cosmos], in order thatitmaybeabletofindroomforitscontinuedcourse,sothatthemovedmaynot becrampedforwantofroomandloseitsmotion? A:Something,Thricegreatestone,itneedsmustbe,immenselyvast. 4.H:Andofwhatnature?Mustitnotbe,Asclepius,ofjustthecontrary?Andisnot contrarytobodybodiless? A:Agreed. H: Space, then, is bodiless. But bodiless must either be some godlike thing or God [Himself].Andby"somegodlikething"Imeannomorethegenerable[i.e.,thatwhich isgenerated]buttheingenerable. 5. If, then, space be some godlike thing, it is substantial; but if 'tis God [Himself], it transcendssubstance.Butitistobethoughtofotherwise[thanGod],andinthisway. God is first "thinkable" <or "intelligible"> for us, not for Himself, for that the thing that'sthoughtdothfall beneaththethinker'ssense.Godthencannotbe"thinkable" unto Himself, in that He's thought of by Himself as being nothing else but what He thinks.Butheis"somethingelse"forus,andsoHe'sthoughtofbyus.

6.Ifspaceis,therefore,tobethought,[itshould]not,[then,bethoughtas]God,but space. If God is also to be thought, [He should] not [be conceived] as space, but as energythatcancontain[allspace]. Further,allthatismovedismovednotinthemovedbutinthestable.Andthatwhich moves[another]isofcoursestationary,for'tisimpossiblethatitshouldmovewithit. A:Howisit,then,thatthingsdownhere,Thricegreatestone,aremovedwiththose that are [already] moved? For thou hast said the errant spheres were moved by the inerrantone. H:Thisisnot,OAsclepius,amovingwith,butoneagainst;theyarenotmovedwith one another, but one against the other. It is this contrariety which turneth the resistanceoftheirmotionintorest.Forthatresistanceistherestofmotion. 7. Hence, too, the errant spheres, being moved contrarily to the inerrant one, are moved by one another by mutual contrariety, [and also] by the spable one through contrarietyitself.Andthiscanotherwisenotbe. The Bears up there <i.e., Ursa Major and Minor>, whichneither set nor rise, think'st thoutheyrestormove? A:Theymove,Thricegreatestone. H:Andwhattheirmotion,myAsclepius? A:Motionthatturnsforeverroundthesame. H:Butrevolutionmotionaroundsameisfixedbyrest.For"roundthesame"doth stop"beyondsame"."Beyondsame"then,beingstopped,ifitbesteadiedin"round same"thecontrarystandsfirm,beingrenderedeverstablebyitscontrariety. 8.OfthisI'llgivetheehereonearthaninstance,whichtheeyecansee.Regardthe animals down here a man, for instance, swimming! The water moves, yet the resistanceofhishandsandfeetgivehimstability,sothatheisnotbornealongwithit, norsunkthereby. A:Thouhast,Thricegreatestone,adducedamostclearinstance. H:Allmotion,then,iscausedinstationandbystation. Themotion,therefore,ofthecosmos(andofeveryotherhylic<i.e.,material>animal) willnotbecausedbythingsexteriortothecosmos,butbythingsinterior[outward]to theexteriorsuch[things]assoul,orspirit,orsomesuchotherthingincorporeal. 'Tisnotthebodythatdothmovethelivingthinginit;nay,noteventhewhole[bodyof theuniversealesser]bodye'enthoughtherebenolifeinit.

9.A:Whatmeanestthoubythis,Thricegreatestone?Isitnotbodies,then,thatmove thestockandstoneandalltheotherthingsinanimate? H: By no means, O Asclepius. The somethinginthebody, the thatwhichmoves the thinginanimate,thissurely'snotabody,forthatitmovesthetwoofthembothbody ofthelifterandthelifted?Sothatathingthat'slifelesswillnotmovealifelessthing. Thatwhichdothmove[anotherthing]isanimate,inthatitisthemover. Thouseest,then,howheavyladenisthesoul,foritalonedothlifttwobodies.That things, moreover, moved are moved in something as well as moved by something is clear. 10. A: Yea, O Thricegreatest one, things moved must needs be moved in something void. H:Thousayestwell,O[my]Asclepius!Fornaughtofthingsthatareisvoid.Alonethe "isnot" is void [and] stranger to subsistence. For that which is subsistent can never changetovoid. A: Are there, then, O Thricegreatest one, no such things as an empty cask, for instance,andanemptyjar,acupandvat,andotherthingslikeuntothem? H: Alack, Asclepius, for thy farwandering from the truth! Think'st thou that things mostfullandmostrepletearevoid? 11.A:Howmeanestthou,Thricegreatestone? H:Isnotairbody? A:Itis. H:Anddoththisbodynotpervadeallthings,andso,pervading,fillthem?And"body"; dothbodynotconsistfromblendingofthe"four"<elements>?Full,then,ofairareall thoucallestvoid;andifofair,thenofthe"four". Further,ofthistheconversefollows,thatallthoucallestfullarevoidofair;forthat they have their space filled out with other bodies, and, therefore, are not able to receive the air therein. These, then, which thou dost say are void, they should be hollownamed,notvoid;fortheynotonlyare,buttheyarefullofairandspirit. 12. A: Thy argument (logos), Thricegreatest one, is not to be gainsaid; air is a body. Further,itisthisbodywhichdothpervadeallthings,andso,pervading,fillthem.What arewe,then,tocallthatspaceinwhichthealldothmove? H:Thebodiless,Asclepius. A:What,then,isBodiless?

H:'TisMindandReason(logos),wholeoutofwhole,allselfembracing,freefromall body, from all error free, unsensible to body and untouchable, self stayed in self, containing all, preserving those that are, whose rays, to use a likeness, are Good, Truth,Lightbeyondlight,theArchetypeofsoul. A:What,then,isGod? 13. H: Not any one of these is He; for He it is that causeth them to be, both all and each and every thing of all that are. Nor hath He left a thing beside that isnot; but theyareallfromthingsthatareandnotfromthingsthatarenot.Forthatthethings thatarenothavenaturallynopowerofbeinganything,butnaturallyhavethepower oftheinabilitytobe.And,conversely,thethingsthatarehavenotthenatureofsome timenotbeing. 14.A:Whatsay'stthouever,then,Godis? H:God,therefore,isnotMind,butCausethattheMindis;GodisnotSpirit,butCause thatSpiritis;GodisnotLight,butCausethattheLightis.HenceoneshouldhonorGod withthesetwonames[theGoodandFather]nameswhichpertaintoHimaloneand nooneelse. For no one of the other socalled gods, no one of men, or daimones, can be in any measure Good, but God alone; and He is Good alone and nothing else. The rest of things are separable all from the Good's nature; for [all the rest] are soul and body, whichhavenoplacethatcancontaintheGood. 15.ForthatasmightyistheGreatnessoftheGoodasistheBeingofallthingsthatare bothbodiesandthingsbodiless,thingssensibleandintelligiblethings.Callthounot, therefore,aughtelseGood,forthouwould'stimiousbe;noranythingatallatanytime callGodbutGoodalone,forsothouwould'stagainbeimpious. 16.Though,then,theGoodisspokenofbyall,itisnotunderstoodbyall,whatthingit is.Notonly,then,isGodnotunderstoodbyall,butbothuntothegodsandsomeof thementheyoutofignorancedogivethenameofGood,thoughtheycannevereither be or become Good. For they arevery different from God, while Good can never be distinguishedfromHim,forthatGodisthesameasGood. The rest of the immortal ones are nonetheless honored with the name of God, and spoken of as gods; but God is Good not out of courtesy but out of nature. For that God'snatureandtheGoodisone;oneosthekindofboth,fromwhichallotherkinds [proceed]. TheGoodishewhogivesallthingsandnaughtreceives.God,then,dothgiveallthings andreceivenaught.God,then,isGood,andGoodisGod. 17.TheothernameofGodisFather,againbecauseHeisthethatwhichmakethall. Thepartoffatheristomake.

Wherefore childmaking is a very great and a most pious thing in life for them who think aright, and to leave life on earth without a child a very great misfortune and impiety;andhewhohathnochildispunishedbythedaimonesafterdeath. And this is the punishment: that that man's soul who hath no child, shall be condemned unto a body with neither man's nor woman's nature, a thing accursed beneaththesun. Wherefore,Asclepius,letnotyoursympathiesbewiththemanwhohathnochild,but ratherpityhismishap,knowingwhatpunishmentabidesforhim. Letallthathasbeensaidthen,betothee,Asclepius,anintroductiontothegnosisof thenatureofallthings.

III.TheSacredSermon
<Thisbriefandapparentlysomewhatgarbledtextrecountsthecreationandnatureof the world in terms much like those of the Poemandres. The major theme is the renewalofallthingsinacyclicuniverse,withthesevenplanetaryrulersagainplayinga majorrole.JMG> 1.TheGloryofallthingsisGod,GodheadandGodlyNature.Sourceofthethingsthat are is God, who is both Mind and Nature yea Matter, the Wisdom that reveals all things.Source[too]isGodheadyeaNature,Energy,Necessity,andEnd,andMaking newagain. Darkness that knew no bounds was in Abyss, and Water [too] and subtle Breath intelligent;thesewerebyPowerofGodinChaos. Then Holy Light arose; and there collected 'neath Dry Space <literally: "sand"> from out Moist Essence Elements; and all the Gods do separate things out from fecund Nature. 2.Allthingsbeingundefinedandyetunwrought,thelightthingswereassignedunto theheight,theheavyoneshadtheirfoundationslaiddownunderneaththemoistpart ofDrySpace,theuniversalthingsbeingboundedoffbyFireandhangedinBreathto keepthemup. AndHeavenwasseeninsevencircles;itsGodswerevisibleinformsofstarswithall theirsigns;whileNaturehadhermembersmadearticulatetogetherwiththeGodsin her.And[Heaven's]peripheryrevolvedincycliccourse,borneonbyBreathofGod. 3. And every God by his own proper power brought forth what was appointed him. Thustherearosefourfootedbeasts,andcreepingthings,andthosethatinthewater dwell,andthingswithwings,andeverythingthatbearethseed,andgrass,andshoot ofeveryflower,allhavinginthemselvesseedofagainbecoming.

AndtheyselectedoutthebirthsofmenforgnosisoftheworksofGodandattestation oftheenergyofNature;themultitudeofmenforlordshipoverallbeneaththeheaven and gnosis of its blessings, that they might increase in increasing and multiply in multitude,andeverysoulinfleshedbyrevolutionoftheCyclicGods,forobservationof the marvels of Heaven and Heaven's Gods' revolution, and of the works of God and energyofNature,fortokensofitsblessings,forgnosisofthepowerofGod,thatthey mightknowthefatesthatfollowgoodandevil[deeds]andlearnthecunningworkof allgoodarts. 4. [Thus] there begins their living and their growing wise, according to the fate appointedbytherevolutionoftheCyclicGods,andtheirdeceasingforthisend. Andthereshallbememorialsmightyoftheirhandiworksupontheearth,leavingdim tracebehindwhencyclesarerenewed. Foreverybirthoffleshensouled,andofthefruitofseed,andeveryhandiwork,though itdecay,shallofnecessityrenewitself,bothbytherenovationoftheGodsandbythe turningroundofNature'srhythmicwheel. ForthatwhereastheGodheadisNature'severmakingnewagainthecosmicmixture, NatureherselfisalsocoestablishedinthatGodhead.

IV.TheCuporMonad
<This short text gives an unusually lucid overview of the foundations of Hermetic thought.Thestressonrejectionofthebodyanditspleasures,andonthedivisionof humanityintothosewithMindandthosewithout,arereminiscentofsomeoftheso called"Gnostic"writingsofthesameperiod.Theideathatthedivisionisamatterof choice, on the other hand, is a pleasant variation on the almost Calvinist flavor of writingssuchastheApocalypseofAdam. <Mead speculates that the imagery of the Cup in this text may have a distant connection, by way of unorthodox ideas about Communion, with the legends of the HolyGrail.JMG> 1. Hermes: With Reason (Logos), not with hands, did the Worldmaker make the universalWorld;sothatthoushouldstthinkofhimaseverywhereandeverbeing,the Authorofallthings,andOneandOnly,whobyHisWillallbeingshathcreated. ThisBodyofHimisathingnomancantouch,orsee,ormeasure,abodyinextensible, liketonootherframe.'TisneitherFirenorWater,AirnorBreath;yetallofthemcome fromit.NowbeingGoodhewilledtoconsecratethis[Body]toHimselfalone,andset itsEarthinorderandadornit.

2.Sodown[toEarth]HesenttheCosmosofthisFrameDivineman,alifethatcannot die,andyetalifethatdies.Ando'er[allother]livesandoverCosmos[too],didman excelbyreasonoftheReason(Logos)andtheMind.ForcontemplatorofGod'sworks didmanbecome;hemarvelledanddidstrivetoknowtheirAuthor. 3.Reason(Logos)indeed,OTat,amongallmenhathHedistributed,butMindnotyet; notthatHegrudgethany,forgrudgingcomethnotfromHim,buthathitsplacebelow, withinthesoulsofmenwhohavenoMind. Tat:WhythendidGod,Ofather,notonallbestowashareofMind? H:Hewilled,myson,tohaveitsetupinthemidstforsouls,justasitwereaprize. 4.T:AndwherehathHesetitup? H:HefilledamightyCupwithit,andsentitdown,joiningaHerald[toit],towhomHe gavecommandtomakethisproclamationtotheheartsofmen: BaptizethyselfwiththisCup'sbaptism,whatheartcandoso,thouthathastfaiththou canst ascend to him that hath sent down the Cup, thou that dost know for what thoudidstcomeintobeing! As many then as understood the Herald's tidings and doused themselves in Mind, became partakers in the Gnosis; and when they had "received the Mind" they were made"perfectmen". But they who do not understand the tidings, these, since they possess the aid of Reason [only] and not Mind, are ignorant wherefor they have come into being and whereby. 5.Thesensesofsuchmenarelikeirrationalcreatures';andastheir[whole]makeupis in their feelings and their impulses, they fail in all appreciation of <lit.: "they do not wonderat">thosethingswhichreallyareworthcontemplation.Thesecenteralltheir thoughtuponthepleasuresofthebodyanditsappetites,inthebeliefthatforitssake manhathcomeintobeing. ButtheywhohavereceivedsomeportionofGod'sgift,these,Tat,ifwejudgebytheir deeds,havefromDeath'sbondswontheirrelease;fortheyembraceintheirownMind allthings,thingsontheearth,thingsintheheaven,andthingsabovetheheavenif therebeaught.AndhavingraisedthemselvessofartheysighttheGood;andhaving sightedit,theylookupontheirsojournhereasamischance;andindisdainofall,both thingsinbodyandthebodiless,theyspeedtheirwayuntothatOneandOnlyOne. 6.Thisis,OTat,theGnosisoftheMind,VisionofthingsDivine;Godknowledgeisit, fortheCupisGod's. T:Father,I,too,wouldbebaptized.

H:UnlessthoufirstshallhatethyBody,son,thoucanstnotlovethySelf.Butifthou lov'stthySelfthoushalthaveMind,andhavingMindthoushaltshareintheGnosis. T:Father,whatdostthoumean? H:Itisnotpossible,myson,togivethyselftobothImeantothingsthatperishandto thingsdivine.Forseeingthatexistingthingsaretwain,BodyandBodiless,inwhichthe perishingandthedivineareunderstood,themanwhohaththewilltochooseisleft thechoiceofoneortheother;foritcanneverbethetwainshouldmeet.Andinthose soulstowhomthechoiceisleft,thewaningoftheonecausestheother'sgrowthto showitself. 7.NowthechoosingoftheBetternotonlyprovesalotmostfairforhimwhomakes thechoice,seeingitmakesthemanaGod,butalsoshowshispietytoGod.Whereas the[choosing]oftheWorse,althoughitdothdestroythe"man",itdothonlydisturb God's harmony to this extent, that as processions pass by in the middle of the way, withoutbeingabletodoanythingbuttaketheroadfromothers,sodosuchmenmove inprocessionthroughtheworldledbytheirbodies'pleasures. 8. This being so, O Tat, what comes from God hath been and will be ours; but that whichisdependentonourselves,letthispressonwardandhavenodelay,for'tisnot God,'tiswewhoarethecauseofevilthings,preferringthemtogood. Thousee'st,son,howmanyarethebodiesthroughwhichwehavetopass,howmany are the choirs of daimones, how vast the system of the starcourses [through which ourPathdothlie],tohastentotheOneandOnlyGod. FortotheGoodthereisnoothershore;Ithathnobounds;Itiswithoutanend;and for Itself It is without beginning, too, though unto us it seemeth to have one the Gnosis. 9.ThereforetoItGnosisisnobeginning;ratherisit[thatGnosisdothafford]tousthe firstbeginningofitsbeingknown. Letuslayhold,therefore,ofthebeginning.andquicklyspeedthroughall[wehaveto pass]. `Tis very hard, to leave the things we have grown used to, which meet our gaze on everyside,andturnourselvesbacktotheOldOld[Path]. Appearancesdelightus,whereasthingswhichappearnotmaketheirbelievinghard. Nowevilsarethemoreapparentthings,whereastheGoodcannevershowItselfunto theeyes,forIthathneitherformnorfigure. ThereforetheGoodislikeItselfalone,andunlikeallthingselse;or`tisimpossiblethat ThatwhichhathnobodyshouldmakeItselfapparenttoabody.

10.The"Like's"superioritytothe"Unlike"andthe"Unlike's"inferiorityuntothe"Like" consistsinthis: TheOnenessbeingSourceandRootofall,isinallthingsasRootandSource.Without [this]Sourceisnaught;whereastheSource[Itself]isfromnaughtbutitself,sinceitis Sourceofalltherest.ItisItselfItsSource,sinceItmayhavenootherSource. TheOnenessthenbeingSource,containetheverynumber,butiscontainedbynone; engenderetheverynumber,butisengenderedbynootherone. 11. Now all that is engendered is imperfect, it is divisible, to increase subject and to decrease;butwiththePerfect[One]noneofthesethingsdothhold.Nowthatwhichis increasable increases from the Oneness, but succumbs through its own feebleness whenitnolongercancontaintheOne. Andnow,OTat,God'sImagehathbeensketchedforthee,asfarasitcanbe;andif thouwiltattentivelydwellonitandobserveitwiththineheart'seyes,believeme,son, thou'ltfindthePaththatleadsabove;nay,thatImageshallbecomethyGuideitself, becausetheSight[Divine]haththispeculiar[charm],itholdethfastanddrawethunto it those who succeed in opening their eyes, just as, they say, the magnet [draweth] iron.

V.ThoughUnmanifestGodIsMostManifest
<ThissermonisafairlystraightforwardHermeticversionofthe"argumentbydesign", astandardapproachsinceancienttimestoaproofoftheexistenceofGod.Typically, for a Hermetic tractate, its choice of evidence includes a paean on the beauty and perfectionofthehumanform.JMG> 1.Iwillrecounttotheethissermon(logos)too,OTat,thatthoumay'stceasetobe without the mysteries of the God beyond all name. And mark thou well how that whichtothemanyseemsunmanifest,willgrowmostmanifestforthee. Now were it manifest, it would not be. For all that is made manifest is subject to becoming,forithathbeenmademanifest.ButtheUnmanifestforeveris,forItdoth notdesiretobemademanifest.Iteveris,andmakethmanifestallotherthings. Being Himself unmanifest, as ever being and ever makingmanifest, Himself is not made manifest. God is not made Himself; by thinkingmanifest <i.e., thinking into manifestation>,Hethinkethallthingsmanifest. Now"thinkingmanifest"dealswiththingsmadealone,forthinkingmanifestisnothing elsethanmaking. 2. He, then, alone who is not made, 'tis clear, is both beyond all power of thinking manifest,andisunmanifest.

AndasHethinkethallthingsmanifest,Hemanifeststhroughallthingsandinall,and mostofallinwhatsoeverthingsHewillstomanifest. Dothou,then,Tat,myson,prayfirstuntoourLordandFather,theOneandOnlyOne, from whom the One doth come, to show His mercy unto thee, in order that thou mayesthavethepowertocatchathoughtofthissomightyGod,onesinglebeamof Himtoshineintothythinking.Forthoughtalone"sees" theUnmanifest,inthatitis itselfunmanifest. If, then, thou hast the power, He will, Tat, manifest to thy mind's eyes. The Lord begrudgethnotHimselftoanything,butmanifestsHimselfthroughthewholeworld. Thouhastthepoweroftakingthought,ofseeingitandgraspingitinthyown"hands", andgazingfacetofaceuponGod'sImage.Butifwhatiswithintheeevenisunmanifest to thee, how, then, shall He Himself who is within thy self be manifest for thee by meansof[outer]eyes? 3. But if thou wouldst "see" him, bethink thee of the sun, bethink thee of moon's course,bethinktheeoftheorderofthestars.WhoistheOnewhowatchetho'erthat order?Foreveryorderhathitsboundariesmarkedoutbyplaceandnumber. Thesun'sthegreatestgodofgodsinheaven;towhomalloftheheavenlygodsgive placeasuntokingandmaster.Andhe,thissogreatone,hegreaterthantheearthand sea, endures to have above him circling smaller stars than him. Out of respect to Whom,oroutoffearofWhom,myson,[dothhedothis]? Norlikenorequalisthecourseeachofthesestarsdescribesinheaven.Who[then]is Hewhomarkethoutthemanneroftheircourseanditsextent? 4. The Bear up there that turneth round itself, and carries round the whole cosmos withitWhoistheownerofthisinstrument?WhoHewhohathsetroundtheseaits bounds?WhoHewhohathsetonitsseattheearth? For,Tat,thereissomeonewhoistheMakerandtheLordofallthesethings.Itcound not be that number, place and measure could be kept without someone to make them. No order whatsoever could be made by that which lacketh place and lacketh measure; nay, even this is not without a lord, my son. For if the orderless lacks something,inthatitisnotlordoforder'spath,italsoisbeneathalordtheonewho hathnotyetordaineditorder. 5.Wouldthatitwerepossiblefortheetogettheewings,andsoarintotheair,and, poisedmidway'tweenearthandheaven,beholdtheearth'ssolidity,thesea'sfluidity (theflowingsofitsstreams),thespaciousnessofair,fire'sswiftness,[and]thecoursing ofthestars,theswiftnessofheaven'scircuitroundthem[all]! Mostblessedsightwereit,myson,toseeallthesebeneathoneswaythemotionless in motion, and the unmanifest made manifest; whereby is made this order of the cosmosandthecosmoswhichweseeoforder.

6.Ifthouwould'stseeHimtoothroughthingsthatsufferdeath,bothontheearthand in the deep, think of a man's being fashioned in the womb, my son, and strictly scrutinize the art of Him who fashions him, and learn who fashioneth this fair and godlyimageoftheMan. Who[then]isHewhotracethoutthecirclesoftheeyes;whoHewhoborethoutthe nostrils and the ears; who He who openeth [the portal of] the mouth; who He who dothstretchoutandtiethenerves;whoHewhochannelsouttheveins;whoHewho hardeneththebones;whoHewhocovereththefleshwithskin;whoHewhoseparates thefingersandthejoints;whoHewhowidensoutatreadingforthefeet;whoHewho diggeth out the ducts; who He who spreadeth out the spleen; who he who shapeth heartliketoapyramid;whoHewhosettethribstogether;whoHewhowideneththe liverout;whoHewhomakethlungsliketoasponge;whoHewhomakethbellystretch so much; who he who doth make prominent the parts most honorable, so that they maybeseen,whilehidingoutofsightthoseofleasthonor? 7.Beholdhowmanyarts[employed]ononematerial,howmanylaborsononesingle sketch;andallexceedingfair,andallinperfectmeasure,yetalldiversified!Whomade themall?Whatmother,orwhatsire,saveGodalone,unmanifest,whohathmadeall thingsbyHisWill? 8.Andnoonesaithastatueorapicturecomestobewithoutasculptoror[without]a painter;doth[then]suchworkmanshipasthisexistwithoutaWorker?Whatdepthof blindness, what deep impiety, what depth of ignorance! See, [then] thou ne'er, son Tat,deprivestworksofWorker! Nay, rather is He greater than all names, so great is He, the Father of them all. For verilyHeistheOnlyOne,andthisisHiswork,tobeafather. 9. So, if thou forcest me somewhat too bold, to speak, His being is conceiving of all thingsandmaking[them]. Andaswithoutitsmakeritsisimpossiblethatanythingshouldbe,so everisHenot unlessHeevermakesallthings,inheaven,inair,inearth,indeep,inallofcosmos,in everypartthatisandthatisnotofeverything.Forthereisnaughtinalltheworldthat isnotHe. HeisHimself,boththingsthatareandthingsthatarenot.ThethingsthatareHehath mademanifest,HekeepeththingsthatarenotinHimself. 10. He is the God beyond all name; He the unmanifest, He the most manifest; He whomthemind[alone]cancontemplate,Hevisibletotheeyes[aswell];Heistheone ofnobody,theoneofmanybodies,nay,ratherHeofeverybody. Naughtistherewhichheisnot.ForallareHeandHeisall.AndforthiscausehathHe allnames,inthattheyareoneFather's.AndforthiscausehathHeHimselfnonome,in thatHe'sFatherof[them]all.

Who,then,maysingTheepraiseofThee,or[praise]toThee? Whither,again,amItoturnmyeyestosingThypraise;above,below,within,without? Thereisnoway,noplace[isthere]aboutThee,noranyotherthingofthingsthatare. All[are]inThee;all[are]fromThee,OThouwhogivestallandtakestnaught,forThou hastallandnaughtisthereThouhastnot. 11.Andwhen,OFather,shallIhymnThee?FornonecanseizeThyhourortime. Forwhat,again,shallIsinghymn?ForthingsthatThouhastmade,orthingsThouhast not?ForthingsThouhastmademanifest,orthingsThouhastconcealed? How, further, shall I hymn Thee? As being of myself? As having something of mine own?Asbeingother? ForthatThouartwhateverImaybe;ThouartwhateverImaydo;ThouartwhateverI mayspeak. ForThouartall,andthereisnothingelsewhichThouartnot.Thouartallthatwhich dothexist,andThouartwhatdothnotexist MindwhenThouthinkest,andFather when Thou makest, and God when Thou dost energize, and Good and Maker of all things. Forthatthesubtlerpartofmatteristheair,ofairthesoul,ofsoulthemind,andof mindGod.

VI.InGodAloneIsGoodAndElsewhereNowhere
<ThissermononthenatureoftheGood,likeToAsclepius(CHII),reliesheavilyonthe technical language of classical Greek philosophy a point which some of Mead's translationstendtoobscure."TheGood,"inGreekthought,isalsotheselfcausedand selfsufficient,andthushaslittleincommonwithlaterconceptionsof"goodness,"just astheLatinwordvirtusandthemodernChristianconceptof"virtue"areverynearly oppositesdespitetheiretymologicalconnection.Theword"passion"herealsoneeds to be understood in its older sense, as the opposite of "action" (cf. "active" and "passive"). <The negative attitude toward humanity and the cosmos which appears in this text contrasts sharply with the more positive assessment found, for example, in the Poemandres(CHI)orintheAsclepiusareminderthatthesedocumentsarerelicsofa diverseandnotnecessarilyconsistentschoolofthought.JMG> 1. Good, O Asclepius, is in none else save in God alone; nay, rather, Good is God Himselfeternally.

If it be so, [Good] must be essence, from every kind of motion and becoming free (though naught is free from It), possessed of stable energy around Itself, never too little,nortoomuch,aneverfullsupply.[Though]one,yet[isIt]sourceofall;forwhat suppliethallisGood.WhenI,moreover,say[supplieth]altogether[all],itisforever Good.ButthisbelongstonooneelsesaveGodalone. ForHestandsnotinneedofanything,sothatdesiringitHeshouldbebad;norcana singlethingofthingsthatarebelosttohim,onlosingwhichHeshouldbepained;for painispartofbad. NoristhereaughtsuperiortoHim,thatHeshouldbesubduedbyit;noranypeerto HimtodoHimwrong,or[sothat]Heshouldfallinloveonitsaccount;noraughtthat givesnoeartoHim,whereatHeshouldgrowangry;norwiseraught,forHimtoenvy. 2.NowasallthesearenonexistentinHisbeing,whatisthereleftbutGoodalone? ForjustasnaughtofbadistobefoundinsuchtranscendentBeing,sotooinnooneof therestwillGoodbefound. Forinthemarealloftheotherthings<i.e.,thosethingswhicharenotGood>bothin thelittleandthegreat,bothineachseverallyandinthislivingonethat'sgreaterthan themallandthemightiest[ofthem]<i.e.,thecosmos>. Forthingssubjecttobirthaboundinpassions,birthinitselfbeingpassible.Butwhere there'spassion,nowhereisthereGood;andwhereisGood,nowhereasinglepassion. Forwhereisday,nowhereisnight;andwhereisnight,dayisnowhere. WhereforeingenesistheGoodcanneverbe,butonlybeintheingenerate. But seeing that the sharing in all things hath been bestowed on matter, so doth it shareinGood. In this way is the Cosmos Good; that, in so far as it doth make all things, as far as makinggoesit'sGood,butinallotherthingsitisnotGood.Forit'sbothpassibleand subjectuntomotion,andmakerofthingspassible. 3.Whereasinmanbygreaterorlessofbadisgooddetermined.Forwhatisnottoo baddownhere,isgood,andgooddownhereistheleastpartofbad. Itcannot,therefore,bethatgooddownhereshouldbequitecleanofbad,fordown heregoodisfouledwithbad;andbeingfouled,itstaysnolongergood,andstayingnot itchangesintobad. InGodalone,is,therefore,Good,orratherGoodisGodHimself. Sothen,Asclepius,thenamealoneofGoodisfoundinmen,thethingitselfnowhere [inthem],forthiscanneverbe.

For no material body doth contain It a thing bound on all sides by bad, by labors, pains,desiresandpassions,byerrorandbyfoolishthoughts. Andgreatestillofall,Asclepius,isthateachofthesethingsthathavebeensaidabove, isthoughtdownheretobethegreatestgood. Andwhatisstillanevengreaterill,isbellylust,theerrorthatdothleadthebandofall theotherillsthethingthatmakesusturndownherefromGood. 4. And I, for my part, give thanks to God, that He hath cast it in my mind about the GnosisoftheGood,thatitcanneverbeItshouldbeintheworld.Forthattheworldis "fullness"ofthebad,butGodofGood,andGoodofGod. TheexcellenciesoftheBeautifulareroundtheveryessence[oftheGood];nay,they doseemtoopure,toounalloyed;perchance'tistheythatarethemselvesItsessences. Foronemaydaretosay,Asclepiusifessence,sooth,HehaveGod'sessenceisthe Beautiful;theBeautifulisfurtheralsoGood. ThereisnoGoodthatcanbegotfromobjectsintheworld.Forallthethingsthatfall beneath the eye are imagethings and pictures as it were; while those that do not meet[theeyearetherealities],especiallythe[essence]oftheBeautifulandGood. JustastheeyecannotseeGod,socanitnotbeholdtheBeautifulandGood.Forthat they are integral parts of God, wedded to Him alone, inseparate familiars, most beloved,withwhomGodisHimselfinlove,ortheywithGod. 5. If thou canst God conceive, thou shalt conceive the Beautiful and Good, transcending Light, made lighter than the Light by God. That Beauty is beyond compare,inimitatethatGood,e'enasGodisHimself. As,then,thoudostconceiveofGod,conceivetheBeautifulandGood.Fortheycannot bejoinedwithaughtofotherthingsthatlive,sincetheycanneverbedivorcedfrom God. Seek'stthouforGod,thouseekestfortheBeautiful.OneisthePaththatleadethunto ItDevotionjoinedwithGnosis. 6.AndthusitisthattheywhodonotknowanddonottreadDevotion'sPath,dodare to call man beautiful and good, though he have ne'er e'en in his visions seen a whit that'sGood,butisenvelopedwitheverykindofbad,andthinksthebadisgood,and thusdothmakeunceasinguseofit,andevenfeareththatitshouldbeta'enfromhim, sostrainingeverynervenotonlytopreservebuteventoincreaseit. Such are the things that men call good and beautiful, Asclepius things which we cannotfleeorhate;forhardestthingofallisthatwe'veneedofthemandcannotlive withoutthem.

VII.TheGreatestIllAmongMenisIgnoranceofGod
<A good solid diatribe in colorful language. One easily imagines it being delivered at theHermeticequivalentofatentrevivalmeeting.JMG> 1.Whitherstumbleye,sots,whohavesoppedupthewineofignoranceandcansofar notcarryitthatyealreadyevenspewitforth? Stayye,besober,gazeupwardswiththe[true]eyesoftheheart!Andifyecannotall, yetyeatleastwhocan! Forthattheillofignorancedothpouro`eralltheearthandoverwhelmthesoulthat's battened down within the body, preventing it from fetching port within Salvation's harbors. 2. Be ye then not carried off by the fierce flood, but using the shorecurrent <lit., "backcurrent"or"upcurrent">,yewhocan,makeforSalvation'sport,and,harboring there,seekyeforonetotakeyoubythehandandleadyouuntoGnosis'gates. WhereshinesclearLight,ofeverydarknessclean;wherenotasinglesoulisdrunk,but soberalltheygazewiththeirhearts'eyesonHimwhowillethtobeseen. NoearcanhearHim,norcaneyeseeHim,nortonguespeakofHim,but[only]mind andheart. But first thou must tear off from thee the cloak which thou dost wear the web of ignorance,thegroundofbad,corruption'schain,thecarapaceofdarkness,theliving death,sensation'scorpse,thetombthoucarriestwiththee,therobberinthyhouse, who through the things he loveth, hateth thee, and through the things he hateth, bearstheemalice. 3.Suchisthehatefulcloakthouwearestthatthrottlesthee[andholdsthee]downto it,inorderthatthoumay'stnotgazeabove,andhavingseentheBeautyoftheTruth, and Good that dwells therein, detest the bad of it; having found out the plot that it hathschemedagainstthee,bymakingvoidofsensethoseseemingthingswhichmen thinksenses. For that it hath with mass of matter blocked them up and crammed them full of loathsomelust,sothatthoumay'stnothearaboutthethingsthatthoushould'sthear, norseethethingsthoushould'stsee.

VIII.ThatNoOneofExistingThingsdothPerish,butMen in Error Speak of Their Changes as Destructions and as Deaths

<The idea of cyclic change central to CH III, "The Sacred Sermon", also takes center stage here. A current of ancient speculation grounded in astrology held that as the planetsreturnedaftervastcyclesoftimetothesamepositions,soalleventsonearth wouldrepeatthemselvespreciselyintoeternityinthefutureandhaddonesofrom eternityinthepast.Thetechnicaltermforthisrecurrence,apocatastasis,istheword Meadtranslatesas"restoration"inthebeginningofsection4. <Meadfootnotesthistractateas"obscure"and"faulty"inplaces,andhistranslation ofthebeginningofsection3isconjectural.JMG> 1.[Hermes:]ConcerningSoulandBody,son,wenowmustspeak;inwhatwaySoulis deathless,andwhencecomestheactivityincomposinganddissolvingBody. Forthere'snodeathforaughtofthings[thatare];thethoughtthiswordconveys,is either void of fact, or [simply] by the knocking off a syllable what is called "death", dothstandfor"deathless". Fordeathisofdestruction,andnothingintheCosmosisdestroyed.ForifCosmosis secondGod,alife<orlivingcreature>thatcannotdie,itcannotbethatanypartofthis immortallifeshoulddie.AllthingsinCosmosarepartsofCosmos,andmostofallis man,therationalanimal. 2. For truly first of all, eternal and transcending birth, is God the universals' Maker. Secondishe"afterHisimage",Cosmos,broughtintobeingbyHim,sustainedandfed byHim,madedeathless,asbyhisownSire,livingforaye,aseverfreefromdeath. Nowthatwhicheverliveth,differsfromtheEternal;forHehathnotbeenbroughtto being by another, and even if He have been brought to being, He hath not been broughttobeingbyHimself,buteverisbroughtintobeing. FortheEternal,inthatItiseternal,istheall.TheFatherisHimselfeternalofHimself, butCosmoshathbecomeeternalandimmortalbytheFather. 3.Andofthematterstoredbeneathit<i.e.,beneaththecosmos>,theFathermadeof itauniversalbody,andpackingittogethermadeitsphericalwrappingitroundthe life[asphere]whichisimmortalinitself,andthatdothmakematerialityeternal. ButHe,theFather,fullfilledwithHisideas,didsowthelives<orlivingcreatures>into thesphere,andshuttheminasinacave,willingtoorderforththelifewitheverykind ofliving. SoHewithdeathlessnessenclosedtheuniversalbody,thatmattermightnotwishto separateitselffrombody'scomposition,andsodissolveintoitsown[original]unorder. Formatter,son,whenitwasyetincorporate<i.e.,notyetformedintobodies>,wasin unorder.Anditdothstillretaindownherethis[natureofunorder]envelopingtherest of the small lives <or living creatures> that increaseanddecrease which men call death.

4. It is round earthly lives that this unorder doth exist. For that the bodies of the heavenlyonespreserveoneorderallottedtothembytheFatherastheirrule;anditis bytherestorationofeachone[ofthem]thisorderispreservedindissolute. The "restoration" of bodies on the earth is thus their composition, whereas their dissolutionrestoresthemtothosebodieswhichcanneverbedissolved,thatistosay, whichknownodeath.Privation,thus,ofsenseisbroughtabout,notlossofbodies. 5.NowthethirdlifeMan,aftertheimageoftheCosmosmade,[and]havingmind, after the Father's will, beyond all earthly lives not only doth have feeling with the secondGod<i.e.,theCosmos>,butalsohathconceptionofthefirst;foroftheone'tis sensibleasofabody,whileoftheotheritconceivesasbodilessandtheGoodMind. Tat:Doththenthislifenotperish? Hermes: Hush, son! and understand what God, what Cosmos [is], what is a life that cannotdie,andwhatalifesubjecttodissolution. Yea,understandtheCosmosisbyGodandinGod;butManbyCosmosandinCosmos. ThesourceandlimitandtheconstitutionofallthingsisGod.

IX.OnThoughtandSense
<This somewhat diffuse essay covers a series of topics, starting with (and to some extentfrom)theconceptthatthesetofperceptionswecall"thoughts"andthesetwe call "sensory perceptions" are not significantly different from each other. The implicationsofthisideaplayasignificantroleinlaterHermeticthought,particularlyin theareasofmagicandtheArtofMemory;inthistractate,though,theissuesinvolved are barely touched, and the argument wanders into moral dualisms and the equally important,butdistinct,ideathattheCosmosisitselfadivinecreativepower. <Section 10, in which understanding is held up as the source and precondition of belief,shouldprobablybeseenaspartofthesameancientdebateontherolesoffaith and reason that gave rise to Tertullian's famous credo quia absurdum ("I believe becauseitisabsurd").JMG> 1. I gave the Perfect Sermon (Logos) yesterday, Asclepius; today I think it right, as sequelthereunto,togothroughpointbypointtheSermonaboutSense. Nowsenseandthoughtdoseemtodiffer,inthattheformerhastodowithmatter, thelatterhastodowithsubstance.Butuntomebothseemtobeatoneandnotto differinmenImean.Inotherlives<orlivingcreatures>senseisatonedwithNature, butinmenthought. NowminddothdifferjustasmuchfromthoughtasGoddothfromdivinity.Forthat divinitybyGoddothcometobe,andbymindthought,thesisteroftheword(logos)

and instruments of one another. For neither doth the word (logos) find utterance withoutthought,noristhoughtmanifestedwithoutword. 2.Sosenseandthoughtbothflowtogetherintoman,asthoughtheywereentwined with one another. For neither without sensing can one think, nor without thinking sense. Butitispossible[theysay]tothinkathingapartfromsense,asthosewhofancysights indreams.Butuntomeitseemsthatbothoftheseactivitiesoccurindreamsight,and sensedothpassoutofthesleepingtothewakingstate. For man is separated into soul and body, and only when the two sides of his sense agreetogether,doesutteranceofitsthoughtconceivedbymindtakeplace. 3.Foritismindthatdothconceiveallthoughtsgoodthoughtswhenitreceivesthe seedsfromGod,theircontrarieswhen[itreceiveththem]fromthedaimonials;nopart of Cosmos being free of daimon, who stealthily doth creep into the daimon who's illumined by God's light <i.e., the human soul>, and sow in him the seed of its own energy. Andmindconceivestheseedthussown,adultery,murder,parricide,[and]sacrilege, impiety,[and]strangling,castingdownprecipices,andallsuchotherdeedsasarethe workofevildaimons. 4. The seeds of God, 'tis true, are few, but vast and fair, and good virtue and self control,devotion.DevotionisGodgnosis;andhewhoknowethGod,beingfilledwith allgoodthings,thinksgodlythoughtsandnotthoughtslikethemany[think]. ForthiscausetheywhoGnosticare,pleasenotthemany,northemanythem.They are thought mad and laughted at; they're hated and despised, and sometimes even puttodeath. Forwedidsaythatbadmustneedsdwellonearth,where'tisinitsownplace.Itsplace isearth,andnotCosmos,assomewillsometimessaywithimpioustongue. ButhewhoisadevoteeofGod,willbearwithalloncehehassensedtheGnosis.For such an one all things, e'en though they be for others bad, are for him good; deliberatelyhedothreferthemalluntotheGnosis.And,thingmostmarvelous,'tishe alonewhomakethbadthingsgood. 5. But I return once more to the Discourse (Logos) on Sense. That sense doth share withthoughtinman,dothconstitutehimman.But'tisnot[every]man,asIhavesaid, whobenefitsbythought;forthismanismaterial,thatotheronesubstantial. Forthematerialman,asIhavesaid,[consorting]withthebad,dothhavehisseedof thought from daimons; while the substantial men [consorting] with the Good, are savedbyGod.

Now God is Maker of all things, and in His making, He maketh all [at last] like to Himself; but they, while they're becoming good by exercise of their activity, are unproductivethings. It is the working of the Cosmic Course that maketh their becomings what they are, befoulingsomeofthemwithbadandothersofthemmakingcleanwithgood. For Cosmos, too, Asclepius, possesseth senseandthought peculiar to itself, not like thatofman;'tisnotsomanifold,butasitwereabetterandasimplerone. 6.ThesinglesenseandthoughtofCosmosistomakeallthings,andmakethemback into itself again, as Organ of the Will of God, so organized that it, receiving all the seedsintoitselffromGod,andkeepingthemwithinitself,maymakeallmanifest,and [then] dissolving them, make them all new again; and thus, like a Good Gardener of Life,thingsthathavebeendissolved,ittakethtoitself,andgiveththemrenewalonce again. Thereisnothingtowhichitgivesnotlife;buttakingalluntoitselfitmakesthemlive, andisatthesametimethePlaceofLifeanditsCreator. 7.Nowbodiesmatter[made]areindiversity.Someareofearth,ofwatersome,some areofair,andsomeoffire. But they are all composed; some are more [composite], and some are simpler. The heavieronesaremore[composed],thelighterlessso. ItisthespeedofCosmos'Coursethatworksthemanifoldnessofthekindsofbirths. ForbeingamostswiftBreath,itdothbestowtheirqualitiesonbodiestogetherwith theOnePleromathatofLife. 8.God,then,isSireofCosmos;Cosmos,ofallinCosmos.AndCosmosisGod'sSon;but thingsinCosmosarebyCosmos. And properly hath it been called Cosmos [Order]; for that it orders all with their diversityofbirth,withitsnotleavingaughtwithoutitslife,withtheunweariednessof itsactivity,thespeedofitsnecessity,thecompositionofitselements,andorderofits creatures. Thesame,then,ofnecessityandproprietyshouldhavethenameofOrder. The senseandthought, then, of all lives doth come into them from without, inbreathed by what contains [them all]; whereas Cosmos receives them once for all togetherwithitscomingintobeing,andkeepsthemasagiftfromGod. 9. But God is not, as some suppose, beyond the reach of senseandthought. It is throughsuperstitionmenthusimpiouslyspeak.

Forallthethingsthatare,Asclepius,allareinGod,arebroughtbyGodtobe,anddo depend on Him both things that act through bodies, and things that through soul substancemake[otherthings]tomove,andthingsthatmakethingslivebymeansof spirit,andthingsthattakeuntothemselvesthethingsthatarewornout. Andrightlyso;nay,Iwouldrathersay,Hedothnothavethesethings;butIspeakforth thetruth,HeisthemallHimself.Hedothnotgetthemfromwithout,butgivesthem out[fromHim]. ThisisGod'ssenseandthought,evertomoveallthings.Andnevertimeshallbewhen e'enawhitofthingsthatareshallcease;andwhenIsay"awhitofthingsthatare",I meanawhitofGod.Forthigsthatare,Godhath;noraught[isthere]withoutHim,nor [is]Hewithoutaught. 10.Thesethingsshouldseemtothee,Asclepius,ifthoudostunderstandthem,true; butifthoudostnotunderstand,thingsnottobebelieved. Tounderstandistobelieve,tonotbelieveisnottounderstand. Myword(logos)dothgobefore[thee]tothetruth.Butmightyisthemind,andwhen ithathbeenledbyworduptoacertainpoint,ithaththepowertocomebefore[thee] tothetruth. Andhavingthoughto'erallthesethings,andfoundthemconsonantwiththosewhich havealreadybeentranslatedbythereason,ithath[e'ennow]believed,andfoundits restinthatFairFaith. Tothose,then,whobyGod['sgoodaid]dounderstandthethingsthathavebeensaid [byus]above,they'recredible;butuntothosewhounderstandthemnot,incredible. Letsomuch,then,sufficeonthoughtandsense.

X.TheKey
<This longer tractate presents itself explicitly as a summary or abridgement of the GeneralSermons(CHIIIX),anddiscussestheHermeticviewofknowledgeanditsrole in the lives and afterlives of human beings. The attentive reader will notice certain contradictionsbetweentheafterlifeteachingsofthisandprevioustractates. <One of the central concepts of The Key, and of Hermetic thought generally, is the distinction between ordinary discursive knowledge which can be expressed in words (in Greek, episteme, which Mead translates somewhat clumsily as "science") and transcendent, unitive knowledge which cannot be communicated (in Greek, gnosis, which Mead simply and sensibly leaves untranslated). The same distinction can be

found in many systems of mystical thought. Unlike most of these, though, the Hermeticteachingsplacevalueonboth. <Readers without much experience in the jargon of Classical philosophy will want to rememberthat"hylic"means"material","passible"means"subjecttooutsideforces or to suffering", and "intelligible" means "belonging to the realm of the Mind", and "motion" includes all kinds of change. The special implications of "good" in Greek thoughtofselfsufficiencyanddesirabilityshouldalsobekeptinmind. <The delightful irony of the Zen moment early in section 9, when Hermes in the middle of this very substantial lecture defines the good and pious man as "he who doth not say much or lend his earto much" and thus rules out both himself and his audience,seemstohavebeenlostonsubsequentcommentators.JMG> 1.Hermes:Myyesterday'sdiscourse(logos)Ididdevotetothee,Asclepius,andso'tis [only] right I should devote toafy's to Tat; and this the more because 'tis the abridgementoftheGeneralSermons(Logoi)whichhehashadaddressedtohim. "God,FatherandtheGood",then,Tat,haththesamenature,ormoreexactly,energy. Fornatureisapredicateofgrowth,andusedofthingsthatchange,bothmobileand immobile, that is to say, both human and divine, each one of which He willeth into being. Butenergyconsistsinsomethingelse,aswehaveshownintreatingoftherest,both thingsdivineandhumanthings;whichthingweoughttohaveinmindwhentreating oftheGood. 2.God'senergyisthenHisWill;furtherHisessenceistowillthebeingofallthings.For whatis"GodandFatherandtheGood"butthe"tobe"ofallthatarenotyet?Nay, subsistenceselfofeverythingthatis;this,then,isGod,thisFather,thistheGood;to Himisaddednaughtofalltherest. AndthoughtheCosmos,thatistosaytheSun,isalsosirehimselftothemthatsharein him;yetsofarishenotthecauseofgooduntothelives,heisnotevenoftheirliving. So that e'en if he be a sire, he is entirely so by compulsion of the Good's Goodwill, apartfromwhichnorbeingnorbecomingcoulde'erbe. 3.Again,theparentisthechildren'scause,bothonthefather'sandthemother'sside, onlybysharingintheGood'sdesire[thatdothpour]throughtheSun.ItistheGood whichdoeththecreating. AndsuchapowercanbepossessedbynooneelsethanHimalonewhotakethnaught, butwillsallthingstobe;Iwillnot,Tat,say"makes".

For that the maker is defective for long periods (in which he sometimes makes, and sometimesdothnotmake)bothinthequalityandinthequantity[ofwhathemakes]; inthathesometimesmakeththemsomanyandsuchlike,andsometimesthereverse. But"GodandFatherandtheGood"is[cause]foralltobe.Soareatleastthesethings forthosewhocansee. 4.ForItdothwilltobe,andItisbothItselfandmostofallbyreasonofItself.Indeed, allotherthingsbesidearejustbacauseofIt;forthedistinctivefeatureoftheGoodis "thatitshouldbeknown".SuchistheGood,OTat. Tat:Thouhast,Ofather,filledussofullofthissogoodandfairestsight,thatthereby mymind'seyehathnowbecomeformealmostathingtoworship. ForthatthevisionoftheGooddothnot,likethesun'sbeam,firelikeblazeontheeyes andmakethemclose;nay,onthecontrary,itshinethforthandmakethtoincreasethe seeing of the eye, as far as e'er a man hath the capacity to hold the inflow of the radiancethatthemindalonecansee. Notonlydoesitcomemoreswiftlydowntous,butitdoesusnoharm,andisinstinct withallimmortallife. 5.TheywhoareabletodrinkinasomewhatmorethanothersofthisSight,ofttimes fromoutthebodyfallasleepinthisfairestSpectacle,aswasthecasewithUranusand Cronus,ourforebears.maythisbeoutlottoo,Ofathermine! Hermes:Yea,mayitbe,myson!Butasitis,wearenotyetstrungtotheVision,and notasyethavewethepowerourmind'seyetounfoldandgazeupontheBeautyof theGoodBeautythatnaughtcane'ercorruptoranycomprehend. ForonlythenwiltthouuponItgazewhenthoucanstsaynowordconcerningIt.For GnosisoftheGoodisholysilenceandagivingholidaytoeverysense. 6.ForneithercanhewhoperceivethIt,perceiveaughtelse;norhewhogazethonIt, gazeonaughtelse;norhearaughtelse,norstirhisbodyanyway.Stayinghisbody's everysenseandeverymotionhestayethstill. Andshiningthenallroundhismond,Itshinesthroughhiswholesoul,anddrawsitout ofbody,transformingallofhimtoessence. Foritispossible,myson,thataman'ssoulshouldbemadeliketoGod,e'enwhileit stillisinabody,ifitdothcontemplatetheBeautyoftheGood. 7.Tat:MadeliketoGod?Whatdostthou,father,mean? Hermes:Ofeverysoulapartaretransformations,son. Tat:Whatmeanestthou?Apart?

Hermes:Didstthounot,intheGeneralSermons,hearthatfromoneSoultheAllsoul comeallthesesoulswhicharemadetorevovlveinallthecosmos,asthoughdivided off? Ofthesesouls,then,itisthattherearemanychanges,sometoahappierlotandsome to[just]thecontraryofthis. Thussome thatwerecreepingthingschangeintothingsthatinthe waterdwell,the souls of water things change to earthdwellers, those that live on earth change to thingswithwings,andsoulsthatliveinairchangetomen,whilehumansoulsreach thefirststepofdeathlessnesschangedintodaimones. And so they circle to the choir of the Inerrant Gods; for of the Gods there are two choirs,theoneInerrant,andtheotherErrant.Andthisisthemostperfectgloryofthe soul. 8.Butifasoulonenteringthebodyofamanpersistethinitsvice,itneithertasteth deathlessnessnorsharethintheGood;butspeedingbackagainitturnsintothepath thatleadstocreepingthings.Thisisthesentenceofthevicioussoul. Andthesoul'sviceisignorance.Forthatthesoulwhohathnoknowledgeofthethings thatare,orknowledgeoftheirnature,orofGood,isblindedbythebody'spassions andtossedabout. Thiswretchedsoul,notknowingwhatsheis,becomestheslaveofbodiesofstrange form in sorry plight, bearing the body as a load; not as the ruler, but the ruled. This [ignorance]isthesoul'svice. 9.ButontheotherhandthevirtueofthesoulisGnosis.Forhewhoknows,hegood andpiousis,andstillwhileontheearthdivine. Tat:Butwhoissuchanone,Ofathermine? Hermes:Hewhodothnotsaymuchorlendhiseartomuch.Forhewhospendethtime in arguing and hearing arguments, doth shadowfight. For "God, the Father and the Good",isnottobeobtainedbyspeechorhearing. Andyetthoughthisisso,thereareinallthebeingssenses,inthattheycannotwithout sensesbe. ButGnosisisfardifferentfromsense.Forsenseisbroughtaboutbythatwhichhath themasteryo'erus,whileGnosisistheend<i.e.,goal>ofscience,andscienceisGod's gift. 10.Allscienceisincorporeal,theinstrumentitusesbeingthemind,justasthemind employsthebody.

Boththencomeintobodies,[Imean]boththingsthatarecognizablebymondalone andthingsmaterial.Forallthingsmustconsistoutofantithesisandcontrariety;and thiscanotherwisenotbe. Tat:WhothenisthismaterialGodofwhomthouspeakest? Hermes:Cosmosisbeautiful,butisnotgoodforthatitismaterialandfreelypassible; andthoughitisthefirstofallthingspassible,yetisitinthesecondrankofbeingand wantinginitself. Andthoughitneverhathitselfitsbirthintime,buteveris,yetisitsbeinginbecoming, becoming for all time the genesis of qualities and quantities; for it is mobile and all materialmotion'sgenesis. 11. It is intelligible rest that moves material motion in this way, since Cosmos is a spherethatistosay,ahead.Andnaughtofheadabove'smaterial,asnaughtoffeet below'sintelligible,butallmaterial. Andheaditselfismovedinaspherelikewaythatistosay,asheadshouldmove,is mind. All then that are united to the "tissue" of this "head" (in which is soul) are in their nature free from death just as when body hath been made in soul, are things that hathmoresoulthanbody. Whereasthosethingswhichareatgreaterdistancefromthis"tissue"there,where arethingswhichhaveagreatershareofbodythanofsoularebytheirnaturesubject untodeath. Thewhole,however,isalife;sothattheuniverseconsistsofboththehylicandofthe intelligible. 12.Again,theCosmosisthefirstoflivingthings,whilemanissecondafterit,though firstofthingssubjecttodeath. Manhaththesameensoulingpowerinhimasalltherestoflivingthings;yetishenot onlynotgood,butevenevil,forthathe'ssubjectuntodeath. ForthoughtheCosmosalsoisnotgoodinthatitsuffersmotion,itisnotevil,inthatit isnotsubjecttodeath.Butman,inthathe'ssubjectbothtomotionandtodeath,is evil. 13.Nowthentheprinciplesofmanarethiswisevehicled:mindinthereason(logos), thereasoninthesoul,soulinthespirit<or,rather,vitalspirits>,andspiritinthebody. Spirit pervading [body] by means of veins and arteries and blood, bestows upon the livingcreaturemotion,andasitweredothbearitinaway.

Forthiscausesomedothinkthesoulisblood,inthattheydomistakeitsnature,not knowingthat[atdeath]itisitehspiritthatmustfirstwithdrawintothesoul,whereon thebloodcongealsandveinsandarteriesareemptied,andthenthelivingcreature<or life>iswithdrawn;andthisisbody'sdeath. 14.NowfromoneSourceallthingsdepend;whileSource[dependeth]fromtheOne and Only [One]. Source is, moreover, moved to become Source again; whereas the Onestandethperpetuallyandisnotmoved. Threethenarethey:"God,theFatherandtheGood",Cosmosandman. GoddothcontainCosmos;Cosmos[containeth]man.Cosmosise'erGod'sSon,manas itwereCosmos'child. 15. Not that, however, God ignoreth man; nay, right well doth He know him, and willethtobeknown. ThisisthesolesalvationforamanGod'sGnosis.ThisistheWayUptotheMount. ByHimalonethesoulbecomethgood,notwhilesisgood,whilesevil,but[good]outof necessity. Tat:Whatdostthoumean,Thricegreatestone? Hermes:Beholdaninfant'ssoul,myson,thatisnotyetcutoff,becauseitsbodyisstill smallandnotasyetcomeuntoitsfullbulk. Tat:How? Hermes:Athingofbeautyaltogetheris[suchasoul]tosee,notyetbefouledbybody's passions,stillallbuthangingfromtheCosmicSoul! Butwhenthebodygrowsinbulkanddrawethdownthesoulintoitsmass,thendoth thesoulcutoffitselfandbringuponitselfforgetfulness,andnomoresharethinthe BeautifulandtheGood.Andthisforgetfulnessbecomethvice. 16.Itisthesameforthemwhogooutfromthebody. Forwhenthesoulwithdrawsintoitself,thespiritdothcontractitselfwithintheblood, and the soul within the spirit. And then the mind, stripped of its wrappings, and naturally divine, taking unto itself a fiery body, doth traverse every space, after abandoningthesouluntoitsjudgementandwhateverchastisementithathdeserved. Tat:Whatdostthou,father,meanbythis?Themindispartedfromsoulandsoulfrom spirit?Whereasthousaid'stthesoulwasthemind'svesture,andthesoul'sthespirit. 17.Hermes:Thehearer,son,shouldthinkwithhimwhospeaksandbreathewithhim; nay,heshouldhaveahearingsubtlerthanthevoiceofhimwhospeaks.

Itis,son,inabodymadeofearththatthisarrangementofthevesturescomestopass. Forinabodymadeofearthitisimpossiblethemindshouldtakeitsseatitselfbyits ownselfinnakedness. For neither is it possible on the one hand the earthly body should contain so much immortality,norontheotherthatsogreatavirtueshouldendureabodypassiblein suchclosecontactwithit.Ittaketh,then,thesoulforasitwereanenvelope. And soul itself, being too and thing divine, doth use the spirit as its envelope, while spiritdothpervadethelivingcreature. 18.Whenthentheminddothfreeitselffromtheearthbody,itstraightwayputtethon itsproperrobeoffire,withwhichitcouldnotdwellinanearthbody. Forearthdothnotbearfire;foritisallsetinablazeevenbyasmallspark.Andforthis causeiswaterpouredaroundearth,tobeaguardandwall,tokeeptheblazingofthe fireaway. But mind, the swiftest thing of all divine outthinkings, and swifter than all elements, hathforitsbodyfire. Formindbeingbuilderdothusethefireastoolfortheconstructionofallthingsthe Mindofall[fortheconstruction]ofallthings,butthatofmanonlyforthingsonearth. Stript of its fire the mind on earth cannot make things divine, for it is human in its dispensation. 19. The soul in man, however not every soul, but one that pious is is a daimonic somethinganddivine. Andsuchasoulwhenfromthebodyfreed,ifithavefoughtthefightofpietythefight of piety is to know God and to do wrong to no man such a soul becomes entirely mind. Whereas the impious soul remains in its own essence,chastised by its own self, and seekingforanearthlybodywheretoenter,ifonlyitbehuman. Forthatnootherbodycancontainahumansoul;norisitrightthatanyhumansoul should fall into the body of a thing that doth possess no reason. For that the law of Godisthis:toguardthehumansoulfromsuchtremendousoutrage. 20.Tat:Howfather,then,isaman'ssoulchastised? Hermes:Whatgreaterchastisementofanyhumansoulcantherebe,son,thanlackof piety?Whatfirehassofierceaflameaslackofpiety?Whatravenousbeastsomauls thebodyaslackofpietytheverysoul? Dostthounotseewhathostsofillstheimpioussouldothbear?

Itshrieksandscreams:Iburn;Iamablaze;Iknownotwhattocryordo;ah,wretched me,Iamdevouredbyalltheillsthatcompassmeabout;alack,poorme,Ineithersee norhear! Sucharethecrieswrungfromasoulchastised;not,asthemanythink,andthou,son, dostsuppose,thata[man's]soul,passingfrombody,ischangedintoabeast. Suchisaverygravemistake,forthatthewayasouldothsufferchastisementisthis: 21.Whenmindbecomesadaimon,thelawrequiresthatitshouldtakeafierybodyto executetheservicesofGod;andenteringinthesoulmostimpiousitscourgethitwith whipsmadeofitssins. And then the impious soul, scourged with its sins, is plunged in murders, outrage, blasphemy, in violence of all kinds, and all the other things whereby mankind is wronged. ButonthepioussoultheminddothmountandguideittotheGnosis'Light.Andsuch asouldothnevertireinsongsofpraise[toGod]andpouringblessingonallmen,and doinggoodinwordanddeedtoall,inimitationofitsSire. 22. Wherefore, my son, thou shouldst give praise to God and pray that thou mayst havethymindGoodMind.Itis,then,toabetterstatethesouldothpass;itcannotto aworse. Furtherthereisanintercourseofsouls;thoseofthegodshaveintercoursewiththose ofmen,andthoseofmenwithsoulsofcreatureswhichpossessnoreason. The higher, further, have in charge the lower; the gods look after men, men after animalsirrational,whileGodhathchargeofall;forHeishigherthanthemallandall arelessthanHe. Cosmosissubject,then,toGod,mantotheCosmos,andirrationalstoman.ButGodis o'erthemall,andGodcontainsthemall. God's rays, to use a figure, are His energies; the Cosmos's are natures, the arts and sciencesareman's. TheenergiesactthroughtheCosmos,thencethroughthenatureraysofCosmosupon man; the naturerays [act] through the elements, man [acteth] through the sciences andarts. 23. This is the dispensation of the universe, depending from the nature of the One, pervading [all things] through the Mind, than which is naught diviner nor of greater energy;andnaughtagreatermeansfortheatoningmentogodsandgodstomen. He, [Mind,] is the Good Daimon. Blessed the soul that is most filled with Him, and wretchedisthesoulthat'semptyoftheMind.

Tat:Father,whatdostthoumean,again? Hermes:Dostthinkthen,son,thateverysoulhaththeGood[Mind]?For'tisofHimwe speak,notofthemindinserviceofwhichwewerejustspeaking,themindsentdown for[thesoul's]chastisement. 24. For soul without the mind "can neither speak nor act". For oftentimes the mind dothleavethesoul,andatthattimethesoulneitherseesnorunderstands,butisjust likeathingthathathnoreason.Suchisthepowerofmind. Yet doth it not endure a sluggish soul, but leaveth such a soul tied to the body and boundtightdownbyit.Suchsoul,myson,dothnothaveMind;andthereforesuchan oneshouldnotbecalledaman.Forthatmanisathingoflife<oranimal>divine;man isnotmeasuredwiththerestoflivesofthingsupontheearth,butwiththelivesabove inheaven,whoarecalledgods. Nay more,if we must boldly speakthe truth, the true "man" is e'en higher than the gods, or at the [very] least the gods and men are very whit in power each with the otherequal. 25. For no one of the gods in heaven shall come down to the earth, o'erstepping heaven'slimit;whereasmandothmountuptoheavenandmeasureit;heknowswhat thingsofitarehigh,whatthingsarelow,andlearnspreciselyallthingselsebesides. Andgreaterthingthanall;withoute'enquittingearth,hedothascendabove.Sovasta sweepdothhepossessofecstasy. Forthiscausecanamandaresaythatmanonearthisgodsubjecttodeath,whilegod inheavenismanfromdeathimmune. Whereforethedispensationofallthingsisbroughtaboutbymeansofthere,thetwain CosmosandManbutbytheOne.

XI.MindUntoHermes
<This complex text is written as a revelation from the divine Mind the "Man Shepherd"ofCHItoHermes,concerningthenatureofGodandtheuniverse.Difficult enough in its own right, it has been made rather more so by some of Mead's most opaqueprose.Ihavetriedtoinsertclarificationswherethesearemostneeded. <Somenotesonterminologymayalsobeuseful.ThetermAeonhere,asinmanyof the socalled "Gnostic" writings, refers to the timeless and spaceless realm of ideal being.Thewordcosmosmeansboth"order"and"beauty"thesamerootappearsin theword"cosmetic".Additionally,thewordsgenesisandbecominginthetranslation arethesamewordintheGreekoriginal.

<Finally, the word "inactive" in square brackets near the beginning of section 13 is Mead's, intended to fill a lacuna in the text. The more usual conjecture, as he comments,is"apartfromGod".JMG> 1.Mind:Masterthissermon(logos),then,ThricegreatestHermes,andbearinmind thespokenwords;andasithathcomeuntoMetospeak,Iwillnomoredelay. Hermes:Asmanymensaymanythings,andthesediverse,abouttheAllandGood,I havenotlearnedthetruth.Makeit,then,cleartome,OMastermine!ForIcantrust theexplanationofthesethings,whichcomesfromTheealone. 2.Mind:Hear[then],Myson,howstandethGodandAll. God;Aeon;Cosmos;Time;Becoming. GodmakethAeon;Aeon,Cosmos;Cosmos,Time;andTime,Becoming<orGenesis>. TheGoodtheBeautiful,Wisdom,Blessednessis<the>essence,asitwere,ofGod; of Aeon, <the essence is> Sameness; of Cosmos, Order; of Time, Change; and of Becoming,LifeandDeath. The energies of God are Mind and Soul; of Aeon, lastingness and deathlessness; of Cosmos,restorationandtheoppositethereof;ofTime,increaseanddecrease;andof Becoming,quality. Aeonis,then,inGod;Cosmos,inAeon;inCosmos;Time;inTime,Becoming. Aeon stands firm round God; Cosmos is moved in Aeon; Time hath its limits <or is accomplished>intheCosmos;BecomingdothbecomeinTime. 3.Thesource,therfore,ofallisGod;theiressence,Aeon;theirmatter,Cosmos. God'spowerisAeon;Aeon'sworkisCosmoswhichneverhathbecome,yeteverdoth becomebyAeon. ThereforewillCosmosneverbedestroyed,forAeon'sindestructible;nordothawhit ofthingsinCosmosperish,forCosmosisenwrappedbyAeonroundoneveryside. Hermes:ButGod'sWisdomwhatisthat? Mind:TheGoodandBeautiful,andBlessedness,andVirtue'sall,andAeon. Aeon,then,ordereth[Cosmos],impartingdeathlessnessandlastingnesstomatter. 4.ForitsbeginningdothdependonAeon,asAeondothonGod. Now Genesis <or Becoming> and Time, in Heaven and upon the Earth, are of two natures.

InHeaventheyareunchangeableandindestructible,butontheEarththey'resubject untochangeandtodestruction. Further,theAeon'ssoulisGod;theCosmos'soulisAeon;theEarth'ssoul,Heaven. AndGod<is>inMind;andMind,inSoul;andSoul,inMatter;andallofthemthrough Aeon. ButallthisBody,inwhichareallthebodies,isfullofSoul;andSoulisfullofMind,and MindofGod. It <i.e., Soul> fills it <i.e., the Body of the Cosmos> from within, and from without encirclesit,makingtheAlltolive. Without,thisvastandperfectLife[encircles]Cosmos;within,itfills[itwith]alllives; above,inHeaven,continuinginsameness;below,onEarth,changingbecoming. 5.AndAeondothpreservethis[Cosmos],orbyNecessity,orbyForeknowledge,orby Nature, or by whatever else a man supposes or shall suppose. And all is this God energizing. TheEnergyofGodisPowerthatnaughtcane'ersurpass,aPowerwithwhichnoone canmakecomparisonofanyhumanthingatall,oranythingdivine. Wherefore,OHermes,neverthinkthataughtofthingsaboveorthingsbelowisliketo God,forthouwiltfallfromtruth.FornaughtisliketoThatwhichhathnolike,andis AloneandOne. AnddonoteverthinkthatanyothercanpossiblypossessHispower;forwhatapart from Him is there of life, and deathlessness and change of quality? For what else shouldHemake? God'snotinactive,sinceallthings[then]wouldlackactivity;forallarefullofGod. But neither in the Cosmos anywhere, nor in aught else, is there inaction. For that "inaction"isanamethatcannotbeappliedtoeitherwhatdothmakeorwhatismade. 6. But all things must be made; both ever made, and also in accordance with the influenceofeveryspace. ForHewhomakes,isinthemall;notstablishedinsomeoneofthem,normakingone thingonly,butmakingall. ForbeingPower,HeenergizethinthethingsHemakesandisnotindependentofthem althoughthethingsHemakesaresubjecttoHim. Now gaze through Me upon the Cosmos that's now subject to thy sight; regard its Beauty carefully Body in pure perfection, though one than which there's no more

ancientone,everinprimeoflife,andeveryoung,nay,rather,inevenfullerandyet fullerprime! 7. Behold, again, the seven subject Worlds; ordered by Aeon's order, and with their variedcoursefullfillingAeon! [Seehow]allthings[are]fulloflight,andnowhere[isthere]fire;for'tistheloveand the blending of the contraries and the dissimilars that doth give birth to light down shiningbytheenergyofGod,theFatherofallgood,theLeaderofallorder,andRuler ofthesevenworldorderings! [Behold] the Moon, forerunner of them all, the instrument of nature, and the transmuterofitslowermatter! [Lookat]theEarthsetinthemidstofAll,foundationoftheCosmosBeautiful,feeder andnurseofthingsonEarth! And contemplate the multitude of deathless lives, how great it is, and that of lives subjecttodeath;andmidway,betweenboth,immortal[lives]andmortal,[seethou] thecirclingMoon. 8.Andallarefullofsoul,andallaremovedbyit,eachinitsproperway;someround theHeaven,othersaroundtheEarth;[see]howtheright[move]notuntotheleft,nor yettheleftuntotheright;northeabovebelow,northebelowabove. AndthatalltherearesubjectuntoGenesis,MydearestHermes,thouhastnolonger needtolearnofMe.Forthattheybodiesare,havesouls,andtheyaremoved. But 'tis impossible for them to come together into one without some one to bring them[all]together.Itmust,then,bethatsuchaoneasthismustbesomeonewho's whollyOne. 9.Forasthemanymotionsofthem[all]aredifferent,andastheirbodiesarenotlike, yethasonespeedbeenorderedforthemall,itisimpossiblethatthereshouldbetwo ormoremakersforthem. Forthatonesingleorderisnotkeptamong"themany";butrivalrywillfollowofthe weakerwiththestronger,andtheywillstrive. Andifthemakerofthelivesthatsufferchangeanddeath,shouldbeanother<from themakeroftheimmortals>,hewoulddesiretomakethedeathlessonesaswell;just asthemakerofthedeathlessones,[tomakethelives]thatsufferdeath. But come! if there be two if matter's one, and Soul is one, in whose hands would there be the distribution for the making? Again, if both of them have some of it, in whosehandsmaybethegreaterpart?

10.Butthusconceiveit,then;thateverylivingbodydothconsistofsoulandmatter, whether[thatbodybe]ofanimmortal,oramortal,oranirrational[life]. Forthatalllivingbodiesareensouled;whereas,upontheotherhand,thosethatlive not,arematterbyitself. And,inlikefashion,Soulwheninitsselfis,afteritsownmaker,causeoflife;butthe causeofalllifeisHewhomakesthethingsthatcannotdie. Hermes:How,then,isitthat,first,livessubjecttodeathareotherthanthedeathless ones?And,next,howisitthatLifewhichknowsnodeath,andmakethdeathlessness, dothnotmakeanimalsimmortal? 11.Mind:First,thatthereissomeonewhodoesthesethings,isclear;and,next,that HeisalsoOne,isverymanifest.For,also,Soulisone,andLifeisone,andMatterone. Hermes:ButwhoisHe? Mind: Who may it other be than the One God? Whom else should it beseem to put SoulintolivesbutGodalone?One,then,isGod. Itwouldindeedbemostridiculous,ifwhenthoudostconfesstheCosmostobeone, Sun one, Moon one, and Godhead one, thou shouldst wish God Himself to be some oneorotherofanumber! 12.Allthings,therefore,Hemakes,inmany[ways].AndwhatgreatthingisitforGod tomakelife,soul,anddeathlessness,andchange,whenthou[thyself]dostdosomany things? Forthoudostsee,andspeak,andhear,andsmell,andtaste,andtouch,andwalk,and think,andbreathe.Anditisnotonemanwhosmells,anotheronewhowalks,another onewhothinks,and[yet]anotheronewhobreathes.Butoneishewhodothallthese. AndyetnooneofthesecouldbeapartfromGod.Forjustas,shouldthouceasefrom these,thouwouldstnolongerbealivingthing,soalso,shouldGodceasefromthem(a thingnotlawtosay),nolongerisHeGod. 13.Forifithathbeenshownthatnothingcan[inactive]be,howmuchlessGod?Forif there'saughthedothnotmake(ifitbelawtosay),Heisimperfect.ButifHeisnot onlynotinactive,butperfect[God],thenHedothmakeallthings. GivethouthyselftoMe,MyHermes,foralittlewhile,andthoushaltunderstandmore easily how that God's work is one, in order that all things may be that are being made,oroncehavebeen,orthataregoingtobemade.Andthisis,Mybeloved,Life; thisistheBeautiful;thisistheGood;this,God. 14.Andifthouwouldstinpracticeunderstand[thiswork],beholdwhattakethplace withtheedesiringtobeget.Yetthisisnotlikeuntothat,forHedothnotenjoy.

For that indeed He hath no other one to share in what He works, for working by Himself,Heeverisatwork,HimselfbeingwhatHedoth.FordidHeseparateHimself fromit,allthingswould[then]collapse,andallmustdie,Lifeceasing. Butifallthingsarelives,andalsoLifeisone;then,oneisGod.And,furthermore,ifall arelives,boththoseinHeavenandthoseonEarth,andOneLifeinthemallismadeto bebyGod,andGodisit<i.e.,GodistheOneLife>then,allaremadebyGod. Life is the makingone of Mind and Soul; accordingly Death is not the destruction of thosethatareatoned,butthedissolvingoftheirunion. 15.Aeon,moreover,isGod'simage;Cosmos[is]Aeon's;theSun,ofCosmos;andMan, [theimage]oftheSun. The people call change death, because the body is dissolved, and life, when it's dissolved, withdraws to the unmanifest. But in this sermon (logos), Hermes, My beloved,asthoudosthear,IsaytheCosmosalsosufferschangeforthatapartofit eachdayismadetobeintheunmanifestyetitisne'erdissolved. These are the passions of the Cosmos revolvings and concealments; revolving is conversionandconcealmentrenovation. 16.TheCosmosisallformednothavingformsexternaltoitself,butchangingthem itselfwithinitself.Since,then,Cosmosismadetobeallformed,whatmayitsmaker be? For that, on the one hand, He should not be void of all form; and, on the other hand, if He's allformed, He will be like the Cosmos. Whereas, again, has He a single form,HewilltherebybelessthanCosmos. What, then, say we He is? that we may not bring round our sermon (logos) into doubt;fornaughtthatmindconceivesofGodisdoubtful. He,then,hathoneidea,whichisHisownalone,whichdothnotfallbeneaththesight, being bodiless, and [yet] by means of bodies manifesteth all [ideas]. And marvel not thatthere'sabodilessidea. 17. For it is like the form of reason (logos) and mountaintops in pictures. For they appeartostandoutstronglyfromtherest,butreallyarequitesmoothandflat. Andnowconsiderwhatissaidmoreboldly,butmoretruly! Just as man cannot live apart from Life, so neither can God live without [His] doing good.ForthisisasitwerethelifeandmotionasitwereofGodtomoveallthings andmakethemlive. 18. Now some of the things said should bear a sense peculiar to themselves. So understand,forinstance,whatI'mgoingtosay.

AllareinGod,[but]notaslyinginaplace.Forplaceisbothabodyandimmovable, andthingsthatliedonothavemotion. Nowthingslieonewayinthebodiless,anotherwayinbeingmademanifest. Think, [then,] of Him who doth contain them all; and think, that than the bodiless naught is more comprehensive, or swifter, or more potent, but it is the most comprehensive,theswiftest,andmostpotentofthemall. 19.And,thus,thinkfromthyself,andbidthysoulgountoanyland,andtheremore quickly than thy bidding will it be. And bid it journey oceanwards; and there, again, immediately'twillbe,notasifpassingonfromplacetoplace,butasifbeingthere. Andbiditalsomounttoheaven;anditwillneednowings,notwillaughthinderit,nor fire of sun, nor auther, nor vortexswirl, nor bodies of the other stars; but, cutting throughthemall,itwillsoaruptothelastBody[ofthemall].Andshouldstthouwillto breakthroughthisaswell,andcontemplatewhatisbeyondiftherebeaughtbeyond theCosmos;itispermittedthee. 20.Beholdwhatpower,whatswiftness,thoudosthave!Andcanstthoudoallofthese things,andGodnot[dothem]? Then, in this way know God; as having all things in Himself as thoughts, the whole Cosmositself. If,then,thoudostnotmakethyselflikeuntoGod,thoucanstnotknowHim.Forlikeis knowableuntolike[alone]. Make,[then,]thyselftogrowtothesamestatureastheGreatnesswhichtranscends allmeasure;leapforthfromeverybody;transcendalltime;becomeEternity<literally, Aeon>;and[thus]shaltthouknowGod. Conceivingnothingisimpossibleuntothyself,thinkthyselfdeathlessandabletoknow allallarts,allsciences,thewayofeverylife. Become more lofty than all height, and lower than all depth. Collect into thyself all sensesof[all]creaturesoffire,[and]water,dryandmoist.Thinkthatthouartatthe same time in every place in earth, in sea, in sky; not yet begotten, in the womb, young,old,[and]dead,inafterdeathconditions. And if thou knowest all these things at once times, places, doings, qualities, and quantities;thoucanstknowGod. 21.Butifthoulockestupthysoulwithinthybody,anddostdebaseit,saying:Inothing know;Inothingcan;Ifearthesea;Icannotscalethesky;IknownotwhoIwas,whoI shallbewhatisthere[then]between[thy]Godandthee?

Forthoucanstknownaughtofthingsbeautifulandgoodsolongasthoudostlovethy bodyandartbad. Thegreatestbadthereis,isnottoknowGod'sGood;buttobeabletoknow[Good], andwill,andhope,isaStraightWay,theGood'sown[Path],bothleadingthereand easy. Ifthoubutsettestthyfootthereon,'twillmeettheeeverywhere,'twilleverywherebe seen, both where and when thou dost expect it not waking, sleeping, sailing, journeying,bynight,byday,speaking,[and]sayingnaught.Forthereisnaughtthatis notimageoftheGood. 22.Hermes:IsGodunseen? Mind: Hush! Who is more manifest than He? For this one reason hath He made all things,thatthroughthemallthoumayestseeHim. ThisistheGoodofGod,this[is]HisVirtuethatHemaybemanifestthroughall. For naught's unseen, even of things that are without a body. Mind sees itself in thinking,Godinmaking. Sofarthesethingshavebeenmademanifesttothee,Thricegreatestone!Reflecton alltherestinthesamewaywiththyself,andthoushaltnotbeledastray.

XII.AboutTheCommonMind
<The"commonmind"discussedinthisdialogueisthesameMindwhichappearsasa divinepowerinotherpartsoftheHermeticliterature.Itisidentical,aswell,withthe "GoodDaimon"whosewordsarequotedatseveralpointshereandelsewhere. <TheGreekwordlogoswhichmeansboth"word"and"reason",amongotherthings iscentraltomuchoftheargument,andit'sunfortunatethatEnglishhasnowayto expressthesamecomplexofmeanings.Thepraiseofreasoninparts1314isalso,and equally,apraiseofhumanlanguage,andthissortofdoublemeaningplaysapart elsewhereinthisandotherpartsoftheHermeticliterature.JMG> 1.Hermes:TheMind,OTat,isofGod'sveryessence(ifsuchathingasessenceof Godtherebe)andwhatthatis,itanditonlyknowsprecisely. TheMind,then,isnotseparatedofffromGod'sessentiality,butisunitedtoit,aslight tosun. ThisMindinmenisGod,andforthiscausesomeofmankindaregods,andtheir humanityisnighuntodivinity. FortheGoodDaimonsaid:"Godsareimmortalmen,andmenaremortalgods." 2.ButinirrationallivesMindistheirnature.ForwhereisSoul,theretooisMind;just aswhereLife,thereistherealsoSoul.

Butinirrationallivestheirsoulislifedevoidofmind;forMindistheinworkerofthe soulsofmenforgoodHeworksonthemfortheirowngood. InlivesirrationalHedothcooperatewitheachone'snature;butinthesoulsofmen Hecounteracteththem. Foreverysoul,whenitbecomesembodied,isinstantlydepravedbypleasureandby pain. Forinacompoundbody,justlikejuices,painandpleasureseethe,andintothemthe soul,onenteringin,isplunged. 3.O'erwhatsoeversoulstheMinddoth,then,preside,totheseitshowethitsown light,byactingcountertotheirprepossessions,justasagoodphysiciandothuponthe bodyprepossessedbysickness,paininflict,burningorlancingitforsakeofhealth. InjusttheselfsamewaytheMindinflictethpainonthesoul,torescueitfrom pleasure,whencecomesitseveryill. Thegreatillofthesoulisgodlessness;thenfollowethfancyforallevilthingsand nothinggood. So,then,Mindcounteractingitdothworkgoodonthesoul,asthephysicianhealth uponthebody. 4.ButwhatsoeverhumansoulshavenottheMindaspilot,theyshareinthesamefate assoulsoflivesirrational. For[Mind]becomescoworkerwiththem,givingfullplaytothedesirestowardwhich [suchsouls]areborne[desires]thatfromtherushofluststrainaftertheirrational; [sothatsuchhumansouls,]justlikeirrationalanimals,ceasenotirrationallytorage andlust,noraretheyeversatiateofills. Forpassionsandirrationaldesiresareillsexceedinggreat;andovertheseGodhathset uptheMindtoplaythepartofjudgeandexecutioner. 5.Tat:Inthatcase,fathermine,theteaching(logos)astoFate,whichpreviouslythou didstexplaintome,riskstobeoverset. Forthatifitbeabsolutelyfatedforamantofornicate,orcommitsacrilege,ordo someotherevildeed,whyishepunishedwhenhehathdonethedeedfromFate's necessity? Hermes:Allworks,myson,areFate's;andwithoutFatenaughtofthingscorporalor <i.e.,either>good,orillcancometopass. Butitisfated,too,thathewhodoethill,shallsuffer.Andforthiscausehedothit thathemaysufferwhathesuffereth,becausehedidit. 6.Butforthemoment,[Tat,]letbetheteachingastoviceandFate,forwehave spokenofthesethingsinother[ofoursermons];butnowourteaching(logos)isabout theMind:whatMindcando,andhowitis[so]differentinmenbeingsuchand such,andinirrationallives[so]changed;and[then]againthatinirrationallivesitis notofabeneficialnature,whilethatinmenitquenchethoutthewrathfulandthe lustfulelements. Ofmen,again,wemustclasssomeasledbyreason,andothersasunreasoning. 7.ButallmenaresubjecttoFate,andgenesisandchange,forthesearethebeginning

andtheendofFate. Andthoughallmendosufferfatedthings,thoseledbyreason(thosewhomwesaid Minddothguide)donotendure<a>likesufferingwiththerest;but,sincethey've freedthemselvesfromviciousness,notbeingbad,theydonotsufferbad. Tat:Howmeanestthouagain,myfather?Isnotthefornicatorbad;themurdererbad; and[sowith]alltherest? Hermes:[Imeantnotthat;]butthattheMindledman,myson,thoughnota fornicator,willsufferjustasthoughhehadcommittedfornication,andthoughhebe nomurderer,asthoughhehadcommittedmurder. Thequalityofchangehecannomoreescapethanthatofgenesis. ButitispossibleforonewhohaththeMind,tofreehimselffromvice. 8.WhereforeI'veeverheard,myson,GoodDaimonalsosay(andhadHesetitdown inwrittenwords,Hewouldhavegreatlyhelpedtheraceofmen;forHealone,myson, dothtruly,astheFirstbornGod,gazingonallthings,givevoicetowords(logoi)divine) yea,onceIheardHimsay: "Allthingsareone,andmostofallthebodieswhichthemindaloneperceives.Ourlife isowingto[God's]EnergyandPowerandAeon.HisMindisgood,soisHisSoulaswell. Andthisbeingso,intelligiblethingsknownaughtofseparation.So,then,Mind,being Rulerofallthings,andbeingSoulofGod,candowhate'eritwills." 9.Sodothouunderstand,andcarrybackthisword(logos)untothequestionthou didstaskbeforeImeanaboutMind'sFate. Forifthoudostwithaccuracy,son,eliminate[all]captiousarguments(logoi),thouwilt discoverthatofverytruththeMind,theSoulofGod,dothruleo'erallo'erFate,and Law,andallthingselse;andnothingisimpossibletoitneithero'erFatetoseta humansoul,norunderFatetoset[asoul]neglectfulofwhatcomestopass.Letthisso farsufficefromtheGoodDaimon'smostgood[words]. Tat:Yea,[words]divinelyspoken,fathermine,trulyandhelpfully.Butfurtherstill explainmethis. 10.Thousaid'stthatMindinlivesirrationalworkedinthemas[their]nature,co workingwiththeirimpulses. Butimpulsesoflivesirrational,asIdothink,arepassions. NowiftheMindcoworkethwith[these]impulses,andiftheimpulsesof[lives] irrationalbepassions,thenisMindalsopassion,takingitscolorfromthepassions. Hermes:Wellput,myson!Thouquestionestrightnobly,anditisjustthatIaswell shouldanswer[nobly]. 11.Allthingsincorporealwheninabodyaresubjectuntopassion,andintheproper sensetheyare[themselves]allpassions. Foreverythingthatmovesitselfisincorporeal;whileeverythingthat'smovedisbody. IncorporealsarefurthermovedbyMind,andmovement's<i.e.,movementis>passion. Both,then,aresubjectuntopassionbothmoverandthemoved,theformerbeing rulerandthelatterruled. Butwhenamanhathfreedhimselffrombody,thenishealsofreedfrompassion. But,moreprecisely,son,naughtisimpassible,butallarepassible.

Yetpassiondifferethfrompassibility;forthattheoneisactive,whiletheother's passive. Incorporealsmoreoveractuponthemselves,foreithertheyaremotionlessortheyare moved;butwhichsoe'eritbe,it'spassion. Butbodiesareinvariblyactedon,andthereforetheyarepassible. Donot,then,lettermstroublethee;actionandpassionareboththeselfsamething. Tousethefairersoundingterm,however,doesnoharm. 12.Tat:Mostclearlyhastthou,fathermine,setforththeteaching(logos). Hermes:Considerthisaswell,myson;thatthesetwothingsGodhathbestowedon manbeyondallmortallivesbothmindandspeech(logos)equaltoimmortality.He haththemindforknowingGodandutteredspeech(logos)foreulogyofHim. Andifoneuseththeseforwhatheought,he'lldiffernotawhitfromtheimmortals. Nay,rather,ondepartingfromthebody,hewillbeguidedbythetwainuntotheChoir ofGodsandBlessedOnes. 13.Tat:Why,fathermine!donottheotherlivesmakeuseofspeech(logos)? Hermes:Nay,son;but<i.e.,only>useofvoice;speechisfardifferentfromvoice.For speechisgeneralamongallmen,whilevoicedothdifferineachclassoflivingthing. Tat:Butwithmenalso,fathermine,accordingtoeachrace,speechdiffers. Hermes:Yea,son,butmanisone;soalsospeechisoneandisinterpreted,anditis foundthesameinEgypt,andinPersia,andinGreece. Thouseemest,son,tobeinignoranceofReason's(Logos)worthandgreatness.For thattheBlessedGod,GoodDaimon,hathdeclared: "SoulisinBody,MindinSoul;butReason(Logos)isinMind,andMindinGod;andGod isFatherof[all]these." 14.TheReason,then,istheMind'simage,andMindGod's[image];whileBodyis[the image]oftheForm;andForm[theimage]oftheSoul. ThesubtlestpartofMatteris,then,Air<orvitalspirit>;ofAir,Soul;ofSoul,Mind;and ofMind,God. AndGodsurroundethallandpermeatethall;whileMindSurroundethSoul,SoulAir, AirMatter. NecessityandProvidenceandNatureareinstrumentsofCosmosandofMatter's ordering;whileofintelligiblethingseachisEssence,andSamenessistheirEssence. ButofthebodiesoftheCosmoseachismany;forthroughpossessiongSameness, [these]composedbodies,thoughtheydochangefromoneintoanotherof themselves,donathelesskeeptheincorruptionoftheirSameness. 15.Whereasinalltherestofcomposedbodies,ofeachthereisacertainnumber;for withoutnumberstructurecannotbe,orcomposition,ordecomposition. Nowitisunitsthatgivebirthtonumberandincreaseit,and,beingdecomposed,are takenbackagainintothemselves. Matterisone;andthiswholeCosmosthemightyGodandimageofthemightierOne, bothwithHimunified,andtheconserveroftheWillandOrderoftheFatherisfilled fullofLife. NaughtisthereinitthroughoutthewholeofAeon,theFather's[everlasting]Re

establishmentnorofthewhole,norofthepartswhichdothnotlive. Fornotasinglethingthat'sdead,hathbeen,oris,orshallbein[this]Cosmos. ForthattheFatherwilleditshouldhaveLifeaslongasitshouldbe.Whereforeit needsmustbeaGod. 16.Howthen,Oson,couldtherebeintheGod,theimageoftheFather,inthe plenitudeofLifedeadthings? Forthatdeathiscorruption,andcorruptiondestruction. Howthencouldanypartofthatwhichknowethnocorruptionbecorrupted,orany whitofhimtheGoddestroyed? Tat:Dotheynot,then,myfather,diethelivesinit,thatareitsparts? Hermes:Hush,son!ledintoerrorbytheterminuseforwhattakesplace. Theydonotdie,myson,butaredissolvedascompoundbodies. Nowdissolutionisnotdeath,butdissolutionofacompound;itisdissolvednotsothat itmaybedestroyed,butthatitmaybecomerenewed. Forwhatistheactivityoflife?Isitnotmotion?WhattheninCosmosistherethathath nomotion?Naughtisthere,son! 17.Tat:DothnotEartheven,father,seemtotheetohavenomotion? Hermes:Nay,son;butratherthatsheistheonlythingwhich,thoughinveryrapid motion,isalsostable. Forhowwoulditnotbeathingtolaughat,thattheNurseofallshouldhaveno motion,whensheengendersandbringsforthallthings? For'tisimpossiblethatwithoutmotiononewhodothengender,shoulddoso. Thatthoushouldaskifthefourthpart<orelement>isnotinert,ismostridiculous;for thebodywhichdothhavenomotion,givessignofnothingbutinertia. 18.Know,therefore,generally,myson,thatallthatisinCosmosisbeingmovedfor increaseorfordecrease. Nowthatwhichiskeptmoving,alsolives;butthereisnonecessitythatthatwhich lives,shouldbeallsame. Forbeingsimultaneous,theCosmos,asawhole,isnotsubjecttochange,myson,but allitspartsaresubjectuntoit;yetnaught[ofit]issubjecttocorruption,ordestroyed. Itisthetermsemployedthatconfusemen.For'tisnotgenesisthatconstitutethlife, but'tissensation;itisnotchangethatconstitutethdeath,but'tisforgetfulness. Since,then,thesethingsareso,theyareimmortalallMatter,[and]Life,[and]Spirit, Mind[and]Soul,ofwhichwhateverliveth,iscomposed. 19.Whateverthendothlive,owethitsimmortalityuntotheMind,andmostofalldoth man,hewhoisbothrecipientofGod,andcoessentialwithHim. ForwiththislifealonedothGodconsort;byvisionsinthenight,bytokensintheday, andbyallthingsdothHeforetellthefutureuntohimbybirds,byinwardparts,by wind,bytree. Whereforedothmanlayclaimtoknowthingspast,thingspresentandtocome. 20.Observethistoo,myson;thateachoneoftheotherlivesinhabitethoneportionof theCosmosaquaticcreatureswater,terreneearth,andaerycreaturesair;whileman

dothusealltheseearth,waterair[and]fire;heseethHeaven,too,anddothcontact itwith[his]sense. ButGodsurroundethall,andpermeatethall,forHeisenergyandpower;anditis nothingdifficult,myson,toconceiveGod. 21.ButifthouwouldstHimalsocontemplate,beholdtheorderingoftheCosmos,and [see]theorderlybehaviorofitsordering<thisisaplayontheword"cosmos",which means"order,arrangement">;beholdthoutheNecessityofthingsmademanifest, and[see]theProvidenceofthingsbecomeandthingsbecoming;beholdhowMatteris allfullofLife;[behold]thissogreatGodinmovement,withallthegoodandnoble [ones]gods,daimonesandmen! Tat:Butthesearepurelyenergies,Ofathermine! Hermes:If,then,they'repurelyenergies,mysonbywhom,then,aretheyenergized exceptbyGod? Orartthouignorant,thatjustasHeaven,Earth,Water,Air,arepartsofCosmos,injust theselfsamewayGod'spartsareLifeandImmortality,[and]Energy,andSpirit,and Necessity,andProvidence,andNature,Soul,andMind,andtheDuration<thatis, AeonorEternity>ofallthesethatiscalledGood? Andtherearenaughtofthingsthathavebecome,orarebecoming,inwhichGodis not. 22.Tat:IsHeinMatter,father,then? Hermes:Matter,myson,isseparatefromGod,inorderthatthoumay'stattributetoit thequalityofspace.Butwhatthingelsethanmassthink'stthouitis,ifit'snot energized?Whereasifitbeenergized,bywhomisitmadeso?Forenergies,wesaid, arepartsofGod. Bywhomare,then,alllivesenlivened?Bywhomarethingsimmortalmadeimmortal? Bywhomchangedthingsmadechangeable? AndwhetherthoudostspeakofMatter,ofBody,orofEssence,knowthatthesetoo areenergiesofGod;andthatmaterialityisMatter'senergy,thatcorporealityisBodies' energy,andthatessentialitydothconstituteththeenergyofEssence;andthisisGod theAll. 23.AndintheAllisnaughtthatisnotGod.Whereforenor<i.e.,neither>size,nor space,norquality,norform,nortime,surroundethGod;forHeisAll,andAll surroundethall,andpermeatethall. UntothisReason(Logos),son,thyadorationandthyworshippay.Thereisoneway alonetoworshipGod;[itis]nottobebad. TheCorpusHermeticum translatedbyG.R.S.Mead

XIII.TheSecretSermonontheMountain
<ThisdialogueisinmanywaystheculminationofthewholeCorpus,summingupthe theoryoftheHermeticsystematthesametimeasitprovidesanintriguingglimpseat

thepractice.ThefocusofthedialogueistheexperienceofRebirth,whichinvolvesthe replacementoftwelveTormentorswithintheselfbytendivinePowers,leadingtothe awakeningofknowledgeoftheselfandGod. <The "Secret Hymnody" (sections 1720) is presented as a litany for worship, to be performedtwiceeachday,atsunriseandsunset.It'sinterestingtonotethatwhilethe sunrise worship is performed facing east, the sunset worship is done to the south; Egyptian tradition from Pharaonic times onward saw the west as the direction of death. <TheusualdifficultieswiththemultiplemeaningsoftheGreekwordlogosappearin the translation, compounded by Mead's awkward style. Additionally, one of Mead's fewevasionscanbefoundinsection12,whereherelatesthetwelveTormentorsto the "twelve typesoflife". This should more simply, and more accurately, have been translatedas"thetwelvesignsoftheZodiac".TheTheosophicaldistasteforastrology maywellhavebeeninvolvedhere.JMG> 1.Tat:[Now]intheGeneralSermons,father,thoudidstspeakinriddlesmostunclear, conversing on Divinity; and when thou saidst no man could e'er be saved before Rebirth,thymeaningthoudidsthide. Further, when I became thy Suppliant, in Wending up the Mount, after thou hadst conversedwithme,andwhenIlongedtolearntheSermon(Logos)onRebirth(forthis beyondallotherthingsisjustthethingIknownot),thousaidst,thatthouwouldstgive itme"whenthoushalthavebecomeastrangertotheworld". WhereforeIgotmereadyandmadethethoughtinmeastrangertotheworldillusion. Andnowdothoufillupthethingsthatfallshortinmewithwhatthousaidstwould givemethetraditionofRebirth,settingitforthinspeechorinthesecretway. Iknownot,OThricegreatestone,fromoutwhatmatterandwhatwombMancomes tobirth,orofwhatseed. 2.Hermes:Wisdomthatunderstandsinsilence[suchisthematterandthewombfrom outwhichManisborn],andtheTrueGoodtheseed. Tat:Whoisthesower,father?ForIamaltogetherataloss. Hermes:ItistheWillofGod,myson. Tat:Andofwhatkindishethatisbegotten,father?ForIhavenoshareofthatessence in me, which doth transcend the senses. The one that is begot will be another one fromGod,God'sSon? Hermes:Allinall,outofallpowerscomposed. Tat:Thoutellestmeariddle,father,anddostnotspeakasfatheruntoson.

Hermes: This Race, my son, is never taught; but when He willeth it, its memory is restoredbyGod. 3.Tat:Thousayestthingsimpossible,Ofather,thingsthatareforced.Henceanswers wouldIhavedirectuntothesethings.AmIasonstrangetomyfather'srace? Keepitnot,father,backfromme.Iamatruebornson;explaintomethemannerof Rebirth. Hermes:WhatmayIsay,myson?Icanbuttelltheethis.Whene'erIseewithinmyself theSimpleVisionbroughttobirthoutofGod'smercy,Ihavepassedthroughmyself into a Body that can never die. And now i am not as I was before; but I am born in Mind. Thewaytodothisisnottaught,anditcannotbeseenbythecompoundedelementby meansofwhichthouseest. Yea, I have had my former composed form dismembered for me. I am no longer touched, but I have touch; I have dimension too; and [yet] am I a stranger to them now. Thouseestmewitheyes,myson;butwhatIamthoudostnotunderstand[even]with fulleststrainofbodyandofsight. 4. Tat: Into fierce frenzy and mindfury hast thou plunged me, father, for now no longerdoIseemyself. Hermes: I would, my son, that thou hadst e'en passed right through thyself, as they whodreaminsleepyetsleepless. Tat:Tellmethistoo!WhoistheauthorofRebirth? Hermes:TheSonofGod,theOneMan,byGod'sWill. 5.Tat:Nowhastthoubroughtme,father,untopurestupefaction.Arrestedfromthe senses which I had before,...<lacuna in original text>; for [now] I see thy Greatness identicalwiththydistinctiveform. Hermes:Eveninthisthouartuntrue;themortalformdothchangewitheveryday.'Tis turnedbytimetogrowthandwaning,asbeinganuntruething. 6.Tat:Whatthenistrue,ThricegreatestOne? Hermes: That which is never troubled, son, which cannot be defined; that which no colorhath,noranyfigure,whichisnotturned,whichhathnogarment,whichgiveth light;thatwhichiscomprehensibleuntoitself[alone],whichdothnotsufferchange; thatwhichnobodycancontain.

Tat: In very truth I lose my reason, father. Just when I thought to be made wise by thee,Ifindthesensesofthismindofmineblockedup. Hermes: Thus is it, son: That which is upward borne like fire, yet is borne down like earth, that which is moist like water, yet blows like air, how shalt thou this perceive withsensethethatwhichisnotsolidnoryetmoist,whichnaughtcanbindorloose, ofwhichinpowerandenergyalonecanmanhaveanynotionandeventhenitwants amanwhocanperceivetheWayofBirthinGod? 7.Tat:Iamincapableofthis,Ofather,then? Hermes:Nay,Godforbid,myson!Withdrawintothyself,anditwillcome;will,andit comes to pass; throw out of work the body's senses, and thy Divinity shall come to birth;purgefromthyselfthebrutishtormentsthingsofmatter. Tat:Ihavetormentorstheninme,Ofather? Hermes:Ay,nofew,myson;nay,fearfulonesandmanifold. Tat:Idonotknowthem,father. Hermes:TormentthefirstisthisNotknowing,son;thesecondoneisGrief;thethird, Intemperance; the fourth, Concupiscence; the fifth, Unrighteousness; the sixth is Avarice; the seventh, Error; the eighth is Envy; the ninth, Guile; the tenth is Anger; eleventh,Rashness;thetwelfthisMalice. These are in number twelve; but under them are many more, my son; and creeping throughtheprisonofthebodytheyforcethemanthat'splacedthereintosufferinhis senses.Buttheydepart(thoughnotallatonce)fromhimwhohathbeentakenpityon by God; and this it is which constitutes the manner of Rebirth. And... <lacuna in the originaltext>theReason(Logos). 8.Andnow,myson,bestillandsolemnsilencekeep!Thusshallthemercythatflows onusfromGodnotcease. Henceforth rejoice, O son, for by the Powers of God thou art being purified for the articulationoftheReason(Logos). GnosisofGodhathcometous,andwhenthiscomes,myson,Notknowingiscastout. GnosisofJoyhathcometous,andonitscoming,son,Sorrowwillfleeawaytothem who give it room. The Power that follows Joy do I invoke, thy Selfcontrol. O Power mostsweet!Letusmostgladlybiditwelcome,son!Howwithitscomingdothitchase Intemperanceaway! 9.Nowfourth,onContinenceIcall,thePoweragainstDesire.<lacunaintheoriginal text> This step, my son, is Righteousness' firm seat. For without judgement <other

translators read this "without effort"> see how she hath chased Unrighteousness away.Wearemaderighteous,son,bythedepartureofUnrighteousness. PowersixthIcalltousthatagainstAvarice,Sharingwithall. AndnowthatAvariceisgone,IcallonTruth.AndErrorflees,andTruthiswithus. Seehow[themeasureof]theGoodisfull,myson,uponTruth'scoming.ForEnvyis gonefromus;anduntoTruthisjoinedtheGoodaswell,withLifeandLight. AndnownomoredothanytormentoftheDarknessventurenigh,butvanquished[all] havefledwithwhirringwings. 10.Thouknowest[now],myson,themannerofRebirth.AndwhentheTeniscome, myson,thatdrivethouttheTwelve,theBirthinunderstanding<literally"intellectual birth",noeragenesis>iscomplete,andbythisbirthwearemadeintoGods. Who then doth by His mercy gain this Birth in God, abandoning the body's senses, knowshimself[tobeofLightandLife]andthathedothconsistofthese,and[thus]is filledwithbliss. 11.Tat:ByGodmadesteadfast,father,nolongerwiththesightmyeyesaffordIlook onthings,butwiththeenergytheMinddothgivemethroughthePowers. In Heaven am I, in earth, in water, air; I am in animals, in plants; I'm in the womb, beforethewomb,afterthewomb;I'meverywhere! Butfurthertellmethis:HowarethetormentsoftheDarkness,whentheyaretwelve innumber,drivenoutbythetenPowers?Whatisthewayofit,Thricegreatestone? 12.Hermes:Thisdwellingplacethroughwhichwehavejustpassed<i.e.,thehuman body>, my son, is constituted from the circle of the twelve typesoflife, this being composed of elements, twelve in number, butof one nature, an omniform idea. For man'sdelusiontherearedisunionsinthem,son,whileintheiractiontheyareone.Not onlycanweneverpartRashnessfromWrath;theycannotevenbedistinguished. According to right reason (logos), then, they <the Twelve> naturally withdraw once andforall,inasmuchastheyarechasedoutbynolessthantenpowers,thatis,the Ten. For, son, the Ten is that which giveth birth to souls. And Life and Light are unified there,wheretheOnehathbeingfromtheSpirit.Accordingthentoreason(logos)the OnecontainstheTen,theTentheOne. 13.Tat:Father,IseetheAll,IseemyselfinMind. Hermes:Thisis,myson,Rebirthnomoretolookonthingsfrombody'sviewpoint(a thingthreewaysinspaceextended)...<lacunaintext>,thoughthisSermon(Logos)on

Rebirth,onwhichIdidnotcommentinorderthatwemaynotbecalumniatorsofthe Alluntothemultitude,towhomindeedGodHimselfdothwillweshouldnot. 14.Tat:Tellme,Ofather:ThisBodywhichismadeupofthePowers,isitatanytime dissolved? Hermes:Hush,[son]!Speaknotofthingsimpossible,elsewiltthousinandthyMind's eyebequenched. Thenaturalbodywhichoursenseperceivesisfarremovedfromthisessentialbirth. The first must be dissolved, the last can never be; the first must die, the last death cannottouch. DostthounotknowthouhastbeenbornaGod,SonoftheOne,evenasImyself? 15.Tat:Iwould,Ofather,hearthePraisegivingwithhymnwhichthoudidstsaythou heardestthenwhenthouwertattheEight[theOgdoad]ofPowers Hermes: Just as the Shepherd did foretell [I should], my son, [when I came to] the Eight. Welldostthouhasteto"strikethytent"<i.e.,befreefromthephysicalbody>,forthou hastbeenmadepure. TheShepherd,Mindofallmasterhood,hathnotpassedontomemorethanhathbeen writtendown,forfullwelldidheknowthatIshouldofmyselfbeabletolearnall,and hearwhatIshouldwish,andseeallthings. Helefttomethemakingoffairthings;whereforethePowerswithinme.e'enasthey areinall,breakintosong. 16.Tat:Father,Iwishtohear;Ilongtoknowthesethings. Hermes: Be still, my son; hear the Praisegiving now that keeps [the soul] in tune, HymnofRebirthahymnIwouldnothavethoughtfitsoreadilytotell,had'stthou notreachedtheendofall. Whereforethisisnottaught,butiskepthidinsilence. Thus then, my son, stand in a place uncovered to the sky, facing the southern wind, aboutthesinkingofthesettingsun,andmakethyworship;soinlikemannertoowhen hedothrise,withfacetotheeastwind. Now,son,bestill! TheSecretHymnody

17.LeteverynatureoftheWorldreceivetheutteranceofmyhymn! OpenthouEarth!LeteveryboltoftheAbyssbedrawnforme.Stirnot,yeTrees! Iamabouttohymncreation'sLord,bothAllandOne. YeHeavensopenandyeWindsstaystill;[and]letGod'sdeathlessSpherereceivemy word(logos)! For I will sing the praise of Him who founded all; who fixed the Earth, and hung up Heaven,andgavecommandthatOceanshouldaffordsweetwater[totheEarth],to boththosepartsthatareinhabitedandthosethatarenot,forthesupportanduseof everyman;whomadetheFiretoshineforgodsandmenforeveryact. Let us together all give praise to Him, sublime above the Heavens, of every nature Lord! 'TisHewhoistheEyeofMind;mayHeacceptthepraiseofthesemyPowers! 18.Yepowersthatarewithinme,hymntheOneandAll;singwithmyWill,Powersall thatarewithinme! OblessedGnosis,bytheeillumined,hymningthroughtheetheLightthatmondalone cansee,IjoyinJoyofMind. SingwithmepraisesallyePowers! Sing praise, my Selfcontrol; sing thou through me, my Righteousness, the praises of theRighteous;singthou,mySharingall,thepraisesoftheAll;throughmesing,Truth, Truth'spraises! Singthou,OGood,theGood!OLifeandLight,fromustoyouourpraisesflow! Father,IgiveTheethanks,toTheeThouEnergyofallmyPowers;IgiveTheethanks,O God,ThouPowerofallmyEnergies! 19. Thy Reason (Logos) sings through me Thy praises. Take back through me the All into[Thy]Reason[my]reasonableoblation! ThuscrythePowersinme.TheysingThypraise,ThouAll;theydoThyWill. FromTheeThyWill;toTheetheAll.Receivefromalltheirreasonableoblation.TheAll thatisinus,OLife,preserve;OLight<,>illumineit;OGod<,>inspiritit. ItitThyMindthatplaystheshepherdtoThyWord,OThouCreator,Bestowerofthe Spirit[uponall].

20.[For]ThouartGod,ThyManthuscriestoTheethroughFire,throughAir,through Earth,throughWater,[and]throughSpirit,throughThycreatures. 'TisfromThyAeonIhavefoundpraisegiving;andinthyWill,theobjectofmysearch, haveIfoundrest. Tat:BythygoodpleasurehaveIseenthispraisegivingbeingsung,Ofather;Ihaveset itinmyCosmostoo. Hermes:SayintheCosmosthatthymindalonecansee,myson. Tat:Yea,father,intheCosmosthatthemindalonecansee;forIhavebeenmadeable by thy Hymn, and by thy Praisegiving my mind hath been illumined. But further I myselfaswellwouldfrommynaturalmindsendpraisegivingtoGod. 21.Hermes:Butnotunheedfully,myson. Tat:Aye.WhatIbeholdinmind,thatdoIsay. To thee, thou Parent of my Bringing into Birth, as unto God I, Tat, send reasonable offerings. o God and Father, thou art the Lord, thou art the Mind. Receive from me oblations reasonable as thou would'st wish; for by thy Will all things have been perfected. Hermes:Sendthouoblation,son,acceptabletoGod,theSireofall;butadd,myson, too,"throughtheWord"(Logos). Tat:Igivethee,father,thanksforshowingmetosingsuchhymns. 22. Hermes: Happy am I, my son, that though hast brought the good fruits forth of Truth,productsthatcannotdie. Andnowthatthouhastlearntthislessonfromme,makepromisetokeepsilenceon thyvirtue,andtonosoul,myson,makeknownthehandingontotheethemannerof Rebirth,thatwemaynotbethoughttobecalumniators. Andnowwebothofushavegivenheedsufficiently,bothIthespeakerandthehearer thou. InMindhastthoubecomeaKnowerofthyselfandour[common]Sire. TheEnd