The First Book.
O my Son, write this first Book, both
for Humanity's sake, and for Piety towards God.
For there can be no Religion more true or just, than to know the things
that are; and to acknowledge thanks for all things, to him that made them,
which thing I shall not cease continually to do.
What then should a man do, O Father, to lead his life well, seeing
there is nothing here true ?
Be Pious and Religious, O my Son, for he that doth so, is the best and
highest Philosopher; and with- out Philosophy, it is impossible ever to
attain to the height and exactness of Piety or Religion.
But he that shall learn and study the things that are, and how they are
ordered and governed, and by whom and for what cause, or to what end, will
acknowledge thanks to the Workman as to a good Father, an excellent Nurse
and a faithful Steward, and he that gives thanks shall be Pious or
Religious, and he that is Religious shall know both where the truth is,
and what it is, and learning that, he will be yet more and more Religious.
For never, O Son, shall or can that Soul which while it is in the Body
lightens and lifts up itself to know and comprehend that which is Good and
True, slide back to the contrary; for it is infinitely enamoured thereof.
and forgetteth all Evils; and when it hath learned and known its Father
and progenitor it can no more Apostatize or depart from that Good.
And let this, O Son, be the end of Religion and Piety; whereunto when
thou art once arrived, thou shalt both live well, and die blessedly,
whilst thy Soul is not ignorant whether it must return and fly back again.
For this only, O Son, is the way to the Truth, which our Progenitors
travelled in; and by which, making their Journey, they at length attained
to the Good. It is a Venerable way, and plain, but hard and difficult for
the Soul to go in that is in the Body.
For first must it war against its own self, and after much Strife and
Dissention it must be overcome of one part; for the Contention is of one
against two, whilst it flies away and they strive to hold and detain it.
But the victory of both is not like; for the one hasteth to that which
is Good, but the other is a neighbour to the things that are Evil; and
that which is Good, desireth to be set at Liberty; but the things that are
Evil, love Bondage and Slavery.
And if the two parts be overcome, they become quiet, and are content to
accept of it as their Ruler; but if the one be overcome of the two, it is
by them led and carried to be punished by its being and continuance here.
This is, O Son, the Guide in the way that leads thither for thou must
first forsake the Body before thy end, and get the victory in this
Contention and Strifeful life, and when thou hast overcome. return.
But now, O my Son, I will by Heads run through the things that are:
understand thou what I say, and remember what thou hearest.
All things that are, are moved; only that which is not, is unmovable.
Every Body is changeable.
Not every Body is dissolvable.
Some Bodies are dissolvable.
Every living thing is not mortal.
Not every living thing is immortal.
That which may be dissolved is also corruptible.
That which abides always is unchangeable.
That which is unchangeable is eternal.
That which is always made is always corrupted.
That which is made but once, is never corrupted, neither becomes any
First, God; Secondly, the World; Thirdly, Man.
The World for Man, Man for God.
Of the Soul, that part which is Sensible is mortal, but that which is
Reasonable is immortal.
Every essence is immortal.
Every essence is unchangeable.
Every thing that is, is double.
None of the things that are stand still.
Not all things are moved by a Soul, but every thing that is, is moved
by a Soul.
Every thing that suffers is Sensible, every thing that is Sensible
Every thing that is sad rejoiceth also, and is a mortal living
Not every thing that joyeth is also sad, but is an eternal living
Not every Body is sick; every Body that is sick is dissolvable.
The Mind in God.
Reasoning (or disputing or discoursing) in Man,
Reason in the Mind.
The Mind is void of suffering.
No thing in a Body true.
All that is incorporeal, is void of Lying.
Every thing that is made is corruptible.
Nothing good upon Earth, nothing evil in Heaven.
God is good, Man is evil.
Good is voluntary, or of its own accord.
Evil is involuntary or against its will.
The Gods choose good things, as good things.
Time is a Divine thing.
Law is Humane.
Malice is the nourishment of the World.
Time is the Corruption of Man.
Whatsoever is in Heaven is unalterable.
All upon Earth is alterable.
Nothing in Heaven is servanted, nothing upon Earth free.
Nothing unknown in Heaven, nothing known upon Earth.
The things upon Earth communicate not with those in Heaven.
All things in Heaven are unblameable, all things upon Earth are subject
That which is immortal, is not mortal: that which is mortal is not
That which is sown, is not always begotten; but that which is begotten
always, is sown.
Of a dissolvable Body, there are two Times, one from sowing to
generation, one from generation to death.
Of an everlasting Body, the time is only from the Generation.
Dissolvable Bodies are increased and diminished,
Dissolvable matter is altered into contraries; to wit, Corruption and
Generation, but Eternal matter into its self, and its like.
The Generation of Man is Corruption, the Corruption of Man is the
beginning of Generation.
That which off-springs or begetteth another, is itself an offspring or
begotten by another.
Of things that are, some are in Bodies, some in their Ideas.
Whatsoever things belong to operation or working, are in a Body.
That which is immortal, partakes not of that which is mortal.
That which is mortal, cometh not into a Body immortal, but that which
is immortal, cometh into that which is mortal.
Operations or Workings are not carried upwards, but descend downwards.
Things upon Earth do nothing advantage those in Heaven, but all things
in Heaven do profit and advantage the things upon Earth.
Heaven is capable and a fit receptacle of everlasting Bodies, the Earth
of corruptible Bodies.
The Earth is brutish, the Heaven is reasonable or rational.
Those things that are in Heaven are subjected or placed under it, but
the things on Earth, are placed upon it.
Heaven is the first Element.
Providence is Divine Order.
Necessity is the Minister or Servant of Providence.
Fortune is the carriage or effect of that which is without Order; the
Idol of operation, a lying fantasy or opinion.
What is God? The immutable or unalterable Good.
What is Man? An unchangeable Evil.
If thou perfectly remember these Heads, thou canst not forget those
things which in more words I have largely expounded unto thee; for these
are the Contents or Abridgment of them.
Avoid all Conversation with the multitude or common People, for I would
not have thee subject to Envy, much less to be ridiculous unto the many.
For the like always takes to itself that which is like, but the unlike
never agrees with the unlike: such Discourses as these have very few
Auditors, and peradventure very few will have, but they have something
peculiar unto themselves.
They do rather sharpen and whet evil men to their maliciousness,
therefore it behoveth to avoid the multitude and take heed of them as not
understanding the virtue and power of the things that are said.
How dost Thou mean, O Father?
Thus, O Son, the whole Nature and Composition of those living things
called Men, is very prone to Maliciousness, and is very familiar, and as
it were nourished with it, and therefore is delighted with it. Now this
wight if it shall come to learn or know, that the world was once made, and
all things are done according to Providence and Necessity, Destiny, or
Fate, bearing Rule over all: Will he not be much worse than himself,
despising the whole because it was made. And if he may lay the cause of
evil upon Fate or Destiny, he will never abstain from any evil work.
Wherefore we must look warily to such kind of people, that being in
ignorance, they may be less evil for fear of that which is hidden and kept
1. My Thoughts being once seriously
busied about the things that are, and my Understanding lifted up, all my
bodily Senses being exceedingly holden back, as it is with them that are
very heavy of sleep, by reason either of fulness of meat, or of bodily
labour. Me thought I saw one of an exceeding great stature, and an
infinite greatness call me by my name, and say unto me, "What wouldest
thou Hear and See? or what wouldest thou Understand, to Learn, and Know!"
2. Then said I, " Who art Thou?"
"I am," quoth he, "Poemander, the mind of the Great Lord, the most Mighty
and absolute Emperor: I know what thou wouldest have, and I am always
present with thee."
3. Then said I, "I would Learn the Things that art, and Understand the
Nature of them and know God."
"How?" said he.
I answered, "That I would gladly hear.''
Then he, "Have me again in thy mind, and whatsoever thou wouldst learn, I
will teach thee."
4. When he had thus said, he was changed in his Idea or Form and
straightway in the twinkling of an eye, all things were opened unto me:
and I saw an infinite Sight, all things were become light, both sweet and
exceedingly pleasant; and I was wonderfully delighted in the beholding it.
5. But after a little while, there was a darkness made in part, coming
down obliquely, fearful and hideous, which seemed unto me to be changed
into a Certain Moist Nature, unspeakably troubled, which yielded a smoke
as from fire; and from whence proceeded a voice unutterable, and very
mournful, but inarticulate, insomuch that it seemed to have come from the
6. Then from that Light, a certain Holy Word joined itself unto Nature,
and out flew the pure and unmixed Fire from the moist Nature upward on
high; it is exceeding Light, and Sharp, and Operative withal. And the Air
which was also light, followed the Spirit and mounted up to Fire (from the
Earth and the Water) insomuch that it seemed to hang and depend upon it.
7. And the Earth and the Water stayed by themselves so mingled
together, that the Earth could not be seen for the Water, but they were
moved, because of the Spiritual Word that was carried upon them.
8. Then said Poemander unto me, "Dost thou understand this Vision, and
what it meaneth?"
"I shall know," said I.
Then said he, "I am that Light, the Mind, thy God, who am before that
Moist Nature that appeareth out of Darkness, and that Bright and Lightful
Word from the Mind is the Son of God."
9. "How is that?" quoth I.
"Thus," replied he, "Understand it, That which in thee Seeth and Heareth,
the Word of the Lord, and the Mind, the Father, God, Differeth not One
from the Other, and the Unison of these is Life."
Trismegistus. "I thank thee."
Pimander. "But first conceive well the Light in thy mind and know it."
10. When he had thus said, for a long time me looked steadfastly one
upon the other, insomuch that I trembled at his Idea or Form.
11. But when he nodded to me, I beheld in my mind the Light that is in
innumerable, and the truly indefinite Ornament or World; and that the Fire
is comprehended or contained in or by a most great Power, and constrained
to keep its station.
12. These things I understood, seeing the word of Pimander; and when I
was mightily amazed, he said again unto me, "Hast thou seen in thy mind
that Archetypal Form, which was before the Interminated and Infinite
Beginning?" Thus Pimander to me.
"But whence," quoth I, "or whereof are the Elements of Nature made?"
Pimander : "Of the Will and Counsel of God; which taking the Word, and
beholding the beautiful World (in the Archetype thereof) imitated it, and
so made this World, by the principles and vital Seeds or Soul-like
productions of itself."
13. For the Mind being God, Male and Female, Life and Light, brought
forth by his Word; another Mind, the Workman: Which being God of the Fire,
and the Spirit, fashioned and formed seven other Governors, which in their
Circles contain the Sensible World, whose Government or Disposition is
called Fate or Destiny.
14. Straightway leaped out, or exalted itself front the downward born
Elements of God, the Word of God into the clean and pure Workmanship of
Nature, and was united to the Workman, Mind, for it was Consubstantial;
and so the downward born Elements of Nature were left without Reason, that
they might be the only Matter.
15. But the Workman, Mind, together with the Word, containing the
Circles and Whirling them about, turned round as a Wheel his own
Workmanships, and suffered them to be turned from an indefinite Beginning
to an undeterminable End; for they always begin where they end.
16. And the Circulation or running round of these, as the Mind willeth,
out of the lower or downward-born Elements brought forth unreasonable or
brutish creatures, for they had no reason, the Air flying things, and the
Water such as swim.
17. And the Earth and the Water was separated, either from the other,
as the Mind would: and the Earth brought forth from herself such Living
Creatures as she had, four-footed and creeping Beasts, wild and tame.
18. But the Father of all things, the Mind being Life and Light,
brought forth Man, like unto himself, whom he loved as his proper Birth,
for he was all beauteous, having the Image of his Father.
19. For indeed God was exceedingly enamoured of his own Form or Shape,
and delivered unto it all his own Workmanships. But he seeing and
understanding the Creation of the Workman in the whole, would needs also
himself Fall to Work, and so was separated from the Father, being in the
sphere of Generation or operation.
20. Having all Power, he considered the Operations or Workmanships of
the Seven; but they loved him, and every one made him partaker of his own
21. And he learning diligently and understanding their Essence, and
partaking their nature, resolved to pierce and break through the
Circumference of the Circles, and to understand the Power of him that sits
upon the Fire.
22. And having already all power of mortal things, of the Living, and
of the unreasonable Creatures of the World, stooped down and peeped
through the Harmony, and breaking through the strength of the Circles, so
shewed and made manifest the downward-born Nature, the fair and beautiful
Shape or Form of God.
23. Which when he saw, having in itself the unsatiable Beauty and all
the Operation of the Seven Governors, and the Form or Shape of God, he
Smiled for love, as if he had seen the Shape or Likeness in the Water, or
the shadow upon the Earth of the fairest Human form.
24. And seeing in the Water a shape, a shape like unto himself in
himself he loved it, and would cohabit with it; and immediately upon the
resolution, ensued the Operation, and brought forth the unreasonable Image
25. Nature presently laying hold of what it so much loved, did wholly
wrap herself about it, and they were mingled, for they loved one another.
26. And for this cause, Man above all things that live upon Earth, is
double; Mortal because of his Body, and Immortal because of the
substantial Man: For being immortal, and having power of all things, he
yet suffers mortal things, and such as are subject to Fate or Destiny.
27. And therefore being; above all Harmony, he is made and become a
servant to Harmony. And being Hermaphrodite, or Male and Female, and
watchful, he is governed by and subjected to a Father, that is both Male
and Female and watchful.
28. After these things, I said: "Thou art my Mind and I am in love with
29. Then said Pimander, "This is the Mystery that to this day is
hidden, and kept secret; for Nature being mingled with Man brought forth a
Wonder most wonderful; for he having the Nature of the Harmony of the
Seven, from him whom I told thee, the Fire and the Spirit, Nature
continued not, but forth with brought forth seven Men all Males and
Females and sublime, or on high, according to the Natures of the Seven
30. "And after these things, O Pimander," quoth I, "I am now come into
a great desire, and longing to hear, do not digress, or run out."
31. But he said, "Keep silence, for I have not yet finished the first
32. Trismegistus. "Behold, I am silent."
33. Pimander. "The Generation therefore of these Seven was after this
manner, the Air being Feminine and the Water desirous of Copulation, took
from the Fire its ripeness, and from the aether Spirit; and so Nature
produced bodies after the Species and Shape of men."
34. And Man was made of Life and Light into Soul and Mind, of Life the
Soul, of Light the Mind.
35. And so all the Members of the Sensible World, continued unto the
period of the end, bearing rule, and generating.
36. Hear now the rest of that speech, thou so much desirest to hear.
37. When that Period was fulfilled, the bond of all things was loosed
and untied by the Will of God; for all living Creatures being
Hermaphroditical, or Male and Female, were loosed and untied together with
Man; and so the Males were apart by themselves and the Females likewise.
38. And straightway God said to the Holy Word,. Increase in Increasing,
and Multiply in Multitude all you my Creatures and Workmanships. And let
Him that is endued with Mind, know Himself to be Immortal; and that the
cause of Death is the Love of the Body, and let Him Learn all Things that
39. When he had thus said, Providence by Fate and Harmony, made the
mixtures, and established the Generations, and all things were multiplied
according to their kind, and he that knew himself, came at length to the
Superstantial of every way substantial good.
40. But he that through the Error of Love, loved the Body, abideth
wandering in darkness, sensible, suffering the things of death.
41. Trismegistus. "But why do they that are ignorant sin so much, that
they should therefore be deprived of immortality."
42. Pimander. "Thou seemest not to have understood what thou hast
43. Trismegistus. "Peradventure I seem so to thee, but I both
understand and remember them."
44. Pimander. "I am glad for thy sake, if thou understoodest them."
45. Trismegistus. "Tell me, why are they worthy of death, that are in
46. Pimander. "Because there goeth a sad and dismal darkness before its
Body; of which darkness is the moist Nature, of which moist Nature, the
Body consisteth in the sensible World, from whence death is derived. Hast
thou understood this aright!"
47. Trismegistus. "But why or how doth he that understands himself, go
or pass into God!"
48. Pimander. "That which the Word of God said, say I: Because the
Father of all things consists of Life and Light, whereof Man is made."
49. Trismegistus. "Thou sayest very well."
50. Pimander. "God and the Father is Light and Life, of which Man is
made. If therefore thou learn and believe thyself to be of the Life and
Light, thou shalt again pass into Life."
51. Trismegistus. "But yet tell me more, O my Mind, how I shall go into
52. Pimander. "God saith, Let the Man endued with a Mind, mark,
consider, and know himself well."
53. Trismegistus. "Have not all Men a mind?"
54. Pimander. "Take heed what thou sayest, for I the Mind come unto men
that are holy and good, pure and merciful, and that live piously and
religiously; and my presence is a help unto them. And forthwith they know
all things, and lovingly they supplicate and propitiate the Father; and
blessing him, they give him thanks, and sing hymns unto him, being ordered
and directed by filial Affection, and natural Love: And before they give
up their Bodies to the death of them, they hate their Senses, knowing
their Works and Operations.
55. "Rather I that am the Mind itself, will not suffer the Operations
or Works, which happen or belong to the body, to be finished and brought
to perfection in them; but being the Porter and Door-keeper, I will shut
up the entrances of Evil, and cut off the thoughtful desires of filthy
56. "But to the foolish, and evil, and wicked, and envious and
covetous, and murderous, and profane, I am far off giving place to the
avenging Demon, which applying unto him the sharpness of fire, tormenteth
such a man sensibly, and armeth him the more to all wickedness, that he
may obtain the greater punishment.
57. "And such a one never ceaseth, having unfulfillable desires and
unsatiable concupiscences, and always fighting in darkness for the Demon
afflicts and tormenteth him continually, and increaseth the fire upon him
more and more."
58. Trismegistus. "Thou hast, O Mind, most excellently taught me all
things, as I desired; but tell me moreover, after the return is made, what
59. Pimander. "First of all, in the resolution of the material Body,
the Body itself is given up to alteration, and the form which it had,
becometh invisible; and the idle manners are permitted, and left to the
Demon, and the Senses of the Body return into their Fountains, being
parts, and again made up into Operations.
60. "And Anger and Concupiscence go into the brutish or unreasonable
Nature; and the rest striveth upward by Harmony.
61. "And to the first Zone it giveth the power it had of increasing and
62. "To the second, the machination or plotting of evils, and one
effectual deceit or craft.
63. "To the third, the idle deceit of Concupiscence.
64. "To the fourth, the desire of Rule, and unsatiable Ambition.
65. "To the fifth, profane Boldness, and headlong rashness of
66. "To the sixth, Evil and ineffectual occasions of Riches.
67. "And to the seventh Zone, subtle Falsehood always lying in wait.
68. "And then being made naked of all the Operations of Harmony it
cometh to the eighth Nature, having its proper power, and singeth praises
to the Father with the things that are, and all they that are present
rejoice, and congratulate the coming of it; and being made like to them
with whom it converseth, it heareth also the Powers that are above the
eighth Nature, singing praise to God in a certain voice that is peculiar
69. "And then in order they return unto the Father, and themselves
deliver themselves to the powers, and becoming powers they are in God.
70. "This is the Good, and to them that know to be deified.
71. "Furthermore, why sayest thou, What resteth, but that understanding
all men, thou become a guide, and way-leader to them that are worthy; that
the kind of Humanity or Mankind, may be saved by God!"
72. When Pimander had thus said unto me, he was mingled among the
73. But I giving thanks, and blessing the Father of all things, rose
up, being enabled by him, and taught the Nature, of the Nature of the
whole and having seen the greatest sight or spectacle.
74. And I began to Preach unto men, the beauty and fairness of Piety
75. O ye People, Men, born and made of the Earth, which have given
Yourselves over to Drunkenness, and Sleep, and to the Ignorance of God, be
Sober, and Cease your Surfeit, whereto you are allured, and invited by
Brutish and Unreasonable Sleep.
76. And they that heard me, come willingly, and with one accord, and
then I said further.
77. Why, O Men of the Off-spring of the Earth, why have you delivered
Yourselves over unto Death, having Power to Partake of Immortality; Repent
and Change your Minds, you that have together Walked in Error, and have
been Darkened in Ignorance.
78. Depart from that dark Light, be Partakers of Immortality, and Leave
or Forsake Corruption.
79. And some of Them That Heard Me, mocking and scorning, went away and
delivered themselves up to the way of death.
80. But others, casting themselves down before my feet, besought me
that they might be taught; but I causing them to rise up, became a guide
of mankind, teaching them the reasons how, and by what means they may be
saved. And I sowed in them the words of Wisdom, and nourished them with
Ambrosian Water of Immortality.
81. And when it was Evening, and the Brightness of the same began
wholly to go down, I commanded them to give thanks to God; and when they
had finished their thanksgiving, everyone returned to his
82. But I wrote in myself the bounty and beneficence of Pimander; and
being filled with what I most desired, I was exceeding glad.
83. For the sleep of the Body was the sober watchfulness of the mind;
and the shutting of my eyes the true Sight, and my silence great with
child and full of good; and the pronouncing of my words, the blossoms and
fruits of good things.
84. And thus came to pass or happened unto me, which I received from my
mind, that is, Pimander, the Lord of the Word; whereby I became inspired
by God with the Truth.
85. For which cause, with my Soul, and whole strength, I give praise
and blessing unto God the Father.
86. Holy is God the Father of All Things.
87. Holy is God Whose Will is Performed and Accomplished by His Own
88. Holy is God, that Determineth to be Known, and is Known of His Own,
or Those that are His.
89. Holy art Thou, that by Thy Word hast established all Things.
90. Holy art Thou of Whom all Nature is the Image.
91. Holy art Thou Whom Nature hath not Formed.
92. Holy art Thou that art Stronger than all Power.
93. Holy art Thou, that art Greater than all Excellency.
94. Holy art Thou, Who art Better than all Praise.
95. Accept these Reasonable Sacrifices from a Pure Soul, and a Heart
stretched out unto Thee.
96. O Thou Unspeakable, Unutterable, to be Praised with Silence!
97. I beseech Thee, that I may never Err from the Knowledge of Thee,
Look Mercifully upon Me, and Enable Me, and Enlighten with this Grace,
those that .are in Ignorance, the Brothers of my Kind, but Thy Sons.
98. Therefore I Believe Thee, and Bear Witness, and go into the Life
98. Blessed art Thou, O Father, Thy Man would be Sanctified with Thee,
as Thou hast given Him all Power.
1. The glory of all things, God and
that which is Divine, and the Divine Nature, the beginning of things that
2. God, and the Mind, and Nature, and Matter, and Operation, or Working
and Necessity, and the End and Renovation.
3. For there were in the Chaos, an infinite darkness in the Abyss or
bottomless Depth, and Water, and a subtle Spirit intelligible in Power;
and there went out the Holy Light, and the Elements were coagulated from
the Sand out of the moist Substance.
4. And all the Gods distinguished the Nature full of Seeds.
5. And when all things were interminated and unmade up, the light
things were divided on high. And the heavy things were founded upon the
moist sand, all things being Terminated or Divided by Fire; and being
sustained or hung up by the Spirit they were so carried, and the Heaven
was seen in Seven Circles.
6. And the Gods were seen in their Ideas of the Stars, with all their
Signs, and the Stars were numbered, with the Gods in them. And the Sphere
was all lined with Air, carried about in a circular, motion by the Spirit
7. And every God by his internal power, did that which was commanded
him; and there were made four footed things, and creeping things, and such
as live in the Water, and such as fly, and every fruitful Seed, and Grass,
and the Flowers of all Greens, and which had sowed in themselves the Seeds
8. As also the Generations of men to the knowledge of the Divine Works,
and a lively or working Testimony of Nature, and a multitude of men, and
the Dominion of all things under Heaven and the knowledge of good things,
and to be increased in increasing, and multiplied in multitude.
9. And every Soul in flesh, by the wonderful working of the Gods in the
Circles, to the beholding of Heaven, the Gods, Divine Works, and the
Operations of Nature; and for Signs of good things, and the knowledge of
the Divine Power, and to find out every cunning workmanship of good
10. So it beginneth to live in them, and to be wise according to the
Operation of the course of the circular Gods; and to be resolved into that
which shall be great Monuments; and Remembrances of the cunning Works done
upon Earth, leaving them to be read by the darkness of times.
11. And every generation of living flesh, of Fruit, Seed, and all
Handicrafts, though they be lost, must of necessity be renewed by the
renovation of the Gods, and of the Nature of a Circle, moving in number;
for it is a Divine thing, that every world temperature should be renewed
by nature, for in that which is Divine, is Nature also established.
1. Yesterday's Speech, O Asclepius, I
dedicated to thee, this day's it is fit to dedicate to Tat, because it is
an Epitome of those general speeches that were spoken to him.
2. God therefore, and the Father, and the Good, O Tat, have the same
Nature, or rather also the same Act and Operation.
3. For there is one name or appellation of Nature and Increase which
concerneth things changeable, and another about things unchangeable, and
about things unmoveable, that is to say, Things Divine and Human; every
one of which, himself will have so to be; but action or operation is of
another thing, or elsewhere, as we have taught in other things, Divine and
Human, which must here also be understood.
4. For his Operation or Act, is his Will, and his Essence, to Will all
Things to be.
5. For what is God, and the Father, and the Good, but the Being of all
things that yet are not, and the existence itself, of those things that
6. This is God, this is the Father, this is the Good, whereunto no
other thing is present or approacheth.
7. For the World, and the Sun, which is also a Father by Participation,
is not for all that equally the cause of Good, and of Life, to living
Creatures: And if this be so, he is altogether constrained by the Will of
the Good, without which it is not possible, either to be, or to be
begotten or made.
8. But the Father is the cause of his Children, who hath a will both to
sow and nourish that which is good by the Son.
9. For Good is always active or busy in making; and this cannot he in
any other, but in him that taketh nothing, and yet willeth all things to
be; for I will not say, O Tat, making them; for he that maketh is
defective in much time, in which sometimes he maketh not, as also of
quantity and quality; for sometimes he maketh those things that have
quantity and quality and sometimes the contrary.
10. But God is the Father, and the Good, in being all things; for he
both will be this, and is it, and yet all this for himself(as is true) in
him that can see it.
11. For all things else are for this, it is the property of Good to be
known: This is the Good, O Tat.
12. Tat. Thou hast filled us, O Father, with a sight both good and
fair, and the eye of my mind is almost become more holy by the sight or
13. Trismegistus. I Wonder not at It, for the Sight of Good is not like
the Beam of the Sun, which being of a fiery shining brightness, maketh the
eye blind by his excessive Light, that gazeth upon it; rather the
contrary, for it enlighteneth, and so much increaseth the light of the
eye, as any man is able to receive the influence of this Intelligible
14. For it is more swift and sharp to pierce, and innocent or harmless
withal, and full of immortality, and they that are capable and can draw
any store of this spectacle, and sight do many times fall asleep from the
Body, into this most fair and beauteous Vision ; which thing Celius and
Saturn our Progenitors obtained unto.
15. Tat. I would we also, O Father, could do so.
16. Trismegistus. I would have could, O Son; but for the present we are
less intent to the Vision, and cannot yet open the eyes of our minds to
behold the incorruptible, and incomprehensible Beauty of that Good: But
then shall we see it, when we have nothing at all to say of it.
17. For the knowledge of it, is a Divine Silence, and the rest of all
the Senses; For neither can he that understands that understand anything
else, nor he that sees that, see any thing else, nor hear any other thing,
nor in sum, move the Body.
18. For shining steadfastly upon, and round about the whole Mind it
enlighteneth all the Soul ; and loosing it from the Bodily Senses and
Motions, it draweth it from the Body, and changeth it wholly into the
Essence of God.
19. For it is Possible for the Soul, O Son, to be Deified while yet it
Lodgeth in the Body of Man, if it Contemplate the Beauty of the Good.
20. Tat. How dost thou mean deifying, Father!
21. Trismegistus. There are differences, O Son, of every Soul.
22. Tat. But how dost thou again divide the changes?
23. Trismegistus. Hast thou not heard in the general Speeches, that
from one Soul of the Universe, are all those Souls, which in all the world
are tossed up and down, as it were, and severally divided? Of these Souls
there are many changes, some into a more fortunate estate, and some quite
contrary; for they which are of creeping things, are changed into those of
watery things and those of things living in the water, to those of things
living upon the Land; and Airy ones are changed into men, and human Souls,
that lay hold of immortality, are changed into Demons.
24. And so they go on into the Sphere or Region of the fixed Gods, for
there are two choirs or companies of Gods, one of them that wander, and
another of them that are fixed. And this is the most perfect glory of the
25. But the Soul entering into the Body of a Man, if it continue evil,
shall neither taste of immortality, nor is partaker of the good.
26. But being drawn back the same way, it returneth into creeping
things. And this is the condemnation of an evil Soul.
27. And the wickedness of a Soul is ignorance; for the Soul that knows
nothing of the things that are, neither the Nature of them, nor that which
is good, but is blinded, rusheth and dasheth against the bodily Passions,
and unhappy as it is, not knowing itself, it serveth strange Bodies, and
evil ones, carrying the Body as a burthen, and not ruling, but ruled. And
this is the mischief of the Soul.
28. On the contrary, the virtue of the Soul is Knowledge; for he that
knows is both good and religious, and already Divine.
29. Tat. But who is such a one, O Father!
30. Trismegistus. He that neither speaks, nor hears many things; for
he, O Son, that heareth two speeches or hearings, fighteth in the shadow.
31. For God, and the Father, and Good, is neither spoken nor heard.
32. This being so in all things that are, are the Senses, because they
cannot be without them.
33. But Knowledge differs much from Sense; for Sense is of things that
surmount it, but Knowledge is the end of Sense.
34. Knowledge is the gift of God ; for all Knowledge is unbodily but
useth the Mind as an Instrument, as the Mind useth the Body.
35. Therefore both intelligible and material things go both of them
into bodies; for, of contraposition, That is Setting One against Another,
and Contrariety, all Things must Consist. And it is impossible it should
36. Tat. who therefore is this material God?
37. Trismegistus. The fair and beautiful world, and yet it is not good;
for it is material and easily passible, nay, it is the first of all
passible things; and the second of the things that are, and needy or
wanting somewhat else. And it was once made and is always, and is ever in
generation, and made, and continually makes, or generates things that have
quantity and quality.
38. For it is moveable, and every material motion is generation; but
the intellectual stability moves the material motion after this manner.
39. Because the World Is a Sphere, that is a Head, and above the head
there is nothing material, as beneath the feet there is nothing
40. The whole universe is material; The Mind is the head, and it is
moved spherically, that is like a head.
41. Whatsoever therefore is joined or united to the Membrane or Film of
this head, wherein the Soul is, is immortal, and as in the Soul of a made
Body, hath its Soul full of the Body; but those that are further from that
Membrane, have the Body full of Soul.
42. The whole is a living wight, and therefore consisteth of material
43. And the World is the first, and Man the second living wight after
the World; but the first of things that are mortal and therefore hath
whatsoever benefit of the Soul all the others have: And yet for all this,
he is not only not good, but flatly evil, as being mortal.
44. For the World is not good as it is moveable; nor evil as it is
45. But man is evil, both as he is moveable, and as he is mortal.
46. But the Soul of Man is carried in this manner, The Mind is in
Reason, Reason in the Soul, the Soul in the Spirit, the Spirit in the
47. The Spirit being diffused and going through the veins, and
arteries, and blood, both moveth the living Creature, and after a certain
manner beareth it.
48. Wherefore some also have thought the Soul to be blood, being
deceived in Nature, not knowing that first the Spirit must return into the
Soul, and then the blood is congealed, the veins and arteries emptied, and
then the living thing dieth: And this is the death of the Body.
49. All things depend of one beginning, and- the beginning depends of
that which is one and alone.
50. And the beginning is moved, that it may again be a beginning; but
that which is one, standeth and abideth, and is not moved,
51. There are therefore these three, God the Father, and the Good, the
World and Man: God hath the World, and the World hath Man; and the World
is the Son of God, and Man as it were the Offspring of the World.
52. For God is not ignorant of R/Ian, but knows him perfectly, and will
be known by him. This only is healthful to man; the Knowledge of God: this
is the return of Olympus; by this only the Soul is made good, and not
sometimes good, and sometimes evil, but of necessity Good.
53. Tat. What meanest thou, O Father.
54. Trismegistus. Consider, O Son, the Soul of a Child, when as yet it
hath received no dissolution of its Body, which is not yet grown, but is
very small; how then if it look upon itself, it sees itself beautiful, as
not having been yet spotted with the Passions of the Body, but as it were
depending yet upon the Soul of the World.
55. But when the Body is grown and distracteth, the Soul it engenders
Forgetfulness, and partakes no more of the Fair and the Good, and
Forgetfulness is Evilness.
56. The like also happeneth to them that go out of the Body: for when
the Soul runs back into itself the Spirit is contracted into the blood and
the Soul into the Spirit; but the Mind being made pure, and free from
these clothings; and being Divine by Nature, taking a fiery Body rangeth
abroad in every place, leaving the Soul to judgment, and to the punishment
it hath deserved.
57. Tat. Why dost thou say so, O Father, that the Mind is separated
from the Soul, and the Soul from the Spirit? When even now thou saidst the
Soul was the Clothing or Apparel of the Mind, and the Body of the Soul.
58. Trismegistus. O Son, he that hears must co-understand and conspire
in thought with him that speaks; yea, he must have his hearing swifter and
sharper than the voice of the speaker.
59. The disposition of these Clothings or Covers, is done in an Earthly
Body; for it is impossible, that the mind should establish or rest itself,
naked, and of itself; in an Earthly Body; neither is the Earthly Body able
to bear such immortality; and therefore that it might suffer so great
virtue the Mind compacted as it were, and took to itself the passible Body
of the Soul, as a Covering or Clothing. And the Soul being also in some
sort Divine, useth the Spirit as her Minister and Servant, and the Spirit
governeth the living thing.
60. When therefore the Mind is separated, and departeth from the
earthly Body, presently it puts on its Fiery Coat, which it could not do
having to dwell in an Earthly Body.
61. For the Earth cannot suffer fire, for it is all burned of a small
spark; therefore is the water poured round about the Earth, as a Wall or
defence, to withstand the flame of fire.
62. But the Mind being the most sharp or swift of all the Divine
Cogitations, and more swift than all the Elements, hath the fire for its
63. For the Mind which is the Workman of all useth the fire as his
instrument in his Workmanship; and he that is the Workman of all, useth it
to the making of all things, as it is used by man, to the making of
Earthly things only; for the Mind that is upon Earth, void, or naked of
fire, cannot do the business of men. nor that which is otherwise the
affairs of God.
64. But the Soul of Man, and yet not everyone, but that which is pious
and religious, is Angelical and Divine. And such a Soul, after it is
departed from the Body, having striven the strife of Piety, becomes either
Mind or God.
65. And the strife of Piety is to know God, and to injure no Man, and
this way it becomes Mind.
66. But an impious Soul abideth in its own essence, punished of itself,
and seeking an earthly and human Body to enter into.
67. For no other Body is capable of a Human Soul, neither is it lawful
for a Man's Soul to fall into the Body of an unreasonable living thing:
for it is the Law or Decree of God, to preserve a Human Soul from so great
a contumely and reproach.
68. Tat. How then is the Soul of Man punished, O Father; and what is
its greatest torment.
69. Hermes. Impiety, O my Son; for what Fire hath so great a flame as
it? Or what biting Beast doth so tear the Body as it doth the Soul.
70. Or dost thou not see how many evils the wicked Soul suffereth,
roaring and crying out, I am Burned, I am Consumed, I know not what to
Say, or Do, I am Devoured, Unhappy Wretch, of the Evils that compass and
lay-hold upon me; Miserable that I am, I neither See nor Hear anything.
71. These are the voices of a punished and tormented Soul, and not as
many; and thou, O Son, thinkest that the Soul going out of the Body grows
brutish or enters into a Beast: which is a very great Error, for the Soul
punished after this manner.
72. For the Mind, when it is ordered or appointed to get a fiery Body
for the services of God, coming down into the wicked Soul, torments it
with the whips of Sins, wherewith the wicked Soul being scourged, turns
itself to Murders, and Contumelies, and Blasphemies, and divers Violences,
and other things by which men are injured
73. But into a pious Soul, the Mind entering, leads it into the Light
74. And such a Soul is never satisfied with singing praise to God, and
speaking well of all men; and both in words and deeds, always doing good
in imitation of her Father.
75. Therefore, O Son, we must give thanks, and pray, that we may obtain
a good mind.
76. The Soul therefore may be altered or changed into the better, but
into the worse it is impossible.
77. But there is a communion of Souls, and those of Gods, communicate
with those of men; and those of men, with those of Beasts.
78. And the better always take of the worse, Gods of Men, Men of brute
Beasts, but God of all: For he is the best of all, and all things are less
79. Therefore is the World subject unto God, Man unto the World and
unreasonable things to Man.
80. But God is above all, and about all; and the beams of God are
operations; and the beams of the World are Natures; and the beams of Man
are Arts and Sciences.
81. And Operations do act by the World, and upon man by the natural
beams of the World, but Natures work by the Elements, and man by Arts and
82. And this is the Government of the whole, depending upon the Nature
of the One, and piercing or coming down by the One Mind, than which
nothing is more Divine, and more efficacious or operative; and nothing
more uniting, or nothing is more One. The Communion of Gods to Men, and of
Men to God.
83. This is the Bonus Genius, or good Demon, blessed Soul that is
fullest of it! and unhappy Soul that is empty of it!
84. Tat. And wherefore Father?
85. Trismegistus. Know Son, that every Soul hath the Good Mind; for of
that it is we now speak, and not of that Minister of which we said before,
That he was sent from the Judgment.
86. For the Soul without the Mind, can neither do, nor say any thing;
for many times the Mind flies away from the Soul, and in that hour the
Soul neither seeth nor heareth, but is like an unreasonable thing; so
great is the power of the Mind.
87. But neither brooketh it an idle or lazy Soul, but leaves such a one
fastened to the Body, and by it
88. And such a Soul, O Son, hath no mind, wherefore neither must such a
one be called a Man.
89. For man is a Divine living thing and is not to be compared to any
brute Beast that lives upon Earth, but to them that are above in Heaven,
that are called Gods.
90. Rather, if we shall be bold to speak the truth, he that is a man
indeed, is above them, or at least they are equal in power, one to the
other, For none of the things in Heaven will come down upon Earth, and
leave the limits of Heaven, but a man ascends up into Heaven, and measures
91. And he knoweth what things are on high, and what below, and
learneth all other things exactly.
92. And that which is the greatest of all, he leaveth not the Earth,
and yet is above: So great is the greatness of his Nature.
93. Wherefore we must be bold to say, That an Earthly Man is a Mortal
God, and That the Heavenly God is an Immortal Man.
94. Wherefore, by these two are all things governed, the World and Man;
but they and all things else, of that which is One.
"That God is not Manifest and yet most Manifest."
1. This Discourse I will also make to
thee, O Tat, that thou mayest not be ignorant of the more excellent Name
2. But do thou contemplate in thy Mind, how that which to many seems
hidden and unmanifest, may be most manifest unto thee.
3. For it were not all, if it were apparent, for whatsoever is
apparent, is generated or made; for it was made manifest, but that which
is not manifest is ever.
4. For it needeth not to be manifested, for it is always.
5. And he maketh all other things manifest, being unmanifest as being
always, and making other things manifest, he is not made manifest.
9. Himself is not made, yet in fantasy he fantasieth all things, or in
appearance he maketh them appear, for appearance is only of those things
that are generated or made, for appearance is nothing but generation.
7. But he is that One, that is not made nor generated, is also
unapparent and unmanifest.
8. But making all things appear, he appeareth in all and by all; but
especially he is manifested to or in those things wherein himself listeth.
9. Thou therefore, O Tat, my Son, pray first to the Lord and Father,
and to the Alone and to the One from whom is one to be merciful to thee,
that thou mayest knowest and understand so great a God; and that he would
shine one of his beams upon thee In thy understanding.
10. For only the Understanding sees that which is not manifest or
apparent, as being itself not manifest or apparent; and if thou canst, O
Tat, it will appear to the eyes of thy Mind.
11. For the Lord, void of envy, appeareth through the whole world. Thou
mayest see the intelligence, and take it in thy hands, and contemplate the
Image of God.
12. But if that which is in thee, be not known or apparent unto thee,
how shall he in thee be seen, and appear unto thee by the eyes?
13. But if thou wilt see him, consider and understand the Sun, consider
the course of the Moon, consider the order of the Stars.
14. Who is he that keepeth order? for all order is circumscribed or
terminated in number and place.
15. The Sun is the greatest of the Gods in heaven, to whom all the
heavenly Gods give place, as to a King and potentate; and yet he being
such a one, greater than the Earth or the Sea, is content to suffer
infinite lesser stars to walk and move above himself; whom doth he fear
the while, O Son?
16. Every one of these Stars that are in Heaven, do not make the like,
or an equal course; who is it that hath prescribed unto every one, the
manner and the greatness of their course!
17. This Bear that turns round about its own self; and carries round
the whole World with her, who possessed and made such an Instrument.
18. Who hath set the Bounds to the Sea? who hath established the Earth?
for there is some body, O Tat, that is the Maker and Lord of these things.
19. For it is impossible, O Son, that either place, or number, or
measure, should be observed without a Maker.
20. For no order can be made by disorder or disproportion.
21. I would it were possible for thee, O my Son, to have wings, and to
fly into the Air, and being taken up in the midst, between Heaven and
Earth, to see the stability of the Earth, the fluidness of the Sea, the
courses of the Rivers, the largeness of the Air, the sharpness or
swiftness of the Fire, the motion of the Stars; and the speediness of the
Heaven, by which it goeth round about all these.
22. O Son, what a happy sight it were, at one instant, to see all
these, that which is unmovable moved, and that which is hidden appear and
23. And if thou wilt see and behold this Workman, even by mortal things
that are upon Earth, and in the deep. Consider, O Son, how Man is made and
framed in the Womb; and examine diligently the skill and cunning of the
Workman, and learn who it was that wrought and fashioned the beautiful and
Divine shape of Man; who circumscribed and marked out his eyes? who bored
his nostrils and ears? who opened his mouth? who stretched out and tied
together his sinews! who channelled the veins? who hardened and made
strong the bones! who clothed the flesh with skin? who divided the fingers
and the joints! who flatted and made broad the soles of the feet! who
digged the pores! who stretched out the spleen, who made the heart like a
Pyramis? who made the Liver broad! who made the Lights spungy, and full of
holes! who made the belly large and capacious? who set to outward view the
more honourable parts and hid the filthy ones.
24. See how many Arts in one Matter, and how many Works in one
Superscription, and all exceedingly beautiful, and all done in measure,
and yet all differing.
25. Who hath made all these things! what Mother! what Father! save only
God that is not manifest! that made all things by his own Will.
26;: And no man says that a statue or an image is made without a Carver
or a Painter, and was this Workmanship made without a Workman? O great
Blindness, O great Impiety, O great Ignorance.
27. Never, O Son Tat, canst thou deprive the Workmanship of the
Workman, rather it is the best Name of all the Names of God, to call him
the Father of all, for so he is alone; and this is his Work to be the
28. And if thou wilt force me to say anything more boldly, it is his
Essence to be pregnant, or great with all things, and to make them.
29. And as without a Maker, it is impossible that anything should be
made, so it is that he should not always be, and always be making all
things in Heaven, in the Air, in the Earth, in the Deep, in the whole
World, and in every part of the whole that is, or that is not.
30. For there is nothing in the whole World, that is not himself both
the things that are and the things that are not.
31. For the things that are, he hath made manifest; and the things that
are not, he hath hid in himself.
32. This is God that is better than any name; this is he that is
secret; this is he that is most manifest; this is he that is to be seen by
the Mind ; this is he that is visible to the eye; this is he that hath no
body; and this is he that hath many bodies, rather there is nothing of any
body, which is not He.
33. For he alone is all things.
34. And for this cause He hath all Names, because He is the One Father;
and therefore He hath no Name, because He is the Father of all.
35. Who therefore can bless thee, or give thanks for thee, or to thee.
36. Which way shall I look, when I praise thee? upward? downward?
37. For about thee there is no manner, nor place, nor anything else of
all things that are.
38. But all things are in thee; all things from thee, thou givest all
things, and takest nothing; for thou hast all things and there is nothing
that thou hast not.
39. When shall I praise thee, O Father; for it is neither possible to
comprehend thy hour, nor thy time?
40. For what shall I praise thee? for what thou hast made, or for what
thou hast not made! fur those things thou hast manifested, or for those
things thou hast hidden?
41. Wherefore shall I praise thee as being of myself, or having
anything of mine own, or rather being another's?
42. For thou art what I am, thou art what I do, thou art what I say.
43. Thou Art All Things, and there is Nothing Else Thou art not.
44. Thou Art Thou, All that is Made, and all that is not Made.
45. The Mind that Understandeth.
46. The Father that Maketh and Frameth.
47. The Good that Worketh.
48. The Good that doth All Things.
49. Of the Matter, the most subtle and slender part is Air, of the Air
the Soul, of the Soul the Mind, of the Mind God.
1. Good, O Asciepius, is in nothing
but in God alone; or rather God himself is the Good always.
2. And if it be so, then must he be an Essence or Substance void of all
motion and generation; but nothing is void or empty of him.
3. And this Essence hath about or in himself a Stable, and firm
Operation, wanting nothing, most full, and giving abundantly.
4. One thing is the Beginning of all things, for it giveth all things;
and when I name the Good, I mean that which is altogether and always Good.
5. This is present to none, but God alone; for he wanteth nothing, that
he should desire to have it, nor can anything be taken from him; the loss
whereof may grieve him; for sorrow is a part of evilness.
6. Nothing is stronger than he, that he should be opposed by it; nor
nothing equal to him, that he should be in love with it; nothing unheard
of to be angry, with nothing wiser to be envious at.
7. And none of these being in his Essence, what remains, but only the
8. For as in this, being such an Essence, there is none of the evils;
so in none of the other things shall the Good be found.
9. For in all other things, are all those other things. as well in the
small as the great ; and as well in the particulars as in this living
Creature the greater and mightiest of all.
10. For all things that are made or generated are full of Passion,
Generation itself being a Passion ; and where Passion is there is not the
Good; where the Good is, there is no Passion; where it is day, it is not
night, and where it is night, it is not day.
11. Wherefore it is impossible, that in Generation should be the Good,
but only in that which is not generated or made.
12. Yet as the Participation of all things is in the Matter bound, so
also of that which is Good. After this manner is the World good, as it
maketh all things, and in the part of making or doing it is Good, but in
all other things not good.
13. For it is passible, and movable, and the Maker of passible things.
14. In Man also the Good is ordered (or Taketh Denomination) in
comparison of that which is evil; for that which is not very evil, is here
good; and that which is here called Good, is the least particle, or
proportion of evil.
15. It is impossible therefore, that the Good should be here pure from
Evil; for here the Good groweth Evil, and growing Evil, it doth not still
abide Good; and not abiding Good it becomes Evil.
16. Therefore in God alone is the Good, or rather God is the Good.
17. Therefore, O Asclepius, there is nothing in men (or among Men) but
the name of Good, the thing itself is not, for it is impossible; for a
material Body receiveth (or Comprehendeth), is not as being on every side
encompassed and coarcted with evilness, and labours, and griefs, and
desires, and wrath, and deceits, and foolish opinions.
18. And in that which is the worst of all, Asclepius, every one of the
forenamed things, is here believed to be the greatest good, especially
that supreme mischief the pleasures of the Belly, and the ring-leader of
all evils; Error is here the absence of the Good.
19. And I give thanks unto God, that concerning the knowledge of Good,
put this assurance in my mind, that it is impossible it should be in the
20. For the World is the fulness of evilness ; but God is the fulness
of Good, or Good of God.
21. For the eminencies of all appearing Beauty, are in the Essence more
pure, more sincere, and peradventure they are also the Essence of it.
22. For we must be bold to say, Asclepius, that the Essence of God, if
he have an Essence, is that which is fair or beautiful; but no good is
comprehended in this World.
23. For all things that are subject to the eye, are Idols, and as it
were shadows; but those things that are not subject to the eye, are ever,
especially the Essence of the Fair and the Good.
24. And as the eye cannot see God, so neither the Fair, and the Good.
25. For these are the parts of God that partake the Nature of the
whole, proper, and familiar unto him alone, inseparable, most lovely,
whereof either God is enamoured, or they are enamoured of God.
26. If thou canst understand God, thou shalt understand the Fair, and
the Good which is most shining, and enlightening, and most enlightened by
27. For that Beauty is above comparison, and that Good is inimitable,
as God himself.
28. As therefore thou understandest God, so understand the Fair and the
Good, for these are incommunicable to any other living Creatures because
they are inseparable from God.
29. If thou seek concerning God, thou seekest or askest also of the
Fair, for there is one way that leads to the same thing, that is Piety
30. Wherefore, they that are ignorant, and go not in the way of Piety,
dare call Man Fair and Good, never seeing so much as in a dream, what Good
is; but being enfolded and wrapped upon all evil, and believing that the
evil is the Good, they by that means, both use it unsatiably, and are
afraid to be deprived of it; and therefore they strive by all possible
means, that they may not only have it, but also increase it.
31. Such, O Asclepius, are the Good and Fair things of men, which we
can neither love nor hate, for this is the hardest thing of all, that we
have need of them, and cannot live without them.
The Seventh Book. His
Secret Sermon in the Mount Of Regeneration, and the Profession of
Silence. To His Son Tat.
I. Tat. In the general Speeches, O Father, discoursing of the
Divinity, thou speakest enigmatically, and didst not clearly reveal
thyself, saying, That no man can be saved before Regeneration.
2. And when I did humbly entreat thee, at the going up the Mountain
after thou hadst discoursed unto me, having a great desire, to learn this
Argument of Regeneration ; because among all the rest, I am ignorant only
of this thou toldst me thou wouldst impart it unto me, when I would
estrange myself from the World: whereupon I made myself ready, and have
vindicated the understanding that is in me, from the deceit of the World.
3. Now then fulfill my defects, and as thou saidst instruct me of
Regeneration, either by word of mouth or secretly; for I know not, O
Trismegistus, of what Substance, or what Womb or what Seed a Man is thus
4. Hermes. O Son, this Wisdom is to be understood in silence, and the
Seed is the true Good.
5. Tat. Who soweth it, O Father . for I am utterly ignorant and
6. Hermes. The Will of God, O Son.
7. And what manner of Man is he that is thus born? for in this point, I
am clean deprived of the Essence that understandeth in me.
8. Hermes. The Son of God will be another, God made the universe, that
in everything consisteth of all powers.
9. Tat. Thou tellest me a Riddle, Father, and dost not speak as a
Father to his Son.
10. Hermes. Son, things of this kind are not taught, but are by God,
when he pleaseth, brought to remembrance.
11. Tat. Thou speakest of things strained, or far fetched, and
impossible, Father; and therefore I will directly contradict them.
12. Hermes. Wilt thou prove a stranger, Son, to thy Father's kind.
13. Do not envy me, Father, or pardon me, I am thy Natural Son;
discourse unto me the manner of Regeneration.
14. Hermes. What shall I say, O my Son? I have nothing to say more than
this, that I see in myself an unfeigned sight or spectacle, made by the
mercy of God, and I am gone out of myself into an immortal body, and am
riot now what I was before, but was begotten in Mind.
15. This thing is not taught, nor is it to be seen in this formed
Element; for which the first compound form was neglected by me; and that I
am now separated from it ; for I have both the touch and the measure of
it, yet am I now estranged from them.
16. Thou seest, O Son, with thine eyes; but though thou look never so
steadfastly upon me, with the Body, and bodily sight, thou canst not see,
nor understand what I am now.
17. Tat. Thou hast driven me, O Father, into no small fury and
distraction of mind, for I do not now see my self.
18. Hermes. I would, O Son, that thou also wert gone out of thyself,
like them that dream in their sleep.
19. Tat. Then tell me this, who is the Author and Maker of Regeneration
20. Hermes. The child of God, one Man by the Will of God.
21. Tat. Now, O Father, thou hast put me to silence for ever and all my
former thoughts have quite left and forsaken me, for I see the greatness,
and shape of all things here below, and nothing but falsehood in them all.
22. And since this mortal Form is daily changed, and turned by this
time into increase, and diminution, as being falsehood; what therefore is
true, O Trismegistus?
23. Trismegistus. That, O Son, which is not troubled, nor bounded; not
coloured, not figured, not changed; that which is naked, bright,
comprehensible only of itself, unalterable, unbodily.
24. Tat. Now I am mad, indeed, Father; for when I thought me to have
been made a wise man by thee, with these thoughts thou hast quite dulled
all my senses.
25. Hermes. Yet is it so, as I say, O Son, He that Looketh Only upon
that which is carried upward as Fire, that which is carried downward as
Earth, that which is moist as Water, and that which bloweth or is subject
to blast as Air; how can he sensibly understand that which is neither
hard, nor moist, nor tangible, nor perspicuous, seeing it is only
understood in power and operation; but I beseech and pray to the Mind
which alone can understand the Generation, which is in God.
26. Tat. Then am I, O Father, utterly unable to do it.
27. Hermes. God forbid, Son, rather draw or pull him unto thee (or
Study to Know Him) and he will come, be but Willing, and it shall be done;
quiet (or make idle) the Senses of the Body, purging thyself from
unreasonable brutish torments of matter.
28. Tat. Have I any revengers or tormentors in myself, Father ?
29. Hermes. Yes, and those, not a few, but many and fearful ones.
30. Tat. I do not know them, Father.
31. Hermes. One Torment, Son, is Ignorance, a second, Sorrow, a third,
Intemperance, a fourth Concupiscence, a fifth, Injustice, a sixth,
Covetousness, a seventh, Deceit, an eighth, Envy, a ninth, Fraud or Guile,
a tenth, Wrath, an eleventh, Rashness, a twelfth, Maliciousness.
32. They are in number twelve, and under these many more; some which
through the prison of the body, do force the inwardly placed Man to suffer
33. And they do not suddenly, or easily depart from him, that hath
obtained mercy of God; and herein consists, both the manner and the reason
34. For the rest, O Son, hold thy peace, and praise God in silence, and
by that means, the mercy of God will not cease, or be wanting unto us.
35. Therefore rejoice, my Son, from henceforward, being purged by the
powers of God, to the Knowledge of the Truth.
36. For the revelation of God is come to us, and when that came all
Ignorance was cast out.
37. The knowledge of Joy is come unto us, and when that comes, Sorrow
shall fly away to them that are capable of it.
38. I call unto Joy, the power of Temperance, a power whose Virtue is
most sweet; Let us take her unto ourselves, O Son, most willingly, for how
at her coming hath she put away Intemperance.
39. Now I call the fourth, Continence, the power which is over
Concupiscence. This, O Son, is the stable and firm foundation of Justice.
40. For see, how without labour, she hath chased away injustice and we
are justified, O Son, when Injustice is away.
41. The sixth Virtue which comes into us, I call Communion, which is
42. And when that (Covetousness) is gone, I call Truth ; and when she
cometh, Error and Deceit vanisheth.
43. See, O Son, how the Good is fulfilled by the access of Truth; for
by this means, Envy is gone from us; for Truth is accompanied with the
Good, together also with Life and Light.
44. And there came no more any torment of Darkness, but being overcome,
they are all fled away suddenly, and tumultuarily.
45. Thou hast understood, O Son, the manner of Regeneration; for upon
the coming of these Ten, the Intellectual Generation is perfected, and
then it driveth away the twelve; and we have seen it in the Generation
46. Whosoever therefore hath of Mercy obtained this Generation which is
according to God, he leaving all bodily sense, knoweth himself to consist
of divine things, and rejoiceth, being made by God stable and immutable.
47. Tat. O Father, I conceive and understand, not by the sight of mine
eyes, but by the Intellectual Operation, which is by the Powers. I am in
Heaven, in the Earth, in the Water, in the Air, I am in living Creatures,
in the Plants, in the Womb, everywhere.
48. Yet tell me further, this one thing, How are the torments of
Darkness, being in number Twelve, driven away and expelled by the Ten
powers. What is the manner of it, Trismegistus?
49. Hermes. This Tabernacle, O Son, consists of the Zodiacal Circle;
and this consisting of twelve numbers, the Idea of one; but all formed
Nature admit of divers Conjugations to the deceiving of Man.
50. And though they be different in themselves, yet are they united in
practice (as for example, Rashness is inseparable from Anger) and they are
also indeterminate: Therefore with good Reason, do they make their
departure, being driven away by the Ten powers; that is to say, By the
51. For the number of Ten, O Son, is the Begetter of Souls. And there
Life and Light are united, where the number of Unity is born of the
52. Therefore according to Reason, Unity bath the number of Ten, and
the number of Ten hath Unity.
53. Tat. O Father, I now see the Universe, and myself in the Mind.
54. Hermes. This is Regeneration, O Son, that we should not any longer
fix our imagination upon this Body, subject to the three dimensions,
according to this Speech which we have now commented. That we may not at
all calumniate the Universe.
55. Tat. Tell me, O Father, This Body that consists of Powers shall it
ever admit of any Dissolution?
56. Hermes. Good words, Son, and speak not things impossible; for so
thou shalt sin, and the eye of thy mind grow wicked.
57. The sensible Body of Nature is far from the Essential Generation;
for that is subject to Dissolution, but this not; and that is mortal, but
this immortal. Dost thou not know that thou art born a God and the Son of
the One, as I am.
58. Tat. How fain would I, O Father, hear that praise given by a Hymn,
which thou saidst, thou heardst from the Powers when I was in the
59. Hermes. As Pimander said by way of Oracle to the Octonary, Thou
dost well, O Son, to desire the Solution of the Tabernacle, for thou art
6o. Pimander, the Mind of absolute Power and Authority, hath delivered
no more unto me, than those that are written; knowing that of myself, I
can understand all things, and hear, and see what I will. And he commanded
me to do those things that are good; and therefore all the Powers that are
in me sing.
6i. Tat. I would hear thee, O Father, and understand these things.
62. Hermes. Be quiet, O Son, and now hearken to that harmonious
blessing and thanksgiving: the hymn of Regeneration, which I did not
determine to have spoken of so plainly, but to thyself in the end of all.
63. Wherefore this is not taught, but hid in silence.
64. So then, O Son, do thou standing in the open Air, worship looking
to the North Wind, about the going down of the Sun, and to the South, when
the Sun ariseth; And now keep silence, Son.
The Holy Speech.
65. Let all the Nature of the world entertain the hearing of this Hymn.
66. Be opened, O Earth, and let all the Treasure of the Rain be opened.
67. You Trees tremble not, for I will sing and praise the Lord of the
Creation, and the All and the One.
68. Be opened you Heavens, ye Winds stand still, and let the Immortal
Circle of God receive these words.
69. For I will sing, and praise him that created all things, that fixed
the Earth, and hung up the Heavens, and commanded the sweet Water to come
out of the Ocean; into all the World inhabited, and not inhabited, to the
use and nourishment of all things, or men.
70. That commanded the fire to shine for very action, both to Gods and
71. Let us altogether give him blessing, which rideth upon the Heavens,
the Creator of all Nature.
72. This is he that is the Eye of the Mind, and Will accept the praise of
73. O all ye Powers that are in me, praise the One and the All.
74. Sing together with my Will, all you Powers that are in me.
75. O Holy Knowledge, being enlightened by thee, I magnify the
intelligible Light, and rejoice in the Joy of the Mind.
76. All my Powers sing praise with me, and thou my Continence, sing praise
my Righteousness by me; praise that which is righteous.
77. O Communion which is in me, praise the All.
78. By me the Truth sings praise to the Truth, the Good praiseth the Good.
79. O Life, O Light from us, unto you comes this praise and thanksgiving.
8o. I give thanks unto thee, O Father, the operation or act of my Powers.
8i. I give thanks unto thee, O God, the power of my operations.
82. By me thy Word sings praise unto thee, receive by me this reasonable
(or verbal) sacrifice in words.
83. The powers that are in me cry these things, they praise the All, they
fulfil thy Will; thy Will and Counsel is from thee unto thee.
84. O All, receive a reasonable Sacrifice from all things.
85. O Life, save all that is in us: O Light enlighten, O God the Spirit;
for the Mind guideth or feedeth the Word ; O Spirit bearing Workman.
86. Thou art God, thy Man crieth these things unto thee through by the
Fire, by the Air, by the Earth, by the Water, by the Spirit, by thy
87. From eternity I have found (means to) bless and praise thee, and I
have what I seek, for I rest in thy Will.
88. Tat. O Father, I see thou hast sung this Song of praise and
blessing with thy whole Will; and therefore have I put and placed it in my
89. Hermes. Say in thy intelligible World, O Son.
90. Tat. I do mean in my Intelligible World, for by thy Hymn and Song
of Praise my mind is enlightened: and gladly would I send from my
Understanding a Thanksgiving unto God.
91. Hermes. Not rashly, O Son.
92. Tat. In my mind, O Father.
93. Hermes. Those things that I see and contemplate, I infuse into
thee; and therefore say, thou son Tat, the Author of thy succeeding
Generations, I send unto God these reasonable Sacrifices.
94. O God, Thou art the Father, Thou art the Lord, Thou art the Mind,
accept these reasonable Sacrifices which Thou requirest of Me.
95. For all things are done as the Mind willeth.
96. Thou, O Son, send this acceptable Sacrifice to God, the Father of
all things; but propound it also, O Son, by Word.
97. Tat. I thank thee, Father, thou hast advised and instructed me thus
to give praise and thanks.
98. Hermes. I am glad, O Son, to see the Truth bring forth the Fruits
of Good things, and such immortal branches.
99. And learn this of me: Above all other virtues entertain Silence,
and impart unto no man, O Son, the tradition of Regeneration, lest we be
reputed Calumniators; For we both have now sufficiently meditated, I in
speaking, thou in hearing. And now thou dost intellectually know thyself
and our Father.
1. Whither are you carried, O Men,
drunken with drinking up the strong Wine of Ignorance? which seeing you
cannot bear: Why do you not vomit it up again?
2. Stand, and be sober, and look up again with the eyes of your heart;
and if you cannot all do so, yet do as many as you can.
3. For the malice of Ignorance surroundeth all the Earth, and
corrupteth the Soul, shut up in the Body not suffering it to arrive at the
Havens of Salvation.
4. Suffer not yourselves to he carried with the great stream, but stem
the tide, you that can lay hold of the Haven of Safety, and make your full
course towards it.
5. Seek one that may lead you by the hand, and conduct you to the door
of Truth and Knowledge, where the clear Light is that is pure from
Darkness, where there is not one drunken, but all are sober and in their
heart look up to him, whose pleasure it is to be seen.
6. For he cannot be heard with ears, nor seen with eyes, nor expressed
in words; but only in mind and heart.
7. But first thou must tear to pieces and break through the garment
thou wearest ; the web of Ignorance, the foundation of all Mischief; the
bond of Corruption ; the dark Coverture; the living Death ; the sensible
Carcass, the Sepulchre, carried about with us; the dornestical Thief which
in what he loves us, hates us, envies us.
8. Such is the hurtful Apparel, wherewith thou art clothed, which draws
and pulls thee downward by its own self; lest looking up, and seeing the
beauty of Truth, and the Good that is reposed therein, thou shouldst hate
the wickedness of this garment, and understand the traps and ambushes,
which it hath laid for thee.
9. Therefore doth it labour to make good those things that seem and are
by the Senses, judged and determined; and the things that are truly, it
hides, and envelopeth in such matter, filling what it presents unto thee,
with hateful pleasure, that thou canst neither hear what thou shouldst
hear, nor see what thou shouldst see.
1. Hermes. All that is moved, O
Asclepius, is it not moved in some thing, and by some thing?
2. Asclepius. Yes, indeed.
3. Hermes. Must not that, in which a thing is moved, of necessity be
greater than the thing that is moved?
4. Of necessity.
5. And that which moveth, is it not stronger than that which is moved?
6. Asclepius. It is stronger.
7. Hermes. That in which a thing is moved, must it not needs have a
Nature, contrary to that of the thing that is moved?
8. Asclepius. It must needs.
9. Hermes. Is not this great World a Body, than. which there is no
10. Asclepius. Yes, confessedly.
11. Hermes. And is it not solid, as filled with many great bodies, and
indeed, with all the Bodies that are?
12. Asclepius. It is so.
13. Hermes. And is not the World a Body, and a Body that is moved.
14. Asclepius. It is.
15. Hermes. Then what kind of a place must it be, wherein it is moved,
and of what Nature? Must it not be much bigger, that it may receive the
continuity of Motion? and lest that which is moved should for want of
room, he stayed, and hindered in the Motion?
16. Asclepius. It must needs be an immense thing, Trismegistus, but of
17. Hermes. Of a contrary Nature, O Asclepius; but is not the Nature of
things unbodily, contrary to a Body.
18. Asclepius. Confessedly.
19. Hermes. Therefore the place is unbodily; but that which is unbodily,
is either some Divine thing or God himself And by some thing Divine, I do
not mean that which was made or begotten.
20. If therefore it be Divine, it is an Essence or Substance but if it
be God, it is above Essence; but he is otherwise intelligible.
21. For the first, God is intelligible, not to himself, but to us, for
that which is intelligible, is subject to that which understandeth by
22. Therefore God is not intelligible to himself, for not being any
other thing from that which is understood, he cannot be understood by
23. But he is another thing from us, and therefore he is understood by
24. If therefore Place be intelligible, it is not Place but God, but if
God be intelligible, he is intelligible not as Mace, but as a capable
25. Now everything that is moved, is moved, not in or by that which is
moved, but in that which standeth or resteth, and that which moveth
standeth or resteth, for it is impossible it should be moved with it.
26. Asclepius. How then, O Trismegistus, are those things that are here
moved with the things that are moved? for thou sayest that the Spheres
that wander are moved by the Sphere that wanders not.
27. Hermes. That, O Asclepius, is not a moving together, but a
countermotion, for they are not moved after a like manner, but contrary
one to the other; and contrariety hath a standing resistance of motion for
resistance is a staying of motion.
28. Therefore the wandering Spheres being moved contrarily to that
Sphere which wandereth not, shall have one from another contrariety
standing of itself.
29. For this Bear which thou seest neither rise nor go down, but
turning always about the same; dost thou think it moveth or standeth
30. Asclepius. I think it moves, Trismegistus.
31. What motion, O Asclepius?
32. Asclepius. A motion that is always carried about the same.
33. But the Circulation which is about the same, and the motion about
the same, are both hidden by Station; for that which is about the same
forbids that which is above the same, if it stand to that which is about
34. And so the contrary motion stands fast always, being always
established by the contrariety.
35. But I will give thee concerning this matter, an earthly example
that may be seen with eyes.
36. Look upon any of these living Creatures upon Earth, as Man for
example, and see him swimming; for as the Water is carried one way, the
reluctation or resistance of his feet and hands is made a station to the
man, that he should not be carried with the Water, nor sink underneath it.
37. Asclepius. Thou hast laid down a very clear example, Trismegistus.
38. Hermes. Therefore every motion is in station, and is moved of
39. The motion then of the World, and of every material living thing,
happeneth not to be done by those things that are without the World, but
by those things within it, a Soul, or Spirit, or some other unbodily
thing, to those things which are without it.
40. For an inanimated Body, doth not now, much less a Body if it be
41. Asclepius. What meaneth thou by this, O Trismegistus, Wood and
Stones, and all other inanimate things, are they not moving Bodies?
42. Hermes. By no means, O Asclepius, for that within the Body which
moves the inanimate thing, is not the Body, that moves both as well the
Body of that which beareth, as the Body of that which is born; for one
dead or inanimate thing, cannot move another; that which moveth, must
needs be alive if it move.
43. Thou seest therefore how the Soul is surcharged, when it carrieth
44. And now it is manifest, that the things that are moved are moved in
something, and by something.
45 Asclepius. The things that are, O Trismegistus, must needs be moved
in that which is void or empty, Vacuum.
46. Be advised, O Asclepius, for of all the things that are, there is
nothing empty, only that which is not, is empty and a stranger to
existence or being.
47. But that which is, could not be if it were not full of existence,
for that which is in being or existence can never be made empty.
48. Asclepius. Are there not therefore some things that are empty, O
Trismegistus, as an empty Barrel, an empty Hogshead, an empty Well, an
empty Wine-Press, and many such like?
49. Hermes. O the grossness of thy Error, O Asclepius, those things
that are most full and replenished, dost thou account them void and empty.
50. Asclepius. What may be thy meaning, Trismegistus?
51. Hermes. Is not the Air a Body?
52. Asclepius. It is a Body
53. Hermes. Why then this Body doth it not pass through all things that
are and passing through them, fill them? and that Body doth it not consist
of the mixture of the four? therefore all those thou callest empty are
full of Air.
54. Therefore those things that thou callest empty, thou oughtest to
call them hollow, not empty, for they exist and are full of Air and
55. Asclepius. This reason is beyond all contradiction, O Trismegistus,
but what shall we call the Place in which the whole Universe is moved?
56. Hermes. Call it incorporeal, O Asclepius.
57. Asclepius. What is that incorporeal or unbodily?
58. Hermes. The Mind and Reason, the whole, wholly comprehending
itself, free from all Body, undeceivable, invisible, impassible from a
Body itself, standing fast in itself, capable of all things, and that
favour of the things that are.
59. Whereof the Good, the Truth, the Archetypal Light, the Archetype of
the Soul, are as it were Beams.
60. Asclepius. Why then, what is God?
61. Hermes. That which is none of these things, yet is, and is the
cause of Being to all; and every one of the things that are; for he left
nothing destitute of Being.
62. And all things are made of things that are, and not of things that
are not; for the things that are not, have not the nature to be able to be
made; and again, the things that are, have not the nature never to be, or
not to be at all.
63. Asclepius. What dost thou then say at length, that God is?
64. Hermes. God is not a Mind, but the Cause that the Mind is; not a
Spirit, but the Cause that the Spirit is; not Light, but the Cause that
65. Therefore we must worship God by these two Appellations which are
proper to him alone, and to no other.
66. For neither of all the other, which are called Gods, nor of Men,
nor Demons, or Angels, can anyone be, though never so little, good, save
only God alone.
67. And this He is, and nothing else; but all other things are
separable from the nature of Good.
68. For the Body and the Soul have no place that is capable of or can
contain the Good.
69. For the greatness of Good, is as great as the Existence of all
things, that are both bodily and unbodily, both sensible and intelligible.
70. This is the Good, even God.
71. See therefore that thou do not at any time, call ought else Good,
for so thou shalt be impious, or any else God, but only the Good, for so
thou shalt again be impious.
72. In Word it is often said by all men the Good, but all men do not
understand what it is; but through Ignorance they call both the Gods, and
some men Good, that can never either be or be made so.
73. Therefore all the other Gods are honoured with the title and
appellation of God, but God is the Good, not according to Heaven, but
74. For there is one Nature of God, even the Good, and one kind of them
both, from whence are all kinds.
75. For he that is Good, is the giver of all things, and takes nothing
and therefore God gives all things and receives nothing.
76. The other title and appellation, is the Father, because of his
making all things; for it is the part of a Father to make.
77. Therefore it bath been the greatest and most Religious care in this
life, to them that are wise, and well-minded, to beget children.
78. As likewise it is the greatest misfortune and impiety for any to be
separated from men, without children; and this man is punished after death
by the Demons, and the punishment is this, To have the Soul of this
childless man, adjudged and condemned to a Body, that neither bath the
nature of a man, nor of a woman, which is an accursed thing under the Sun.
79. Therefore, O Asclepius, never congratulate any man that is
childless; but on the contrary, pity his misfortune, knowing what
punishment abides, and is prepared for him.
80. Let so many, and such manner of things, O Asclepius, be said as a
certain precognition of all things in Nature.
1. Forbear thy speech, O Hermes
Trismegistus, and call to mind those things that are said: but I will not
delay to speak what comes into my mind, since many men have spoken many
things, and those very different, concerning the Universe and Good; but I
have not learned the Truth.
2. Therefore, the Lord make it plain to me in this point ; for I will
believe thee only, for the manifestation of these things.
3. Then said the Mind how the case stands.
4. God and all.
5. God, Eternity, the World, Time, Generation,
6. God made Eternity, Eternity the World; the World Time, and Time
7. Of God, as it were the Substance, is the Good, the Fair,
8. Of Eternity, Identity, or Selfness.
9. Of the World, Order.
10. Of Time, Change.
11. Of Generation, Life, and Death.
12. But the Operation of God, is Mind and Soul.
13. Of Eternity, Permanence, or Long-lasting, and Immortality
14. Of the World, Restitution, and Decay or Destruction.
15. Of Time, Augmentation and Diminution.
16. And of Generation, Qualities.
17. Therefore Eternity is in God.
18. The World in Eternity.
19. Time in the World.
20. And Generation in Time.
21. And Eternity standeth about God.
22. The World is moved in Eternity.
23. Time is determined in the World.
24. Generation is done in Time.
25. Therefore the Spring and Fountain of all things is God.
26. The Substance Eternity.
27. The Matter is the World.
28. The Power of God is Eternity.
29. And the Work of Eternity is the World not yet made, and yet ever
made by Eternity.
30. Therefore shall nothing be at any time destroyed, for Eternity is
31. Neither can anything perish, or be destroyed in the World, the
World being contained and embraced by eternity.
32. But what is the Wisdom of God? Even the Good, and the Fair and
Blessedness, and every Virtue, and Eternity.
33. Eternity therefore put into the Matter Immortality and
Everlastingness; for the Generation of that depends upon Eternity, even as
Eternity doth of God.
34. For Generation and Time, in Heaven, and in Earth, are of a double
Nature; in Heaven they are unchangeable and incorruptible, but on Earth
they are changeable and corruptible.
35. And the Soul of Eternity is God; and the Soul of the World
Eternity; and of the Earth, Heaven.
36. God is in the Mind, the Mind in the Soul1 the Soul in the Matter,
all things by Eternity.
37. All this Universal Body, in which are all Bodies, is full of Soul,
the Soul full of Mind, the Mind full of God.
38. For within he fills them, and without he contains them, quickening
39. Without he quickens this perfect living thing the World, and within
all living Creatures.
40. And above in Heaven he abides in Identity or Selfness, but below
upon Earth he changeth Generation.
41. Eternity comprehendeth the World, either by Necessity, or
Providence, or Nature.
42. And if any man shall think any other thing, it is God that
actuateth, or operateth this All.
43. But the operation or Act of God, is power insuperable, to which
none may compare anything, either Human or Divine.
44. Therefore, O Hermes, think none of these things below, or the
things above, in any wise like unto God, for if thou dost thou errest from
45. For nothing can be like the unlike, and only and One; nor mayest
thou think that he bath given of his Power to any other thing.
46. For who after him can make anything, either of Life, or
Immortality; of Change or of Quality, and himself what other thing should
47. For God is not idle, for then all things would be idle ; for all
things are full of God.
48. But there is not anywhere in the world such a thing as Idleness;
for Idleness is a name that implieth a thing void or empty, both of a Doer
and a thing done.
49. But all things must necessarily be made or done both always and
according to the nature of every place.
50. For he that maketh or doth is in all things, yet not fastened or
comprehended in anything, nor making or doing one thing, but all things.
51. For being an active or operating Power and sufficient of himself
for the things that are made, and the things that are made are under him.
52. Look upon, through me, the World is subject to thy sight, and
understand exactly the Beauty thereof.
53. A Body immarcessible, than the which, there is nothing more
ancient, yet always vigorous and young.
54. See also the seven Worlds set over us, adorned with an everlasting
Order, and filling Eternity, with a different course.
55. For all things are full of Light, but the Fire is nowhere.
56. For the friendship and commixture of contraries and unlike became
Light shining from the Act or Operation of God, the Father of all Good,
the Prince of all Order, and the Ruler of the seven Worlds.
57. Look also upon the Moon, the forerunner of them all, the Instrument
of Nature, and which changeth the Matter here below.
58. Behold the Earth, the middle of the whole, the firm and stable
Foundation of the Fair World, the Feeder and Nurse of Earthly things.
59. Consider moreover, how great the multitude is of immortal living
things, and of mortal ones also; and see the Moon going about in the midst
of both, to wit, of things immortal and mortal.
60. But all things are full of Soul, and all things are properly moved
by it; some things about the Heaven, and some things about the Earth, and
neither of those on the right hand to the left; nor those on the left hand
to the right; nor those things that are above, down. ward; nor those
things that are below, upwards.
61. And that all these things are made, O beloved Hermes, thou needst
not learn of me.
62. For they are Bodies, and have a Soul, and are moved.
63. And that all these should come together into one, it is impossible
without some thing, to gather them together.
64. Therefore there must be some such ones, and he altogether One.
65. For seeing that the motions are divers, and many, and the Bodies
not alike, and yet one ordered swiftness among them all; It is impossible
there should be two or more Makers.
66. For one order is not kept by many.
67. But in the weaker, there would be jealousy of the stronger and
thence also Contentions.
68. And if there were one Maker of mutable and mortal living wights, he
would desire also to make immortal ones, as he that were the Maker of
immortal ones, would do to make mortal.
69. Moreover also, if there were two, the Matter being one, who should
be chief, or have the disposing of the facture?
70. Or if both of them, which of them the greater part?
71. But think thus that every living Body bath its consistence of
Matter and Soul; and of that which is immortal, and that which is mortal,
72. For all living Bodies have a Soul; and those things that are not
living are only matter by itself.
73. And the Soul likewise of itself drawing near her Maker, is the
Cause of Life and Being and Being the cause of Life, is after a manner,
the cause of immortal things.
74. How then are mortal wights, other from immortal?
75. Or how cannot he make living wights that causeth immortal things
and immortality ?
76. That there is some Body that doth these things it is apparent, and
that he is also one, it is most manifest.
77. For there is one Soul, one Life and one Matter.
78. Who is this? Who can it be? Other than the One God.
79. For whom else can it benefit, to make living things, save only God
80. There is therefore one God.
81. For it is a ridiculous thing to confess the World to be one Sun,
one Moon, one Divinity; and yet to have I know not how many gods.
82. He therefore being One, doth all things in many things.
83. And what great thing is it for God to make Life and Soul, and
Immortality, and Change, when thy self dost so many things?
84. For thou both seest, speakest and hearest, smellest, tastest and
touchest, walkest, understandest, and breathest.
85. And it is not one that seeth, and another that heareth, and another
that speaketh, and another that toucheth, and another that smelleth, and
another that walketh, and another that understandeth, and another that
breatheth, but One that doth all these things.
86. Yet neither can these things possibly be without God.
87. For as thou, if thou shouldst cease from doing these things, were
not a living wight; so if God should cease from those, he were not (which
is not lawful to say) any longer God.
88. For if it be already demonstrated, that nothing can be idle or
empty, how much more may be affirmed of God?
89. For if there be any thing which he doth not do, then is he (if it
were lawful to say so) imperfect.
90. Whereas feeling he is not idle, but perfect, certainly he doth all
91. Now give thy self unto me, O Hermes, for a little while thou shalt
the more easily understand, that it is the necessary work of God that all
things should be made or done that are done or were once done, or shall be
92. And this, O best Beloved, is life.
93. And this is the Fair.
94. And this is the Good.
95. And this is God.
96. And if thou wilt understand this by work also, mark what happens to
thy self, when thou wilt generate.
97. And yet this is not like unto him; for he is not sensible of
pleasure, for neither bath he any other Fellow-workman.
98. But being himself the only Workman he is always in the Work,
himself being that which he doth or maketh.
99. For all things, if they were separated from him, must needs fall
and die, as there being no life in them.
100. And again, if all things be living wights, both which are in
Heaven, and upon Earth; and that there be one Life in all things which are
made by God, and that is God, then certainly all things are made, or done
101. Life is the union of the Mind and the Soul.
102. But death is not the destruction of those things that were
gathered together, but a dissolving of the Union.
103. The Image therefore of God is Eternity, of Eternity the World, of
the World the Sun, of the Sun, Man.
104. But the people say, That changing is Death, because the Body is
dissolved, and the Life goeth into that which appeareth not.
105. By this discourse, my dearest Hermes, I affirm as thou hearest,
That the World is changed, because every day part thereof becomes
invisible ; but that it is never dissolved.
106. And these are the Passions of the World, Revolutions and
Occultations, and Revolution is a turning, but Occultation is Renovation.
107. And the World being all formed, bath not the forms lying without
it, but itself changeth in itself.
108. Seeing then the World is all formed, what must he be that made it?
for without form he cannot be.
109. And if he be all formed, he will be kept like the World, but if he
have but one form, he shall be in this regard less than the World.
110. What do we then say that he is? we will not raise any doubts by
our speech; for nothing that is doubtful concerning God, is yet known.
111. He hath therefore one Idea which is proper to him, which because
it is unbodily is not subject to the sight, and yet shews all forms by the
112. And do not wonder, if there be an incorruptible Idea.
113. For they are like the Margents of that Speech which is in writing;
for they seem to be high and swelling, hut they are by nature smooth and
114. But understand well this that I say, more boldly, for it is more
true; As a man cannot live without life, so neither can God live, not
115. For this is, as it were, the Life and Motion of God, to move all
things, and quicken them.
116. But some of the things I have said, must have a particular
explication; Understand then what I say.
117. All things are in God, not as lying in a place; for Place is both
a Body, and unmoveable, and those things that are there placed, have no
118. For they lie otherwise in that which is unbodily, than in the
fantasy or to appearance.
119. Consider him that contains all things, and understand, that
nothing is more capacious, than that which is incorporeal, nothing more
swift, nothing more powerful, but it is most capacious, most swift and
120. And judge of this by thyself, command thy Soul to go into India,
and sooner than thou canst bid it, it will be there.
121. Bid it likewise pass over the Ocean, and suddenly it will be
there; Not as passing from place to place, but suddenly it will be there.
122. Command it to fly into Heaven, and it will need no Wings, neither
shall anything hinder it; not the fire of the Sun, not the Aether, not the
turning of the Spheres, not the bodies of any of the other Stars, but
cutting through all, it will fly up to the last, and furthest Body.
123. And if thou wilt even break the whole, and see those things that
are without the World (if there be any thing without) thou mayest.
124. Behold how great power, how great swiftness thou hast! Canst thou
do all these things, and cannot God?
125. After this manner therefore contemplate God to have all the whole
World to himself, as it were all thoughts, or intellections.
126. If therefore thou wilt not equal thy self to God, thou canst not
127. For the like is intelligible by the like.
128. Increase thy self into an immeasurable greatness, leaping beyond
every Body; and transcending all Time, become Eternity and thou shalt
understand God: If thou believe in thyself that nothing is impossible, but
accountest thy self immortal, and that thou canst understand all things,
every Art, every Science and the manner and custom of every living thing.
129. Become higher than all height, lower than all depths, comprehend
in thy self, the qualities of all the Creatures, of the Fire, the Water,
the Dry and Moist; and conceive likewise, that thou canst at once be
everywhere in the Sea, in the Earth.
130. Thou shalt at once understand thy self, not yet begotten in the
Womb, young, old, to be dead, the things after death, and all these
together as also times, places, deeds, qualities, quantities, or else thou
canst not yet understand God.
131. But if thou shut up thy Soul in the Body and abuse it, and say, I
understand nothing, I can do nothing, I am afraid of the Sea, I cannot
climb up into Heaven, I know not who I am, I cannot tell what I shall be;
what hast thou to do with God; for thou canst understand none of those
Fair and Good things; be a lover of the Body, and Evil.
132. For it is the greatest evil, not to know God.
133. But to be able to know and to will, and to hope, is the straight
way, and Divine way, proper to the Good; and it will everywhere meet thee,
and everywhere be seen of thee, plain and easy, when thou dost not expect
or look for it; it will meet thee, waking, sleeping, sailing, travelling,
by night, by day, when thou speakest, and when thou keepest silence.
134. For there is nothing which is not the Image of God.
135. And yet thou sayest, God is invisible, but be advised, for who is
more manifest than He.
136. For therefore hath he made all things, that thou by all things
mayest see him.
137. This is the Good of God, this is his Virtue, to appear, and to be
seen in all things.
138. There is nothing invisible, no, not of those things that are
139. The Mind is seen in Understanding, and God is seen in doing or
140. Let these things thus far forth, be made manifest unto thee, O
141. Understand in like manner, all other things by thy self, and thou
shalt not be deceived.
1. The Mind, O Tat, is of the very
Essence of God, if yet there be any Essence of God.
2. What kind of Essence that is, he alone knows himself exactly.
3. The Mind therefore is not cut off, or divided from the essentiality
of God, but united as the light of the sun.
4. And this mind in men, is God, and therefore are some men Divine, and
their Humanity is near Divinity.
5. For the good Demon called the Gods immortal men, and men mortal
6. But in the brute Beasts, or unreasonable living wights, the Mind is
7. For where there is a Soul, there is the Mind, as where there is
Life, there is also a Soul.
8. In living Creatures therefore, that are without Reason, the Soul is
Life, void of the operations of the Mind.
9. For the Mind is the Benefactor of the Souls of men, and worketh to
the proper Good.
10. And in unreasonable things it co-operateth with the Nature of
everyone of them, but in men it worketh against their Natures.
11. For the Soul being in the Body, is straightway made Evil by Sorrow,
and Grief and Pleasure or Delight.
12. For Grief and Pleasure flow like Juices from the compound Body,
whereinto, when the Soul entereth, or descendeth, she is moistened and
tincted with them.
13. As many Souls therefore, as the Mind governeth or overruleth, to
them it shows its own Light, resisting their prepossessions or
14. As a good Physician grieveth the Body, prepossessed of a disease,
by burning or lancing it for health's sake.
15. After the same manner also, the Mind grieveth the Soul, by drawing
it out of Pleasure, from whence every disease of the Soul proceedeth.
16. But the great Disease of the Soul is Atheism because that opinion
followeth to all Evil and no Good.
17. Therefore the Mind resisting it procureth Good to the Soul, as a
Physician health to the Body.
18. But as many Souls of Men, as do not admit or entertain the Mind for
their Governor, do suffer the same thing that the Soul of unreasonable
19. For the Soul being a Co-operator with them, permits or leaves them
to their concupiscences, whereunto they are carried by the torrent of
their Appetite, and so tend to brutishness.
20. And as Brute Beasts, they are angry without reason, and they desire
without reason, and never cease, nor are satisfied with evil.
21. For unreasonable Angers and Desires, are the most exceeding Evils.
22. And therefore hath God set the Mind over these, as a Revenger and
Reprover of them.
23. Tat. Here, O Father, that discourse of Fate or Destiny which thou
madest to me, is in danger to be overthrown; For if it be fatal for any
man to commit Adultery or Sacrilege or do any evil, he is punished also,
though he of necessity do the work of Fate or Destiny.
24. Hermes. All things, O Son, are the work of Fate, and without it,
can no bodily thing, either Good or Evil, be done.
25. For it is decreed by Fate, that he that cloth any evil, should also
suffer for it.
26. And therefore he cloth it, that he may suffer that which he
suffereth, because he did it.
27. But for the present let alone that speech, concerning Evil and
Fate, for at other times we have spoken of it.
28. Now our discourse is about the Mind, and what it can do, and how it
differs, and is in men such a one, but in brute Beasts changed
29. And again, in Brute Beasts it is not beneficial, but in men by
quenching both their Anger and Concupiscences.
3o. And of men thou must understand some to be rational or governed by
reason, and some irrational.
31. But all men are subject to Fate, and to Generation, and Changes,
for these are the beginning and end of Fate or Destiny.
32. And all men suffer those things that are decreed by Fate.
33. But rational men, over whom as we said, the Mind bears rule, do not
suffer like unto other men, but being free from viciousness, and being not
evil, they do suffer evil.
34. Tat. How sayest thou this again, Father? An Adulterer, is he not
evil? a Murderer, is he not evil? and so all others.
35. Hermes. But the rational man, O Son, will not suffer for Adultery,
but as the Adulterer, nor for Murder, but as the Murderer.
36. And it is impossible to escape the Quality of Change, as of
Generation, but the Viciousness, he that hath the Mind, may escape.
37. And therefore, O Son, I have always heard the good Demon say, and
if he had delivered it in writing, he had much profited all mankind: For
he alone, O Son. as the first born, God, seeing all things, truly spake
Divine words. I have heard him say sometimes, That all Things are one
thing, Especially Intelligible Bodies, or that all Especially Intelligible
Bodies are one.
38. We live in Power, in Act and in Eternity.
39. Therefore a good Mind, is that which the Soul of him is.
40. And if this be so, then no intelligible thing differs from
41. As therefore it is possible, that the Mind, the Prince of all
things; so likewise, that the Soul that is of God, can do whatsoever it
42. But understand thou well, for this Discourse I have made to the
question which thou askest of me before, I mean concerning Fate and the
43. First, if, O Son, thou shalt diligently withdraw thy self from all
Contentious speeches, thou shalt find that in Truth, the Mind, the Soul of
God bears rule over all things, both over Fate and Law and all other
44. And nothing is impossible to him, no not of the things that are of
45. Therefore, though the Soul of man be above it, let it not neglect
the things that happen to be under Fate.
46. And these thus far, were the excellent sayings of the good Demon.
47. Tat. Most divinely spoken, O Father, and truly and profitably, yet
clear this one thing unto me
48. Thou sayest, that in brute Beasts the Mind worketh or acteth after
the manner of Nature, co-operating also with their (impetus) inclinations.
49. Now the impetuous inclinations of brute Beasts, as I conceive, are
Passions. If therefore the Mind do co-operate with these impetuous
Inclinations, and that they are the Passions in brute Beasts, certainly
the Mind is also a Passion, conforming itself to Passions.
50. Hermes. Well done, Son, thou askest nobly, and yet it is just that
I should answer thee.
51. All incorporeal things, O Son, that are in the Body, are possible,
nay, they are properly Passions.
52. Everything that moveth is incorporeal; everything that is moved is
a Body, and it is moved into the Bodies by the Mind. Now motion is
Passion, and there they both suffer; as well that which moveth, as that
which is moved, as well that which ruleth, as that which is ruled.
53. But being freed from the Body, it is freed likewise from Passion.
54. But especially, O Son, there is nothing impassible, but all things
55. But Passion differs from that which is passible, for that (Passion)
acteth but this suffers.
56. Bodies also of themselves do act, for either they are unmovable, or
else are moved, and which soever it be, it is a Passion.
57. But incorporeal things do always act, or work, and therefore they
58. Let not therefore the appellations or names trouble thee, for
Action and Passion are the same thing, but that it is not grievous to use
the more honourable name.
59. Tat. O Father. thou has delivered this Discourse most plainly.
60. Hermes. Consider this also, O Son, That God hath freely bestowed
upon man, above all other living things, these two, to wit, Mind and
Speech, or Reason, equal to immortality.
61. These if any man use, or employ upon what he ought, he shall differ
nothing from the Immortals.
62. Yea, rather going out of the Body, he shall be guided and led by
them, both into the Choir and Society of the Gods, and blessed Ones.
63. Tat. Do not other living Creatures use Speech, O Father?
64. Hermes. NO, Son, but only Voice; now Speech and Voice do differ
exceeding much; for Speech is common to all men, but Voice is proper unto
every kind of living thing.
65. Tat. Yea, but the Speech of men is different. O Father, every man
according to his Nation.
66. Hermes. It is true, O Son, they do differ: Yet as man is one so is
Speech one also; and it is interpreted and found the same, both in Egypt,
Persia, and Greece.
67. But thou seemest unto me, Son, to be ignorant of the Virtue or
Power, and Greatness of Speech.
68. For the blessed God, the good Demon said or commanded the Soul to
be in the Body, the Mind, in the Soul, the Word, or Speech, or Reason in
the Mind, and the Mind in God, and that God is the Father of them all.
69. Therefore the Word is the Image of the Mind, and the Mind of God,
and the Body of the Idea, and the Idea of the Soul.
70. Therefore of the Matter, the subtlest or smallest part is Air, of
the Air the Soul, of the Soul the Mind, of the Mind God.
71. And God is about all things, and through all things, but the Mind
about the Soul, the Soul about the Air, and the Air about the Matter.
72. But Necessity, and Providence, and Nature, are the Organs or
Instruments of the World, and of the Order of Matter.
73. For of those things that are intelligible, every one is but the
Essence of them in Identity.
74. But of the Bodies of the whole, or universe, every one is many
75: For the Bodies that are put together, and that have, and make their
changes into other, having this Identity, do always save and preserve the
uncorruption of the Identity.
76. But in every one of the compound Bodies, there is a number.
77. For without number it is impossible there should be consistence or
constitution, or composition, or dissolution.
78. But Unities do both beget and increase Numbers, and again being
dissolved, come into themselves.
79. And the Matter is One.
80. But this whole World, the great God, and the Image of the Greater,
and united unto him, and conserving the Order and Will of the Father, is
the fulness of Life.
81. And there is nothing therein, through all the Eternity of the
Revolutions, neither of the whole, nor of the parts which cloth not live.
82. For there is nothing dead, that either hath been, or is, or shall
be in the World.
83. For the Father would have it as long as it lasts, to be a living
thing; and therefore it must needs be God also.
84, How therefore, O Son, can there be in God, in the Image of the
Universe, in the fulness of Life, any dead things?
85. For dying is corruption, and corruption is destruction.
86. How then can any part of the incorruptible be corrupted, or of God
87. Tat. Therefore, O Father, do not the living things in the World
die, though they be parts thereof.
88. Hermes. Be wary in thy Speech, O Son, and not deceived in the names
89. For they do not die, O Son, but as compound Bodies they are
90. But dissolution is not death; and they are dissolved, not that they
may be destroyed, but that they may be made new.
91. Tat. What then is the operation of Life? Is it not Motion?
92. Hermes. And what is there in the World unmovable? Nothing at all, O
93. Tat. Why, cloth not the Earth seem unmovable to thee, O Father?
94. Hermes. No, but subject to many motions, though after a manner it
alone be stable.
95. What a ridiculous thing it were, that the Nurse of all things
should be unmovable, which beareth and bringeth forth all things.
96. For it is impossible, that anything that bringeth forth, should
bring forth without Motion.
97. .And a ridiculous question it is, Whether the fourth part of the
whole, be idle: For the word immovable, or without Motion, signifies
nothing else, but idleness.
98. Know generally, O Son, That whatsoever is in the World is moved
either according to Augmentation or Diminution.
99. But that which is moved, liveth also, yet it is not necessary, that
a living thing should be or continue the same.
100. For while the whole World is together, it is unchangeable, O Son,
but all the parts thereof are changeable.
101. Yet nothing is corrupted or destroyed, and quite abolished but the
names trouble men.
102. For Generation is not Life, but Sense; neither is Change Death,
but Forgetfulness, or rather Occultation, and lying hid. Or better thus.
For Generation is not a Creation of Life, but a Production of Things to
Sense, and making them Manifest. Neither is Change Death, but an
Occultation or Hiding of that which was.
103. These things being so, all things are Immortal, Matter, Life,
Spirit, Soul, Mind, whereof every living thing consisteth.
104. Every living thing therefore is Immortal, because of the Mind, but
especially Man, who both receiveth God, and converseth with him.
105. For with this living wight alone is God familiar; in the night by
dreams, in the day by Symbols or; Signs.
106. And by all things cloth he foretell him of things to come, by
Birds, by Fowls, by the Spirit, or Wind, and by an Oak.
107. Wherefore also Man professeth to know things that: have been,
things that are present, and things to come.
108. Consider this also, O Son, That every living Creature goeth upon
one part of the World, Swimming things in Water, Land wights upon the
Earth, Flying Fowls in the Air.
109. But Man useth all these, the Earth, the Water, the Air, and the
Fire, nay, he seeth and toucheth Heaven by his Sense.
110. But God is both about all things, and through all things, for he
is both Act and Power.
111. And it is no hard thing, O Son, to understand God.
112. And if thou wilt also see him, look upon the Necessity of things
that appear, and the Providence of things that have been, and are done.
113. See the Matter being most full of Life, and so great a God moved
with all Good, and Fair, both Gods, and Demons, and Men.
114. Tat. But these, O Father, are wholly Acts or Operations.
115. Hermes. If they be therefore wholly Acts or Operations, O Son, by
whom are they acted or operated, but by God?
116. Or art thou ignorant, that as the parts of the World, are Heaven,
and Earth, and Water, and Air; after the same manner the Members of God,
are Life, and Immortality, and Eternity, and Spirit, and Necessity, and
Providence, and Nature, and Soul, and Mind, and the Continuance or
Perseverance of all these which is called Good.
117. And there is not any thing of all that hath been, and al1 that is,
where God is not.
118. Tat. What in the Matter, O Father?
119. Hermes. The Matter, Son, what is it without God, that thou
shouldst ascribe a proper place to it?
120. Or what cost thou think it to be? peradventure some heap that is
not actuated or operated.
121. But if it be actuated, by whom is it actuated? for we have said,
that Acts or Operations, are the parts of God.
122. By whom are all living things quickened? and the Immortal, by whom
are they immortalized? the things that are changeable, by whom are they
123. Whether thou speak of Matter, or Body, or Essence, know that all
these are acts of God.
124. And that the Act of Matter is materiality, and of the Bodies
corporality, and of Essence essentiality; and this is God the whole.
125. And in the whole, there is nothing that is not God.
126. Wherefore about God, there is neither Greatness, Place, Quality,
Figure, or Time; for he is All, and the All, through all, and about all.
127. This Word, O Son, worship and adore. And the only service of God,
is not to be evil.
1. The Workman made this Universal
World, not with his Hands, but his Word.
2. Therefore thus think of him, as present everywhere, and being
always, and making all things, and one above, that by his Will hath framed
the things that are.
3. For that is his Body, not tangible, nor visible, nor measurable, nor
extensible, nor like any other body.
4. For it is neither Fire, nor Water, nor Air, nor Wind, but all these
things are of him, for being Good, he hath dedicated that name unto
5. But he would also adorn the Earth, but with the Ornament of a Divine
6. And he sent Man an Immortal and a Mortal wight.
7. And Man had more than all living Creatures, and the World, because
of his Speech, and Mind.
8. For Man became the spectator of the Works of God, and wondered, and
acknowledged the Maker.
9. For he divided Speech among all men, but not Mind, and yet he envied
not any, for Envy comes not thither, but is of abode here below in the
Souls of men, that have not the Mind.
10. Tat. But wherefore, Father, did not God distribute the Mind to all
11. Because it pleased him, O Son, to set that in the middle among all
souls as a reward to strive for.
12. Tat. And where hath he set it?
13. Hermes. Filling a large Cup or Bowl therewith, he sent it down,
giving also a Cryer or Proclaimer.
14. And he commanded him to proclaim these things to the souls of men.
15. Dip and wash thyself, thou that art able, in this Cup or Bowl; Thou
that believes", that thou shalt return to him that sent this Cup; thou
that acknowledgest whereunto thou wert made.
16. As many therefore as understood the Proclamation, and were baptised
or dowsed into the Mind, these were made partakers of Knowledge, and
became perfect men, receiving the Mind.
17. But as many as missed of the Proclamation, they received Speech,
but not Mind, being ignorant whereunto they were made, or by whom.
18. But their senses are just like to brute Beasts, and having their
temper in Anger and Wrath, they do not admire the things worthy of looking
19. But wholly addicted to the pleasures and desires of the Bodies,
they believe that man was made for them.
20. But as many as partook of the gift of God, these, O Tat, in
comparison of their works, are rather immortal than mortal men.
21. Comprehending all things in their Mind, which are upon the Earth,
which are in Heaven, and if there be anything above Heaven.
22. And lifting up themselves so high, they see the Good, and seeing
it, they account it a miserable calamity to make their abode here.
23. And despising all things bodily and unbodily, they make haste to
the One and Only.
24. Thus, O Tat, is the Knowledge of the Mind, the beholding of Divine
Things, and the Understanding of God, the Cup itself being Divine.
25. Tat. And I, O Father, would be baptised and drenched therein.
26. Hermes. Except thou first hate thy body, O Son, thou canst not love
thy self; but loving thy self, thou shalt have the Mind, and having the
Mind, thou shalt also partake the Knowledge or Science.
27. Tat. HOW meanest thou that, O Father?
28. Hermes. Because it is impossible, O Son, to be conversant about
things Mortal and Divine.
29. For the things that are, being two Bodies, and things incorporeal,
wherein is the Mortal and the Divine, the Election or Choice of either is
left to him that will choose; For no man can choose both.
30. And of which soever the choice is made, the other being diminished
or overcome, magnifieth the act and operation of the other.
31. The choice of the hefter therefore is not only best for him that
chooseth it, by deifying a man; but it also sheweth Piety and Religion
32. But the choice of the worse destroys a man, but cloth nothing
against God; save that as Pomps or Pageants, when they come abroad, cannot
do any thing themselves, but hinder; after the same manner also do these
make Pomps or Pageants in the World, being seduced by the pleasures of the
33. These things being so, O Tat, that things have been, and are so
plenteously ministered to us from God; let them proceed also from us,
without any scarcity or sparing.
34. For God is innocent or guiltless, but we are the causes of Evil,
preferring them before the Good.
35. Thou seest, O Son, how many Bodies we must go beyond, and how many
choirs of Demons, and what continuity and courses of Stars, that we may
make haste to the One, and only God.
36. For the Good is not to be transcended, it is unbounded and
infinite; unto itself without beginning, but unto us, seeming to have a
beginning, even our knowledge of it.
37. For our knowledge is not the beginning of it, but shews us the
beginning of its being known unto us.
38. Let us therefore lay hold of the beginning and we shall quickly go
through all things.
39. It is indeed a difficult thing, to leave those things that are
accustomable, and present, and turn us to those things that are ancient,
and according to the original.
40. For these things that appear, delight us, but make the things that
appear not, hard to believe, or the Things that Appear not, are Hard to
4I. The things most apparent are Evil, but the Good is secret, or hid
in, or to the things that appear
for it hath neither Form nor Figure.
42. For this cause it is like to itself, but unlike every thing else;
for it is impossible, that any thing incorporeal, should be made known, or
appear to a Body.
43. For this is the difference between the like and the unlike, and the
unlike wanteth always somewhat of the like.
44. For the Unity, Beginning, and Root of all things, as being the Root
45. Nothing is without a beginning, but the Beginning is of nothing,
but of itself; for it is the Beginning of all other things.
46. Therefore it is, seeing it is not from another beginning.
47. Unity therefore being the Beginning, containeth every number, but
itself is contained of none, and begetteth every number, itself being
begotten of no other number.
48. Every thing that is begotten (or made) is imperfect, and may be
divided, increased, diminished.
49. But to the perfect, there happeneth none of these.
50. And that which is increased, is increased by Unity, but is consumed
and vanished through weakness, being not able to receive the Unity.
51. This Image of God, have I described to thee, O Tat, as well as I
could; which if thou do diligently consider, and view by the eyes of thy
mind, and heart, believe me, Son, thou shalt find the way to the things
above, or rather the Image itself will lead thee.
52. But the spectacle or sight, hath this peculiar and proper; Them
that can see, and behold it, it holds fast and draws unto it, as they say,
the Loadstone cloth Iron.
1. Yesterday, Asclepius, I delivered a
perfect Discourse; but now I think it necessary, in suite of that, to
dispute also of Sense.
2. For Sense and Understanding seem to differ, because the one is
material, the other essential.
3. But unto me, they appear to be both one, or united, and not divided
in men, I mean.
4. For in other living Creatures, Sense is united unto Nature but in
men to Understanding.
5. But the Mind differs from Understanding, as much as God from
6. For Divinity is from or under God, and Understanding from the Mind,
being the sister of the Word or Speech, and they the Instruments one of
7. For-neither is the Word pronounced without Understanding, neither is
Understanding manifested without the Word.
8. Therefore Sense and Understanding do both flow together into a man,
as if they were infolded one within another.
9. For neither is it possible without Sense to Understand, nor can we
have Sense without Understanding.
10. And yet it is possible (for the Time being) that the Understanding
may understand without Sense, as they that fantasy Visions in their
11. But it seems unto me, that both the operations are in the Visions
of Dreams, and that the Sense is stirred up out of sleep, unto awaking.
12. For man is divided into a Body and a Soul; when both parts of the
Sense accord one with another, then is the understanding childed, or
brought forth by the Mind pronounced.
13. For the Mind brings forth all Intellections or Understandings. Good
ones w hen it receiveth good Seed from God; and the contrary when it
receives them from Devils.
14. For there is no part of the World void of the Devil, which entering
in privately, sowed the seed of his own proper operation; and the Mind did
make pregnant, or did bring forth that which was sown, Adulteries,
Murders, Striking of Parents, Sacrileges, Impieties, Stranglings, throwing
down headlong, and all other things which are the works of evil Demons.
15. And the Seeds of God are few but Great, and Fair, and Good Virtue,
and Temperance, and Piety.
I6. And the Piety is the Knowledge of God, whom whosoever knoweth being
full of all good things, hath Divine Understanding and not like the Many.
17. And therefore they that have that Knowledge neither please the
multitude, nor the multitude them, but they seem to be mad, and to move
laughter, hated and despised, and many times also murdered.
18. For we have already said, That wickedness must dwell here, being in
her own region.
19. For her region is the Earth, and not the World, as some will
sometimes say, Blaspheming.
20. But the Godly or God-worshipping Man laying hold on Knowledge, will
despise or tread under all these things; for though they be evil to other
men, yet to him all things are good.
21. And upon mature consideration, he refers all things to Knowledge,
and that which is most to be wondered at, he alone makes evil things good.
22. But I return again to my Discourse of Sense.
23. It is therefore a thing proper to Man, to communicate and conjoin
Sense and Understanding.
24. But every man, as I said before, cloth not enjoy Understanding; for
one man is material, another essential.
25. And he that is material with wickedness as I said, received from
the Devils the Seed of Understanding; but they that are with the Good
essentially, are saved with God.
26. For God is the Workman of all things; and when he worketh he useth
27. He maketh all things good like himsel£
28. But these things that are made good, are in the use of Operation,
29. For the Motion of the World stirring up Generations, makes
Qualities, infecting some with evilness, and purifying some with good.
30 And the World, Asclepius, hath a peculiar Sense and Understanding,
not like to Man's, nor so various or manifold, but a better and more
31. For this Sense and Understanding of the World is One, in that it
makes all things, and unmakes them again into itself; for it is the Organ
or Instrument of the Will of God.
32. And it is so organized or framed, and made for an Instrument by
God; that receiving all Seeds into itself from God, and keeping them in
itself, it maketh all things effectually and dissolving them, reneweth all
33. And therefore like a good Husband-man of Life, when things are
dissolved or loosened, he affords by the casting of Seed, renovation to
all things that grow.
34. There is nothing that it (the World) cloth not beget or bring forth
alive; and by its Motion, it makes all things alive.
35. And it is at once, both the Place and the Workman of Life.
36. But the Bodies are from the Matter, in a different manner; for some
are of the Earth, some of Water, some of Air, some of Fire, and all are
compounded, but some are more compounded, and some are more simple.
37. They that are compounded, are the heavier, and they that are less,
are the higher.
38. And the swiftness of the Motion of the World, makes the varieties
of the Qualities of Generation, for the spiration or influence, being most
frequent, extendeth unto the Bodies qualities with one fulness, which is
39. Therefore, God is the Father of the World, but the World is the
Father of things in the World.
40. And the World is the Son of God, but things in the World are the
Sons of the World.
41. And therefore it is well called the World, that is an Ornament,
because it adorneth and beautifieth all things with the variety of
Generation, and indeficiency of Life, which the unweariedness of
Operation, and the swiftness of Necessity with the mingling of Elements,
and the order of things done.
42. Therefore it is necessarily and properly called the World.
43. For of all living things, both the Sense and the Understanding,
cometh into them from without, inspired by that which compasseth them
about, and continueth them.
44. And the World receiving it once from God as soon as it was made,
hath it still, What Ever it Once Had.
45. But God is not as it seems to some who Blaspheme through
superstition, without Sense, and without Mind, or Understanding.
46. For all things that are, O Asclepius, are in God, and made by him,
and depend of him, some working by Bodies, some moving by a Soul-like
Essence, some quickening by a Spirit, and some receiving the things that
are weary, and all very fitly.
47. Or rather, I say, that he hath them not, but I declare the Truth,
He is All Things, not receiving them from without, but exhibiting them
48. And this is the Sense and Understanding of God, to move all things
49. And there never shall be any time, when any of those things that
are, shall fail or be wanting.
50. When I say the things that are, I mean God, for the things that
are, God hash; and neither is there anything without him, nor he without
51. These things, O Asclepius, will appear to be true, if thou
understand them, but if thou understand them not, incredible.
52. For to understand, is to believe, but not to believe, is not to
understand; For my speech or words reach not unto the Truth, but the Mind
is great, and being led or conducted for a while by Speech, is able to
attain to the Truth.
53. And understanding all things round about, and finding them
consonant, and agreeable to those things that were delivered and
interpreted by Speech, believeth; and in that good belief, resteth.
54. To them, therefore, that understand the things that have been said
of God, they are credible, but to them that understand them not,
55. And let these and thus many things be spoken concerning
Understanding and Sense.
1. Tat. Thou hast well explained these
things, Father: Teach me furthermore these things; for thou sayest, that
Science and Art were the Operations of the rational, but now thou sayest
that Beasts are unreasonable, and for want of reason, both are and are
called Brutes; so that by this Reason, it must needs follow that
unreasonable Creatures partake not of Science, or Art, because they come
short of Reason.
2. Hermes. It must needs be so, Son.
3. Tat. Why then, O Father, do we see some unreasonable living
Creatures use both Science and Art? as the Pismires treasure up for
themselves food against the Winter, and Fowls of the Air likewise make
them Nests, and four-footed Beasts know their own Dens.
4. These things they do, O Son, not by Science or Art, but by Nature;
for Science or Art are things that are taught, but none of these brute
Beasts are taught any of these things.
5. But these things being Natural unto them, are wrought by Nature,
whereas Art and Science do not happen unto all, but unto some.
6. As men are Musicians, but not all; neither are all Archers or
Huntsmen, or the rest, but some of thenn have learned something by the
working of Science or Art.
7. After the same manner also, if some Pismires did so, and some not,
thou mightest well say, they gather their food according to Science and
8. But seeing they are all led by Nature, to the same thing, even
against their wills, it is manifest they do not do it by Science or Art.
9. For Operations, O Tat, being unbodily, are in Bodies, and work by
10. Wherefore, O Tat, in as much as they are unbodily, thou must needs
say they are immortal.
11. But in as much as they cannot act without Bodies, I say, they are
always in a Body.
12. For those things that are to any thing, or for the cause of any
thing made subject to Providence or Necessity, cannot possibly remain idle
of their own proper Operation.
13. For that which is, shall ever be; for both the Body, and the Life
of it, is the same.
14. And by this reason, it follows, that the Bodies also are always,
because I affirm: That this corporiety is always by the Act and Operation,
or for them.
15. For although earthly bodies be subject to dissolution; yet these
bodies must be the Places, and the Organs, and Instruments of Acts or
16. But Acts or Operations are immortal, and that which is immortal, is
always in Act, and therefore also Corporification if it be always.
17. Acts or Operations do follow the Soul, yet come not suddenly or
promiscuously, but some of them come together with being made man, being
about brutish or unreasonable things.
18, But the purer Operations do insensibly in the change of time, work
with the oblique part of the Soul.
19. And these Operations depend upon Bodies, and truly they that are
Corporifying come from the Divine Bodies into Mortal ones.
20. But every one of them acteth both about the Body and the Soul, and
are present with the Soul, even without the Body.
21. And they are always Acts or Operations, but the Soul is not always
in a Mortal Body, for it can be without a Body, but Acts or Operations
cannot be without Bodies.
22 This is a sacred speech, Son, the Body cannot Consist without a
23. Tat. How meanest thou that, Father?
24. Hermes. Understand it thus, O Tat, When the Soul is separated from
the Body, there remaineth that same Body.
25. And this same Body according to the time of its abode, is actuated
or operated in that it is dissolved and becomes invisible.
26. And these things the Body cannot suffer without act or operation,
and consequently there remaineth with the Body the same act or operation.
27. This then is the difference between an Immortal Body, and a Mortal
one, that the immortal one consists of one Matter, and so doth not the
mortal one; and the immortal one doth, but this suffereth.
28. And everything that acteth or operateth is stronger, and ruleth;
but that which is actuated or operated, is ruled.
29. And that which ruleth, directeth and governeth as free, but the
other is ruled, a servant.
30. Acts or Operations do not only actuate or operate living or
breathing or insouled Bodies, but also breathless Bodies, or without
Souls, Wood, and Stones, and such like, increasing and hearing fruit,
ripening, corrupting, rotting, putrifying and breaking, or working such
like things, and whatsoever inanimate Bodies can suffer.
31. Act or Operation, O Son, is called, whatsoever is, or is made or
done, and there are always many things made, or rather all things.
32 For the World is never widowed or forsaken of any of those things
that are, but being always carried or moved in itself, it is in labour to
bring forth the things that are, which shall never be left by it to
33. Let therefore every act or operation be understood to be always
immortal, in what manner of Body soever it be.
34. But some Acts or Operations be of Divine, some of corruptible
Bodies, some universal, some peculiar, and some of the generals, and some
of the parts of every thing.
35. Divine Acts or Operations therefore there be, and such as work or
operate upon their proper Bodies, and these also are perfect, and being
upon or in perfect Bodies.
36. Particular are they which work by any of the living Creatures.
37. Proper, be they that work upon any of the things that are.
38. By this Discourse, therefore, O Son, it is gathered that all things
are full of Acts or Operations.
39. For if necessarily they be in every Body, and that there be many
Bodies in the World, I may very well affirm, that there be many other Acts
40. For many times in one Body, there is one, and a second, and a
third, besides these universal ones that follow.
41. And universal Operations, I call them that are indeed bodily, and
are done by the Senses and Motions.
42. For without these it is impossible that the Body should consist.
43. But other Operations are proper to the Souls of Men, by Arts,
Sciences, Studies, and Actions.
44. The Senses also follow these Operations, or rather are the effects
or perfections of them.
45, Understand therefore, O Son, the difference of Operations, it is
sent from above.
46. But sense being in the Body, and having its essence from it, when
it receiveth Act or Operation, manifesteth it, making it as it were
47. Therefore, I say, that the Senses are both corporeal and mortal,
having so much existence as the Body, for they are born with the Body, and
die with it.
48. But mortal things themselves have not Sense, as Not consisting of
such an Essence.
49. For Sense can be no other than a corporeal apprehension, either of
evil or good that comes to the Body.
50. But to Eternal Bodies there is nothing comes, nothing departs;
therefore there is no sense in them.
51. Tat. Doth the Sense therefore perceive or apprehend in every Body.
52. Hermes. In every Body, O Son.
53. Tat. And do the Acts or Operations work in all things?
54. Hermes. Even in things inanimate, O Son, but there are differences
55. For the Senses of things rational, are with Reason; of things
unreasonable, Corporeal only, but the Senses of things inanimate are
passive only, according to Augmentation and Diminution.
56. But Passion and Sense depend both upon one head, or height, and are
gathered together into the same, by Acts or Operations.
57. But in living wights there be two other Operations that follow the
Senses and Passions, to wit, Grief and Pleasure.
58. And without these, it is impossible that a living wight, especially
a reasonable one, should perceive or apprehend.
59. And therefore, I say, that these are the Ideas of Passions that
bear rule, especially in reasonable living wights.
60. The Operations work indeed, but the Senses do declare and manifest
the Operations, and they being bodily, are moved by the brutish parts of
the Soul therefore I say, they are both maleficial or doers of evil.
61. For that which affords the Sense to rejoice with Pleasure is
straightway the cause of many evils happening to him that suffers it.
62. But Sorrows gives stronger torments and Anguish, therefore
doubtless are they both maleficial.
63. The same may be said of the Sense of the Soul.
64. Tat. Is not the Soul incorporeal, and the Sense a Body, Father? or
is it rather in the Body.
65. Hermes. If we put it in a Body, O Son, we shall make it like the
Soul or the Operations, for these being unbodily, we say are in Bodies.
66. But Sense is neither Operation, nor Soul, nor anything else that
belongs to the Body, but as we have said, and therefore it is not
67. And if it be not incorporeal it must needs be a Body; for we always
say, that of things that are, some are Bodies and some incorporeal.
1. Hermes. Of Truth, O Tat, it is not
possible that man being an imperfect wight, compounded of imperfect
Members, and having his Tabernacle consisting of different and many
Bodies, should speak with any confidence.
2. But as far as it is possible, and just, I say, That Truth is only in
the Eternal Bodies, whose very Bodies be also true.
3. The Fire is fire itself only, and nothing else; the Earth is earth
itself and nothing else; the air is air itself and nothing else; the
water, water itself and nothing else.
4. But our Bodies consist of all these; for they have of the Fire, they
have of the Earth, they have of the Water, and Air, and yet there is
neither Fire, nor Earth, nor Water, nor Air, nor anything true.
5. And if at the Beginning our Constitution had not Truth, how could
men either see the Truth, or speak it, or understand it only, except God
6. All things therefore upon Earth, O Tat, are not Truth, but
imitations of the Truth, and yet not all things neither, for they are but
few that are so.
7. But the other things are Falsehood, and Deceit, O Tat, and Opinions
like the Images of the fantasy or appearance.
8. And when the fantasy hath an influence from above, then it is an
imitation of Truth, but without that operation from above, it is left a
9. And as an Image shews the Body described, and yet is not the Body of
that which is seen, as it seems to be, and it is seen to have eyes, but it
sees nothing, and ears, but hears nothing at all; and all other things
hath the picture, but they are false, deceiving the eyes of the beholder,
whilst they think they see the Truth, and yet they are indeed but lies.
10. As many therefore as see not Falsehood, see the Truth.
11. If therefore we do so understand, and see every one of these things
as it is, then we see and understand true things.
12. But if we see or understand any thing besides or otherwise than
that which is, we shall neither understand, nor know the Truth.
13. Tat. Is Truth therefore upon Earth, O Father?
14. Hermes. Thou cost not miss the mark, O Son. Truth indeed is nowhere
at all upon Earth, O Tat, for it cannot be generated or made.
15. But concerning the Truth, it may be that some men, to whom God will
give the good seeing Power, may understand it.
16. So that unto the Mind and reason, there is nothing true indeed upon
17. But unto the True Mind and Reason, all things are fantasies or
appearances, and op1nions.
18. Tat. Must we not therefore call it Truth, to understand and speak
the things that are?
19. Hermes. But there is nothing true upon Earth.
20. Tat. How then is this true, That we do not know anything true? how
can that be done here?
21. Hermes. O Son, Truth is the most perfect Virtue, and the highest
Good itself, not troubled by Matter, not encompassed by a Body, naked,
clear, unchangeable, venerable, unalterable Good.
22 But the things that are here, O Son, are visible, incapable of Good,
corruptible, passible, dissolvable, changeable, continually altered, and
made of another.
23. The things therefore that are not true to themselves, how can they
24. For every thing that is altered, is a lie, not abiding in what it
is; but being changed it shews us always, other and other appearances.
25. Tat. Is not man true, O Father?
26. Hermes. AS far forth as he is a Man, he is not true, Son; for that
which is true, hath of itself alone its constitution and remains, and
abides according to itself, such as it is.
27. But man consists of many things and doth not abide of himself but
is turned and changed, age after age, Idea after Idea, or form after form,
and this while he is yet in the Tabernacle.
28. And many have not known their own children after a little while,
and many children likewise have not known their own Parents.
29. Is it then possible, O Tat, that he who is so changed, is not to be
known, should be true? No, on the contrary, he is Falsehood, being in many
Appearances of changes.
30. But do thou understand the true to be that which abides the same,
and is Eternal, but man is not ever, therefore not True, but man is a
certain Appearance, and Appearance is the highest Lie or Falsehood.
31. Tat. But these Eternal Bodies, Father, are they not true though
they be changed?
32. Hermes. Everything that is begotten or made, and changed is not
true, but being made by our Progenitor, they might have had true Matter.
33. But these also have in themselves, something that is false in
regard of their change.
34. For nothing that remains not in itself, is True.
35. Tat. What shall one say then, Father, that only the Sun which
besides the Nature of other things, is not changed, but abides in itself,
36. Hermes. It is Truth, and therefore is he only intrusted with the
Workmanship of the World, ruling and making all things whom I do both
honour, and adore his Truth; and after the One, and First, I acknowledge
him the Workman.
37. Tat. What therefore doth thou affirm to be the first Truth, O
38. Hermes. The One and Only, O Tat, that is not of Matter, that is not
in a body, that is without Colour, without Figure or Shape, Immutable,
Unalterable, which always is; but Falsehood, O Son, is corrupted.
39. And corruption hath laid hold upon all things on Earth, and the
Providence of the True encompasseth, and will encompass them.
40. For without corruption, there can no Generation consist.
41. For Corruption followeth every Generation, that it may again be
42. For those things that are generated, must of necessity be generated
of those things that are corrupted, and the things generated must needs be
corrupted, that the Generation of things being, may not stand still or
43. Acknowledge therefore the first Workman by the Generation of
44. Consequently the things that are generated of Corruption are false,
as being sometimes one thing, sometimes another: For it is impossible they
should be made the same things again, and that which is not the same, how
is it true?
45. Therefore, O Son, we must call these things fantasies or
46. And if we will give a man his right name, we must call him the
appearance of Manhood; and a Child, the fantasy or appearance of a Child;
an old man, the appearance of an old man; a young man, the appearance of a
young man; and a man of ripe age, the appearance of a man of ripe age.
47. For neither is a man, a man; nor a child, a child; nor a young man,
a young man; nor an old man, an old man.
48 But the things that pre-exist and that are, being changed are false.
49. These things understand thus, O Son, as these false Operations,
having their dependence from above, even of the truth itself.
50. Which being so, I do affirm that Falsehood is the Work of Truth.
1. Hermes. We must now speak of the
Soul and Body, O Son; after what manner the Soul is Immortal, and what
operation that is, which constitutes the Body, and dissolves it.
2. But in none of these is Death, for it is a conception of a name,
which is either an empty word, or else it is wrongly called Death (by the
taking away the first letter,) instead of Immortal. [Thanatos for
3. For Death is destruction, but there is nothing in the whole world
that is destroyed.
4. For if the World be a second God, and an Immortal living Wight, it
is impossible that any part of an Immortal living Wight should die.
5. But all things that are in the World, are members of the World,
especially Man, the reasonable living Wight.
6. For the first of all is God, the Eternal and Unmade, and the Workman
of all things.
7. The second is the World, made by him, after his own Image and by him
holden together, and nourished, nd immortalized; and as from its own
Father, ever living.
8. So that as Immortal, it is ever living, and ever immortal.
9. For that which is ever living, differs from that which is eternal.
10. For the Eternal was not begotten, or made by another; and if it
were begotten or made, yet it was made by itself, not by any other, but it
is always made.
11. For the Eternal, as it is Eternal, is the Universe.
12. For the Father himself, is Eternal of himself, but the World was
made by the Father, ever living and immortal.
13. And as much Matter as there was laid up by him, the Father made it
all into a Body, and swelling it, made it round like a Sphere, endued it
with Quality, being itself immortal, and having Eternal Materiality.
14. The Father being full of Ideas, sowed Qualities in the Sphere, and
shut them up, as in a Circle, deliberating to beautify with every Quality,
that which should afterwards be made.
15. Then clothing the Universal Body with Immortality, lest the Matter,
if it would depart from this Composition, should be dissolved into its own
16. For when the Matter was incorporeal, O Son, it was disordered, and
it hath here the same confusion daily revolved about other little things,
endued with Qualities, in point of Augmentation, and Diminution, which men
call Death, being indeed a disorder happening about earthly living wights.
17. For the Bodies of Heavenly things have one order, which they have
received from the Father at the Beginning, and is by the instauration of
each of them, kept indissolveable.
18. But the instauration of earthly Bodies, is their consistence; and
their dissolution restores them into indissoluble, that is, Immortal.
19. And so there is made a privation of Sense, but not a destruction of
20. Now the third living wight is Man, made after the Image of the
World; and having by the Will of the Father, a Mind above other earthly
21. And he hath not only a sympathy with the second God, but also an
understanding of the first.
22. For the second God, he apprehends as a Body but the first, he
understands as Incorporeal, and the Mind of the Good.
23. Tat. And doth not this living Wight perish?
24. Hermes. Speak advisedly, O Son, and learn what God is, what the
World, what an Immortal Wight, and what a dissolvable One is.
25. And understand that the World is of God and in God; but Man of the
World and in the World.
26. The Beginning, and End, and Consistence of all, is God.
1. Because my Son Tat, in thy absence,
would needs learn the Nature of the things that are: He would not suffer
me to give over (as coming very young to the knowledge of every
individual) till I was forced to discourse to him many things at large,
that his contemplation might from point to point, be more easy and
2. But to thee I have thought good to write in few words, choosing out
the principal heads of the things then spoken, and to interpret them more
mystically, because thou hast, both more years, and more knowledge of
3. All things that appear, were made, and are made.
4. Those things that are made, are not made by themselves, but by
5. And there are many things made, but especially all things that
appear, and which are different, and not like.
6. If the things that be made and done, be made and done by another,
there must be one that must make, and do them; and he unmade, and more
ancient than the things that are made.
7. For I affirm the things that are made, to be made by another; and it
is impossible, that of the things that are made any should be more ancient
than all, but only that which is not made.
8. He is stronger, and One, and only knowing all things indeed, as not
having any thing more ancient than himself.
9. For he bears rule, both over multitude, and greatness, and the
diversity of the things that are made, and the continuity of the Facture
and of the Operation.
10. Moreover, the things that are made, are visible, but he is
invisible; and for this cause, he maketh them, that he may be visible; and
therefore he makes them always.
11. Thus it is fit to understand and understanding to admire and
admiring to think thy self happy, that knowest thy natural Father.
12. For what is sweeter than a Natural Father?
13. Who therefore is this, or how shall we know him?
14. Or is it just to ascribe unto him alone, the Title and Appellation
of God, or of the Maker, or of the Father, or of all Three? That of God
because of his Power; the Maker because of his Working and Operation; and
the Father, because of his Goodness.
15. For Power is different from the things that are made, but Act or
Operation, in that all things are made.
16. Wherefore, letting go all much and vain talking, we must understand
these two things, That Which is Made, and Him Which is the Maker; for
there is nothing in the middle, between these Two, nor is there any third.
17. Therefore understanding All things, remember these Two; and think
that these are All things, putting nothing into doubt; neither of the
things above, nor of the things below; neither of things changeable, nor
things that are in darkness or secret.
18. For All things, are but two Things, That which Maketh, and that
which is Made, and the One of them cannot depart, or be divided from the
19. For neither is it possible that the maker should be without the
thing made, for either of them is the self-same thing; therefore cannot
the One of them be separated from the other, no more than a thing can be
separated from itself.
20. For if he that makes be nothing else, but that which makes alone,
Simple, Uncompounded, it is of necessity, that he makes the same thing to
himself, to whom it is the Generation of him that maketh to be also All
that is made.
21. For that which is generated or made, must necessarily be generated
or made by another, but without the Maker that which is made, neither is
made, nor is; for the one of them without the other, hath lost his proper
Nature by the privation of the other.
22. So if these Two be confessed, That which maketh, and that which is
made, then they are One in Union, this going before, and that following.
23. And that which goeth before, is, God the Maker, and that which
follows is, that which is made, be it what it will.
24. And let no man be afraid because of the variety of things that are
made or done, lest he should cast an aspersion of baseness, or infamy upon
God, for it is the only Glory of him to do, or make All things.
25. And this making, or facture is as it were the Body of God, and to
him that maketh or doth, there is nothing evil, or filthy to be imputed,
or There is Nothing thought Evil or Filthy.
26. For these are Passions that follow Generation as Rust doth Copper,
or as Excrements do the Body.
27. But neither did the Copper-smith make the Rust, nor the Maker the
Filth, nor God the Evilness.
28. But the vicissitude of Generation doth make them, as it were to
blossom out; and for this cause did make Change to be, as one should say,
The Purgation of Generation.
29. Moreover, is it lawful for the same Painter to make both Heaven,
and the Gods, and the Earth, and the Sea, and Men, and brute Beasts, and
inanimate Things, and Trees; and is it impossible for God to make these
things? O the great madness, and ignorance of men in things that concern
30. For men that think so, suffer that which is most ridiculous of all;
for professing to bless and praise God yet in not ascribing to him the
making or doing of All things, they know him not.
31. And besides their not knowing him, they are extremely impious
against him, attributing unto him Passions, as Pride, or Oversight, or
Weakness, or Ignorance, or Envy.
32. For if he do not make or do all things, he is either proud or not
able, or ignorant, or envious, which is impious to affirm.
33. For God hath only one Passion, namely Good and he that is good is
neither proud, nor impotent, nor the rest, but God is Good itself.
34. For Good is all power, to do or make all things, and every thing
that is made, is made by God, that is by the Good and that can make or do
35. See then how he maketh all things, and how the things are done,
that are done, and if thou wilt learn, thou mayest see an Image thereof,
very beautiful, and like.
36. Look upon the Husbandman, how he casteth Seeds into the Earth, here
Wheat, there Barley, and elsewhere some other Seeds.
37. Look upon the same Man, planting a Vine, or an Apple-Tree, or a
Fig-Tree, or some other Tree.
38. So doth God in Heaven sow Immortality, in the Earth Change in the
whole Life, and Motion.
39. And these things are not many, but few, and easily numbered for
they are all but four, God and Generation, in which are all things.