THE DIVINE PYMANDER
Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus
IN XVII. BOOKS.
Translated formerly out of the Arabick into Greek, and thence into Latine, and Dutch, and now out of the original into English; by Doctor [John] Everard.
London: Printed by Robert White, for Tho. Brewster, and Greg. Moule,
This Book may justly challenge the first place for antiquity, from all the Books in the World, being written some hundreds of years before Moses his time, as I shall endeavour to make good. The Original (as far as is known to us) is Arabic, and several Translations thereof have been published, as Greek, Latin, French, Dutch, etc., but never English before. It is pity the Learned Translator [Dr. Everard] had not lived, and received himself, the honour, and thanks due to him from the Englishmen for his good will to, and pains for them, in translating a Book of such infinite worth, out of the Original, into their Mother-tongue.
Concerning the Author of the Book itself, Four things are considerable, viz., His Name, Learning, Country, and Time.
1. The name by which he was commonly styled, is Hermes Trismegistus, i.e., Mercurius ter Maximus, or, The thrice greatest Intelligencer. And well might he be called Hermes, for he was the first Intelligencer in the World (as we read of) that communicated Knowledge to the sons of Men, by Writing, or Engraving. He was called Ter Maximus, for some Reasons, which I shall afterwards mention.
2. His Learning will appear, as by his Works; so by the right understanding the Reason of his Name.
3. For his Country, he was King of Egypt.
4. For his Time, it is not without much Controversy, betwixt those that write of this Divine, ancient Author, what time he lived in. Some say he lived after Moses his time, giving this slender Reason for it, viz., Because he was named Ter Maximus: for being preferred [Franciscus Flussas] (according to the Egyptian Customs) being chief Philosopher, to be chief of the Priesthood: and from thence, to be chief in Government, or King. But if this be all their ground, you must excuse my dissent from then, and that for this reason, Because according to the most learned of his followers [Geber, Paracelsus: Henricus Nollius in Theoria Philosophia Hermeticae, tractatu priimo.], he was called Ter Maximus; for having perfect, and exact Knowledge of all things contained in the World; which things he divided into Three Kingdoms (as he calls them), viz., Mineral, Vegetable, Animal; which Three, he did excel in the right understanding of; also, because he attained to, and transmitted to Posterity (although in an Aenigmatical, and obscure style) the Knowledge of the Quintessence of the whole Universe (which Universe, as I said before, he divided into Three Parts) otherwise called, The great Elixir of the Philosophers; which is the Receptacle of all Celestial and Terrestrial Virtues; which Secret, many ignorantly deny, many have chargeably sought after, yet few, but some, yea, and the Englishmen have happily found [Ripley, Bacon, Norton, etc.]. The Description of this great Treasure, is said to be found engraved upon a Smaragdine Table, in the Valley of Ebron, after the Flood. So that the Reason before alleged to prove this Author to live after Moses, seem invalid: neither doth it any way appear, that he lived in Moses his time, although it be the opinion of some, as of John Functius, who saith in his Chronology, That he lived Twenty-one years before the Law was given by Moses in the Wilderness; But the Reasons that he, and others give, are far weaker than those that I shall give, for his living before Moses his time. My reasons for that are these:--
First, Because it is received amongst the Ancients, that he was the first that invented the Art of communicating Knowledge to the World, by Writing or Engraving. Now if so, then in all probability he was before Moses; for it is said of Moses that he was from his childhood [Acts vii.22] skilled in all the Egyptian Learning, which could not well have been without the help of Literature, which we never read of any before that invented by Hermes [Chapter x.].
Secondly, he is said by himself, to be the son of Saturn and by others to be the Scribe of Saturn. Now Saturn according to Historians, lived in the time of Sarug, Abraham's great Grand-Father [Sanchoniathon]. I shall but take in Suidas his judgment, and so rest satisfied, that he did not live only before, but long before Moses; His words are these, Credo Mercurium Trismegistum sapientem Egyptium floruisse ante Pharaonem [Suidas].
In this Book, though so very old, is contained more true knowledge of God and Nature, than in all the Books in the World besides, except only Sacred Writ; And they that shall judiciously read it, and rightly understand it, may well be excused from reading many Books; the Authors of which, pretend so much to the knowledge of the Creator, and Creation. If God ever appeared in any man, he appeared in him, as it appears by this Book. That a man who had not the benefit of his Ancestors' knowledge, being as I said before, The first inventor of the Art of Communicating Knowledge to Posterity by writing, should be so high a Divine, and so deep a Philosopher, seems to be a thing more of God than of Man; and therefore it was the opinion of some That he came from Heaven, not born upon Earth [Goropius Becanus]. There is contained in this Book, that true Philosophy, without which, it is impossible ever to attain to the height, and exactness of Piety, and Religion. According to this Philosophy, I call him a Philosopher, 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; and he that doth so, will acknowledge thanks to, and admire the Omnipotent Creator, Preserver, and Director of all these things. And he that shall be thus truly thankful, may truly be called Pious and Religious: and he that is Religious, shall more and more know where and what the Truth is: And learning that, he shall yet be more and more Religious.
The glory and splendour of Philosophy, is an endeavoring to understand the chief Good, as the Fountain of all Good: Now how can we come near to, or find out the Fountain, but by making use of the Streams as a conduct to it? The operations of Nature, are Streams running from the Fountain of Good, which is God. I am not of the ignorant, and foolish opinion of those that say, The greatest Philosophers are the greatest Atheists: as if to know the works of God, and to understand his goings forth in the Way of Nature, must necessitate a man to deny God. The [Job] Scripture disapproves of this as a sottish tenet, and experience contradicts it: For behold! Here is the greatest Philosopher, and therefore the greatest Divine.
Read understandingly this ensuing Book (and for thy help thou mayest make use of that voluminous Commentary written upon it [Hanbal Offeli Alabar] ) then it will speak more for its Author, than can be spoken by any man, at least by me.
Thine in the love of Truth, J.F.
HERMES TRISMEGISTUS, HIS FIRST BOOK
1. O MY SON, write this First Book, both for Humanity's sake, and for Piety towards god.
2. 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.
3. What then should a man do, O Father, to lead his life well; seeing there is nothing here true?
4. Be Pious and Religious, O my Son; for he that doth so, is the best and highest Philosopher, and without Philosophy it is impossible ever to attain to the height and exactness of Piety and Religion.
5. 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.
6. For never, O my 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.
7. And let this, O Son, be the end of Religion and Piety; whereunto thou art once arrived, thou shalt both live well and die blessedly, whilst thy soul is not ignorant wither it must return, and fly back again.
8. For this only, O Son, is the way to 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.
9. For first must it war against its own self, and after much strife and dissention, it must be overcome of the part; for the contention is of one against two, whilst it flies away, and they strive to hold and detain it.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. All things that are moved, only that which is not is immoveable.
15. Every body is changeable.
16. Not every body is dissolveable.
17. Some bodies are dissolveable.
18. Every living being is not mortal.
19. Nor every living thing is immortal.
20. That which may be dissolved is also corruptible.
21. That which abides always is unchangeable.
22. That which is unchangeable is eternal.
23. That which is always made is always corrupted.
24. That which is made but once is never corrupted, neither becomes any other thing.
25. Firstly, God; secondly, the World; thirdly, Man.
26. The World for Man; Man for God.
27. Of the Soul; that part which is sensible is mortal, but that part which is reasonable is immortal.
28. Every Essence is immortal.
29. Every Essence is unchangeable.
30. Everything that is, is double.
31. None of the things that are stand still.
32. Not all things are moved by a soul, but everything that is, is moved by a soul.
33. Everything that suffers is sensible; everything that is sensible, suffereth.
34. Everything that is sad, rejoiceth also; and is a mortal living creature.
35. Not everything that joyeth is also sad, but is an eternal living thing.
36. Not every body is sick; every body that is sick is dissolveable.
37. The mind in God.
38. Reasoning (or disputing or discoursing) in Man.
39. Reason in the Mind.
40. The Mind is void of suffering.
41. No thing in a body true.
42. All that is incorporeal, is void of Lying.
43. Everything that is made is corruptible.
44. Nothing good upon Earth; nothing evil in Heaven.
45. God is good; Man is evil.
46. Good is voluntary, or of its own accord.
47. Evil is involuntary, or against its will.
48. The gods choose good things, as good things.
49. Time is a Divine thing.
50. Law is humane.
51. Malice is the nourishment of the World.
52. Time is the corruption of Man.
53. Whatsoever is in Heaven is unalterable.
54. All upon Earth is alterable.
55. Nothing in Heaven is servanted; nothing upon Earth free.
56. Nothing unknown in Heaven; nothing known upon Earth.
57. The things upon Earth communicate not with those in Heaven.
58. All things in Heaven are unblameable; all things upon Earth are subject to reprehension.
59. That which is immortal is not mortal; that which is mortal is not immortal.
60. That which is sown is not always begotten; but that which is begotten always is sown.
61. Of a dissolveable body, there are two times; one for sowing to generation, one from generation to death.
62. Of an everlasting Body, the time is only from the Generation.
63. Dissolveable Bodies are increased and diminished.
64. Dissolveable matter is altered into contraries; to wit, Corruption and Generation, but Eternal matter into itself, and its like.
65. The Generation of Man is corruption; the Corruption of Man is the beginning of Generation.
66. That which offsprings or begetteth another, is itself an offspring or begotten by another.
67. Of things that are, some are in bodies, some in their IDEAS.
68. Whasoever things belong to operation or working, are in a body.
69. That which is immortal, partakes not of that which is mortal.
70. That which is mortal cometh not into a Body immortal; but that which is immortal cometh into that which is mortal.
71. Operation or Workings are not carried upwards, but descend downwards.
72. Things upon Earth, do nothing advantage those in Heaven; but all things in Heaven do profit and advantage all things upon Earth.
73. Heaven is capable, and a fit receptacle of everlasting Bodies; the Earth of corruptible Bodies.
74. The Earth is brutish; the Heaven is reasonable or rational.
75. Those things that are in Heaven are subjected or placed under it, but the things on earth are placed upon it.
76. Heaven is the first element.
77. Providence is Divine order.
78. Necessity is the Minister or Servant of Providence.
79. Fortune is the carriage or effect of that which is without order; the Idol of operation, a lying Fantasie or opinion.
80. What is God? The immutable or unalterable good.
81. What is man? An unchangeable evil.
82. 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.
83. 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.
84. 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.
85. 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.
86. How does thou mean, O Father?
87. This 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 or 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.
88. 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 secret.
The End of THE FIRST BOOK OF HERMES....
THE SECOND BOOK, CALLED, POEMANDER
MY THOUGHTS being once seriously busied about things that are, and my Understanding lifted up, all my bodily Senses being exceedingly holden back, as it is with them that are heavy of sleep, by reason either of fulness of meat, or of bodily labour: Methought I saw one of an exceeding great stature, and of an infinite greatness, call me by my name, and say unto me, What wouldst thou hear and see? Or what wouldst thou understand to learn and know?
2. Then said I, Who are Thou? I am, quoth he, Poemander, the mind of the great Lord, the most mighty and absolute Emperor: I know what thou wouldst have, and I am always present with thee.
3. Then I said, I would learn the things that are, and understand the nature of them, and know God. How? said he. I answered that I would gladly hear. Then said he, Have me again in they mind, and whasoever though 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 exceeding 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, inasmuch as it seemed to have come from the Light.
6. Then from that Light, a certain holy Word joined itself unto Nature, and outflew the pure and unmixed Fire from the moist nature upwards on high; it was exceeding Light, and sharp, and operative withal. And the Air, which was also light, followed the Spirit and mourned 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 appeared 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, differ not one from the other; and the union of these is Life.
Trismeg.--I thank thee.
Pimand.--But first conceive well the Light in they mind, and know it.
10. When he had said thus, for a long time we 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 great moist Power, and constrained to keep its station.
12. These things I understood, seeing the word, or 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 or 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 from the downward 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 indeterminable 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 were 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 s 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 everyone made him partaker of his own order.
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 showed 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 operations 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 or Shape.
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 from 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, he is 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 Reason.
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 forthwith brought forth seven Men, all Males and Females, and sublime, or on high, according to the Natures of the seven Governors.
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 speech.
32. Trism. Behold, I am silent.
33. Pim. 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 desireth 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 straightways God said to the Holy Word, Increase in increasing and multiplying 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 are.
39. When he had thus said, Providence by Fate of 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 thro' the error of Love loved the Body, abideth wandering in darkness, sensible, suffering the things of death.
41. Trism. But why do they that are ignorant, sin so much, that they should therefore be deprived of immortality?
42. Pim. Thou seemest not to have understood what thou hast heard.
43. Trism. Peradventure I seem so to thee; but I both understand and remember them.
44. Pim. I am glad for thy sake if thou understoodest them.
45. Trism. Tell me why are they worthy of death, that are in death?
46. Pim. 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. Has thou understood this aright?
47. Trism. But why, or how doth he that understands himself, go or pass into God?
48. Pim. 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. Trism. Thou sayest very well.
50. Pim. 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. Trism. But yet tell me more, O my Mind, how I shall go into Life.
52. Pim. God saith, Let man, endued with a mind, mark, consider, and know himself well.
53. Trism. Have not all men a mind?
54. Pim. 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 or Doorkeeper, I will shut up the entrances of Evil, and cut off the thoughtful desires of filthy works.
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 revenging Demon, which applying unto him the sharpness of fire, tormenteth such a man sensible, and armeth him the more to all wickedness, that he may obtain the greater punishment.
57. And such an one never ceaseth, having unfulfiled desires, and unsatisfiable concupiscences, and always fighting in darkness; for the Demon always afflicts and tormenteth him continually, and increaseth the fire upon him more and more.
58. Trism. Thou hast, O Mind, most excellently taught me all things, as I desired; but tell me, moreover, after the return is made, what then?
59. Pim. 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 diminishing.
62. To the second, the machinations 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 the headlong rashness of confidence.
66. To the sixth, Evil and ineffectual occasions of Riches.
67. 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 to them.
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 desired.
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 Powers.
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 and Knowledge.
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, whereunto you are allured and visited 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 Offspring of 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 Ambrozian Water of Immortality.
81. And when it was evening and the brightness of the same began wholly to go down, I commanded them to go down, I commanded them to give thanks to God; and when they had finished their thanksgiving, everyone returned to his own lodging.
82. But I wrote in myself the bounty and benevolence of Pimander; and being filled with what I most desired, I was exceedingly 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 it 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 powers.
88. Holy is God, that determineth to be known, and is known by his own, or those that are his.
89. Holy art thou, that by thy Word has 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 stronger than all excellency.
94. Holy art thou, that art better than all praise.
95. Accept these reasonable sacrifices from a pure soul, and a heart that stretched out unto thee.
96. O 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 and Light.
99. Blessed art thou, O Father; thy man would be sanctified with thee, as thou hast given him all power.
The End of The Second Book, Called, POEMANDER....
THE THIRD BOOK, THE HOLY SERMON
THE glory of all things, God, and that which is Divine, and the Divine Nature, the beginning of things that are.
2. God, and the Mind, and Nature, and Matter, and Operation or Working, and Necessity, 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 in 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 of God.
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, all which had sowed in themselves the Seeds of Regeneration.
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 things.
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 Rememberances 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 worldly temperature should be renewed by Nature; for in that which is Divine is Nature also established.
The End of the Fragments of the Third Book, THE HOLY SERMON....
THE FOURTH BOOK, CALLED THE KEY
YESTERDAY'S Speech, O Asclepius, I dedicated to thee; this day it is fit to dedicate to Tat, because it is an Epitome of those general Speeches which 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 or Increase, which concerneth things changeable, and another about things unchangeable, and about things unmoveable, that is to say, Things Divine and Humane; every one of that 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 Humane, 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 are?
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 Sun.
9. For Good is always active or busy in making; and this cannot be 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 Spectacle.
13. Trism. 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 clearness.
14. For it is more swift and sharp to pierce, and innocent or harmless withal, and full of immortality; and they 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. Trism. I would we could, O Son; but for the present we are less intent to the Vision, and cannot yet open the eyes of our mind to behold the incorrputible and incomprehensible Beauty of that Good; but then we shall 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 anything else, nor hear any other thing, nor in sum move the Body.
18. For shining steadfastly upon and round 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 does thou mean deifying, Father?
21. Trism. There are differences, O Son, of every Soul.
22. Tat. But how dost thou again divide the changes?
23. Trism. Hast thou not heard in the general Speeches, that from one Soul of the universe are all those Souls which in 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 the 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 so this is the perfect glory of the Soul.
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, and not knowing itself, it serveth strange bodies and evil ones, carrying the Body as a burden, 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. Trism. 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 be otherwise.
36. Tat. Who, therefore, is this Material God?
37. Trism. 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 intellectual.
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 the head, wherin 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 and intellectual.
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 other 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 immortal.
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 Body.
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, and 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 Man, 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 meaneth thou, O Father?
54. Trism. Consider, O Son, the Soul of a Child, when as yet it hath as yet 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 as 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 that the Soul was the clothing or apparel of the Mind, and the Body of the Soul.
58. Trism. 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 passable Body of the Soul, as a covering or clothing. And the Soul being also in some sort Divine, useth the Spirit as her Minister or Servant; and the Spirit governeth the living things.
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 Body.
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 Angelic 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 the impious Soul abideth in its own offence, punished of itself, and seeking an earthly and humane body to enter into.
67. For no other Body is capable of a Humane 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. Herm. 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 hear nor see 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 scorged, 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 of Knowledge.
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 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 than He.
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 Sciences.
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 Gods.
83. This is the Bonas 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. Trism. Know, Son, that every Soul hath the Good Mind; for of that it is we now speak, and not of that Minister of whom we said before, that he was sent from the Judgment.
86. For the Soul without the Mind can neither say nor do anything; 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 an one fastened to the Body, and by it is pressed down.
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 it.
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.
THE END OF THE FOURTH BOOK, Called THE KEY....
THE FIFTH BOOK, THAT GOD IS NOT MANIFEST, AND YET MOST MANIFEST
THIS Discourse, I will also make to thee, O Tat, that thou mayest not be ignorant of the more excellent name of God.
2. But do thou contemplate in thy Mind how that which to many seems hidden and unmanifest may be most manifest to 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 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.
6. Himself is not made, yet in fantasie 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 that is 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 know 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 see 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 into they 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 will 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 an 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 somebody, 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 and 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 immoveable moved, and that which is hidden appear and be manifest!
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 tie 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 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 honorable 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 Father.
28. And if thou will 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 many 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? outward? inward?
37. For about these 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 they time?
40. For what shall I praise thee? For what thou hast made, or for what thou hast not made? for 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 anothers?
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 are 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 is Air; of the Air the Soul; of the soul the Mind; of the mind God.
The End of the Fifth Book....
THAT GOD IS NOT MANIFEST, AND YET MOST MANIFEST...
THE SIXTH BOOK, THAT IN GOD ALONE IS GOOD
GOD, O Asclepius, 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 Good?
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; 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 passable and moveable, and the Maker of passable 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 coacted with evils, 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 forenames things, is here believed to be the greatest Good, especially that supreme mischief ... the pleasures of the Belly, and the ringleader 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 World.
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, and more sincere, and peradventure they are also the Essences 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 those 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 shall understand the Fair, and the Good, which is most shining, and enlightening, and most enlightened by God.
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 asketh also of the Fair, for there is one way which leadeth to the same thing, that is Piety, with Knowledge.
30. Wherefore, they that are ignorant, and go not in the way of Piety, dare call Men Fair and Good, never seeing so much as in a dream, what good is; but being infolded and wrapped upon all evil, and believing that the Evil is the Good, they, by that means, both use it insatiable, 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 End of the Sixth Book....
THAT IN GOD ALONE IS GOOD....
THE SEVENTH BOOK, HIS SECRET SERMON IN THE MOUNT OF REGENERATION, AND THE PROFESSION OF SILENCE
TO HIS SON 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 to the Mountain, after thou hadst discoursed to 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 to 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 fulfil my defect, 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 Seed, or what Womb, a man is thus born.
4. Herm. 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 doubtful.
6. Herm. 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. Herm. 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 a Son.
10. Herm. 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. Herm. Wilt thou prove a Stranger, Son, to thy Father's kind?
13. Tat. Do not envy me, Father, or pardon me, I am thy Natural Son; discourse unto me the manner of Regeneration.
14. Herm. What shall I say, O my Son? I have nothing to say more than this, That I see in myself an unstrained sight or spectacle, made by the mercy of God; and I am gone out of myself into an immortal body, and am not 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 compounded 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 never look so steadfastly upon me, with the Body, and the 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 myself.
18. Herm. 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. Herm. 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 things here below, and nothing but falsehood in them all.
22. And so thence this mortal form is daily changed, and turned by time into increase or diminution, as being falsehood: What therefore is true, O Trismegistus?
23. Trism. That, O my Son, which is not troubled, nor bounded; not coloured, not figured, not changed, that which is naked, high. Comprehensible only of itself, unalterable, unbodily.
24. Tat. Now I am mad indeed, O 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. Herm. 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. Herm. 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; quite (or make idle) the senses of the Body, purging thyself from the unreasonable brutish torments of matter.
28. Tat. Have I any (revengers or) tormentors in myself, Father?
29. Herm. Yea, and those not a few, but many, and fearful ones.
30. Tat. I do not know them, Father.
31. Herm. 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 sensibly.
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 of Regeneration.
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.
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 forth, 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 against Covetousness.
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 all fled away suddenly and tumultuously.
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 itself.
46. Whoseoever 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 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. This Tabernacle, O Son, consists of the Zodiacal Circle; and this consisting of Twelve numbers, the Idea of one; but all formed Nature admit 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 dead.
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 spirit.
52. Therefore, according to Reason, Unity hath 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. Herm. 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, according to this speech which we have now commented, that we may not at all caluminate the Universe.
55. Tat. Tell me, O Father, This body that consists of Powers, shall it ever admit of Dissolution?
56. Herm. 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 is 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 feign would I, O Father, hear that praise given by a Hymn, which thou saidst thou heardest from the Powers, when I was in the Octonary?
59. Herm. 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 purified.
60. 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.
61. Tat. I would hear thee, O Father, and understand these things.
62. Herm. 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 SECRET SONG.
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 every action, both to Gods and Men.
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 my Powers.
73. O all ye Powers that are in me, praise the One, and 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 now, 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.
80. I give thanks unto thee, O Father, the operation or act of my Powers.
81. I give thanks unto thee, O God, the Power of my operations.
82. By me the 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 form 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 are God, thy Man cryeth these things unto thee through, by the Fire, by the Air, by the Earth, by the Water, by the Spirit, by thy Creatures.
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 World.
89. Herm. 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. Herm. Not rashly, O Son.
92. Tat. In my Mind, O Father.
93. Herm. Those things that I see and contemplate, I infuse them 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 thanks and praise.
98. Herm. I am glad, O Son, to see the Truth bring forth the Fruits of Good things, and such immortal Branches.
99. And learn this from 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.
The End of the Seventh Book....HIS SECRET SERMON IN THE MOUNT OF REGENERATION,
AND THE PROFESSION OF SILENCE.
The Divine Pymander, by Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus, tr. by John Everard, , at sacred-texts.com
THE EIGHTH BOOK, THE GREATEST EVIL IN MAN IS THE NOT KNOWING GOD
WHITHER are you carried, O Men, drunken with drinking strong Wine of Ignorance? which seeing you cannot bear, why do you 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 so 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 be 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 on 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 domestical 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 upward 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 had 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 much 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.
The End of the Eighth Book,
THE GREATEST EVIL IN MAN IS
THE NOT KNOWING GOD.