Alchemy Index


The Divine Poemander

From: Pymander: Divine Mind of the Sovereignity, the Shepherd of Men

Attributed to Hermes Trismegistus in the Corpus Hermeticum.


The Visions of Hermes
The Above and the Below
First Emanation: Descent of the Logos
Second Emanation: Mind the Maker
Third Emanation: Descent of Man
The First Men
The Way of Deathlessness
Ascent of the Soul to the Eighth Sphere
Thrice Greatest Hermes

Corpus Hermeticum:

The First Book
The Second Book: "Poemander."
The Third Book: "The Holy Sermon."
The Fourth Book: "The Key."
The Fifth Book: "That God is Not Manifest and Yet Most Manifest."
The Sixth Book: "That in God Alone is Good."

The Vision of Hermes

It chanced once on a time, while I was meditating on the things that are, my thought was raised to a great height, yet my bodily senses had been put under restraint as in sleep, though not such sleep as that of men weighed down by fullness of food or bodily weariness. Methought a Being more than vast, in size beyond all bounds, called out my name and said:

"What would you hear and see, and what have you in mind to learn and know?"

"Who are you?" said I.

"I am the Pymander, Divine Mind of the Sovereignity, the Shepherd of Men. I know what you desire, and I am with you everywhere."

"I long to learn the things that are, " I replied, "and comprehend their nature, and know God. This is what I desire to hear."

"Hold in your mind all you would know," the Shepherd answered back to me, "and I will teach you."

The Above and the Below

Forthwith all things changed in aspect before me and were opened out in an instant. And I beheld a boundless view: all was changed into Light, a mild and joyous Light; and I marveled when I saw it. And in a little while, there came to be in one part a downward-tending darkness, terrible and grim, and methought it like unto a snake. And thereafter I saw the darkness changing into a Watery Substance, which was unspeakably tossed about. Coiling in sinuous folds, it gave forth smoke as from fire; and I heard it making an indescribable sound of lamentation, for there was sent forth from it an inarticulate Cry. But from the Light there came forth a holy Speech, which took its stand upon the Watery Substance, and methought this Word was the voice of the Light. And the Divine Mind spoke for me to hear:

"That Light is I, even the One Mind, the first God, who was before the Watery Substance that appeared out of Darkness, and the Word which came forth from the Light is son of God. Learn my meaning by looking at what you yourself have in you, for in you too, the Word is son, and Mind the father of the Word. They are not separate one from the other, for Life is the union of Word and Mind. Now fix your thought upon the Light and learn to know it."

I saw in my mind that the Light consisted of innumerable Powers and had come to be an ordered world, but a world without the bounds of material existence. This I perceived in thought, seeing it by reason of the words that the Divine Mind had spoken to me. And when I was amazed, he spoke again to me:

"You have seen in your mind the archetypal form, which is prior to the beginning of things and is limitless."

The First Emanation: Descent of the Logos

"But tell me," I asked. "Whence did the elements of nature come into being?"

"They issued from Godís Purpose," came the answer, "which beheld that beauteous world and copied it. The Watery Substance, the One Thing, having received the Word, was fashioned into an ordered world, the elements being separated out from it. And from the elements came forth the brood of living creatures. And the One Mind, that Mind of Life and Light, being male and female both, gave birth to another Mind, which was a maker of things; and this made out of the elements Seven Planetary Administrators who encompass with their orbits the world perceived by sense; and their administration is called Fate.

The Second Emanation: Mind the Maker

"And forthwith, the Word of God leapt up from the downward-tending elements of Nature to the pure body of the highest Sphere that had already existed and united with Mind the Maker, for the Word was of one substance with that mind too. And the downward-tending elements of Nature were left devoid of reason, so as to be mere matter.

"Then Mind the Maker united with Reason, and He who surrounds the Spheres and spins them with His whirl, set turning His formations, and let them turn from a beginning boundless unto an endless end. For the circulation of these Spheres begins where it does end in a circle, as Mind does will. And from the downward-tending elements Nature brought forth lives without reason; for He did not extend Reason (the Logos) to them. The Air brought forth things winged; the Water things that swim, and in the Watery Substance, Earth-and-Water one from another were separated, as Mind the Maker willed. And from her bosom, Nature produced living things, four-footed animals and reptiles, beasts wild and tame.

The Third Emanation: The Descent of Man

"But the One Mind, being both Life and Light, next brought forth Man, a Being like to Himself, with whom He fell in love, as being His own child; for it was beautiful beyond compare, the Image of its Sire. In very truth, God fell in love with His own Form; and on it did bestow all of His own creations. And when Man gazed upon what Mind the Maker had created in the region of Fire, he too wished to create and so assent was given him by the Father. Changing his state to the formative Sphere, where he was to have his whole authority, Man had in himself all the workings of the archetypal Administrators. Likewise, they fell in love with him, and each gave him a share of their own ordering. And after that, Man had well learned their essence and had become a sharer in their nature. Man then had a mind to break right through the boundary of their Spheres, and to subdue the might of that which pressed upon the Fire.

"So he who had the whole authority, having learned the being of the Administrators, willed to break through the Spheres and showed to downward-tending Nature God's fair Form. And when Nature saw that Form of beauty that can never satiate, and Man who now possessed within himself each single energy of all Seven Administrators as well as God's own Form, she smiled with love; for it was as though she had seen the image of God's fairest form upon her Water, His shadow on her Earth.

"He in His turn beholding the Form like to Himself, existing in her, in her Water, loved it and willed to live in it; and with the will came actuality, and so Man vivified the Form devoid of reason. And Nature took the object of her love and wound herself completely round him, and they were intermingled, for they were lovers. And this is why beyond all creatures on the earth, Man is twofold: mortal because of body, but because of his essential Eternal Substance, immortal. Though deathless and possessed of sway over all, yet does Man suffer as a mortal does, subject to Fate. Thus, though his true nature is above the Spheres, within the Spheres he has become a slave. Though male-female, he is from a male-female Mind; and though he is sleepless from a sleepless Sire, yet is he overcome by sleep.

The First Men

Thereon I say: "Teach on, Oh Divine Mind of me, for I myself as well am amorous of the Word."

And the Shepherd said: "This is the mystery kept hid until this day: Nature embraced by Man brought forth a wonder, oh so wonderful. For as he had the nature of the Concord of the Seven, who, as I said to you, were made of Fire and Spirit. Nature did not delay but immediately brought forth seven men, in correspondence with the natures of the Seven Administrators, male-female were they and moving in the air."

"0h Shepherd, " I said, "for now I'm filled with great desire and long to hear; do not run off!"

"Keep silence," said the Shepherd, "for not as you have I unrolled for you the first discourse."

"Lo! I am still," said I.

"In such wise then," the Shepherd continued, "the generation of these Seven came to pass. Earth was as woman, her Water filled with longing; ripeness she took from Fire, spirit from Ether. Nature thus brought forth frames to suit the Form of Man. And Man from Life and Light changed into soul and mind -- from Life to soul, from Light to mind. And thus continued all the sense-world pairings until the period of their end and a new beginning arrived. Now listen to the rest of the discourse that you long to hear: The period being ended, the bond that bound them all was loosened by God's Will. For all the animals being male-female, at the same time with Man were loosed apart; some became male, some in like fashion female. And straightaway, God spoke by His Holy Word (the Logos): 'Increase you in increasing, and multiply in multitude, you creatures and creations all; and Man that had Mind in him, let him learn to know that he himself is deathless and the cause of death is love, though Love is All.' When He said this, His forethought did by means of Fate and the Spheres effect their couplings and their generations founded. And so all things were multiplied according to their kind. And he who thus had learned to know himself, had reached that Good that does transcend abundance; but he who through worldly love that same end leads astray, he expends his love upon his body -- he stays in Darkness -- and suffering through his senses the things of Death."

The Way of Deathlessness

"What is the fault so great the ignorant commit," I asked, "that they should be deprived of deathlessness?"

"You seem," the Shepherd cautioned, "not to have given heed to what you have heard. Did not I bid you think?"

"Yes, do I think, and I remember," I said, "and therefore give you thanks!"

"If you did truly think thereon," said the Shepherd, "tell me: Why do they merit death who are in ignorance?"

"It is because the gloomy Darkness is the root and base of the material frame; from it came the Watery Substance from which the body in the sense-world is composed; and from this body of Death and Darkness does the Water drain."

"Right is your thought," He said. "But how does 'he who knows himself, go unto Him,' as God's Word had declared?"

And I reply: "The Father of the universals consists of Light and Life, and from Him, Man was born."

"You are right! Light and Life is the Divine Mind, and from it Man was born. If then you know that you are yourself of Life and Light, and that you are made of them, you shall return to Life and Light." Thus did the Shepherd speak.

"But tell me further, Mind of me," I cried out, "How shall I come to Life again, for God does say 'the man who had Mind in him, let him learn to know that he himself is deathless.' Have not all men then Mind?"

"Again you speak well! I, Divine Mind, myself am present with holy men and good, the pure and merciful men who live piously. To such my presence becomes an aid, and straightway they gain Gnosis of all things, and win their Father's love by their pure lives, and give Him thanks, invoking on Him blessings and entering his Kingdom, intent on Him with ardent love. And before they give the body up unto its proper death, they turn from their bodies with disgust from its sensations, from knowledge of what things they operate. Nay, it is I, the Divine Mind, that will not let the operations that befall the body work to their natural end. For being the gatekeeper, I close up all the entrances, and bar the entrance of the base and evil workings of the senses, cutting off all thoughts of them. But to the Mindless ones, the wicked and depraved, the envious and covetous, and murderous and impious, I keep far aloof, yielding my place to the Avenging Daimon, who sharpening the fire, torments them and adds fire to fire upon them, and rushes on them through their senses, thus rendering them the readier for their transgressions of the law, so that they meet with greater torment. Nor do they ever cease to have desire for their appetites inordinate, insatiably striving in the Darkness."

The Ascent of the Soul to the Eighth Sphere

"Full well have you taught me all, as I desired, 0h Divine Mind. And now, " I beseeched Him, "pray tell me further of the nature of the way to the Life Above."

To this, the Shepherd replied: "When your material body is to be dissolved, first you surrender the body by itself unto the work of Transformation, and thus the form you had vanishes, and you surrender your way of life, void of its energy, back to its own nature. The body's senses next pass back into their sources, becoming separate, and resurrect as new energies; and passion and desire too withdraw unto that nature that is void of reason. And thus it is that man does speed his way thereafter upwards through the Spheres."

He continued: "To the first zone he gives the energy of growth and waning; unto the second zone, the devices of evil now de-energized; unto the third, the guile of the desires de-energized; unto the fourth, his domineering arrogance, also de-energized; unto the fifth, unholy daring and the rashness of audacity, de-energized; unto the sixth, striving for wealth by evil means, deprived of its aggrandizement; and to the seventh zone, ensnaring falsehood, de-energized. And then, with all the energizings of the Spheres stripped from him, clothed in his proper Power, he comes to that nature that belongs unto the Eighth, and there with Those-That-Are is the One Mind. They who are there welcome his coming with joy; and he, made like to them that sojourn there, does further hear the Powers who are above the substance of the Eighth Sphere, singing their praise to God in a language of their own. And then they, in a band, go to the Father's home; of their own selves they make surrender of themselves to the Powers, and thus becoming Powers themselves they are in God. This the good end for those who have gained Gnosis -- to be made one with God."

Thrice-Greatest Hermes

"Why should you then delay?" the Shepherd asked me. "Must it not be, since you have received all, that you should point the way to the world, that through you the race of mankind may by your God be saved?" And after he said this, the Shepherd of Men mingled again with the Powers.

But I, with thanks and blessings unto the Father of the universal Powers, was now freed, full of the power the Shepherd had poured into me, and full of what he had taught me about the nature of All and of the loftiest Vision. And I inscribed in my memory the benefaction of the Divine Mind, and I was exceedingly glad, for I was full with that for which I craved. My bodily sleep had come to be my soul's wakefulness; and the closing of my eyes, true vision; and my silence, pregnant with good; and my barrenness of speech, a brood of holy thoughts. Becoming God-inspired, I attained the abode of Truth."

Hermes Trismegistus

Corpus Hermeticum

The 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 with- out Philosophy, it is impossible ever to attain to the height and exactness of Piety or 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 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 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

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, are moved; only that which is not, is unmovable.

15. Every Body is changeable.

16. Not every Body is dissolvable.

17. Some Bodies are dissolvable.

18. Every living thing is not mortal.

19. Not 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. First, 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 which is Reasonable is immortal.

28. Every essence is immortal.

29. Every essence is unchangeable.

30. Every thing that is, is double.

31. None of the things that are stand still.

32. Not all things are moved by a Soul, but every thing that is, is moved by a Soul.

33. Every thing that suffers is Sensible, every thing that is Sensible suffereth.

34. Every thing that is sad rejoiceth also, and is a mortal living Creature.

35. Not every thing that joyeth is also sad, but is an eternal living thing.

36. Not every Body is sick; every Body that is sick is dissolvable.

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. Every thing 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 dissolvable Body, there are two Times, one from sowing to generation, one from generation to


62. Of an everlasting Body, the time is only from the Generation.

63. Dissolvable Bodies are increased and diminished,

64. Dissolvable matter is altered into contraries; to wit, Corruption and Generation, but Eternal matter into its self, and its like.

65. The Generation of Man is Corruption, the Corruption of Man is the beginning of Generation.

66. That which off-springs 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. Whatsoever 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. Operations 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 the 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 fantasy 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 dost Thou mean, O Father?

87. 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.

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 Second Book.


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 Light.

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 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 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 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 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 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 forth with 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. 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 are.

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 heard."

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 death?"

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 Life."

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 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 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 then?"

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 diminishing.

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 Confidence.

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 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 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 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, 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 own lodging.

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 Powers.

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 and Light.

98. Blessed art Thou, O Father, Thy Man would be Sanctified with Thee, as Thou hast given Him all Power.

The Third Book.

"The Holy Sermon."

1. 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 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 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, and 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 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.

The Fourth Book.

"The Key."

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 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 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 spectacle.

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 clearness.

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 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, 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 be otherwise,

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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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. Trismegistus. --- 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 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 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 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 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 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 Fifth Book.

"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 of God.

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 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 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 Father.

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? outward? inward?

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.

The Sixth Book.


"That in God Alone is Good."

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 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, 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 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, 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 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 askest also of the Fair, for there is one way that leads 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 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.
Alchemy Index