1. THE Mind, O Tat, is of the very Essence of God, if yet there be any Essence of God.
2. What kind of Essence that is, he alone knows himself exactly.
3. The Mind therefore is not cut off, or divided from the essentiality of God, but united as the light of the Sun.
4. And this Mind in men, is God, and therefore are some men Divine, and their Humanity is near
5. For the good Demon called the Gods, immortal Men, and men mortal Gods.
6. But in the brute Beast, or unreasonable living Wights, the Mind is their Nature.
7. For where there is a Soul, there is the Mind, as where there is Life there is also a Soul.
8. In living Creatures, therefore, that are without Reason, the Soul is Life, void of the operations
of the Mind.
9. For the Mind is the Benefactor of the Souls of men, and worketh to the proper Good.
10. And in unreasonable things it co-operateth with the nature of everyone of them,
but in men it worketh against their Natures.
11. For the Soul being in the body, is straightway made Evil by Sorrow, and Grief, and Pleasure, or Delight.
12. For Grief and Pleasure, flow
like juices from the compound Body, whereinto when the Soul entereth or descendeth, she is moistened and tinctured with them.
13. As many Souls, therefore, as the Mind governeth, or overruleth, to them it shows its own Light,
resisting their prepossessions or presumptions.
14. As a good Physician grieveth the Body, prepossessed of a disease, by burning or lancing it for health's sake;
15. After the same manner
also the Mind grieveth the Soul, by drawing it out of Pleasure, from whence every disease of the Soul proceedeth.
16. But the Great Disease of the Soul is Atheism, because that opinion followeth to all
Evil, and no Good.
17. Therefore, the Mind resisting, it procureth Good to the Soul, as a Physician to the Body.
18. But as many Souls of Men, as do not admit or entertain the Mind for
their Governor, do suffer the same thing that the Soul of unreasonable living things.
19. For the Soul being a Co-operator with them, permits or leaves them to their concupiscences, whereunto they are
carried by the torrent of their Appetite, and so tend to brutishness.
20. And as brute Bests, they are angry without reason, and they desire without reason, and never cease, nor are satisfied with evil.
21. For unreasonable Angers and Desires are the most exceeding Evils.
22. And therefore hath God set the Mind over there, as a Revenger and Reprover of them.
23. Tat. Here,
O Father, that discourse of Fate of Destiny, which thou madest to me, is in danger of being overthrown; for if it be fatal for any man to commit Adultery or Sacrilege, or do any evil, he is punished also, though he, of necessity,
do the work of the Fate or Destiny.
24. Herm. All things, O Son, are the work of Fate, and without it can no bodily thing, either Good or Evil, be done.
25. For it is
decreed by Fate, that he that doth any evil, should also suffer for it.
26. And therefore he doth it, that he may suffer that which he suffereth because he did it.
27. But for the present,
let alone that speech, concerning Evil and Fate, for at other times we have spoken of it.
28. Now, our discourse is about the Mind, and what it can do, and how it differs, and is in men such a one, but in brute Beasts changed.
29. And again in brute Beasts it is not beneficial, but in men by quenching both their Anger and Concupiscences.
30. And of man, thou must understand, some to be rational, or governed by reason,
and some irrational.
31. But all men are subject to Fate, and to Generation, and Change, for these are the beginning and end of Fate or Destiny
32. And all men suffer those things that
are decreed by Fate.
33. But rational men, over whom, as we said, the mind bears rule, do not suffer like unto other men; but being free from viciousness, and being not evil, they do suffer evil.
34. Tat. How sayest thou this again, Father? An Adulterer, is he not evil? A Murderer, is he not evil? and so of others.
35. Herm. But the rational
man, O Son, will not suffer for Adultery, but as the Adulterer not for Murder, but as the Murderer.
36. And it is impossible to escape the Quality of change as of Generation, but the Viciousness, he that hath the Mind, may
37. And therefore, O Son, I have always heard the good Demon say, and if he had delivered it in writing, he had much profited all mankind. For he alone, O So, as the first born, God seeing all
things, truly spake Divine words. I have heard him sometimes, That all things are one thing, especially intelligible Bodies, or that all especially intelligible Bodies are one.
38. We live in Power, in Act,
and in Eternity.
39. Therefore, a good mind is that which the soul of him is.
40. And if this be so, then no intelligible thing differs from intelligible things.
41. As, therefore, it is possible that the Mind, the Prince of all things; so likewise, that the soul that is of God, can do whatsoever it will.
42. But understand thou well, for this Discourse I have made to the
Question which thou askest of me before, I man concerning Fate and the Mind.
43. First, if, O Son, thou shalt diligently withdraw thyself from all contentious speeches, thou shalt find that in Truth, the Mind, the Soul of
God bears rule over all things, both over Fate, and Law, and all other things.
44. And nothing is impossible to him, no, not of the things that are of Fate.
45. Therefore, though the Soul
of Man be above it, let it not neglect the things that happen to be under Fate.
46. And these, thus far, were the excellent sayings of the good Demon.
47. Tat. Most
divinely spoken, O Father, and truly and profitably, yet clear this one thing unto me.
48. Thou sayest, that in brute Beasts the Mind worketh or acteth after the manner of Nature, co-operating also with their )… impetus)
49. Now, the impetuous inclinations of brute Beasts, as I conceive, are Passions. If, therefore, the Mind do co-operate with these impetuous Inclinations, and that they are the Passions in brute Beasts, certainly
the Mind is also a Passion, conforming itself to Passions.
50. Herm. Well done, Son, thou askest nobly, and yet it is just that I should answer thee.
51. All incorporeal
things, O Son, that are in the Body, are passible, nay, they are properly Passions.
52. Everything that moveth is incorporeal; everything that is moved is a Body; and it is moved into the Bodies by the Mind. Now, Motion
is passion, and there they both suffer; as well that which moveth, as that which is moved, as well that which ruleth, as that which is ruled.
53. But being freed from the Body, it is freed likewise from Passion.
54. But especially, O Son, there is nothing impassible, but all things are passible.
55. But Passion differs from that which is passible; for that (Passion) acteth, but this suffers.
Bodies also of themselves do act; for either they are unmoveable, or else are moved; and which soever it be, it is a Passion.
57. But incorporeal things do always act, or work, and therefore they are passible.
58. Let not, therefore, the appellations or names trouble thee, for Action and Passion are the same thing, but that it is not grievous to use the more honorable name.
59. Tat. O Father, thou
hast delivered this discourse most plainly.
60. Herm. Consider this also, O Son, that God hath freely bestowed upon man, above all other living things, these two, to wit, Mind and Speech, or Reason …,
equal to immortality.
61. These, if any man use, or employ upon what he ought, he shall differ nothing from the Immortals.
62. Yea, rather going out of the Body, he shall be guided and
led by them, both into the Choir and Society of the God, and blessed ones.
63. Tat. Do not other living creatures use speech, O Father?
64. Herm. No,
Son, but only voice. Now, speech and voice do differ exceeding much; for speech is common to all men, but voice is proper unto every kind of living thing.
65. Tat. Yea, but the Speech of men is different,
O Father; every man according to his Nation.
66. Herm. It is true, O Son, they do differ: yet as Man is one, so is Speech one also, and it is interpreted and found the same, both in Egypt, Persia,
67. But thou seemest unto me, Son, to be ignorant of the Vertue, or Power and greatness of Speech.
68. For the blessed God, the good Demon said
or commanded the Soul to be in the Body, the Mind in the Soul …, the Word, or Speech, or Reason in the Mind, and the Mind in God, and that God is the Father of them all.
69. Therefore, the Word is the Image of the
Mind, and the Mind of God, and the Body of the Idea, and the Idea of the Soul.
70. Therefore, of the Matter, the subtilest or smallest part is Air, of the Air the Soul, of the Soul the Mind,
of the Mind God.
71. And God is about all things, and through all things, but the Mind about the Soul, the Soul about the Air, and the Air about the Matter.
72. But Necessity, and Providence,
and Nature, are the Organs or Instruments of the World, and of the Order of Matter.
73. For of those things that are intelligible, everyone is; but the essence of them is Identity.
But of the Bodies of the whole, or universe, every one is many things.
75. For the Bodies that are put together, and that have, and make their changes into other, having this Identity, do always and preserve the incorruption
of the Identity.
76. But in every one of the compound Bodies there is a Number
77. For without Number it is impossible there should be consistence or constitution, or composition, or dissolution.
78. But Unities do both beget and increase Numbers, and again being dissolved, come into themselves.
79. And the Matter is One.
80. But this whole World,
the great God, and the Image of the Greater, and united unto him, and concerning the Order, and Will of the Father, is the fulness of Life.
81. And there is nothing therein, through all the Eternity of the Revolution, neither
of the whole, nor of the parts which doth not live.
82. For there is nothing dead, that either hath been, or is, or shall be in the World.
83. For the Father would have it, as long as
it lasts, to be a living thing; and therefore it must needs be God also.
84. How, therefore, O Son, can there be in God in the image of the Universe, in the fulness of Life, any dead things?
For dying is Corruption, and corruption is destruction.
86. How, then, can any part of the incorruptible be corrupted, or of God be destroyed?
87. Tat. Therefore, O
Father, do not the living things in the World die, though they be parts thereof?
88. Herm. Be wary in thy speech, O Son, and not deceived in the names of things.
For they do not die, O Son, but as Compound bodies they are dissolved.
90. But dissolution is not death; and they are dissolved, not that they may be destroyed, but that they may be made new.
91. Tat. What,
then, is the operation of Life? Is it not Motion?
92. Herm. And what is there in the World unmoveable? Nothing at all, O Son.
93. Tat. Why, doth not
the Earth seem immoveable to thee, O Father?
94. Herm. No, but subject to many Motions, though after a manner, it alone be stable.
95. What a ridiculous thing it were
that the nurse of all things should be immoveable which beareth and bringeth forth all things.
96. For it is impossible that anything that bringeth forth, should bring forth without Motion.
And a ridiculous question it is, whether the fourth part of the whole, be idle; for the word immoveable, or without motion, signifies nothing else, but idleness.
98. Know generally, O Son, that whatsoever is in the World
is moved either according to Augmentation or Diminution.
99. But that which is moved, liveth also, yet it is not necessary that a living thing should be or continue the same.
while the whole world is together, it is unchangeable, O Son, but all the parts thereof are changeable.
101. Yet nothing is corrupted or destroyed, and quite abolished, but the names trouble men.
102. For Generation is not Life, but Sense, neither is Change Death, but Forgetfulness, or rather Occultation, and lying hid. Or better thus:--
103. For Generation is not a Creation of Life, but a production
of things to Sense, and making them manifest. Neither is Change Death, but an Occultation of hiding of that which was.
104. These things being so, all things are Immortal, Matter, Life, Spirit, Soul, Mind, whereof every
living thing consisteth.
105. Every living thing therefore is Immortal, because of the Mind, but especially Man, who both receiveth God, and converseth with him.
106. For with this living
wight, alone is God familiar; in the night by dreams, in the day by Symbols or Signs.
107. And by all things doth he foretell him of things to come, by Birds, by Fowls, by the Spirit, or Wind, and by an Oak.
108. Wherefore, also, Man professeth to know things that have been, things that are present, and things to come.
109. Consider this also, O Son, that every other living Creature goeth upon one part of the World,
Swimming things in the Water, Land wights upon the Earth, Flying Fowls in the Air.
110. But Man useth all these, the Earth, the Water, the Air, and the Fire, nay, he seeth and toucheth Heaven by his senses.
111. But God is both about all things, and through all things, for he is both Act and Power.
112. And it is no hard thing, O Son, to understand God.
113. And if thou wilt also
see him, look upon the Necessity of things that appear, and the Providence of things that have been, and are done.
114. See the Matter being most full of Life, and so great a God moved, with all good, and Fair, both Gods,
and Demons, and Men.
115. Tat. But these, O Father, are wholly Acts, or Operations.
116. Herm. If they be, therefore, wholly acts or
operations, O Son, by whom are they acted or operated, but by God?
117. Or art thou ignorant, that as parts of the World, are Heaven, and Earth, and Water, and Air; after the same manner, the Members of God, are Life, and
Immortality, and Eternity, and Spirit, and Necessity, and Providence, and Nature, and Soul, and Mind, and the Continuance or Perseverance of all these which is called Good.
118. And there is not anything of all that hath
been, and all that is, where God is not.
119. Tat. What, in Matter, O Father?
120. Herm. The Matter, Son, what is it without God, that thou shouldst
ascribe a proper place to it?
121. Or what dost thou think it to be? Peradventure, some heap that is not actuated or operated.
122. But if it be actuated, by whom is it actuated? for we
have said, that Acts or Operations, are the parts of God.
123. By whom are all living things quickened? and the Immortal, by whom are they immortalized? the things that are changeable, by whom are they changed?
124. Whether thou speak of Matter or Body, or Essence, know that all these are Acts of God.
125. And that the Act of Matter is materiality, and of the Bodies corporality, and of essence essentiality, and this is
God the whole.
126. And in the whole, there is nothing that is not God.
127. Wherefore, about God, there is neither Greatness, Place, Quality, Figure, or time, foe he is All, and the All,
through all, and about all.
128. This Word, O Son, worship and adore. And the only service of God, is not to be evil.