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The Corpus Hermeticum




11. A: How meanest thou, Thrice−greatest one?


H: Is not air body?


A: It is.



H: And doth this body not pervade all things, and so, pervading, fill them? And "body"; doth body not consist 
from blending of the "four" ? Full, then, of air are all thou callest void; and if of air, then of the "four".



Further, of this the converse follows, that all thou callest full are void − of air; for that they have their space 
filled out with other bodies, and, therefore, are not able to receive the air therein. These, then, which thou dost 

say are void, they should be hollow named, not void; for they not only are, but they are full of air and spirit.


12. A: Thy argument (logos), Thrice−greatest one, is not to be gainsaid; air is a body. Further, it is this body 

which doth pervade all things, and so, pervading, fill them. What are we, then, to call that space in which the 

all doth move?


H: The bodiless, Asclepius.


A: What, then, is Bodiless?



H: 'Tis Mind and Reason (logos), whole out of whole, all self−embracing, free from all body, from all error 
free, unsensible to body and untouchable, self stayed in self, containing all, preserving those that are, whose 

rays, to use a likeness, are Good, Truth, Light beyond light, the Archetype of soul.


A: What, then, is God?



13. H: Not any one of these is He; for He it is that causeth them to be, both all and each and every thing of all 
that are. Nor hath He left a thing beside that is−not; but they are all from things−that−are and not from 

things−that−are−not. For that the things−that−are−not have naturally no power of being anything, but 

naturally have the power of the inability−to−be. And, conversely, the things−that−are have not the nature of 
some time not−being.



14. A: What say'st thou ever, then, God is?


H: God, therefore, is not Mind, but Cause that the Mind is; God is not Spirit, but Cause that Spirit is; God is 

not Light, but Cause that the Light is. Hence one should honor God with these two names [the Good and 
Father] − names which pertain to Him alone and no one else.



For no one of the other so−called gods, no one of men, or daimones, can be in any measure Good, but God 
alone; and He is Good alone and nothing else. The rest of things are separable all from the Good's nature; for 

[all the rest] are soul and body, which have no place that can contain the Good.


15. For that as mighty is the Greatness of the Good as is the Being of all things that are − both bodies and 

things bodiless, things sensible and intelligible things. Call thou not, therefore, aught else Good, for thou 

would'st imious be; nor anything at all at any time call God but Good alone, for so thou would'st again be 
impious.



16. Though, then, the Good is spoken of by all, it is not understood by all, what thing it is. Not only, then, is 
God not understood by all, but both unto the gods and some of the men they out of ignorance do give the 

name of Good, though they can never either be or become Good. For they are very different from God, while


II. To Asclepius 10




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