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The Corpus Hermeticum

And they selected out the births of men for gnosis of the works of God and attestation of the energy of 
Nature; the multitude of men for lordship over all beneath the heaven and gnosis of its blessings, that they 

might increase in increasing and multiply in multitude, and every soul infleshed by revolution of the Cyclic 

Gods, for observation of the marvels of Heaven and Heaven's Gods' revolution, and of the works of God and 
energy of Nature, for tokens of its blessings, for gnosis of the power of God, that they might know the fates 

that follow good and evil [deeds] and learn the cunning work of all good arts.

4. [Thus] there begins their living and their growing wise, according to the fate appointed by the revolution of 

the Cyclic Gods, and their deceasing for this end.

And there shall be memorials mighty of their handiworks upon the earth, leaving dim trace behind when 

cycles are renewed.

For every birth of flesh ensouled, and of the fruit of seed, and every handiwork, though it decay, shall of 

necessity renew itself, both by the renovation of the Gods and by the turning−round of Nature's rhythmic 


For that whereas the Godhead is Nature's ever−making−new−again the cosmic mixture, Nature herself is also 

co−established in that Godhead.

IV. The Cup or Monad

1. Hermes: With Reason (Logos), not with hands, did the World−maker make the universal World; so that 

thou shouldst think of him as everywhere and ever−being, the Author of all things, and One and Only, who 
by His Will all beings hath created.

This Body of Him is a thing no man can touch, or see, or measure, a body inextensible, like to no other frame. 
'Tis neither Fire nor Water, Air nor Breath; yet all of them come from it. Now being Good he willed to 

consecrate this [Body] to Himself alone, and set its Earth in order and adorn it.

2. So down [to Earth] He sent the Cosmos of this Frame Divine − man, a life that cannot die, and yet a life 

that dies. And o'er [all other] lives and over Cosmos [too], did man excel by reason of the Reason (Logos) 

and the Mind. For contemplator of God's works did man become; he marvelled and did strive to know their 

3. Reason (Logos) indeed, O Tat, among all men hath He distributed, but Mind not yet; not that He grudgeth 
any, for grudging cometh not from Him, but hath its place below, within the souls of men who have no Mind.

Tat: Why then did God, O father, not on all bestow a share of Mind?

H: He willed, my son, to have it set up in the midst for souls, just as it were a prize.

4. T: And where hath He set it up?

H: He filled a mighty Cup with it, and sent it down, joining a Herald [to it], to whom He gave command to 
make this proclamation to the hearts of men:

Baptize thyself with this Cup's baptism, what heart can do so, thou that hast faith thou canst ascend to him 
that hath sent down the Cup, thou that dost know for what thoudidst come into being!

IV. The Cup or Monad 12

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