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The Corpus Hermeticum

Now mind doth differ just as much from thought as God doth from divinity. For that divinity by God doth 
come to be, and by mind thought, the sister of the word (logos) and instruments of one another. For neither 

doth the word (logos) find utterance without thought, nor is thought manifested without word.

2. So sense and thought both flow together into man, as though they were entwined with one another. For 

neither without sensing can one think, nor without thinking sense.

But it is possible [they say] to think a thing apart from sense, as those who fancy sights in dreams. But unto 

me it seems that both of these activities occur in dream−sight, and sense doth pass out of the sleeping to the 

waking state.

For man is separated into soul and body, and only when the two sides of his sense agree together, does 

utterance of its thought conceived by mind take place.

3. For it is mind that doth conceive all thoughts − good thoughts when it receives the seeds from God, their 

contraries when [it receiveth them] from the daimonials; no part of Cosmos being free of daimon, who 
stealthily doth creep into the daimon who's illumined by God's light, and sow in him the seed of its own 


And mind conceives the seed thus sown, adultery, murder, parricide, [and] sacrilege, impiety, [and] 

strangling, casting down precipices, and all such other deeds as are the work of evil daimons.

4. The seeds of God, 'tis true, are few, but vast and fair, and good − virtue and self−control, devotion. 

Devotion is God−gnosis; and he who knoweth God, being filled with all good things, thinks godly thoughts 

and not thoughts like the many [think].

For this cause they who Gnostic are, please not the many, nor the many them. They are thought mad and 

laughted at; they're hated and despised, and sometimes even put to death.

For we did say that bad must needs dwell on earth, where 'tis in its own place. Its place is earth, and not 

Cosmos, as some will sometimes say with impious tongue.

But he who is a devotee of God, will bear with all − once he has sensed the Gnosis. For such an one all 

things, e'en though they be for others bad, are for him good; deliberately he doth refer them all unto the 
Gnosis. And, thing most marvelous, 'tis he alone who maketh bad things good.

5. But I return once more to the Discourse (Logos) on Sense. That sense doth share with thought in man, doth 
constitute him man. But 'tis not [every] man, as I have said, who benefits by thought; for this man is material, 

that other one substantial.

For the material man, as I have said, [consorting] with the bad, doth have his seed of thought from daimons; 

while the substantial men [consorting] with the Good, are saved by God.

Now God is Maker of all things, and in His making, He maketh all [at last] like to Himself; but they, while 

they're becoming good by exercise of their activity, are unproductive things.

It is the working of the Cosmic Course that maketh their becomings what they are, befouling some of them 

with bad and others of them making clean with good.

For Cosmos, too, Asclepius, possesseth sense−and−thought peculiar to itself, not like that of man; 'tis not so 

manifold, but as it were a better and a simpler one.

IX. On Thought and Sense 21

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