Hermes Trismegistus with the Zodiac

 Pinturicchio, Room of the Sibyls, Borgia Apartment, Vatican

Hermes Trismegistus to his son Tat [Thoth],
A Secret Sermon on the Mountain:
Concerning Regeneration and a Promise of Silence


1. Tat: In the generic [teachings], O father, you spoke in enigmatic riddles, conversing about divinity; and you did not reveal [your meaning] when you said that no one could be saved before regneration.

1 Ἐν τοῖς Γενικοῖς͵ ὦ πάτερ͵ αἰνιγματωδῶς καὶ οὐ τηλαυγῶς ἔφρασας περὶ θειότητος διαλεγόμενος· οὐκ ἀπεκάλυψας͵ φάμενος μηδένα δύνασθαι σωθῆναι πρὸ τῆς παλιγγενεσίας·

And when I became your suppliant, in climbing up the mountain, after you had spoken with me, and when I longed to learn the teaching (logos) concerning regeneration (for beyond all other things this is just the thing I do not know), you said you would pass it on to me, “when you have become a stranger to the world”.

ἐμοῦ τε σοῦ ἱκέτου γενομένου͵ ἐπὶ τῆς τοῦ ὄρους καταβάσεως͵ μετὰ τὸ σὲ ἐμοὶ διαλεχθῆναι͵ πυθομένου τὸν τῆς παλιγγενεσίας λόγον μαθεῖν͵ ὅτι τοῦ τον παρὰ πάντα μόνον ἀγνοῶ͵ καὶ ἔφης͵ ὅταν μέλλῃς κόσμου ἀπαλλοτριοῦσθαι͵ παραδιδόναι μοι.

Wherefore I got me ready and made the thought in me a stranger to the world-illusion.

ἕτοιμος ἐγενόμην καὶ ἀπηνδρείωσα τὸ ἐν ἐμοὶ φρόνημα ἀπὸ τῆς τοῦ κόσμου ἀπάτης·

And now do thou fill up the things that fall short in me with what thou saidst would give me the tradition of Rebirth, setting it forth in speech or in the secret way.

σὺ δέ μου καὶ τὰ ὑστερήματα ἀναπλήρωσον οἷς ἔφης μοι παλιγγενεσίας γένεσιν παραδοῦναι προθέ μενος ἐκ φωνῆς ἢ κρυβήν·

I know not, O Thrice-greatest one, from out what matter and what womb Man comes to birth, or of what seed.

ἀγνοῶ͵ ὦ Τρισμέγιστε͵ ἐξ οἵας μήτρας ἄνθρωπος ἐγεννήθη͵ σπορᾶς δὲ ποίας.

2. Hermes: Wisdom that understands in silence [such is the matter and the womb from out which Man is born], and the True Good the seed.

2  Ὦ τέκνον͵ σοφία νοερὰ ἐν σιγῇ καὶ ἡ σπορὰ τὸ ἀληθινὸν ἀγαθόν. 

Tat: Who is the sower, father? For I am altogether at a loss.

Τίνος σπείραντος͵ ὦ πάτερ; τὸ γὰρ σύνολον ἀπορῶ. 

Hermes: It is the Will of God, my son.

Τοῦ θελήματος τοῦ θεοῦ͵ ὦ τέκνον. 

Tat: And of what kind is he that is begotten, father? For I have no share of that essence in me, which doth transcend the senses. The one that is begot will be another one from God, God’s Son?

Καὶ ποταπὸς ὁ γεννώμενος͵ ὦ πάτερ; ἄμοιρος γὰρ τῆς ἐν ἐμοὶ οὐσίας [καὶ τῆς νοητῆς].  Ἄλλος ἔσται ὁ γεννώμε νος θεοῦ θεὸς παῖς͵

Hermes: All in all, out of all powers composed.

τὸ πᾶν ἐν παντί͵ ἐκ πασῶν δυνάμεων συνεστώς.

Tat: Thou tellest me a riddle, father, and dost not speak as father unto son.

Αἴνιγμά μοι λέγεις͵ ὦ πάτερ͵ καὶ οὐχ ὡς πατὴρ υἱῷ διαλέγῃ. 

Hermes: This Race, my son, is never taught; but when He willeth it, its memory is restored by God.

Τοῦτο τὸ γένος͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ οὐ διδάσκεται͵ ἀλλ΄ ὅταν θέλῃ͵ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἀναμιμνήσκεται.

3. Tat: Thou sayest things impossible, O father, things that are forced. Hence answers would I have direct unto these things. Am I a son strange to my father’s race?

3  Ἀδύνατά μοι λέγεις͵ ὦ πάτερ͵ καὶ βεβιασμένα· ὅθεν πρὸς ταῦτα ὀρθῶς ἀντειπεῖν θέλω· ἀλλότριος υἱὸς πέφυκα τοῦ πατρικοῦ γένους·

Keep it not, father, back from me. I am a true-born son; explain to me the manner of Rebirth.

μὴ φθόνει μοι͵ πάτερ· γνήσιος υἱός εἰμι· διάφρασόν μοι τῆς παλιγγενεσίας τὸν τρόπον. 

Hermes: What may I say, my son? I can but tell thee this. Whene’er I see within myself the Simple Vision brought to birth out of God’s mercy, I have passed through myself into a Body that can never die. And now i am not as I was before; but I am born in Mind.

Τί εἴπω͵ ὦ τέκνον; οὐκ ἔχω λέγειν͵ πλὴν τοῦτο· ὁρῶν  τι  ἐν ἐμοὶ ἄπλαστον θέαν γεγενημένην ἐξ ἐλέου θεοῦ͵ καὶ ἐμαυτὸν ἐξελήλυθα εἰς ἀθάνατον σῶμα͵ καί εἰμι νῦν οὐχ ὁ πρίν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐγεννήθην ἐν νῷ·

The way to do this is not taught, and it cannot be seen by the compounded element by means of which thou seest.

τὸ πρᾶγμα τοῦτο οὐ διδάσκεται͵ οὐδὲ τῷ πλαστῷ τούτῳ στοιχείῳ͵ δι΄ οὗ ἔστιν ἰδεῖν·

Yea, I have had my former composed form dismembered for me. I am no longer touched, but I have touch; I have dimension too; and [yet] am I a stranger to them now.

διὸ καὶ ἠμέληταί μοι τὸ πρῶτον σύν θετον εἶδος· οὐκέτι κέχρῳσμαι καὶ ἁφὴν ἔχω καὶ μέτρον͵ ἀλλότριος δὲ τούτων εἰμί. νῦν ὁρᾷς με͵

Thou seest me with eyes, my son; but what I am thou dost not understand [even] with fullest strain of body and of sight.

ὦ τέκνον͵ ὀφθαλ μοῖς͵ ὅ τι δέ εἰμι οὐ κατανοεῖς ἀτενίζων σώματι καὶ ὁράσει. οὐκ ὀφθαλμοῖς τούτοις θεωροῦμαι νῦν͵ ὦ τέκ νον.

4. Tat: Into fierce frenzy and mind-fury hast thou plunged me, father, for now no longer do I see myself.

4  Εἰς μανίαν με οὐκ ὀλίγην καὶ οἴστρησιν φρενῶν ἐνέσεισας͵ ὦ πάτερ· ἐμαυτὸν γὰρ νῦν οὐχ ὁρῶ. 

Hermes: I would, my son, that thou hadst e’en passed right through thyself, as they who dream in sleep yet sleepless.

Εἴθε͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ καὶ σὺ σεαυτὸν διεξελήλυθας͵ ὡς οἱ ἐν ὕπνῳ ὀνει ροπολούμενοι χωρὶς ὕπνου. 

Tat: Tell me this too! Who is the author of Rebirth?

Λέγε μοι καὶ τοῦτο· τίς ἐστι γενεσιουργὸς τῆς παλιγγενεσίας; 

Hermes: The Son of God, the One Man, by God’s Will.

Ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ παῖς͵ ἄνθρωπος εἷς͵ θελήματι θεοῦ.

5. Tat: Now hast thou brought me, father, unto pure stupefaction. Arrested from the senses which I had before,...<lacuna in original text>; for [now] I see thy Greatness identical with thy distinctive form.

5  Νῦν τὸ λοιπόν͵ ὦ πάτερ͵ εἰς ἀφασίαν με ἤνεγκας· τῶν πρὶν ἀπολειφθεὶς φρενῶν͵ τὸ γὰρ μέγεθος βλέπω τὸ σὸν τὸ αὐτό͵ ὦ πάτερ͵ σὺν τῷ χαρακτῆρι. 

Hermes: Even in this thou art untrue; the mortal form doth change with every day. ‘Tis turned by time to growth and waning, as being an untrue thing.

Καὶ ἐν τούτῳ ψεύδῃ· τὸ γὰρ θνητὸν εἶδος καθ΄ ἡμέραν ἀλλάσσεται· χρόνῳ γὰρ τρέπεται εἰς αὔξησιν καὶ μείωσιν͵ ὡς ψεῦδος.

6. Tat: What then is true, Thrice-greatest One?

6  Τί οὖν ἀληθές ἐστιν͵ ὦ Τρισμέγιστε; 

Hermes: That which is never troubled, son, which cannot be defined; that which no color hath, nor any figure, which is not turned, which hath no garment, which giveth light; that which is comprehensible unto itself [alone], which doth not suffer change; that which no body can contain.

Τὸ μὴ θολούμενον͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ τὸ μὴ διοριζόμενον͵ τὸ ἀχρώματον͵ τὸ ἀσχημάτιστον͵ τὸ ἄτρεπτον͵ τὸ γυμνόν͵ τὸ φαῖνον͵ τὸ αὐτῷ καταληπτόν͵ τὸ ἀναλλοίωτον ἀγαθόν͵ τὸ ἀσώματον. 

Tat: In very truth I lose my reason, father. Just when I thought to be made wise by thee, I find the senses of this mind of mine blocked up.

Μέμηνα ὄντως͵ ὦ πάτερ· δοκοῦντος γάρ μου ὑπὸ σοῦ σοφοῦ γεγονέναι͵ ἐνεφράχθησαν αἱ αἰσθήσεις τούτου μου τοῦ νοήματος. 

Hermes: Thus is it, son: That which is upward borne like fire, yet is borne down like earth, that which is moist like water, yet blows like air, how shalt thou this perceive with sense - the that which is not solid nor yet moist, which naught can bind or loose, of which in power and energy alone can man have any notion - and even then it wants a man who can perceive the Way of Birth in God?

Οὕτως ἔχει͵ ὦ τέκνον· τὸ μὲν ἀνωφερές͵ ὡς πῦρ͵ καὶ κατωφερές͵ ὡς γῆ͵ καὶ ὑγρόν͵ ὡς ὕδωρ͵ καὶ σύμπνοον͵ ὡς ἀήρ ....͵ πῶς αἰσθητῶς αὐτὸ νοήσεις τὸ μὴ σκληρόν͵ τὸ μὴ ὑγρόν͵ τὸ ἀσφίγγωτον͵ τὸ μὴ διαδυόμενον͵ τὸ μόνον δυνάμει καὶ ἐνεργείᾳ νοούμενον͵ δεόμενον δὲ τοῦ δυναμένου νοεῖν τὴν ἐν θεῷ γένεσιν;

7. Tat: I am incapable of this, O father, then?

7  Ἀδύνατος οὖν εἰμι͵ ὦ πάτερ; 

Hermes: Nay, God forbid, my son! Withdraw into thyself, and it will come; will, and it comes to pass; throw out of work the body’s senses, and thy Divinity shall come to birth; purge from thyself the brutish torments - things of matter.

Μὴ γένοιτο͵ ὦ τέκνον· ἐπίσπασαι εἰς ἑαυτόν͵ καὶ ἐλεύσεται· θέλησον͵ καὶ γίνεται· κατάργησον τοῦ σώματος τὰς αἰσθήσεις͵ καὶ ἔσται ἡ γένεσις τῆς θεότητος· κάθαραι σεαυτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ἀλόγων τῆς ὕλης τιμωριῶν. 

Tat: I have tormentors then in me, O father?

Τιμωροὺς γὰρ ἐν ἐμαυτῷ ἔχω͵ ὦ πάτερ; 

Hermes: Ay, no few, my son; nay, fearful ones and manifold.

Οὐκ ὀλίγους͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ ἀλλὰ καὶ φοβε ροὺς καὶ πολλούς. 

Tat: I do not know them, father.

Ἀγνοῶ͵ ὦ πάτερ. 

Hermes: Torment the first is this Not-knowing, son; the second one is Grief; the third, Intemperance; the fourth, Concupiscence; the fifth, Unrighteousness; the sixth is Avarice; the seventh, Error; the eighth is Envy; the ninth, Guile; the tenth is Anger; eleventh, Rashness; the twelfth is Malice.

Μία αὕτη͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ τιμωρία ἡ ἄγνοια· δευτέρα λύπη· τρίτη ἀκρασία· τετάρτη ἐπιθυμία· πέμπτη ἀδικία· ἕκτη πλεονεξία· ἑβδόμη ἀπάτη· ὀγδόη φθόνος· ἐνάτη δόλος· δεκάτη ὀργή· ἑνδεκάτη προπέτεια·

These are in number twelve; but under them are many more, my son; and creeping through the prison of the body they force the man that’s placed therein to suffer in his senses. But they depart (though not all at once) from him who hath been taken pity on by God; and this it is which constitutes the manner of Rebirth. And... <lacuna in the original text> the Reason (Logos).

δωδεκάτη κακία· εἰσὶ δὲ αὗται τὸν ἀριθμὸν δώδεκα· ὑπὸ δὲ ταύτας πλείονες ἄλλαι͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ διὰ τοῦ δεσμωτηρίου τοῦ σώματος αἰσθητικῶς πάσχειν ἀναγκάζουσι τὸν ἐνδιάθετον ἄνθρω πον· ἀφίστανται δὲ αὗται͵ οὐκ ἀθρόως͵ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἐλεηθέν τος ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ͵ καὶ οὕτω συνίσταται ὁ τῆς παλιγγενε σίας τρόπος καὶ λόγος.

8. And now, my son, be still and solemn silence keep! Thus shall the mercy that flows on us from God not cease.

8 λοιπὸν σιώπησον͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ καὶ εὐφήμησον καὶ διὰ τοῦτο οὐ καταπαύσει τὸ ἔλεος εἰς ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ·

Henceforth rejoice, O son, for by the Powers of God thou art being purified for the articulation of the Reason (Logos).

χαῖρε λοιπόν͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ ἀνακαθαιρό μενος ταῖς τοῦ θεοῦ δυνάμεσιν͵ εἰς συνάρθρωσιν τοῦ Λόγου.

Gnosis of God hath come to us, and when this comes, my son, Not-knowing is cast out.

ἦλθεν ἡμῖν γνῶσις θεοῦ· ταύτης ἐλθούσης͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ ἐξηλάθη ἡ ἄγνοια.

Gnosis of Joy hath come to us, and on its coming, son, Sorrow will flee away to them who give it room.

ἦλθεν ἡμῖν γνῶσις χαρᾶς· παραγενο μένης ταύτης͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ ἡ λύπη φεύξεται εἰς τοὺς χωροῦντας αὐτήν.

The Power that follows Joy do I invoke, thy Self-control. O Power most sweet! Let us most gladly bid it welcome, son! How with its coming doth it chase Intemperance away!

9 δύναμιν καλῶ ἐπὶ χαρᾷ τὴν ἐγ κράτειαν· ὦ δύναμις ἡδίστη͵ προσλάβωμεν͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ αὐτὴν ἀσμενέστατα· πῶς ἅμα τῷ παραγενέσθαι ἀπώσατο τὴν ἀκρασίαν;

9. Now fourth, on Continence I call, the Power against Desire. <lacuna in the original text>

τετάρτην δὲ νῦν καλῶ καρτερίαν͵ τὴν κατὰ τῆς ἐπιθυμίας δύναμιν.

This step, my son, is Righteousness’ firm seat. For without judgement <other translators read this “without effort”> see how she hath chased Unrighteousness away. We are made righteous, son, by the departure of Unrighteousness.

ὁ βαθμὸς οὗτος͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ δικαιοσύνης ἐστὶν ἕδρασμα· χωρὶς γὰρ κρίσεως ἴδε πῶς τὴν ἀδικίαν ἐξήλασεν· ἐδικαιώθημεν͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ ἀδικίας ἀπού σης.

Power sixth I call to us - that against Avarice, Sharing-with-all.

ἕκτην δύναμιν καλῶ εἰς ἡμᾶς͵ τὴν κατὰ τῆς πλεονεξίας͵ κοινωνίαν.

And now that Avarice is gone, I call on Truth. And Error flees, and Truth is with us.

ἀποστάσης δὲ ἔτι καλῶ τὴν ἀλήθειαν καὶ φεύγει ἀπάτη͵

See how [the measure of] the Good is full, my son, upon Truth’s coming. For Envy is gone from us; and unto Truth is joined the Good as well, with Life and Light.

ἀλήθεια παραγίνεται ἴδε πῶς τὸ ἀγαθὸν πεπλήρωται͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ παραγινομένης τῆς ἀληθείας·

And now no more doth any torment of the Darkness venture nigh, but vanquished [all] have fled with whirring wings.

φθόνος γὰρ ἀφ΄ ἡμῶν ἀπέστη· τῇ δὲ ἀληθείᾳ καὶ τὸ ἀγα θὸν ἐπεγένετο͵ ἅμα ζωῇ καὶ φωτί͵ καὶ οὐκέτι ἐπῆλθεν οὐδεμία τοῦ σκότους τιμωρία͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐξέπτησαν νικηθεῖσαι ῥοίζῳ.

10. Thou knowest [now], my son, the manner of Rebirth. And when the Ten is come, my son, that driveth out the Twelve, the Birth in understanding <literally “intellectual birth”, noera genesis> is complete, and by this birth we are made into Gods.

10 ἔγνωκας͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ τῆς παλιγγενεσίας τὸν τρόπον· τῆς δεκάδος παραγινομένης͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ συνετέθη νοερὰ γένεσις καὶ τὴν δωδεκάδα ἐξελαύνει καὶ ἐθεώθημεν τῇ γενέσει·

Who then doth by His mercy gain this Birth in God, abandoning the body’s senses, knows himself [to be of Light and Life] and that he doth consist of these, and [thus] is filled with bliss.

ὅστις οὖν ἔτυχε κατὰ τὸ ἔλεος τῆς κατὰ θεὸν γενέσεως͵ τὴν σωματικὴν αἴσθησιν καταλιπών͵ ἑαυτὸν γνω ρίζει ἐκ τούτων συνιστάμενον καὶ εὐφραίνεται

11. Tat: By God made steadfast, father, no longer with the sight my eyes afford I look on things, but with the energy the Mind doth give me through the Powers.

11  Ἀκλινὴς γενόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ͵ ὦ πάτερ͵ φαν τάζομαι͵ οὐχ ὁράσει ὀφθαλμῶν ἀλλὰ τῇ διὰ δυνάμεων νοη τικῇ ἐνεργείᾳ.

In Heaven am I, in earth, in water, air; I am in animals, in plants; I’m in the womb, before the womb, after the womb; I’m everywhere!

ἐν οὐρανῷ εἰμι͵ ἐν γῇ͵ ἐν ὕδατι͵ ἐν ἀέρι· ἐν ζῴοις εἰμί͵ ἐν φυτοῖς· ἐν γαστρί͵ πρὸ γαστρός͵ μετὰ γασ τέρα͵ πανταχοῦ.

But further tell me this: How are the torments of the Darkness, when they are twelve in number, driven out by the ten Powers? What is the way of it, Thrice-greatest one?

ἀλλ΄ ἔτι τοῦτό μοι εἰπέ͵ πῶς αἱ τιμωρίαι τοῦ σκότους͵ οὖσαι ἀριθμῷ δώδεκα͵ ὑπὸ δέκα δυνάμεων ἀπωθοῦνται. τίς ὁ τρόπος͵ ὦ Τρισμέγιστε;

12. Hermes: This dwelling-place through which we have just passed <i.e., the human body>, my son, is constituted from the circle of the twelve types-of-life, this being composed of elements, twelve in number, but of one nature, an omniform idea. For man’s delusion there are disunions in them, son, while in their action they are one. Not only can we never part Rashness from Wrath; they cannot even be distinguished.

12  Τὸ σκῆνος τοῦτο͵ ὃ καί͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ διεξεληλύθαμεν͵ ἐκ τοῦ ζῳο φόρου κύκλου συνέστη καὶ τούτου συνεστῶτος ἐκ [ἀριθμῶν] δώδεκα ὄντων τὸν ἀριθμόν͵ φύσεως μιᾶς͵ παντομόρφου ἰδέας͵ εἰς πλάνην τοῦ ἀνθρώπου· διαζυγαὶ ἐν αὐταῖς εἰσιν͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ ἡνωμέναι ἐν τῇ πράξει ....ἀχώριστός ἐστιν ἡ προπέτεια τῆς ὀργῆς·

According to right reason (logos), then, they <the Twelve> naturally withdraw once and for all, in as much as they are chased out by no less than ten powers, that is, the Ten.

εἰσὶ δὲ καὶ ἀδιόριστοι. εἰκότως οὖν κατὰ τὸν ὀρθὸν λόγον τὴν ἀπόστασιν ποιοῦνται͵ καθὼς καὶ ἀπὸ δέκα δυνάμεων ἐλαυνόμεναι͵ τουτέστιν ἀπὸ τῆς δεκάδος·

For, son, the Ten is that which giveth birth to souls. And Life and Light are unified there, where the One hath being from the Spirit. According then to reason (logos) the One contains the Ten, the Ten the One.

ἡ γὰρ δεκάς͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ ἐστὶ ψυχογόνος· ζωὴ δὲ καὶ φῶς ἡνωμέναι εἰσίν͵ ἔνθα ὁ τῆς ἑνάδος ἀριθμὸς πέφυκε τοῦ πνεύματος. ἡ ἑνὰς οὖν κατὰ λόγον τὴν δεκάδα ἔχει͵ ἡ δὲ δεκὰς τὴν ἑνάδα.

13. Tat: Father, I see the All, I see myself in Mind.

13  Πάτερ͵ τὸ πᾶν ὁρῶ καὶ ἐμαυτὸν ἐν τῷ νοΐ. 

Hermes: This is, my son, Rebirth - no more to look on things from body’s view-point (a thing three ways in space extended)... <lacuna in text>, though this Sermon (Logos) on Rebirth, on which I did not comment - in order that we may not be calumniators of the All unto the multitude, to whom indeed God Himself doth will we should not.

Αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ παλιγγενεσία͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ τὸ μηκέτι φαντά ζεσθαι εἰς τὸ σῶμα τὸ τριχῇ διαστατόν ... διὰ τὸν λόγον τοῦτον τὸν περὶ τῆς παλιγγενεσίας  εἰς ὃν ὑπεμνηματι σάμην  ἵνα μὴ ὦμεν διάβολοι τοῦ παντὸς εἰς τοὺς πολ λούς͵  εἰς οὓς  ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸς θέλει.

14. Tat: Tell me, O father: This Body which is made up of the Powers, is it at any time dissolved?

14 Εἰπέ μοι͵ ὦ πάτερ͵ τὸ σῶμα τοῦτο τὸ ἐκ δυνά μεων συνεστὸς λύσιν ἴσχει ποτέ; 

Hermes: Hush, [son]! Speak not of things impossible, else wilt thou sin and thy Mind’s eye be quenched.

Εὐφήμησον καὶ μὴ ἀδύνατα φθέγγου· ἐπεὶ ἁμαρτήσεις καὶ ἀσεβηθήσεταί σου ὁ ὀφθαλμὸς τοῦ νοῦ.

The natural body which our sense perceives is far removed from this essential birth.

τὸ αἰσθητὸν τῆς φύσεως σῶμα πόρ ρωθέν ἐστι τῆς οὐσιωδοῦς γενέσεως·

The first must be dissolved, the last can never be; the first must die, the last death cannot touch.

τὸ μὲν γάρ ἐστι δια λυτόν͵ τὸ δὲ ἀδιάλυτον͵ καὶ τὸ μὲν θνητόν͵ τὸ δὲ ἀθάνατον.

Dost thou not know thou hast been born a God, Son of the One, even as I myself?

ἀγνοεῖς ὅτι θεὸς πέφυκας καὶ τοῦ ἑνὸς παῖς͵ ὃ κἀγώ;

15. Tat: I would, O father, hear the Praise-giving with hymn which thou didst say thou heardest then when thou wert at the Eight [the Ogdoad] of Powers

15  Ἐβουλόμην͵ ὦ πάτερ͵ τὴν διὰ τοῦ ὕμνου εὐλογίαν͵ ἣν ἔφης ἐπὶ τὴν ὀγδοάδα γενομένου σου ἀκοῦσαι τῶν δυνάμεων. 

Hermes: Just as the Shepherd did foretell [I should], my son, [when I came to] the Eight.

Καθὼς Ὀγδοάδα ὁ Ποιμάνδρης ἐθέσπισε͵ τέκνον͵

Well dost thou haste to “strike thy tent” <i.e., be free from the physical body>, for thou hast been made pure.

καλῶς σπεύδεις λῦσαι τὸ σκῆνος· κεκαθαρμένος γάρ.

The Shepherd, Mind of all masterhood, hath not passed on to me more than hath been written down, for full well did he know that I should of myself be able to learn all, and hear what I should wish, and see all things.

ὁ Ποιμάνδρης͵ ὁ τῆς αὐθεντίας νοῦς͵ πλέον μοι τῶν ἐγγεγραμμένων οὐ παρέδωκεν͵ εἰδὼς ὅτι ἀπ΄ ἐμαυτοῦ δυνήσομαι πάντα νοεῖν καὶ ἀκούειν ὧν βούλομαι͵ καὶ ὁρᾶν τὰ πάντα͵ καὶ ἐπέτρεψέ μοι ἐκεῖνος ποιεῖν τὰ καλά.

He left to me the making of fair things; wherefore the Powers within me. e’en as they are in all, break into song.

διὸ καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ ἐν ἐμοὶ ᾄδουσι. 

16. Tat: Father, I wish to hear; I long to know these things.

Θέλω͵ πάτερ͵ ἀκοῦσαι͵ καὶ βούλομαι ταῦτα νοῆσαι.

Hermes: Be still, my son; hear the Praise-giving now that keeps [the soul] in tune, Hymn of Re-birth - a hymn I would not have thought fit so readily to tell, had’st thou not reached the end of all.

16  Ἡσύχασον͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ καὶ τῆς ἁρμοζούσης νῦν ἄκουε εὐλογίας͵ τὸν ὕμνον τῆς παλιγγενεσίας͵ ὃν οὐκ ἔκρινα οὕτως εὐκόλως ἐκφάναι͵ εἰ μὴ σοὶ ἐπὶ τέλει τοῦ παντός.

Wherefore this is not taught, but is kept hid in silence.

ὅθεν τοῦτο οὐ διδάσκεται͵ ἀλλὰ κρύπτεται ἐν σιγῇ.

Thus then, my son, stand in a place uncovered to the sky, facing the southern wind, about the sinking of the setting sun, and make thy worship; so in like manner too when he doth rise, with face to the east wind.

οὕτως οὖν͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ στὰς ἐν ὑπαίθρῳ τόπῳ͵ νότῳ ἀνέμῳ ἀπο βλέπων περὶ καταφορὰν τοῦ ἡλίου δύνοντος͵ προσκύνει· ὁμοίως καὶ ἀνιόντος πρὸς ἀπηλιώτην.

Now, son, be still!

ἡσύχασον͵ ὦ τέκνον.

The Secret Hymnody


17. Let every nature of the World receive the utterance of my hymn!

17 πᾶσα φύσις κόσμου προσδεχέσθω τοῦ ὕμνου τὴν ἀκοήν.

Open thou Earth! Let every bolt of the Abyss be drawn for me. Stir not, ye Trees!

ἀνοίγηθι γῆ͵ ἀνοιγήτω μοι πᾶς μοχλὸς ὄμβρου͵ τὰ δένδρα μὴ σείεσθε.

I am about to hymn creation’s Lord, both All and One.

ὑμνεῖν μέλλω τὸν τῆς κτίσεως κύριον͵ καὶ τὸ πᾶν καὶ τὸ ἕν.

Ye Heavens open and ye Winds stay still; [and] let God’s deathless Sphere receive my word (logos)!

ἀνοίγητε οὐρανοί͵ ἄνεμοί τε στῆτε. ὁ κύκλος ὁ ἀθάνατος τοῦ θεοῦ͵ προσδεξάσθω μου τὸν λόγον·

For I will sing the praise of Him who founded all; who fixed the Earth, and hung up Heaven, and gave command that Ocean should afford sweet water [to the Earth], to both those parts that are inhabited and those that are not, for the support and use of every man; who made the Fire to shine for gods and men for every act.

μέλλω γὰρ ὑμνεῖν τὸν κτίσαντα τὰ πάντα͵ τὸν πήξαντα τὴν γῆν καὶ οὐρανὸν κρεμάσαντα καὶ ἐπιτάξαντα ἐκ τοῦ ὠκεα νοῦ τὸ γλυκὺ ὕδωρ εἰς τὴν οἰκουμένην καὶ ἀοίκητον ὑπάρ χειν εἰς διατροφὴν καὶ κτίσιν πάντων τῶν ἀνθρώπων͵ τὸν ἐπιτάξαντα πῦρ φανῆναι εἰς πᾶσαν πρᾶξιν θεοῖς τε καὶ ἀνθρώποις.

Let us together all give praise to Him, sublime above the Heavens, of every nature Lord!

δῶμεν πάντες ὁμοῦ αὐτῷ τὴν εὐλογίαν͵ τῷ ἐπὶ τῶν οὐρανῶν μετεώρῳ͵ τῷ πάσης φύσεως κτίστῃ.

‘Tis He who is the Eye of Mind; may He accept the praise of these my Powers!

οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τοῦ νοῦ ὀφθαλμός͵ καὶ δέξαιτο τῶν δυνάμεων μου τὴν εὐλογίαν.

18. Ye powers that are within me, hymn the One and All; sing with my Will, Powers all that are within me!

18 αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ ἐν ἐμοί͵ ὑμνεῖτε τὸ ἓν καὶ τὸ πᾶν· συνᾴσατε τῷ θελήματί μου πᾶσαι αἱ ἐν ἐμοὶ δυνάμεις.

O blessed Gnosis, by thee illumined, hymning through thee the Light that mind alone can see, I joy in Joy of Mind.

γνῶσις ἁγία͵ φωτισθεὶς ἀπὸ σοῦ͵ διὰ σοῦ τὸ νοητὸν φῶς ὑμνῶν χαίρω ἐν χαρᾷ νοῦ.

Sing with me praises all ye Powers!

πᾶσαι δυνάμεις ὑμνεῖτε σὺν ἐμοί.

Sing praise, my Self-control; sing thou through me, my Righteousness, the praises of the Righteous; sing thou, my Sharing-all, the praises of the All; through me sing, Truth, Truth’s praises!

καὶ σύ μοι͵ ἐγκράτεια͵ ὕμνει. δικαιοσύνη μου͵ τὸ δίκαιον ὕμνει δι΄ ἐμοῦ. κοινωνία ἡ ἐμή͵ τὸ πᾶν ὕμνει δι΄ ἐμοῦ· ὕμνει ἀλήθεια τὴν ἀλήθειαν. τὸ ἀγαθόν͵ ἀγαθόν͵ ὕμνει·

Sing thou, O Good, the Good! O Life and Light, from us to you our praises flow!

ζωὴ καὶ φῶς͵ ἀφ΄ ὑμῶν εἰς ὑμᾶς χωρεῖ ἡ εὐλογία.

Father, I give Thee thanks, to Thee Thou Energy of all my Powers; I give Thee thanks, O God, Thou Power of all my Energies!

εὐχαριστῶ σοι͵ πάτερ͵ ἐνέργεια τῶν δυνάμεων. εὐχαριστῶ σοι͵ θεέ͵ δύναμις τῶν ἐνεργειῶν μου·

19. Thy Reason (Logos) sings through me Thy praises. Take back through me the All into [Thy] Reason - [my] reasonable oblation!

ὁ σὸς Λόγος δι΄ ἐμοῦ ὑμνεῖ σέ. δι΄ ἐμοῦ δέξαι τὸ πᾶν λόγῳ͵ λογικὴν θυσίαν.

Thus cry the Powers in me. They sing Thy praise, Thou All; they do Thy Will.

19 ταῦτα βοῶσιν αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ ἐν ἐμοί· τὸ πᾶν ὑμνοῦσι͵

From Thee Thy Will; to Thee the All. Receive from all their reasonable oblation. The All that is in us, O Life, preserve; O Light<,> illumine it; O God<,> in-spirit it.

τὸ σὸν θέλημα τελοῦσι͵ σὴ βουλὴ ἀπὸ σοῦ ἐπὶ σέ͵ τὸ πᾶν. δέξαι ἀπὸ πάντων λογικὴν θυσίαν· τὸ πᾶν τὸ ἐν ἡμῖν͵ σῷζε ζωή͵ φώτιζε φῶς͵  πνεῦμα  θεέ·

It it Thy Mind that plays the shepherd to Thy Word, O Thou Creator, Bestower of the Spirit [upon all].

Λόγον γὰρ τὸν σὸν ποιμαί νει ὁ Νοῦς. πνευματοφόρε͵ δημιουργέ·

20. [For] Thou art God, Thy Man thus cries to Thee through Fire, through Air, through Earth, through Water, [and] through Spirit, through Thy creatures.

20 σὺ εἶ ὁ θεός. ὁ σὸς ἄνθρωπος ταῦτα βοᾷ διὰ πυρός͵ δι΄ ἀέρος͵ διὰ γῆς͵ διὰ ὕδατος͵ διὰ πνεύματος͵ διὰ τῶν κτισμάτων σου.

‘Tis from Thy Aeon I have found praise-giving; and in thy Will, the object of my search, have I found rest.

ἀπὸ σοῦ Αἰῶνος εὐλογίαν εὗρον καί͵ ὃ ζητῶ͵ βουλῇ τῇ σῇ ἀναπέπαυ μαι.

Tat: By thy good pleasure have I seen this praise-giving being sung, O father; I have set it in my Cosmos too.

εἶδον θελήματι τῷ σῷ τὴν εὐλογίαν ταύτην λεγομένην.

Hermes: Say in the Cosmos that thy mind alone can see, my son.

21  Ὦ πάτερ͵ τέθεικα καὶ ἐν κόσμῳ τῷ ἐμῷ. 

Tat: Yea, father, in the Cosmos that the mind alone can see; for I have been made able by thy Hymn, and by thy Praise-giving my mind hath been illumined. But further I myself as well would from my natural mind send praise-giving to God.

Ἐν τῷ νοητῷ λέγε͵ τέκνον.  Ἐν τῷ νοητῷ͵ ὦ πάτερ· δύναμαι. ἐκ τοῦ σοῦ ὕμνου καὶ τῆς σῆς εὐλογίας ἐπιπεφώ τισταί μου ὁ νοῦς. πλέον θέλω κἀγὼ πέμψαι ἐξ ἰδίας φρενὸς εὐλογίαν τῷ θεῷ. 

21. Hermes: But not unheedfully, my son.

Ὦ τέκνον͵ μὴ ἀσκόπως. 

Tat: Aye. What I behold in mind, that do I say.

Ἐν τῷ νῷ͵ ὦ πάτερ͵ ἃ θεωρῶ͵ λέγω.

To thee, thou Parent of my Bringing into Birth, as unto God I, Tat, send reasonable offerings. o God and Father, thou art the Lord, thou art the Mind. Receive from me oblations reasonable as thou would’st wish; for by thy Will all things have been perfected.

σοί͵ γενάρχα τῆς γενεσιουρ γίας͵ Τὰτ θεῷ πέμπω λογικὰς θυσίας. θεέ͵ σὺ πάτερ͵ σὺ ὁ κύριος͵ σὺ ὁ νοῦς͵ δέξαι λογικὰς ἃς θέλεις ἀπ΄ ἐμοῦ· σοῦ γὰρ βουλομένου πάντα τελεῖται. 

Hermes: Send thou oblation, son, acceptable to God, the Sire of all; but add, my son, too, “through the Word” (Logos).

Σύ͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ πέμψον δεκτὴν θυσίαν τῷ πάντων πατρὶ θεῷ. ἀλλὰ καὶ πρόσθες͵ ὦ τέκνον͵ διὰ τοῦ Λόγου.

Tat: I give you, thanks father, for showing me how to sing such [hymns].

22  Εὐχαριστῶ σοι͵ πάτερ͵  ταῦτά μοι αἰνεῖν εὐξαμένῳ.  

22. Hermes: I am happy, my son, that you have brought forth the good fruits of Truth, products that are immortal.

Χαίρω͵ τέκνον͵ καρποφορήσαντος ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας τὰ ἀγαθά͵ τὰ ἀθάνατα γενήματα.

And now that thou hast learnt this lesson from me, make promise to keep silence on thy virtue, and to no soul, my son, make known the handing on to thee the manner of Rebirth, that we may not be thought to be calumniators.

τοῦτο μαθὼν παρ΄ ἐμοῦ τῆς ἀρετῆς σιγὴν ἐπάγγειλαι͵ μηδενί͵ τέκνον͵ ἐκφαί νων τῆς παλιγγενεσίας τὴν παράδοσιν͵ ἵνα μὴ ὡς διάβολοι λογισθῶμεν.

And now we both of us have given heed sufficiently, both I the speaker and the hearer thou.

ἱκανῶς γὰρ ἕκαστος ἡμῶν ἐπεμελήθη͵ ἐγώ τε ὁ λέγων͵ σύ τε ὁ ἀκούων.

You have noetically become a Knower of yourself and our [common] Father.

νοερῶς ἔγνως σεαυτὸν καὶ τὸν πατέρα τὸν ἡμέτερον.



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