Corpus Hermeticum - Book 5.

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The Fifth Book.

"That God is not Manifest and yet most Manifest."

1. This Discourse I will also make to thee, O Tat, that thou mayest not be ignorant of the more excellent Name of God.

2. But do thou contemplate in thy Mind, how that which to many seems hidden and unmanifest, may be most manifest unto thee.

3. For it were not all, if it were apparent, for whatsoever is apparent, is generated or made; for it was made manifest, but that which is not manifest is ever.

4. For it needeth not to be manifested, for it is always.

5. And he maketh all other things manifest, being unmanifest as being always, and making other things manifest, he is not made manifest.

9. Himself is not made, yet in fantasy he fantasieth all things, or in appearance he maketh them appear, for appearance is only of those things that are generated or made, for appearance is nothing but generation.

7. But he is that One, that is not made nor generated, is also unapparent and unmanifest.

8. But making all things appear, he appeareth in all and by all; but especially he is manifested to or in those things wherein himself listeth.

9. Thou therefore, O Tat, my Son, pray first to the Lord and Father, and to the Alone and to the One from whom is one to be merciful to thee, that thou mayest knowest and understand so great a God; and that he would shine one of his beams upon thee In thy understanding.

10. For only the Understanding sees that which is not manifest or apparent, as being itself not manifest or apparent; and if thou canst, O Tat, it will appear to the eyes of thy Mind.

11. For the Lord, void of envy, appeareth through the whole world. Thou mayest see the intelligence, and take it in thy hands, and contemplate the Image of God.

12. But if that which is in thee, be not known or apparent unto thee, how shall he in thee be seen, and appear unto thee by the eyes?

13. But if thou wilt see him, consider and understand the Sun, consider the course of the Moon, consider the order of the Stars.

14. Who is he that keepeth order? for all order is circumscribed or terminated in number and place.

15. The Sun is the greatest of the Gods in heaven, to whom all the heavenly Gods give place, as to a King and potentate; and yet he being such a one, greater than the Earth or the Sea, is content to suffer infinite lesser stars to walk and move above himself; whom doth he fear the while, O Son?

16. Every one of these Stars that are in Heaven, do not make the like, or an equal course; who is it that hath prescribed unto every one, the manner and the greatness of their course!

17. This Bear that turns round about its own self; and carries round the whole World with her, who possessed and made such an Instrument.

18. Who hath set the Bounds to the Sea? who hath established the Earth? for there is some body, O Tat, that is the Maker and Lord of these things.

19. For it is impossible, O Son, that either place, or number, or measure, should be observed without a Maker.

20. For no order can be made by disorder or disproportion.

21. I would it were possible for thee, O my Son, to have wings, and to fly into the Air, and being taken up in the midst, between Heaven and Earth, to see the stability of the Earth, the fluidness of the Sea, the courses of the Rivers, the largeness of the Air, the sharpness or swiftness of the Fire, the motion of the Stars; and the speediness of the Heaven, by which it goeth round about all these.

22. O Son, what a happy sight it were, at one instant, to see all these, that which is unmovable moved, and that which is hidden appear and be manifest.

23. And if thou wilt see and behold this Workman, even by mortal things that are upon Earth, and in the deep. Consider, O Son, how Man is made and framed in the Womb; and examine diligently the skill and cunning of the Workman, and learn who it was that wrought and fashioned the beautiful and Divine shape of Man; who circumscribed and marked out his eyes? who bored his nostrils and ears? who opened his mouth? who stretched out and tied together his sinews! who channelled the veins? who hardened and made strong the bones! who clothed the flesh with skin? who divided the fingers and the joints! who flatted and made broad the soles of the feet! who digged the pores! who stretched out the spleen, who made the heart like a Pyramis? who made the Liver broad! who made the Lights spungy, and full of holes! who made the belly large and capacious? who set to outward view the more honourable parts and hid the filthy ones.

24. See how many Arts in one Matter, and how many Works in one Superscription, and all exceedingly beautiful, and all done in measure, and yet all differing.

25. Who hath made all these things! what Mother! what Father! save only God that is not manifest! that made all things by his own Will.

26;: And no man says that a statue or an image is made without a Carver or a Painter, and was this Workmanship made without a Workman? O great Blindness, O great Impiety, O great Ignorance.

27. Never, O Son Tat, canst thou deprive the Workmanship of the Workman, rather it is the best Name of all the Names of God, to call him the Father of all, for so he is alone; and this is his Work to be the Father.

28. And if thou wilt force me to say anything more boldly, it is his Essence to be pregnant, or great with all things, and to make them.

29. And as without a Maker, it is impossible that anything should be made, so it is that he should not always be, and always be making all things in Heaven, in the Air, in the Earth, in the Deep, in the whole World, and in every part of the whole that is, or that is not.

30. For there is nothing in the whole World, that is not himself both the things that are and the things that are not.

31. For the things that are, he hath made manifest; and the things that are not, he hath hid in himself.

32. This is God that is better than any name; this is he that is secret; this is he that is most manifest; this is he that is to be seen by the Mind ; this is he that is visible to the eye; this is he that hath no body; and this is he that hath many bodies, rather there is nothing of any body, which is not He.

33. For he alone is all things.

34. And for this cause He hath all Names, because He is the One Father; and therefore He hath no Name, because He is the Father of all.

35. Who therefore can bless thee, or give thanks for thee, or to thee.

36. Which way shall I look, when I praise thee? upward? downward? outward? inward?

37. For about thee there is no manner, nor place, nor anything else of all things that are.

38. But all things are in thee; all things from thee, thou givest all things, and takest nothing; for thou hast all things and there is nothing that thou hast not.

39. When shall I praise thee, O Father; for it is neither possible to comprehend thy hour, nor thy time?

40. For what shall I praise thee? for what thou hast made, or for what thou hast not made! fur those things thou hast manifested, or for those things thou hast hidden?

41. Wherefore shall I praise thee as being of myself, or having anything of mine own, or rather being another's?

42. For thou art what I am, thou art what I do, thou art what I say.

43. Thou Art All Things, and there is Nothing Else Thou art not.

44. Thou Art Thou, All that is Made, and all that is not Made.

45. The Mind that Understandeth.

46. The Father that Maketh and Frameth.

47. The Good that Worketh.

48. The Good that doth All Things.

49. Of the Matter, the most subtle and slender part is Air, of the Air the Soul, of the Soul the Mind, of the Mind God.

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