Ἐννοίας μοί ποτε γενομένης περὶ τῶν ὄντων καὶ μετεωρισθείσης μοι τῆς διανοίας σφόδρα, κατασχεθεισῶν μου τῶν σωματικῶν αἰσθήσεων, καθάπερ οἱ ὕπνῳ βεβαρημένοι ἐκ κόρου τροφῆς ἢ ἐκ κόπου σώματος, ἔδοξά τινα ὑπερμεγέθη μέτρῳ ἀπεριορίστῳ τυγχάνοντα καλεῖν μου τὸ ὄνομα καὶ λέγοντά μοι, “τί βούλει ἀκοῦσαι καὶ θεάσασθαι, καὶ νοήσας μαθεῖν καὶ γνῶναι;” – φημὶ ἐγώ, “σὺ γὰρ τίς εἶ;” – “ἐγὼ μέν” φησίν “εἰμὶ ὁ Ποιμάνδρης, ὁ τῆς αὐθεντίας νοῦς· οἷδα ὃ βούλει, καὶ σύνειμί σοι πανταχοῦ.” – φημὶ ἐγώ, “μαθεῖν θέλω τὰ ὄντα καὶ νοῆσαι τὴν τούτων φύσιν καὶ γνῶναι τὸν θεόν· πῶς” ἔφην “ἀκοῦσαι βούλομαι.” – φησὶν ἐμοὶ πάλιν, “ἔχε νῷ σῷ ὅσα θέλεις μαθεῖν, κἀγώ σε διδάξω.” τοῦτο εἰπὼν ἠλλάγη τῇ ἰδέᾳ, καὶ εὐθέως πάντα μοι ἤνοικτο ῥοπῇ, καὶ ὁρῶ θέαν ἀόριστον, φῶς δὲ πάντα γεγενημένα, εὔδιόν τε καὶ ἱλαρόν, καὶ ἠράσθην ἰδών.
(Corpus Hermeticum 1.1-4)
Once, when thought came to me of the things that are and my thinking soared high and my bodily senses were restrained, like someone heavy with sleep from too much eating or toil of the body, an enormous being completely unbounded in size seemed to appear to me and call my name and say to me: “What do you want to hear and see; what do you want to learn and know from your understanding?”
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I am Poimandres,” he said, “mind of sovereignty; I know what you want, and I am with you everywhere.”
I said, “I wish to learn about the things that are, to understand their nature and to know god. How much I want to hear!” I said.
Then he said to me: “Keep in mind all that you wish to learn, and I will teach you.”
Saying this, he changed his appearance, and in an instant everything was immediately opened to me. I saw an endless vision in which everything became light – clear and joyful – and in seeing the vision I came to love it.
(tr. Brian P. Copenhaver)