Theōthēnai

Poimandres

“Εὖ με πάντα,” ἔφην, “ὡς ἐβουλόμην, ἐδίδαξας, ὦ νοῦς. ἔτι δέ μοι εἰπὲ <περὶ> τῆς ἀνόδου τῆς γινομένης.”
πρὸς ταῦτα ὁ Ποιμάνδρης εἷπε, Πρῶτον μὲν ἐν τῇ ἀναλύσει τοῦ σώματος τοῦ ὑλικοῦ παραδίδωσιν αὐτὸ τὸ σῶμα εἰς ἀλλοίωσιν, καὶ τὸ εἶδος ὃ εἶχες, ἀφανὲς γίνεται. καὶ τὸ ἦθος τῷ δαίμονι ἀνενέργητον παραδίδωσι, καὶ αἱ αἰσθήσεις τοῦ σώματος εἰς τὰς ἑαυτῶν πηγὰς ἐπανέρχονται μέρη γινόμεναι, καὶ πάλιν συνιστάμεναι εἰς τὰς ἐνεργείας. καὶ ὁ θυμὸς καὶ ἡ ἐπιθυμία εἰς τὴν ἄλογον φύσιν χωρεῖ. καὶ οὕτως ὁρμᾷ λοιπὸν ἄνω διὰ τῆς ἁρμονίας, καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ζώνῃ δίδωσι τὴν αὐξητικὴν ἐνέργειαν καὶ τὴν μειωτικήν, καὶ τῇ δευτέρᾳ τὴν μηχανὴν τῶν κακῶν, καὶ τὸν δόλον ἀνενέργητον, καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ τὴν ἐπιθυμητικὴν ἀπάτην ἀνενέργητον, καὶ τῇ τετάρτῃ τὴν ἀρχοντικὴν ὑπεριφανίαν ἀπλεονέκτητον, καὶ τῇ πέμπτῃ τὸ θράσος τὸ ἀνόσιον καὶ τῆς τόλμης τὴν προπέτειαν, καὶ τῇ ἕκτῃ τὰς ἀφορμὰς τὰς κακὰς τοῦ πλούτου ἀνενεργήτους, καὶ τῇ ἑβδόμῃ ζώνῃ τὸ ἐνεδρεῦον ψεῦδος. καὶ τότε γυμνωθεὶς ἀπὸ τῶν τῆς ἁρμονίας ἐνεργημάτων γίνεται ἐπὶ τὴν ὀγδοατικὴν φύσιν τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν ἔχων, καὶ ὑμνεῖ σὺν τοῖς οὖσι τὸν πατέρα. συγχαίρουσι δὲ οἱ παρόντες τῇ τούτου παρουσίᾳ, καὶ ὁμοιωθεὶς τοῖς συνοῦσιν ἀκούει καί τῶν δυνάμεων ὑπὲρ τὴν ὀγδοατικὴν φύσιν οὐσῶν φωνῇ τινι ἡδείᾳ ὑμνουσῶν τὸν θεόν. καὶ τότε τάξει ἀνέρχονται πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, καὶ αὐτοὶ εἰς δυνάμεις ἑαυτοὺς παραδιδόασι, καὶ δυνάμεις γενόμενοι ἐν θεῷ γίνονται. τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ ἀγαθὸν τέλος τοῖς γνῶσιν ἐσχηκόσι, θεωθῆναι. λοιπόν, τί μέλλεις; οὐχ ὡς πάντα παραλαβὼν καθοδηγὸς γίνῃ τοῖς ἀξίοις, ὅπως τὸ γένος τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος διὰ σοῦ ὑπὸ θεοῦ σωθῇ;”
(Corpus Hermeticum 1.24-26)

“You have taught me all things well, o mind, just as I wanted. But tell me again (about) the way up; tell me how it happens.”
To this Poimandres said: “First, in releasing the material body you give the body itself over to alteration, and the form that you used to have vanishes. To the demon you give over your temperament, now inactive. The body’s senses rise up and flow back to their particular sources, becoming separate parts and mingling again with the energies. And feeling and longing go on toward irrational nature. Thence the human being rushes up through the cosmic framework, at the first zone surrendering the energy of increase and decrease; at the second evil machination, a device now inactive; at the third the illusion of longing, now inactive; at the fourth the ruler’s arrogance, now freed of excess; at the fifth unholy presumption and daring recklessness; at the sixth the evil impulses that come from wealth, now inactive; and at the seventh zone the deceit that lies in ambush. And then, stripped of the effects of the cosmic framework, the human enters the region of the ogdoad; he has his own proper power, and along with the blessed he hymns the father. Those present there rejoice together in his presence, and, having become like his companions, he also hears certain powers that exist beyond the ogdoadic region and hymn god with sweet voice. They rise up to the father in order and surrender themselves to the powers, and, having become powers, they enter into god. This is the final good for those who have received knowledge: to be made god. Why do you still delay? Having learned all this, should you not become guideto the worthy so that through you the human race might be saved by god?” (tr. Brian P. Copenhaver)

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