Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. 3, by G.R.S. Mead, , at sacred-texts.com
(Patrizzi (p. 51b) gives no title; but simply the heading “In Another [Book].”
Text: Stob., Phys., xxxv. 11, under the heading: “Of Hermes”; G. pp. 295, 296; M. i. 206; W. i. 293.
Ménard, Livre IV., No. iv. of “Fragments Divers,” p. 274).
1. [Her.] There is, then, That which transcends being, 1—beyond all things existent, and all that really are.
For That-transcending-being is [that mystery] because of which exists that being-ness 2 which is called universal, common unto intelligibles that really are, and to those beings which are thought of according to the law of sameness.
Those which are contrary to these, according to the law of otherness, are again themselves according to themselves. 3
And Nature is an essence which the senses can perceive, containing in itself all sensibles.
2. Between these 1 are the intelligible 2 and the sensible gods.
Things that pertain to the intelligence, share in [the nature of] the Gods that are intelligible only; while things pertaining to opinion, have their part with those that are the sensible.
These latter are the images of the intelligences 3; the Sun, for instance, is the image of the Demiurgic God above the Heaven.
For just as He hath made the universe, so doth Sun make the animals, and generate the plants, and regulate the breaths. 4
I have supplied the title for the sake of uniformity. If we compare our extract with Ex. vii, and especially the last sentence of the former with the first sentence of § 2 of the latter, and note that in Stobæus the one excerpt follows almost immediately on the other, we shall be fairly well persuaded that they both come from the same collection—namely, the Sermons to Tat.
24:1 Or the pre-existent; τὸ πρὸ ὄν, or τὸ προόν.
24:2 οὐσιότης; or essentiality.
24:3 This seems to refer to the seven spheres of difference or otherness (κατὰ τὸ ἕτερον) moving symbolically against, or “crosswise with,” the all-embracing sphere of sameness (καθ᾽ ἑαυτό); or it may mean that they have a sameness in the fact that their motions enter into themselves “again.”
25:1 Presumably God and Nature.
25:2 νοηματικοί,—a very rare form, and may possibly mean perceptible.
25:4 Or spirits. The last clause, “and regulates,” etc., is absent from some MSS., and is, therefore, considered spurious by some editors; but its unexpectedness is a strong guarantee of its genuineness. The “spirits” are the prāṇas of Hindu physiological psychology; cf. C. H., x. (xi.) 13, Comment., and Exs. xv. 2, xix. 3.