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Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. 3, by G.R.S. Mead, [1906], at

p. 63



(Title from Patrizzi (p. 40); preceded by “Of Thrice-greatest Hermes,” and followed by “To the Same Ammon.”

Text: Stob., Phys., xxxv. 9, under heading: “Of Hermes from the [Sermons] to Ammon”; G. pp. 282, 283; M. i. 196, 197; W. 281, 282.

Ménard, Livre IV., No. iii. of “Fragments of the Books of Hermes to Ammon,” pp. 259, 260.)

1. The Soul is further [in itself] incorporal essence, and even when in body it by no means doth depart from the essentiality peculiar to itself.

Its nature is, according to its essence to be for ever moving, according to its thought [to be] self-motive [purely], not moved in something, nor towards something, nor [yet] because of something.

For it is prior [to them] in power, and prior stands not in any need of consequents.

“In something,” furthermore,—means space, and time, and nature; “towards something,”—[this] means harmony, and form, and figure; “because of something,”—[this] means body, for ’tis because of body that there is time, and space, and nature.

p. 64

Now all these things are in connection with each other by means of a congenital relationship.

2. For instance, now, the body must have space, for it would be past all contriving that a body should exist without a space.

It changes, too, in nature, and ’tis impossible for change to be apart from time, and from the movement nature makes; nor is it further possible for there to be composing of a body apart from harmony.

It is because of body, then, that space exists; for that by its reception of the changes of the body, it does not let a thing that’s changing pass away.

But, changing, it doth alternate from one thing to another, and is deprived of being in a permanent condition, but not of being body.

For body, quâ body, remains body; but any special moment of its state does not remain.

The body, then, keeps changing in its states.

3. And so, space is incorporal, and time, and natural motion; but each of these has naturally its own peculiar property.

The property of space is receptivity; of time [’tis] interval and number; of nature [it is] motion; of harmony [’tis] love; of body, change.

The special nature of the Soul, however, is essential thought. 1


64:1 Or thinking according to essence,—ἡ κατ’ οὐσίαν νόησις.

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