Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. 3, by G.R.S. Mead, , at sacred-texts.com
(Patrizzi (p. 42) runs this on to Ex. xix. without a break.
Text: Stob., Ethica, vii. 31, under heading: “Of Hermes”; G. (ii.) pp. 654, 655; M. ii. 100, 101; W. ii. 160, 161.
Ménard, Livre IV., No. i. of “Fragments Divers,” pp. 271, 272.)
There is, then, essence, reason, thought, 1 perception. 2
Opinion and sensation move towards perception; reason directs itself towards essence; and thought sends itself forth through its own self.
And thought is interwoven with perception, and entering into one another they become one form,—which is that of the Soul [itself].
Opinion and sensation move towards the Souls perception; but they do not remain in the same state. Hence is there excess, and falling short, and difference with them.
When they are drawn away from the perception, they deteriorate; but when they follow it and are obedient, they share in the perceptive reason through the sciences. 1
2. We have the power to choose; it is within our power to choose the better, and in like way [to choose] the worse, according to our will. 2
And if [our] choice clings to the evil things, it doth consort with the corporeal nature; [and] for this cause Fate rules oer him who makes this choice.
Since, then, the intellectual essence 3 in us is absolutely free,—[namely] the reason that embraces all in thought,—and that it ever is a law unto itself and self-identical, on this account Fate does not reach it. 4
Thus furnishing it first from the First God, it 5 sent forth the perceptive reason, and the whole reason which Nature hath appointed unto them that come to birth.
With these the Soul consorting, consorteth with their fates, though [in herself] she hath no part [or lot] in their fates nature.
(Patrizzi (p. 42) adds the following to the preceding; it is not found in Stobæus, and appears to be a scholium.)
What is necessitated by the interwoven harmony 1 of [all] the parts, in no way differs from that which is fated.
I have supplied a temporary heading for the sake of uniformity. Our extract, however, seems to be taken from a lengthy treatise, and was probably one of the Sermons to Tat.
85:1 διὰ τῶν μαθημἄτων.
85:2 Reading ἑκουσίως for the meaningless ἀκουσίως of the text.
85:3 Reading νοηματικὴ with Patrizzi, instead of σωματικὴ as with G. W. prefers ἀσώματος (incorporal).
85:4 Sc. the reason.
85:5 The Soul, or intellectual essence. The text is very obscure, and Wachsmuth does not seem to have improved it. Cf. C. H., xii. (xiii.) 8.
86:1 Lit. interweaving.