Spiritual text 1

Mysteries of God, Cosmos, Humanity: experiencing the divine

Spiritual text: Corpus Hermeticum 8:20-35


If you also wish to perceive God in and through the mortal beings who are on earth and in the deeps, consider then, my son, how man is fashioned in the womb; investigate with care the skill of this genesis and learn who the craftsman is of this fair and godlike image of man.

Who has modelled the spherical shape of the eyes? Who has pierced the orifices of the nostrils and ears? Who has opened the mouth?
Who has stretched the network of the muscles and nerves and fastened it to the body? Who has laid the systems of the veins? Who has given the bones their firmness? Who has covered the flesh with skin? Who has separated the fingers?

Who has widened the soles of the feet?
Who has bored the body’s outlet ducts?
Who has given the spleen its place?
Who has given the heart its pyramidal shape?
Who has made the liver broad?
Who has made the lungs porous?
Who has given the belly its capaciousness?
Who has disclosed the most honorable parts, while hiding out of sight those of least honour?

See how much skill and how many different crafts have been employed on one matter, how many works of art have been assembled in one single piece; all are exceedingly beautiful, all perfect in measure, all diverse from one another. Who has made all these things? What other Mother, what other Father, than the God, who has wrought all this by His will!

No one claims that a statue or a portrait has come into being without a sculptor or a painter. Should then this creation have been brought into existence without a Creator? Oh, what depths of blindness; Oh, what absolute God-forsakenness; Oh, what a nadir of obtuseness. Therefore, O Tat, never deny the Creator the works of His hands. His greatness is expressed better and stronger by the designation: ‘Father of all things’, than by the name of Him alone does it befit to be Father. Yes, this is in truth His manifesting deed.

And if you force me to say something bolder still: it is in His being to fecundate and bring forth all things. As it is impossible for anything to come into being without a Creator, so the Creator would not be the everlasting if He did not eternally create: in heaven, in the air, on earth, in the deeps, in all parts of the Universe, in the entire All, in what is and what is not.

There is nothing in the whole of the All that He is not. He is both the things that are and the things that are not. All that is, He has made manifest, and all that is not, He contains within Himself. He, God, is sublime beyond all name; He, the invisible, who is yet the most manifest; He who is beheld by the Spirit- Soul, but who is also perceptible to the eyes; he the bodiless, who has many, nay all bodies. There is nothing that he is not; for all that is, is he. For this reason He has all names, because they are all out of the one Father. For this reason he has no name at all, because he is the Father of the all.

Who could praise you too highly, or in keeping with your worth and value? Where shall I turn my eye for my praise? Upward, downward, inward, outward? There is no way, no place, not a single creature, that is located outside.

You manifest yourself as the active, universal power. You are the good, because you have wrought all things.

The subtlest part of matter is air.
The subtlest part of air is the soul.
The subtlest part of the soul is the spirit.
The subtlest part of the spirit is God.