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KGN -- IIb

46 The separable art of the artisan contains his work and the wisdom of God contains all. And just as he who in word[1] separates the art of the artisan from (the artisan)† breaks his work, so he who in his thought separates the wisdom of God from him destroys all.

47 The Trinity is not placed with the contemplation of sensibles and of intelligibles and no more is it counted with objects, because the former (i.e. contemplation)† is a quality and the latter (i.e. objects)† are creatures; but the Trinity is essential gnosis alone.

48 The nous, if it advances on its proper path, meets the holy powers; if it (advances)* on (the path)† of the organon[2] of the soul, it will fall on the demons.

49 He who first has taken the ear of grain is the first of those who have the grain; and he who has taken the second ear is the first of those who have the first ear; and he who has taken the third ear is the first of those who have the second ear, and in the same way in regard to all the others, until he abandon the last and first ear, that which has not, insofar as it is last, the power of the grain.

50 When those who are giving birth will have ceased to give birth, then also ‘The guardians of the house will tremble’ [Eccl. 12, 3]; then also the two heads will be adorned with rose and linen.

51 The vehicle of gnosis (is)† fire and air; but the vehicle of ignorance, air and water.

52 Among the demons, some have been called intelligibles which know, and others have also received the knowledge of (that which is)† intelligible.

53 There is in this one alone who is adorable, he who uniquely has the Unique.

54 Gnosis does not advance in the regions of ignorance but in the regions of gnosis.

55 Some have attracted ignorance to themselves by their will, and others involuntarily. The second are called captives and the first are named captivators: ‘The captivators have come and they have taken captives.’ [Job 1, 15.]

56 The nous teaches the soul and the soul the body; and only the ‘man of God’ [Deut. 33, 1] knows the man of gnosis.

57 We have learned that there are three altars (on)† the heights, of which the third is simple and the two (others)* are composite. The wisdom which concerns the second altar makes known the wisdom of the third, and that which concerns the first altar is anterior to that which is in the second.

58 The three altars have been given to those who now dwell in breadth but to those who dwell in breadth and depth, these will be given in the world to come.

59 The transformation of bodies, of regions and of worlds makes known ‘the just judgement’ [2 Thess. 1, 5] of our Christ; those who battle against virtue (make known)* his long-suffering; and his compassion, above all, those who are objects of his providence without being worthy of it.

60 The ‘table’ [Luke 22, 30] of Christ is God, and the table of those who are exalted is the corporeal and incorporeal nature.

61 The contemplation of the bodiless (powers)† which we knew in the beginning without matter, we now know bound to matter; but the (contemplation)† which concerns bodies we have never seen without matter.

62 When the noes have received the contemplation which pertains to them, then also all the nature of the bodies will be lifted up, and thus the contemplation which concerns it (i.e. the nature of the bodies)† will become immaterial.

63 Among the gnoses, one will never become material, and the other (will)† never (become)† immaterial; but that (gnosis)† which is material can also become immaterial.

64 Among the beings, some have been produced before the judgement and the others after the judgement. And no one has given information concerning the first, but with regard to the second, he who has been on Horeb[3] has made a narrative.[4]

65 From those who have reached the perfect accomplishment of evil, it is possible for us to comprehend the multitude of worlds which have been produced; it is not possible, really, that we should be completed all at once in ignorance, because no more is it (possible)* in gnosis.

66 The genesis of bodies is not made known by the genesis of the logikoi; but it introduces the nature of names and the composition of the former shows the difference in rank of the latter.

67 The separated will become inseparables, when they receive the contemplation of the things which have separated them.

68 It is said that those who possess light bodies are on high and below, (those who possess)* heavy (bodies)*; and above the first those who are lighter than they; but below the second those who are heavier than they.

69 The Holy Spirit has not made known to us the first division of the logikoi and the genesis of bodies,[5] but it has revealed to us the present division of logikoi and the transformation of bodies.

70 If God ‘has made all with wisdom’ [Ps. 103, 24], there is no one thing (of the things)† created by him which does not bear, each in particular, the sign of the lights.

71 The contemplation of the bodiless (powers)† remains in non-abasement; as for that (contemplation)† which concerns bodies, it appears in part capable of abasing itself and in part incapable of abasing itself.

72 If the gnosis of those who do not empty themselves all at once is first, it is evident that the light bodies are anterior to the heavy.

73 Just as he who, by his Word, has given us a revelation concerning the things of the world to come has not given us an account concerning the genesis of bodies and of the bodiless (powers)†, so also he[6] who has taught concerning the genesis of this world has not made known the passage of the bodies and the bodiless (powers)† but he explains their division and transformation.

74 Who has known the first division and who has seen the genesis of bodies and (who has seen the genesis of)† these various worlds, from which certain holy powers nourish themselves and over which they have exercised a blessed royalty?

75 As much as the judge has judged the justiciable (things)†, so much has he also made worlds; and he who knows the number of judgements knows also the number of worlds.

76 Just as the various orders distinguish the logikoi, the ones from the others, so also the places which are appropriate to the bodies which are joined to them.

77 The Last Judgement will not make known the transformation of bodies but it will make known their destruction.

78 Each of the battalions[7] of the heavenly powers has been constituted either completely from superiors or completely from inferiors or from superiors and inferiors.[8]

79 He who advances towards gnosis draws near to the excellent change of bodies;[9] but he who (advances)* towards ignorance advances towards the bad change (of bodies)†.

80 The contemplation of this organon of the soul is varied; very varied, that of the organa of the heavenly (beings)*; and more (varied)* than these is the contemplation which concerns the logikoi, because the former are the habitations of those who know and the latter are susceptible (of the gnosis)† of the Holy Trinity.

81 Gnosis has engendered gnosis, and it engenders the knower at all times.

82 It is not the bodies of the spiritual powers, but those (i.e. the bodies)† of the souls only, which are naturally made to nourish themselves from the world which is related to them.

83 Just as the senses are changed by the mental representations of diverse qualities, so also the nous is changed, when at every moment it considers various contemplations.[10]

84 There has been a time when the Lord was judge only of the living, but there will not be a time when he will be judge only of the dead, and there will be anew a time when he will be judge only of the living.

85 If the living are susceptible of increase and decrease, it is evident, then, that it is those who are opposed to those who are dead who receive the same things. And if this is so, there will anew be varied bodies, and the worlds which are appropriate to them will be created.

86 The bread of those who are outside is not (a)† shew (bread)* and their drink is full of flies; but the bread of those who are inside is a shew bread and their drink is without damage.

87 The movement of bodies is temporal, but the transformation of bodiless (powers)† is timeless.

88 The contemplation of this sensible world has not been given as nourishment to men only but also to the other reasonable natures.

89 He who alone is seated ‘at the right’ [Mark 16, 19] of the Father, alone has the gnosis of the right (of the Father)†.

90 Those who will have seen the light of the two luminaries are those who will see the first and blessed light, which we will see in the Christ, when by an excellent change we will be resurrected before him.[11]

The second is finished.

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[1] Here, the underlying Greek is most likely logos, so that the sense would be ‘in reason or logic’.

[2] Organon (plural, organa), means ‘tool’; here it refers to the body, the ‘tool’ of the soul, as it does everywhere else in the Kephalaia Gnostica, except where it is used by extension for the ‘bodies’ of angels and so on.

[3] Moses.

[4] For the second sentence of this chapter, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 132) quotes from Barsanuphios in Migne a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘Concerning the first [beings] there is no one who has disclosed, but concerning the second [beings] he who was on Horeb has explained.’

[5] For the chapter to here, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 130) quotes from Barsanuphios in Migne a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘The Holy Spirit has not explained the first division of the rational beings (logikoi), nor the first substance (ousia) of the bodies.’

[6] Evidently, Moses.

[7] The underlying Greek word seems to be tagma, which could very well be translated ‘order’. This would accord with the terminology used in Anathema 5 (see next fn.).

[8] Cf. Anathema 5 of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod in 553, combined with Chapter V, 11, below. (Note of the French translator.)

[9] O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 143) reads ‘body’.

[10] For this chapter, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 176) quotes from Hausherr a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘Just as the senses are changed when they apprehend diverse qualities, thus also the mind (nous) is changed when it ever gazes intently upon various contemplations.’ The French translator notes that he has corrected slightly the Syriac text that we have translated from the French, above—most likely on the basis of this Greek fragment, which he references.

[11] That is, before his face, not temporally.


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