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46 The judgement of the angels is the gnosis concerning the illnesses of the soul, which makes those who have been wounded ascend to health.

47 The change happening ‘in the blink of an eye’ [1 Cor. 15, 52] is unique which will overtake each one according to his degree by consequence of the judgement and which will establish the body of each according to the degree of his order. Indeed, that someone might say that there is a change in the parts beyond that which is common, is the act of him who does not know the mental representations of the judgement.

48 The change of the righteous is the passage from praktika and seeing bodies to bodies seeing or very seeing.

49 The nous will not be crowned with the crown of the essential gnosis, if it has not rejected far from it the ignorance of the two struggles.

50 The change of sinners[1] is the passage of praktika or demonic bodies to those which are very heavy and dark.

51 All the changes which occur before the world to come have joined some with excellent bodies and others with bad bodies. But those (changes)† which will occur after the (world)† which will come will join all with gnostic organa.

52 The intelligible moon is the reasonable nature which is illumined by the ‘Sun of Justice’ [Mal. 3, 20].

53 Whoever is become susceptible of the gnosis of God and who honours ignorance more than this gnosis, it is said that he is bad. For there is not a corporeal nature susceptible of gnosis. It is not appropriate therefore that any body might be said to be bad.

54 ‘In the blink of an eye’ [1 Cor. 15, 52], the Cherubim have been called Cherubim; Gabriel, Gabriel; and man, man.

55 In the beginning, the nous had the incorruptible God as teacher of the immaterial mental representations; but now it has received corruptible sense-perception as teacher of the material mental representations.

56 The spiritual gnosis is the wings of the nous; he who knows is the nous of the wings. And if that is so, the objects bear the sign of ‘trees’ [Gen. 2, 9] upon which the nous sojourns, of which (trees)† it is charmed by the leaves and of which (trees)† it savours the fruits, in pressing itself on hence at each moment for the ‘tree of life’ [Gen. 2, 9].

57 Just as those who teach letters to infants trace them on tablets, so also Christ, in teaching his wisdom to the logikoi, has traced it in the corporeal nature.

58 He who is going to see the things that are written has need of the light; and he who is going to learn the wisdom of beings has need of spiritual love.

59 If all vice is engendered by the intellect, by the thumos and by the epithumia, and if it is possible for us to make use of these powers for good or for evil, then it is evident that it is by the usage contrary to nature of these parts that the evils reach us. And if that is so, there is nothing created by God which might be bad.[2]

60 The sign of the east is the symbol of the saints, and the sign of the west, the souls which are in Sheol. But the accomplishment of the return of the ‘course’ [2 Tim. 4, 7] of all is the Holy Trinity.

61 The virtues make the nous to see the second natural contemplation and that makes it to see the first (natural contemplation)†; and the first (natural contemplation)† in its turn (makes it to see)* the Holy Unity.

62 The intelligible stars are the reasonable natures to which it has been entrusted to illumine those who are in the darkness.

63 The ignorance of him whose gnosis is limited, is also limited; and the gnosis of him who ignorance is unlimited, is also unlimited.

64 If among the things which are tasted, there is none of them which might be sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, and if the gnosis of God might be said (to be)† superior to these things [cf. Ps. 18, 10], it is evident that there is nothing at all that is on the earth which might give pleasure like the gnosis of God.

65 The angels which will have had as disciples the men of the earth will establish the latter, in the world to come, as heirs of their governance.

66 Just as the first trumpet has made known the genesis of bodies, so also the ‘last trumpet’ [1 Cor. 15, 52] will make known the destruction of bodies.

67 All the second natural contemplation bears the sign of milk, and the first (natural contemplation)† that of honey; and that is ‘the land flowing with milk and honey’ [Exod. 33, 3].

68 Just as the first ‘rest’ [Gen. 2, 2] of God will make known the diminution of vice and the disappearance of gross bodies, so also the second will make known the destruction of bodies, second beings, and the diminution of ignorance.

69 From the contemplation of which is constituted the nous, it is not possible that some other thing might be constituted, unless that also might be susceptible of the Trinity.

70 It pertains to the naked nous to say what is its nature; and to this question there is not now a response, but at the end there will not even be the question.

71 Just as man after having received the insufflation ‘is become a living soul’ [Gen. 2, 7], so also the nous when it has received the Holy Trinity will become a living nous.

72 The heritage of Christ is the gnosis of the Unity; and, if all should become coheirs of Christ, all will know the Holy Unity. But it is not possible that they should become his coheirs if they have not previously become his heirs.

73 If ‘the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night’ [1 Thess. 5, 2], no one among those who are in the house knows at what hour or in what day he will disrobe those who sleep.

74 All that pertains to the corporeal nature and is called holy is ‘sanctified by the word of God’ [1 Tim. 4, 5], and all that among the logikoi is named holy is sanctified by the gnosis of God. But in this there are yet (those)† among the second who are sanctified by the word of God, like children, and who are susceptible of gnosis.

75 That which is impure becomes so either by the consequence of a usage contrary to nature or by consequence of vice. And all that which, contrary to the (natural)† use, is considered as being defiled proceeds from the corporeal nature but that which is defiled as a consequence of vice is said to proceed from the reasonable nature.

76 When we are formed in the womb, we live the life of plants; when we are born, the life of animals; and when we have become adults, we live either the life of angels or the life of demons. The cause of the first life is the animated nature; the cause of the second, sense-perception; and that of the third, the fact that we are susceptible of virtue or vice.[3]

77 By (means of)† those of whom it has narrated the life and death, the Holy Spirit has also proclaimed in advance the resurrection that will occur.

78 The angels and demons draw near to our world; but we do not draw near to their worlds. Indeed, we cannot make the angels approach closer to God, nor do we dream of defiling more the demons.[4]

79 Those who are now under the earth will lead to an immoderate vice those who will now have done terrestrial things, the wretches!

80 The corporeal nature and the incorporeal (nature)* are knowable; but the incorporeal nature alone is knowing. God is knowing and knowable; but it is not as the incorporeal nature that he knows, nor, to any further extent, as the corporeal nature or the incorporeal (nature)* that he is known.

81 He who knows God has either the gnosis of his nature or that of his wisdom, of which he made use in making all (things)†.

82 Blessed (is)† he who by the objects receives the demonstration of the grace of God; and blessed also is he who by gnosis can make an examination of them.

83 Faith is a voluntary good which leads us to the blessedness to come.

84 All of the second natural contemplation bears the sign of the stars; and the stars are those to whom it has been entrusted to illumine those who are in the night.

85 All those who are baptized in water receive the delightful odour; but he who baptizes is he who has the perfumed oil.

86 Blessed (is)† he who loves nothing of the second natural contemplation if it is not the contemplation.

87 Blessed (is)† he who hates nothing of the first contemplation of natures if it is not their vice.

88 Blessed (is)† he who is come to the unsurpassable gnosis.

89 Just as our body, while it has been engendered by our parents, cannot in its turn engender them, so also the soul, which is engendered by God, cannot in return give him gnosis. Indeed, ‘What will I give to the Lord in return for all the gifts that he has made to me?’ [Ps. 115, 3].

90 The demons do not cease to slander the gnostic, even when he is not at fault, to the end that they attract to themselves his nous. Indeed, a cloud holds itself over the thought and chases the nous far from contemplation, at the moment that he (the gnostic)† reproves the demons as slanderers.

The third Century is finished.

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[1] ‘Change of sinners’ has the sense not of repentance or conversion but of Evagrius’ doctrine of the judgement after death which leads to the granting of a new body according to one’s condition when judged.

[2] For this chapter, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 165) gives from Hausherr a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘If all vice has the nature to come from the rational part (logistikon), from the desire (epithumia) or from the irascible part (thumikon), and it is possible to use these powers either well or ill, then clearly the vices occur to us from the use of these parts. If this is so, then, nothing of the things which have come to be from God is evil.’

[3] For Chapter III, 76, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 133) gives from Muyldermans a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘Being formed in the womb, we live the live of plants; being born, the life of animals; becoming perfect (i.e. adults) the life of angels . The cause of the first life is the ensouled substance; of the second, the senses; of the third, that we are receptive of virtue or vice.’ We have emended the passage on the basis of the Syriac text of the chapter, as translated, since the phrase added is necessary for the sense of the last clause of the fragment.

Note further that Evagrius is clearly following the Aristotelian schema of the hierarchy of souls that we discussed in Chapter II of Volume I: in the womb, man has the vegetative soul; when he is born, the animal soul; and when he is an adult, the human (rational) soul capable of moral choice. The ‘ensouled substance’ of the fragment seems to be the male sperm—see Section 12, Chapter III, of Volume I.

[4] Cf. On the Thoughts, Chapter 19.


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