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KGN -- IVa

Fourth Century

1 God has planted for himself the logikoi; his wisdom, in its turn, has grown in them, in their reading writings of every sort.[1]

2 ‘That which is knowable of God’ [Rom. 1, 19] is in those who are first by their genesis, and that which is not knowable of him is in his Christ.

3 That which is knowable of the Christ is in those who are second by their genesis and that which is not knowable of him is in his Father.

4 The heir of Christ is he who knows the mental representations of all the beings posterior to the First Judgement.

5 That which is knowable is revealed to him who knows, in part in him who knows and in part in that which[2] does not know.

6 A part of that which is knowable is produced in (those who are)† pure, and a part in those who are not pure. That which occurs in the first is called spiritual gnosis; and that which happens to the second is called natural contemplation.

7 He who has placed ‘the most varied wisdom’ [Eph. 3, 10] in the beings (is)† he (who)† also teaches to those who wish, the art of becoming easily a seer of it (i.e. this wisdom)†.

8 The ‘coheir of Christ’ [Rom. 8, 17] is he who arrives in the Unity and takes delight in the contemplation with the Christ.

9 If one is the heir and another is the heritage, it is not the Word who is he who inherits, but the Christ (is he who)† (inherits)* the Word, which is the heritage, because whoever inherits thus unites himself to the heritage and because the Word of God is free of union.

10 Among the writers of true doctrines, some are fallen from the first contemplation of nature, some from the second, and others are fallen also from the Holy Trinity.

11 If God is known by the means of the corporeal nature and (by means)† of the incorporeal (nature)*, and if the two contemplations of these (natures)* vivify the logikoi, it is right that it is said that God ‘is known in the interior of two living (beings)†’ [Hab. 2, 14].

12 The intelligible circumcision is a voluntary removal far from the passions which (circumcision)† (occurs)* for the gnosis of God.

13 Those who have ‘participated in the flesh and blood’ [Heb. 2, 14] are ‘the children’; for whoever is young is neither good nor bad. It is therefore right that it is said that men are intermediate between angels and demons.

14 Just as the pledge[3] which is in the body is a small part of the body, so also the pledge which is in the gnoses is a certain part of the gnosis of beings.

15 If the whole world of men is a world of children, one day they will arrive at the age of adulthood which pertains to the righteous and the impious.

16 The Unique is he before whom no other being has been engendered, and after whom no (other)* (being)† has to any further extent been engendered.

17 It is said that ‘on high’ is where gnosis leads those who possess it, and ‘below’ is where ignorance (leads)* those who possess it.

18 The intelligible unction is the spiritual gnosis of the Holy Unity, and the Christ is he who is united to this gnosis. And if that is so, the Christ is not the Word in the beginning, so that he who has been anointed is not God in the beginning, but that one[4] on account of this one[5] is the Christ, and this one[6] on account of that one[7] is God.[8]

19 One is a number of quantity, and quantity is bound to the corporeal nature; therefore number pertains to the second natural contemplation.

20 The first-born is he before whom no other has been engendered, and after whom others have been (engendered)†.

21 The unction either indicates the gnosis of the Unity or designates the contemplation of beings. And if more than the others Christ is anointed, it is evident that he is anointed with the gnosis of the Unity. On account of that, he alone is said ‘to be seated at the right’ [Mark 16, 19] of his Father, the right which here, according to the rule of the gnostics, indicates the Monad and the Unity.

22 Just as those who offer to God symbolic sacrifices cause the bestial movements of the soul to burn by means of the virtues, so those who sacrifice to demons destroy the operations according to nature of the soul by means of the vices.

23 Moses and Elijah are not the Kingdom of God, if the latter is contemplation and the former are saints. Why, then, did our Saviour, after having promised to the disciples to show them the Kingdom of God, show them with a spiritual body himself, Moses and Elijah on the mountain? [Cf. Luke 9, 27–36; etc.]

24 The ‘first-born from among the dead’ [cf. Col. 1, 18; Rev. 1, 5] is he who has been resurrected from among the dead, and the first has assumed a spiritual body.

25 Just as the light which shines in the holy temples is the symbol of the spiritual gnosis, so also that (light)† of the house of idols is the sign of lying doctrines and of lying mental representations. The first is fed by the oil of the holy love, and the second by the worldly love which ‘loves the world and that which is in it’ [1 John 2, 15].

26 If ‘on the third day’ the Christ ‘is completed’ [Luke 13, 32], and if on the preceding day[9] he who collected wood in the desert is burned [cf. Num. 15, 32–6], it is evident that today is that which is called Friday, when ‘at the eleventh hour’, the nations have been called by our Saviour to eternal life [cf. Matt. 20, 6–7].

27 The symbol[10] which has appeared to the Baptist of the baptizable—is it that it is in the first contemplation, or in the second or in the third? And, again, if it is possible that the Unity might be imprinted in a form like that, still there is a danger that we might make that known openly; but you will correct this symbol among the gnostics.

28 The intelligible ‘unleavened breads’ [Deut. 16, 8] are the state of the reasonable soul, which is constituted of pure virtues and pure doctrines.

29 Just as, if the earth were destroyed, the night would no more exist on the face of the firmament, so when vice will be taken up, ignorance will no more exist among the logikoi. Ignorance is the shadow of evil, where those who walk in it as in the night are illumined by the oil of Christ and see the stars, according to the gnosis which they are worthy to receive from him, and, they also, ‘The stars will fall’ [cf. Rev. 6, 13] for them, if they do not return promptly towards the ‘Sun of Justice’ [Mal. 3, 20].

30 If the ‘wealth of God’ [cf. Rom. 11, 33] which is to come is the spiritual contemplation of the worlds which will be, those who limit the Kingdom of the Heavens to the palace and to the belly will be confounded.

31 Just as the star which is hidden by the interposition of another is higher than it, so he who is more humble than another will find himself, in the world to come, more elevated than he.

32 The ‘lobe of the liver’ is the first dialogismos[11] which is constituted by the desiring part of the soul.

33 Demons without pity will receive, after their death, those who are without pity, and demons worse than the former will receive those who are the more without pity.[12] And if that is so, it escapes those who make their soul depart from their body[13] what demons will receive them after their death. It is even said that no one who departs (from the body)* according to the will of God[14] will be given over to such demons.

34 In the world to come, no one will evade the prison into which he will fall, for it is said ‘You will not depart from there, until you have given the last coin’ [Matt. 5, 26], which is a minimal suffering.

35 If the gift of languages is a gift of the Spirit [cf. Acts 2, 4 ff.], and if the demons should be deprived of this gift, they do not speak in languages. But it is said that, by consequence of study, they know the languages of men; and it is not surprising if they possess that by receptivity, because their systasis is coextensive with the systasis of the world. Someone has said that their languages also are varied on account even of men. In this, there are those who say that there are among them, even the ancient languages, so that those who make use of the Hebrew language are opposed to the Hebrews, and those who speak in the Greek language (are opposed)† to the Greeks, and so on for the others.

36 The intelligible ‘fat’ is the grossness which, by consequence of vice, falls to the nous.

37 Among the animals, it is said that some take their breath from without, some from within, some from their environment, and some from all sides. And it is said that those who (take their breath)* from outside are men and all those who have lungs; those who (take it)* from within, the fishes and all those of whom the gullet is large; those who (take it)* from their environment, the bees with the spathe of their wings; and those who (take it)* from all sides, the demons and all the logikoi who possess bodies of air.

38 In the world to come, the irascible man will not be counted with the angels, neither will there be entrusted to him a principality. Indeed, he does not see on account of the passion; easily he becomes angry with those who are guided by him; he falls from the vision; and he casts those (whom he guides)† into danger. For these two things are foreign to the angelic order.

39 If in the worlds which come, God shows his wealth to the logikoi, it is evident that he will do that in those who will be after him who comes, because before the latter, the logikoi will not be able to receive his holy wealth.

40 The ‘key of the Kingdom of the Heavens’ [Matt. 16, 19] is the spiritual gift which partially reveals the mental representations of praktike and of nature, and those of the logoi which concern God.

41 Christ, before his coming, has shown to men an angelic body; and to those last it is not the body that he now has that he has shown, but he has revealed that which they must have.[15]

42 The promise of the ‘hundredfold’ [Matt. 19, 29] is the contemplation of beings, and the ‘eternal life’ [Matt. 19, 29] is the gnosis of the Holy Trinity: ‘And this is eternal life, that they know thee, the only true God.’ [John 17, 3.]

43 If the Christ who has appeared to Jacob on the ladder [cf. Gen. 28, 12–13] designates natural contemplation, the likeness of the ladder teaches concerning the road of praktike; but if he (i.e. the Christ)† signifies the gnosis of the Unity, the ladder is the symbol of all the worlds.

44 The Sabbath is the rest of the reasonable soul, in which (rest)† it (i.e. the soul)† is naturally made so as not to overstep the limits of nature.

45 The divine powers repel, not those who adore[16] them, but those who sacrifice to them; and that we have manifestly learned in Judges from Manoah [cf. Judg. 13, 15–21].

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[1] Cf. Treatise on the Practical Life, Chapter 94, Anthony.

[2] Or, ‘in him who does not know’. The sense seems to be: ‘That which is knowable is revealed to him who knows, in part in the incorporeal beings which know and in part in the corporeal beings which do not (cannot)† know.’

[3] Or, ‘deposit’.

[4] I.e. the Word of God.

[5] I.e. the Christ.

[6] The Christ.

[7] The Word of God.

[8] For the final formula, cf. Anathema 8 of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod. (Note of the French translator.)

[9] Holy Saturday, a Sabbath Day, on which work was forbidden.

[10] The dove, which descended on Christ at his Baptism in the Jordan by St John the Baptist.

[11] Dialogismos here means ‘thought’.

[12] For the chapter to this point, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 146) gives from Hausherr a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘Those who are merciless are received after death by merciless demons; those who are even more merciless (are received) by the more merciless of these demons.’

[13] By suicide.

[14] By a natural death.

[15] O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 164) reads: ‘Christ, before he came, showed an angelic body to men, and after [he came [O’Laughlin’s insertion]] he did not show them the body he now has, but the one which they ought to have.’

[16] We have translated according to the French, but, we think, the underlying Greek verb must have been proskuneo, which has the sense either of ‘adore’ or of ‘venerate’. It seems to us that the meaning ‘venerate’ is far closer to what Evagrius must have had in mind. For the offering of a sacrifice is the quintessential act of adoration.


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