#profile-container h2.sidebar-title {display:none;}

KGN -- IVb

46 The ‘four corners’ signify the four elements, ‘the object’ which has appeared signifies the gross world, and ‘the various animals’ are the symbols of the orders of men: and that is what appeared to Peter on the roof. [Cf. Acts 10, 11–16 for the whole chapter.]

47 The demon of anger battles day and night with those who draw near to obscure matters and wish to write concerning them, that (demon)† which has the custom to blind the thought and to deprive it of the spiritual contemplation.

48 The intelligible ‘turban’ [Exod. 28, 4] is the inflexible faith not susceptible of fear.

49 In this, there is one among the pleasures which is coextensive with the systasis of the nous, that which accompanies gnosis, because all will pass with the world to come.

50 There is a good love which is eternal, that one which the true gnosis chooses for itself, and it is said that it is inseparable from the nous.

51 In the second natural contemplation, it is said, by necessity some are chiefs and others are subjected to the chiefs. But in the Unity, there will not be those who might be chiefs nor those who might be submitted to the chiefs; but all will be gods.

52 The intelligible ‘plate’ [Exod. 28, 32] is the gnosis of the Holy Trinity.

53 Gnosis grows less and loses strength among those who construct their tower with vice and with false doctrines; ignorance and the confusion of mental representations befall them, just as with those also who were constructing the tower [cf. Gen. 11, 4–9].

54 Words make known names in all languages; and the objects are known; therefore the words of the Apostles which were proffered in the Hebrew language were transformed into the names and into the words of the (other)* languages;[1] on account of that, all the tribes have known that which was revealed [cf. Acts 2, 4–11].

55 The words of the virtues are the mirrors of the virtues, and he who ‘hears’ the words and does not ‘practise’ them [cf. Jas. 1, 22–4], sees virtue, which is the face of the soul, as in a shadow.

56 The intelligible ‘ephod’ [Exod. 28, 4] is the state of the reasonable soul in which the man has the custom to practise the virtues.[2]

57 Christ has appeared creator by the multiplication of the loaves[3] [cf. Matt. 14, 15–21; etc.], by the wine of union [cf. John 2, 1–10], and by the eyes of (him who was)† born blind [cf. John 9, 1–7].

58 God, when he created the logikoi, was not in anything; but when he created the corporeal nature and the worlds which proceeded from it, he was in his Christ.

59 If an essence is not said to be superior or inferior to an(other)* essence, and if a demon has been named by our Saviour worse than another demon [cf. Luke 11, 26], it is evident that it is not by their essence that the demons are bad.

60 To those who blaspheme against the Creator and speak evil of the body of our soul, who will show the grace which they have received, while they are passionate, to have been joined to such an organon? Those testify in favour of my words who in the hallucinations of dreams are terrified by the demons and flee to waking as before the angels,[4] when the body suddenly awakes.

61 Interpretation is the explication of the commandments for the simple.

62 It is necessary for the nous to be instructed either concerning the incorporeals or concerning the bodies, or simply to see objects: that, indeed, is its life. But it will not see the incorporeals when it will be defiled in its will, nor the bodies when it will be deprived of the organon which shows it the sensible things. What will they therefore give to the dead soul for the sake of (its)† contemplation, those who despise the Creator and also slander our very body?

63 The ‘propitiatory’ [Exod. 25, 17–22] is the spiritual gnosis, which conducts the souls of the praktikoi.

64 If many who were not of Israel have accompanied the ancient Israel, is it that, with the new Israel also, many from among the Egyptians have not gone out?

65 All the reasonable nature is divided into three parts: life reigns over the one, life and death (reign)* over the second, and only death (reigns)* over the third.

66 The intelligible ‘pectoral’ [Exod. 28, 4] is the hidden gnosis of the mysteries of God.

67 The objects which by means of the senses fall under the soul move it to receive in itself their forms, because it is the work of the nous to know, just as the animals which respire from without, and it falls into danger if it does not work, if, according to the word of the wise Solomon, ‘The light of the Lord is the breath of men.’ [Prov. 20, 27.]

68 This body of the soul is the image of the house, and the senses bear the sign of the windows, by means of which the nous looks and sees the sensible things.[5]

69 The intelligible ‘mantle’ [Exod. 28, 4] is the spiritual doctrine, which gathers together those who have gone astray.

70 It is not to each one that it pertains to say ‘Make my soul to go out from prison’ [cf. Ps. 141, 8], but to those who on account of purity of soul can draw near, even without this body, to the contemplation of beings.[6]

71 If one of the senses is absent, it saddens greatly those who are deprived of it: who will be able to bear the privation of all, which will happen all at once and deprive him of the admiration for the bodies?

72 The intelligible ‘breeches’ [Exod. 28, 38] are the mortification of the desiring part which happens for the gnosis of God.

73 To him it pertains not to fear our adversaries who circle outside our body, him of whom the nous is at all times before the Lord, of whom the thumike[7] part is full of humility as a consequence of the remembrance of God, and of whom the epithumia[8] is completely inclined towards the Lord.

74 It is evident that those among the saints who have now been delivered from bodies and are mixed with the choirs of angels have also come towards our world on account of oikonomia.[9]

75 The intelligible ‘ephod’ [Exod. 28, 4] is the justice of the soul, by means of which the man has the custom to become illustrious in his works and in irreproachable doctrines.[10]

76 He who is passionate and prays that his departure (from the body)* occur rapidly resembles a man who is ill and who asks his attendant rapidly to break his bed.

77 The objects are outside the nous, and the contemplation which concerns them is constituted inside it. But it is not so in regard to the Holy Trinity, for only it is essential gnosis.

78 The Christ is inherited and he inherits, but the Father is inherited only.

79 The ‘girdle’ of the High Priest [Exod. 28, 4] is the humility of the thumos which makes firm the nous.

80 It is not the Word of God from the beginning which has descended to Sheol and is ascended to Heaven, but the Christ, who has the Word in him; the gross body, indeed, is not susceptible of gnosis, and God is known.

81 Every contemplation by the sign of its mental representation is immaterial and incorporeal; but material or immaterial, it is said that it is that which possesses or does not possess the objects which fall under it.

82 The ‘refuge’ [Josh. 20, 2–3] is the praktikon body of the passible soul, which delivers it from the demons which surround it.

83 May he who, although he is not pure, evades the body, reflect whether by chance the parent of him who has been killed is not staying at the door and will not accuse him.

84 Gnosis is not a quality of bodies; nor colours, qualities of incorporeals; but gnosis is (a quality)* of incorporeals and colour (a quality)* of bodies accidentally.

85 The demons prevail over the soul when the passions are multiplied, and they render the man insensible in extinguishing the powers of his organs of sense for fear that when he meets one of the nearby objects he should make the nous ascend as from a deep well.

86 The nous which possesses a body does not see the incorporeals; and when it is without a body, it will not see the bodies.

87 Every contemplation appears with an underlying object, with the exception of the Holy Trinity.

88 Of the three altars of gnosis, two have circle and the third appears without a circle.

89 Who will recount the grace of God? Who will search closely into the logoi of providence, and how the Christ conducts the reasonable nature by means of the diverse worlds towards the union with the Holy Unity?

90 The gnosis of God has need not of a dialectical soul but of a seeing (soul)*. Dialectic, indeed, has the custom to be found even by the souls which are not pure; but vision (is found)* only by the pure (souls)*.[11]

The fourth Century is finished.

previous | Table of Contents | next

[1] On the day of Pentecost.

[2] The intelligible ‘ephod’ is also the subject of Chapter IV, 75, below.

[3] Literally, ‘by the bread of quantity’. (Note of the French translator.)

[4] That is, as into their presence.

[5] For this chapter, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 155) quotes from Muyldermans a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘On the one hand, the body which is of the soul preserves the image (eikona) of a house; on the other hand, the senses have the nature (logos) of windows, through which the mind (nous), peeping out, sees the sensible things.’

[6] For this chapter, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 171) quotes from the Scholia in Psalmos, in Migne under the name of Origen, a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘It is not for all to say, “Put my soul out of prison [cf. Ps. 141, 8],” but for those who are able on account of (their) purity to apply themselves even without this body to the contemplation of things which have come to be.’

[7] Thumike here means ‘irascible’.

[8] Epithumia means ‘desire’, or, here, ‘the desiring part’ (of the soul).

[9] Oikonomia here means ‘the management by God of the particular salvation of each man’.

[10] The intelligible ‘ephod’ is also the subject of Chapter IV, 56, above.

[11] For this chapter, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 170) gives from Muyldermans a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘The gnosis of Christ requires not a dialectical soul but a seeing (soul). For to engage in dialectic happens also to impure souls, whereas seeing (happens) only to pure (souls).’


Post a Comment

<< Home