A Revelation on Experiencing the Nature of the Absolute (from Hermetic Tradition)
The body of texts known as the Corpus Hermeticum is one of the most important compilation of Hermetic teachings. They are attributed to a spiritual teacher who among the Greeks was known as Hermes Trismegistus, and as god Thoth among the Egyptians. The texts were apparently written or rewritten in the first centuries AD, during the early Christian era, though because of the assumption that they are much older they were not destroyed like many other texts that came from that time.
The following is an excerpt from a text called “Mind unto Hermes”. In it, a divine intelligence (translated as Mind) reveals to Hermes many things about higher aspects of reality, whilst in the excerpted part Mind is talking about how one can know the reality beyond the physical body. It speaks of how the body should not pose a limit to us to know higher reality, as we are endowed with faculties of knowing it through the power of our imagination. The conscious imagination he is speaking of is indeed a great gift that we can use in order to have a direct knowledge of reality trough development of latent spiritual senses. Here comes the text:
Mind unto Hermes (an excerpt from the Corpus Hermeticum)
18 Consider the following: “All beings are in God.” It does not mean that they are in a place – because the place is also a body, and what is in a place does not move -. There is another way of being, as it is, in the bodiless imagination.
Consider the one that contains all beings, and understand that nothing can delimit the bodyless, nor is anything faster or more powerful than Him. On the contrary, the bodiless is more unlimited, faster and more powerful than everything else.
19. Reflect yourself; order your soul to go to India, and it will be there faster than your order; command her to go to the ocean, and she will be there immediately, at once, not passing from one place to another, but instantly; command her to ascend to heaven, and she will have no need of wings; nothing will stop her, not the fire of the sun, not the ether, not the whirlwind, not the bodies of the stars; It will go through everything and will fly to the last body [of them all]. If you want to cross this limit and contemplate what is outside the world, if there is something, you can do it. And what you can, God could not?
He thinks that God possesses in himself all his thoughts, the whole world. If you can’t equal God, you can’t understand him. The resemblance comprises the resemblance. Increase to an immense size, surpass all bodies, traverse all time, become eternity and you will understand God. Nothing prevents you from believing yourself immortal and knowing everything, the arts, the sciences, the customs of all animals. Rise above all height, descend below all depth; Gather in you all the sensations of created things, of water, fire, dryness, humidity. Suppose you are everywhere at the same time, on the earth, in the water, in the sky; that you have never been born, that you are still an embryo, that you are young, old, dead, beyond death. Embrace everything at once: times, places, things, qualities, quantities, and you will understand God.
But if you lock your soul in your body, if you lower it and say: “I understand nothing, I can’t do anything, I don’t know what I am or what I will be”, what do you have in common with God then? If you are bad and attached to the body, what can you understand about good and beautiful things? The perfection of evil is in ignoring the divine. But being able to know it, love it and hope for it is the means to reach good through a direct, unique and easy path. Following him, you will find him everywhere, you will see him everywhere, in the place and at the time you least expect it, when you are awake, dreaming, at sea, traveling, at night, during the day, talking or keeping silent. . For there is nothing that is not the image of God.
Hermes: God is invisible?
The intelligence: Don’t say that, what is more apparent than him? If he has created everything, it is so that you can see it through all things. The Good of God, his virtue, consists in appearing in everything. Because nothing is invisible, not even the bodiless. Intelligence is seen in thought, and God in Creation.
This was what I had to reveal to you, oh! Trismegistus; As for the rest, reflect on it yourself, and you will not be lost.